Financial hacks

5 Steps to Get Free Flight Tickets in India (2018)

How to get free flight tickets with credit card?

Summary

Wondering how to get free flight tickets to any destination in India without buying costly credit card subscriptions or traveling thousands of miles.Below, you can read my experience and learn 5 simple hacks to earn your (almost) free tickets:-

Step #1: Enroll with JetPrivilege’s Loyalty Program
Step #2: Apply for a Credit Card that allows point redemption as JPMiles
Step #3: Earn Loyalty Points on Your Credit Card Spends
Step #4: Collect JPMiles on TripAdvisor
Step #5: Get Your Free Flight Ticket on Jet Airways


What if you could earn free almost free flight tickets to a destination of your choice?

Sounds like a dream, but if you become a little conscious towards how you spend on your daily needs and go cashless, you can actually get free flight tickets in India (and abroad) via Jet Airways.

I did this. Not once but twice.

See the proof of my Jet Airways flight ticket below where me and my wife traveled from Mumbai to Chandigarh in just Rs. 715 per person. This ticket normally sells at Rs. 3000 per person (check here on MakeMyTrip). That’s a discount of almost 75% per seat.

Mumbai to Chandigarh free flight ticket using credit card

 

Similarly, in another instance, I flew from Delhi to Chandigarh in just Rs. 650 whereas the normal ticket sells at Rs. 1500 per person (a discount of almost 50%).

Delhi to chandigarh free flight ticket with credit card

Let’s see how I happen to get such almost free flight tickets, and what steps would be required at your end to make this happen.

Step #1: Enroll With JetPrivilege Loyalty Program

To get your free tickets, the first step is to enroll with the loyalty program of an airlines.

Kingfisher used to have an awesome Frequent Flyer program but at present, Jet Airways is the only major domestic airlines to offer a full fledged loyalty program.

Jet’s loyalty program is by the name of JetPrivilege and it’s free to join. Enroll here. (Once you fill up the form, you will also get a physical loyalty card at your doorstep.)

As part of this program, you earn JPMiles which can be redeemed for free flight tickets. The aim of this blog is also to show you how you can earn JPMiles and fly for free using those, just like how I did.

The concept is that Jet Airways has set fixed redemption amounts of JPMiles for each sector, irrespective of the time of year you are traveling. All you need to do is collect these JPMiles to make yourself eligible for free air tickets.

Below, you can see the JPMIles required for flights originating from my hometown Chandigarh.

JetPrivilege Redemption Points to free flights

You can click here to check the Mileage requirement for Jet Flights originating from your city (search for redemption in the PDF).

 
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Step #2: Apply for a Credit Card that allows point redemption as JPMiles

While there are multiple ways to earn JPMiles, the easiest way is via the credit card route. Plus, you don’t need to make any extra effort here.

Let’s understand further.

In India, almost every credit card offers its own loyalty program.

Your job now is to find a a credit card that allows redemption of its loyalty points as JPMIles.

As of now, there are few cards available in the market. I am using Standard Chartered and American Express credit card, and both are associated with the JetPrivilege program.

I am carrying Standard Chartered’s Manhattan Card (which was free at the time I signed for it) and Gold Card of American Express (which has an annual fee of INR 500).

Refer the screenshot below for Standard Chartered Bank’s Rewards Points redemption into JPMiles.

Convert Standard Chartered Points to JPMiles for free air tickets

Check with your credit card company, and if they don’t offer such an option, get a credit card that offers you this feature.

Here are the links to some of the popular credit cards that offer redemption of points into JPMiles:-

  • Citibank Credit Card
  • Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card
  • American Express Gold Card
  • HDFC Credit Card
Else, you can also fill in the credit card application on PaisaBazaar and let them find you the best card that fulfills the requirement (this is the least resistance path 😊 ).

 
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Step #3: Earn Loyalty Points on Your Credit Card Spends

I do all my essential spends via my Standard Chartered and American Express Credit Card and earn loyalty points (see my point summary below).

Credit Card History

 

Transaction History of SC Credit Card

“Essential spends” is the keyword above as I don’t want you to use your credit card for impulse purchases.

Essential spends mean spending on groceries, insurance, eating out, phone, DTH recharge, utility bills, PayTM recharge etc. which you are anyways going to make.

So where ever possible, opt for digital payments and use your credit card for that (as a case in point, I even pay my milkman via PayTM, which is further linked to my credit card).

Just a caveat, settle your credit card bill in full every month and don’t revolve the credit. That’s the healthy way to use a credit card and that’s what I have been doing right from the very start. (Just for your reference, my CIBIL score is 896/900, thanks to my credit card discipline).

All you need is a little change in habit (to pay digitally). And that way, you start collecting loyalty points on your credit card on all the spends you make.

 
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Step #4: Collect JPMiles on TripAdvisor

Do you go out to eat very often? Or are you a frequent traveler who loves exploring new places?

If yes, get yourself registered on TripAdvisor.

Reason: TripAdvisor has a tie up with JetPrivilege wherein you get free JPMiles to write reviews of selected places and destinations.

Review places on Tripadvisor to earn JPMiles

You can earn a maximum of 1500 JPMiles per month. Trip Advisors algorithm defines the places where you can earn JPMiles.

Below, you will see how I earn JPMiles by reviewing the places I visit.

JPMiles summary CHD BOM

Remember, don’t write reviews just for the sake of writing. Review places because you are genuinely interested to give a feedback and help the fellow commuters make right decisions.

JPMiles are just the byproduct.

 
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Step #5: Get Your Free Flight Ticket

So you have been earning points on your credit card spends and also through TripAdvisor.

Once you have travel plans, check the number of JPMiles you need to book a ticket and redeem the loyalty points of your credit card into JPMiles. (See a snapshot below where I converted my credit card points (SCB India Calssic Conversion) into JPMiles and then redeemed them for a Delhi-Chandigarh flight ticket (9W AWRD DEL IXC).

JPMiles summary

Just in case you are falling short of JPMiles, you can also purchase them by logging in your JetPrivilege account.

One last thing: even the free flight makes you eligible to earn JPMiles when you are flying, so don’t forget to quote your JetPrivilege number when you are checking in.

Conclusion

If you travel for vacation multiple times a year, the method described above can easily get you free flight tickets atleast for one travel in an year.

Remember, all you need to do is to switch from cash to credit card and using it responsibly.

Fasten your seat belt and enjoy your trip.