Flying First Class Emirates

Flying First Class from India to Dubai

I find it interesting that some people either hate credit cards or love credit cards. After all, they’re just a tool to help you buy things more conveniently. Sure, if you spend uncontrollably you’ll go into debt and pay outrageous interest fees, but that’s totally up to the person using the card. For me, these little pieces of plastic with a barcode and signature on the back have totally changed my life.

I’ll always remember the first credit card I received. It was an MBNA MasterCard with the Edmonton Oilers logo on it. I got it at a hockey game when I was 18 because they were giving out a t-shirt and I needed my first card. These days, I would never apply for a credit card that had no reward points and only came with a crappy t-shirt. However, receiving that first credit card at 18 did do something really good for me – the beginning of my credit score history.

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After reaching out to all sorts of media, Calgary’s Breakfast Television invited me on their show for an early morning introduction to travel hacking. It was a really interesting experience to be on TV and it went really well. The only unfortunate thing was that BTCalgary forgot to mention Canadian Free Flyers so no one probably knew where to find me. It was fun though and hopefully people are inspired to start using points for their travels.

Five Tips to Get Started with Travel Hacking in Canada

Have a Dream Trip in Mind: All the frequent flyer miles in the world won’t matter if you don’t use them. By having a destination in mind, it helps you to focus on what types of miles to earn and when to use them. It also keeps you motivated!

Get a Travel-Related Credit Card: You’ll want to earn miles that can actually get you to where you want to go. Some of the best are Aeroplan, American Express Rewards, and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

Maximize Everyday Spending: Move as much of your everyday spending over to the travel credit cards. If you’re going to be spending money, you might as well be earning miles!

Double-Dip: Double dip as much as possible. For example, Esso accepts Aeroplan. When filling up at Esso, use both your travel rewards credit card and your Aeroplan card for double the points.

Keep Track of Your Points: The simplest way to do this is with an Excel file. However, you can also use an app like Award Wallet, which tracks everything for you. Points only expire when they are inactive for one year or more (depending on the program) so as long as you’re always earning miles, you don’t have to worry about the expiration. However, you’ll still want to keep track so that you know when you have enough miles to book your dream trip!

If you want to take it to the next level and really learn how to maximize your frequent flyer miles and travel for free, sign up for one the courses on Canadian Free Flyers. If you use the code GLOBAL25, you’ll get 25% off any service you choose. This code expires soon…

Happy Travels,

Matt

2015 has been a great year for travel. I’ve already stepped foot on three continents, witnessed a permanent lava lake erupt right in front of me, visited Japan during cherry blossom season, and went completely around the world in business class.

It was my first time at the front of the plane and I picked a good time to do it. After all, my wife and I were flying from Calgary, Alberta to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, which took us through England and Turkey. From Tanzania, we flew to Ethiopia for a month and then to Japan for three weeks before coming back to Calgary over the Pacific Ocean. It was a lot of long flights and many time zones to circle the world but having full lie-down beds on the flights made it much more bearable.

I certainly can’t afford business class tickets around the world. It’s a tough itinerary to price out but just flying to Tanzania and back in business class came to $15,000 each when I looked it up on multiple search engines. It’s safe to say that it would have cost us at least $35,000 USD to make this trip happen, had we paid for the tickets.

Instead, the trip cost just $750 CAD each. That’s because we used frequent flyer miles to “pay” for the rest. Since becoming a travel hacker a few years ago, I’ve managed to earn over 1 million miles through credit cards, everyday spending, and various promotions. However, even though earning miles is crucial, redeeming them for high value rewards is much more important in the world of travel hacking.

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