I have been on a credit card travel hacking spree for the past year… partially thanks to the book that Steve Zussino wrote, Travel Hacking for Canadians. It stimulated my appetite for travel hacking. You can check out my book review here.
Over the past year, I have accumulated over 50,000 Aeroplan miles and have Black Distinction (not really sure what that means and I don't think it does very much but it sounds kind of cool).
Here is what I did so far to help realize my Travel Hacking Dream:
I signed up for the CIBC Infinite Aeroplan Visa and received 25,000 Aeroplan miles in addition to the Aeroplan miles that I accumulated while using it as my main card. It has been a great card and I received the first year free. However I have a thing where I don't like paying for credit cards so I cancelled it shortly before the year was up. You can check out my CIBC Infiniate Aeroplan Visa review here.
+25,000 Aeroplan Miles
I signed up for the American Express Gold AeroplanPlus Card and got 30,000 Aeroplan miles. I signed up for it after I got an email saying there was a promotion for extra Aeroplan miles. I also referred a friend to get the American Express Gold Aeroplan Plus Card and got 10,000 bonus Aeroplan miles just for doing so. I admittedly have only used the American Express Gold Aeroplan Plus Card a few times because American Express is just not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard. You can see my American Express Gold Aeroplan Plus Card review here. The first year is free.
+40,000 Aeroplan Miles
I also signed up for the RBC Avion Infinite Visa which gets you 15,000 Avion points. Because I had a CIBC Aeroplan Infinite Visa, they will waive the first year free for you. The Avion points can be transferred directly to airlines, such as Asia Miles or the British Airways Avios points or the American Airlines Advantage program. The Avios program is probably the most popular to transfer to because they have a promotion a few times a year where you get 1.5 times the points if you transfer. I previously had the RBC Avion Infinite card because cancelled it as it was a joint credit card with the ex. You can read my review from a few years ago here.
+15,000 RBC Avion points
Initially I really wanted to sign up for the TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa card instead of the RBC Avion because it had 15,000 Aeroplan miles with your first purchase and 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $1000 in the first three months. However, I had trouble signing up for that and they did not allow me to have the first year free. Then I found a deal from Red Flag Deals (which has no expired) that had the First Year Free. I will share a candid review of my experience so far with the TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa haha. Not so positive so far, but we will see.
Pending +25,000 Aeroplan Miles
Here is what I used so far to save money on my travels:
I have enough Aeroplan points for a mini Round the World ticket (I believe three stops on three different continents).
I used 20,000 points to go from Amsterdam to Copenhagen to visit my friend in Scandinavia. Instead of paying $400 for a flight, it only cost $70. I know that's probably not the best use of my Aeroplan miles, but it was a nice treat anyways.
I also used 10,000 points from my RBC Avion points (so far, very easy to book) for a car rental for an upcoming trip to Hawaii which saved about $100 or so.
What I Plan to Do with my Aeroplan Points
I think planning a mini-Round the World would be difficult because of the need to find airlines that don't charge as much tax (Aeroplan is notorious for having high fees that you have to pay for). However, that is probably the best use for the Aeroplan points. I may use 20,000 points to go to North West Territories to see the Northern Lights (a bucket list dream of mine). I don't really have any solid ideas so far but it is nice to have an Aeroplan points balance of over 100,000 Aeroplan points!
Readers, are you a fan of travel hacking like I am? What would you do with the points?