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Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.

How Does it Work?

The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:

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

After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!

Ready to jet-set with your ideas?

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

Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you have an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.

 

United

Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.

Hit that Minimum Spend

If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.

Pay a medical bill

Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.

Pay off the loan

If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.

Ask family for help

Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.

Give presents

If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.

There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards

Pay for travel expenses using your credit card

When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.

Use your credit card for all your daily expenses

Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card for everyday costs. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.

Take advantage of bonus categories

A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.

Think about the possibility of transferring your balance

If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.

Use your points or miles carefully

If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.

Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give an access larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.

Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.

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

In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.