[Ep. 189] Credit Card Reward & Travel Tips for Canadians with Barry Choi

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Can you believe it’s been almost 4 years since Barry Choi from Money We Have on the show? We’ve been friends for years now, and he was guest number 7! Since so much has happened in our lives since that interview, I needed to have him back on the show now that he works full-time for himself as a personal finance & travel expert.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, I’ve done a few unofficial meetups with podcast listeners the past few months, and the feedback I got was to have someone on the show to talk about credit card reward programs and travel tips specifically for Canadians. Well, of course I thought of Barry who is always in the news or on TV sharing his wisdom on how to get the most value out of your credit cards and how to travel on a budget without it feeling like you’re doing budget travel.

Here are some great tips and resources he shared on the show.

Include Travel in Your Budget

If travel is one of your big values in life (it is for me!), then you need to add it as a line item in your budget. Don’t just book a trip and figure out how to pay for it later. Research where you want to go, price out the cost, then start putting away amounts every month until you can afford it.

It’s what both Barry and I do, and honestly it’s the only way to afford travel without getting into debt. For me, I put away money every month for trips I take with my husband and trips I do on my own (usually work-related like conferences or retreats). In terms of how much to save, it depends on where you plan on going. As long as you’re saving a good amount for your emergency fund, retirement and your other financial goals, it’s up to you how much to save for travel.

Use Deal Sites to Save Big

I’ve used deal sites for years, like Kayak, Booking.com, Expedia, Trivago (you get the picture), and to me it’s the best way to get the best price for flights, car rentals and accommodation. Yes, it can take some time and effort to really figure out the best time, place and dates to travel, but it’s worth it if you can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars! Just think, that savings can be used for excursions, food or shopping to make your trip even better!

Travel in the Off-Season

You’ve heard this tip before, but it’s true. If you want to save big, travel during that location’s off-season. I’m so used to doing this, I don’t even know what it’s like to go somewhere during the on-season. And I don’t want to! It’s actually really nice to avoid the hordes of tourists, even if it means going somewhere during spring or fall.

 Best No-fee Credit Cards

Here are Barry’s picks for the best no-fee credit cards in Canada. Just remember, even though it’s no fun paying an annual fee for a credit card, you usually get better benefits with those cards than no-fee cards.

Best Credit Card Posts

Best Travel Posts

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Want to learn how to travel for free (or cheap) using credit card points? Travel experts Barry Choi shares his tips!

Want to travel for free on points? Because it's possible, you just need to be strategic! I get more tips and tricks from travel expert Barry Choi on the podcast. #traveltips #creditcardpoints #creditcardrewards #travel

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