Financial Travel Tip #83: Frequent Flyer Mile Accumulation for Canadians

by Nora Dunn on June 8, 2013

 

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.

Tutorials

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.

 

Guaranteed

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:

Financial Travel Tip #9: Getting the Lowest Price on Airfare

Financial Travel Tip #67: More Airfare Saving Hacks

Financial Travel Tip #46: Booking the Best Flights

Financial Travel Tip #8: Flying for Free (or Almost Free)

My Business Class Travel Adventures, and Using Frequent Flyer Miles

Travel Hacking, and Earning 4 Free Flights Per Year

 

 

 

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.

 

 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff June 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm

I run a website which offers all these deals for free. Readers shouldn’t be wasting their money on this service…

Reply

theprofessionalhobo June 9, 2013 at 9:22 am

Hey Jeff,
Thanks for introducing me to your site! I just read about your $20 trick for getting hotel upgrades….I always ask for “free upgrades”, and almost always get them with car rentals, but it’s hit and miss with hotels. I too would be a little nervous to try it at first, but hey – for $20, it’s worth a shot!

Reply

Matthew Bailey June 8, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Thanks for reviewing Canadian Free Flyers Nora. I’m glad you like it – I’ve taken note of the grammatical errors and the organization. This is something I’ll work on!

If anyone has any questions, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Thanks again!

Matt

Reply

theprofessionalhobo June 9, 2013 at 9:28 am

Hey Matt – If there’s anything I know for certain about your development of this service, it’s that you’re constantly working on it and improving it. I’ve seen changes even since I first subscribed. So thank you for taking my constructive criticism in stride and making the program ever-better!

Reply

Matthew Bailey June 9, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Jeff, great blog you have there but it’s not in any way similar to CFF or Travel Hacking Cartel. There are lots of blogs on travel hacking out there for people who have a tremendous amount of time and are willing to sift through everything and learn on their own. FlyerTalk is another great resource of free deals but is mega huge. Most people in CFF just don’t have the time to scour the web looking for all the information related to this industry.

Reply

Steve @ Canadian Travel Hacking July 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Matthew,

I am not sure the value of charging $97 yearly for a lot of information that is free. Flyertalk has many forums for Canadians and Jeff has a great blog.

I think the price is steep without any added value-added service.

Reply

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