Author Topic: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread  (Read 103695 times)

Lews Therin

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Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« on: October 02, 2018, 09:21:53 AM »
Sure it`s not Tax discussion, but it's a location filled with Canadians, so let's just act as if it fits perfectly here.

I was waiting for a good deal to arrive before starting it, and we finally have some.

NOTA. MAKE SURE TO READ THE FINE PRINT OF EVERY DEAL. Just because it's recommended, doesn`t mean it will be perfect for you, and it's up to you to make sure to fill the criteria to get the bonus, and avoid any penalties (like cancelling a CC with an annual fee before the full year is done).



If anybody sees other deals/hacks/churn options, post them here and i'll try to keep the first post updated for the current deals.

Remember that you can use Churning Canada on Reddit, and Hot Deals on Red Flag Deals. (Both are excellent resources)

Deal 1 Scotia Bank AMEX Gold card (150$ in pts from drop, 25k pts Scotia rewards - Worth 250$ but 120$ annual fee) 270$ after 1k spend in 3 months.
https://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/personal/credit-cards/american-express/gold-card.html

Deal 2 National bank world elite - 480 Cashback if you spend 500$ per month.

Deal 3 BMO World Elite Air Miles - Worth 3k AM (320+ if you take it in AM Cash)
https://www.bmo.com/main/personal/credit-cards/?icid=tl-FEAT1367EDB4-RHBMO18

Deal 4 For QUEBEC ONLY: HSBC World Elite - 450$ - 150 AF for keeping the card for 90 days. Thats it.
https://www.hsbc.ca/credit-cards/products/world-elite/
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 06:59:35 AM by Lews Therin »

Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2018, 09:32:16 AM »
Unless you have a high monthly spend, I'd target the AIR Miles card first, worth 300$+ in AM (if you put your target to 100% Cash), but the companion flight rebate is a pretty good deal if you already have the points needed, since they rebate the 2nd person only after you have already spent your points.

For the 35k points, it seems to be closer to a 250$ value from what I can see, unless you pick out the specific deals that can increase the value, but is not useful for everyone.

Dee

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2018, 05:34:45 PM »
I recently got a PC Financial World Elite Mastercard and am supposed to get $100 e-gift card for having signed up through RateSupermarket: https://www.ratesupermarket.ca/credit_cards/pc_financial/presidents_choice_financial_world_elite_mastercard. There's no annual fee and it pays in PC points. It also comes with some travel and rental car insurance that's nice for a no fee card.

elaine amj

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2018, 11:55:51 PM »
Thanks for tagging me :) I came a-running when I saw Canada + Travel Hacking!

I did spot the sign up bonus for the BMO World Elite Air Miles card today - its pretty sweet. We had the card last year (just canceled it a few months ago) and are considering signing up again (from what I understand, its very churnable although I haven't attempted such a close churn before). That said - we didn't end up using the Companion Pass last year although I had wanted to. We ended up choosing to roadtrip this year due to a variety of reasons. Plus, I am still more used to US travel hacking and am super spoiled paying $5.60 each way in taxes. I didn't end up being able to stomach paying $200 in taxes + a boatload of air miles per person just to fly somewhere randomly. That said, I do think it is a pretty sweet deal to fly a short-haul to an normally-expensive Canadian destination (although I guess I haven't yet put my money where my mouth is haha!). Still, even for the bonus Air Miles alone, the card is pretty worth it.

I'm hoping to start racking up Aeroplan miles next for flights to Asia in the next couple of years. So trying to keep my ears to the ground for any good bonus promos over the next year.

@Dee The PC World Elite is a decent card (my DH likes the satisfaction of frequent, visible redemptions. Myself - I hate "wasting" points on boring groceries!) and the $100 gift card sweetens the pot. You should be aware that it doesn't have the highest rate of return for regular spending though. Then again, I'm a huge advocate for the concept that the valuation of rewards is a very personal thing.

Ottawa

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2018, 12:11:13 PM »
Yes!  I'm pretty pumped to up my game. 

Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2018, 12:14:37 PM »
Just make sure not to spend more just because you have to hit 3k in spend. Gift cards are good forever (as long as the store doesn't go bankrupt)

Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2018, 08:27:55 AM »
PayTm currently has an offer to receive 10$ for simply downloading the app and writing your name, and another 10$ for using the code ''university'' during a bill payment. I've tried it and it was pretty painless. There is a referral system, but it's unclear if you get the 10$ + another 5$ for the referrer (after the person pays a 50$ bill). If someone is willing to try, I'd be willing to send the 5$ back if it doesn't work. (So that we know which one works most effectively - Either 15$ (10 for the new, 5$ for the referrer)

PayTM is an APP on your phone and way to pay with CCs different bills that usually you can't. I personnally used it to pay off a CC just to take advantage of the free 20$, but will use it to fill the Spend criteria of the BMO Air Miles above. (Only free to use with a mastercard or bank account, not other CCs)
https://www.paytm.ca/   ------------ If anyone is willing to test out the referral and has a 50$ bill, use my code: PTM7977904. If it works, after the first referral, we'll use a system of posting your referral # after you use one, that way everyone gets to share in the Bonus!

So a free 20$, and other bonuses that appear periodically. (possibly 25$ if the referral works)

thriftyc

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 08:12:30 PM »
I recently got a PC Financial World Elite Mastercard and am supposed to get $100 e-gift card for having signed up through RateSupermarket: https://www.ratesupermarket.ca/credit_cards/pc_financial/presidents_choice_financial_world_elite_mastercard. There's no annual fee and it pays in PC points. It also comes with some travel and rental car insurance that's nice for a no fee card.

I love that card, have gotten $100's of free groceries thus far.

sieben

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2018, 09:10:47 PM »
This thread could be fun :)

Not a CC, but I just did this too get $300.
https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/special-offers/300-offer/

Relatively painless, I did the following.
* Signed up online
* Transferred in $4000 so I wasn't getting dinged with a monthly fee
* Made a online payment to my Questrade account
* Setup a PAD from my Questrade account
* Waited a month
* Got my bonus
* Transferred everything out
* Cancelled the account online.

Took maybe an hour of messing around, more then I normally get paid anyway ;)

Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2018, 06:05:32 AM »
This thread could be fun :)

Not a CC, but I just did this too get $300.
https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/special-offers/300-offer/

Relatively painless, I did the following.


That's a suprisingly easy one! Usually it's wait 6-12 months!

Doing it now! (I knew this would be helpful!)

elaine amj

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2018, 12:22:41 PM »
PayTm currently has an offer to receive 10$ for simply downloading the app and writing your name, and another 10$ for using the code ''university'' during a bill payment. I've tried it and it was pretty painless. There is a referral system, but it's unclear if you get the 10$ + another 5$ for the referrer (after the person pays a 50$ bill). If someone is willing to try, I'd be willing to send the 5$ back if it doesn't work. (So that we know which one works most effectively - Either 15$ (10 for the new, 5$ for the referrer)

PayTM is an APP on your phone and way to pay with CCs different bills that usually you can't. I personnally used it to pay off a CC just to take advantage of the free 20$, but will use it to fill the Spend criteria of the BMO Air Miles above. (Only free to use with a mastercard or bank account, not other CCs)
https://www.paytm.ca/   ------------ If anyone is willing to test out the referral and has a 50$ bill, use my code: PTM7977904. If it works, after the first referral, we'll use a system of posting your referral # after you use one, that way everyone gets to share in the Bonus!

So a free 20$, and other bonuses that appear periodically. (possibly 25$ if the referral works)
Hey, I need to send a private email transfer of $1k by tonight. Would PayTM be suitable for this? Not sure if it would be worth the fees either as I am not working on a sign up bonus right now.

Thanks :)

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elaine amj

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2018, 12:23:19 PM »
This thread could be fun :)

Not a CC, but I just did this too get $300.
https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/special-offers/300-offer/

Relatively painless, I did the following.
* Signed up online
* Transferred in $4000 so I wasn't getting dinged with a monthly fee
* Made a online payment to my Questrade account
* Setup a PAD from my Questrade account
* Waited a month
* Got my bonus
* Transferred everything out
* Cancelled the account online.

Took maybe an hour of messing around, more then I normally get paid anyway ;)
What a sweet one! Too bad TD is my regular bank.

---------------------

I Survived CM*TO 2018 and am looking forward to Hippie Money Camp - Toronto 2019. Join us to find out just why VolleyHockeyBall is the best game ever!


Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2018, 12:56:12 PM »
Hey, I need to send a private email transfer of $1k by tonight. Would PayTM be suitable for this? Not sure if it would be worth the fees either as I am not working on a sign up bonus right now.

Don't think so, it's mostly to pay bills, so unless your private email to someone is to a registered company that has listed with PayTM, it won't fly.

But you can pay your own CC's with your bank account and get points. Which was an amusing way for me to get another 10$, at which point I deleted bank info after getting the bonus, and will probably delete the app :D

elaine amj

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2018, 01:48:42 PM »
Hey, I need to send a private email transfer of $1k by tonight. Would PayTM be suitable for this? Not sure if it would be worth the fees either as I am not working on a sign up bonus right now.

Don't think so, it's mostly to pay bills, so unless your private email to someone is to a registered company that has listed with PayTM, it won't fly.

But you can pay your own CC's with your bank account and get points. Which was an amusing way for me to get another 10$, at which point I deleted bank info after getting the bonus, and will probably delete the app :D
Great info - thanks!

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sieben

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2018, 07:43:51 PM »
This thread could be fun :)

Not a CC, but I just did this too get $300.
https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/special-offers/300-offer/

Relatively painless, I did the following.


That's a suprisingly easy one! Usually it's wait 6-12 months!

Doing it now! (I knew this would be helpful!)


The part that sold me was that I didn't have to change my payroll deposit. Most of the sign-up bonuses seem to require that. A bill pay and PAC are pretty easy to do, specially since I was able to use Questrade for both ;)
I was surprised at the quick turn around too, hopefully yours is just as fast!

Ottawa

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2018, 06:52:14 AM »
First Case Study!

Need to find best way to hack a round trip to Europe.  This is for Oktoberfest next fall - once I have the plan in place I will help out a couple of friends to do this as well. It is important to cost as little as possible to get 'spousal buy-in' :-) 

It is possible that flying to Amsterdam may be a good option and renting a car...taxes and fees seem to be more in/out German cities.  TBD.
 
Starting with the flights, it seems that Aeroplan might be the best way to go.  Here is my proposal so far:

Apply CIBC Aventura Gold Visa - 15,000 points
Apply CIBC Aventura Infinite - 15,000 points.

CIBC notes:
- I've read that although CIBC state somewhere that they only give once bonus for their cards, but in practice they do it for both?
- both cards have a fyf (first year free).  Good!  And also, lounge passes - important when heading on an Oktoberfest holiday :-)

Amex gold - 25,000MR points - tranfer to Aeroplan 1:1

Amex notes:
- 150 annual fee, but 50 cash back if applying through GCR (great canadian rebates) - you need an account.  Note - if you need an account we should refer each other as per GCR website: "You will earn a 15% Referral Bonus on all Cash Back Rebates earned by any new Member you refer for five years from the time your referral becomes a member."

I was going to go with SPG Amex, however, if the above plan works I only need 5K more points.  So, how about:
Best Western MC - 20,000 points can be transferred at 5:1 to aeroplan, giving 4,000 Aeroplan points.

Best Western notes:
- no annual fee.

This gives a total of 59,000 Aeroplan points - the rest can probably be achieved through collection? 

Has anyone got any input...including crushing my whole plan and replacing it with Air Miles or something else...

Total cost would be $100 for Amex and the airport taxes/fees which I've seen as low as $145 - ($245).  Not exactly free...

Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2018, 07:35:46 AM »
Look up HSBC world elite. If you have spending you can do, that card (fyf) gives a ton of points.

For your case study, find out how many points you need for the trip. (Through aeroplan, AM, or simply cash) that will allow you to target the program you need.

I like the collect every program separately and at the same time that lets me use them for their best use after. No reason to switch over the BW points until you really need them for example.

If you can figure out what kind of spend you could do (by doing normal spending + gift cards for future (groceries, stores, amazon etc) it'll also help figure out what to do.

Go on churning Canada, and look up the "amex order" for cards. If you follow it, I believe it's somewhere in the 250k range for points.

https://www.reddit.com/r/churningcanada/comments/6xdi3h/starting_with_amex/
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 02:21:05 PM by Lews Therin »

Ottawa

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2018, 12:39:16 PM »
PayTm currently has an offer to receive 10$ for simply downloading the app and writing your name, and another 10$ for using the code ''university'' during a bill payment. I've tried it and it was pretty painless. There is a referral system, but it's unclear if you get the 10$ + another 5$ for the referrer (after the person pays a 50$ bill). If someone is willing to try, I'd be willing to send the 5$ back if it doesn't work. (So that we know which one works most effectively - Either 15$ (10 for the new, 5$ for the referrer)

PayTM is an APP on your phone and way to pay with CCs different bills that usually you can't. I personnally used it to pay off a CC just to take advantage of the free 20$, but will use it to fill the Spend criteria of the BMO Air Miles above. (Only free to use with a mastercard or bank account, not other CCs)
https://www.paytm.ca/   ------------ If anyone is willing to test out the referral and has a 50$ bill, use my code: PTM7977904. If it works, after the first referral, we'll use a system of posting your referral # after you use one, that way everyone gets to share in the Bonus!

So a free 20$, and other bonuses that appear periodically. (possibly 25$ if the referral works)

Alright mate.  I set up Paytm, got $10.  Paid a $60 bill, used university and got $10 credit.  I used your code...let me know if it works!  My reference code is: PTM2924654 for the next lucky person. 

Also got .60 cents in paytm points (i.e. 1%).  Since I'm still paying with my credit card, I get another 1% on that.  ha ha.



Seemed pretty painless. 

PoutineLover

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2018, 01:00:44 PM »
This is a great thread. Just set up my TD account, paid a Questrade "bill" and set up pre-authorized debit to Questrade. Hope the bonus comes quickly. I don't think I'm going to maintain the $4,000 minimum, I think the money can be better used elsewhere, so the account fee will just come out of the free bonus money. I feel a bit bad for gaming the system, but oh well. Nobody is forcing them to hand out cash right..

Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2018, 01:59:10 PM »
I think that's what i'll do too. Put 100$ in, and hope that the money comes within a month to only lose 16$.


Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2018, 02:00:52 PM »
Ottawa did you get 10$ when you joined?

Ottawa

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2018, 02:02:49 PM »
Ottawa did you get 10$ when you joined?

I did!

daverobev

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2018, 06:24:17 PM »
If you don't have one, the Amex Cobalt is great - 5% back at Metro, for example - where you can buy gift cards... Last year they had double points up to $2k in December. Plus you get $25 back a month for the first year if you spend $500 (2.5k points I should say - which can be redeemed against travel for 1c/point). I really hope they do the same deal this December... There is a $10/month fee, but that's easily offset. Like.. do you shop on Amazon? Get an Amazon gift card at Metro/Sobey's, instant 5% discount.

I just got an Amex SPG card yesterday. $120 fee, but decent sign up bonus (4 nights in a hotel? Something like that), and you get a free night after the first year.

If you have a Scotia STEP account (collateral mortgage) you get good discounts on their best credit cards - we got a Passport card (free Priority Pass lounge entries x6), and it is $70 a year instead of $140 I think. Not the best card for spending on - but it is zero forex - and the sign up bonus when we got it was worth $250 as well. Plus the usual set of insurance.

I dunno, I'm not good at actual churning. I think the only actual duplicate cards I've had have been the Scotia Gold Amex, TD Aeroplan, and MBNA RWE (which is now junk).

Edit: And no I don't think the Tax sub is the right place for this... rather, there should be country specific general subs where warranted. This sub is usually pretty quiet, it would be fine it just being a general Canadian sub off the main board.

daverobev

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2018, 06:29:41 PM »
First Case Study!

Need to find best way to hack a round trip to Europe.  This is for Oktoberfest next fall - once I have the plan in place I will help out a couple of friends to do this as well. It is important to cost as little as possible to get 'spousal buy-in' :-) 

It is possible that flying to Amsterdam may be a good option and renting a car...taxes and fees seem to be more in/out German cities.  TBD.
 
Starting with the flights, it seems that Aeroplan might be the best way to go.  Here is my proposal so far:

Apply CIBC Aventura Gold Visa - 15,000 points
Apply CIBC Aventura Infinite - 15,000 points.

CIBC notes:
- I've read that although CIBC state somewhere that they only give once bonus for their cards, but in practice they do it for both?
- both cards have a fyf (first year free).  Good!  And also, lounge passes - important when heading on an Oktoberfest holiday :-)

Amex gold - 25,000MR points - tranfer to Aeroplan 1:1

Amex notes:
- 150 annual fee, but 50 cash back if applying through GCR (great canadian rebates) - you need an account.  Note - if you need an account we should refer each other as per GCR website: "You will earn a 15% Referral Bonus on all Cash Back Rebates earned by any new Member you refer for five years from the time your referral becomes a member."

I was going to go with SPG Amex, however, if the above plan works I only need 5K more points.  So, how about:
Best Western MC - 20,000 points can be transferred at 5:1 to aeroplan, giving 4,000 Aeroplan points.

Best Western notes:
- no annual fee.

This gives a total of 59,000 Aeroplan points - the rest can probably be achieved through collection? 

Has anyone got any input...including crushing my whole plan and replacing it with Air Miles or something else...

Total cost would be $100 for Amex and the airport taxes/fees which I've seen as low as $145 - ($245).  Not exactly free...

Aeroplan has been terrible when I've looked, considering the alternatives - ie, $600 in charges on what is really a $700 ticket. I'd just get Amex MR and redeem them against the cost of the flight.

Unless you have loads of time - in which case check Flyertalk and whatnot, fly to IST (ugh... Turkey...). People rave about the airport lounges, but I don't get it myself - I just want to get where I'm going. Not much of a tourist, I guess!

Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2018, 06:39:13 PM »
Aeroplan has been terrible when I've looked, considering the alternatives - ie, $600 in charges on what is really a $700 ticket. I'd just get Amex MR and redeem them against the cost of the flight.

Unless you have loads of time - in which case check Flyertalk and whatnot, fly to IST (ugh... Turkey...). People rave about the airport lounges, but I don't get it myself - I just want to get where I'm going. Not much of a tourist, I guess!

The trick is to pick specific carriers (not air canada), there is a list of airlines that don't have those fees (you can fly to europe with Aeroplan costing you only about 100$ in fees.)

Prairie Gal

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2018, 07:06:06 PM »
I was hoping someone would start a Canadian travel hacking thread. I did an ATB sign up bonus once for $350 that was pretty painless, so I'll look into the TD one.


daverobev

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2018, 06:43:56 AM »
Aeroplan has been terrible when I've looked, considering the alternatives - ie, $600 in charges on what is really a $700 ticket. I'd just get Amex MR and redeem them against the cost of the flight.

Unless you have loads of time - in which case check Flyertalk and whatnot, fly to IST (ugh... Turkey...). People rave about the airport lounges, but I don't get it myself - I just want to get where I'm going. Not much of a tourist, I guess!

The trick is to pick specific carriers (not air canada), there is a list of airlines that don't have those fees (you can fly to europe with Aeroplan costing you only about 100$ in fees.)

Europe is a pretty big place - not much use if you're strapped for time if you end up in Dubrovnik when you actually want to be in Hamburg. Now, there are plenty of low cost carriers, but it's all hassle, and they often fly to smaller airports.

If you have lots of time, you can try Wow - https://en.wowair.ca/

If you have to call Aeroplan to book you have to pay them a fee as well, I believe. I'm not saying it isn't doable - and for business class it's worth it, no doubt - but there are easier options.

The Fake Cheap

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2018, 05:46:14 PM »
This thread could be fun :)

Not a CC, but I just did this too get $300.
https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/special-offers/300-offer/

Relatively painless, I did the following.
* Signed up online
* Transferred in $4000 so I wasn't getting dinged with a monthly fee
* Made a online payment to my Questrade account
* Setup a PAD from my Questrade account
* Waited a month
* Got my bonus
* Transferred everything out
* Cancelled the account online.

Took maybe an hour of messing around, more then I normally get paid anyway ;)

Going to try this one right now.  Deadline is to open the account is Oct. 31 for anyone else who might be interested.

Stashasaurus

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2018, 08:30:54 PM »
I recieved the TD mailer for the $400. Thanks @sieben for posting about it here, otherwise I probably would have just recycled it. Now I am just waiting for the money. :)

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2018, 10:51:02 PM »
First Case Study!

Need to find best way to hack a round trip to Europe.  This is for Oktoberfest next fall - once I have the plan in place I will help out a couple of friends to do this as well. It is important to cost as little as possible to get 'spousal buy-in' :-) 

It is possible that flying to Amsterdam may be a good option and renting a car...taxes and fees seem to be more in/out German cities.  TBD.
 
Starting with the flights, it seems that Aeroplan might be the best way to go.  Here is my proposal so far:

Apply CIBC Aventura Gold Visa - 15,000 points
Apply CIBC Aventura Infinite - 15,000 points.

CIBC notes:
- I've read that although CIBC state somewhere that they only give once bonus for their cards, but in practice they do it for both?
- both cards have a fyf (first year free).  Good!  And also, lounge passes - important when heading on an Oktoberfest holiday :-)

Amex gold - 25,000MR points - tranfer to Aeroplan 1:1

Amex notes:
- 150 annual fee, but 50 cash back if applying through GCR (great canadian rebates) - you need an account.  Note - if you need an account we should refer each other as per GCR website: "You will earn a 15% Referral Bonus on all Cash Back Rebates earned by any new Member you refer for five years from the time your referral becomes a member."

I was going to go with SPG Amex, however, if the above plan works I only need 5K more points.  So, how about:
Best Western MC - 20,000 points can be transferred at 5:1 to aeroplan, giving 4,000 Aeroplan points.

Best Western notes:
- no annual fee.

This gives a total of 59,000 Aeroplan points - the rest can probably be achieved through collection? 

Has anyone got any input...including crushing my whole plan and replacing it with Air Miles or something else...

Total cost would be $100 for Amex and the airport taxes/fees which I've seen as low as $145 - ($245).  Not exactly free...
I had a lot of aeroplan points, and then got an AMEX super bonus signup card...

and I still found it better to take the AMEX points as a cash back (buying travel like europe train ticket with the card, then getting a cash payout)... than booking with aeroplan.  Maybe for an october trip it can work for you, but the cost of the fuel surcharges did not end up providing more value than just a cash-out of the points.   I did find AMEX points quite lucrative.

Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2018, 06:24:30 AM »
Quick Google-Fu explains the issue with surcharges, and how to avoid them.

-Best one : https://princeoftravel.com/blog/9-useful-aeroplan-tricks
(Point #1 don't trust the aeroplan search engine)

https://canadiankilometers.boardingarea.com/2017/07/11/redeem-aeroplan-flights-fewer-fees/
http://headedabroad.com/how-to-pay-no-taxes-and-surcharges-when-booking-an-award-ticket-on-aeroplan/

And then enjoy flying an around the world trip, paying around 150$ in taxes.

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2018, 07:06:00 AM »
This thread is relevant to my interests.

Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2018, 08:38:22 AM »
This thread is relevant to my interests. PTF

FTFY

Goldielocks

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2018, 03:37:18 PM »
Quick Google-Fu explains the issue with surcharges, and how to avoid them.

-Best one : https://princeoftravel.com/blog/9-useful-aeroplan-tricks
(Point #1 don't trust the aeroplan search engine)

https://canadiankilometers.boardingarea.com/2017/07/11/redeem-aeroplan-flights-fewer-fees/
http://headedabroad.com/how-to-pay-no-taxes-and-surcharges-when-booking-an-award-ticket-on-aeroplan/

And then enjoy flying an around the world trip, paying around 150$ in taxes.
These are excellent links.   

Challenges not covered is
-How to get flights within Canada  & USA on Aeroplan, and reduced fees.  The United bookings seem to be from / to North America.
- there are MANY cities in Canada for which the only star alliance carrier is air canada.  Taking Westjet from Regina to Calgary, to catch an Air China flight may work out or not, compared to the fuel surcharges.  An alternative to this is to use the AMEX points on a different carrier, or to redeem for cash.
- It is very, very hard to get bookings from Vancouver to Toronto, where many of the star alliance carriers depart from, for Europe.  Vancouver - Calgary can work if not an in-demand season, and that other cities may have similar issues to being "stuck" with Air Canada for some of the flight segments.


Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2018, 04:49:27 PM »
Air miles is quite nice inside Canada.

But yea, aeroplan inside canada is terrible.

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2018, 07:10:55 PM »
This thread could be fun :)

Not a CC, but I just did this too get $300.
https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/special-offers/300-offer/

Relatively painless, I did the following.
* Signed up online
* Transferred in $4000 so I wasn't getting dinged with a monthly fee
* Made a online payment to my Questrade account
* Setup a PAD from my Questrade account
* Waited a month
* Got my bonus
* Transferred everything out
* Cancelled the account online.

Took maybe an hour of messing around, more then I normally get paid anyway ;)

Going to try this one right now.  Deadline is to open the account is Oct. 31 for anyone else who might be interested.

I got this all set up, did my bill payment to Questrade, and set up a PAD from Questrade, now I wait for the $$$.

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2018, 12:09:05 PM »
First Case Study!

Need to find best way to hack a round trip to Europe.  This is for Oktoberfest next fall - once I have the plan in place I will help out a couple of friends to do this as well. It is important to cost as little as possible to get 'spousal buy-in' :-) 

It is possible that flying to Amsterdam may be a good option and renting a car...taxes and fees seem to be more in/out German cities.  TBD.
 
Starting with the flights, it seems that Aeroplan might be the best way to go.  Here is my proposal so far:

Apply CIBC Aventura Gold Visa - 15,000 points
Apply CIBC Aventura Infinite - 15,000 points.

CIBC notes:
- I've read that although CIBC state somewhere that they only give once bonus for their cards, but in practice they do it for both?
- both cards have a fyf (first year free).  Good!  And also, lounge passes - important when heading on an Oktoberfest holiday :-)

Amex gold - 25,000MR points - tranfer to Aeroplan 1:1

Amex notes:
- 150 annual fee, but 50 cash back if applying through GCR (great canadian rebates) - you need an account.  Note - if you need an account we should refer each other as per GCR website: "You will earn a 15% Referral Bonus on all Cash Back Rebates earned by any new Member you refer for five years from the time your referral becomes a member."

I was going to go with SPG Amex, however, if the above plan works I only need 5K more points.  So, how about:
Best Western MC - 20,000 points can be transferred at 5:1 to aeroplan, giving 4,000 Aeroplan points.

Best Western notes:
- no annual fee.

This gives a total of 59,000 Aeroplan points - the rest can probably be achieved through collection? 

Has anyone got any input...including crushing my whole plan and replacing it with Air Miles or something else...

Total cost would be $100 for Amex and the airport taxes/fees which I've seen as low as $145 - ($245).  Not exactly free...

So far:
Applied for the CIBC Aventura Gold Visa but got 'upgraded' to the CIBC Aventura Infinite.  So, it looks like I can only apply for the one.  No problem.  Will get spouse to also apply.  That gets me half way there! 


Ottawa

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2018, 12:30:55 PM »
Caveat!  Just realized that aventura points cannot be converted unless you had your aventura account prior to 2013.  So, the accumulation of aventura points will not go to the europe trip as it won't be possible to accumulate enough for next year.  However, it would be easy to accumulate 30K (with spousal application) which should take you anywhere North America - at no real cost...

Back to the drawing board for Europe.

Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2018, 03:55:28 PM »
Do the aeroplan stack. Buisness platinum, then non stop self referral. You'll be fine.

Also, come to Ottawa meetups. My gf wants to see your man-bun

Goldielocks

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2018, 07:30:38 PM »
Not exactly Travel hacking, but CC for Canadians..

I have a new CC with PC (President's Choice).  The top tier card provides 3% back (in store credits/points) at Loblaws chains.  (Forever), plus a smaller rebate for Esso gas stations.   The remaining general spend is only 1% back.

Signing up through Ratesupermarket provided me with a $100 gift card (to Starbucks or Cineplex, or a couple other choices), once I activated the card.  AND, I have not had any spam from ratesupermarket yet.  The Starbucks card I got worked.  (I use these for my small business).

NEXT, the MBNA World Elite (which was a 2% back card with $80 per year fee and now is a 1.67% back card with $120 fee) -- when I called to switch out to something with no fee but lower rewards...  after some talking / complaining, asking if I needed to cancel to get the reward card I wanted through them, etc...   offered me $50 back in points if I don't cancel the card.   Okay!       By shifting groceries to the other card, this nets out to the 2% cash back and $80/yr fee that I had last year.

Don't forget to cash in your MBNA points to cash before February 2019, as you can redeem as low as $10 at a time right now.

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2018, 08:49:35 PM »
Look up HSBC world elite. If you have spending you can do, that card (fyf) gives a ton of points.

+1 to this card. I got it a few months ago as a replacement for my MBNA world elite. First year fee waived, 3% on travel, 1.5% everything else, no forex fees.

I got the 20,000 points right away plus another 10,000 after the first $1,000. It looks like the deal is even more lucrative now if you can run $10k through the card in 4 months.

The card took about a month to show up after signing up, and you have to go down to an actual HSBC branch with 2 pieces of photo ID to pick it up, which was kind of a hassle.

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2018, 07:30:31 AM »
This thread is good timing for me as I need to change out the cards I am holding before I get hit with the annual fees.

@Lews Therin is the rbc travel card still a good option?  I did not sign up for it when you tagged it in my journal.  I was too busy renovating to take on cc challenges :)


Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2018, 07:31:52 AM »
Best right now is the BMO if you already have enough AM that you can fly two people, since you get rebated after the second flight.


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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #44 on: October 29, 2018, 10:08:07 AM »
I suspect this was the one meant: https://www.bmo.com/main/personal/credit-cards/bmo-air-miles-world-elite-mastercard/ - 3000 AM vs. BMO rewards points with the on you linked to

Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #45 on: October 29, 2018, 10:38:06 AM »
Yup. Noviks... or you know, the one in the first post!

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #46 on: October 29, 2018, 06:54:19 PM »
Yup. Noviks... or you know, the one in the first post!

It just took a nudge to get started again and the card is on its way. 

Question: What will you do when your income does not meet any minimums?  They had fairly detailed questions on the application.

Lews Therin

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #47 on: October 29, 2018, 07:21:27 PM »
Cough. Be optimistic. Cough add in dividends and possible capital gains. Cough. Estimated? :d

FIRE_at_45

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2018, 07:27:14 PM »
Cough. Be optimistic. Cough add in dividends and possible capital gains. Cough. Estimated? :d

;) yeah I do not think they look much further than your credit report.

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Re: Canadian Travel Hacking and CC Churning Thread
« Reply #49 on: October 30, 2018, 05:08:17 AM »
Cough. Be optimistic. Cough add in dividends and possible capital gains. Cough. Estimated? :d

;) yeah I do not think they look much further than your credit report.

This brings up a good point, because I don't meet the minimum. Not sure how much coughing I am comfortable with ... but I might feel a case of bronchitis coming on.

I have thought about the West Jet card, mainly for the companion fares, but it also has the 80K minimum.