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Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.

How Does it Work?

The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:

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

After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!

Ready to jet-set with your goals?

After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:

Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you own a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.

 

United

Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.

JetBlue

Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.

Make sure you spend that minimum amount

If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.

Travel Hut Highland In

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.

Make a payment on a medical expense

Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.

Pay off a loan

If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.

Ask family members for assistance

Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.

Buy presents

If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.

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

Book travel expenses with your credit card

If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.

Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures

Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday costs. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.

Benefit from bonus categories

A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.

Take into consideration a balance transfer

If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.

Make use of your miles or points wisely

When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for a gift card.

Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.

Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.

When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.

The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.