by Clint Johnston
Booking free flights and hotels around the world isn’t just for frequent flyers and business travelers. In fact, those who earn the most reward miles every year earn the majority of them without ever leaving their couch.
This is what they refer to as travel hacking, and this article will show you some of the simplest ways to do it.
First, we should dispel the biggest myth about travel hacking, which is that it includes signing up for numerous travel credit cards and that you have spend a lot of money to earn miles.
You don’t. Travel hacking consists of buying the things you normally buy in a way that maximizes the number of miles you earn.
To get started apply for two credit cares with large sign up bonuses, like this one. Ideally the card you choose will net you 30,000-40,000 miles after meeting the minimum spending requirement. For example, the Citi AAdvantage World Master Card will earn you 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. That can easily be met with every day expenses such as gas, groceries, and bills.
The next card you sign up for should be a little more flexible and it will earn you points. A favourite card among travel hackers is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It comes with a 40,000 point bonus and can be transferred to participating frequent flyer programs.
These cards are a great method to jumpstart your way to earning free flights. It is possible to sign up for multiple cards at once and maintain excellent credit but if you don’t feel comfortable with that start with two travel credit cards.
Next, do all of your shopping through online portals. Every airline has online shopping portals and this is one of favourite ways to earn miles every month. All you need to do is sign up with your frequent flyer account, find your favorite online retailer, and make the purchase as usual. There are no hidden fees, just miles for every purchase you make.
You can even earn miles sleeping at hotels. If you are going to book a room at a hotel you might as well earn miles towards your next free flight. Rocketmiles allows you to book hotel rooms and earn thousands of miles for every night you stay at the hotel. One couple featured on the site earned enough miles to take a second honeymoon in Italy after seven bookings through Rocketmiles.
Dealing with companies that have partnerships with airlines are another great way to find deals. I have earned thousands of miles just for signing up for a new Netflix subscription. The best way to stay informed is to subscribe to the top airlines newsletters. Every airline has one and they keep you on top of new deals.
You can also earn miles eating and drinking at your favourite restaurants.
Many airlines such as Delta and US Airways offer dining programs and they are free to participate in. Simply sign-up, register any credit card or debit card and use that card when you go out. Just swipe your card and the miles will automatically show up in your account.
Travel hacking doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, that is my goal in my latest book, The Art of Travel Hacking. My mission is to show anyone how to start flying for free and using their travel funds on something besides airfare.
Anyone can start travel hacking, earning miles, and flying for free.