Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Earn 7,500 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you complete two Radisson stays


Here is a really great new bonus mile offer from Carlson Rezidor Hotels Club Carlson and Aeroplan. It appears to take on similarity to the Starwood Aeroplan offer we have seen the past two years in Fall. The offer simply requires registration with your Club Carlson and Aeroplan numbers and then you just complete 2 separate Radisson Hotel stays Worldwide (we assume as their is no country requirement listed). How is it similar to the Starwood offer? It appears that you don't have to be auto-coverting points to Aeroplan so our assumption is that you can earn Club Carlson points (and possibly any bonus point offers) on those stays and when both are complete, not only will you have earned Club Carlson points but you'll also get the bonus 7,500 Aeroplan miles!

Offer details
Earn 7,500 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you complete two separate stays at participating Radisson Hotels Worldwide. Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required) Register and stay by Dec 15, 14

Sep 17 Update: Asia Miles 2014 Mega Miles promotion, Fuel Surcharge Avoidance reminder, 4x Dividend Miles on Hertz rentals

A nice mix of items for you today!

News, Tips & Tricks

Yesterday Cathay Pacific released their 2014 Mega Miles promotion. This is a promotion for using Asia Miles non-airline partners and awards bonuses for earning miles via their large portfolio of partners. Here in Canada one of the easiest ways is for those who have the RBC Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Visa Platinum card or those who have one of the following credit cards that can convert points to Asia Miles (Amex Membership Rewards and RBC Avion are excluded)
CIBC Petro Points MasterCard (C$1 = 1 - 1.5 Asia Miles)
Marriott Rewards Premier Visa (C$1 = 0.15 - 0.25 Asia Miles)
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express (C$1 = 1 Asia Mile)
Sears Voyage MasterCard (C$1 = 1.2 - 3.6 Asia Miles*)

The Asia Miles offer has almost all their other  non-airline partners involved in these categories:


When you collect miles from these partners Asia Miles will total all of the eligible miles earned and you'll receive a bonus based on those number of miles you earned as follows:

As you can see to achieve the biggest worthwhile bonuses you have to earn quite a few miles (bonus miles from hotels, car rentals etc. do not count, only base miles do) but a lot of that can be achieved with spend made on an eligible credit card or from converting from a Hotel/Shopping program! Sign up/welcome bonuses from these cards do not count as eligible miles. You have until October 31st to earn miles and I hope that some of you can reach the 25,000 bonus mile level! If you do please let us know how you did it (ie what combination of mileage earning did you complete!). You can register for the offer here.

In other news we completed another interview yesterday about fuel surcharges on frequent flyer and Air Miles award tickets we just reminded us to remind you of our indepth post on how to avoid or mitigate fuel surcharges.

Also a reminder for those tracking 787 flights, British Airways finally brought their 787 into YYC yesterday and that will be the regular aircraft on this route now.


Travel Deals
Hotels.com Canada: Thanksgiving Sale - Save up to 30%! Book by 10/13/14, Travel between 10/9/14 - 10/20/14

Bonus Offers

AeroMexico Club Premier
- 1,000 Club Premier Kilometers per night for stays on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at participating Hilton hotels and resorts in Mexico. More... Until Dec 14, 14

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- Double Elite Qualifying Mileage Plan Miles when you fly between Seattle and Detroit. More... Until Oct 31, 14

Best Western Rewards
- 500 Bonus Rewards points when booking the Amsterdam Bicycle rate, or Amsterdam City Break rate at BEST WESTERN PLUS Hotel Blue Square. More... booking. Until ?

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Earn up to 25,000 Bonus Asia Miles when you complete eligible mileage earning transactions with Asia Miles non-airline partners. More... Until Oct 31, 14

Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Receive a GarudaMiles Discount when you redeem GarudaMiles for award travel between Jakarta and Jambi. More... Until Oct 31, 14

Iberia Plus
- Triple Avios and up to 33% offe when you rent from Hertz Worldwide during the Hertz Global sale. More... Book by Sep 30 for rentals until Dec 31, 14

La Quinta Returns
- Earn up to Triple Returns Points for stays at participating La Quinta locations in the U.S. More... Until Oct 9, 14

MEA Middle East Airlines Cedar Miles
- Double Cedar Miles for stays at the Salalah Rotana Resorta. More... Until Dec 31, 14

Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle
- Double GC Award Points when staying in a Valley Wing Premier Room at Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing. More... Oct 1 - Dec 31, 14
- Double GC Award Points when staying in a One Bedroom Suite at the Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai. More... Sep 22 - Dec 20, 14

US Airways Dividend Miles
- Quadruple Dividend Miles & Save Up to 35% on all vehicles and any length rental at participating airport and off airport locations in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. More... Until Dec 31, 14


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sep 16 Update: Air Canada & United team up for London bonuses, Qantas returns to Vancouver, British Airways Fall Seat Sale

Another day with lots to bring you!

News, Tips & Tricks
In what maybe a test of the market, Qantas will be returning to Vancouver albeit for only a short stint in January. Qantas last served Vancouver nearly 6 years ago and this service will only run twice a week from January 3rd to 23rd. (Source Airlineroute.net)

Priority Pass has added the multi-airline SkyTeam lounge in London Heathrow's Terminal 4 to their ever growing roster of lounges. This lounge is a great addition to the program and should no doubt appease anyone traveling through T4. If you don't have Priority Pass via one of the credit cards that offer it you can always take advantage of our partnership with Priority Pass for exclusive discounts on annual memberships. You can find our more about our discounts here.



Air Canada Rouge will make their first foray into the Asian market when the seasonal Vancouver to Osaka route returns in May of 2015. This route has also a 6 year absence of service. (Source Airlineroute.net)

We have completed our first ever Cash Back Credit Card Review! The new SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express gets the Rewards Canada review treatment. See how it fairs here.

Travel Deals
British Airways has launched a new flights and vacation sale!  There are some great offers to be had for flights to Europe and Flights+Hotel packages as well. Simply book by Sep 23! Full details and online booking


Bonus Offers

Air Canada / Aeroplan
- Earn up to 35,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles on non stop round-trip flights (or 2 one-way segments) with Air Canada between Canada and London or with United between the U.S. and London. More... Register and book between Sep 15 and Dec 12 for travel between Sep 23 and Dec 12, 14
- Quadruple Aeroplan Miles for each qualified stay at any Best Western® branded hotel in Canada, the United States, or the Caribbean Islands. More... Until Nov 30, 14

airberlin topbonus
- 2,000 Bonus topbonus Miles per eligible stay at over 2,700 Accor hotels worldwide. More... Until Dec 31, 14

Bangkok Airways FlyerBonus (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Triple FlyerBonus Points when you fly with Bangkok Airways between Chiang Mai and Phuket, Udon Thani, Mandalay, or Yangon. More... Oct 26, 14 - Jan 31, 15
- Triple FlyerBonus Points for stays of 3 nights or more at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort. More... Book by Oct 31 for stays until Nov 30, 14
- Earn up to 8x Bonus FlyerBonus Points for stays at the Tara Angkor Hotel, Siem Reap, Cambodia. More... Until Oct 31, 14

British Airways Executive Club
- 3,000 Bonus Avios on your first Rocketmiles booking. The bonus can only be earned once per member. More... Book by Dec 31 for stays until Apr 30, 15

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Double Asia Miles when you fly round-trip in Business Class on Cathay Pacific between Canada and Hong Kong. More... Register by Nov 15 for travel until Nov 30, 14 Valid for residents of Canada only
- Double Asia Miles when you stay at any participating Ascott, Citadines or Somerset serviced residence for two consecutive nights or more at Best Flexible Rate Worldwide. More... Oct 1 - Nov 30, 14

IHG Rewards Club
- Earn up to a 100% when buying IHG Rewards Club points online. More... Until Sep 22, 14

Jet Airways JetPrivilege
- Triple JetPrivilege Miles when you stay at properties within the Hilton HHonors™ portfolio Worldwide. More... Until Nov 30, 14

Le Club accorhotels
- Earn up to 8,000 Bonus Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at participating Accor Hotels Worldwide. More... Book by Oct 5 for stays until Dec 31, 14
- 1,000 Bonus Le Club Accorhotels Points and up 30% off .for stays at participating Mercure Hotels in the U.K.. More... Book by Dec 31 for stays between Oct 10 and Feb 1, 15
- Triple Le Club Accorhotels Points and up 30% off .for stays at participating Novotel Hotels in the U.K.. More... Book by Dec 31 for stays between Sep 28 and Feb 1, 15

United MileagePlus
- Earn up to 35,000 Bonus MileagePlus Miles on paid qualifying travel between the U.S. or Canada and London on flights operated by United or Air Canada. More... Register and book between Sep 15 and Dec 12 for travel between Sep 23 and Dec 12, 14


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Cathay Pacific: Double Asia Miles when you fly in Business Class between Canada and Hong Kong


It hasn't been too long since the last Cathay Pacific Asia Miles bonus offer for their flights out of Canada and they are back at it! This time it is only for flights flown in Business Class (in the past we've seen First & Business or Premium Economy or all classes) so this will only be good for a smaller lot of our readers. As always it is great to take advantage of these types of bonuses even if at this time you don't think or know if you'll fly CX in Business Class. No matter what, register for it and do it right now because I can guarantee you won't remember in a month and then when your employer plops you on one of these routes in Business Class you'll miss out on those miles.

Offer Details:
Double Asia Miles when you fly round-trip in Business Class on Cathay Pacific between Canada and Hong Kong Register Online (Registration is required) Register by Nov 15 for travel until Nov 30, 14

Can't make use of this offer? Be sure to visit our Asia Miles Bonus Miles page for many other options!

Earn Quadruple Aeroplan Miles for Best Western stays in Canada, the U.S. and Caribbean


Last week we brought you the fall Air Miles offer for Best Western stays and now it is time for the offer from their counterpart! Not as lucrative as the 8x the miles offering we saw in summer but still better than nothing is the fall Aeroplan offer of 4x Miles for Best Western stays. Offers like these are always useful if Best Western is not you main choice for hotels and hence don't have a use in collecting Best Western Rewards points!

Offer Details:
Quadruple Aeroplan Miles for each qualified stay at any Best Western® branded hotel in Canada, the United States, or the Caribbean Islands. Full details, Online Registration and Booking (Registration is required) Until Nov 30, 14

Can't make use of this offer? Be sure to visit our Aeroplan Bonus Miles page for many more offers!

SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express® Review


This is a full copy of the review that was posted this morning on the main Rewards Canada website

Rewards Canada is known for their reviews of Travel Rewards Credit Cards but now we take the foray into reviewing a non-Travel Rewards card with our first ever review of Cash Back Credit Card. Cash Back has been making big inroads in the reward credit card scene and taking a bite out of the strangle hold that Travel Rewards has had in the market. While Travel Rewards are still the most common type of credit card and most held by Canadians, Cash Back is growing by leaps and bounds.

Overview

The SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express® hit the market on September 2nd, 2014 and marks American Express' first foray in the Cash Back market with a credit card product rather than a charge card product. Prior to the launch of the SimplyCash and SimplyCash Preferred cards, American Express briefly brought back their Gold Cash Rewards card but it didn't fair too well so it was once again pulled from accepting new applications but those who have that card get to keep it. American Express wanted to make sure that their new Cash Back cards were not only strong in their rewards and benefits offering but easier to use than many of the other cash back cards out there. They did this by offering a higher across the board cash back rate than many competing cards and doing away with the confusing tier bonuses and category bonuses seen on other cards.

Sign up Features
Unlike Travel Rewards Cards, most Cash Back cards do not have a a sign up or welco bonus but some do have incentives for using the card right when you get. The SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express® comes with this type of incentive program which awards 5% cash back on all purchases in the first 6 months up to a maximum of $400 cash back. Its no-free brethren, the SimplyCash Card from American Express offers 5% cash back on all Gas, Grocery and Restaurant purchases in the first 6 months up to a maximum of $250 cash back.

Costs
The SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express® comes with a $79 Annual fee which matches some other cards with similar rewards and benefits. At the $79 level, this card is about the middle of the pack for all the Cash Back cards that do have an annual fee. The interest rate on the card is 19.75% which is slightly lower than the 19.99% see on the majority of Cash Back cards.

Earning
After you exhaust the first 6 month incentive bonus, The SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express® has nice simple earning structure:
1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases up to $100,000 in spend per year. After $100,000 that drops down to 1.25%. The No-Fee version earns a straight 1.25% on all purchases after the first 6 month incentive bonus.

Related: Cash Back Credit Card Comparison Chart


Redeeming
The beauty of Cash Back credit cards is the simplicity in redemption. There are only two ways to redeem your cash back and both tend to be automatic. Either a cheque is issued to on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis or it is issued as a statement credit on a similar time basis. For the SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express® it is the latter as the cash back reward is issued as a annual statement credit. This is where Cash Back tends to be a little less rewarding than Travel Rewards as most Travel Rewards cards, especially those that don't have set redemption charts, give you access to your rewards that you have earned on a monthly basis rather than a yearly basis. But then again you are limited to travel whereas with this cash back you can use it on anything you want as long as that place accepts American Express!

Features and Benefits
The SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express® comes with a very strong suite of insurance and benefits that are normally seen on Travel Rewards cards. These include Flight Delay, Baggage Stolen/Lost, and Car Rental insurance but also includes out of province medical insurance for 15 days for those aged up to 65. That last benefit is seen on less than a half dozen cash back cards in Canada! The card also features your standard purchase protection and extended warranty insurance. 


What is good about this card
As the name infers, The SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express® comes with simplicity and that is one good thing about the card. You don't have to get confused with all different cash back rates for different levels of spending (just see the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite for a great example of this confusion) just a simple 1.5% back up to $100,000 and then 1.25% thereafter. Most people will just get the 1.5% back we imagine! The benefits that the card affords are not only good but should be titled 'great'. It has the majority of benefits seen on a Travel Rewards Credit Card including out of province medical insurance! The only major insurance benefits missing are Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption. 


What is not so good about this card
The SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express® comes with some small drawbacks, not enough we believe to warrant knocking this card out of your selection process. The first, as is always the case with American Express, is the issue of acceptance. True, Amex is not as widely accepted as Visa or MasterCard but that tends to be from a lot of the smaller mom and pop type merchants. As well Amex is adding new merchants everyday and you can even call them up to see if they can approach one that you shop at to see if they can start accepting American Express. The second not so good thing about the card is the annual fee. True there are quite a few higher end cash back cards with similar benefits that have the same or higher annual fee but there are some that offer a good proportion of those benefits with no annual fee. Granted you can always go for the SimplyCash Card (not the Preferred version) if you want to avoid annual fees. Finally the third gripe we have is the annual statement credit. We get it. American Express wants you to spend that money with their merchants as they'll make money off the merchant fees but perhaps they should at least look at increasing the amount of times it is awarded (not just once per year) when you have to compete with mbna who will issue you a cheque every month if your cash back rewards total $50 or more.

Conclusion
Being our first review of a Cash Back card here on Rewards Canada it is tough to give the SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express® a good or bad conclusion. On the whole the card seems very strong. With a 1.5% return it is encroaching the realm of the better returns seen on higher end Travel Rewards cards but still falls short a couple of tenths of a percent. That being said it does seem like a very decent return when compared to other cash back cards. True those others may have higher returns in select categories but when you average out all your spending there is a good chance you'll get a better return with this card. The card itself can make an excellent primary or first card in your credit card portfolio if you aren't into travel rewards but for those who are travel savvy and can't get away from the almighty mile or point then this or the no-fee version of the SimplyCash card could make a good secondary or tertiary card in your wallet.

Care to comment? Do you agree or disagree with us? Tell us what think about the SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express® below!

Related Links:

SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express® on amex.ca
Rewards Canada's Cash Back Credit Card Comparison including the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

Other cards to consider from the Cash Back card category:

CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite
MBNA SmartCash Platinum Plus MasterCard
Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite card

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sep 15 Update: WestJet adds 1st Checked Bag Fee, WestJet Price Drop Guarantee, SimplyCash added to RC Charts

Today has been one of the busiest Monday's in quite sometime especially with lots of news out of WestJet!

News, Tips & Tricks
Earlier today we brought you the details of the new Elite Status tiers in the WestJet Rewards program. That announcement comes hand in hand with their announcement today that travellers flying on Econo fares (their cheapest fares) will now have to pay for their first checked bag on WestJet flights in Canada and to the U.S.. Flights to Mexico, Caribbean, Central America and Europe will contiune to have their first bag free. New Silver Elite Tier members will get their first bag free as well while Gold members will receive their first and second checked bags free. Air Canada in the meantime continues to not charge a fee for the first checked bag on their flights within Canada. (Source: WestJet)


Along with today's announcement is a new price drop guarantee from WestJet and WestJet Vacations. Should the price of your flight or WestJet Vacations package drop after booking and prior to departure you can get that difference refunded in the form of WestJet Dollars. Remember though that within 24 hours of your original WestJet flight booking you can always cancel it and have all the money refunded and then book a lower fare, that way your 'refund' is not trapped as WestJet Dollars. But remember that is only within 24 hours of your initial WestJet flight booking and is not applicable to WestJet Vacations. Find out more about the Price Drop Guarantee here.

The new SimplyCash cash back credit cards from American Express have been added to our Cash Back card comparison chart. Now you can see how these cards stack up against the rest.


Bonus Offers

Air Miles
- Earn up to 900 Bonus Air Miles when you buy EasyTerm® Life Insurance today. More... Until Oct 31, 14

Emirates Skywards
- Earn up to Quadruple Skywards Miles when you stay at any Shangri-La hotel, resort, Traders hotel or Kerry hotel Worldwide for two nights or more at the Best Available Rate. More... Book by Dec 28 for stays until Dec 30, 14

Hyatt Gold Passport
- 1,000 Bonus Gold Passport Points for stays on the Hyatt Gold Passport package at the Hyatt Place Orlando/Convention Center. More... Until Dec 31, 14

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Double KrisFlyer Miles when you rent for at least 3 consecutive days or triple KrisFlyer miles when you rent for at least 7 consecutive days at participating HERTZ locations in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France (Mainland), Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia, Spain (Mainland), UK and USA. More... Book by Sep 30 for rentals until Dec 31, 14

Virgin America Elevate (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 500 Bonus Elevate Points on your next Tablet Hotels booking.More... Book by Oct 10, 14

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Earn up to15,000 Bonus Flying Club Miles when you stay at properties within the Hilton HHonors™ portfolio Worldwide. More... Until Nov 30, 14


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Air Canada: Earn up to 35,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles between Canada or the U.S. and London

http://www4.aeroplan.com/AC_LondonBonus.do?currentLanguage=en

Air Canada has launched a new promotion for bonus Aeroplan miles on their flights from Canada to London and on United Airlines flights from the U.S. to London. Called London. This offer is hot on the heels of their summer London offer which isn't open for registration but is still valid for flights until September 30th. The new offering is more lucrative for those flying on economy class fares than the previous bonus as the bonus levels in this new offer are the same regardless of fare class whereas the summer promo awarded more for higher fare classes. Here is how this latest bonus is awarded to those flying to London:

As with As with all Aeroplan flight bonuses for Air Canada, this promotion is only valid on new bookings so if you have an existing booking(s) made prior to today it will not count towards the promotion.

Offer Details
Earn up to 35,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles on non stop round-trip flights (or 2 one-way segments) with Air Canada between Canada and London or with United between the U.S. and London (in select eligible fares). Register Online (Registration is required) Register and book between Sep 15 and Dec 12 for travel between Sep 23 and Dec 12, 14


Can't make use of this offer? Be sure to visit the best Aeroplan Bonus Mile offers summary on the Internet!