Have you ever wondered how some people travel so often? Or how a friend was able to stay at that really nice, luxury hotel downtown? Or maybe you’re listening to this now because you’ve always wanted to travel more but couldn’t figure out how to make it happen? Stay tuned to hear about one of our favorite strategies to travel for free: Travel Hacking.
#1 Beginners Travel Hacking
- What is travel hacking? Travel hacking is using credit card points to pay for travel expenses. There are many ways to do this, countless abbreviations and redemption strategies, point per cent calculations and (for the really invested) spreadsheets. But you don’t have to be a travel hacking master to get free travel. With maybe our favorite (and definitely most used) card, The Capital One Venture card, you accumulate points with your regular spend (the amount you put on a card each month) and then “erase” any travel purchases you make. That way you can still search for the best deals and just “erase” them from your bill. It is a 1 cent per point redemption so 10,000 points is $100 in travel.
We’ve used this for free flights to Europe twice and also for several domestic flights since signing up for the card in 2017. This is all with a very low monthly spend. It also gives you credit for TSA precheck and two Capital One lounge visits per year.
#2 Intermediate Travel Hacking
- If you feel like you are on board with the Capital One Venture card and want to take your hacking to the next level, we recommend the Capital One Venture X card. The difference here is that this card costs $395/year. Don’t count it out yet though! That high annual fee gets you the same eraser power you had before, but also comes with a $300 travel credit (when booked through the travel portal), and 10,000 anniversary points- that alone is $400 a year (as long as you actually use them!). With that in mind, the rest of the perks are just icing on the cake (really good icing!). It also comes with Priority Pass for airport lounges, access to signature select airport lounges, and Capital One lounges, all unlimited visits with guests. It also gives you Global Entry/TSA precheck and some other fun perks like basic travel insurance, rotating memberships through the year, phone insurance, etc.
#3 Expert Travel Hacking (or our version of Expert)
- In our world, expert travel hacking comes in the form of transferring your points to partners instead of using them in a portal or erasing points. What that means is you have, let’s say, 10,000 credit card points. Now instead of using those as an eraser, you transfer them to Delta and use them like Delta Skymiles. In this case, you often get much better redemption rates (cent per point!). You can get anywhere from 3-4 cents per point, all the way up to 9! That’s an amazing value for something that is essentially free! We are doing the “blue bank” ecosystem and have a few cards we are using to rack up points for transfer partners. We’ve only just begun this type of hacking so stay tuned to see our progress!
**We are not giving financial advice, please talk to your financial advisor before making any major decisions. Also you should not be trying to earn points on credit cards you are not paying off every month. If you carry a balance on a credit card, you are negating any benefits you get from points! Some of these links are affiliate and we may get cash or point compensation for you signing up through those links. Please always use a friend, family or favorite content creators link for signing up for credit cards. It doesn’t cost you any extra but does give a small boost to that person in your life!**
Get in Touch with the Travel More Team!
- Join the Travel Club
- Enter the conversation on reddit.com/r/travelmore or on instagram @thetravemores
Don’t waste something you’re already paying for! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you make the most out of your upcoming Disney or Universal vacation!
Disclosure: We only recommend products we would or do use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission.