Burning the miles you earn through credit card sign-ups, spend, promotions and other methods is most definitely the best part of Travel Hacking but it can also be the most challenging.  That’s why here at PointsNerd, we dedicate most of our blog posts to helping you redeem your miles and points. Since this is a Canadian blog, most of the content is geared towards Canadians and we make a special effort to help those in underserviced markets like Regina, Winnipeg, Halifax, Edmonton, etc. find awards as well. Our goal here is to provide you with as many step-by-step tutorials as possible but practice makes perfect, so practice alongside the guides so you can get in the right headspace.  

Finding Award Availability

When it comes to burning your miles and points, the first thing you should learn is how to plan out your route and finding award availability.  Make no mistake, it’s usually not as easy as buying a revenue ticket, but if you learn how to plan properly, you will quickly see that through your planning, you’ll start to open up a world of possible options. If you have a bit of flexibility and patience, you can almost always find what you are looking for. The Finding Award Availability Series gives you a very thorough step-by-step explanation of how to find your award and even has a video walkthrough.

Aeroplan and the Mini-Round-the-World

Aeroplan is the most common points program in Canada and if you listen to CBC or your typical Canadian, a complete waste of time … but you’re not the typical Canadian. While it does have its quirks, if you know what you are doing, it can be an extremely powerful program for Canadians. Here at PointsNerd, we teach you how to avoid fuel/carrier surcharge (YQ) and how to utilize Aeroplan’s mini-RTW redemption so that you can extract extreme value from your points. Read through the series to get yourself familiar with Aeroplan and its amazing value.

Close In Availability

If you’ve ever looked for award availability, you’re probably familiar with that feeling of dread when you can’t find an availability for the flight you want, but did you know that many airlines release award seats closer to the date of travel? As the name suggests, we are big time nerds here so we examined actual award availability for six different flights over a 30-day period and examined the pattern that appeared. What we found was surprising and it’ll help you understand how to plan your award flights accordingly.

Booking Alaska Airlines Partner Awards

Alaska Airlines is an airline that typically isn’t front of mind for Canadians but perhaps it should be.  With amazing partners such as Cathay Pacific, JAL, Qantas, Hainan and Emirates, there’s a world of possibilities waiting to be unlocked. Alaska’s Partner award charts are amongst the most competitive in the industry and booking partner awards is fairly straight forward but we’ll take you by the hand and show you everything you need to know.