Hello World!

Hello World! It’s been a while since new content has gone up, as many of you have noticed. Partly, it’s because I’ve got a few other things going on. However, I thought I’d make about something tough that I’m going through … points fatigue. Okay, I’m joking. Just a little 😉

aerial view of a mountain range and clouds

Mt. Fuji – From Nov 2014!

I started learning about loyalty programs a long time ago, when I was 16. Back then, I knew very little. I had lots I wanted to learn, and lots I wanted to do. Now, not so much. There are still wide swaths of the world I want to visit, but I’ve realized that one was about the deal. As airlines and hotels have adapted to today’s economy, the outsized value that was available years ago is not as high as before. There are also varying, but generally fewer, opportunities for arbitrage.

For example, I’ve opened a grand total of two credit cards in the past year. Two! They are both US credit cards, which are the US Bank Altitude Visa Infinite, getting me 3x points on Samsung/Apple Pay, and the Chase Hyatt Visa. I have also opened the BMO World Elite Mastercard and the American Express Platinum Card for family members. This is magnitudes less than what I used to do in past years.

I also haven’t manufactured a single cent of spend, nor booked any awards in the past year that stretched the rules. I also think I’ve called Aeroplan more than 50 times in the past year. That’s kind of shocking for me. It means my account balances are lower than before, but that’s okay given the nature of devaluations today. Nonetheles, it feels uncomfortable for me to only have an Aeroplan balance in the low hundreds of thousands of miles, and no more Alaska miles in my account (currently).

Many bloggers write with the intention to get as many views as possible, to leverage that into partnerships and income. It’s fair for writers to be compensated (you can’t pay for most things with your miles – at a good rate, anyways), but this website has been for me a passion project. I was absolutely happy to write for fun – because it was fun! I know how privileged it is to be in my position – where I had total flexibility about what I wanted to do with life – and that’s not something many people have.

I have met amazing people that I remain close friends with to this day. It’s not something I could have ever imagined when I first started this as a hobby. It’s something I’m grateful for and something that will be significant to me for a long time. I’m thrilled with the journey that has been miles and points – the highs and lows- and they’ve been instrumental in shaping my path.

At the end of the day, the loyalty industry is fairly countercylical to the economy. With everything economically booming (mostly) right now, hotels, airlines, and financial institutions have fewer incentives to offer rewards for loyalty and marketing purposes. I’m hoping the spark will come back soon. Also, if you are interested in contributing content to Canadian Kilometers, send me an message. I’m sure readers would love to read content from other experts. Thank you!


  1. I was going to write you to see where you had disappeared to but you have returned. Welcome back.

    I tried to use your link to Hilton but it appears to be broken – possibly due to your absence?


  2. How did you manage to get a card from U.S. Bank? They seem to be a tough nut to crack for Canadians, as compared to Amex, Chase and others. Do you have a SSN?

  3. Good to hear from you, (Jeff?). I’ve learned a lot from your blog, thank you! It’s nice to see another post and those reflections.

  4. In the list of credit cards on the right, should you not mention that the Scotiabank Gold Amex card also has no foreign transaction fees? If you have noted it for the Home Trust Visa (which I have) and for the Scotiabank Passport Visa, you should be consistent with mentioning for this other card. And that Scotiabank Passport Visa also includes 6 lounge visits. Not bad, in my opinion, so another benefit I think you should mention.

    • Thanks for the tip (I think Jeff was the first?).

      Used the card extensively this spring through Asia and Portugal. Was using up existing lounge passes from BMO before I cancel their cards so won’t get much lounge value this year sadly.

      Best news is that the card is free if you deposit a $5000 minimum balance in their ultimate account which effectively gives a 3% tax free return.

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