Psi Chi Travel Grant

Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.

How Does it Work?

The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.

Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking

Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:

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

Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!

Are you ready to set sail with your goals?

After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:

Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.

 

United

Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.

Hit that Minimum Spend

If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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 pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.

Pay for a medical bill

Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.

Repay the loan

If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an 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

Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.

Buy presents

If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all 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. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.

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

Pay for travel expenses using your credit card

When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.

Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs

Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.

Make the most of bonus categories

Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.

Consider the possibility of transferring your balance

If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.

Make use of your miles or points wisely

Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.

Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.

Also, find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.

When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.

Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.