We love free miles and points here at Tricks of the Trade and this clever little app is a great way to pick up some. I haven’t seen very much coverage of this particular service and I thought it would be an excellent idea to bring this to people’s attention, especially as we enter the summer travel period.
Via a service called Travelling Connect you can earn miles and points in a wide range of loyalty programs while doing nothing at all. All it requires is a 60-second initial setup and you are good to go.
How does it work?
Travelling Connect allow you to earn miles when using your phone abroad. If your phone picks up one of their partner mobile networks while you are abroad, you will earn rewards for every outgoing call that you make and in some cases incoming calls, outgoing texts and data usage – at no additional cost.
The list of participating countries is rather eclectic:
- Africa – Algeria, Sudan, Seychelles
- Europe – Armenia, Montenegro, Turkey
- Middle East and Asia – Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Maldives, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam
- Oceania – Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu
For a full list of participating local networks, visit this page on the Travelling Connect site.
Who are their loyalty program partners?
They have an impressively large list of loyalty partners, these include:
- Air France/KLM (Flying Blue)
- American Airlines (AAdvantage)
- Avianca (LifeMiles)
- Etihad Airways (Etihad Guest)
- Hilton (Hilton Honors)
- InterContinental Hotels (IHG Rewards Club)
- Marriott (Marriott Rewards)
- Qatar Airways (Privilege Club)
- Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)
- Turkish Airlines (Miles and Smiles)
The earnings rate seems to vary according to the country/network operator. For example in Thailand, the rate seems to be a flat 1 mile/per £1 no matter the loyalty program. In such a case you would certainly be better off choosing an airline program such as American Airlines as 1 AA mile is worth more than a single Hilton Honors point.
There are no restrictions on chopping and changing your preferred loyalty program regularly – this can be done within your online account (desktop version, not app). You could even select the best program depending on the country you are travelling to.
How to maximise earnings
You are permitted to register up to 4 different mobile numbers per account and the rewards accumulated will all be deposited with your chosen loyalty program. This opens up some interesting opportunities. Perhaps you have a family member or a colleague who travels a lot and wouldn’t mind you adding their mobile number to your account. Then literally just sit back and enjoy any bonus miles that may roll in.
Another benefit of services such as these is that they allow you to reset the expiry date of mileage balances. Certain programs have prohibitive rules that require fairly regular activity to prevent miles from expiring. This is a good way of earning a couple of miles here and there just to reset the expiry clock.
Travelling Connect is one of those things that you should take a minute to register for and then can leave to do its work without any further effort on your part.
One word of caution: the Travelling Connect website recommends manually selecting and connecting to the relevant local network and earning miles that way. I don’t recommend doing this as it may result in you being hit with substantial roaming charges. I would simply register your number(s) and leave your settings as they are, if your home network automatically selects a partner local network then great but don’t risk a ten-foot phone bill in the process!