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Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.

How Does it Work?

The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.

Get Started with Travel Hacking

Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit cards great 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!

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

After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:

Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.

 

United

Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.

Hit that Minimum Spend

If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.

Pay a medical bill

Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.

Repay a loan

If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with 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 more debt.

Ask family for help

Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.

Purchase presents

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.

There are a lot of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards

Pay for travel expenses using your credit card

If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.

Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses

Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay daily costs. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you 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 on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.

Take into consideration a balance transfer

If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.

Use your points or miles carefully

When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.

Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.

Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.

If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.

In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.