INFOGRAPHIC: How to Fly for Free – Insider Tips

how_to_fly_for_free travel rewards guide will help Canadians take flight faster despite low loonie

Is a weaker Canadian dollar clipping travelers’ wings? Would-be vacationers could find themselves paying 30 per cent more for their warm-weather getaways this year; as the loonie hovers around $0.75 USD, three-quarters admit the weak currency has impacted their trip plans.

Related Read: Travel in Canada Grows Due to Weak Loonie>

But cash-strapped travelers needn’t settle for a staycation, as a number of travel rewards credit cards can effectively offset travel costs according to, Canada’s comprehensive rate comparison resource.

However, using plastic to fund a vacation can be a point of confusion. “While there are a number of fantastic travel offers available in today’s market, many Canadians aren’t aware of travel rewards best practices,” says Penelope Graham, Editor at “There continue to be misconceptions around the true value of rewards, and how to effectively earn and redeem them.”

To help Canadians take flight faster, has revealed the Guide to Flying for Free – How to Cash in Travel Rewards Credit Card Points. The guide provides clarity on choosing the right card, and insight to the value offered by popular rewards programs as per’s annual Best of Finance Awards. Check out the infographic below!


Fly-For-Free-Infographic_RSM_Final’s Tips for Using a Travel Rewards Credit Card

Seek out the perfect plastic: There is a wide variety of travel rewards programs to choose from and each offers a different earning and redemption structure. It’s important to determine whether a card’s earning potential can be maximized based on your specific spending habits – for example, gas and grocery purchases, or earning on all spending.

Heed the fee: Travel rewards cards are often packed with additional insurance, concierge and lounge benefits – and that means the majority charge an annual fee. Look for cards that waive this charge for a limited promotional period, and determine whether your annual earnings offset the fee amount. For those who are fee adverse, a non-fee card with a lower earning threshold can be a better fit.

Ask about redemption: Those points won’t do much good if they’re grounded during your desired departure season. Seat capacity, seasonal, and minimum redemption restrictions are common pitfalls vacationers should be aware of. For the greatest flexibility, look for cards that allow points to be redeemed directly on travel purchases charged on the card.

Cover yourself: Many travel cards come with built-in insurance benefits – but you shouldn’t assume you’re covered. At a bare minimum, ensure you have sufficient travel medical and accident insurance for yourself, spouse and any dependents travelling with you. Add-ons like trip interruption, delay and cancellation coverage can provide greater peace of mind on your journey.

* Preparing for Takeoff: Air travel outlook for 2016 –

Related Topics

Credit Card News / Credit Cards / Insurance / RSM News / Travel Insurance 101

One thought on “INFOGRAPHIC: How to Fly for Free – Insider Tips

  1. Be careful when using AEROPLAN!

    My niece was saving her miles to take her favorite aunt on a milestone birthday trip, in memory of her mother ( her aunt’s younger sister) – who had died tragically young earlier that year.
    Because of the turmoil – (she was a single mom who struggled for years, & had finally gotten a house,but she had no life or mortgage insurance( who plans on dying when you have so much to live for – isn’t that for people in their 80’s?) ; my niece had to not only plan her funeral while grieving the loss of her best friend – but she had to sell her mom’s house, and deal with her belongings, sell her car, and take care of buying her headstone.
    Needless to say, some little “life” details got put on the back burner.
    The trip she had been saving her Aeroplan miles for was one she & her mother decided would be fun when they were on the same trip the year before.
    Since she had just enough miles for this trip, she left the account alone, until she got ready to book the trip – only to find- her miles had ALL EXPIRED less than two weeks earlier!

    The customer service rep was quite adamant in telling her there were NEVER exceptions to this rule,
    She noticed on their website a few weeks later, however, that once in a while, they do make exceptions.

    But it was too late. You can buy back your miles, but between the cost of doing so, and taxes, your better off going to a travel site or agency, and booking one when you want to fly.

    As for Aeroplan – you have to wonder about a company that is so corporately focused, they will take miles earned by people who shop or use services from Aeroplan’s paying customers ( the sponsors- who pay a hefty fee for those miles and the priviledge of being part of their plan), while making a big splash about how generous they are to their pet charities ( like the twelve million miles they gave the Gay Pride Parade in Toronto)
    Kind of like taking from the people who pay for the miles, to give to their friends . . . how responsible is that. What an elitist attitude.

    If my company were looking to pay a hefty price for a loyalty plan – I sure wouldn’t be impressed with how they not only spit in the face of their collectors, but also the people who pay for those miles to begin with.

    If anyone reading this has lost Aeroplan miles, there i s a class action lawsuit against the company because of this.
    A woman in BC had a similar story, only her daughter was really ill, but same thing happened.

    As for the plan, I cashed in my own miles for gift certificates to local stores, and have not used my credit card or any of the companies that pay this ridiculous company money to be part of their scam.

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