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Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting 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 desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.

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 discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.

How Does it Work?

The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better 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 look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.

Get Started with Travel Hacking

Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are a few credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:

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

Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!

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

Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:

Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward

If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of 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 don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.

 

United

Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.

JetBlue

Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.

Hit that Minimum Spend

If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.

Make a payment on a medical expense

Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.

Repay a loan

If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.

Ask family members for assistance

Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.

Buy gifts

If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.

There are many ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards

Pay for travel expenses using your credit card

If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.

Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures

Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.

Make the most of bonus categories

A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.

Take into consideration a balance transfer

If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.

Utilize your miles and points carefully

If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for an gift card.

Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.

In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.

If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.

The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.