Up next to our PointsU speakers introduction, we have Jayce Loh from Points Nerd!
A little bit about Jayce
Hi, my name is Jayce and I run a blog called PointsNerd.ca that targets a very specific niche; Canadians that love to travel in 5 star luxury for 1 star prices. I was born and raised in Canada and have a 7 year old daughter that is the centre of my universe. I’m also happy to report that I have been happily married for 10 years to my beautiful wife, Salima.
How I got into the Points Game, and why?
I got into the points game in hopes that I could get free flights. I started out like every other person with no experience in the game … a few thousand points in a variety of accounts, all stranded with no way of redeeming for anything of value. I eventually found the FlyerTalk forum and became engrossed in the stories people would tell about their luxury travel and their strategies for redeeming for extreme value. That started my obsession.
My Favourite Points Strategy
I believe that points, like your financial portfolio, must be diverse. It’s true that most people in Canada will end up collecting and redeeming Aeroplan points but if your aspiration is to fly around the world, you probably want to diversify your points collecting strategy simply because it gives you more options. The other thing that I encourage all my client to think about is what you want to do with your points. Points can unexpectedly devalue so it’s not enough that you just collect points, you need an exit strategy.
My Topic this year for PointsUYYZ
The topic I am covering is a bit on the advanced side and it has to do with the usage of your points. Many people believe that you have to book 335 days in advance to find award availability on Aeroplan but this is not necessarily true and if you have any sort of flexibility, it is absolutely false. The fact of the matter is that some airlines are very good at load balancing and extracting the most revenue from their inventory as possible so they often only make seats available close in (< 2 weeks to departure). Some people may know this intrinsically but nobody (as far as I know) has taken a systematic approach to actually looking at how award availability changes over time. I took 7 routes originating out of Canada with airlines that charge either very little or no fuel/carrier surcharge and ran a search every day for a month. The patterns that emerged from that effort are quite interesting. Armed with this information, Travel Hackers can quantitatively make good rules of thumb for when to expect award availability to open up.
What you can get by attending PointsUYYZ
After attending PointsUYVR, I’m going to every single one in the future. As a person that has been in the game for a long time, I felt that the value of the conference was extraordinary. Topics at the conference are specifically designed to ensure that all audiences feel like they got value out of the program and even guys like me learned quite a few new things. The networking at this conference is also second to none. I often tell people that Travel Hacking is typically a very closed and secretive society but when you meet people in person, they are much more likely to share information with you than if you are just some random user on an online forum. Trust me … I’ve fought that battle. I know.
What’s next on the travel itinerary
We just got back from a trip that saw us travel in business class to 5 of the world’s 7 continents with stops in Montreal, Istanbul, Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro … all for $270 in taxes 150,000 Aeroplan points each. Our next trip is like to be to Tokyo, Sydney, Auckland and the Fiji Islands … in business or first class of course.
It’s funny you ask about our next trip because while I have the points available now, I am waiting until I talk to the friends I have made at the first PointsU conference before I book to ensure I have thought of all my options. This conference is the only one of its kind in Canada and I would highly recommend that you attend.
PointsU Toronto will be hosted at Toronto Region Board of Trade Ballroom this October. Don’t forget to get your tickets for the event! If you want to learn more about how to best maximize your reward points or learn how to travel for cheap, come out on October 22nd!