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My tips for getting started as a new member of milesopedia

To the point Are you a new member of the milesopedia community? Learn how to properly get started thanks to my advice as a former 'new member'!

Foreword

Ok. Let’s say you’re new to the milesopedia Facebook group. That you haven’t yet had time to read the more than 1,000 articles that Jean-Maximilien, the webiste founder, wrote on milesopedia.com.

And let’s also say that you only vaguely know the few basic rules of our group of travel hackers.

But you have just learned that it is possible to travek for two weeks in Spain or South Africa and stay in hotels for less than $300.

You have heard that your neighbour saved$600 on his plane ticket by doing his grocery shopping at Super C and that your sister-in-law is getting ready to visit Disney with her family in Orlando thanks to her shopping at the Jean Coutu pharmacy.

That’s almost it. But before we begin the journey to the Eldorado of Points and Miles, here are a few truths and facts. Just to warm you up before the joust.

Followed by a link to a must-read : the article about the credit score. Yes, you read it right: the credit score.

This appetizer will help you think about whether the game is right for you, and prevent you from applying to three cards in the same week on different days, causing discomfort to your beloved credit score.

My recommendations for you newcomers

You should know that 95% of Canadian adults own a credit card and that 70% of them pay their card balance in full each month.

Equifax and Transunion, the two major credit reporting agencies, value these Canadians.

This good practice shows lenders that they are responsible borrowers. Show them too. Do the same. Otherwise, the game’s not for you.

YOU MUST PAY YOUR CREDIT CARD BALANCE EACH MONTH.

Don't create expenses

It’s said everywhere, it’s repeated here. DON’T CREATE EXPENSES to earn points.

Start with your needs and values, and resist the siren song that calls you to spend more. And they’re legion. Wait until the AIR MILES Shop the Block promo shows up and start thinking about what you could do with a $7.99 discounted brass door handle.

The members of our group are very diverse in terms of their income and expenses. Some people also travel as part of their job and therefore have an expense account that you may not have. Just be yourself.

Travel hacking is a marathon

Start slow, my friends.

Yes, there are points hoarders who have been playing the game for several years and who apply for three cards every three months.

But NOT YOU, who are just starting. Please, one or two cards and then wait six months before applying for one or two more. Let your credit score get used to it. We know you can do it. Yes yes, you will also go to New York, Paris or Bangkok but maybe not tomorrow.

Read this article about our founder’s motto: Travel Hacking is a marathon.

Define YOUR strategy

Have a goal before you go off in any direction. You don’t necessarily need Aeroplan to get to Disney. Maybe AIR MILES miles and Marriott Bonvoy points instead!

All right, let’s rehearse!

You must:

  • define your travel objective (where)
  • establish a strategy by identifying programs (how)
  • choose credit cards (what, or which ones)

To help you, milesopedia has created sample strategies for different purposes:

In addition, every month, milesopedia updates its ranking of the best credit cards by loyalty program!

Protect your data

Know how to protect your personal information.

Finally, as you prepare to have many cards and sign up for several loyalty programs, start creating your passwords. For inspiration, here are 5 to avoid, as they are in the Canadian Bankers Association’s Top 10 Most Used list.

Here they are:

  • 123456
  • 1234567
  • 12345678
  • abc123
  • password

Conclusion

Now for the “credit skeptics” who wonder, why credit cards rather than debit cards?

The Canadian Bankers Association, which offers both products, tells us this.

Credit cards:

  • give you a purchase warranty if the item is damaged, stolen or undelivered (90 days). This is not the case if the item is purchased with cash or a debit card.
  • offer protection against fraud (zero liability for the consumer).
  • offer rewards such as AIR MILES, hotel points and insurance. In fact, for 82% of Canadians who have a credit card with a rewards program, this incentive played a role in their choice of card.
  • The prospect of a vacation or reduced grocery costs are the main reasons for applying to a card.

How about you?

Finally, please check out this article about the credit score… and I wish you a good points hunt!

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