Travel hacking is extremely easy and common in the United States. In our previous articles on travel rewards programs, a common comment has been the need for more information specific to non-Americans. In this month’s article, we’ll tackle the topic of travel hacking for non-Americans.
To be sure, the travel hacking game is a lot easier for Americans and Canadians. There are a vast number of opportunities to earn both frequent flyer and hotel loyalty points from a wide range of companies. Additionally, there are also a number of lesser-known or more unusual travel hacks.
The good news for non-Americans is that you can replicate the hack on a smaller scale. From the United Kingdom to New Zealand, you can earn points and miles with your airline of choice. Nearly every airline that flies an international route has some sort of loyalty scheme. It’s absolutely possible to hack these programs.
In the last couple of years, the number of travel rewards credit cards available outside the United States has exploded. For example, for Europeans, Lufthansa offers a Miles & More credit card and British Airways offers a credit card earning Avios points – both offer a hefty 50,000 mile sign-up bonus. And both of these programs can be successfully hacked by securing sign-up bonuses, canceling the credit card and then repeating the process.
In the U.S., the biggest travel hacks come through manufactured spending. But this is not limited only to Americans. There are manufactured spending options available to non-Americans as well. In the UK, both Tesco and Nectar offer loyalty programs that allow you to earn points from shopping which are redeemable for flights and miles. If you are smart about your spending, you can generate large numbers of points and miles to be used for future travel.
Travel hacking is highly localized. The best travel hacks are the ones that work for you. For example, if you live in London and fly out of Heathrow, generating rewards with an airline that doesn’t fly from the UK might be of little benefit. That may seem obvious, but we’ve seen travelers do similar things (for example, Americans generating loyalty points with airlines in Europe or Asia). One recommendation is that if you live outside the United States, we encourage you to find local websites, forums or social media groups to join and learn local tips. We’ve found these groups to be highly valuable.
Just because you don’t live in the United States doesn’t mean you need to forego the game – travel hacking for non-Americans is absolutely possible!