From smart shopper to smart flyer – Claim you free ticket !!
Travel hacking being such a fantastic topic to write, I was wondering is it possible to get a free ticket just by doing things in a little planned manner. Can a smart shopper really plan well to earn a free domestic flight ticket ?
So what’s the target ?
The miles needed to get a one way ticket from Bangalore to Kolkata is 12000 ( Holy number !! )
Now lets us see if we can get a flight ticket for free for this journey – Looks to be a challenging task?
We will see how can we fund these from our regular purchases and expenses. Here what I would have to do to get this done – I have safely assumed I would need 12 months to attain this!!
1. Credit card conversions – By far the most important way of earning miles, I would urge you get a flyer specific credit card. HDFC Jet privilege card and City premier miles are best ones more on them later J .
How does it work – You swipe credit card for purchases in turn get reward points which than are redeemed as airline miles. So if on average you spend INR 180000 ( a very conservative estimate knowing you J ) towards household expenses from your credit card you will get about 5400 reward points which in turn can be converted to 3200 miles. ( Based on HDFC Superia Card that I use – You have to check with your card)
Cumulative miles count – 3800
2. Car rentals – We hire cars when we go for trips, assumed that we had 4 trips of two day each in the year – Quite possible. Each of these trips make us rich by 250 miles, so 4 trips get us 1000 miles ( Based on Hertz and Avis car hire – Tie up with Jet Airways)
Cumulative miles count – 4800
3. Had a coffee – Coffee at our favorite hangout at least once in a month with an average bill of INR 500 for four people, each of these indulgence earns us 25 miles, So all in all 300 miles added to kitty ( Based on Jet’s tie up with Barista chain)
Cumulative miles count – 5100
4. Bought flowers – Ever wondered the flowers we gift to our near and dear ones if bought online can be redeemed as air miles, Assuming 4 gifts in a year worth INR 4000 we would be able to add 800 miles to our frequent flyer account ( Based on Jet’s tie up with Ferns n petals )
Cumulative miles count – 5900
5. Wrote reviews – Once in a while only we get this awesome opportunity to write and earn miles, currently if you write review about 7 hotels that you have visited — straight away get 1000 miles not bad huh! ( Based on Jet’s tie up with Trip advisor )
Cumulative miles count– 6900
6. Read magazines – Many a folks like me subscribe to business magazines and newspaper online if you do that there are again miles to earn add 650 miles to kitty (Business outlook 1 year subscription earns 400 miles , Mint 250 Miles for Jet Frequent flyers)
Cumulative miles count – 7550
7. Bought Clothes – Clothes have to replenished annually J J and in many cases we have to buy for special occasions , if that’s the case miles are waiting , If we buy clothes worth INR 10000 in a year we are rich by 1200 miles ( Based on Jet’s tie with Van Heusen)
Cumulative miles count – 8750
8. Each of us have to fly to our work, home towns, marriages, events – Plan these trips in advance and always book tickets with your frequent flyer, always do online check in and book through their website ( the cancellation cost would be low and you will get more miles for booking through their home site) and as you have booked things in advance the cost should be same. For sake of simplicity I am taking only two trips in a year (Bangalore – Kolkata) . They earn you 1422 miles per trip plus bonus 250 miles if we do web check in. Total miles earned – 3344 ( Based on mileage calculator at Jet’s website)
Cumulative miles count – 12094
Yipee!! The magical number is achieved – you can redeem these miles for your free ticket J
On average a ticket cost for this route is INR 4700 is it worth the pain ??
Activities listed above are the ones we do on a regular basis all we have to is take some pains in remembering the partners and quoting our frequent flyer number. Economists will say this is no free lunch but rationalist would say if there is one take it J
PS : I have taken only few examples all major full service airlines have many partners, if researched you can earn more than one ticket in a year 🙂 🙂
If you are willing splurge a bit than we can achieve it quiet easily
1. Opt for Co-branded credit cards – JetPrivilege HDFC Bank World Credit Card gives you 10000 JP Miles bear in mind annual fee is INR 2499
2. Flyer special credit cards – City Premier card gives you 10000 miles bear in mind annual fee is INR 3000
Hack Travel – Fly Cheap