Travel hacking may sound like something you can only do after dedicating your life to prowling the Internet on how to “beat the system” but in reality, it’s super easy, and just about anyone can do it!
Travel hacking sounds a lot more bada*s and dangerous than it actually is but essentially, it only involves familiarising yourself with rules and frequent flyer formats set up by airlines, and using these to your advantage to earn free flights and upgrades.
There are 2 ways you can do this:
1) The slow and steady way: You’ll take more time earning points but there are virtually no risks involved. Continue reading below for the different hacks you can try.
2) The instant way: You can earn free flights within minutes, but it may require a substantial purchase (which, of course, there’s a way you can work around). Scroll to pointer #5 onwards for the quick hacks.
1. Be loyal – after all, it’s called a loyalty programme for a reason 😉
It’s understandably easier for you to collect more points in less time if you choose the same airline for your travels, so find the airline that works best for you and stick with it. Frequent flyer programmes were specifically designed for this, and the good news is, it absolutely works!
It may take a while, but over time the miles all add up to get you that free flight or upgrade. To earn miles quicker, make it a habit to check if the airline is running any promotions for bonus miles when you’re making a flight booking.
Realistically, it’s not always possible to fly with your preferred airline all the time, especially if the fare is significantly higher than the rest or if they don’t serve a particular route you’re looking for. That brings us to point #2…
2. Choose an airline that’s part of an alliance – and rewards you for flying with its partners
Flying with an airline that’s part of an airline alliance makes being loyal that much easier. For example, if you’re an Enrich member on Malaysia Airlines, you can earn just as much miles when you fly with any airline that’s part of the oneworld® alliance. That’s 14,000 daily departure to almost 1,000 cities to choose from!
You can earn (and redeem!) Enrich Miles whenever you fly with oneworld® member airlines including Qatar Airways, American Airlines, British Airways, and Cathay Pacific. Access the full list here.
3. Stay at the right hotels
Maximise your miles accumulation even when you’re not flying – look out for hotels that offer flight miles rewards! For Enrich members, you can rack up miles at international chains like Shangri-La and Hard Rock Hotel. Even if you’re travelling domestic, there’s a vast choice of hotels where you can earn miles at, from Casa Del Rio in Melaka to The Lakehouse in Cameron Highlands.
Booking your stay from the right websites will get you those miles too! Did you know that you can earn up to 10,000 Enrich Miles when you make a booking with Agoda.com? You can do that here.
4. Spend with your credit card (vs cash) wherever possible
Credit cards by most banks in Malaysia offer nifty conversions from credit card points to Enrich Miles. If you’re using a Citibank Visa or MasterCard credit card for example, you’re able switch every 7,000 Citibank Reward Points that you’ve accummulated to 1,000 Enrich Miles. For further reference, click here to view the list and benefits of credit cards offered by Citibank.
If you’re going to be spending money every month anyway, shouldn’t it go to your free flight? Plan your monthly finances wisely and use your credit card to pay off the relevant expenses. Just remember to spend responsibly and according to your means, and you’re good to go!
5. Here’s the quick way: sign up for an airline partner credit card
Getting an airline partner credit card is ultimately the fastest way to earn free flights and upgrades without having to sit through hours of flights, and that’s because most of them offer a handsome reward just for signing up!
However, it’s advisable to only consider taking on a new credit card if you’re able to pay the bill in full monthly and do not have existing credit card debt.
There are a few cards you can consider to make the most out of your Enrich membership. Look out for the CIMB Enrich World Elite MasterCard, which frequently runs sign-up promos, where you can earn 10,000 Enrich Miles upon approval.
There are more comprehensive benefits you can stand to gain besides the sign-up bonus. MAS American Express® Business Cards, let you earn Enrich Miles much quicker through spending bonuses. For example, you can earn 100% Bonus Enrich Miles when you spend RM10,000 in a year.
The amount may sound daunting at first, but let’s take a look at point #6 on how this minimum spend becomes completely doable…
6. Coincide the credit card’s minimum spend with a big purchase you need to make anyway
Throughout the year, there will be times you may need to make some substantial payments, whether it’s for a new laptop or paying off your taxes. These are the perfect times to use your airline partner credit card – after all, if you’re going to be paying for these things, you might as well earn a free flight in the process!
7. Track your miles and credit card points, regardless of whether you’re going the slow or quick way
Always keep track of your frequent flyer miles and credit card points, and make sure they’re up to date. For Enrich members, if you notice that there are missing frequent flyer miles you have earned but they’re not showing in your account, you can make a claim within 6 months following your travel date.
All you need to do is log in to your Enrich account, click on the “Claim Missing Miles” tab and submit your claims along with your e-ticket or boarding pass as proof of travel. Click here for more info on how to get your missing miles back.
And just like that, you’re a travel hacker! Are you ready to earn your first 1,000 Enrich Miles?
Just sign up as an Enrich member here.