Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Richest Credit Card sign up bonus ever to be offered in Canada?

I just received an email from Aeroplan for the American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card. Normally I just quickly look it over if anything has changed on the card since it was introduced 4 or so years agoand then delete it. But this time, the email really caught my eye. Why? They are offering 50,000 Bonus Aeroplan miles to new applicants for the card. You get 25,000 upon the first use of your card and 25,000 when you spend $1,000 within the first three months. In my history of tracking reward programs I have never seen a credit card bonus offer this high in Canada. In the U.S., sure you had the British Airways 100,000 BA Miles credit card offer and the American Airlines 75,000 AAdvantage mile offer but here in Canada, the highest sign up bonus in recent history came from the Capital One Aspire World MasterCard with 35,000 bonus miles!

The AeroplanPlus platinum card is not for everyone as it comes with a hefty annual fee of $499 but for the frequent traveller (or even relatively frequent) the annual fee can pay for itself with free access to business class lounges, priority check in, a yearly short haul companion ticket, increased earning of 1.25 to 1.5 Aeroplan miles on all spending and other typical features seen on premium cards. This offer of 50,000 miles is valid for new applications made up to December 28, 2010.

Now, the question to ask is whether other card issuers in Canada will follow. We have seen the trend in the U.S. with increased card offerings as most credit cards there are now offering a minimum of 30,000 miles or points with quite a few in the 50,000 mile/point range. I know many frequent travellers here in Canada who have complained about the paltry sign up bonuses along with annual fees more then double that of our counterparts to the South. So lets keep our fingers crossed that this is the start of hefty....I mean healthy trend of increased sign up bonuses in Canada.

For more details on this Amex offer please visit American Express

Friday, November 26, 2010

$100 Off Air France flights in Premium Voyageur Class

Lately most voucher codes from Air France have been $50 or $60 but here is one a bit higher but it is only for premium economy bookings:

Receive $100 off of Premium Voyageur (premium economy) flight reservations over $1000 departing from Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa to any Air France destination that offers a Premium Voyageur fare. Use promo code AFFPV891. Travel must be between December 1st 2010 and April 30th, 2011 with the latest return being August 31st, 2011.

Book online at Air France

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Planning a stay in Vancouver? Check out these hotel bonus point offers

There are lots of hotels to choose from in Vancouver where you could stay but a few have recently released some really good bonus point/mile offers for staying with them. These offers are over and above any system-wide offers that may be going on right now (like Marriott's Mega Bonus and Starwood's Rewarding Returns) and are only available for a short period:

Marriott Hotels:
Earn 3,000 Bonus Rewards Points when you stay any night Thursday-Sunday at the
Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside
Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown
Vancouver Airport Marriott.
Book online at Marriott.com
Book by Nov 28 for stays until Jan 23, 11

Starwood Hotels:
Earn up to 1,000 Bonus Starpoints and 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for stays at:
The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver.
- 500 Aeroplan® Miles plus 500 bonus Starpoints per stay when you book a Standard room
- 1000 Aeroplan® Miles plus 1000 bonus Starpoints per stay when you book a Harbour View room
Full Details & Online Booking
Valid for stays until Dec 30, 10

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Aeroplan improves flight reward options for online bookings

Most Aeroplan members probably received this email last week, but in case you deleted it without reading it or did not get it, I am posting it for you here. I have not personally tried the online booking process since the email came out so if you have please feel free to comment below and tell our readers whether or not you are finding better availability of rewards and routings on Aeroplan.com. Members who redeem online by Dec 15 will also have a chance to win one of  42 prizes of 25,000 Aeroplan Miles

The email reads as follows:

Great news! We've improved the search engine of our online booking tool to show you better-quality Star Alliance flight reward options to transborder USA and international destinations. In other words, greater access to the 27 Star Alliance member airlines.
Enjoy all the benefits of our online booking improvements:
  • Increased Star Alliance round-trip flight options
  • Greater variety of flight connection points
  • More airports now available online
The bottom line: Getting to your destination is now easier.

Use our new and improved online booking for a chance to win 25,000 miles. Only until December 15!

Redeem online right now for any flight reward in any cabin—and you'll automatically get a chance to win one of 45 prizes of 25,000 Aeroplan Miles

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hainan Airlines to offer bonus miles on new Toronto-Beijing route

To celebrate the launch of their upcoming new route between Toronto and Beijing, China's Hainan Airlines is offering members of its Fortune Wings program up to 24,000 Bonus Fortune Wings miles for flying the route.

The promotion runs from November 27 (the launch date) to January 15 and awards a varying amount of bonus miles depending on the fare class flown:
Earn 12,000 miles for each one way flight in F Class
Earn 10,000 miles for each one way flight in C,D,I Class
Earn 6,000 miles for each one way flight in Y Class
Earn 4,888 miles for each one way flight in B,H,K,L,M Class
Earn 3,888 miles for each one way flight in X,V,N,W,U Class (Toronto-Beijing)
Earn 3,888 miles for each one way flight in X,V Class (Beijing-Toronto)

For more details please visit Hainan Airlines

MyPaperCrown.com: a new blog from a Rewards Canada partner

My partner in Rewards Canada and the Frequent Flyer Bonuses Group (who also happens to be my wife) has launched her own blog called My Paper Crown which focuses on her lifestyle passions of home design, fashion, and great recipes! Having been with her for 13 years I know that she knows these topics extremely well and the blog is her way of sharing her passion with the masses. She is not one to keep great things a secret so when she finds something new (or old) that she likes, I am sure you'll find on her blog right away.

If these topics are of interest to you, your significant other or friends and coworkers please tell them and check it out today!

The blog can be found at www.mypapercrown.com

Friday, November 12, 2010

Air Canada follows in WestJet's footsteps: adds second bag fee in Canada & to sun spots

You may recall our post from last week annoucing WestJet's decision to start charging $20 second checked bag fee and although we had hoped that Air Canada would not follow suit we figured they would. Well, on a late afternoon press release the night before a holiday (I'm guessing this was not a coincidence), Air Canada announced that they will follow in WestJet's footsteps and a second bag fee on their Canadain routes as well as routes to Mexico and the Caribbean. Air Canada already charges a second bag fee on  routes to the U.S. and Europe so there is no change there. Just like WestJet, the new fee goes into effect on travel from January 19 on any tickets that are purchased on or after November 11.

Source: Air Canada

Air Canada introdces eUpgrades for top tier Aeroplan members

According to this thread on FlyerTalk, Air Canada's Super Elite members will finally be able to receive and use eUpgrade certificates rather then the paper certificates that they have all become accustomed to. The notice comes from an email that the Super Elite's have received from Air Canada and it states that this new feature will be live in December 2011 for the members to manage upgrades for flights starting March 1, 2011. All the details are to be released in conjuction with the 2011 Top Tier program announcement in the next few weeks.

Of course we will keep you up to date on this enhancement and on the 2011 Top Tier program as we have done so in past years. So please check back regularly!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

WestJet to charge for second checked bag

In a surprise move that countered most of WestJet's marketing strategies for the past year and a half or so, the airline announced yesterday that they will begin charging $20 for the second checked bag on flights on or after Jan 19, 2011. The first checked bag for each customer remains free.  The fee is effective on all tickets purchased on or after Nov 3, 10. The $20 fee is applicable to all of WestJet's routes and like any airline who adds a new fee, it has irked many travellers as can be seen by the responses on WestJet's social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.

Most airlines in North America are now charging some sort of baggage fee (most U.S. airlines charge for the first and/or second bags with Southwest being a exception) however WestJet's primary competitor, Air Canada only charges a second bag fee on flights to the U.S. and Europe. Within Canada, Air Canada still allows 2 checked bags for free, at least for the time being. We all know that the airlines tend to follow in each others footsteps so we may see Air Canada start charging for a second checked bag within Canada soon. If I was Air Canada I would avoid this to appease the customers especially since Air Canada seems to be gaining momentum in the customer service department and more people are enjoying their in flight service as of late. Perhaps Air Canada's marketing department will put a positive spin on WestJet's news for their airline. However, in the long run,  if your primary competitor is adding to their bottom line with ancillary revenues derived from baggage fees on flights in Canada, why would you not do the same?

We're giving away 2 prizes of 10,000 Gold Passport Points on the FFB Blog

Once again we have teamed up with Hyatt Hotels for another quick contest on the Frequent Flyer Bonuses blog. This time we are giving away 2 prizes of 10,000 Gold Passport Points for commenting on some Hyatt Itineraries. The contest runs until Nov 10, 10. Check it out and participate if you like.

http://blog.frequentflyerbonuses.com/2010/11/enter-to-win-1-of-2-10000-hyatt-gold.html