Last month, I added up all the miles I had earned on my business trip to London. The final numbers pleasantly surprised me as I had earned ~32,000 miles in June. Over the years, I have learnt that to earn air miles quickly, one does not need to only fly but also spend on the right credit cards. Therefore, at the end of July, here I am sprawled in my private balcony at the Park Hyatt Goa putting together the numbers after my multiple work trips to Hong Kong over the past month.
Here’s how I earned 60,000 miles and points in the month gone by, just by putting my work travel spend on the right accounts and cards. Remember, these numbers have been rounded up or down for simplicity sake.
Flying = 26,600 Miles
A vice that comes with being an airline elite is that you start patronizing it after a point of time. While there are other airlines that fly to Hong Kong, on both my trips I flew Jet Airways, Mumbai-Hong Kong-Mumbai. The total number of base miles I earned on flying this trip twice over were 14,600. As a JetPrivilege Platinum, I got a 75% bonus on JPMiles earned, which were another 11,000. To top off, I earned another 1000 bonus JPMiles for booking direct (250 JPMiles per sector when you book on Jet Airways website).
Flying Jet Airways turned out to be a rather good decision. I got upgraded to Premiere both times on the return leg from Hong Kong. Also, I was able to use upgrade vouchers on the outbound sector once. With the tier points I’ve earned in July, I’m almost home to retaining my Platinum status for another year. Of course, on my day trip to Hong Kong, the GVK lounge in Mumbai and the Plaza Premium Lounge in Hong Kong came very handy as those were the only two full meals I ate that day.
Booking my air ticket = 15,600 Miles
The thing I like about the JetPrivilege HDFC Bank Diners Club credit card is that it is one of the best cards for earning JPMiles. The card earns me 24 JPMiles for every INR 150 I spend on booking JetAirways tickets. Therefore, all the tickets for this trip were booked on this card. Booking the two trips got me over 15,000 JPMiles. That is enough miles to get a free return ticket to 18 cities in India, including Bengaluru, Goa and Udaipur. I could have also booked using Ajay’s Diners Club Black and gotten 33% of the spend as miles, but that wouldn’t have given me the flexibility of dealing directly with Jet Airways and reschedule if I needed to. Flexibility is of the essence on work trips, right?
Hotel Stay = 6,100 Miles + 5,300 Starpoints
On this trip, I stayed at Ovolo, a Hong Kong-based independent hotel brand that participates in the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program. Not only did I earn 6100 miles by paying for the stay on my credit card but also earned 5,300 Starpoints by combining Starwood promotions. 2000 points just came to me because I was staying at an eligible hotel which had participated in the SPG More Nights, More Starpoints promotion.
Commute in Hong Kong = 500 Miles
The Airport Express train tickets and Uber rides were paid via credit card and while the earning wasn’t massive, I did manage to add another 500 Miles to my kitty.
Eating out in Hong Kong = 3,500 Miles
Hong Kong is also known as the “World’s Food Fair”. The dining scene in the city is very popular. For all the amazing Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine I earned myself 3,500 Miles dining all over the place in restaurants big and small.
Shopping in Hong Kong = 1,800 Miles
Hong Kong is the city for retail pilgrimage and every designer brand that I can think of has a store in this city. All the material pleasures earned me 1,800 miles.
Total Miles & Points Earned = 59,400 Miles & Points
Adding it all up I earned about 59,400 miles on this trip alone. The more I look at the results after every trip, I learn that it’s just not about being up in the air, but rather giving up on cash, and using credit cards. Most of my spends will get reimbursed, and without going out of pocket, over two months I have managed to earn myself an additional 90,000 miles/points.
Do you do the math after trips to calculate how many miles you’ve earned? I’d love to hear how diligently do you spend on your cards to earn airmiles when you travel?