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Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.

How Does it Work?

The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit card options that can be perfect 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!

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

After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:

Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.

 

United

Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.

Reach that Minimum Spend

If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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 to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.

Make a payment on a medical expense

Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.

Repay a loan

If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.

Ask your family members for help

Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.

Give gifts

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.

There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:

Make travel reservations using your credit card

When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.

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

Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.

Benefit from bonus categories

A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program 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 high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.

Make use of your miles or points prudently

When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.

Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.

Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.

When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.

In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.