Finding cheap fares is a great place to start with planning a budget friendly trip.  BTH is about combining all of the tools and resources to get traveling for cheap.  We know that getting started with travel hacking can appear to be daunting so our “Go Beyond Glitch Fares” series will break out all of the steps to get you started and on your way.


Step 1: Register for points and miles with Hotel Brands and Airlines

Why: To earn points for stays, flights or spending. 

Cost: Free

Degree of difficulty: Easy

Tip: Create a google spreadsheet or draft an email that has all of the accounts you sign up for.  You don’t have to sign up for ALL hotels or airlines. Just select the top 3 that you normally travel.

My most valuable hotel program has been SPG followed by Marriot and Hilton.


  • Choice Hotels
  • Club Carlson  Brands: Radisson, Country Inn & Suites
  • Hilton Brands: Hilton, Conrad Hotels, Waldorf Astoria, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites
  • Hyatt  Brands: Andaz, Hyatt Regency, Grand Hyatt, Park Hyatt,  Hyatt House, Hyatt Place
  • IHG Rewards Brands: Crowne Plaza,Candlewood Suites Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn,Intercontinental, Staybridge Suites
  • Marriott Brands: Marriott Hotels, JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, The Edition  
  • Ritz-Carlton
  • Starwood Brands: Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton, Westin,W Hotel,Sheraton, St. Regis, Le Meridien,  The Luxury Collection
  • Wyndham


I agree with the Points Chaser that you should start with the top American Air Alliances.

My most valuable Frequent Flyer program has been Delta followed by American, US Airways.

Airline Loyalty Program


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