If only there was a place you could go to meet other Canadians who love to travel, learn a bunch of tricks on how to save money, and build a network so that you are kept up to date with all the latest info? Well, actually, there is, it's called the Canadian Points University and it's coming to Calgary!
Burn those miles. Here are some great flights available for the May Long Weekend! Get them while they last.
When there is a good promo code, this is what I do to find the best dates and cities to use the code.
This show will focus on using points and miles to actually book a flight. Ask questions on facebook and here on the blog post to get live answers to your questions.
Why did the Advanced collector earn 4,000 miles when the beginner got none? Because he/she shopped around and found which mileage mall would give them the best bonus. Wanna know how they found the best bonus? Read on!
I just got back from Points University in Vancouver, a conference for reward travel enthusiasts. It was awesome.
Credit Score is a big, weird, scary monster under the bed for a lot of people. A LOT of my friends (I'd say 80%) don't play this Travel Hacking game because of a fear of their Credit being affected. Well I am here with some data and some facts to help put your mind at ease or at least just to clear up some misconceptions about how applying for and having lots of credit cards can affect your credit score.
Points and Miles for Airlines/Travel are usually split up into two separate TYPES of points;
- Frequent Flyer Airline Programs/Hotel Programs (Loyalty Programs)
- Bank Programs
In relation to Airlines, Loyalty Programs usually let you redeem points directly for a flight instead of using money. Often you will use cash to pay for a portion of the taxes and fees but for the most part, they have figured out how much the points/miles are worth and give you a chart which shows you what you can redeem the points/miles for. The programs themselves vary with how much points are worth and what you can get for the miles. they also vary in the sense that some programs are distance based (eg fly 1000-2000 miles in the actual plane and it will cost you 10,000 of your loyalty program miles) and others are region based (fly from Region 1 to Region 2 and it will cost you 10,000 miles).
Now Bank Programs are different in that you earn miles/points for signup bonuses, AND you also earn miles/points by spending money using that card/bank. Each bank approaches their program a little differently but the most common way is to let these special bank points equal a certain amount of money. Most often, it is a ratio of about 100 points = $1. So if you like something that costs $100, the bank will let you use 10,000 points to get it.
There are 2 different ways the banks approach this though;
UPFRONT POINTS FOR PRODUCT
This is where you pay upfront with points for a product and they deduct the points from your points balance. Just like a supermarket or a store -
Bank: "Oh you want this lounge? that will be 100,000 points please"
You: "Why 100,000 points?"
Bank: "Well that's just exactly how many points this lounge costs"
You: "Ok I will take it"
Bank: "Ok I will deduct 100,000 points from your balance, I hope you like the lounge!"
This is usually done through a special shopping portal or some banks actually only offer gift cards.
POST PURCHASE POINTS REDEMPTION
This is where you buy something, then you log onto your bank program and use the points to reduce your bill for eligible transactions. This is always done on the bank website somewhere. Capital One calls it a Purchase Eraser which is a nice way to think about it.
Hopefully this explains some of how the Bank Programs work. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments.
JJ is going on a business trip from Mumbai, India to a city in Denmark called Vejle. His flight can be covered by his work, but he wants to bring his wife along for the ride and isn't sure what the best use of his points are. JJ got in touch with me through the Travel Hacking Cartel and their new Booking Concierge Service to find out if and how he can make this work.
Tyler is from Portland and is yet to experience the wonders of South East Asia. He got in touch with us through the Travel Hacking Cartel Booking Concierge Service to find out if and how he can get to Thailand using points, miles and a small stash of money in a savings account.
There are many many options for searching for flights. Some just search (ITA Matrix), some aggregate results (Google flights, Kayak) and others are actual Online Travel Agents (OTA) that you can book with. These below, are the ones I am most comfortable with but due to the crazy nature of flight booking, it is possible that each site will pull up completely different prices for the exact same flight.
I am addicted to finding cheap flights. It's pretty bad actually, I ask friends and family this question all the time:
"If you were given a Round Trip Ticket anywhere in the world right now but could only pick one place, where would you go?"
Evaluate it by SQM is a Mystery Shopping Company that provides customer service audits to Air Canada, Fairmont Hotels, and more. They also have opportunities in countries where these companies are affiliated, like Australia, USA, South America, UK, Europe, and Asia. As payment for this, they reimburse you 50% of the full fare ticket/cost!
Recently I have found some wicked info on Cheap Flights and wanted to share it here. I will continue to update this page as more become available.
Travel Hacking is all about taking advantage of many different kinds of systems to gain cheap or free travel around the world. One way to do so is through loyalty rewards programs with Credit Cards. But a huge deterrent for people is Credit Score and simply not knowing how applying for lots of Credit Cards could affect your future. Never fear! There is a hack for that!
Have you ever been let in on a secret that you don't know you can keep? It could be the hidden cafe down a back alley with the best ice coffees you've ever tasted, or the private room on the bottom floor of the library where it's quiet and has plugs everywhere.
After doing well at school and being what the system would define as "successful", you start to realise that something is wrong. You realise that your reputation depends on the definition that someone else chooses, that is out of your control. It depends on your success, relative to a standard or to another person.
When it came to Job Hunting, I was a Warrior and with relentless and often naive persistence, I stopped at nothing in my pursuit of the coolest jobs I could find. I wore them like medallions, a collection of memories and adventures that made me 'worldly'.