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Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, 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 as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.

How Does it Work?

The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are a few credit cards that are perfect 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!

Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?

Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:

Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward

If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every 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 can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.

JetBlue

Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable 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 dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.

Make sure you spend that minimum amount

If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.

Make a payment on a medical expense

Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will repay you.

Pay off a loan

If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.

Ask family for help

Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.

Buy presents

If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.

There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards

Book travel expenses with your credit card

Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.

Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses

Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.

Benefit from bonus categories

Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.

Consider a balance transfer

If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.

Use your points or miles wisely

Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.

Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.

Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.

If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.

In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.