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5 Tips On Travel Hacking – What You Need to Know to Hack it

Goin270x180_5-tips-travel-hackingg 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 (Amex Gold Rewards again) 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.

6 comments

  1. Cassandra Smith

    Hello everyone, I have been battling with my credit score because it was very low until a friend of mine introduced me to a best hacker named Mr Aaron Swartz he helped increase my credit score from 550 to 850. I was really surprised that he helped me do it within 48 hours, even though I doubted him at first because he told me to pay the service fee before any action can take place after I paid half of the payment. Then you pay the rest after he finishes the job. Contact him (aaronswartzcyberservices At Gmail Dot Com)He’s the best and really affordable.

    • Hey Cassandra, thanks for leaving your comments with us.

      While we’re happy you now have a healthy credit score, we do not recommend leaving personal financial details in the hands of someone else. Claims that anyone can lift a credit score 300 points within 48 hours are not credible, and are simply attempts at phishing information from unsuspecting people.

      Lifting a credit score is a simple process, requiring a bit of hard work, discipline and patience but it is entirely possible. The tools to do so are easily available – in fact, many of them are on this website (see the People’s Trust and Home Trust secured cards). Have a great day!

      GreedyRates Staff

  2. We are soon heading to Jamaica for a vacation, I am wondering if it is more beneficial for us to get a prepaid credit card and load it with USD, or to use our BMO World Elite Mastercard? Any advice will be appreciated. We want to have something for purchases down there and we plan on bringing cash for tipping.

    • Hey Adam! Thanks for your good questions, we can definitely provide some assistance in this matter.

      You asked about potentially loading a credit card with USD for purchases in Jamaica, and also about using your current BMO World Elite Mastercard. It’s important to note that with either of these methods, you will be charged for conversion to Jamaican dollars and also a foreign transaction fee of around 2.50% on top of the purchase. While this isn’t the end of the world, you could save a lot of money by using a card with no foreign transaction fees.

      Generally we see our customers with these types of cards use them exclusively abroad, and then simply keep them in good standing when not in use. We recommend the Chase Marriott Rewards card for this purpose. It’s a powerful card that is easy to get and charges cardholders absolutely no extra fees for purchasing abroad. You can use it wherever you go, earning Marriott points along the way, which are redeemable around the world (including Jamaica – there’s a Marriott in Kingston). Before you leave, see if you can get ahold of one quickly to save some extra cash on your trip! Have a great vacation.

      GreedyRates Staff

  3. 1. Do the aeroplan miles expire?
    2. Is there much of a credit report ding to churning cards/any other negatives?

    I have a very good credit rating, and my existing cashback card system works quite well. However, some of the travel rewards cards I found on your comparison tool look very tempting. I’m wondering if it’s really worth it to go through them *merely* for the signup bonuses, if I don’t plan on using them long term.

    Thanks for the great comparison site! I’ve already applied to one card (that I *will* be using regularly) thanks to you.

    • Hi Anon,

      So glad you’re enjoying our site and that it’s helping you out! And sorry for the long time it took to write back, we try to answer as many questions as we can in a timely manner, and sometimes we’re just overloaded 🙂

      To answer your questions:

      1. Aeroplan miles can expire if your account becomes inactive. But as long as you remain active, the miles will not expire. If you have not remained active for 12 months successively, your miles will expire. You can continue account activity in several ways including:

      a. Use it to fill up gas at an Esso station
      b. Use any of the Aeroplan-affiliated cards
      c. Shop at Home Hardware stores
      d. Use the card to fly with Air Canada or any Star Alliance carrier

      2. Changing credit cards frequently can affect your credit score, though not necessarily in a negative way. Initially, applying for a new credit card will lower your score marginally. However, if you have good credit history and pay off your bills regularly, you can stabilize and even gain credit by responsibly handling your new credit cards. So as with most credit card-related matters, the question is more how you handle your finances than how many cards you have.

      We hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

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