As a subscriber to the Travel Hacking Cartel, I cringe every time I receive an email alert reminding me that I don’t live in the USA. Being a US resident is a gift; a gift of miles, bonuses, membership-focused airlines, and rewards credit cards galore.
And although Travel Hacking Cartel founder Chris Guillebeau pledges the same “1 plane ticket every three months” guarantee to international subscribers, he does acknowledge that up to 50% of the deals he publishes are only applicable to US residents.
Good News For Canada
All is not lost! Although our neighbours to the south offer the most opportunities for accumulating frequent flyer miles, Canada is next in line with some heavy-hitters (retailers, hotels, and airlines) in the rewards programs industry.
Introducing: Canadian Free Flyers
Canadian Free Flyers is similar to the Travel Hacking Cartel, except it’s purely geared for Canadians, featuring deals and exploring strategies that apply to Canucks. This includes international programs that Canadians have access to.
After signing up, you receive a 2-week email series to prime you on frequent flyer mile basics, and you have access to the online tutorials and reference pages.
These tutorials encompass multiple facets of creative travel strategies, including quite a bit of focus on accommodation strategies like using Priceline and CouchSurfing. (This actually seemed a bit random to me, since each facet is an entire module of travel hacking in itself with multiple resources – case in point: couch surfing) – but it’s an introduction to new ideas as a complement to frequent flyer mile accumulation).
There’s also a comprehensive summary of the best Canadian credit cards to own, and links to the best “sky malls”.
Real-Time Deal Alerts
Real-time deal alerts are the life-blood and inherent value of the program. When a deal that Canadians can take advantage of arises – be it a credit card bonus, hotel promotion, easy sign-up deal, or online offer – you’ll be among the first to know about it.
It’s Not Perfect
There are a few site glitches (and – gasp – grammatical mistakes), and I wish there were more links to sites and products being referenced.
I also wish the information was better organized and easily accessible for headline-scanners like myself (I must admit I’ve succumbed to the allure of headlines and bolded points when referencing online material).
But like I say, the real value of a program like Canadian Free Flyers (for me), is in the real time deal alerts, which work just fine. And as a subscriber to both the Travel Hacking Cartel and Canadian Free Flyers, I have noticed that Canadian Free Flyers publishes quite a few Canadian-centric deals that the Travel Hacking Cartel misses entirely.
Just plain don’t like it? Apply for your 100% refund in the first 30 days, no questions asked.
Like it, but it’s not working for you? After a year of following the advice and heeding the deal alerts, if you don’t earn enough miles for a free flight in the first year, you’ll get a 100% refund.
The Bottom Line
Canadian Free Flyers is priced cheaper than the cheapest Travel Hacking Cartel option, and with its laser focus on accumulation strategies for Canadians, it’s good value – if you like to travel and are committed to employing multiple accumulation strategies. As with any e-book or subscription, it’s easy to become complacent and skim deals instead of chasing them. The program will only be as good as your commitment to frequent flyer mile stardom.
Membership to Canadian Free Flyers is $15-20/month, depending on the membership option you choose, which can even include assistance booking your reward ticket.
Here are some more resources to help you in finding the best flights:
NOTE: Scotiabank is currently offering 30,000 Bonus Points (worth $300 in travel) with this card:
Editor’s Note: I received a free subscription to Canadian Free Flyers, and there are affiliate links in this post. All opinions expressed herein are my own.