Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 31, 2012

News, Tips & Tricks
I got an email yesterday with an invite to attend a launch party for a new Canadian rewards program called Freshpoints. The program appears to be solely iPhone based via an app that will reward you with points for scanning the barcodes off of products you buy grocery shopping. Since I mentioned that we are expanding Rewards Canada horizons to include programs outside of the travel realm I thought this program was worth mentioning here. I have not talked to them directly and have no details on the program but my best guess is that Freshpoints will 'share' this data of scanning with the grocery chains, food manufacturers etc for a bounty and more than likely will also track the things you scan so that you can be targetted in the future with coupons and offers on those items you bought so that you will be inclined to buy them again. They do state that you will earn points for scanning any food product in any store but you may get 'bonus points' based on the picture of the app on their website as it looks like you may have a timelimit to scan a specific item for points which means you either have to find that item in-store and scan it (plus be tempted to buy it) or you may actually have to buy it to get the points. Overall some people may not like this idea but honestly it is no different than Shoppers Optimum, Club Sobeys, Air Miles etc. as many of them track individual items or purchases as well and target members with individualized coupons or promtions in the future. For more details check out Freshpoints at Freshpoints.ca

IHG released their latest set of Point Breaks offers yesterday and just in case you are not aware of this promotion this is IHG's famous discount for reward nights at select hotels Worldwide. Point Breaks offers are available for a a flat 5,000 Priority Club points per night and can include the highest of the high end InterContinental Hotels and Resorts locations that normally cost between 40,000 and 50,000 Priority Club points. See below in the bonus offers section for the link and more details.

Travel Deals
Starwood is offering its Starwood Preferred Guest members up to 30% off Starwood Hotel stays in Canada for stays until September 3. You must book by Aug 10, 2012. Full details can be found here.

Bonus Offers
Air Canada Aeroplan
- Double Aeroplan Miles when you fly on all Brussels Airlines flights to/from Brussels except New York. More... Sep 1 - Oct 31, 12

Air France KLM Flying Blue
(on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 2,000 Bonus Flying Blue Miles when you book your ticket online on klm.bg. More... Until Aug 31, 12

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club
Priority Club Point Breaks Offer- 5,000 points per night for reward stays at participating hotels Worldwide. Offer and participating hotels are subject to change at any time, valid for stays thru Oct 15, 2012. More...

Royal Brunei Royal Skies
(on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Earn up to Triple Royal Skies Miles when you rent a Hertz car from participating locations in USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand or Asia. More... Until Oct 31, 12

Thai Airways Royal Orchid
- Double Royal Orchid Miles and 20% off for stays 2+ nights that are booked at least 20 days in advance at participating World Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 12

United Mileage Plus
- Double Mileage Plus Miles and 20% off for stays 2+ nights that are booked at least 20 days in advance at participating World Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 12

US Airways Dividend Miles
- 750 Dividend Miles for stays at La Quinta Inns & Suites in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Earn up to Triple Dividend Miles on all Sixt Car Rentals worldwide. More... Book by Sep 30, 12 for rentals until Dec 31, 12




Monday, July 30, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 25, 2012

News, Tips & Tricks
Its the start of the week, so no news to report of yet. I am working on some more features for Rewards Canada, some of which should be out by Thursday as this will be short work week as I will be taking Friday and next Monday (Heritage Day) off.

Bonus Offers
Air Baltic Baltic Miles
(on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double Baltic Miles for stays at the Viimsi Spa hotel. More... Aug 7 - Sep 30, 12

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Double Asia Miles for stays at any Sino Group of Hotels in Hong Kong and Singapore. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Emirates Skywards
- Earn up to 6,000 Bonus Skywards Miles with the August Miles Accelerator offer which enables you to earn more Skywards Miles when you fly with Emirates, irrespective of the fare you pay or where you buy your ticket. More... Aug 1 - 31, 12

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- Double Mileage Bank Miles for stays on the "JAL Mileage Bank, Double Mileage Plan" at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo. More... Aug 1 - Sep 27, 12

Kuwait Airways Oasis Club
(on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double Oasis Club Miles when staying on the best available rate at any Rotana property across the Middle East and Africa. More... Ongoing

Starwood Preferred Guest
- 10,000 Bonus Starpoints for stays at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa Scottsdale and Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa Chandler. Bonus Points awarded when you complete at least a one night stay at each resort. More... Aug 10 - Dec 29, 12
- 3,000 Bonus Starpoints for stays in a Suite at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa Scottsdale. More... Until Dec 31, 12
- 3,000 Bonus Starpoints for stays in a Suite at The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa Chandler. More... Until Dec 31, 12

TAP Portugal Victoria
(on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 200 Victoria Miles to all Victoria members who register with the TMN spotyad service. Limited to the first 1500 people who join. More...

Turkish Miles&Smiles
- 500 Miles&Smiles Miles per night (max 2,000) for stays at Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 12

US Airways Dividend Miles
- Double Dividend Miles and 20% off for stays 2+ nights that are booked at least 20 days in advance at participating World Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 27, 2012

News, Tips & Tricks
For the second time this week the biggest news comes from Chase Canada. Another card with no foreign transaction fees and its the one we asked for: the Marriott Rewards Visa. But its not just a single change to the existing Marriott Platinum Visa in fact that card has been shelved for the new Marriott Rewards Premier Visa. The card now comes with a much better offering then the previous Platinum Visa although it still lacks most of the standard insurance benefits seen on most of its competition. See my post from earlier today for more details.

In other news, California based Voila Hotel Rewards which is an independent hotel loyalty program for locations primarily outside of North America will be running a co-branded loyalty program for the St Regis Hotel in Vancouver called St Regis Rewards. If this boutique is regular haunt of yours in YVR then you should be able to be rewarded for those stays soon. More details can be found here.

Bonus Offers

China Airlines Dynasty Flyer
- Double Dynasty Flyer Miles for stays at participting Regal Hotels in Hong Kong and China. More... Until Oct 31, 12

Emirates Skywards
- Triple Skywards Miles when staying in a Club Rotana Room or a Club Rotana Suite at Amwaj Rotana - Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Hyatt Gold Passport
- 1,000 Bonus Gold Passport Points for stays at participating Hyatt properties in the United Arab Emirates. More... Until Sep 1, 12

New Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Card includes no Foreign Transaction fees

Following closely on the footsteps of other Chase issued credit cards in Canada, the new Marriott Rewards Premier Visa card becomes the fourth card from Chase and also the fourth card in Canada to offer no Foreign Transaction fees. If you followed Rewards Canada for at least a year, you will know that I brought this topic of no foreign transaction fees on credit cards in Canada to light last summer due to the emerging trend in the U.S.. At that time none of the banks were really considering it and I stated the bank or card issuer that was the first to jump on this benefit would reap a lot of new customers. Well Chase Bank of Canada was the first with their Amazon.ca Rewards card which was followed by their Sears cards earlier this week and as we hinted the next logical choice was the Marriott Rewards Platinum Visa issued by Chase. Well that has happened, although its not the same Marriott card we are all used to. Instead of adding the new no-fx fee benefit to the existing Marriott Rewards Visa offered by Chase they have decided to totally revamp their offering with a new card which is now called the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa card (btw the Platinum card is gone now)

I will give the card the full on Rewards Canada review treatment in the next couple of weeks but in the mean time here is a quick summary of what the new card offers with the old card offerings in brackets:

Annual Fee: $120 ($75) but this fee is waived in the first year
Supplementary cards remain free

Points Earning:
30,000 Marriott Rewards Points sign up bonus after your first purchase (15,000 Marriott Rewards Points sign up bonus after your first purchase)
1 Free Night at a Category 1 - 4 location upon card approval (not on the old card)
5 Marriott Rewards points per $ spent at Marriott locations (3 Marriott Rewards points per $ spent at Marriott locations)
2 Marriott Rewards points per $ spent on Airline Tickets, Car Rental agencies and restaurants (not on the old card)
1 Marriott Rewards point on all other spending (1 Marriott Rewards point on all other spending)

Other features
15 Night credit towards elite status, which translates to automatic Silver status (5 Night credit towards elite status, which translates to automatic Silver status
Anniversary bonus of 1 free night at a Category 1 - 4 location (not on the old card)
The card retains Collision damage waiver insurance

This is significant improvement to the the Marriott Credit Card offering in Canada. I'll be honest I was considering the old Marriott card to replace my TD Visa since that TD visa was my least used card and I wanted to bring down the amount I spend on annual fees but with this new card now offering the first year free the change is almost inevitable. I did mention earlier in the week I would see about upgrading my TD Platinum to the First Class Infinite but I don't think I will be doing that now. I will give you all an update if I decide to go ahead with the change.

I would love to hear your comments on the new Marriott Rewards Premier Visa. Do you think these are positive changes? Will you go for this card? Do you think its not worth it? so on and so forth. Please leave your comments below.

For more details or to apply for the card please click here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 26, 2012

News, Tips & Tricks
I got an email from Air France KLM yesterday that announced an new enhancement to the program, roll over elite level miles. Essentially what this means is that any elite level qualifying miles that you earn over and above the highest status you achieve in that year will be rolled over to the next year's qualification process. This basically means that you can achieve elite level status faster in the following year. If you do not reach elite level status (ie Silver) then level miles do not roll over. More details can be found here.




Over on the blog for FrequentFlyerBonuses.com I posted about a way to earn up to 1,000 Free Emirates Skywards Miles which I also list below in the Bonus Offers section but go into more detail about the offer in the blog post.

Travel Deals

Etihad Airways is offering some great fares for fall travel out of Toronto to various destinations in Asia. These fares must be booked by July 31 at Etihad Airways
Bangkok CAD 1358 10 Sep 12-11 Dec 12
Chennai CAD 1549 11 Sep 12-11 Dec 12 4
Dhaka CAD 1752 15 Sep 12-11 Dec 12
Dubai CAD 1817 10 Sep 12-26 Nov 12
Jeddah CAD 1886 10 Sep 12-05 Oct 12 28 Oct 12-26 Nov 12
Karachi CAD 1402 10 Sep 12-07 Nov 12
Lahore CAD 1579 10 Sep 12-07 Nov 12
Manila CAD 1384 10 Sep 12-11 Dec 12
Shanghai CAD 1427 10 Sep 12-11 Dec 12

Bonus Offers

Emirates Skywards
- 500 Bonus Skywards Miles for entering Sofitel's 80 Night contest plus 500 more bonus Skywards miles if you are not a member of Le Club Accorhotels and join the program. More... Until Aug 18, 12

Etihad Guest
- Double Guest Miles for stays at participaiting Marco Polo hotels in Hong Kong, China and Philippines. More... Until Aug 30, 12

Marriott Rewards
10,000 Bonus Rewards Points when you stay any night Thursday-Monday in a king leisure room at the London Marriott Hotel Regents Park. More... Aug 4 - Oct 26, 12
- 2,000 Bonus Rewards Points when you stay on a Wednesday or Thursday night at the Jeddah Marriott Hotel. . More... Aug 1 - Oct 15, 12
- 1,000 Bonus Rewards Points per stay of two nights Friday-Sunday at the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel, Courtyard Bangkok, or the JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok. More... Oct 22, 12 - Jan 14, 13
- 1,000 Bonus Rewards Points per stay on Thursday-Sunday nights (Friday or Saturday required) at the Courtyard Albuquerque Airport or tge Residence Inn Albuquerque. More... Oct 14 - Dec 19, 12
- 1,000 Bonus Rewards Points per stay at the Courtyard San Antonio Airport/North Star Mall, Fairfield Inn & Suites San Antonio Downtown/Market Square, Fairfield Inn & Suites San Antonio Airport/North Star Mall or the Residence Inn San Antonio Downtown/Market Square. More... Until Oct 1, 12
- 2,500 Bonus Rewards Points when you stay five or more nights at the Residence Inn Dallas Market Center.More... Oct 21, 12 - Jan 12, 13

Saudi Arabian Alfursan
(on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 5,000 Bonus Alfursan Miles for Hertz rentals of 5+ days in Belgium; Canada; France; Germany; Italy; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Spain; Switzerland; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom or the USA. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Double Alfursan Miles on all Budget rentals in Saudi Arabia. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Double Alfursan Miles for stays at all participating Golden Tulip locations Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 12

Ukraine International Panorama Club
(on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 3,000 Bonus Panorama Club Miles when you flt 4 segments between Kiev and Brussels. More... Aug 1 - Sep 30, 12
- Double Panorama Club Miles for flights between Kiev and Helsinki.. More... Aug 1 - Sep 30, 12

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Double Flying Club Miles and 20% off for stays 2+ nights that are booked at least 20 days in advance at participating World Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 25, 2012

News, Tips & Tricks
Today was a quiet day across the sites so not too much new going on and no exicting news from the world of loyalty. One blogger did mention that the Stash Hotel Rewards offer I talked about yesterday may be limited to only 10 rooms! If that is the case it is going to be quite the fight between people for those rooms. I guess it will come down to whoever is the fastest or has the fastest Internet connection to make the booking.

Bonus Offers

Frontier Airlines Early Returns (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double Early Returns Miles for flights between Denver and South Bend IN. More... Oct 11 - Nov 11, 12

Hainan / Hong Kong Airlines Fortune Wings
- Double Fortune Wings Kilometers on all qualifying rates at any participating Meritus Hotels and Resorts in Singapore, Malaysia or China. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Double Fortune Wings Kilometers for all Hertz at participating locations in USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. More... Until Sep 30, 12

JetBlue TrueBlue (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Earn up to Quadruple TrueBlue Points when you rent any Hertz vehicle for one or more days at participating locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. More... Until Oct 31, 12
- Earn up to 200 Bonus TrueBlue Points for Carmel ground transportation that is booked online. More... Until Dec 15, 12

Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Double Frequent Flyer Points for stays on the "3 = 2" special offer rate at The Menzies Sydney, Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach or Novotel Wollongong Northbeach. More... Book by Oct 21 for stays until Nov 10, 12

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Double QMiles for all Budget rentals in Europe, Middle East and Africa. More... Aug 1 - Sep 30, 12

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 24, 2012

News, Tips & Tricks
AMAZING REWARD DEAL!!!: Over on my blog for FrequentFlyerBonuses.com I detail how to get a totally free night in New York City with Stash Hotel Rewards. I'm sure it will be limited so be sure to read the post and follow Stash Hotel Rewards closely to take advantage of this amazing offer.

Today we received confirmation that the Sears MasterCards, including their Travel Card, the Sears Voyage MasterCard will no longer charge Foreign Transaction fees. For complete details see my post from earlier today.

Travel Deals
British Airways is having a fall seat sale with fare as low $199 before taxes and fees to Amsterdam, London, Paris and Rome depending on your Canadian departure point. (Toronto is $199, Calgary is $399). These fares can found for travel between Oct 2012 and March 2013. For complete details or to book visit BritishAirways.com

Bonus Offers

Air Canada Aeroplan
- 60,000 Aeroplan Miles when you purchase or lease a new 2012 Infiniti FX, QX or M. More... Until Aug 31, 12

Air France KLM Flying Blue
- Double Flying Blue Miles for stays at participating Kempinski and Lugaron Collection Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Double Flying Blue Miles for stays of at least 2 nights at participating Regent hotels in China, Croatia, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan and the Turks and Caicos Islands. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Double Flying Blue Miles for stays at any of the Taj Grand Palaces including Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur and Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Flying Blue Miles for Avis rentals of 3 days or more Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Best Western Rewards
- Double Rewards Points on all qualifying stays at the BEST WESTERN Poitiers Centre Le Grand Hotel - Poitiers or the BEST WESTERN Prince Montmartre - Paris. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Double Rewards Points for stays of 3 or more nights Sunday to Thursday at the Best Western Country Suites Indianapolis. More... Until Oct 31, 12

Carlson Hotels Club Carlson
- Double Gold Points for stays at participating Park Inn, Park Plaza and Radisson Blu hotels in Europe, The Middle East and Africa. More... Aug 1 - Sep 30, 12

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- 1,000 Bonus Asia Miles when you book a cumulative total of six hotel nights via Ctrip within one promotion month. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Etihad Guest
- Double Guest Miles on Etihad flights between Abu Dhabi and Sao Paulo. More... Jun 1 - 30, 13

South African Voyager
- Double Voyager Miles for stays at the Hyatt Regency Oubaai Golf Resort & Spa. More... Until Aug 31, 12

Sears MasterCards officially drop their Forex fees

As you know Rewards Canada has been pushing for the removal of foreign exchange fees on Canadian Credit Cards since last summer. We brought the topic up as the trend emerged in the U.S. over the past two or so years and has been proven to be a very popular selling point to many travellers south of the border. Fast forward to earlier this year and we saw Chase release their new Amazon.ca Rewards Visa which was the first publicly available credit card in Canada with no foreign exchange fee. It seems a no-brainer that the Chase issued Sears cards would follow suit and they have (see our post last week). This is particularly interesting feature for the recently released Sears Voyage MasterCard which in itself is not a bad travel card, it falls somewhere in the middle of the pack of all travel cards but now suddenly it has become stronger. The only thing with it is that you are still stuck booking via Sears travel if you want to use the points earned on the card. Here is the press release announcing this change on the Sears cards:

Sears Financial says farewell to foreign currency transaction charges for over two million Canadians

Half of Canadians would swap their existing credit card for one that doesn’t charge this fee, survey reveals

TORONTO, ON – July 12, 2012 – Sears Canada’s Financial Services division, Sears Financial, announced today that as of July 23, 2012, foreign currency transaction charges will no longer be incurred on the Sears Financial MasterCard® and Sears Financial Voyage™ MasterCard®.  With over two million MasterCard credit cards in the market, and hundreds of thousands of vacations booked through Sears Travel annually, eliminating the fee is part of Sears Canada’s renewed commitment to do more for the customer.

The foreign currency transaction charge is applied in addition to the exchange rate when a customer uses a credit card for a transaction outside of Canada.  Most Canadian credit cards charge 2.5 percent.

Half of Canadians (51 percent) said they would consider switching to another credit card if it meant they didn’t have to pay the foreign currency transaction charge, revealed a recent survey commissioned by Sears Financial, which looked at travel and spending habits. 

The results also showed that 65 percent of Canadians travel abroad at least once every two years and that the overwhelming majority (92 percent) use their credit card to pay for meals, entertainment, and other purchases when travelling. In fact, 61 percent always or frequently use credit cards as their primary form of payment when travelling. 

A recent Statistics Canada survey found that during the first quarter of 2012 travellers spent $8.3 billion outside the country, $5 billion spent in the United States alone.  These numbers include “snowbirds” who travel to warmer climates, and suggest Canadians pay millions of dollars a year to use their credit card abroad.

“Many of our customers are snowbirds.  They and others will benefit significantly from this change,” said Peter Kalen, Senior Vice-President, Sears Financial and Home Services. “While many travellers will continue to incur additional charges on all their foreign purchases, over two million Sears Financial MasterCard cardmembers will enjoy the freedom to spend without being charged  2.5 percent on foreign purchases. We also see this as a positive move for our Sears Travel customers.”

Sears Financial made the decision to remove foreign currency transaction charges as part of Sears Canada’s company-wide initiative to do more for the customer.  This includes recently lowering the price on over 5,000 items, an improved return policy and satisfaction guarantee, and the re-launched ‘The Baby’s Room,’ offering new brands and more selection of nursery and juvenile products at great prices.

“Removing this charge is another demonstration of our ongoing commitment to provide customers and cardmembers with the quality and value they’ve come to expect from Sears,” added Kalen.

In addition to no foreign currency transaction charge, Sears Financial cardmembers will also earn valuable Sears Club Points everywhere MasterCard is accepted. These points can be redeemed for almost anything in-store and online, including a full range of flight and travel bookings at Sears Travel.  Canadians can apply for a Sears Financial MasterCard at any Sears store.

Survey Results Highlights:
·         Most Canadians (92 percent) use their credit card while travelling, with nearly two-thirds (61 percent) using it as their primary method of payment
  • Canadians spent an average of $880 using a Canadian credit card on their last trip abroad
·         Travellers cheques are a thing of the past, with 82 percent saying they rarely or never use them, while 64 percent rarely or never use their debit card abroad
·         Transaction fees are more important than any other consideration when choosing to use a credit card outside of Canada; 82 percent of Canadians describe transaction fees as very or moderately important, followed by:
o   Interest rates  64 percent
o   Travel insurance  61 percent
o   Rewards points  60 percent
·         Half of Canadians (51 percent) said they definitely or probably would switch to another credit card if the other card does not charge a foreign transaction fee
For more information on foreign currency transaction charges, please visit searsfinancial.ca/fx. 
Now the question is will this be further extended to other Chase cards (Marriott Visa hint hint) and will other banks/credit card issuers follow suit?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 23, 2012

News, Tips & Tricks
The big news today was the increased sign up bonus for the TD First Class Visa Infiinte card where you can walk away $80 ahead. For complete details see my post from earlier today.

If you do lots of travelling within the U.S. and frequently use JetBlue or Virgin America you may be excited to hear the both airline's frequent flyer program announced elite programs today. For details on JetBlue's Mosaic program see here and for Virgin America see here.

For bonus offers the stand out offer is the American AAdvantage Avis car rental offer for up to 5,000 Bonus AAdvantage miles, check it out below! Also if you are a member of Royal Air Maroc's Safar Flyer, the program is offering a 25% discount sale on award tickets which includes their Montreal-Casablanca route.

Bonus Offers

Aeroflot Bonus
- 1,000 Bonus Miles per night for stays at the Amathus Beach Hotel Limassol and Amathus Beach Hotel Paphos. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- 1,500 Bonus Miles per night for stays at the Amathus Beach Hotel Rhodes in an Elite Suite. More... Until Sep 30, 12

American AAdvantage
Earn up to 5,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles on a qualifying rental at participating Avis airport locations in the US and Canada.More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Earn up to 3,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles on a qualifying rental at participating Budget airport locations in the US and Canada. More... Until Aug 31, 12

Royal Air Maroc Safar Flyer
- 50% Bonus Safar Flyer Miles for flights between Casablanca and London. More... Jul 27 - Aug 12, 12
- 25% Safar Flyer Miles Discount on economy class award tickets to/from Morocco. More... Until Aug 17, 12
- Double Safar Flyer Miles for stays at the Pullman Marrakech Palmeraie Resort & Spa. More... Until Sep 30, 12

United Mileage Plus
- Earn up to Triple Mileage Plus miles for stays at any participating Shangri-La hotel, resort, Traders hotel or Kerry hotel Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 12

TD ups the sign bonus for the First Class Visa Infinite to 40,000 points

The card that took second spot in the Travel Points Credit Card with Annual fee in our 2012 Top Travel Credit Card rankings has doubled the sign up bonus for a limited time. The TD First Class Visa Infinite Card normally comes with a 20,000 point sign up bonus but as of today that has been doubled to 40,000 points. This is a limited time offer and requires potential applicants to apply by September 14, 2012.

What does the 40,000 points get you? It gets you $200 in credit for any travel booked on the card whether it is with TD Rewards Expedia partnership or the ultimate in flexibility any travel booking you put onto your card and then you can redeem that $200 against the charge.


Considering this card comes with a $120 annual fee you can come out $80 ahead just for getting this card. Not a bad deal for anyone looking to a credit card churn as long as your credit rating can handle the inquiry. For example if you are a heavy Aeroplan user you can book an Aeroplan reward ticket and put the fees/taxes on this card and use that $200 towards it. If you aren't doing a reward redemption regular airline bookings made on this card will earn frequent flyer miles (Aeroplan for Air Canada, WestJet Dollars for WestJet etc) and once again you can put this $200 towards the cost of that ticket. No matter what you can look at saving $80 on any travel whether it is flights, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages and more.

I may look at upgrading my TD Platinum to this card if they let me get the 40K points, otherwise I won't!

Full details on this offer can be found here.

Are you going to consider this offer? Let us know by commenting below on why or why not?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 20, 2012

News, Tips & Tricks
Today I enjoyed having lunch with Brenda and Marshall from the WestJet Rewards team. We got to discuss the evolution of their program and how it has changed in the last 8-10 months and where it is heading. I can tell you this, their excitement behind the program is amazing which I believe will translate into further growth and improvement of the program. The addition of their first fully integrated FFP partner for earning (American Airlines) took some time for proper integration but that should now help ease the addition of other partners. I would imagine it won't be too long before we see more airlines come in and even see other travel partners (ie hotel, car rentals) in the mix for places to earn WestJet dollars. If you have any questions or comments about the program feel free to leave it below in the comments section. As always keep an eye on this space as I will keep you up to date on any changes, news, etc. on the WestJet program.

In terms of bonus offers, Accor Hotels continues its push in the North American market with a third bonus offer promotion for stays in the U.S. and Canada. This time it is for Sofitel properties while the others were for Novotel and Novotel/Sofitel. Check out our Accor page for details on all the promos.

Bonus Offers

Accor Hotels Le Club
- Triple Le Club Accorhotels Points plus your 4th night free at Sofitel Properties in the U.S. and Canada. More... Until Aug 31, 12

Air China Phoenix Miles
- Double Phoenix Miles Kilometers for stays at any Starwood Hotels Worldwide. Plus the first 200 new registerants will earn additional 750 Phoenix Miles Kilometers. More... Register by Dec 31, 12 for stays until Jan 31, 13

Air France KLM Flying Blue
- Double Flying Blue Miles for Air France flights between Brussels and Nantes, Bordeaux or Lyon. More... Until Aug 31, 12


Iberia Plus
- Double Avios Points for stays at Derby Hotels in Barcelona and London and Paris. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Triple Avios Points for stays at Derby Hotels in Madrid, and Paris. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Double Avios Points for stays at participating Husa Hotels in Spain. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Double Avios Points for stays at Occidental Hotels in Madrid & Santo Domingo. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Double Avios Points for stays on Official or Business rates at Paradores. More... Until Aug 31, 12

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- Double Mileage Bank Miles + a free upgrade for stays of 2+ nights at The Marco Polo Suzhou. More... Aug 1 - Oct 30, 12

Thai Airways Royal Orchid
- Double Royal Orchid miles for Avis rentals of 3 or more days of a Group C or higher car in Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Double Royal Orchid miles and up to 40% off published rates when you stay at any Anantara hotel or resort Worldwide. More... Until Oct 31, 12
- Double Royal Orchid miles for stays of 2+ nights at participating Centara Hotels & Resorst in Thailand. More... Until Sep 15, 12
- Double Royal Orchid miles for stays of two consecutive nights or more at participating Dusit Hotels worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Double Royal Orchid miles for stays for stays in a Suite on a 'Suitely Sensational' rate at over 70 Kempinski Hotels Worldwide. More... Aug 1 - Sep 15, 12
- Double Royal Orchid Miles when you book the “Linger longer for less" offer for 2 or more nights at participating Langham Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Earn up to Triple Royal Orchid miles when you book online at Delight Rates or Bed & Breakfast rates for two consecutive nights or more at any participating Mandarin Oriental hotel worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Earn up to Triple Royal Orchid miles for stays at participating Millennium and Copthorne Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Double Royal Orchid Miless for stays at participating Pullman Hotels in Asia. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Earn up to Triple Royal Orchid miles for stays at any participating Shangri-La hotel, resort, Traders hotel or Kerry hotel Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Double Royal Orchid miles for stays at the St. Regis Bangkok. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 19, 2012

News, Tips & Tricks
I have already made the first update to he Cash Back Comparison Chart that was released yesterday. The update added in the Chase Amazon.ca Rewards card.

According to a comment left on my post from last summer about the removal of Foreign Transaction Fees on Canadian credit cards the MasterCard(s) issued by Sears will have their foreign transaction fees removed as of July 23. This change seem logical as the card is issued by Chase who also issues the Amazon.ca card which happened to be the first publicly available card in Canada with no FX fees. Perhaps we will even see more Chase cards lose the FX fee like the Marriott Rewards Visa. Time will only tell but hats off to Chase for bringing this U.S. Phenomenon to Canada.

In the bonus offer section we see another great offer from Carlson Hotels. This time it is closer to home (yesterday was for Asia Pacific) where you can earn bonus points and your 3rd night free at Radisson & Radisson Blu hotels in North and South America (I tested the offer for Calgary and Canmore and it works), Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The only caveat is that stay has to be paid for with an American Express card (remember, I stress this all the time as to one of the reasons you should a Visa, a MasterCard and an American Express card so that you can take advantage of offers like these!)

Bonus Offers

British Airways Executive Club
- 1,000 Bonus Avios Points per stay at the Mallorca Marriott Son Antem Golf Resort & Spa. More... Until Dec 31, 12

Carlson Hotels Club Carlson
- 2,000 Bonus Gold Points + 3rd Night Free for stays at participating Radisson Blu hotels located throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa, Radisson and Radisson Blu hotels located in North and South America that are paid for with your American Express® card.
Radisson: Full Details and Online Booking
Radisson Blu: Full Details and Online Booking
Until Sep 30, 12
- 1,000 Bonus Gold Points for stays in a Deluxe Suite at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Hyderabad Banjara Hills. More... Ongoing

China Southern Sky Pearl Club
- Triple Sky Pearl Kilometers when you stay at any participating hotel and resort in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio. More... Until Oct 15, 12

Hilton HHonors
- Double HHonors Points for stays of 2 or more nights at the Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Hotel - Center Strip Las Vegas. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Double HHonors Points for stays on the Romance Package at the Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul Golden Horn. More... Until Dec 30, 12
- Earn up to 1,000 Bonus HHonors Points for eligible dining purchases of THB 1,500 or more at the Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Earn up to 1,000 Bonus HHonors Points for eligible dining purchases of THB 1,500 or more at the Hilton Pattaya. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Earn up to 1,000 Bonus HHonors Points for eligible dining purchases at the Fiji Beach Resort Managed by Hilton. More... Until Mar 31, 13

TAM Fidelidade
- Double Multiplus Points when you stay at any participating hotel and resort in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 18, 2012

News, Tips & Tricks
Today saw somewhat of an evolution at Rewards Canada as we stepped outside of the Travel Rewards realm to launch a Cash Back Credit Card comparison chart. For some boring reading on why I did so, please visit the Rewards Canada blog otherwise you can go straight to the Cash Back Comparison Chart

SHORT NOTICE BONUS OFFER: Earn up to 30,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for flights between Canada and London. Earn 15,000 bonus miles for flights in Tango Plus or Latitude fare class, 30,000 for Executive Class. The catch is that you have to book by July 19 for travel until Aug 31, 12. So hurry up and book if you know you are heading to London this summer! Full details are here

For bonus offers, there were quite a few nice offers but two should be noted other than the AC offer above. The first are the bonuses that Aegean Miles & Bonus members can earn for flying on Air Canada between Athens or London and Canada. Some of you may not have even heard of Aegean but with this bonus we have officially added the airline to Rewards Canada bonus offers section since Aegean is a Star Alliance member and you can earn Aegean Miles & Bonus miles for Air Canada and any other Star Alliance flights. An interesting tidbit with Aegean Airlines is that their Miles & Bonus program provides the easiest way to achieving Star Alliance Gold Status with a 20,000 tier mile requirement (1,000 of which can be earned for just joining the program). Rather than go into full details check out this detailed thread on FlyerTalk.com for the low down on this short cut to Star Alliance Gold Status. Unfortunatly the bonus miles for these Air Canada flights do not count towards that 20,000 mile requirement. The second offer is Club Carlson's Asia Pacific offer which provides enough bonus points for a low tier free reward night after completing a 2 night stay.

Travel Deals
Here is another Starwood deal if you are travelling to Asia this summer. You can save up to 50% on stays at select Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. More... .Book by Aug 3, 12

Bonus Offers

Aegean Miles & Bonus
- 5,000 Bonus Award Miles on eligible direct flights operated by Air Canada between Athens and Toronto or Montreal; London and Edmonton, Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, St. John’s, or Toronto. More... Aug 1 - Oct 31, 12

Air France KLM Flying Blue
(on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Earn up to 5,000 Bonus Flying Blue Miles when you book flights on selected Air France of KLM routes from the UK to Africa. More... Until Jul 31, 12

British Airways Executive Club
- Double Avios Points for stays at any participating GHA Hotel Worldwide. More... Until Sep 15, 12
- Double Avios Points when you book the “Linger longer for less" offer for 2 or more nights at participating Langham Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Triple Avios Points for stays of 2+ nights at any participating Mandarin Oriental hotel Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Earn up to Triple Avios Points for stays at any participating Shangri-La hotel, resort, Traders hotel or Kerry hotel Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Double Avios Points for stays at all participating Taj hotels and resorts Worldwide. More... Until Oct 31, 12


Carlson Hotels Club Carlson
10,000 Bonus Gold Points for stays of 2 or more consecutive nights at Radisson Blu, Radisson, , Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, Park Inn by Radisson and Park Plaza hotels in Asia Pacific. Register Online (Registration is required) then book online at Country Inns & Suites, Park Inn, Park Plaza, Radisson or Radisson Blu Until Sep 30, 12

Gol Smiles
(on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 5X Smiles Miles for each USD spent with ClickHotels for hotel stays in Latin America. More... Until Aug 31, 12

TAP Portugal Victoria
- 500 Bonus Victoria Miles when you complete a stay of at least one night at a Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Mercure, Suite Novotel, Accor Thalassa, Ibis and All Seasons hotels Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 12

United Mileage Plus
- Triple Mileage Plus Miles when you rent a Budget vehicle for 3 or more consecutive days at participating airport locations in the U.S. and Canada. More... Until Dec 31, 12

New Rewards Canada Cash Back Credit Card Comparison Chart

Most of you are familiar with the Rewards Canada Travel Rewards Credit Card comparison charts (there are five six of them). These charts are a staple on Rewards Canada, in fact they are some of the most visited pages of all the pages on my site. That being said, I haven't added a new chart in nearly two years and only updated individual cards on those charts. Fast forward to today and I felt it was time to add cash back credit cards to Rewards Canada and the first logical step was making our standard comparison chart for these cards. Cash Back cards are gaining huge traction with Canadian consumers due to the relative ease of understanding the reward, low costs (most cash back cards have no-fees) and of course being able to use the cash back reward for anything.

Now, you are probably asking or wondering why I would cover cash back cards on Rewards Canada, seeing that Rewards Canada is considered a travel rewards resource. Well here are three reasons why I am going to cover cash back credit cards now:
1. Although my specialty is Travel Rewards, most loyalty programs run on the same basic premise with many of the same strategies so the knowledge I have garnered can be extended to other programs. Plus, the word travel is not included in Rewards Canada, so technically speaking I can cover all rewards, right?
2. Since you get cash back on cash back cards you can use that cash to pay for travel! Which means cash back cards could be considered pseudo-travel rewards cards.
3. Cash back cards make great sense for you secondary or tertiary cards. You've heard me say over and over again that you should carry a Visa, a MasterCard and an American Express card to cover promotions or non-acceptance of specific cards. If travel is your main goal, make your primary credit card a travel card and keep yourself open to travel or cash back cards for the other two credit card brands. Since those second and third cards won't be used as much, the ability to earn travel rewards may never happen or take a long time to achieve, so a cash back card can fit in nicely to reward you on a yearly basis.



I think that is enough explanation of my choice to cover Canadian cash back credit cards so be sure to check out the Cash Back Credit Card comparison chart today! I hope you find it informative and helpful. I would love to hear what you think of it by leaving your comments and questions below. If you see anything that needs correcting on the chart feel free to comment below as well.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 17, 2012

News, Tips & Tricks
If you are an Elite member of US Airways Dividend Miles program you can get $50 off or 5,000 Preferred Qualifying Miles for buying a new US Airways Club membership by July 20 along with having the initiation fee waived. More details can be found at One Mile at a Time

Travel Deals
Summer travel season to Europe is in full swing but I know there are those of you who have not booked your rental cars yet but don't fret you can still get some good deals. One of my favourite rental agents for Europe is Auto Europe who offers cars from all the major rental firms (Sixt, Avis, Hertz etc) with great contracted rates that are usually cheaper than the firms themselves or via OTAs. Plus they have a best rate guarantee where they will beat lower prices for the same rental. The only drawback of renting via Auto Europe is that you do not earn any frequent flyer miles or points but then again the savings are typically worth way more than the miles or points you would earn. Here are some current Auto Europe specials:
- Save 20% on rentals in Europe if you pay for your rental by July 31
- Save 15% on Mercedes Benz or luxury rentals if you pay by July 31
- Receive a free one car class upgrade for rentals in Turkey

Bonus Offers
Aeroflot Bonus
- Earn up 1,000 Extra Bonus Miles for stays at the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow when travelling with Aeroflot on a transit flight via Moscow. More... Until Nov 15, 12

Avianca TACA LifeMiles
- Double LifeMiles when you transfer LifeMiles to the account of a relative or friend. More... Until Jul 31, 12

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

- Double Asia Miles for stays at any Starwood Hotels Worldwide. Plus the first 200 new registerants will earn additional 750 Asia Miles. More... Register by Dec 31, 12 for stays Jul 15, 12- Jan 31, 13
- Double Asia Miles when you stay 2 or more nights at participating Regent Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Delta SkyMiles
- Triple SkyMiles for stays at the ARIA Resort & Casino or Vdara Hotel & Spa Las Vegas. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Etihad Guest

- Double Guest Miles on Etihad flights between Abu Dhabi and Washington D.C.. More... Mar 31 - Apr 30, 13

US Airways Dividend Miles

- 1,000 Bonus Dividend Miles for every Sheraton Club stay at participating Sheraton Hotels in the U.S. and Canada. More... Until Dec 31, 12

Wyndham Rewards
4x Wyndham Rewards Points or 4x Airline Miles starting with your 2nd stay after you regsiter (see link below) at participating hotels in the Wyndham Rewards program Worldwide that are booked online at wyndhamrewards.com, daysinn.com, ramada.com, wyndham.com, wingatehotels.com, hawthorn.com, super8.com, baymontinns.com, microtelinn.com, hojo.com, travelodge.com, or knightsinn.com. Offer is valid for up to 4 separate qualified stays.
Register Online (Registration is required)
Until Sep 13, 12

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 16, 2012

News, Tips & Tricks
I hope everyone had a great weekend! On the news front I have seen from some of the U.S. frequent flyer blogs that the Bank of America Alaska Airline's credit cards in the U.S. will limit the $99 companion fare to coach class tickets only. I have not heard anything about the Canadian version of the card but would assume the same rules will apply. I have sent an email off to my contact at Mileage Plan to confirm. I will let you all know once he responds.

The news I broke to Canada about the changes to Capital One Delta SkyMiles MasterCard have become official this week as I got an email from Delta promoting the enhancements to the card. To see the what is offered see my post announcing the changes.

Finally check out the Iberia Plus offer below for 2,500 free Avios for getting your children to join their new Iberia Plus Kids program. While 2,500 Avios may not be much especially with the Iberia Plus program, you can transfer those points to British Airways Executive Club after those points have been in your kids Iberia account for 90 days. Of course, once those points are in your child's BA account you can create a household account where all the Avios points are shared by that family. So if you have a lot of kids (just think of 19 kids and counting or is it 20 now? ) this can be a good way to rack up a lot of free Avios points! Now, the sign up process is a bit convoluted in that you have to fill out a form and send it in via email, fax or post along with copies of your child(s) passport. But if you have 4 kids you can get 10,000 Avios which is enough for an award ticket between Toronto and New York once those miles are in your BA household account.


Travel Deals
Travelling to Asia this summer? You can get breakfast for 2 + late checkout or up to 25% off for stays at select W Hotels in Asia. More... .Book by Jul 31 for stays until Aug 31, 12

Air France and KLM  have launced a new seat sale for travel this fall and winter. Fall travel runs as low as $869 all in and goes down to as low as $769 for winter travel. To take advantage of these fares, tickets must be booked by July 25 at AirFrance.ca or KLM.com

Bonus Offers
Hyatt Gold Passport
- 2,000 Bonus Gold Passport Points for stays on any eligible rate at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. More...Sep 1 - Dec 31, 12

Iberia Plus
- 2,500 Bonus Avios Points when you register your children for the Iberia Plus Kids Program. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Earn up to Triple Avios Points for stays at participating Melia Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Double Avios Points for stays of 3+ nights at the Hotel Jerez & Spa, Hotel Villa Jerez & Hotel Guadacorte Park. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Double Avios Points for stays at the Beatriz Toledo Auditorium & Spa and Beatriz Atlantis & Spa. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Triple Avios Points for stays at the Beatriz Albacete & Spa and Beatriz Rey Don Jaime. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Double Avios Points for stays at participating Abba Hotels in Europe. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Double Avios Points for all Europcar rentals Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- Double Avios Points for all Sixt rentals Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 12

Starwood Preferred Guest
- Double Starpoints for stays on a Pride package at the W San Francisco. More... Until Dec 31, 12
- Earn up to 3,000 Bonus Starpoints for stays at the W Doha Hotel & Residences. More... Until Dec 31, 12
- Breakfast for 2 + late checkout or up to 25% off for stays at select W Hotels in Asia. More... .Book by Jul 31 for stays until Aug 31, 12

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 13, 2012

News, Tips, & Tricks
If you have been an American AAdvantage members since the 80's (specifically before July 1989) and if you may still have some of those pre-89 miles in your account that were to never expire will now be subject to AAdvantage's regular expiration rules. For more details visit One Mile at a Time

Bonus Offers

Air Canada Aeroplan
Double Aeroplan Miles when you fly on Aegean Airlines between:
- Athens and Budapest, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Prague, Tbilisi or Vienna
- Thessaloniki
and Frankfurt or Paris
- Heraklion
and Paris
- Larnaca
and London
More... 
Aug 1 - Oct 31, 12

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- Double Mileage Bank Miles when you stay two consecutive nights or more at the Dusit Thani Maldives. More... Until Oct 31, 12
- Double Mileage Bank Miles for stays at The Hotel Niwa Tokyo. More... Aug 1 - Oct 31, 12

Jumeirah Sirius
- Double Sirius Points + 3rd night free + Comp Breakfast when you book 2 nights at the Jumeirah Grand Hotel Via Veneto Rome. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Scandinavian EuroBonus
- Double EuroBonus Points Miles for stays of 2 nights or more at any Park Plaza hotel or art’otel, located in United Kingdom, Croatia, Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands. More... Until Oct 15, 12

United Mileage Plus
- Double Mileage Plus Miles when you book the “Linger longer for less" offer for 2 or more nights at participating Langham Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 12

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 12, 2012

News, Tips, & Tricks
Today I released the summary of Capital One Aspire Redemption stories (and one Capital One Priority Club story, thanks Terry!) on the Rewards Canada blog. Most of the stories confirm why we rank the Capital One Aspire Travel World MasterCard as the top Travel Points Credit Card (with Annual fee) in Canada.  A big thank you to everyone who responded. Please watch for our next Redemption Stories The Good, The Bad & The Ugly request soon!

Travel Deals
Etihad Airways has some great early bird rates for travel this fall that have to be booked by July 31. You can fly from Toronto to Manila for C$1305 all in or Bangkok for C$1328 all in. To see these offers and others out of Toronto visit  Etihad Airways

Bonus Offers
Delta SkyMiles
Double SkyMiles when you stay on the Best Available rate at over 225 Melia properties in Europe. More... Until Aug 31, 12

EVA Air Evergreen Club
- Triple Evergreen Miles when renting a Group C or higher car with Avis for 5+ days in Europe, Middle-East, Africa and Asia (Singapore, Malaysia & Guam) More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Double Evergreen Miles when renting a Group C or higher car with Avis for 3+ days in USA, Canada, Europe, Middle-East, Africa, Asia (Singapore, Malaysia & Guam) and Australia. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- 600 Bonus Evergreen Miles for all car rentals booked via Travel Jigsaw Taiwan or Malaysia. More... Until Aug 31, 12

Gulf Air Falconflyer
(On FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 50% Falconflyer Miles Discount on all Gulf Air award ticket redemptions. More... Jul 20 - Aug 20, 12
- Double Falconflyer Miles for stays at Park Plaza Hotels in London. More... Until Oct 15, 12
- Double Falconflyer Miles for all Budget car rentals in the U.K. More... Until Sep 30, 12

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club
- Earn up to 4,000 Bonus Priority Club points for individual hotel stays across Europe. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Marriott Rewards
- Double Rewards Points when you rent any vehicle for two or more days in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada and for rentals of 5+ days in Europe. More... Until Sep 30, 12
 


Redemption Stories The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Capital One Aspire Summary

For our third edition of Redemption Stories: The Good The Bad and The Ugly I asked for our readers to tell us their stories of redeeming Capital One Aspire Travel™ World MasterCard® Reward Miles. Like our Air Miles version the response numbers were low compared to our Aeroplan edition but in general I think it gives a good overview of the Aspire cards.

RELATED STORIES:
Redemption Stories The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Aeroplan Summary
Redemption Stories The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Air Miles Summary

I would love to hear more comments and stories from Aspire Cardholders, feel free to do so at the bottom of this post and finally I want to thank everyone who contributed their stories, without you this post would not be possible! Be sure to watch for the next Redemption Stories request coming soon!



THE GOOD

via the Rewards Canada Blog
I've had pretty good luck so far. The last few year we book villa's to stay in and flights are via Aeroplan. I've used points to pay off taxes/fees from those reward flights. The last 2 major redemptions from Capital One I had to call as they didn't come up as travel on the website. One villa was booked through a scuba store and the other direct with the owner. Me and my wife both rack up large amounts of points but the scuba rental needed a few extra points so I transfered them from my account to hers. No problem, quick, free and done online. Calling Capital One wasn't a problem and they didn't question the booking at all, I had a letter plus other supporting documents- I was ready for a battle that didn't happen! The only issue was the rental (like all of them) was in US dollars and I only got back the US dollar amount, but in Canadian $. The points taken were in US equivalent. So you don't back 100% but close, that is if the dollar holds near par.
The other redeption I called and again no problem but got US $.

The only real issue is the low credit limit on this card, I have to make several payments a month. But 2% adds up! And we got my son's doctors visit and medicine payed for last year when we were in Barbados. To pay for coverage was ~$75, so money saved.)

via the Rewards Canada Blog
I've had good redemptions with this card. As anonymous noted, the low credit limit is a pain. We use this card for purchases for the company. When I travel the low limit can cause problems even though I pay it off literally every 2 weeks. So I've added an Amex card to those expensive business travels.

Redeeming is very simple on line. The card has several benefits including a concierge service that I haven't tried. You do have to call a separate number so do look for it. The trip insurance has saved me money. I usually use travel insurance from CAA but this card has saved me money here.

The only thing you need to be aware of, is that points are redeemed in blocks. So if you have a small travel charge, like $25.00 for luggage, it isn't worth cashing in points.

If the card gave higher limits, I asked for one and they said no, this would be a top card to have. Overall, I really like it and have taken advantage of the points given.

via email
I got my mom and dad to both sign up for the Capital One® Aspire Travel World MasterCard ®

Both come with a first purchase bonus of 35,000 points (worth up to $350).

I found an Airbnb listing in New Zealand for $345 CAD/month.

I booked one month on each card and redeemed the bonus points against the charges.

Each card has an annual fee of $120.

I'm effectively paying rent for $120/month for those 2 months I'm in New Zealand.


via email
I charged my travel expenses to the Capital One MC of about $800. Called Capital One MC via their toll free line and asked that they convert my points to cash (about $300) and then they credited my credit card.

My recollection is that the credit appeared in the account within 72 hours or less and I was able to view the deposit on line.

The call and the transaction was simple, easy and fast. Their staff and system are very efficient. I would say 10/10. the simplicity and ease of the redemption exceeded my expectations.

Footnote: essentially, I applied this card for the "sign up bonus". I used it for some minor purchases and after about 6 months applied for the credit to my account.

Once I received the credit, I cancelled the card as I did not need it.

via email (not for the Aspire Card but the Cap One Priority Club MasterCard)
I have the Capital one Priority Club card and I must say the 10 to 1 points ratio for stays at ICHG works very well as does the 2 for 1 for other purchases. I’m told, not confirmed, that ICHG considers this card when awarding Royal Ambassador status if the number of stays isn’t quite at the level they require.  RA status is well worth having as I have now had it for about 4 or 5 years since my International travel picked up again.    



THE BAD

via the Rewards Canada Blog
WHEN I CASHED IN MY TRAVEL REWARDS FOR A CRUISE, I WAS GIVEN THE OPTION OF ACCUMULATING THE NECESSARY POINTS (ASTRONOMICAL) OR TAKING THE CASH EQUIVALENT (REALISTIC) I CHOSE THE LATTER! CAPITAL ONE GAVE ME A REDEMPTION OF (TAKE NOTE EVERYONE) OF 0.75% (AS COMPARED WITH GOLD REWARDS WHICH GIVES YOU A REDEMPTION OF 1%. AS SUCH, I TOOK A DOLLAR LOSS OF ABOUT $240.00 USING CAPITAL ONE, INSTEAD OF AMERICAN EXPRESS GOLD REWARDS. THIS WAS MY FIRST YEAR WITH CAPITAL ONE AND THIS INCLUDED THEIR BONUS OF 35,000 POINTS. HAD THIS OCCURRED IN THE SECOND YEAR, MY LOSS WOULD HAVE BEEN GREATER.

REGARDING THEIR CREDIT POLICIES: EVEN WITH AN IMPECCABLE CREDIT HISTORY I HAD GREAT DIFFICULTY.I APPLIED ON LINE, AS IT STATED IT WOULD BE QUICK AND EASY.

THEN A FEW DAYS LATER INSTEAD OF RECEIVING THE CARD, I RECEIVED A TELEPHONE CALL FROM A CAPITAL ONE AGENT WHOM AGGRESSIVELY, BOMBARDED ME WITH REDUNDANT QUESTIONS1

AFTER 5 FRUSTRATING MINUTES,I TOLD THE CAPITAL ONE AGENT I WAS HANGING UP AND THAT I DIDN'T NEED OR WANT HIS CARD!. THE CARD ARRIVED A WEEK LATER. I THEN HAD TO GET A SECOND CARD FOR MY WIFE!.

AS SOON AS I STARTED MAKING PURCHASES ON THE INTERNET WITH REPUTABLE COMPANIES (B&H PHOTO VIDEO), JOMA SHOP AND LANDS END, THEY BLOCKED MY PURCHASES FOR VERIFICATION!

IMAGINE BEING TOLD ON THE TELEPHONE OR THE INTERNET THAT YOUR BRAND NEW CARD, WITH A VERY SUBSTANTIAL CREDIT LIMIT (ENOUGH TO PURCHASE A COMPACT CAR!) WAS BEING DENIED FOR PURCHASES WHICH REPRESENTED 3/10 OF YOUR CREDIT LIMIT. THIS CAUSED ME NEEDLESS FRUSTRATION AND HEADACHES. THEY REPLIED THAT IT WAS THEIR STANDARD PRACTICE TO VERIFY PURCHASES!. I REPLIED THAT IF THEY EVER DID THAT AGAIN FOR ANY OTHER PURCHASE WHICH WAS UNDER $1500.00, MY PRACTICE WOULD BE TO CANCEL THEIR CARD!

ALL IN ALL A CARD WITH GOOD INSURANCE, POORER REDEMPTION WHEN COMPARED TO AMERICAN EXPRESS GOLD REWARDS. YES THEY DO GIVE YOU 2% ON EVERYTHING VERSUS AMERICAN EXPRESS WITH IT'S 2% AND 1% CATEGORIES. BUT THEY HASSLE YOU, WHILE AMERICAN EXPRESS DOES NOT! I WILL KEEP IT ONLY AS A DEFAULT CARD FOR WHEN AMERICAN EXPRESS IS NOT ACCEPTED, UNTIL A BETTER CARD COMES ALONG.

BUY THE WAY A SECOND DEFAULT CARD WOULD BE THE SCOTIABANK MOMENTUM VISA, WHICH GIVES YOU (DEPENDING ON YOUR CHOICE OR CARD) UP TO A 4% CASH REBATE ON GROCERY, CATERING AND GASOLINE PURCHASES, PAYABLE ONCE A YEAR ON YOUR NOVEMBER STATEMENT.



THE UGLY
There were no ugly responses!


“The interest rates, fees, rewards details, benefits and other details of the Capital One product(s) described in the article may have changed since the time of publication. Please consult the product information pages on the Capital One website for accurate product details. In the event of any conflict between the product details in this article and the Capital One website, the details on the Capital One website shall prevail.”

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 11, 2012

News, Tips, & Tricks
Air France has released their latest Flying Blue Promo Awards where you can save 50% on the amount of mile required for award ticket redemptions. This latest batch of offers includes award tickets between Montreal and Europe 1/2/3. More details can be found here

Check some of the newest bonus offers we added below! Of note the Accor offer covers all Novotel and Sofitel Hotels in Canada and to celebrate Ramadan Qatar Airways has an interesting promotion that awards 50 Bonus QMiles for every Qpoint earned flying with them during Ramadan. So if you are planning on flying Qatar Airways out of Montreal be sure to register for that promotion.

Bonus Offers
Accor Hotels Le Club
- Quadruple Le Club Accorhotels Points plus 20% off on your stay of 3 nights or more at Novotel and Sofitel Properties in Canada. More... Until Aug 15, 12

airBaltic Baltic Miles
- Double Baltic Miles for stays at the Radisson Blu Palais Hotel, Vienna. More... Until Aug 29, 12
- Double Baltic Miles when you dine at the Avalon Hotel Riga. More... Until Aug 10, 12

Air Canada Aeroplan
- Double Aeroplan Miles for every Avis or Budget car rental booking completed online at aircanada.com. More... Book by Sep 4 for rentals until Sep 30, 12

Emirates Skywards
- 1,500 Bonus Skywards Miles for stays of 2 or more nights at participating The Address Hotels & Resorts in Dubai. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Oman Air Sindbad
(On FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double Sindbad Miles for Oman Air flights between Tehran and Muscat. More... Sep 1 - Oct 31, 12

Philippine Airlines Mabuhay
- Earn up to Triple Mabuhay Miles on Avis car rentals in Singapore & Asia, USA, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand & Africa. More... Until Aug 31, 12

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
50 bonus Qmiles for every Qpoint earned while travelling on Qatar Airways Worldwide. For example, on a return trip in Economy Class between Doha and Dubai, you will earn 16 Qpoints, which means you get a bonus of 800 Qmiles in addition to the regular Qmiles. More... Jul 20 - Aug 31, 12

Voila Hotel Rewards
- Earn up to 25,000 Bonus Voila Rewards Points for stays at participating VOILÀ hotels and resorts worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 12
- Double Elite Qualification Credit for every participating VOILÁ hotel stay worldwide. More... Until Jul 31, 12

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rewards Canada Daily Update: July 10, 2012

News, Tips, & Tricks
I am back after taking a nice long weekend off! Not much new going on since the last update and most of today was spent adding new bonus offers.

Travel Deals

The Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel is running a promotion on their Facebook page that offers 999 rooms for EUR99! A great deal for this hotel attached the Germany's busiest airport. The offer is good for stays until Aug 31 and needs to be booked by Jul 31 (or until 999 rooms are sold at the price). You book this offer here.

Bonus Offers
Aeroflot Bonus
- Earn up 1,000 Extra Bonus Miles for Aeroflot flights between Tokyo and Vladivostok, Khabarovsk or Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. More... Jul 15 - Aug 15, 12
- Earn up 1,000 Extra Bonus Miles for Aeroflot flights between Moscow and Tomsk. More... Until Sep 1, 12

Carlson Hotels Club Carlson
- 8,250 Bonus Gold Points on a qualifying rental of three or more consecutive days at participating Avis locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. More... Until Sep 30, 12

China Airlines Dynasty Flyer
- 500 Bonus Dynasty Flyer Miles for flights between Taichung and Macau. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Delta SkyMiles
- Triple SkyMiles when you stay at any participating hotel and resort in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Emirates Skywards
- Triple Skywards Miles for Economy class return flights to/from Erbil. More... Book by Jul 31 for travel Aug 12 - 31, 12
- Double Skywards Miles when you book and fly with JetBlue. More... Until Sep 30, 12

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club
- Double Priority Club Points for every qualifying stay at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand. More... Jul 15 - Aug 31 & Nov 15 - Dec 28, 12

Oman Air Sindbad (FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double Sindbad Miles when staying at any Rotana Property in the Middle East and Africa. More... Until Sep 30, 12

Starwood Preferred Guest
- 1,000 Bonus Starpoints for stays at the Four Points by Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport. More... Until Dec 31, 12
- Double Starpoints for Government rate stays at the Sheraton JFK Airport Hotel New York. More... Until Aug 31, 12
- 3,000 Bonus Starpoints for stays in a Suite or Villa at the Westin Playa Bonita Panama, The Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun or The Westin Resort & Spa, Los Cabos. More...  Until Dec 31, 12

US Airways Dividend Miles
Double Dividend Miles when you fly to or from Washington D.C. Reagan National Airport. More... Book by Aug 5 for travel until Sep 30, 12


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

RBC Avion to British Airways 50% Transfer Bonus is back

One of the best conversion/transfer bonuses from a Hybrid card in Canada is back! We last saw this offer run from November 2011 to January 2012 and chances are it will be back later this fall as we have seen over the past few years.

The offer is the RBC Avion transfer bonus to British Airways Executive Club where you get 50% bonus Avios points when you convert a minimum 10,000 RBC Rewards points to the British Airways Executive Club program. Normally the transfer ratio is 1:1 but until the end of July it is 1:1.5.


This transfer bonus means you can fly between Toronto and New York for only 6,000 RBC Rewards Points (The RBC Avion redemption schedule requires 15,000) as the British Airways Award ticket requirement for a flight on American is 9,000 Avios. Flights to the U.K. run between 40,000 - 50,000 Avios (26,667 to 33,333 RBC Rewards Points) in economy from Canada which means with this offer you have get to spend less on your card for these redemptions. You do have to beware of high fuel surcharges on British Airways redemptions to the UK and Europe, however even with the high fuel surcharges they can still be worthwhile when utilizing the bonus considering how much more money you would have to spend on the credit card to get the redemption without the bonus or if you used the Avion Redemption schedule where you would need at least 65,000 RBC Rewards points before taxes and fees.

For more details on this offer please visit British Airways

Thanks to Christopher L. for the heads up on this version of the offer!

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