View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

How we spent $40,000 on our credit card in the last year.

The credit card we use is called the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite. The main reason we got this card is because it's one of the rare Canadian cards that has a 0% foreign transaction fee. And because we use it for a lot of foreign purchases, that's a big savings for us compared to most standard Canadian cards that charge 2.5% on foreign transactions. 

In fact, we saved about $800 over the last 12 months just because of that. 

The card also gives points, and they've been adding up!

I noticed the other day that they added 10,000 bonus points (worth about $100) to our account, and I had to do the research to see what we did to qualify for that.

Well it turns out that if you spend $40,000 by your credit card anniversary (I think ours is September 26th) they give you 10,000 bonus points.

How in the heck did we put $40,000 on the card in the last 12 months??

Well, I knew we had some expensive months back in December, January, and February. 

In December we had our eye surgery in Turkey. We paid part of it in cash, but we were allowed to put a chunk on the credit card as well.

And in January we did the Mount Meru hike in Tanzania. And then in February the Kilimanjaro adventure. In each of those months we spent over $6,000.

We also spent a total of about $9,000 on flights and car rentals over the past 12 months. And all of our Airbnb accommodation over the winter also was put on the card. 

And then, we put Max's extras (solar panels, oven, bike rack etc) on the card as well. And of course because of the zero exchange rate fee, and the points, we try to put all of our expenses on the card whenever possible. So groceries and fuel and day to day expenses all go on the card.

When I added up our last 12 statements, they only came to $39,600. But it turns out that purchases make up more than $40,000, and any credits along the way aren't taken into account.

And of course all of this is in $CAD. For our American friends, that $40,000 is about $31,600 USD. Still, it's a lot of after tax money for a couple of normally frugal travelers!

We have no plans on getting that bonus again over the next 12 months. There are no plans to do anything expensive, although as I say that we are talking about possibly buying some property in Spain or Italy. Still, that won't be going on the credit card! Our next few months will be back around our goal of $1,500 a month while we're traveling in Max.

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And in Canada...


  1. The only no fee Canadian credit card I could find that has no foreign transaction fee was Home Trust Visa. Among other bonuses is free automobile roadside assistance which is nice to qhave.

    1. Yes, for the longest time the Home Trust Visa was the only one. But the Scotiabank Passport Visa has been out for probably about two years now, and I read of a new Mastercard out from Brim Financial that also has no foreign exchange fee.

  2. How would owning property in the EU affect your ability to spend time there?

    1. It wouldn't, really. But having an address we could actually call our own would be a huge convenience. You have to have an address anyhow to get a residence permit, and the only way around that is to kind of cheat the way we are forced to do in Canada. Also, being able to rent it out when we're not there might be enough to make it pay for itself.


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