Mar 4, 14 (Removal of the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card)
Early last fall RewardsCanada.ca was featured in an article on Travel Hacking. What is travel hacking? Simply put it is what we have been doing here every day on RewardsCanada.ca for nearly 12 years, but it simply has a name put to it now. The article revolved heavily around a new site that charges people a fee for things that are found for free right here on Rewards Canada, Flyertalk, Milepoint, Boardingarea, Redflagdeals and many other places. To me it boggles the mind that someone would pay $97 per year to get the information you find for free here or those other places I mentioned. They claim they will get you one free flight within 30 days otherwise you can get your money back (or at least 1 free flight per year). I know from feedback of my readers that many of you have enjoyed tons of free flights, hotel nights, car rentals and more due to the information provided on Rewards Canada. Right from the onset of creating RC that was my goal, to help all Canadians get moreMiles, morePoints, moreRewards!
Well folks if you don’t already know these techniques, I am prepared to give you this information for free in this post (I assume veteran RCers won’t need this as you have probably already done it) on how to get that free flight (or flights) excluding taxes and fees. It primarily revolves around credit card sign up bonuses from cards that either have no annual fee or where the first year fee is waived. The only ‘costs’ associated with this method are putting your everyday credit card spend onto these cards to meet the minimum requirements for getting the sign up bonus. Now if you don't think you can hit the minimum spend on the cards you don't have to apply for them all at once, you can take your time and apply for cards once you've hit each spend individually. All this means is that it will take a little longer to earn your fee flights.
* I state free in the title as I assume you would be spending this money anyways on these credit cards so you might as well be rewarded for it with free Aeroplan miles or Avios!
American Express Gold Rewards Card
The number one hybrid credit card in Canada since 2011 this card now comes with a 25,000 Membership Rewards point bonus after hitting a spend of $ 500. The card has a $150 annual fee tied into it but this fee is waived in the first year.
Related: American Express Gold Rewards Card review
Related: Rewards Canada Business/Corporate Travel Rewards Credit Card Comparison
The first year free offer on the Amex Business Gold Card is gone as of March 4, 2014.
American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Card
You can earn a 30,000 Aeroplan Miles sign up bonus with our referral link after you spend $500 in the first three months of membership and the first years annual fee of $120 is waived. You can apply for this card here.
This offer is for Aeroplan miles only. Which means you should now be at 55,000 Aeroplan Miles or 25,000 Avios
This is the easiest card in the process as there is no minimum spend and this no foreign transaction fee card comes with a 30,000 Marriott Rewards point sign up bonus after your first purchase. The first year annual fee is also waived. You can apply for this card here.
These 30,000 Marriott Rewards Points can then be transferred to Aeroplan or Avios at a 3:1 basis (30,000 Marriott Rewards Points = 10,000 Aeroplan Miles or Avios)
Which means you should now be at 65,000 Aeroplan Miles or 35,000 Avios
Related: Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Card Review
MBNA Choice Privileges MasterCard
Provides up to 24,000 points - 8,000 points upon your first purchase and an additional 16,000 points,upon making an eligible purchase by July 31, 2014. 20,000 of those points can be converted to Aeroplan at a 5:1 ratio (ie 4,000 miles)
There you go just with these three offers you will have earned 69,000 Aeroplan Miles or 35,000 British Airways Avios. That's enough Aeroplan miles for two Aeroplan award tickets within North America or an Aeroplan economy Class award ticket to Europe (of course taxes and fees are extra but you could use the extra points earned from your spend on the Amex cards to cover them) or
Now do you want to keep any of these cards after the first year free is up? Personally I would keep the American Express Gold Rewards Card as it one of the strongest earning cards for both Aeroplan and Avios and frequently offer bonuses for transferring points to them (last seen March 2013), the Chase Marriott Visa is good if you do lots of travelling outside of Canada or do lots of online shopping and/or importing for your business as the card has no foreign transaction fees. If not I would probably cancel it as well as cancelling the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card.
Related: Which credit card earns the most Aeroplan Miles?
You do have some other no-fee credit card options to bring your mileage totals even higher such as the Best Western MasterCard which right now carries a sign up bonus of 20,000 Reward Points (or 4,000 Aeroplan Miles) or the Choice Privileges MasterCard which has a sign up bonus of 24,000 points (or 2,000 Aeroplan Miles).
You can also take advantage of other free Aeroplan mile offers that you can use to add even more miles to your account albeit not that many. I would recommend that you visit my Aeroplan and Avios Bonus opportunities pages regularly and look under the ‘other offers’ section for any and all free mileage offers that may come up. At time of updating these were the only 2 'free' Aeroplan Miles offer
- 400 Bonus Aeroplan Miles upon first use when you sign-up for Esso's Speedpass and link it to your Aeroplan Account. Full details
I do receive a commission or referral bonus for any successful applications for the credit cards above and I would assume the travel hacking site does as well but still charges you for the info!