Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Hyatt Place Kelowna opens next week - 11 days earlier than planned!

Back on March 2 we brought you our annual New Hyatt Hotel Openings in Canada post that detailed six new hotels the chain was planning on opening this year. Two weeks after that Canada pretty much shut down due to the Coronavirus and that led to many planned hotel openings being postponed. In fact one of those hotels, the Hyatt Place Toronto/Mississauga Centre was postponed from April to June and now to late July. However one hotel is doing the opposite, the Hyatt Place Kelowna was slated to open on July 25 but that has been moved up to July 14! It is opening a full 11 days early which is something of rarity for hotels in the best of times let alone during a pandemic!

The Hyatt Place Kelowna is located on Enterprise way in a commercial area not too far out from downtown Kelowna and kind of on the way to the airport which is just over 10 kilometers away.

For the opening night on July 14 you can book a stay here for C$176 ($203 with taxes) or 8,000 World of Hyatt points. You can also choose to use Points+Cash at a rate of 4,000 points + C$110.

We value World of Hyatt points at 2.3 cents each in C$ - so redeeming 8,000 points for a $203 stay is slightly above that at 2.5 cents however we revealed earlier today that Hyatt is giving back 15% of your points as a bonus after a points stay all the way through to October 8. This means you would get 1,200 World of Hyatt points back per night meaning your 6,800 points you ended up spending would give you a point value of almost 3 cents. Not only that, when you redeem points for a stay you will receive free parking, which at this new hotel runs a staggering $4.99 per day ;-) but still that's money in your pocket.

Remember as well that you can buy World of Hyatt points right now with a 30% bonus. At a cost of 1.85 cents US each you are looking at over 2.5 cents C$ each and when you take into account the 15% back you'll get it could be worth it to buy points.

Are you excited for the opening of this new Hyatt Hotel in Kelowna? Do you plan on staying here soon? Let us know in the comments section below!

July 8 Update: Earn up to 300 bonus AIR MILES for shopping online, AIR MILES & Shell expanding earn next week, 40,000 bonus PC Optimum points for Shoppers Drug Mart online purchases


AIR MILES is offering up to 300 bonus miles for shopping online via during their Christmas in July event. You'll earn 150 bonus miles if you spend$150 across two different retailers or 300 bonus miles if you spend $300 or more across three different retailers. The offer runs until July 27. Find out more here.

AIR MILES and Shell sent out a teaser email about them launching something exciting next week. In the email it states they are introducing a new way for collectors to earn more miles with every visit. You'll recall that about five years ago Shell and AIR MILES clawed back the amount of miles earned so it looks like some of that may be coming back. Really hard to say until the details come out next week.

You can earn 40,000 PC Optimum Points if you spend $125 or more online with Shoppers Drug Mart today and tomorrow. Those 40K points are worth $40. Find out more here.

Airline Schedule Updates
A summary Canadian operations based on data from RoutesOnline and other sources. Remember that many of these route plans are subject to change and right now they are changing frequently!

When Royal Air Maroc restarts international flights later this month they are planning to operate 7 flights per week (daily service) between Montreal and Casablanca. (Source RoutesOnline)

Ukraine International will be starting up 1 weekly flight between Toronto and Kiev as of July 18. (Source RoutesOnline)

Remember to visit and bookmark our COVID-19 resource page where we are keeping you up to date with all the latest airline, hotel, lounges and loyalty program news, policies, closures and more.

Posts since our last update:


Sandman Hotels 7 day summer sale - save up to 45% when you book by July 12 for stays until September 30. Find out more here

Travelzoo: Big savings at the Fox Hotel & Suites in Banff

Fairmont Hotels Stay Close - Buy Night 1 Get 1 Night free at select hotels in Canada, U.S. and Mexico. Find out more here

Instacart: Get $10 when you place your first order with Instacart! Register here.

SkipTheDishes - Sign up with this link to get $5 off your first order over $15. Find out more here

WealthSimple Trade:  Receive $5 when you deposit and trade at least $100 worth of stock with WealthSimple Trade. Find out more here (We will also receive $5 when you receive $5)
Rewards Canada receives a small commission when you use any of the above offers. You don't have to chose to use our links but we thank you in advance if you do.

Canadian Bonus Offers

Air Canada Aeroplan
- 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you join the program and complete your first mileage earning transaction by July 31. More... Until Jul 31, 20

World of Hyatt
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points per night at the Hyatt Place Kelowna More... Until Oct 30, 20
- OFFER MODIFIED 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points per night at the Hyatt Place Toronto/Mississauga Centre More... Jul 21 - Oct 30, 20

Other Bonus Offers

Alitalia MilleMiglia
- 50% Bonus MilleMiglia Miles and up to 20% off when you buy or gift miles online. More... Until Jul 31, 20

Choice Privileges
- Save 25% when you buy Choice Privileges points. Minimum purchase of 3,000 points. More... Until Aug 16, 20

IHG Rewards Club
- 100% Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points when you buy 3,000 or more points. More... Until Jul 31, 20

World of Hyatt
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points per night at the Park Hyatt Suzhou, Grand Hyatt Hefei, Hyatt Place Changchun Jingyue, The Lixury Hotel Chongqing, Hyatt Regency Hengqin or the Hyatt Place Changsha Airport More... Until Sep 29, 20
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points per night for stays at the Hyatt Place Melbourne/Palm Bay More... Until Sep 29, 20
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points per night at the Hyatt House Chicago - Medical / University District, Hyatt Place Chicago / Wicker Park or the Hyatt Place Chicago – Medical / University District More... Until Sep 29, 20
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points per night for stays at the Hyatt Centric Downtown Minneapolis More... Until Sep 29, 20
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points per night for stays at the Hyatt Place Fort Lee / George Washington Bridge More... Until Sep 29, 20
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points per night for stays at the Hyatt Regency Frisco - Dallas or the Hyatt Place Amarillo - West More... Until Sep 29, 20
- OFFER MODIFIED 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points per night for stays at the Hyatt Place Houston / Downtown More... Jul 28 - Oct 30, 20
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points per night for stays at the Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria More... Until Sep 29, 20

-Wyndham Rewards
- Triple Wyndham Rewards Points on rentals of 3 or more days at participating Budget locations in the U.S. and Canada. More... Until Dec 31, 20

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IHG Rewards Club brings back its 100% bonus on buying points and some great examples of how it can save you some money on your summer hotel stays

We see the return of IHG Rewards Club's buy points bonus offer only a little over two weeks after it last ended. The promotion is the same as last time - a 100% bonus when you purchase 2,000 or more points at a time and once again the annual purchase limit has been raised to 250,000 points before the bonus.

Buying 250,000 points (500,000 total with bonus) costs US$2,500 which means each point will only cost you 0.5 cents.  However you don't have to buy that many to get in on that lowest price, the 0.5 US cents per points kicks in when you buy at least 26,000 points. We don’t encourage buying points just because there is a bonus but if you can foresee a potential use for them in the next 4-6 months it can definitely be worthwhile to buy them.

Offer Details
100% Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points when you buy 3,000 or more points. Buy IHG Rewards Club Points here Until Jul 31, 20

Here are some example of how buying points can save you some money on stays with IHG:

First we look at the Holiday Inn Canmore for those looking for staycation in the Banff area. You can redeem 30,000 points per night at this hotel where rates are running $297.78 per night:

Here you can see that you can buy 30,000 points for that one night stay for $172.50 USD. Take into account the exchange rate and GST you have to pay on the points and you are looking at an outlay of about C$250. That means buying the points would save you $47 on that one night stay and that's not even taking into account the taxes and fees you have to pay on the cash rate. However as mentioned above the savings get bigger when you buy more points.

For example if you buy 30,000 points (60,000 with the bonus) it will cost you $300 USD or about C$435. Now that's enough points for a 2 night stay at the Holiday Inn Canmore where your cash outlay would be $594. Now you can see you are saving $159 in total or $79.50 per night.

Now let's move over to Quebec and the Holiday Inn Express Tremblant for those road trips out of Ottawa and Montreal. You can stay here for 17,500 points per night or C$202 if you pay cash (before taxes and fees)

Here you can see that you can buy 18,000 points for that one night stay for $121.50 USD. Take into account the exchange rate and HST you have to pay on the points and you are looking at an outlay of about C$188. That means buying the points would save you only about $14 on that one night stay. However if you want to stay three nights and want to buy points for all three nights you would buy at the lowest level price of 0.5 cents US per points. Three nights is 52,500 points, which means you would have to buy 54,000 points for US$270. The Canadian equivalent is about $421 all in for a $606 stay. A total savings of $185 or about $61 per night.

There are many more examples I could go into but I recommend checking IHG first for the going rates and then comparing those rates to what you would buy points at. For example I checked the InterContinental Toronto and they wanted 27,500 points for a stay that costs C$195 per night - so in that case it wouldn't be worth it to buy the points. In the end however, it will really depend on where you want to travel to and run the numbers to see if this deal will save you some money on your staycation, road trip or even if you are brave enough - a trip to the U.S. (you can travel there by air) or one of the countries that has opened up to Canadians like Greece.

Visit today to check hotel rates and take advantage of the buy points bonus here.

Find many more IHG Rewards Club bonus point offers here!

You can now earn and burn Aeroplan Miles on Azul Brazilian Airlines

A major decline in travel due to the current global pandemic has not stopped Air Canada's Aeroplan from growing the program for future travel. It was only a few short weeks ago the program announced their partnership with Etihad Airways and as of today they have added another airline, Brazil's Azul Brazilian Airlines. This partnership is perfect as it was not too long Aeroplan lost Avianca Brazil as a partner, well not just Aeroplan, any airline that was partnered with them as Avianca Brazil folded. FYI Aeroplan does still have Brazil's Gol as a partner.

If you are unfamiliar with Azul, they are a Brazilian carrier based in São Paulo and operate a fleet of 145 aircraft including two-class Airbus A330s. The partnership that is already live sees the ability for Aeroplan members to earn and redeem miles on Azul flights in all cabins. Azul serves over 100 destinations across South America as well as select routes to Europe and the United States.

Azul's Network

 Here is the mileage earning chart for flights on Azul:

 On the redemption side here is what Aeroplan tells us:
  • Azul flights will be subject to Aeroplan’s Fixed Mileage Flight Reward chart, available here.
  • Members will be able to book Azul flights online at, as well as via our Contact Centre.
  • Azul flights can be combined with flights operated by Air Canada and our other international partners.
  • Fuel surcharges will not apply on Azul operated flights.
Got to love that last line - no fuel surcharges is always nice! Also seeing that you can combine flights you can look using Air Canada to get to Brazil and connect to Azul's flights or choose to fly Air Canada to one of Azul's U.S. gateways (Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando) and then fly on their 2 class Airbus A330.  As the airline falls into Aeroplan's regular Fixed Mileage Flight Reward chart you would be looking at 60,000 miles round trip in Economy between Canada/U.S. and Brazil or 110,000 miles for Business Class. As always it is half that amount for one way flights.

Right now Brazil is being devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic which likely means there won't be many Aeroplan members rushing to redeem for flights on Azul but the announcement and launch of this partnership is great to have as knowledge in your back pocket for your future travel plans.

Title Image courtesy of Airbus

Top 5 Credit Card Sign Up offers for July - These cards provide some of the best value out of their welcome bonuses

Here are the Rewards Canada Top 5 Credit Card Sign Up offers for the month of July 2020! This is not a 'best' credit card list like our Top Travel Rewards Credit Card rankings but instead a look at cards that have very good acquisition (welcome/sign up) offers. As always when choosing a card you should always take other factors into account other than the just sign up bonus, but when some of these cards are first year free, they can and do pay off even when you grab them strictly for the sign up rewards. This month we see three first year free cards on the list!

For this month the list is the exact same as June's list as there haven't been any significant changes to the higher end welcome offers in our market. Do note the BMO World Elite Mastercard will see a change in a couple of days - for the better - so wait until Friday if you are considering it! The update to the card will keep it in fourth spot but it will be better.

Editor's Note:
As travel is curtailed right now these offers are more forward looking and can and should be used towards your long term travel plans - whether that's later this year, next year or even beyond. Getting the cards now allows you to achieve the sign up bonuses as you wish and then continue to spend to build up those points and miles balances to make those future vacations that much better. - Or in the case of all the cards except the Alaska Airlines Mastercard you can also look at cash back or cash back equivalents like gift cards from each program if you are looking at short term financial help. If you are going for the latter focus on the cards that have no fee in the first year so that you can maximize your value.

Remember as well that you will find this list smack dab in the middle of the Rewards Canada homepage for easy reference!

Here are our top 5 credit card sign up offers for July (in order of welcome bonus value, calculated as minimum mile/points value minus annual fee)

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card - 50,000 Points (Apply here)
Minimum value: $380
No changes to this card means it stays put on the list The 50,000 points, awarded after spending $1,500 on the card in three months are worth at least $500 in our minds which means after subtracting the annual fee you are coming out ahead by $380. In reality you can pull even more value out of the card (into four figures) as we outlined in our post A look at how The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card provides huge value!  Don't forget you get an annual free night with the card as well on the card anniversary date!
Minimum Income: N/A

Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard - 30,000 Miles (Apply here)
Minimum value: $330
This card offers a welcome bonus of 30,000 miles when you spend $1,000 on the card in the first three months of having it. This is one of the easiest bonuses to achieve and this card is one of the most churnable in Canada. There are really no problems in getting it 2-4 times in one year alone! Those 30,000 miles are worth no less than $330 when redeeming for economy class flights and just go up from there like the TD Aeroplan card.
Minimum Income: $80,000 Personal or $150,000 Household

HSBC World Elite Mastercard - 60,000 points (Apply here)
Minimum value: $300
This card offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 points, split between 20,000 on first purchase and 40,000 more when you spend $6,000 within 180 days of getting the card. The annual fee of $149 is waived in the first year as well meaning these points come to you at no cost other than card spend.The card has a lot of other good benefits like no foreign transaction fees to consider as well! Those 60,000 points are worth $300 in travel rewards but those points can also be converted to British Airways Executive Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles or Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. 
Minimum Income: $80,000 personal or $150,000 household or $400,000 in assets at any Canadian Financial Institution

BMO World Elite Mastercard - 35,000 points (Apply here)
Minimum value: $250
This card offers a welcome bonus of 35,000 points which is awarded when you spend $3,000 in your first 3 months. The annual fee of $150 is waived in the first year as well meaning these points come to you at no cost other than card spend. The card also has one of if not the best travel insurance coverage of all cards in Canada.! Those 35,000 points are worth $250 when they are redeemed for travel via BMO Rewards.
Minimum Income: $80,000 personal or $150,000 household

CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Card - 20,000 Miles (Apply here)
Minimum value: $240
 The bonus is awarded as follows: 15,000 Aeroplan Miles when you make your first Purchase with your Card + 5,000 Aeroplan Miles when you spend $3,000 or more in the first four billing periods. Plus your first year annual fee is waived! Depending on how you redeem those Aeroplan miles should be worth no less than $240 but more likely closer to $500 or more! In fact if you take the per mile value from our post from late July 2019 this welcome bonus would be worth $1,500 or more.
Minimum Income: $60,000 Personal or $100,000

If you went for all these cards you ultimately could end up with anywhere from $1,500 to over $2,500 in travel value. However even if you only take on one or two you are helping your travel budget significantly at no cost other than regular credit card spend. We don't really recommend getting all five in one month unless you know you can meet the minimum spend for them all at once, rather you'd want to pick one or two right now, perhaps another next month and so on.

American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link.

Sponsored advertising. The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete and current information on any TD product, please visit the TD site

World of Hyatt offering 15% back in points for award stays + free parking + bonus points on dining

Hyatt Hotels launched another initiative today in efforts to encourage more people to travel and whether it is a road trip, staycation or any other travel this promotion is one to check out

The major part of this new promotion is for World of Hyatt members looking to redeem points for stays. Members have the opportunity to receive 15% of the points back that  they redeem for award nights or points+cash stays and even when using points for hotels incidentals like room upgrades or spa services. The rebate is awarded as bonus points 6-8 weeks after they are used – this means you do have to have the full amount of points in your account for the redemption you plan on completing. Now if you happen to have a U.S. based Hyatt credit card and I know some our Canadian readers do, you’ll get an additional 10% bonus meaning you’ll receive a 25% bonus on the total amount of points redeemed during the promotion period. That promotion period is from July 8 to October 8 and you need to register for it by September 1.

To be able to earn the 15% bonus points as a non-credit card holding World of Hyatt member you need to register for the offer here while Hyatt credit card holders need to register for the offer here.

When you redeem for free nights during this promotion they will  include free parking while Globalists will also receive free parking on eligible paid stays during the promotion period. Remember as well Hyatt is offering their Bonus Journeys promotion right now that offer triple points starting with your second stay (2,500 on first stay if you are an elite member) and free nights or points+cash awards count for those bonus points. So you can earn even more points on those stays!

Finally if you are not planning a stay but enjoy dining at a restaurant at your local Hyatt Hotel you can earn triple points on eligible spend when not staying the night, for dine-in, takeout or delivery at participating outlets at Hyatt hotels and resorts, from July 8 to October 8, 2020.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Big savings at the Fox Hotel & Suites in Banff with this Travelzoo offer

Another great Travelzoo offer to let you know about! (Travelzoo is an affiliate partner of Rewards Canada, we thank you in advance if you choose to purchase via our links) This time it is for the Fox Hotel & Suites in Banff.

The deal has you book the stay via Travelzoo with the ability to cancel without any fees up to 72 hours before check in.

Here's what's included:
  • Check in through Oct. 8:
    • $199 per night ... Hotel Queen Bed Room
    • $249 per night ... Superior 1-Bedroom Suite
    • $309 per night ... Premium Loft Suite
    • $499 per night ... Superior 2-Bedroom Suite
  • Chips and salsa, with two classic margaritas served at Chili’s Restaurant, once per stay ($31 value)
  • Note: The following facilities are temporarily closed as a precautionary measure amid the COVID-19 pandemic: whirlpools, hot tubs, dry saunas and steam saunas
For comparison here are some screenshots of what the hotel is charging when you book direct with them (before taxes and fees):

This is for a 2 night stay (the minimum requirement) from July 21 to 23:

As you can see the Travelzoo offer saves you $50 per night and that doesn't even take into account the drinks and chips/salsa at Chili's.

Learn more about and book this offer here.

Earn 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you join the program & complete your first mileage earning transaction by July 31

Aeroplan has brought back their new member bonus for the month of July. If you are one of the small majority of Canadians who haven't joined yet or if you have but your partner, kids or other family members and friends haven't it is time to let them know about this offer. Right now when you join Aeroplan and complete your first mileage earning transaction by July 31 you'll earn 1,000 bonus miles. The easiest mileage earning opportunities right now are to make a purchase via the Aeroplan eStore or to buy some Aeroplan miles.

Offer details:
1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you join the program and complete your first mileage earning transaction by July 31. Join here!Advertisement Until Jul 31, 20

Image via Aeroplan