Archive | March 2017

Have you tried Credit Karma Canada?

Have you been wondering about your credit score? No? Well too bad, this is a quick post to get you to actually check your CDN credit score.

This website has been going since 2007 in the US and now is available here FOR FREE.

I have done a few posts in the past about how your credit score goes up and down when you get these credit cards and now you can see how it works!

Try it! creditkarma.ca

 

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Just as a side note, I did a post over 2 years ago on how to manage your credit cards/sign up bonus/etc on an Excel Spreadsheet.

This won’t pay your bills but it helps me tremendously.

 

 

 

Spirit Sale is Sweet

I’ve seen some quality rants about Spirit Airlines lately, but the fact is if you know the extra fees and are willing to put up with less legroom, you can really score some sweet airfare prices from these guys.

I’ve probably flown with them 20 times in the last 10 years and I’ve had a few flight delays and that’s it. So I guess I’m lucky?

Anyway here is a screen shot of their latest Spring Sale – it’s pretty good.

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Hopefully those dates can work out for some of you and you can take advantage of these amazing prices.

 

Advantages of living near US Airports

I have always felt that living near US Airports (residing in Canada) has been a huge advantage for those of us that love to fly.

As I was reading a few blogs this week I realized this was very true.

I see bloggers trying to use their Aeroplan, Air Miles and Westjet dollars and see the struggles (and success) they have with booking these flights.

I get it – Canadian bloggers talking about Aeroplan/Airmiles because that’s the “Canadian” point system.

But it’s not.

Those of us in SW Ontario have a choice – Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo to name the big ones.

I did a post before March Break about booking a last minute flight from Toronto to Orlando from Sat. to Sat over the break would be crazy expensive – and it was.

I also talked to about 5 different CDN families that flew out of Cleveland that lived in the Toronto area – so people are doing it!

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My point is try diversifying your “points”!

Why not collect Avios and fly AA out of Detroit to say…Miami? 20,000 Avios plus $14.

The taxes are usually way lower as well.

What about Southwest? I just recently got the companion pass and 120,000 SW points worth over $2000 CDN in flights – for 90,000 SPG points. (plus a seven night Marriott vacation)

We have a page “How do you do this” that gets you points in the hotel programs as well as the flight programs if you are so inclined.

I have a friend that just went ahead and got all 4 cards the same day. “Why not?” she said – “I’ll eventually get them all anyway”

Good point. But not recommended for people who can’t manage their own finances.

Remember, as Canadians we are not “stuck” with Airmiles and Aeroplan – we just have to branch out a bit.

 

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If you are spending the money anyway…

So I’ve seen a few posts lately about return on spend on certain credit cards – this one by Rewards Canada nails it.

Yes, the SPG card from Amex is great, and it’s my favourite card but there is something we as Canadians can get amazing value on – The Amex Business Gold Rewards Card.

***Note – most people can get this card by just calling themselves a business – it’s not hard

I know some of my friends don’t think twice about points and what card to put a purchase on. In fact many would put a purchase on their PC Mastercard or CDN Tire Mastercard and be happy with the lousy return they get on that.

Ya, I said lousy. It is lousy. Sure if you are in that actual store spending on that card you’ll get a decent return, but otherwise? Meh.

I did a post on this exact spend idea a couple of years ago and because it has come up in conversation lately, I’ll bring it up again.

Let’s say you(as a couple) need to spend over $10,000 in the next few months.

Well, in the industry now, a 2% return on this is seen as pretty good.

So, $200 back on your $10,000 spend is nice, but wouldn’t you rather get like…$1000 back?

 

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Is is easy, and requires you and your partner to get 1 new card each. $1000 back to spend $10,000.

  1. You get the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card and spend $5000 on it in 3 months
  2. You pick up 45,000 Amex MR points to do that.
  3. After you get card, you refer partner to that same card – you pick up 10,000 more MR points. You have at least 55,000 points.
  4. Your partner does same spend and picks up 45,000 Amex MR points.
  5. Between you is 100,000 Amex MR points worth MINIMUM $1000 in free travel

A couple of things to keep in mind.

You can’t share MR points – they have 45,000 and you have 55,000.

You can convert those to “family” accounts in travel programs like SPG and Avios to name a couple. – SPG is highly recommended – you’d have 50,000 SPG or 100,000 Avios.

Perhaps this is all once purchase? You get card, refer partner, then make purchase over $10,000 using both cards…

So, in this example and for many people I help out with this the person usually uses Amex MR points to “erase travel” That means the 55,000 points can erase a purchase of $550. The 45,000 points can erase a $450 purchase.

That is great, but really that is the least value.

You should take your time and learn where you want to put your points –  if you ended up putting these points into SPG and getting 50,000 SPG points in a family account that is roughly worth anywhere from $1500 – $2500 in hotel stays.

Convert to Avios? Gives you 100,000 Avios worth a similar amount in airfare.

In the end, it’s at least a 10% return on money spent – and the cards are free first year!

 

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Karen is back with DEALS.

Here is her latest.

Contact her at karen@traveldiscounters.ca or 519542-1009

Many deals out there – this place looks nice!

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How are these flight prices even possible? WOW.

Spirit is having a sale today. These prices do expire today.

I mean chances are you’ll still find good prices after today, but this sale is pretty good.

I’ll just post one example but check their website for more!

Detroit to Tampa – $74.46 US or about $100 CDN. ROUND TRIP FOR A WEEK. MOST OF MARCH BREAK.

I don’t know how they do this. Yes people will say customer service is terrible, little legroom, blah blah blah.

These are direct flight to Florida for about $100 CDN round trip.

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