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Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel 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. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.

How Does it Work?

The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing 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 cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent 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 need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!

Ready to jet-set with your goals?

Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:

Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.

 

United

Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few point short 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 flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.

Reach that Minimum Spend

If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.

Make a payment on a medical expense

Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. 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 can reimburse you.

Make a payment to pay off the loan

If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.

Ask family for help

Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.

Purchase presents

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.

There are plenty of ways to make the most from your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:

Book travel expenses with your credit card

Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.

Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses

Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.

Take advantage of bonus categories

Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.

Think about the possibility of transferring your balance

If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.

Utilize your miles and points carefully

When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for 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 flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.

In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.

If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.

Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.