Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How to earn miles when using your mobile abroad, with ‘Travelling Connect’

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Travelling Connect is a nifty mileage earning opportunity for – primarily – the travelling business person who uses their phone heavily outside the UK.

It is, if nothing else, genius in its simplicity. All you need to do is register your mobile number and then forget about it. If you ever make a call over a participating mobile network whilst travelling, your points will be sent over automatically.

Travelling Connect

‘Travelling Connect’ has an impressive range of partners. BA and Virgin do not take part, but many other airlines do, including American, Etihad, Qatar, Air France / KLM, Singapore and others.  Some hotel schemes are also partners – Marriott Rewards and IHG Rewards Club. You can see the full list here.

Joining is simple:

Visit the Travelling Connect home page and click on the logo of your chosen loyalty programme

Fill in your name, address, e-mail, the numbers of all the mobile phones you own and your loyalty programme membership number

That’s it!

You then have two options. You can either forget about it entirely, and leave it to chance as to whether your phone picks up any of the participating networks whilst travelling.

Alternatively, you can download the Travelling Connect app and use it to look up participating networks. You can then manually alter the carrier used by your mobile device.

The biggest snag at the moment is the lack of coverage.  It currently only works when you are travelling to:

Africa – Algeria, Sudan, Seychelles

Europe – Armenia, Montenegro, Turkey

Middle East and Asia – Bahrain, Hong Kong, Kuwait, India, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Maldives, South Korea, Thailand, UAE, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Vietnam

Oceania – Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu

The earnings rate varies by country and by programme. Taking Hong Kong as an example, you’d get 4 Hilton points, 2 American Airlines miles etc per minute of call when using the 3 network. In Indonesia, you’d get 10 Hilton points, 4 AA miles etc when using Indosat.

None of these earnings rates are going to be life-changing, but as you don’t need to do much to earn I don’t think that’s an issue! It takes a couple of months for the points to make their way into your account, but for such a small amount I doubt you’d be in a rush anyway.

Since I doubt that the company can match your name to your mobile phone, it may be possible to register mobile numbers belonging to different family members under one account.  The company allows up to four mobile numbers to be linked to every profile.

One benefit of using Travelling Connect is that it can stop your airline miles from expiring.  American Airlines requires some account activity every 18 months, for example.  Even earning the odd mile or two via Travelling Connect is enough to reset the expiry date.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (30)

  • RogerWilco says:

    I have used them for a long time, here’s my 2ȼ

    – you can register quite a few numbers, no matter if they’re yours, family’s, friends’, co-workers’
    – I haven’t seen any limitation on where the SIM must be issued – can be probably any country
    – they have usually 1 partner network per country, so you might have to manually pick your foreign roaming carrier – and those might very well be someone else then your home carrier’s local partner (ie free roaming is off the table)
    – in the age of very cheap local prepaid SIMs + VOIP this seems to me to be a thing of the past. Still a few points/miles here and there might help to keep an account active. I’m always surprised when 10-15 points hit my HH account.

  • Rob hutch says:

    Like it. Holiday to Hong Kong and vietnam coming up.

  • Natalia S says:

    I wonder if it works in Russia as well according to this http://moskva.beeline.ru/en-us/welcome/bonuses-and-special-offers/ Travelling Connect (4 miles or points per min) and Miles-and-More (5 miles per min) are both mentioned, but I couldn’t find a working link to register. I earned thousands of miles with Miles-and-More / Beeline this way in 2008 in Russia. The calls cost was a fortune though.

    • Natalia S says:

      Asked Beeline (Russian mobile operator) on facebook:

      For Miles-and-More earning opportunity, you need to register by sending sms with Miles-and-more number to +7 903 797 6 161 (sms to be sent from anywhere, not necessarily from Russia). If you are already in Russia and connected to Beeline network you can dial *161* miles-and-more-card-number #

      I do remember that back in 2008, I only registered once, and the miles kept coming on my following trips as well.

      Re Travelling Connect – Beeline kind of ignored this part of my question. May be they’ll check and clarify later.

      • Travelling Connect says:

        Hi Natalia,

        The link you found is a very old link and Beeline needs to update it. We don’t have a partner network with Beeline for more than 3 years now. Unfortunately, we don’t have a partner network in Russia.

        Regards,
        Sonia
        Travelling Connect representative

  • Daniel says:

    UAE is mentioned in the post, but I couldn’t seem to see any partner networks on their website – could this be clarified? Thanks.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Its odd because I definitely earned some after a trip a few months back but its not shown on the partner page.

      this new article on the site shows it used to have one atleast “Visit Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building and earn miles with our latest partner in UAE – du. Whether it is for business or pleasure, simply connect by manually switching to du’s network when visiting UAE. You can earn miles not only for your roaming calls but also when browsing the internet or checking your emails.”

      • TGLoyalty says:

        *news not new – the article was from Nov ’14

        • Travelling Connect says:

          Hi Daniel and TGLoyalty,

          Unfortunately, you can’t earn miles when roaming in UAE anymore. Starting from 1st October 2016, we don’t have a partner network in UAE.

          Apologies for the inconvenience and we are trying our best to get more partner networks on board.

          Regards,
          Sonia
          Travelling Connect representative

  • When this scheme was launched they had much more European partners (as you see no EU countries participate any more). I know the Netherlands was in the list and I think Belgium and Italy were there too. It was handy when I was in Amsterdam quite frequently and had a company BlackBerry!

    The main aim was to encourage people to manually set their phones to their roaming partners but as roaming is no longer a lucrative business in the EU the partners list is lacking in this part of the world.

  • Andre says:

    Will this work with packages like Vodafone world traveller?

    • Rob says:

      Not sure, but absolutely nothing to lose by signing up in case it is.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It seems to work as I was surprised to see a load of points in my IHG account after a trip to Dubai, was using World Traveller