Monday, February 3, 2014

Feb 3 Update: Wyndham Rewards devalues points to miles conversions, The Platinum Card from Amex loses AA/US Airways lounge access, Double Starpoints with SPG Dining

Welcome to another month, another week and another day of travel rewards!

News, Tips & Tricks
Earlier today we posted the news about Aeroplan becoming the latest Rocketmiles partner where you can earn thousands of Aeroplan miles on your hotel bookings. We went back to Aeroplan with one more question, do miles awarded via Rocketmiles count towards Distinction status and the answer is yes!! Read more about the partnershiup and first booking bonus here.

If you read any of the U.S. or U.K. frequent flyer blogs you'll have known that their versions of The Platinum Card from American Express were losing access to American Airlines Admiral Clubs and US Airways Club this March. We can confirm now that this is also the case for the Canadian version of The Platinum Card as letters have and are being sent out to cardholders about the change. Here is an excerpt:
Airport Club Access/Airport Lounge Changes
Starting March 21, 2014 select American Express Cardmembers will no longer have access to American Airlines Admirals Club and US Airways Club airport lounges through their Card benefits. However, these lounges only represent a fraction of those available through our Airport Lounge Program. Applicable Cardemembers will still have complimentary access to Priority Pass lounges, Delta Skyclubs and American Express lounges, which combined offers access to over 600 lounge locations around the world.

The above doesn’t apply to Cardmembers who qualify directly under American Airlines’ or US Airways’ access policies. Meaning, any Cardmember who currently have access to the American Airlines Admirals Club lounges or US Airways Club lounges will continue to receive this access under those policies.

Finally, Cardmembers can still visit American Airlines lounges by purchasing a one-day lounge pass or an annual Admirals Club Membership. If they would like to visit the US Airways Club lounge, they may purchase a temporary lounge pass or an annual US Airways Club Membership.

Another program decides to change redemption rates and once again without advance notice! The program is Wyndham Rewards and the change comes in their points to airline miles conversion. As of January 31 the decent ratio of 1,000 points to 400 airline miles was halved, now those 1,000 points will only net you 200 airline miles. As Ric Garrido puts it on his Loyalty Traveler blog:

When pegged to the base points earn rate for hotel spend in these five programs, the new Wyndham Rewards points-to-miles exchange rate is now the equivalent to most of the major hotel programs dominant in the USA

It is really unfortunate to see this happen yet again but other than Wyndham now matching chains like IHG, Best Western and Club Carlson in the airline miles ratio, changes like these are brought about as the hotel reward programs try to get members to re-evaluate where they use their points and as any good loyalty program manager would tell you the best place is for their own brand redemptions. With a devaluation like this it is the hope of Wyndham Rewards that they will have less point to airline conversions and more redemeptions for stays at their hotels as those reward nights typically bring along incremental revenue like dining, spa services etc. where at least part of that room redemption can be recouped. You can see the details of this change here.

Travel Deals
Take 10% off participating hotels (Min. Spend $200) with the Winteruption Sale! Use PROMOCODE: BONUS10CA. Ends 2/4.

Bonus Offers

Air Canada Aeroplan
- 3,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles on your very first booking with Rocketmiles. More... Book by Apr 6 for stays until Dec 31, 14

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- Earn up to 40% Bonus Mileage Plan Miles when you buy or gift Mileage Plan miles. More... Until Mar 15, 14

Emirates Skywards
- 2,000 Bonus Skywards Miles on all Hertz car rentals of 3 or more days in the US. More... Book by Mar 31 for rentals Mar 10 - Apr 30, 14

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Earn up to 6,000 Bonus QMiles for Qatar Airways flights between Doha and Larnaca. More... Apr 29 - Jul 31, 14
- Earn up to 4,000 Bonus QMiles for Qatar Airways flights between Doha and Sharjah. More... Mar 1 - May 31, 14
- Double QMiles for stays on the Winter Breaks offer at all participating Kempinski Hotels worldwide. More... Until Mar 31, 14
- Double QMiles for stays at all participating Shaza Hotels. More... Until Mar 1, 14
- Double QMiles for stays at participating Taj Hotels worldwide. More... Until Mar 31, 14
- Double QMiles for Hertz rentals of 3 or more days at participating locations Worldwide. More... Book by Mar 31 for rentals until Apr 30, 14

Southwest Rapid Rewards
(on only)
- Earn up to 2,500 Bonus Rapid Rewards Points when you join the Rapid Rewards program. More... Until ?

Starwood Preferred Guest
- SPG Twice as Nice: Double Starpoints when you dine at over 1,000 participating restaurants and bars at participating Starwood hotels & resorts. More... Until Apr 30, 14
- Double Starpoints for stays in a Suite at The Le Meridien Zhengzhou. More... Until Feb 28, 14
- 500 Bonus Starpoints for stays at The Westin Houston Downtown. More... Until Apr 1, 14

US Airways Dividend Miles (on only)
- Earn up to 100% Bonus Dividend Miles when you buy or gift Dividend Miles. Valid only for those who hold a US Airways Credit Card. More... Until Feb 28, 14

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