Travel Budget Excel

Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.

How Does it Work?

The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.

Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking

Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!

Ready to jet-set with your ideas?

After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:

Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward

If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.

 

United

Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.

Reach that Minimum Spend

If you’re anything 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 spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.

Pay for a medical bill

Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.

Make a payment to pay off a loan

If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.

Ask your family members for help

Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.

Purchase presents

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.

There are a lot of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:

Make travel reservations using your credit card

Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenses.

Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures

Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.

Make the most of bonus categories

Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.

Take into consideration a balance transfer

If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.

Use your points or miles carefully

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

Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.

Also, find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.

If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.

In the end, the most important thing to do 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 effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.