Western Hemispheric Travel Initiative

Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.

How Does it Work?

The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.

Get Started with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:

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

Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!

Ready to jet-set with your points?

Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:

Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can 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 use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire 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 full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.

JetBlue

Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.

Reach that Minimum Spend

If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.

Make a payment on a medical expense

Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.

Make a payment to pay off a loan

If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.

Ask family members for assistance

Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.

Give gifts

If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.

There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:

Pay for travel expenses using your credit card

Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.

Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs

Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.

Make the most of bonus categories

Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.

Consider the possibility of transferring your balance

If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with 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’s bonus.

Use your points or miles wisely

Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a gift card.

Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.

Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.

When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.

Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.