Fill up Car = Free flights.

It is that simple. I did a post last week on how you can buy Esso giftcards and use shopping portals to get enough points to get yourself free flights.

Let’s look at this another way. Say you spend about $50 a fill up every week or about $2500 in gas a year.

Here are ways you could do that. Remember you HAVE to spend this money – gas usually isn’t optional.

1. Use your debit card and get virtually no points on those fill-ups.

2. Use a Canadian Tire/PC Financial card and get about $50 in merchandise.

3. Be creative – like I was last week.

Let’s go over option 3.

Here is the link from last week.

The basic idea here was is if you had money in an account doing nothing but making lousy interest for you – PUT IT TO WORK.

Here are the steps you could take to get free flights.

1. Sign up for British Airways Executive Club. (See our page on Avios) this is free and you would travel with AA for most flights. Sign up for Esso Extra as well.

2. Collect RBC points. I have an Avion card. They have a promo where if you get the RBC Visa Infinite Avion you get 15,000 Avion points for a $120 annual fee. That alone gets you a flight but more about that later.

3. Watch for bonuses at Shop.ca and the RBC shopping portal.

Such bonuses were offered 2 weekends ago.

Shop.ca had 10x Aeroplan points for shopping there the CDN long weekend.

RBC had 5x bonus points for shopping at Shop.ca that weekend.

That combo alone is awesome if you are buying merchandise – giftcards not as good.

Anyway, instead of watching $2000 in a savings account make me $30-$40 for a year in interest, I used it to earn enough points for 1 free flights to Florida – round trip.

4. Purchase $2000 worth of Esso Giftcards through the RBC 5x points portal at Shop.ca which only offers 1x Aeroplan points on giftcards.

5. Those $2000 in giftcards generate 10,000 RBC points and 2000 Aeroplan at Shop.ca

6. Every time you fill up use your Esso extra card – gets you 2000 Esso extra points.

7. Pay yourself back every time you fill up. ie. transfer that $50 back to your savings account (or wherever.)

In the end, when you wait for the RBC 1.5x bonus period to convert RBC points to BA Avios you end up with 18,800 Avios points (see previous post) which is more than enough points for one of my flights from Detroit – Florida (other than Miami)

Bottom line – look at that ratio. $2000 spend = 18,800 Avios. Those Avios are valued at about 2 cents each by many bloggers, so $376 in travel.

That is almost a 20% return on your money for travel. For every dollar spent you get 9.4 Avios.

You can do some simple math on this. A one way short haul flight is 4500 Avios. (Detroit – NYC)

If you bought $500 in giftcards, you would have 4700 Avios or enough for that flight.

You have to spend that money eventually, so give it a try!

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