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Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.

How Does it Work?

The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.

Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:

  • 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!

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

After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:

Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you have an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you 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 buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re 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! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.

Pay a medical bill

Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.

Make a payment to pay off a loan

If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.

Ask family members for assistance

Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.

Purchase presents

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.

There are plenty of methods to get the most from your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards

Book travel expenses with your credit card

If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.

Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses

Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.

Benefit from bonus categories

Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.

Take into consideration a balance transfer

If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.

Use your points or miles carefully

Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.

Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.

Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.

If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.

Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.