Tips on how to Be a Journey Hacker in Canada

Posted: 4/2/2020 | April 2nd, 2020

Journey hacking is among the finest methods to decrease your journey prices. Flights, lodging characterize two of the most important bills vacationers face so getting these to zero permits you to journey extra for much less. When cash isn’t a fear, the world is your oyster.

Whereas I’ve tons of journey hacking assets on this web site for U.S. vacationers, I get quite a lot of questions from Canadians about whether or not they can reap the benefits of journey hacking too. And the reply is at all times sure!

Whereas the U.S. has probably the most offers and alternatives, Canada isn’t too far behind and is the second greatest factors market on the planet.

That will help you perceive the Canadian journey hacking world, I reached out to my good friend and fellow journey blogger Ricky Zhang from Prince of Journey. On this interview, he shares his ideas and tips.

Nomadic Matt: Hey Ricky! Thanks for doing this! To start, inform us about your self.
Ricky: I’m primarily based out of Montreal and Toronto, and I’ve at all times liked to journey and get the perfect bang for my buck when doing so. For the previous few years, I’ve run the Prince of Journey web site, which is devoted to serving to my fellow Canadians maximize their frequent flyer miles and bank card factors to journey the world at a fraction of the value.

How did you get into journey hacking?
I first turned inquisitive about factors and loyalty packages again in 2013. As a college scholar in Canada, I used to be making frequent journeys again dwelling to China to go to my household and I used to be attempting to determine how I might get airport lounge entry.

It seems that there was a little-known alternative to earn top-tier Star Alliance Gold standing very simply with the loyalty program of Aegean Airways, the Greek nationwide airline. I discovered that I might merely credit score the miles from one or two of my round-trip flights to Aegean and I’d find yourself with Star Alliance Gold, which might get me the lounge entry I wished.

That led me to the net blogs and boards, the place I rapidly discovered that bank card factors — and particularly the signup bonuses — was the important thing to racking up the factors and funding many journeys world wide (typically in enterprise class or First Class) at a fraction of the value.

From there, I used to be hooked and I’ve simply continued honing my craft over time!

The U.S. is understood for its superior journey bank cards. How does Canada examine?
Many exterior observers would in all probability guess that the Canadian journey bank card market is much less profitable than the US and, whereas that’s true in some methods, there are additionally methods by which Canada is the extra favorable place to be.

The US has a wider vary of journey bank cards, offers entry to a better variety of airline and resort packages, and likewise offers shoppers bigger portions of signup bonuses (for instance, 100,000-point bonuses are a daily incidence whereas, in Canada, the single-highest signup bonus is 75,000 factors).

Nonetheless, the US bank card issuers are additionally stricter about limiting the variety of signup bonuses {that a} single particular person can acquire (or imposing limits on how typically you possibly can acquire them), whereas the Canadian issuers haven’t imposed such limits, making Canada rather more favorable when it comes to incomes the signup bonuses repeatedly.

Nearly all of the playing cards in Canada allow you to double- or triple-dip on the bonus (though the phrases and circumstances could not at all times say so). It’s straightforward for issuers to replace their phrases and circumstances to say that you just’re solely eligible for a once-in-a-lifetime bonus, however rather more difficult for them to really implement that from an IT perspective.

As well as, there are methods for Canadians to use for US bank cards as nicely, thus letting us play the sport on either side of the border!

Actually? How can Canadians get a U.S. journey bank card?
Nicely, to do this, you want three matters:

  • A US handle
  • A US checking account
  • A social safety quantity (or one thing equal)

The handle is straightforward. Simply use a good friend or member of the family’s handle, or a mail-forwarding service. The checking account can be straightforward. Simply use the cross-border banking service of your favourite Canadian financial institution to arrange a US domiciled checking account along with your US handle listed on it.

The social safety quantity half is difficult. You may’t simply get one until you truly examine or work within the US. As an alternative, you will get an Particular person Taxpayer Identification Quantity (ITIN), which is an equal quantity that many issuers additionally settle for rather than an SSN.

Any overseas resident can get apply for an ITIN from the IRS in the event that they present that they’ve earned earnings within the US (for instance, for those who’ve earned $5 playing in Vegas) however must be exempt from withholding taxes on that earnings as a overseas resident. After you have your ITIN, you need to use that rather than the SSN on US bank card functions – and voilà!

What are a number of the finest bank cards in Canada proper now?
The only-highest signup bonus one can acquire in Canada is the American Categorical Enterprise Platinum Card, which provides you 75,000 Membership Rewards factors upon spending $7,000 (CAD) within the first three months.

This card can be very invaluable for its referral bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards factors, which you earn merely for referring a good friend or member of the family to a card of their very own, and may add up in a short time after only a handful of referrals. Then you definately’ve additionally received the limitless Precedence Cross lounge entry and the Marriott Gold Elite standing perks as nicely.

Nonetheless, the Enterprise Platinum does include an annual charge of $499. For many who are extra inquisitive about First Yr Free gives to reduce their out-of-pocket value, I’d suggest the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite, which is providing 30,000 Aeroplan miles + First Yr Free.

Furthermore, RBC Avion factors might be very invaluable because of how versatile they’re, so in that regard the RBC Visa Infinite Avion is one other nice card to choose up, providing 15,000 Avion factors at signup.

Usually, you don’t must be a small enterprise proprietor within the conventional sense to get a enterprise card. As an alternative, you apply as a “sole proprietor”, which is a type of doing enterprise by which you use underneath your individual identify. Simply enter your individual identify because the enterprise identify and apply, and most issuers are proud of it.

And what about debit playing cards? With regards to avoiding ATM charges overseas?
The frontrunner on this regard is the Stack Pay as you go MasterCard, which doesn’t impose any overseas transaction charges on overseas ATM withdrawals. Stack is free to use for and to load funds, and solely fees you the honest forex alternate charge if you withdraw cash at a overseas ATM (though the native ATM charge should be charged). It’s my go-to technique for withdrawing money whereas I’m touring.

Are there any methods to fabricate spending in Canada to earn extra factors?
At any given second, there are at all times a handful of manufactured spending strategies floating round in Canada, though they have an inclination to not be mentioned publicly out of a concern that they may finish in the event that they had been too extensively circulated.

The easiest way to find out about manufactured spending strategies can be to attend in-person occasions with fellow Miles & Factors fanatics. I host one or two of those occasions yearly and there are at all times different casual meets occurring in each Canadian metropolis as nicely.

What ideas do you could have for brand new journey hackers in Canada?
There’s at all times a ton of studying and scouring on-line blogs and boards firstly of the educational curve, however one of the best ways to really get began can be to consider one or two locations you’d prefer to go over the subsequent yr (which locations, what time of yr, what number of passengers, what class of service, and many others.), then analysis particularly the perfect methods to make that journey occur utilizing factors, after which put collectively a method for incomes these factors utilizing bank card signup bonuses.

Having this technique in place will help you be taught the ropes and reap rewards a lot sooner than for those who merely opened bank cards left, proper, and heart with out a clear purpose in thoughts.

In addition to that, attempt to make it out to an in-person occasion or meetup in some unspecified time in the future so as to get to know different members of the group — that’ll speed up your studying course of by leaps and bounds. You may find out about them from a number of the following teams/web sites:

I attempt to host in-person occasions for Prince of Journey readers about twice a yr, and I’m additionally trying to host a larger-scale PointsCon occasion someday later this yr, so keep tuned for particulars on that one.

In any other case, the Prince of Journey Elites group recurrently hosts small casual gatherings, that are often known as “Miles & Pints”, in cities all throughout Canada, so make sure that to hitch the group and hold a watch out for the subsequent occasion in your space!

The place can individuals discover you on-line/on social media to be taught extra?
I might be discovered sharing Miles & Factors information, business information and evaluation, journey ideas, and evaluations from my very own journeys day by day at and sharing weekly movies on my YouTube channel. Additionally comply with me on Instagram, the place I publish the highlights from my travels, and get to know the remainder of the group on my Prince of Journey Elites group on Fb!

P.S. – We’ve launched a brand new members-only group on Patreon! Members get insider entry to occasions, unique content material, bonus social media posts, telephone calls with me and the crew, dwell Q&As, postcards, and rather more! It’s a direct means you possibly can help the web site whereas getting a ton of superior perks in return. Click on right here to be taught extra and join at present!

Guide Your Journey: Logistical Suggestions and Methods

Guide Your Flight
Discover a low-cost flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite serps as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you at all times know no stone is left unturned.

Guide Your Lodging
You may ebook your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve the biggest stock. If you wish to keep someplace aside from a hostel, use as they persistently return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low-cost inns. I take advantage of them on a regular basis.

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will defend you towards sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes incorrect. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances up to now. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite corporations that provide the perfect service and worth are:

On the lookout for the perfect corporations to economize with?
Try my useful resource web page for the perfect corporations to make use of if you journey! I record all those I take advantage of to economize once I journey – and that can prevent money and time too!

The publish Tips on how to Be a Journey Hacker in Canada appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Journey Website.

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