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Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.

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 purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.

How Does it Work?

The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit cards excellent to hack travel

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

After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!

Ready to jet-set with your points?

Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:

Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost 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 book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every 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 have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn 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 You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.

Pay a medical bill

Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.

Pay off the loan

If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.

Ask your family members for help

Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.

Purchase presents

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.

There are a lot of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:

Make travel reservations using your credit card

If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.

Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs

Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.

Take advantage of bonus categories

A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.

Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance

If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.

Use your points or miles wisely

If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.

Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.

Also, find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.

When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.

Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.