Ok. Let’s say you’re new to the milesopedia Facebook group. That you have not yet had time to read the more than 1,000 articles that Jean-Maximilien, founder of the site, and his authors have written on the milesopedia.com site.
And we’ll also say that you’re only vaguely familiar with some of the basic rules of our group of savvy point hunters, also formerly known as ” travel hackers.”
But you’ve just learned that it’s possible to stay for two weeks in Spain or South Africa in hotels for less than $300.
You’ve heard that your neighbour cut $600 off his plane ticket by shopping at Super C and that your sister-in-law is preparing to visit Disney with her family in Orlando because of her shopping at Jean Coutu Pharmacy.
That’s almost it. Here are a few facts and figures before you start your journey to the “Eldorado” of points and miles. Just to warm you up before the joust.
Followed by a must-read link. The one on credit score. Yes, you read that right: the credit score.
This introduction will help you decide if the game is suitable for you and will prevent you from subscribing to three cards in the same week on different days, causing your beloved score to feel uneasy.
My recommendations for you newcomers
Consider that 95% of Canadian adults have a credit card, and 70% pay their balance in full each month.
Equifax and Transunion, the two major credit bureaus, 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. Be patient and wait for the promotions that are made for you.
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, you will also go to New York, Paris or Bangkok but maybe not tomorrow.
Read this article about our founder’s motto: The hunt for the point 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!
- 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:
Moreover, Milesopedia updates its ranking of the best credit cards by loyalty program every month!
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.
And I named :
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.
- give you a Purchase warranty if the item is damaged, stolen or not delivered (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?
So I leave you with the link to the article to read about credit score and wish you a good point hunt.