Saturday, November 16, 2019

Air Canada & Aeroplan websites/call centres will be unavailable November 18-19 for their new reservation system migration

The time has finally come where Air Canada will migrate its current reservation system over to Amadeus. This move has been two years in the making since it was first announced that AC would move to Amadeus from Sabre. That being said, the migration will force Air Canada and Aeroplan to move their websites to off-line status and close their call centres for 12 hours or more on November 18 through to the 19th. If all goes well the system along with the websites and call centres should be back online by mid day on the 19th. Both Air Canada and Aeroplan have posted notices on their websites about what you as a passenger or someone looking to buy a ticket need to do during this down time:

From Air Canada:

From November 18-19, 2019, we will be migrating to a new Reservation system to improve your travel experience. If you’re booking or travelling during this period, here is important information you need to know:
  •  Starting at 20:00 ET on Nov. 18, the website as well as our phone Contact Centres will be off-line for making new bookings or changes until approximately mid-day Nov. 19.
  • Any required bookings or changes to current bookings for travel during this period should be made prior to the start of migration on Nov. 18.
  • Flights will be available for purchase and bookings will be available for modification as usual once our new system is live on Nov. 19.
 The following functions remain available as usual during the Nov. 18-19 migration period:
  •  Check-in online, via App and at Kiosks
  • Flight Status online and via App
You can visit the Air Canada webpage for the system update for more information and a detailed FAQ.  For our Air Canada Altitude readers you may want to take a closer look at this excerpt from the FAQ that will affect eUpgrades:

"Over the next few months while we update our airport systems, you will not be able to request upgrades at the airport, and upgrades which were not cleared prior to check-in will not be processed at the gate, even if a seat is available. In light of this, rest assured that we will work diligently to confirm more upgrades ahead of check-in."

From Aeroplan

Air Canada is in the process of migrating to a new reservation system, a project we're undertaking to improve your travel experience. Here's what this means for you as an Aeroplan member:

Aeroplan will be temporarily unavailable, both online and on the phone and the Aeroplan App will be unavailable from November 18th at 8pm EST until midday November 19th. In addition, during this period while the migration to the new system takes place, the Aeroplan Contact Centre will not be able to assist you with any new or existing Flight Reward bookings. We encourage you to plan ahead and book any Aeroplan Rewards outside of this period.

We encourage you to self-serve at
We understand your time is valuable and we anticipate an increase in Contact Centre wait times in the days that follow this transition period. Those looking to make or change a Flight Reward booking on or after November 19th are encouraged to do so at to save time and money. To change an existing reservation on, simply cancel your booking to receive an immediate refund of your Aeroplan Miles, then book your new flight without incurring a booking fee.

We will temporarily reduce the Refund Fee
To assist with this transition, from November 15th, 2019 to January 31st, 2020, the fee for refunding a booking online will be reduced to $75 – a savings of $75 versus requesting a refund via the Contact Centre.

Friday, November 15, 2019

November 15 Update: Save up to 40% on Priority Pass Business Class lounge memberships, Canadian North Intercommunity Holiday seat sale & more!

Priority Pass has launched their annual Black Friday sale that offers up to 40% off their annual lounge access memberships! Find out more here

Here are the Black Friday prices:

As an added benefit this year if you buy a membership during this sale you'll get the following:
A follow up email with three redemption codes of each brand below.
  • MIDO Watches up 30% off on watches.
  • Roam Luggage, fully customizable premium luggage receive up to $150 off
  • Dufl stores receive a $200 Credit from Dufl. (*$200 value = can be used toward 2 standard U.S. DUFL trips OR $200 credit toward an international trip).
Learn more about Priority Pass in Rewards Canada's Guide to Business Class lounge access 

Receive $50 gift certificate PER NIGHT for Costco with your stay at the newly opened Courtyard Halifax Dartmouth.  This rate prices out at about $40 more than the best flexible rate so you would be saving only $10. Full details & online booking. Until Apr 4, 20

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals

Canadian North has launched an Intercommunity holiday seat sale. One way fares in the sale run from $220 during the peak time from December 20 to January 8. Sale ends on January 4. Find out more here.

IHG Cyber Sale – Save up to 30% on stays around the globe

Enjoy up to 25% off for stays at Fairmont Hotels in North America with their Fairmont Moments offer. Book by Mar 31 for stays until Apr 30, 20 Full details & online booking

Remember to visit Rewards Canada's Travel Booking site to book travel directly with many of your favourite airlines, hotels and more.

Canadian Bonus Offers

- Earn up to 1,200 Bonus AIR MILES Reward Miles when you earn miles from multiple partners during the Shop the Block promotion. More...   Until Dec 27, 19

Other Bonus Offers

Hilton Honors
- 100% Bonus when you buy 10,000 or more Hilton Honors points online. More... Until Nov 26, 19

Le Club AccorHotels
- Double Le Club AccorHotels points for stays at participating Accor Hotels in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg or Sweden. More... Targeted offer - may not work for everyone Book by Dec 16 for stays Dec 1- 31, 19

Miles & More
- Triple Miles & More Miles for stays at the Vienna House MQ Kronberg im Taunus or the Vienna House Zur Bleiche Schaffhausen. More... Book by Dec 31, 19 for stays until Jan 31, 20

- 300 Bonus Miles / Points with most Rocketmiles partners when you tag @rocketmiles in a photo, and add #promotion to the caption on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. More... Unknown End Date

SriLankan FlySmiles
- 25% FlySmiles Discount when you redeem miles for award tickets in Economy Class on SriLankan Airlines. More... Until Mar 31, 20

WorldHotels Rewards
- Quadruple Rewards Points for stays at all participating WorldHotels locations Worldwide. More... Until Dec 31, 19

Wyndham Rewards
- Double Wyndham Rewards Points on your next stay at a Wyndham Rewards Hotel worldwide. More... Targeted Offer - May not work for everyone Until Jan 7, 20

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You can now earn Flying Blue Elite Status Experience Points when flying on WestJet to 60+ destinations

Flying Blue, the program for Air France KLM sent out an email today letting members in Canada know that they can now earn elite status XP (Experience Points) on WestJet flights within Canada, to the U.S. and Central America. In all it appears that more than 60 WestJet destinations are eligible:

They have set up a nifty website to show how many points you can earn on select routes with WestJet. Here are just a couple of the examples:

For reference, here are the XP requirements for Flying Blue's elite status levels:
  • Silver: 100XP
  • Silver to Gold: 180XP
  • Gold to Platinum: 300XP
The website also has a section on redeeming Flying Blue miles for WestJet flights. Prior to this it has been hard to find how many miles were required to fly on WestJet as Flying Blue stated you had to
call in to find out and book flights on WestJet. Again, here are just a couple of examples they show:

Outside of actually flying on Air France, KLM, WestJet or their other airline partners the easiest way to earn Flying Blue miles in Canada is with the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card. The card earns Marriott Bonvoy points which can then be converted to Flying Blue at a 3:1 basis along with the usual 5,000 miles bonus when you convert 60,000 points at a time.

To learn more about utilizing Flying Blue for flights on WestJet check out their dedicated website:

Up to a 50% Bonus when you buy Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles until December 23!

Alaska Airlines has brought back their best bonus for buying Mileage Plan miles! Right now you will get a 50% bonus when you buy 40,000 or more miles.

At 50% you’ll definitely want to consider buying the miles as you are buying Mileage Plan Miles under U.S. 2 cents a piece. Please note that us Canadians have to pay GST/HST on the amount since, who processes the transaction is a Canadian company.

Seeing that you can redeem miles for premium class flights on British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Hainan, Korean Air and more, there are lots of options for you to use these miles. Remember it only takes 70,000 Mileage Plan miles to fly Cathay Pacific First Class from North America to Asia and that flight alone will cost a lot more than US$1,419.00!

Here is one example of a redemption you could use this bonus offer on. Flying Japan Airlines and Korean Air business class from Vancouver to Tokyo:

Visit Japan in April for a week – 112,500 miles round trip for business class + $102.70 in fees/taxes. To purchase 120,000 miles (the closest amount at 50% to get these flights) would cost you just over US$2,300, add in the fees and you are looking at ~$2,400 To pay cash for the same flights you would be looking at over $4,000.

Remember Alaska has set in place a maximum amount of miles you can buy in a year if you don’t hold MVP status.  Non-Elite members can only buy 150,000 miles per year now.  MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K member are not subjected to this limitation. Seeing that Alaska has never offered more than a 50% bonus this is definitely the time to buy if you were targeted to get that amount.

Offer details
Receive up to 50% Bonus Mileage Plan Miles when you buy miles online. Buy miles here Until Dec 23, 19
Buy 10,000 – 19,000 miles, get a 20% bonus
Buy 20,000 – 39,000 miles, get a 35% bonus
Buy 40,000 – 60,000 miles, get a 50% bonus

Find many more Mileage Plan bonus miles offers here 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Hilton Honors: 100% bonus when you buy points until November 26 - this is one of the better buy points offers

Hilton Honors has released another buy points promotion for their members! Once again this one is a nice flat bonus rate of 100% when you buy 10,000 or more points. This means you are paying US$ 0.5 cents per point which can be easily redeemed at values of 0.8 cents or more!

Remember reward nights start out at only 5,000 points so you could potentially get a lot of nights out of this offer.

Here's an example of how this buy points deal can provide some great value. Want to stay at the Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa for New Year's Eve? The cheapest going rate is C$923 per night on December 31st and January 1st. The points requirement? 80,000 points per night. So it would take 160,000 points for 2 nights or paying $2,500 including taxes for the same room and nights. 160,000 points would mean you only buy 80,000 points (and get 80,000 as a bonus) for US$800 or about C$1092 (includes GST on the points purchase). This example would save you nearly $1,500!

Offer details:
100% Bonus when you buy 10,000 or more Hilton Honors points online. Buy points here Until Nov 26, 19

Can’t make use of this offer? Check out these other bonus opportunities:
  • Double Honors points on every stay at participating Hilton Hotels Worldwide.  If you have a Hilton Honors co-brand credit card (U.S., U.K., Japan or Germany) you will earn triple points on each stay.  Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required)
  • Earn up to 7,500 Bonus Honors points for stays at any Hilton Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. Earn 2,500 points on your first stay and 5,000 bonus points on your second stay. Full details, online registration & booking. (Registration is required) Targeted offer - may not work for everyone
  • Elite Status Match and Fast Track to Elite Status Offer - Receive Hilton Honors elite status for 90 days when you hold status with another hotel program and then stay 4 times in 90 days to keep Gold Status or 8 times to keep Diamond status. Register Online (Registration is required)
Find many more Honors Bonus Points offers here!

November 14 Update: Scotia will add Disney+ to streaming service category in the new year and 25% bonus Norwegian CashPoints for online shopping (yes Norwegian)

As many of you will know, Disney officially launched their own streaming service, Disney+ earlier this week. As it is a streaming service that naturally let us to reach out to Scotia Bank to see if the new service will fall into their 3x points for streaming services spend category on the Scotia Gold American Express Card. This is what Scotia told me:
We are looking to add the Disney+ streaming service in the near future. Although timing is still being confirmed, we anticipate to have it added early in the new year.
That's mostly good news for those who are going to subscribe to the new service as you may only go a few months without the accelerated earn rate.

We added a couple more promotions to our Top 6 tips for maximizing miles & points earning on your holiday shopping feature. As we mentioned previously we are dynamically updating this piece during this entire holiday season with the latest offers and promotions. Today we added the AIR MILES Shop the Block event to it and also another online shopping mall bonus - 25% Bonus CashPoints for online shopping via Norwegian Reward's eShop. The latter may not even be looked at by most of you but I know a couple of you out there do collect CashPoints even though Norwegian doesn't even set foot in Canada - you use them for their flights out of the U.S., within Europe and so on so that's why I added it. You can check out the feature here.

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals

IHG Cyber Sale – Save up to 30% on stays around the globe

Enjoy up to 25% off for stays at Fairmont Hotels in North America with their Fairmont Moments offer. Book by Mar 31 for stays until Apr 30, 20 Full details & online booking

Remember to visit Rewards Canada's Travel Booking site to book travel directly with many of your favourite airlines, hotels and more!

Canadian Bonus Offers

No programs are giving love to Canada today.

Other Bonus Offers

Aeroflot Bonus
- Earn up to 4,000 Bonus Miles when you rent with Avis for 3 or more days Worldwide. More... Book by Dec 15 for stays until Jan 31, 20

Avianca LifeMiles
- Triple LifeMiles for all hotel stays booked via More... Until Feb 8, 20

Choice Privileges
- 1,000 Bonus Privileges Points when you add the 1000 Points Package for stays at select Choice Hotels in Australia or New Zealand. More... Unknown End Date
- 2,000 Bonus Privileges Points when you add the 2000 Points Package for stays at select Choice Hotels in Australia or New Zealand. More... Unknown End Date
Marriott Bonvoy
- 1,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points per night on Thursday-Monday nights at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Paramus. More... Until Jan 17, 20
- 4,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points per stay at the Preston Marriott Hotel. More... Until Jan 12, 20
- 500 Bonus Bonvoy Points, a free upgrade, 3 course dinner and free breakfast for stays at the Hotel Goldener Hirsch, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Salzburg.  More... Jan 1 - Mar 25, 20
- 1,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points PER NIGHT for stays at the Residence Inn Big Sky/The Wilson Hotel. More... Dec 1 - Feb 23, 20
- 1,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points per stay at the TownePlace Suites Detroit Belleville. More... Dec 30 - Mar 23, 20

Nordic Choice Club
- Earn Double Club Points for all Nordic Choice stays booked via the Nordic Choice website or app. More... Book by Nov 17 for stays Dec 16, 19 – Feb 29, 20

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Up to a 50% ROP Miles Discount when you redeem for award flights between Bangkok and destinations across the THAI and THAI Smile networks. More... Book by Nov 30 for travel May 1 - Jun 30, 20

Title image courtesy of Disney 

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AIR MILES Shop the Block is back - earn up to 1,200 Bonus Reward Miles when earning from multiple partners

The annual AIR MILES Shop the Block event launched today and presents a really nice bonus mile earning opportunity for AIR MILES collectors. If you meet the requirement of using Shop the Block coupons at 3 or more sponsors you'll be awarded with up to 1,200 Rewards Miles over and above the base miles and coupon bonus miles awarded.  The maximum 1,200 miles is a whopping 800 miles less than we saw for the top tier bonus of 2,000 miles in 2017 and 2018. Looks like Ebeneezer Scrooge may have paid AIR MILES a visit this year! ;-) All kidding aside the Shop the Block event is one of the easiest ways to earn extra AIR MILES Reward Miles on your holiday shopping and typically offers up some great value

This year the bonuses are as follows:

Use 3 different offers Get 300 Bonus Miles (Same as 2018)
Use 5 different offers Get 800 Bonus Miles (200 less than 2018)
Use 7 different offers Get 1,200 Bonus Miles  (800 less than 2018)

Depending on where you live, what you have already linked your AIR MILES account to (ie Hudson Bay and Samsung) and where you need to shop, the bonuses can come to you at not much cost this year. It all depends on what your shopping habits will be for the next month and a half or so! Also if you can, you could move some shopping you had planned from one retailer to another that is an AIR MILES Sponsor than you can earn those bonus miles for your everyday regular spending.

Here are the basic rules around this promotion:

The cheapest way we found to earn the highest bonus simply by looking at all the details on the coupons page (Alberta region) would be as follows:

  1. Register to convert Hudson Bay Rewards points to AIR MILES (30 bonus Miles coupon)
  2. Link your AIR MILES account to your Samsung Pay account for the first time (100 Bonus Miles Coupon)
  3. Spend $10 in-store at Shell (5 Bonus Miles coupon)
  4. Spend $25 on parts or service at Davis Chevrolet (3x Miles Coupon)
  5. Spend about $8 to buy a tube of Lepage PL Premium Construction Adhesive at Lowes or Rona (20 bonus Miles coupon)
  6. Spend $20 online at Canadian Fighting (5x miles coupon)
  7. Join Rewarding Your Opinions and complete 3 surveys (15 bonus Miles coupon)

If you can complete the list just at it shows above you'll only have to spend about $63 earn the full 1,200 Bonus Shop the Block Miles! That's the lowest spend I've seen in the three years this promotion has been around. You also have to add in your base amount miles and the coupon bonuses for an additional ~180 miles or so for 1,380 bonus miles in total. We value AIR MILES Rewards Miles at an average of 13 cents each for travel, so you are getting back about $180 in value on only $63 in spending. That's pretty awesome!

If you strictly earn cash rewards, then you are looking at a return of about $145 still pretty decent for spending as little as $63. For some of you it may take more spending but as we mentioned before if this is shopping you are already planning on doing then jump on the Shop Block event right away so that you can earn this bonus as some of the offers are only available for the next week or so while others run the entire promotional period. And yes, going back to my Scrooge comment at the start of this post - I can see now see why the higher tier bonuses are lower this year as in previous years it would take over $200 to get the top level bonus!

Find out more and print all your coupons here!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

November 13 Update: RBC Avion Holiday Experience Events released, 250 bonus AIR MILES on vacation packages & a dozen new bonus offers

RBC is once again offering special holiday events for those who have any of their Avion cards. The main events listed so far are
  • The annual complimentary gift wrap and RBC Avion lounges at five Cadillac Fairview malls across Canada
  • Apple Event On December 14th, Avioners earn 5X RBC Rewards ® points all day on Apple in-store purchases made with your Avion card.You do have to RSVP for the Apple event and you can do that right here.
More events will be announced at later dates. Find out more about all the Avion Holiday offers here.

Here is an offer that is perfect follow up for our Feature and Podcast onThe Ultimate Guide to Credit Card & Loyalty Programs for the All Inclusive Vacationer. Right now you can earn 250 Bonus AIR MILES Reward Miles when you book an AIR MILES Vacation package! Simply book by December 15 and you can still use AIR MILES to redeem and bring down the price of the package. Find out more here.

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals

Accor Hotels:Save up to 35% at Fairmont, Swissotel, Sofitel, Pullman, 21c Museum Hotels and Novotel in North and Central America. Full details & online booking
 Up to 25% off your stay Plus, Le Club AccorHotels members who book this offer automatically save an additional 10% off with the Members’ Rate. 

Remember to visit Rewards Canada's Travel Booking site to book travel directly with many of your favourite airlines, hotels and more!

Canadian Bonus Offers

Air Canada Aeroplan
- 5x Aeroplan Miles for stays for stays at over 7,000 Choice Hotels worldwide. More... Until Dec 15, 19
- Quadruple Aeroplan Miles for stays at any Coast Hotels location in Canada or the U.S. More... Until Dec 31, 19

AIR MILES (Canada)
- 250 Bonus AIR MILES Reward Miles when you book select vacation packages via AIR MILES Vacations powered by More... Book by Dec 15, 19

CIBC Rewards
- Earn up to 35,000 Bonus Aventura Points when you apply for and receive the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinte Card. More... Until Mar 1, 20
- Earn up to 35,000 Bonus Aventura Points when you apply for and receive the CIBC Aventura Gold Visa Card. More... Until Mar 1, 20
- Earn up to 5,000 Bonus Aventura Points when you apply for and receive the CIBC Aventura Visa Card. More... Until Mar 1, 20

RBC Rewards
- Earn up to 20,000 Bonus RBC Rewards Points and first year annual fee waived when you apply for and receive the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card. More... Unknown End Date

Other Bonus Offers

Aeroflot Bonus
- Earn Quadruple Bonus Miles when you book hotels via’s PointsPLUS. More... Book by Nov 30 for stays until Jan 31, 20

JAL Mileage Bank
- Earn up to 500 Bonus Mileage Bank Miles for stays at participating Tokyu Hotels in Japan. More... Until Jan 31, 20

Le Club AccorHotels
- 4x Le Club AccorHotels Points for stays at Art Series, Mantra, Peppers, and BreakFree hotels in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, French Polynesia, the Maldives and Hawaii. More... Book by Jan 31 for stays Dec 1 - Feb 29, 20

Stash Hotel Rewards
- Up to 40% off and double Stash Rewards points for stays at select hotels in the U.S. and Mexico. More... Book by Nov 18, 19
- Double Stash Rewards Points for stays at the Shade Hotel Redondo Beach. More... Until Dec 30, 19

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