I Earned 60000 Miles from Work Travel this month

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.

earn air miles quickly on business travel

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).

earn air miles quickly on business travel

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.

earn air miles quickly on business travel

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.

earn air miles quickly on business travel

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.

earn air miles quickly on business travel

A traditional cantonese fare at Seventh Son in Hong Kong

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.

earn air miles quickly on business travel

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?

Comments

  1. ‘X credit card earns 45jpmiles for 100rs. So I spent 1000000rs and earned 450000 jp miles…’ Wow 🙂 Mindblowing analysis.. Now can you please write something that uses your grey matter a bit more.

    • @Sweta, thanks for your trolling comment. Would have loved to see your grey matter a bit more around here rather than wasting your talent on being snarky and unhelpful.

  2. Shipraji,

    You are lucky that your company allows you to book tickets using your personal CC. My company too gave that “privilege” until Jan 2018. Sadly all good things must end.

    Btw, you could consider HDFC Infinia instead of Diners Jet. If you use smartbuy you could get 33% yield as RPs which can result in almost 42% yield in JP Miles as frequently there is a 25% premium on transfer. On MMT 5X it would give you 17% base yield. Plus Infinia points can be exchanged for Avios and KF miles as well. Plus, there are several 5X merchants as well (typically the same as 10X partners on DCB)

    Regards

    • @Majumdar, all those cards don’t give the flexibility of directly dealing with Jet. We have all those cards in the home, but in this case, the only ability needed is the refund ability without fees if plans go south.

    • @Arjun, booked directly on Jet Airways website means can be cancelled as a Platinum for no fee if plans changed. Won’t happen on another card.

  3. Great Stuff. Thats a solid earn for a HKG trip. I am based in HKG so give me a shout the next time you are passing through.

  4. Ma’am it would have been helpful if you mentioned which credit card was used for which nature of expense. Also, if all these earnings were JP miles or some other nature, for e.g. on the Citi Prestige card or Premier Miles.

    Hope you can expand on the same.

    Best

    • I suppose you could work it out for the flight tickets but yes, as different cards have different earning rates, its not useful unless the spend is documented.

      Also, this is all well and good for travel that is compensated by work – no worries about high exchange rates and additional card charges for forex transactions etc – can just use the card of your choice.

      For people like me who pay for everything out of their own pocket for work, its a different story as the miles earned may not always be the best deal vs saving on forex fees and other things using the correct cards and cash when appropriate (exchanged smartly at good rates in IND before leaving).

      But yes, if one travels a lot for work, you can easily score a few few tickets or 4 or 5 free upgrades with minimal effort. I agree.

      • @VK, for us, we even pay for our personal expenses on credit cards and don’t try to save the forex fee. I don’t think that should come as a surprise though. And you get the miles in return! Cash is just a mess to carry and the liability is on you if something happens.

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