A while ago I posted about me joining the Travel Hacking Cartel (THC…not the agent that makes you hungry!). THC is an outfit based in the states where if you join for as little as $15 a month they will give you the low down on mileage deals that allow you to earn points without always requiring you to purchase something online. Sometimes the deals are as simple as ‘liking’ the airline promotion or joining a mileage club, other times there might be surveys, installing a browser widget or registering your details with affiliated websites. These sorts of deals will probably net you 100-1000 points each time. Not bad if you don’t have to buy anything, however after 3 months of trying I have simply found it to tedious and time consuming. There are so many “clubs” and websites I have to join and all those passwords I have to remember!!! unless you are super organised I say pass.
Gauging from my 3 months of Travel Hacking though, my personal opinion is that you get the best bang for your buck when you apply for credit cards that have really really good mileage point offers upfront to sweeten the deal. The only problem for me is that the best credit card deals with the best mileage point offers cater only to US citizens. Without fraudulently entering fake details there is no way for me to apply for these cards since I’m an Ozzie… ah well… what to do. One of the best cards to get at the moment is the British Airways credit card, they are offering 100K points from last I checked and zero transaction cost on international purchases… now that’s my kinda card! The points alone are enough for 2 return international flights!
Well, since joining I’ve finally decided that for non-US citizens, it’s probably not worth the effort, even though they will give you points if you feel you are not hitting your goals. For me it is simply too much of a pain in keeping track of all the different points system you have to keep track off… you really need to be on top of these things… however there is a website https://awardwallet.com/ that will keep track of all your mileage accounts, though even with the extra help, I’m still not convinced.
At the end of the day it’s all about opportunity costs. The little deals are not worth the time and effort, aim for the big deals, like the credit card deals, but for those deals you really don’t need the THC to notify you about them, you should be able to just google them yourself. Conclusion… THC imho is not worth the effort, especially if you are not from the US.