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Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.

How Does it Work?

The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.

Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking

Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit cards great for travel hacking:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase United Explorer
  • JetBlue Mastercard
  • Capital One Venture X

Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!

Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?

After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:

Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.

 

United

Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.

JetBlue

Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.

Reach that Minimum Spend

If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.

Make a payment on a medical expense

Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.

Repay a loan

If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.

Ask family for help

Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.

Buy presents

If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.

There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:

Pay for travel expenses using your credit card

Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenses.

Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs

Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.

Make the most of bonus categories

Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.

Consider a balance transfer

If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.

Use your points or miles wisely

If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.

Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.

In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.

Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.

Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.