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Rewards Canada Clash of the Reward Charts! Amex Fixed Points for Travel versus RBC Avion Air Travel Redemption

Welcome to next Rewards Canada Clash! If you listened to our podcast from June entitled Clash of the Credit Cards - you'll k...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Aug 29 Update: AAdvantage MileSAAver award sale to Hawaii, Etihad Labour Day sale from Toronto, Voila Status Match

This is the last day of updates until Sep 3 as we are taking an extending Labour Day long weekend.

News, Tips & Tricks

American Airlines has launched an award sale on their flights to Hawaii and this includes departures from their Canadian gateways. While not a huge discount, the 5,000 miles in savings is better than nothing. Unless you are a big time AA or oneworld flyer credting AAdvantage,hHere in Canada the best way to take advantage of this offer is via one of the numerous credit cards that can transfer points into AAdvantage such as the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, RBC Visa Infnite or Platinum Avion card, Diners Club Club Rewards MasterCard, Marriott Rewards Premier Visa or any number of the other hotel cards available:
Save 5,000 AAdvantage Miles when you book a reduced MileSAAver Off-peak Economy Class award for only 15,000 miles each way when flying between the contiguous U.S. or Canada and Hawaii on American Airlines. These awards normally run 17,500 miles each way. Full details. Book by Sep 13 for travel Sep 11 - Dec 17, 13


Voila Hotel Rewards is offering an elite status match to other hotel programs (you may have seen the post go up 20 minutes before this one, if not click here) If you don't have status in any hotel program just wait for one of the many Le Club accorhotels Platinum status sign up offers to come around and then you can parlay that into Centaurus Status. (that's got to be the coolest elite status name)




Travel Deals
Etihad Airways has launched a Labour Day Sale for their flights out of Toronto. Book by September 2 for flights Oct-Dec 2013 and Jan-May 2014. Book online at Etihad

Destination Coral Economy Class*
AHMEDABAD CAD 1,265
CHENNAI CAD 1,108
COLOMBO CAD 1,318
DHAKA CAD 1,393
DELHI CAD 1,156
KARACHI CAD 1,376
LAHORE CAD 1,460
  MUMBAI CAD 1,098




Bonus Offers

American AAdvantage
- Save 5,000 AAdvantage Miles when you book a reduced MileSAAver Off-peak Economy Class award for only 15,000 miles each way when flying between the contiguous U.S. or Canada and Hawaii on American Airlines. More... Book by Sep 13 for travel Sep 11 - Dec 17, 13

Avianca LifeMiles
- Double LifeMiles on Hertz rentals of 3 or more days in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico. More... Until Sep 30, 13

Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Receive a 30% GFF Miles Discount on First Class award ticket redemptions for select Garuda Indonesia routes. More... Book by Oct 20 for travel Sep 1 - Jan 15, 14

Jet Airways JetPrivilege
- 20% JetPrivilege Miles Discount when you redeem JPMiles online at jetairways.com for Jet Airways and JetKonnect flights. More... Until Mar 31, 14
- 25% JetPrivilege Miles Discount when you redeem JPMiles online at jetairways.com for an Award ticket in Economy on select Gulf and ASEAN sectors. More... Until Mar 31, 14

JetBlue TrueBlue (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double TrueBlue Points on qualifying rentals of 1 day or more at participating Avis airport locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. More... Until Dec 31, 13
- Triple TrueBlue Points on qualifying rentals at participating Budget airport locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. More... Until Dec 31, 13

Saudia Alfursan
- Triple Alfursan Miles on Avis rentals of 5 days or more in Saudia Arabia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Austria, UK & United States More... Until Sep 30, 13
- Double Alfursan Miles on Budget car rentals in the KSA, Egypt or Kuwait. More... Until Sep 30, 13
- Quadruple Alfursan Miles when you rent a Hertz Prestige Collection car in Europe and North America for 5 days or longer. More... Until Sep 30, 13

Voila Hotel Rewards
- Elite Status Match - Send VHR proof of the elite status earned in a competitor’s reward program (either a screenshot, or a scan, of your current card) to support@vhr.com and they’ll reward you with corresponding status in VOILA. More... Until Dec 31, 14






Remember to follow Rewards Canada on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to our Newsletter and RSS feed

Voila Hotel Rewards now matching status of other hotel reward programs


Voila Hotel Rewards is the latest hotel reward program to offer a status match to elite members of other hotel programs. It seems to be much like Best Western's Status Match No Catch offer where all you have to do is send them proof of the elite status earned in a competitor’s reward program (either a screenshot, or a scan, of your current card) to support@vhr.com and they’ll reward you with corresponding status in VOILA. For complete details see here.

Here is the list of programs they status match to and the corresponding status in VHR


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Aug 28 Update: Aeroplan to giveaway tickets in Toronto, 500 Bonus SkyMiles on Hertz Rentals, 5,000 Bonus Points for Hotel Indigo stays

This is the last update for this week as we are off tomorrow. Regular updates will return on Monday!

News, Tips & Tricks

Aeroplan will be giving away 1 ticket every 5 minutes in Toronto on September 4th to celebrate the launch of Distinction. So Rewards Canada readers in the TO area, try to make it down! We'd love to hear if you are planning on going down and if you do let is know if you are one of the winners! Feel free to do so by commenting below or even better tweeting us @RewardsCanada on Twitter!

WHAT: Aeroplan is giving away a trip to some of the most exciting destinations worldwide, plus see your photo larger than life on one of the Dundas Square digital billboards.

WHEN: Registration begins at 11:00 am on September 4, 2013. Trips (13 in total) will be given away every five minutes between 12:00 – 1:00 pm. Contest is open to Canadian residents over the age of majority. Each trip consists of roundtrip economy airfare to a selected destination + $1,000 spending money (approximate value $6,000/prize).

WHERE: Dundas Square, 1 Dundas St. E, Toronto, Ontario.



Bonus Offers

Delta SkyMiles
- 500 Bonus SkyMiles on your next Hertz Rental Worldwide. More... Register and book Sep 30 for rentals until Dec 31,13

Icelandair Saga Club
- 20% Bonus Saga Club Award Points when you buy or gift Saga Club points. More... Until Sep 30, 13

IHG Rewards Club
- 5,000 Bonus Priority Club Points plus complimentary breakfast at Hotel Indigo locations Worldwide. More... Until ?

Le Club accorhotels

- Double Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays of 2 or more nights at Novotel Hotels in France, Germany, the UK or Sweden. More... Until Sep 30, 13

Olympic Air Travelair Club (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com)
- Double Travelair Miles for Olympic Air flights between Santorini and Mykonos or Heraklion. More... Until Sep 15, 13
- Double Travelair Miles on Hermes Yacht rentals. More... Book by Sep 30, 13

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Earn up to Quadruple Royal Orchid Miles on Avis rentals in Asia, US, Canada, Europe, Middle-East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. More... Until Sep 30, 13

Transaero Privilege (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com)
- 5x Privilege Points for stays at the Rixos Premium Belek, Rixos Sungate or Rixos Premium Bodrum. More... Until Oct 1, 13





Remember to follow Rewards Canada on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to our Newsletter and RSS feed

Is Air Canada Altitude descending?

First time Rewards Canada contributor Sol Zia gives us his perspective on the recent Air Canada Altitude changes that we mentioned back on August 21 (click the link for complete details on the changes if you are not aware of them yet)

Recently, and rather unceremoniously, Air Canada (AC) announced a number or changes to miles accumulation and upgrade benefits at various tier levels in their fledgling Altitude program. Those changes were summarized in an email dated August 19th and more details could be found on the Air Canada Altitude website. Reading the email sounded like a doctor telling you a good news, bad news prognosis and starting with the good news without even asking.

The good news, and it's been a long time coming, is the ability to earn status miles (Altitude Qualifying Miles if you will) for Tango fares that previously did not qualify for status miles. And now for the bad news, and there's lot of bad news, starting next year, upgrading will be a costly affair and upgrading companions will be more challenging (not that it started out easy). Unless you are Super Elite (Super Elite 100K to be precise) you will be required to pay an add-on, on top of surrendering those hard earned e-upgrade credits on AC long haul. Further bad news came in the body of reduced ability to upgrade those traveling with elite tier travelers. This will be most felt by Super Elite 100Ks with family who were looking to upgrade their loved ones on  paid or award tickets to that far off vacation destination. It has only been a year that Super Elites have had the feature of upgrading on award tickets and next year it will be gone.

"What's the big deal?" you say, "Many US carriers are already doing this!" True, but Air Canada has started out with add-on price points between $500 and $750 CAD well above where US competitors started. AC has chosen to price the add-ons competitively to the marketplace versus a more gradual approach or more discreet add-on levels by distance traveled. By taking such a sweeping approach to 25, 35, 50 and 75K level members one might predict that further changes to each sub-Super Elite level are coming. The trend for US carriers has been to widen the gulf between tiers so with so many tiers AC may rapidly follow suit and eliminate benefits for the "lower" tiers. With so much profit concentrated with 50, 75 and 100K members AC could, arguably, reduce benefits at the 25 and 35K level without much economic impact. At the 25 and 35K level members are clearly doing fewer long hauls so the knee-jerk compulsion to switch to United or other Star Alliance members makes only emotional sense as United would offer no greater benefit to a 25 or 35K member.

At the 50, 75 and 100K level things are a bit more interesting as switching earning designation could yield improved benefits on, for example, United while retaining Star Alliance Gold status giving you access to elite check-in counters, no fee and prioritized baggage, domestic lounges and advance boarding. It will be interesting to see if defection becomes measurable and AC has to examine some of its recent changes to Altitude.

At the end of the day these changes make a great deal of economic sense to Air Canada and devaluing 25 and 35K members may prove a winning bet. Let's see if the bet pays off for the 50, 75 and 100K members.

Sol Zia, a loyalty consultant, has been an Air Canada Super Elite (100K) member since he first fast-tracked out of Elite in 2003.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Aug 27 Update: Air France KLM Fall/Winter Seat Sale, Best Western Bonus for South America stays, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Bonus

Quiet day today!

News, Tips & Tricks

No news to bring you today but our tip of the day is if you are planning to rent a car in the near future always make sure you visit our Car Rentals Bonus Offer page first to see if you can earn more miles or points on that rental!

Travel Deals
Both Air France and KLM have launched great seat sales for to Europe and beyond from all their gateways in Canada. Tickets need to be booked by Sep 17 for travel between Oct 16 and Dec 10, 2013 or Dec 25 and May 6, 14. Fares start as low as $849 all in. Book online at at airfrance.ca or KLM.com 




Bonus Offers

Best Western Rewards
- Double Rewards Points when you complete 3 separate qualified stays at any Best Western hotel in South America. More... Until Dec 31, 13

Carlson Hotels Club Carlson
- Buy 2 nights get 1 free for 3-night stays when you check-in on a Thursday and check-out on a Sunday at any participating Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts and Park Inn by Radisson Hotels in Europe, the Middle-East and Africa. More... Until Oct 27, 13

China Airlines Dynasty Flyer
- Double Dynasty Flyer Miles when you rent for 3 days or longer in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain Mainland, UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. More... Book between Aug 31 and Sep 30 for rentals until Mar 31, 14

Emirates Skywards
- Quadruple Skywards Miles and a complimentary room upgrade when you stay at any Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts property in Europe. More... Sep 1 - Nov 30 , 13

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
- Triple Gold Plus Rewards Points at participating Hertz locations in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, U.S.V.I., United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand only. More... Sep 1 - 30, 13 Valid for residents of the U.S. and Canada only

Iberia Plus
- Double Avios when you fly Iberia between Madrid and Accra, Malabo, Nouakchott, Paris, Zurich, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, San Jose de Costa Rica, Sao Paulo or Lagos. More... Register Sep 1 - 15 for travel Sep 1 - Oct 31, 13

JetBlue TrueBlue (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double TrueBlue Points when you fly a nonstop roundtrip Emirates flight from New York (JFK) to Milan. More... Book by Sep 10 for travel Oct 1, 13 - Mar 31, 14


PointsHound: Double Miles/Points on all bookings until August 31

As we mentioned on the FrequentFlyerBonuses.com Twitter feed yesterday you could expect PointsHound.com to launch a double miles/points campaign sometime today for all bookings made via their website until August 31. Well that promotion is now live so if you like to use PointsHound for some or all of your hotel bookings now is the time to do so! The promotion doesn't state when you have to complete the stay by so I asked PointsHound to let us know if there is such an end date.


If you have not joined PointsHound yet you can earn a 250 mile bonus on your first booking made after signing up via our referral link. Just so you know, I will also earn a 250 miles bonus on that first booking of yours for referring you. I thank everyone in advance who joins via my referral link!

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26 Update: Via Rail Preference Reward Sale, Le Club accorhotels Platinum Status Offer, IHG's The Big Win Promotion

Welcome to another short week on Rewards Canada (updates Mon-Thu only)

News, Tips & Tricks

In case you missed some of our 'late night' posts from last night: IHG has released their next systemwide promo called The Big Win and the other was news from Capital One that the Delta SkyMiles World MasterCard will now offer priority boarding on Delta and Delta Connection flights.

In other Capital One news, you may have noticed a few months ago we removed the Capital One Aspire Cash World MasterCard from our Cash Back comparison chart and also pulled our post on Making the Most of Canada's best Cash Back credit cards. That is because we had received advance notice that Capital one was going to discontinue this card and we can sadly say that it is official now.

Via Rail Preference has launched a reward ticket sale, see the bonus offers section below for details!

Air Canada will be expanding their Toronto-Sydney Nova Scotia service from summer seasonal to year roud service as of Dec 18. This good news for AC flyers in Sydney NS! (Source Airline Route Updates)

Every month there is a new Le Club accorhotels Platinum status offer that good ol' John at LoyaltyLobby posts about and this latest one also gets his credit. The link is here and remember when you sign up for this offer you have to use an email address that is not being used for a current or past Le Club accorhotels account. Also once you sign up with this link do not call customer service and ask them to join any other account you may have with them as this will get your account closed. If you have points in another account use them up and then focus on your new Platinum account. That Platinum status can also be used to get a status match with Best Western Rewards.


Reader Question:
One of our Twitter followers posted this question in regards to IHG's The Big Win promotion
"How would I register a stay I have already booked?"

Since the T&Cs don't mention anything about when a stay needs to be booked any and all stays during the promotion period should count regardless of when it was booked. The only potential miss I see is if you got something similar to: "Book with us: Book 2 separate stays through an IHG® hotel website or mobile device to get our best price guarantee and receive 2,000 Points" that I got. If that is the case check to see if you can cancel and rebook your stay online (always check the new rate before you cancel however to ensure you don't end up paying more)



Bonus Offers

British Airways Executive Club
- Triple Avios, a complimentary room upgrade and a bottle of champagne (or alternative non-alcoholic drink) for stays at participating Waldorf Astoria properties Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 13

China Southern Sky Pearl Club

- Earn up to 75% Bonus SkyPearl Kilometers when you fly on China Southern between Dalian and Toyama. More... Sep 25 - Oct 31, 13

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Triple HawaiianMiles when you at any Joie de Vivre and Resort. More... Until Dec 31, 13
- Double HawaiianMiles for stays at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach Waikiki. More... Until Dec 21, 13

IHG Rewards Club
- The Big Win: Earn at least 50,000 IHG® Rewards Club bonus points or at least 10,000 miles throughout the promotional period when you stay at any IHG hotel Worldwide. More... Sep 1 - Dec 31, 13
- 5,000 points per award night - Priority Club Point Breaks Redeem only 5,000 points for stays at select hotels Worldwide. Offer and participating hotels are subject to change at any time, valid for stays thru Oct 31, 13. More...

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

- Triple Mileage Bank Miles when you stay at selected Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts in Shanghai, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London and Rome. More... Until Dec 20, 13

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Earn up to 14,000 Bonus QMiles for Qatar Airways flights between Doha and Chengdu. More... Sep 3 - Nov 30, 13
- Double QMiles when you rent a car from Hertz for 3 days or longer Worldwide. More... Until Oct 31, 13

Via Rail Preference
- 20% Preference Points Discount when you book and travel an Eastern or Western reward trip on the Ocean, the Montréal - Gaspé, or the Canadian. More... Until Nov 30, 13





Remember to follow Rewards Canada on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to our Newsletter and RSS feed

Latest Priority Club PointBreaks Offers released (good to 10/31)

One of the best redemptions in the hotel loyalty program world is IHG's Priority Club PointBreaks and the latest set of offers are now out for stays until October 31st. 

Why are Priority Club Point Breaks such a great deal? Because they offer reward nights at participating IHG hotels Worldwide for only 5,000 Priority Club points. For those of you not to familiar with Priority Club, normal redemption rates for Priority Club reward nights run from as low as 10,000 points for some Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express locations to 50,000 points for ultra-luxurious InterContinental locations and even these locations can participate in Point Breaks. So as you can see you can receive a discount of 50 to 88% off the regular redemption rates. You may be thinking that the high end hotels won't participate but they do depending on the time of year! Please note that like most loyalty promotions these offers are capacity controlled so I advise to book sooner than later to ensure you get the Point Breaks rate.

Here is the list of hotels participating this time:


Europe

AUSTRIA
HOLIDAY INN VIENNA - SOUTH

CYPRUS
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL LIMASSOL

GERMANY
HOLIDAY INN DÜSSELDORF AIRPORT - RATINGEN

GREECE
HOLIDAY INN ATHENS - ATTICA AV, AIRPORT W

ITALY
HOLIDAY INN SALERNO - CAVA DE' TIRRENI
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS REGGIO EMILIA

LITHUANIA
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL VILNIUS

NETHERLANDS (HOLLAND)
HOLIDAY INN IJMUIDEN - SEAPORT BEACH

SLOVAKIA
HOLIDAY INN ZILINA

SPAIN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS MADRID - ALCORCON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS VALENCIA-CIUDAD DE LAS CIENCIA

TURKEY
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL BURSA

UKRAINE
INTERCONTINENTAL KIEV

UNITED KINGDOM
HOLIDAY INN WALSALL M6, JCT. 10
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BIRMINGHAM - SOUTH A45
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS COLCHESTER
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS LIVERPOOL - KNOWSLEY M57,JCT.4
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS ROTHERHAM - NORTH
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS HARLOW
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SWINDON CITY CENTRE

Asia

INDIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AHMEDABAD ASHRAM ROAD
HOLIDAY INN COCHIN

INDONESIA
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL JAKARTA

THAILAND
HOLIDAY INN BANGKOK SUKHUMVIT 22

CHINA(PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC)
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS NANTONG XINGHU
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SHANGHAI MEILONG
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL CHONGQING RIVERSIDE
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL ZHENGZHOU
HOLIDAY INN SHIJIAZHUANG CENTRAL
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL HANGZHOU GRAND CANAL
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SHANGHAI WUJIAOCHANG

Middle East & Africa

JORDAN
INTERCONTINENTAL AMMAN (JORDAN)

ISRAEL
HOLIDAY INN ASHKELON

Central & South America

COSTA RICA
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL SAN JOSE COROBICI

HONDURAS
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL SAN PEDRO SULA

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL SANTO DOMINGO

Mexico

HOLIDAY INN DURANGO
HOLIDAY INN TUXTLA GUTIERREZ
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL LEON, GTO

Canada

ALBERTA
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES LLOYDMINSTER
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS GRANDE PRAIRIE

BRITISH COLUMBIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES VERNON

NOVA SCOTIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS HALIFAX-BEDFORD

ONTARIO
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL HAMILTON HOTEL & CONF CENTER
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES OAKVILLE @ BRONTE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES KINCARDINE - DOWNTOWN

QUEBEC
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SAINT - HYACINTHE
United States
ARKANSAS
CANDLEWOOD SUITES FORT SMITH

CALIFORNIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CORNING
HOLIDAY INN SELMA-SWANCOURT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS UNION CITY (SAN JOSE)

COLORADO
CANDLEWOOD SUITES GRAND JUNCTION NW

CONNECTICUT
HOLIDAY INN DANBURY-BETHEL @ I-84

DELAWARE
HOLIDAY INN DOVER-DOWNTOWN

FLORIDA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES JACKSONVILLE
SOUTH - I-295


GEORGIA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES WARNER ROBINS/ROBINS AFB

IOWA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SHELDON

IDAHO
CANDLEWOOD SUITES BOISE-MERIDIAN

ILLINOIS
CANDLEWOOD SUITES OFALLON, IL - ST. LOUIS AREA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES PEKIN (PEORIA AREA)

INDIANA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES BEDFORD
CANDLEWOOD SUITES SOUTH BEND AIRPORT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES WABASH

KANSAS
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS JUNCTION CITY

KENTUCKY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CAMPBELLSVILLE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES FRANKFORT

LOUISIANA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS EUNICE
STAYBRIDGE SUITES COVINGTON

MARYLAND
CANDLEWOOD SUITES ABERDEEN-EDGEWOOD-BEL AIR
HOLIDAY INN CUMBERLAND-DOWNTOWN

MICHIGAN
CANDLEWOOD SUITES DETROIT-TROY
CANDLEWOOD SUITES ST. JOSEPH/BENTON HARBOR
STAYBRIDGE SUITES DETROIT - NOVI

MINNESOTA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ALBERT LEA - I-35
HOLIDAY INN DETROIT LAKES

MISSOURI
CANDLEWOOD SUITES ST. JOSEPH
STAYBRIDGE SUITES OFALLON CHESTERFIELD

MISSISSIPPI
CANDLEWOOD SUITES PEARL
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS MCCOMB
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SOUTHAVEN (MEMPHIS INTL ARPT)

MONTANA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES BOZEMAN WEST

NORTH CAROLINA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES WILSON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS GOLDSBORO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES MURPHY




NORTH DAKOTA
STAYBRIDGE SUITES BISMARCK

NEBRASKA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES LINCOLN SOUTH
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SCOTTSBLUFF-GERING

NEW HAMPSHIRE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES MERRIMACK

NEW JERSEY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES TOWER CENTER
NEW BRUNSWICK


NEW MEXICO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES TRUTH OR
CONSEQUENCES


NEVADA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS FALLON

NEW YORK
HOLIDAY INN MIDDLETOWN-GOSHEN

OHIO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS TOLEDO NORTH
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES NAPOLEON
HOLIDAY INN WILMINGTON
HOLIDAY INN DAYTON/FAIRBORN I-675

OKLAHOMA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES OKMULGEE

OREGON
HOLIDAY INN PORTLAND- I-5 S (WILSONVILLE)

PENNSYLVANIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS FRAZER-MALVERN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES LEBANON

SOUTH CAROLINA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES COLUMBIA-FT. JACKSON

SOUTH DAKOTA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ABERDEEN

TEXAS
CANDLEWOOD SUITES HOUSTON IAH / BELTWAY 8
CANDLEWOOD SUITES LEAGUE CITY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CORPUS
CHRISTI-PORTLAND

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES FALFURRIAS
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES FORT WORTH
SOUTHWEST (I-20)

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES UVALDE

UTAH
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES VERNAL -
DINOSAURLAND


VIRGINIA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES ALEXANDRIA - FORT BELVOIR
CANDLEWOOD SUITES HAMPTON
HOLIDAY INN LYNCHBURG
STAYBRIDGE SUITES HERNDON-DULLES

WASHINGTON
CANDLEWOOD SUITES BURLINGTON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CHEHALIS-CENTRALIA

WISCONSIN
CANDLEWOOD SUITES WAUSAU-RIB MOUNTAIN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ANTIGO
STAYBRIDGE SUITES MILWAUKEE AIRPORT SOUTH

WEST VIRGINIA
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES CHARLESTON WEST

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Delta SkyMiles® World MasterCard® to offer priority boarding on Delta flights

Like we mentioned last week, a lot of credit cards will be adding new features or changing with the end of summer. First we had the news from the BMO World Elite last week and now we are pleased to bring you this news.

As of tomorrow (August 26th) all current and future Capital One® Delta SkyMiles® World MasterCard® customers will benefit from Priority Boarding on all Delta and Delta Connection flights. Priority boarding (or Zone 1 boarding) means cardholders and their travel companions may avoid the long general boarding queue, and boarding earlier means a good chance there will be overhead room for your carry-on baggage.

This is great news for non-elite SkyMiles members who carry this card as many of Delta's flights to Canada tend to be on smaller regional jets and not Delta's mainline jets. We all know that overhead bin space is at a premium on CRJ's and such so while it is not a huge game changing benefit as a whole in the Canadian credit card market it definitely will make this card more attractive to Delta flyers.

“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.”

IHG Rewards Club - The Big Win: Earn 50,000+ Bonus Points


While I was traveling on Friday IHG emailed me the details on their new promotion and while there was only supposed to be a sneak peek of the promotion until it officially launched tomorrow it appears they have let people register early and the promotion itself is customized for every member with only the first bonus on the first nights stay being the same for everyone. That bonus is 1,000 points or 500 airline miles. After that is where the customization kicks in for each member. Here is the offer as it will appear on our very large IHG Rewards Club Bonus points page tomorrow:

Earn at least 50,000 IHG® Rewards Club bonus points or at least 10,000 miles throughout the promotional period when you stay at any IHG hotel, including the InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo® Hotels, Holiday Inn® Hotels, Holiday Inn Resort® Hotels, Holiday Inn Club Vacations®, Holiday Inn Express® Hotels, Staybridge Suites® Hotels or Candlewood Suites® Hotels brands Worldwide. Members will be awarded with 1,000 bonus points or 500 miles for their first night’s stay. Members will begin to earn when they register and stay between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013. After the first stay, members will receive customized offers to earn at least 50,000 bonus points or 10,000 bonus miles for stays during the promotional period. To find out what your customized offer visit ihgrewardsclub.com/win

Here is the offer I received:
Try One and Done: 1,000 Points
Stay More and Earn More: Stay a total of 4 nights and receive 4,000 Points
Explore our brands: Stay at 3 different IHG brands and receive 10,000 Points
Book with us: Book 2 separate stays through an IHG® hotel website or mobile device to get our best price guarantee and receive 2,000 Points
Win in a Weekend: Stay 2 Saturday nights and receive 8,000 Points
Win Big: Complete all of your offers and receive 25,000 Points

My offers are pretty low as I hit only the 50,000 point mark whereas others are reporting offers that get them bonuses into the 70,000 point range. However this offer is easily achievable with as little as three stays with one of those stays being 2 nights long. I may just try for this offer even though most of my stays have been directed towards Starwood and Hyatt as of late since those 50,000 points would net me a stay at Category 9 hotel or even the possibility of 10 free nights using IHG's PointBreaks offer of reward nights for 5,000 points.

What offer did you receive? Feel free to share it with the FFB readership below and let us know if you are going to try for some or all of your offer.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Aug 22 Update: Reader question on Air Miles/WestJet fees and Hyatt's next systemwide promo

This is the last update for this week as we are off tomorrow. Regular updates will return on Monday!

News, Tips & Tricks

Looks like the BMO World Elite changes we mentioned yesterday are being noticed! We received a few emails of people who are happy about the changes. I just wish BMO would have responded to our requests for upcoming changes to cards back in June as the card would have definitely ranked differently in the 'Travel Points Credit Card with annual fee" category for our 2013 Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Card. Chances are and I am saying this without looking at the full metrics of the change that the card would have ranked second or third. The main thing keeping this card back is the fact that you have to book with BMO Rewards, which means you have to have the points upfront, even if it isn't the full amount where the other cards at the top of the category allow you to book via any method and give you time after that booking to redeem your points which means you can earn more points to make that one travel charge cheaper or that you can redeem for something you may book while you are on vacation like a train ticket. So unless no other cards change (which isn't going to happen given that CIBC will have some new cards) you'll see the BMO World Elite move up in the 2014 rankings!

And as we mentioned this is not the only card to see changes coming this September, another one of Canada's best Travel Rewards cards (we can't mention the name yet) will get even better as of September 3rd! Stay tuned.

Reader Question:
One of our readers posed this question to us via email and asked for us to comment:

 

"The Taxes and other fees charged by Airmiles on Westjet flights greatly exceed those charged by Westjet for the same flight. This seems wrong. Will you please comment?"


The reason why the taxes and fees charged by Air Miles on WestJet fights are higher than WestJet is due to two reasons. One is Air Miles charges a service fee for their bookings that fall into those fees but the primary reason is that you are paying a fuel surcharge with the Air Miles redemption. Many years ago both Air Canada and WestJet starting charging fuel surcharges on their flights and they showed up as a separate line item but this raised tons of complaints because the cost of a flight ended up being way higher than the advertised base fare. In response, Air Canada and WestJet did built those fuel surcharge into the base fare, so when you book the flight directly you don't see this. However WestJet breaks out the fuel surcharge when charging Air Miles for the ticket and Air Miles passes along that surcharge to person redeeming. So what in fact is happening is you are only redeeming Air Miles for the absolute base fare of flight and have to pay the same taxes and fees seen from WestJet but also the fuel surcharge which you don't see on their bookings. The same happens when you redeem Aeroplan miles for Air Canada flights or many of their partner flights. I hope this explains why there is the difference in taxes and fees for the exact same flight!


Bonus Offers

ANA All Nippon Mileage Club
- Earn up to 100% Bonus Mileage Club miles when you fly on non-stop flights marketed and operated by United Airlines or All Nippon Airways (ANA) between Seattle and Tokyo, Narita. More... Until Nov 30, 13

China Eastern Eastern Miles
- 2,000 Eastern Miles Points for stays at participating Langham properties in China. More... Sep 1 - Dec 31, 13
- Double Eastern Miles Points for stays of 2 or more nights at any Shangri-La hotel, resort, Traders hotel or Kerry hotel Worldwide. More... Sep 1 - Nov 30, 13

Hyatt Gold Passport
- Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Gold Passport Points for eligible stays at any participating Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, or Hyatt Residence Club™ hotel and resort worldwide, or any participating M life resort. More... Register between Sep 9 - Oct 31, 13 for stays between Sep 9 - Nov 30, 13

Le Club accorhotels
- Double Le Club Accorhotels for stays at the Novotel Yogyakarta More... Until Oct 31, 13

Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle
- Triple GC Award Points for stays of four or more nights in a signature suite at the Shangri-La Hotel Paris. More... Sep 1 - Nov 30, 13

Hyatt: Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Gold Passport Points for stays Sep 9 - Nov 30, 13

Hyatt's Gold Passport program was one of the few hotel programs that did not run a systemwide promotion over the summer months although some members were targeted with select offers. Well the wait is over for all Gold Passport members as they have announced their next systemwide promotion called "Discover New Possibilities".  To earn any bonus points you have to stay at least 5 nights with Hyatt during that time period. Registration for the promotion does not open until September 9. For those of you who don't have too many nights planned this fall you may be better off taking advantage of SPG's Double Take or Marriott's MegaBonus. Here is the offer as it will appear on RC's Hyatt page later today:

Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Gold Passport Points for eligible stays at any participating Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, or Hyatt Residence Club™ hotel and resort worldwide, or any participating M life resort.
Bonuses are as follows:
Stay           Earn                                       Total Bonus Points Earned
5 Nights      5,000 bonus points                   = 5,000
10 Nights    additional 10,000 bonus points    = 15,000
15 Nights    additional 15,000 bonus points    = 30,000
20 Nights    additional 20,000 bonus points    = 50,000
Members must register to take part in the promotion. Register Online (Registration is required) Register between Sep 9 - Oct 31, 13 for stays between Sep 9 - Nov 30, 13


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Aug 21 Update: 2x Asia Miles for premium fares between Canada & Hong Kong, Air Canada Altitude devalued, Alaska Airlines flight bonus

Most of today's information and news has come to you already in separate posts but here is a summary:

News, Tips & Tricks

Air Canada Altitude has been devalued again. See all the details in our post here. Also stay tuned for a post from an Air Canada Elite member to hear his thoughts on the changes.

BMO is updating their World Elite MasterCard, find our more here.

And not too many new bonus offers for Canadians (we had more on FFB but three are not available to us) including the Cathay Pacific flight offer mentioned earlier today and a pretty decent offer from Alaska Airlines if you fly them frequently via Seattle or Portland to cities like Los Angeles, Dallas and more. Also worth mentioning is the third bonus offer listed below for Etihad flights as I want to note that you don't have to be a big corporation to join BusinessConnect and take advantage of the bonus miles. You can even be a Sole Propietorship (or pretend to be one and use your SIN as your business number.... but you did not hear that here!) to join and then link your Etihad Guest account to your BusinessConnect account to make sure you can earn up to Triple Miles on Etihad flights in September.


Bonus Offers

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- Earn up to 10,000 Bonus Mileage Plan Miles on qualifying paid nonstop flights between Seattle(SEA) and Boston(BOS), Las Vegas(LAS), Los Angeles(LAX), Philadelphia(PHL), or San Francisco (SFO), and between Portland(PDX) and Atlanta(ATL), Chicago(ORD), Dallas(DFW), Las Vegas(LAS), Los Angeles(LAX), or San Francisco(SFO). More... Until Nov 12, 13



Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Double Asia miles when you register and fly one-way or round-trip in First, Business or Premium Economy Class on Cathay Pacific from Canada to Hong Kong. More... Sep 1- Nov 30, 13 Valid for residents of Canada only

Etihad Guest
- Earn up to Triple Guest Miles on all Etihad flights Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 13 Valid for members whose accounts are connected with an Etihad BusinessConnect account only


BMO World Elite MasterCard being enhanced as of September 1st!

As I mentioned yesterday, watch for changes to come to a few Canadian credit card this September and here is the first of them that we are going to bring you.

A pretty strong card in its own right that came 5th place in the "Travel Points Credit Card with annual fee" category in our 2013 Top Travel Rewards Credit Card rankings, the BMO World Elite MasterCard is getting a slight revamping as of September 1st.

Thanks to Rewards Canada reader Michael D. for passing along this information from a letter he received:
Just got a letter from BMO that Effective September 1 ... the redemption rate will now be 2% for every dollar vs 1.9%. Also they are giving free additional cards. Also you will now get 2 BMO points for ever dollar to make it easier to understand the redemption. 100 BMO points will = $1

These aren't huge changes but the fact that they are all good is huge given the negative news from many programs over the past few months!

Free additional cards is a great new feature considering the primary card costs $150 (this is now exactly the same as another top card, the American Express Gold Rewards Card)

The redemption rate moves to 2% from 1.9% while not huge it does make this card even better. This redemption rate is because of the card now offering 2 points per dollar instead of 1 and that the method of redemption of BMO Rewards Points is now less complex. Before the changes the card offered 1 point per dollar but that 1 point was worth 1.9% due to a somewhat complex redemption process.  The new redemption process as mentioned will be 100 points = $1 (no more trying to calculate what your points are worth at that 1.9% rate) as 1 point will equal a 1% return and since the card will earn 2 points on all eligible spending you actual rate of return is 2%.

The only possible negative aspect of this change is that the sign up bonus gets highly devalued if they don't increase it as of September 1st. The current sign up bonus is 15,000 points which is currently marketed as a $285 travel credit (using the 1.9% value) but because of the new redemption rate of 100 points = $1 that 15,000 points will only equal a $150 travel credit (or with this special link where you get 20,000 points or $200). I wouldn't be surprised if we see the sign up bonus move to 25,000 or 30,000 points as of September 1st to accommodate the new redemption rate but then again because of the new feature that supplementary cards are free the may not as the reduced value of the sign up bonus would compensate for that new benefit.

Air Canada Altitude devalued once again.....


On August 19th Air Canada's Elite program, Altitude, announced some changes to this already negatively modified program that are once again.... negative (well there is one slight positive).

Here are the details as announced on FlyerTalk by an Air Canada Altitude representative:

More miles with many Air Canada fares

Starting tomorrow – August 20 – all members will earn more Altitude Qualifying Miles on many Air Canada fares:

  • Earn 25% Altitude Qualifying Miles when you purchase a Tango fare for travel within Canada on flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Express. Tango fares for travel across all other markets will remain at 50% Altitude Qualifying Miles.
  • Earn 125% Altitude Qualifying Miles when you purchase a Latitude or Premium Economy fare on all flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Express across our network.
  • Earn 150% Altitude Qualifying Miles when you purchase an Executive First or Executive Class fare on all flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Express across our network.
  • Earn Altitude Qualifying Miles when you purchase any fare – including Tango fares, which previously earned non-qualifying Aeroplan Miles – on flights operated by Air Canada rouge .

Note that this change will apply to all reservations, regardless of booking date, for travel effective tomorrow.

eUpgrade Add-ons

In order to preserve the sustainability of the eUpgrade benefit on overseas International flights, beginning March 2014, certain Altitude members will see the introduction of eUpgrade Add-ons. eUpgrade Add-ons are a supplementary payment, in addition to the required number of eUpgrade Credits that will apply as follows:
  • eUpgrade Add-ons will apply for Altitude Prestige 25K, Elite 35K, Elite 50K and Elite 75K members. Add-ons will also apply to the upgraded travel companions of members who hold one of those Altitude status levels. Add-ons will not apply for Super Elite 100K members or their companions.
  • eUpgrade Add-ons will apply only for travel on longhaul, international flights. Specifically, add-ons are applicable for travel between Canada and Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and South America. Add-ons will not apply for travel within North America, including Sun destinations.
  • eUpgrade Add-ons will apply to upgrades from Flex fares. Add-ons will not apply to upgrades from Latitude or Premium Economy fares.
  • eUpgrade Add-ons will not change how you request an upgrade. As today, you will continue to be able to request an upgrade at aircanada.com/upgrade, through Air Canada Reservations or with an agent at the airport. Where applicable, however, you will be required to provide a credit card in order to pay for the add-on. Note that the credit card will only be charged if your upgrade is successful, and all charges will be processed in Canadian Dollars (CAD).
  • eUpgrade Add-ons will vary by market. The rate you pay will include any applicable taxes, and will be priced as follows:
    • Between Canada and Europe, the Middle East & South America: $500
    • Between Canada and Asia & Australia: $750
Other changes to eUpgrades

Also beginning in March 2014, a few additional changes to eUpgrades will take effect:
  • The eUpgrade Travel Companion benefit will be expanded, and will replace eUpgrade Nominees. On the day of departure, all Altitude members will now be able to upgrade one companion who is not travelling on the same reservation, as long as they are traveling on the same flight. This will give members more flexibility when upgrading companions who may not be traveling on the same reservation as them.
  • Altitude Super Elite 100K members will retain 2 eUpgrade Nominees. This will be in addition to the new expanded travel companion benefit.
  • eUpgrades with Aeroplan ClassicFlight Rewards will no longer be available. This benefit, currently exclusive to Super Elite 100K members, will be removed.

We'll begin with the little bit of good news out of these changes. The ability to earn Altitude Qualifying Miles on more Air Canada fares and increased Altitude Qualifying Miles on Latitude, Premium Economy and Executive Class fares. These changes went into effect as of yesterday.

And now on to the bad news, as of March 2014 you can expect these changes to take place:

eUpgrade Add-ons
What does this mean? Essentially it means you will now have to co-pay to be able to use your eUpgrade credits on Flex fares for International travel (Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and South America). All Altitude Elite members except for Super Elite 100K will be affected by this change.

The Add-on rates are as follows and per flight segment, per upgraded passenger:

That is good chunk of change to be able to use your eUpgrade credits if you are traveling on a Flex Fare which are already quite a bit more expensive than other fares. These upgrade rates are similar to the Last Minute Upgrade options that are sometimes offered during online check in or airport check in and of course with those you don't have to use your eUpgrade credits. Watch the LMU rates will be drastically increased in March so that Altitude members are forced to play the upgrade lotto with eUpgrade credits + co-pay rather than just hope for the best and only pay cash at check-in.

According to Air Canada, here is why they are doing this (sounds like Delta a few weeks back with their reasoning behind Business Class award ticket increases for their new premium product)
eUpgrade Add-ons applied to eUpgrades by Altitude Elite 75K, Elite 50K, Elite 35K and Prestige 25K on long haul international overseas flights will allow us to better balance the system-wide eUpgrade benefit with the cost of delivering and maintaining the premium travel experience of Executive First. Even with this change, the eUpgrade benefit continues to deliver exceptional value to Altitude members in terms of access to the Executive First cabin, for less then the published fare

eUpgrade eligibility and transferability Finally, the last change to the Altitude program is for eUpgrade eligibility and transferability. Gone will be the ability to 'share' eUpgrade credits with your nominees. Now you have to be on the same flight to be able to upgrade a traveling companion who does not have to be on the same reservation however. Also gone is the ability for Super Elites to use eUpgrade credits on ClassicFlight rewards however Super Elites do retain the nominee option but that has been dropped from 4 nominees to 2 because of the new 'travel companion' rule that all Altitude members get.

Of course if you want to see all this on Air Canada's site you can do so here.

In conclusion these changes are primarily negative unless you are a Super Elite 100K member or simply earn AQM's for other status benefits outside of the upgrade options. The biggest hit is to those who are Altitude Elite 75K, Elite 50K, Elite 35K and Prestige 25K because of the new co-pay requirement. Plus when you combine these Air Canada changes with the Aeroplan changes over the past few years (the increased mileage requirements for premium International travel) you can see why some mid-level Air Canada elite members are seriously considering a switch to other Star Alliance based programs.

What are your thoughts on these changes? Comment below, we'd love to hear them and we're also sure many of readers would too!

Aug 28 Update: Read commentary about the changes from a Super Elite 100K member