I knew going in that Nick was going to be tough to beat. After falling short due to a budget overrun in the 40K to Far Away Challenge in 2019, he was a man on a mission. And as we recorded podcasts leading up to this year’s 3 Cards, 3 Continents Challenge, he talked about the many ways in which it was possible to stretch Air Canada awards to their fullest. I knew then that he was going to travel farthest and to the most exotic locations.
- See which cards they each selected in the live-streamed credit card draft here.
- Review the challenge rules and budgets here.
- Catch up on all ongoing updates here.
His travel began with a bang. First there was the quick visit to the Egyptian Pyramids, and then a ride across the Bosporus in Istanbul. But I still thought I had a chance… a very good chance of winning. After all, I had plans to travel around the world in business class with not just one person, but two, and to sample incredible foods, and to stay in great hotels, and to fit in some bucket-list worthy surprises. Then Nick swam with whale sharks and sea turtles in Oman. My confidence dipped. He followed that with canyoneering in Cebu. That was cool, but I didn’t know how many people it would resonate with. If I could just communicate better what was happening on my trip (something I admittedly need to work on for the next challenge) I’d still have a chance. I was still in the running. At that point, I still had a Norwegian fjord trip in my future! Then Nick flew into the artic circle and put together hilarious videos of his experience seeing Santa Claus. But I still thought I had a chance. And then… Northern Lights. Mic drop.
Yes, Nick won this challenge by a large margin. Congratulations Nick!
While Nick deservedly won the competition, I believe that you can look to any one of our journeys and see that we each built truly incredible trips out of the welcome bonuses from just 3 credit cards. The challenge really did a great job of highlighting the best of what is possible with the points and miles game.
Everyone is a winner
I love these recent comments from readers…
Of course, the real winners are us, the readers!
Great content and this is why I value FM over the other blogs.
And Captain Greg followed up with this:
Good god, everyone wins. Everyone wins! 3 trips of a lifetime. 99.999% of people will never do anything like this, but all 3 of you put together incredible trips with just 3 sign up bonuses. Yes, I will vote for one trip I think was the best, but I’m not even going to say who that is because each trip was so impressive. Kudos to all. As always, Frequent Miler is the BEST!
Catch up on what you missed
- Read the full story of Nick’s journey here
- Read the full story of Stephen’s journey here
- Read the full story of Greg’s journey here
If you missed our live Instagram updates, don’t worry, they’re all still visible on our “Highlight Reels”. If you’re not familiar with highlight reels, here’s how you can find them within Instagram:
- Search for “Frequent Miler” in your Instagram App and click on our name once it appears. (You’ll recognize us by the picture of Greg and Nick in green.)
- This will take you to our profile. Somewhere below our name and description, you’ll see a row of little green circles. These are our “highlight reels”. (Sometimes Instagram puts a “Suggested For You” area before it and sometimes they don’t, but the main thing to remember is that you’re looking for the row of little circles.)
If you look closely, you’ll see cartoon sketches of Greg, Nick, and Stephen on the first three little circles in that row. Or, you can also look for the title “3C3C Team…” Click on each circle to see that person’s collection of videos.
While instagram will give you the most complete picture of each contestant’s trip as it plaid out, you can also catch the videos we’ve reposted onto YouTube below:
Thanks to everyone who followed along, everyone who voted, and everyone who kept us on our toes the whole way via blog comments, Instagram messages and more!
You guys are honestly something else. I love the FM team.. head and shoulders above any other travel blogs.
It’s true that the real winners were all of us, the readers and watchers and listeners, who got to be inspired by ALL of you in putting together our next trips. Well done!
You guys need some kind of traveling trophy for the challenge winner to keep for the year!
Appreciate the work and humility with which the whole team does their thing– thanks, all! Know that this community appreciates each of you.
Another tip of the hat to Caroline & Tim. I’m not on social media & prefer to keep it that way so I only follow the blog & listen to your podcasts when time allows. Caroline did a wonderful job with her daily summary posts while Tim did an excellent job keeping us up to speed with the happenings in our miles & points world.
While Nick had the best itinerary, it wasn’t realistic to spend such a short amount of time in each destination. Greg and Maisie seem to be having the most fun on their food tours. Nick wins for creativity, Stephen’s world shortest flight was a feat, but Greg wins in all other categories.
Been reading FM for years and absolutely love how unique and original your blog is. Never would have thought up something like the 3C3C challenge, but I’m glad you did. Very engaging.
Great challenge and great trips that resulted from it. It was so fun to follow along and learn new travel award tips and tricks from you all. StephenH and Captain Greg are right, we all come out winners. I can’t wait to see what the next challenge is and what you all cook up next!
I love that you guys do these challenges. Really goes to show how flexible points can be and how if you put in the work you can really put together amazing trips on very little money.
Most blogs like to highlight sweet spots but never really put them together and stretch them to the same extent that you guys do. Keep it up!
I thoroughly enjoyed following this challenge, and 40k to Far Away. The difference between FM and other frequent traveler blogs is that you guys put your money (and points) where your mouth is, and do it in such a fun and entertaining way.
Congrats Nick, job well done!
Stephen, I felt like you had the best draft picks, so you were my pick to win before the competition began. Other than going for world records, did you have another idea/theme in mind?
Greg, I can’t think of anything you did wrong. Is there a Hail Mary play you could have done to pull out the victory?
Before deciding on the world’s shortest and longest flights theme, I’d had a few other ideas which I decided not to pursue for one reason or another – I included some of them on this post: https://frequentmiler.com/stephens-thoughts-on-the-3cards3continents-card-draft/
Step one of ur Comeback !!
Thanks Grant. I definitely could have / should have done a better job of video documenting the trip and sharing it as we went along. I think that would have helped, but we still probably would have fallen short. Nick did an incredible job.
Congratulations to Nick and thank you all! What an amazing trip everybody took. Already looking forward to the next contest the team comes up with!
These were all incredible trips filled with exotic places, luxurious experiences and welcoming people eager to show off the places they call home. And on top of that, the three of you shared your extensive travel maximizing knowledge – what worked, what didn’t and how, as readers, we too could build dream trips. Choosing one “winner” was near impossible. Thank you so much for everything you did to make each trip amazing!