Friday, May 22, 2015

Advance Notice: Kaligo Flash Sale May 25-29 - Thousands of bonus miles for AAdvantage and MileagePlus members

Kaligo.com, the third party hotel booking site out of Singapore is getting really aggressive in the miles/points for third party bookings market as they look to steal market share from their competitors.

This latest promotion will run May 25 to May 29 and offers 2,000 bonus miles on every booking (regardless of amount), and 5,000 miles on every booking of US$500 or more for AAdvantage and MileagePlus members.

To access the offer for AAdvantage members click here



To access the offer for MileagePlus members click here


The above links are our referral links where if you complete your very first booking we'll get 1,000 miles but the great news is that you will also get 1,000 miles over and above the base miles and the flash sale bonus! So if this is your first time booking you'll earn at least 3,000 miles on that booking or 6,000 if it is over US$500!! We thank you for using the links and hope you enjoy the extra 1,000 miles as well!!

May 22 Update: New Free Miles page on Rewards Canada, Win 10,000 Hyatt Gold Passport Points, newest IHG PointBreaks

Final update of this shorter week is coming to you from the beautiful city of Montreal!

News, Tips & Tricks
We've added a new page to main Rewards Canada site, this page is dedicated to Free Miles and Points offers! If you visit our global site FrequentFlyerBonuses.com you should be aware of this page but since many of you only visit RC, we thought it best to add it to RC as well! You can find the new page here. Simply Awesome.


The second contest for the 10th Anniversary of our global site FrequentFlyerBonuses.com is now on! You could win 10,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points. Find out more here.


Posts since our last update:



Bonus Offers

Air Canada / Aeroplan
- Receive a minimum of 5,000 Bonus Miles on your first Rocketmiles booking when you pay for the stay with an Aeroplan affiliated American Express Card. More... Book by Jul 31, 15

airBaltic PINS (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Earn up to 10,000 Bonus PINS when you subscribe to The Economist. More... Until Jun 30, 15

IHG Rewards Club
- Earn up to 20,000 Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points for IHG Business Rewards members who book accomodations and/or meetings. More... Book by Jun 30 for stays until Jul 31, 15

Oman Air Sindbad (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Triple Sindbad Miles for stays at the Amwaj Rotana. More... Until Sep 30, 15
- Earn up to Quadruple Sindbad Miles for stays of two or more nights at any Shangri-La hotel, Traders hotel, Kerry hotel or Hotel Jens Worldwide. More... Jun 1 - Aug 31, 15 
- Triple Sindbad Miles when you rent any SUV, Station Wagon or Van with Sixt. More... Until Jul 31, 15

Qatar Airways Privilege Club

- Double QMiles for stays in a Club room or Suite at The Langham, London. More... Until Sep 30, 15
- 1,500 Bonus QMiles for stays at participating Courtyard by Marriott® hotels in the Middle East & Africa region. More... Until Sep 30, 15
- Double QMiles for stays at selected Radisson Blu hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa. More... Jun 1 - Aug 31, 15

Southwest Rapid Rewards (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Triple Rapid Rewards Points per stay at Choice Hotels locations Worldwide. More... Until Jun 30, 15
- Double Rapid Rewards Points per stay at La Quinta properties in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. More... Until Jul 31, 15



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Today's update is brought to you by:

IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks - Complete list of hotels that will be available as of May 26 (5 in Canada this time)

If you follow our global site, FrequentFlyerBonuses.com on Twitter you would have seen late last night that we retweeted the new IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks list directly from IHG and now that we are back on the ground we can post it here.  The participating hotels in this set of offers will be bookable as of May 26 for stays May 26 - Jul 31, 15 (subject to availability). For those of you stuck traveling within the confines of our beautiful country you'll find five Canadian locations participating. This is up from 2 in each of the past 2 PointBreaks offerings.

Each Reward Night at these participating hotels will be only 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points during the above mentioned dates. Remember the new PointBreaks rules that a member can only book up to 2 reward reservations per hotel participating in the individual offer (ie 2 at Pointbreaks hotels and 2 at Last Minute Reward Night hotels).  My tip to get around this would be to book 2 reservations with one IHG Rewards Club account and then have your spouse book 2 more etc. Of course this is dependent on both accounts having enough points to redeem for these awards. Also be sure to book these ASAP as once the allotted nights are booked at certain locations those hotels will fall off the list.

Why are IHG Rewards Club Point Breaks such a great deal? Because they offer reward nights at participating IHG hotels Worldwide for only 5,000 Rewards Club points. For those of you not to familiar with IHG Rewards Club , normal redemption rates for Rewards Club reward nights run from as low as 10,000 points for some Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express locations to 50,000 points for ultra-luxurious InterContinental locations and even these locations can participate in PointBreaks. So as you can see you can receive a discount of 50 to 88% off the regular redemption rates. You may be thinking that the high end hotels won't participate but they do depending on the time of year! Please note that like most loyalty promotions these offers are capacity controlled so I advise to book sooner than later to ensure you get the PointBreaks rate. These offers will be bookable via the primary PointsBreaks page as of May 26 (list pulled from the IHG blog)

Canada:


PointBreak hotels in Asia, Middle East, and Africa:

Incheon Hotel Holiday Inn The Holiday Inn Incheon Songdo in Incheon Korea

China:

India:

Indonesia:

Korea:

Vietnam:

Point Break Hotels in the Americas:

Argentina:

Brazil:

Panama:

Mexico:

United States:
Carlsbad CA Hotel Enjory your trip to Carlsbad, CA at the Holiday Inn Carlsbad, featuring a putting green and sports court.

PointBreak hotels in Europe:
Andorra:

Germany:

Italy:

Poland:

Russia:

Serbia:

Slovakia:

Spain:

United Kingdom:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Earn at least 5,000 Aeroplan Miles on your first Rocketmiles booking made with an Aeroplan affiliated Amex Card

 
Here is a new Rocketmiles offer for Aeroplan members who also hold an Aeroplan affiliated American Express Card and have never booked via Rocketmiles. You'll earn a minimum of 5,000 miles on your first booking made by July 31st. This is especially beneficial if you have a one night hotel stay at some location that may only award 500 or 1,000 miles for that stay (ie Delta, Fairmont etc.)

Offer Details
Receive a minimum of 5,000 Bonus Miles on your first Rocketmiles booking booked via the special promotion page at www.rocketmiles.com/aeroplan-amex when you pay for the stay with an Aeroplan affiliated American Express Card. The bonus can only be earned once per member. Book by Jul 31, 15

Aeroplan Affiliated cards from Amex:
American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card
American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum
American Express AeroplanPlus Gold
American Express AeroplanPlus Card

If you don't have an American Express Aeroplan card you can always take advantage of this offer:
Offer Details:
3,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles on your first Rocketmiles booking booked via the special promotion page at www.rocketmiles.com/aeroplan-3k-bonus. The bonus can only be earned once per member.  Book by Jun 30, 15

As we've mentioned many times before, Rocketmiles stays do count towards Distinction status!

May 21 Update: Air Canada to start tagging carry on baggage as approved, Amex Platinum AIR MILES Review, New Canalta Hotels bonuses

Interesting news from Air Canada today:

News, Tips & Tricks
Air Canada has announced they are going to start tagging carry on baggage as of May 25:
Starting on May 25, 2015 at Toronto-Pearson (YYZ) and expanding progressively to other airports throughout the month of June, we’ll have staff at both check-in and security checkpoints to quickly confirm and tag your carry-on bags that meet Air Canada’s existing carry-on dimensions as “approved”. This will make it easier and safer to stow your personal items on board, may help reduce wait times at security, and will help avoid flight delays caused by larger bags being checked at the gate.
Here’s what the tag will look like:
Approved bag tag
If a piece of your carry-on baggage needs to be checked we will be happy to help with that at check in.  If you get to security and need to check a bag that exceeds allowable size limits, not to worry. We’ll give you a special card that will get you quickly back to a check-in agent, and then on to your departure gate.
I'm flying through Toronto tomorrow so won't be able to see this just yet. Love to hear from our readers what they think of this new process and when it does kick please also let us know if it seems to complicate matters, delay your movements and ultimately lead to more space in the overhead bins?


Posts since our last update:


Travel Deals
American Express Travel
has launched a new hotel sale offering up to 50% off select hotels Worldwide. Simply book by June 30. Find out more and book this deal here.




Bonus Offers

airberlin topbonus
- Double topbonus Miles on Hertz car rentals of 3 or more days Worldwide. More... Book by May 31 for rentals until Jun 30, 15

Alitalia MilleMiglia
- 35% Bonus MilleMiglia Miles when you purchase MilleMiglia miles. More... Until May 31, 15

Bangkok Airways FlyerBonus (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 5 Bonus FlyerBonus Points for stays at the Sedona Hotel Mandalay. More... Until Sep 30, 15

Canalta Hotels Canalta Rewards
- Double Canalta Rewards Points on your first stay after joining the Canalta Rewards program. More... Ongoing
- Earn up to 500 Canalta Rewards Points when you complete your online profile for Canalta Rewards. More... Ongoing

Le Club accorhotels
- 300 Bonus Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays participating Accor Hotels in France. More... Until Jun 21, 15
- 600 Bonus Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays participating Accor Hotels in London. More... Until Sep 30, 15

Orbitz Rewards
(on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Quadruple Orbucks when you book an Austrian Airlines flight from select Midwest and East Coast cities to Prague, Budapest, Bucharest or Sofia. More... Book by Jun 15, 15

United MileagePlus
- 20% Bonus MileagePlus miles when you transfer miles to another MileagePlus member. More... Until Jun 1, 15
- Earn up to 2,500 Bonus MileagePlus miles when you shop online via the MileagePlus Shopping portal. More... Until Jun 15, 15


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Today's Bonus Offer Highlight is brought to you by:

American Express Platinum AIR MILES Credit Card Review


(This post is a duplicate of the one found on our main Rewards Canada site)
 
One of the strongest AIR MILES credit cards, the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card has been Amex's mainstay for this co-brand relationship since it underwent great enhancements in 2011! The card always ranks high in our yearly popularity contest where we ask Canadians to vote for their favorite cards. In the latest vote done in fall of 2014 saw the card come first in the Top Travel Points Credit Card (with annual fee) category. See those rankings here.

Overview

The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card is one of three credit cards for the AIR MILES program that American Express offers. The Platinum falls in between the American Express AIR MILES Credit Card and the AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card. It provides a healthy balance of earning and benefits for those looking for an AIR MILES credit card and willing to pay an annual fee for it.

Sign up Features
The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card currently offers a 2,000 AIR MILES Reward Miles bonus after you spend $500 on the card within three months of being approved. We value a AIR MILES Reward Mile in the $0.11 to $0.15 range when redeeming for travel which means the sign up bonus translates to roughly a $220 to $300 value.


Costs
The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card has no annual fee in the first year and then costs $65 per year thereafter for the primary card. Secondary cards come with no annual fee. The interest rate on the card is 19.99% which is slightly higher range of most of the cards at this level which run between 18.99 and 19.75% although several competitors also have 19.9% or 19.99%

Earning
The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card earns 1 AIR MILES reward mile for every $10 in Card purchases at AIR MILES Sponsors and as well as 1 reward mile for every $10 in Card purchases at other eligible grocery stores, gas stations, and drugstores in Canada. All other spending has the card earning 1 reward mile for every $15 in Card purchases.


Redeeming
Being a co-brand card, redemption is actually done via AIR MILES not via American Express. This is where the relative strength of the AIR MILES program comes through to make The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card worthwhile for some people as they can earn even more AIR MILES on top of credit card spend via the vast amount of shopping partners that the program has. AIR MILES offers numerous redemption options but of course based on the name, the primary redemption option which most people dream about are flights. Reality is however that roughly only 10% of redemptions in the program are for actual flights. The remainder are for other travel related redemptions (hotels, car rentals, attraction tickets), merchandise or AIR MILES Cash. The majority of AIR MILES Flight redemptions are on Air Canada or WestJet however they also offer flights on American Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Lufthansa, Alitalia, Calm Air, Canada North and Central Mountain Air at their lowest redemption levels. Other airlines are available but cost more AIR MILES than what is published on the AIR MILES website. Redeeming AIR MILES Reward Miles for flights nets an average return of 11 to 15 cents per AIR MILE Reward Mile. If you look at what this card's base earn rate of 1 Reward Mile for every $10 to $15 means you'll achieve a rate of return of 0.69% to 1.5%.


AIR MILES also lets you redeem for lots of other travel options like hotels, car rentals, cruises and more where you pay with miles and then cash for taxes/fees. Hotels seem like a so-so deal but we have found some really good deals for car rentals. You can also redeem for gift certificates for travel providers like Greyhound, Marlin Travel and several others. Then you have non-travel redemptions and this is what AIR MILES seems to have become more famous for as of late. From merchandise to tickets for attractions there isn't much that you can't redeem for!


Finally you have the AIR MILES Cash option. This is different from the redemptions above which are called AIR MILES Dream Rewards. When you log into your AIR MILES account you can set a percentage of all the reward miles you earn to go into your Dream Balance and your Cash balance. AIR MILES Cash works just like cash at participating AIR MILES sponsors like Sobeys, Rexall, Safeway, Rona, Shell and more. The Cash option has a set redemption value of $10 for 95 AIR MILES Reward Miles. As you can see the Cash Option has a lower rate of return based on our numbers as those same 95 miles would get you on average $12.35 towards a flight.


Features and Benefits

The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card offers four insurance benefits. It comes with a $100,000 Travel Accident benefit, Auto Rental CDW coverage, extended warranty protection and purchase protection. These two benefits are standard on most cards whether or not they have an annual fee. Extended warranty extends the manufacturers warranty for items bought with the card while purchase protection reimburses you for items you purchase on the card that may become damaged, lost or stolen within 90 days of purchase.


What is good about this card
The current sign up bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES Reward Miles and the first year free essentially means you are getting those miles for free. The earn rate of 1 miles for $10 at sponsors and gas, grocery and drug stores along with 1 for $15 everywhere else means this card is one of the strongest for an AIR MILES co-branded credit card and this is a good thing for AIR MILES earners.

Having some insurance benefits is always a plus although although some other cards tend to have more benefits.


What is not so good about this card
Their only a few things not so good about this card if AIR MILES is your primary loyalty program. The first is a problem that not only affects this card but all American Express cards and that is the acceptance rate of the American Express. As many of you know Amex is less accepted than Visa or MasterCard so there will be occasions where you cannot use this card to pay for items. Depending on where you live or travel, American Express does state that they are accepted at roughly between 80 and 90% of locations that take the other two brands of cards.

For some the AIR MILES program itself is an issue as it suffers from the same problem as many frequent flyer programs and that problem is seat availability issues, routing issues etc. when trying to redeem for flights. Usually you have to be flexible in your dates and perhaps be willing to accept a non-direct flight to your destination.

The features and benefits of this card are somewhat weak compared to other cards that carry annual fees but it since to have CDW Car Rental Insurance, and Travel Accident Insurance.


Who should get this card
  • Consumers who have AIR MILES as their primary loyalty program
  • Consumers who have AIR MILES as their secondary programs and already have a Visa or MasterCard accruing points in their primary program(s)
  • Consumers looking to get some free flights by grabbing the card, getting the sign up bonus and divesting the card before the first year free is up.
Conclusion
For points collectors who are fully engaged in the AIR MILES program and have it as their primary loyalty rewards source they should have the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card. Only one other AIR MILES co-branded credit card earns Reward Miles faster and that is the newly released BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard which also has a much higher annual fee. If you are really serious about the AIR MILES program your best is bet is to have this Amex card and the BMO one since the BMO offers you 25% off AIR MILES flights in North America. The combination of the two cards make the earn and burn potential of AIR MILES ideal. If AIR MILES is a secondary program or not on your radar this card shouldn't be your first choice but with a large sign up bonus like this with no annual fee in the first year you could hack it and get the card just to get those miles and divest of it before the year is up. Otherwise there are other options that could be better for you. If you travel at least once a year, or are looking to rake in rewards as fast as you can and want the flexibility of being able to choose your travel dates, airlines and if and when you have stopovers a proprietary credit card program like TD Rewards, BMO Rewards or Amex's Membership Rewards would make more sense.

Care to comment? Do you agree or disagree with us? Tell us what think about the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card below!


Related Links:
American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card on americanexpress.com
Rewards Canada's All Travel Rewards Credit Card Comparison including the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
Rewards Canada's Travel Points Only Credit Card Comparison including the American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card

Other cards to consider if you are looking at this card:
American Express Gold Rewards Card
American Express AIR MILES Credit Card
American Express Blue Sky Credit Card
BMO Air Miles World MasterCard
BMO Air Miles World Elite MasterCard
BMO SPC AIR MILES MasterCard
BMO World Elite MasterCard
Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite MasterCard®
RBC Avion Visa Infinite
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20 Update: BMO Sobeys AIR MILES MasterCard added to comparison charts, American & Finnair buy miles/points bonuses

A relativey quiet day in the Canadian world of travel rewards!
 
News, Tips & Tricks
More Rewards Canada's credit card comparison chart updates today. Today we added the BMO Sobeys AIR MILES MasterCard to the mix. You'll find the card on the following two charts:
Canadian Travel Credit Card Comparison: All Credit Cards
Canadian Travel Credit Card Comparison: Travel Poins Credit Cards 

COPA Airlines sent out another email about their new ConnectMiles program with details on when enrollment will begin. Everything seems to be lining up properly for their July 1st launch.


Posts since our last update:


Bonus Offers

American AAdvantage
- Earn up to 50,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles when you buy or gift AAdvantage Miles online. More... Until Jun 12, 15

Emirates Skywards
- 1,000 Bonus Skywards Miles for stays at all Marriott Hotels in India. More...  Until Jul 31, 15

Finnair Plus
- Triple Plus Points for stays at over 2,800 Accor Hotels Worldwide. More... Jun 1 - Aug 31, 15
- Earn up to 40% Bonus Plus Points when you buy Finnair Plus points. More... Until Jun 30, 15

Hyatt Gold Passport
- 2,000 Bonus Gold Passport Points for stays at the Hyatt Place Taghazout Agadir.  More... Until Jul 15, 15

Philippine Airlines Mabuhay
- Double Mabuhay Miles when you fly in Business Class between Manila and Cebu or Davao. More... Until Jun 29, 15

Starwood Preferred Guest
- 3,000 Bonus Starpoints for stays in suite at the Sheraton IguazĂș Hotel More... Until Dec 31, 15



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Destinations you can fly to with WestJet dollars

We've been asked when we release various rankings on the site, how come WestJet dollars didn’t make it into our Top 5 Travel Rewards Currencies or why is it only second in the airline category in our Top 5 Travel Rewards Credit Cards. While there are many factors involved, one of the major factors is the inability to get to various locations around the World with WestJet dollars. Sure WestJet flies to Glasgow and Dublin and numerous points in Mexico and the Caribbean which are great to use your WestJet dollars on, but you can’t get to Paris, Cape Town or Melbourne with them, yet.

WestJet however has been expanding their codeshare services with American Airlines and Delta Airlines whereby flights actually flown by those two airlines carry WestJet's code. That means you can buy a ticket with a WestJet flight number and ticket for flights that are actually on American or Delta metal. Since it is a WestJet flight number that means you can actually redeem WestJet dollars against those flights although for those codeshares originating in a U.S. city you must fly on an actual WestJet flight to that connecting city first. For example WestJet codeshares on Delta between Seattle and Anchorage. You can't book that flight alone but you can book Calgary-Seattle-Anchorage all on Delta with WestJet's codes.

Other than the announcement two weeks ago of further codes on Delta out of Seattle the current list of cities that are served by WestJet partners which you can redeem WestJet dollars on are as follows:

As you can see, between AA and DL you have access to a wide variety of cities across the U.S. to which many WestJet Rewards members and WestJet RBC MasterCard cardholders may have been unaware of that they could use their WestJet dollars for.

Have you redeemed WestJet dollars yet for any of these routes? What was your experience? Let us know by commenting below!