Going on vacation can be expensive, and we could all use a break here and there. That’s what travel hacking is all about. If you can appreciate the idea of saving money while traveling abroad, this is the article for you. It’ll teach you how to hack a credit card for maximum rewards points and mileage so that you can enjoy vacations even more. Ready to earn more and spend less? Then these are the best tips for travel hacking credit cards you could find!
What is travel hacking anyway? It’s a modern term for getting the most out of your travels, be it through finding online discounts, coupons for cheaper flights, or using miles to make purchases while you’re abroad.
Travel Hack #1: Look for Bonus Points & Packages That Count
Some credit cards offer fabulous deals for purchases, anniversaries, and other occasions throughout the year. The more benefits that come with the package, the more you’ll save when traveling. A great example of this is the Marriott Rewards® Premier Visa® Card. This credit card offers 30,000 bonus points after your first purchase on the card. These points can be traded for travel benefits such as four free nights in a hotel abroad, no foreign currency exchange fees, and 5 points for every dollar spent at Marriott locations. That’s a good deal!
Finally, look for cards that are specifically travel-friendly. The Rogers™ Platinum MasterCard® has a unique 4% unlimited cashback rewards policy for any purchases made in a foreign currency, so this is the ideal card for traveling. Now that you know how to hack a credit card, it’s time to make use of that knowledge. Enjoy your spring as a smarter, more hack-savvy traveler thanks to these simple travel hacks.
Travel Hack #2: Get Your Flight Paid For
Flights can be a large portion of your travel expenses, so finding a travel hack for this high-ticket item can save you a lot on your overall holiday. Many companies will allow you to transfer your credit card reward points into frequent flyer miles and pay for your flights via this method. The American Express® Gold Rewards Card allows this in programs such as Avios and Aeroplan®. Oh, and be sure to find those No Annual Fee cards (looking at you, TD Aeorplan Visa Infinite), just to sweeten your deal even more by saving approx. $100 a year.
Travel Hack #3: Pay Attention
The number one lesson in travel hacking 101 is keep your eye on the ball. Credit card companies, airlines, gas stations, etc. want to make money off of you. They’ll offer incentives to reel you in, but those deals won’t last long. You need to pay attention to what deals are being offered, end dates, redemption expiration dates, and the fine print to know when to stay put and when it’s time to move on to another credit card with better fringe benefits.
Travel Hack #4: Don’t Skip Insurance
Not having travel insurance can actually cost you a lot more in the event that something goes wrong. Fortunately, lots of great credit cards have travel insurance benefits tied into their packages. TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, for example, includes a variety of travel insurance packages so you can really sit back, relax, and just enjoy the ride.
Travel Hack #5: Go for the Points
While nearly all cards today will offer some sort of points system each time you make a purchase, not all credit cards were created equal, and some are significantly more lucrative than others. Look for a card that will simply reward you for spending handsomely. MBNA Rewards World Elite® will reward travelers with 2 points for every dollar they spend, making your purchases twice as sweet.
Bonus Tip: Rinse, Wash, Repeat
A major contributor to a successful travel hack is your ability to own more than one credit card at a time, and earn more points redeemable for miles and other perks. Did you know you can sign up for the American Express Gold Rewards card, get a 25,000 welcome bonus points, and convert them to Aeroplan® Miles? That’s right! Your next step should be signing up for the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card and getting their 30,000 Aeroplan points. Now you have 55,000 points that are equivalent to two round-trips to the States! Don’t forget: the more travel reward cards you own – the more free flights and hotel nights you earn.
Now that you know how to hack a credit card, it’s time to make use of that knowledge. Enjoy your spring as a smarter, more hack-savvy traveler thanks to these simple travel hacks. For more on travel hacking, see our complete list of the best travel credit cards.