Ortiz Travel

Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.

How Does it Work?

The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.

Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking

Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:

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

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

Ready to jet-set with your goals?

Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:

Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.

 

United

Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.

Hit that Minimum Spend

If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.

Pay a medical bill

Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.

Repay the loan

If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.

Ask family members for assistance

Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.

Buy presents

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.

There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:

Book travel expenses with your credit card

If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.

Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs

Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.

Take advantage of bonus categories

Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.

Think about a balance transfer

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

Make use of your miles or points carefully

If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.

Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.

In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.

When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.

The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.