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Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later 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 rental car deals.

How Does it Work?

The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.

Get Started with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are a few credit cards excellent for travel hacking:

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

If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!

Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?

Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:

Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.

 

United

Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.

Hit that Minimum Spend

If you’re anything like me and my travel companion 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 the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.

Pay for a medical bill

Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.

Repay the loan

If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.

Ask family for help

Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.

Give gifts

If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.

There are plenty of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards

Book travel expenses with your credit card

If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.

Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs

Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.

Make the most of bonus categories

Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.

Consider a balance transfer

If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.

Use your points or miles prudently

Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.

Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.

In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.

When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.

The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.