Ep 001 – An Introduction to Miles and Points

/ Podcast / Ep 001 – An Introduction to Miles and Points

In the inaugural episode of Miles Ahead, hosts Reed and Josh, co-founders of Frugal Flyer, introduce their new podcast focused on travel, miles, and points from a Canadian perspective. Joined by Frugal Flyer contributors Danny and Jeff, they kick off with personal introductions and their journeys into the world of miles and points. 

The episode covers the beginning of a three-part introduction to miles and points, looking at different strategies, benefits, and key programs such as Air Canada Aeroplan and Marriott Bonvoy. They discuss the financial and logistical aspects of this hobby, touching on topics like credit card welcome bonuses, personal finance, and the importance of responsible financial habits.

To further illustrate the value of miles and points, the team reviews some of their favorite previous vacations and what travel they are looking forward to in addition to what they have booked for the rest of the year.

Finally, the team dives into recent updates in the world of travel loyalty programs, such as changes with PayPower, the new Hilton Honors and Small Luxury Hotels of the World partnership, and the new World of Hyatt collaboration with Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

(00:06) Welcome to Miles Ahead: Meet the Team

Introduction to podcast contributors: Reed (host), Josh (host), Danny, and Jeff.

(04:52) Introduction to Frugal Flyer

Frugal Flyer is a Canadian travel blog that can help you travel in greater comfort for less money through the usage of credit card rewards, miles, and points.

(06:15) Miles Ahead Podcast Overview

Miles Ahead will cover beginner, intermediate, and advanced miles and points strategies, news in the world of miles and points, and our experiences with miles and points.

(09:42) Understanding Miles and Points

What are miles and points and how can they benefit you?

(12:00) Benefits of Airport Lounges

Airport lounges make the time spent in an airport that much more enjoyable, and they are actually very easy to access through credit card benefits.

(14:54) Hotel Loyalty Programs & Perks

Hotel elite status earned through staying and other tricks results in great benefits such as complimentary breakfast, suite upgrades, late check-out, and more.

(16:55) Credit Card Benefits

Credit cards come with some amazing travel benefits, including travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees.

(20:38) How Banks Profit from Loyalty Programs

The hobby of miles and points can seem too good to be true, but there are rational economic factors that drive credit card welcome bonuses. Bonuses are an acquisition cost, a way for banks to acquire long-term profitable customers. Competition between banks can result in stellar offers, benefitting us miles and points enthusiasts.

(28:09) Loyalty Programs to Focus On in Canada

Frequent flyer, hotel loyalty, bank loyalty, and retailer loyalty programs are all available for Canadians to benefit from.

(29:07) Top Frequent Flyer Programs in Canada

Air Canada Aeroplan & WestJet Rewards are the two top players in the frequent flyer space in Canada. Both have their utilities and in a perfect world you can benefit from both, but Air Canada Aeroplan is the more valuable program of the two.

(32:09) Exploring Hotel Loyalty Programs in Canada

Marriott Bonvoy is the only real option for Canadians as there are only two co-branded hotel cards in Canada: the American Express Marriott Bonvoy card and the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business card.

(34:38) Bank-Affiliated Loyalty Programs

Every major financial institution in Canada offers an in-house loyalty currency to build customer loyalty with the bank.

(36:29) Other Canadian Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs exist for many businesses in Canada, including grocery stores and gas stations. Any Canadian can participate in these programs and the benefits can be increased by holding a related co-branded credit card.

(40:02) Favorite Trips and Upcoming Travel Plans

The team recaps some of their favorite previous travels and looks forward to the vacations they have planned for the year ahead.

(47:56) PayPower and Manufactured Spending

PayPower has gone fully digital, and their prepaid Mastercard is one of the best ways to meet minimum spending requirements.

(53:39) Changes to Hilton and Hyatt Hotel Programs

We’ve seen a shake-up in the hotel loyalty program landscape, with Hilton Honors partnering with Small Luxury Hotels of the World and World of Hyatt partnering with Mr and Mrs Smith.

(59:13) Conclusion and Next Episode Preview

Submit episode-specific questions on the episode page.

Join us for the next episode, where we’ll get into the basics of earning miles and points!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 comments on “Ep 001 – An Introduction to Miles and Points