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Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.

How Does it Work?

The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.

Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important 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

Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!

Ready to jet-set with your points?

After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:

Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward

If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for 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 tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.

JetBlue

Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together 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 or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.

Pay a medical bill

Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.

Repay the loan

If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.

Ask your family members for help

Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.

Give presents

If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.

There are plenty of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards

Pay for travel expenses using your credit card

If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.

Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs

Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.

Take advantage of bonus categories

Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.

Consider the possibility of transferring your balance

If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.

Make use of your miles or points prudently

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

Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.

In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.

When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.

Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.