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Guide to Travel Hacking

Quick Start Guide to Travel Hacking

The basic idea behind travel hacking is that it doesn’t need to be expensive. Earn miles and book free flights. Simple right?

Well it is simple but you need to know how to start and this Quick Start Guide to Travel Hacking will show how to earn a free flight right away.

Whether you have been travel hacking for years or this if your first travel hack follow this guide to accumulate miles and book a free flight today. When you are ready head over to the Complete Guide to Travel Hacking but this quick start guide will get you started right away.

Mileage Redemption

This is key to travel hacking. There are three main airline partnerships:

The important thing to understand here is that airline partnerships and alliances allow you to redeem miles earned with one airline on a partner airline. For example, miles earned with Korean Air or Air France will count towards your Delta SkyMiles. You can even redeem your Delta miles on any of the partner airlines. This means there are a lot of ways to earn miles and redeem them through the partnerships. You don’t need to memorize all of these partnerships, just know they will benefit you when you are travel hacking.

Travel Hacking Guide

Sign-up for Frequent flyer Programs

Never let a mile go to waste.

Find the full list of airlines here.

Sign-Up for Travel Rewards Credit Cards

One of the fastest ways to earn miles is from big sign-up bonuses from credit cards. Most cards have a minimum spend you must meet in the first few months to earn the bonus.

Credit Card Resources

The best cards will earn you thousands of miles and points when you sign-up. You need to know which card is right for you and how to apply.

Best Travel Credit Cards

How to Pick the Right Travel Credit Card

Meeting the minimum spend doesn’t mean you need to spend more than you have. In fact, never do that. Pick a card with a spend you can meet. Most cards spending minimums can be met by simply paying bills, buying groceries, and buying other items purchased monthly.

More Ways to Earn Miles Quickly

Every major airline and credit card company has shopping portals. I have mentioned them before and they should be your first stop when buying anything online. All you need to do is go to the shopping portal, find your favorite online retailer, and go to the site through the portal. Anything you buy will earn you miles.

For example, if I wanted a new iPod I would go to Delta’s shopping portal, search for “iPods” and purchase the product through the retailer offering the best price and most miles. Some retailers like Apple usually don’t offer more than 1 mile per dollar. However, others offer many more miles per dollar. Use these portals to make purchases you are already making online.

Air Canada- Aeroplan EStore
American Airlines- AAdvantageEshopping.com
American Express- Bonus Points Mall
Chase- Ultimate Rewards Shopping
Delta- Skymilesshopping.com
US Airways- Dividend Miles Shopping Mall
United- Mileageplusshopping.com

Earn Miles Staying at Hotels

One of my new favorite hacks is using Rocketmiles to earn miles. Rocketmiles will allow you to earn a lot of miles simply be staying in preselected hotels.


The database of hotels is always growing and it is a great way to earn miles.

Check out Rocketmiles.

How to Travel Hack a Flight Today

Sign-up for a new travel credit card whether it is your first or 10th. There is no reason not to earn that big sign-up bonus of miles and book some free flights.

For my complete guide to getting started travel hacking check out this post.

Travel Hacking with No Credit or Bad Credit?

Most travel credit cards will require very good or excellent credit to be approved which does cause a lot of people problems. Luckily you can still earn miles or even hack a flight without miles.

Earn Miles Without Perfect Credit

Read my full guide on how to earn miles. It may take a little longer but the miles are out there.

Don’t Want to Travel Hack with Miles?

Booking cheap flights is another great way to travel hack because it means never paying full fare.

Follow this guide on How to Hack a Flight Without Miles to book the best flight available and save money on every flight.

Read the Complete Guide to Travel Hacking

I have been traveling to over 100 countries by using the methods I share on this site. My goal is to maximize every trip and make the most of my adventures. Join me on Instagram.