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Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a 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 all 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 let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.

How Does it Work?

The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.

Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel

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

If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit 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 check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!

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

After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:

Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.

 

United

Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.

Make sure you spend that minimum amount

If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.

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 at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.

Pay for a medical bill

Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.

Make a payment to pay off a loan

If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be 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 determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.

Give presents

If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.

There are plenty of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards

Pay for travel expenses using your credit card

Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.

Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures

Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.

Benefit from bonus categories

Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on 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, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.

Make use of your miles or points prudently

If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for an gift card.

Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.

Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.

Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.

In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.