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Amazing new welcome offer for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard - Up to 100,000 points with first year free! (Quebec gets 130,000 points with fee)

HSBC has just come out with their biggest and best offer yet for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard and in fact the bonus for Quebec resident...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Air France KLM Flying Blue Promo Awards - Save 25% on Business Class award tickets between YYZ/YUL & Europe for Jan/Feb Travel


We haven't seen Canadian cities included in Air France KLM's Flying Blue Promo Awards since June so its nice to see two of them back for this latest set of offers. These will be bookable as of November 1st and are good for award travel in the first two months 0f 2015.  The offers this time are for 25% off Business Class between Montreal or Toronto and Europe on both Air France and KLM. Don't have the miles? You could always consider transferring Starpoints earned via the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express to Flying Blue.

What are the promo awards? The promo awards are a discount of 25-50% off the regular Flying Blue mileage requirement for select Air France, KLM, Air Europe and Kenya Airways award ticktes in select cabins.  Due to increases in the regular award mileage requirements some time ago the promo awards are not as grand as they used to be but overall are still considered a great deal when compared to the regular mileage requirements. To take advantage of this deal you must book your promo award ticket between November 1st and 30th for travel between January 1st and February 28th. More details can be found here.

50% Transfer Bonus for RBC Rewards (Avion only) to British Airways Executive Club is back - Nov 1 to Dec 31


Many of you have been asking and we are pleased to let you know  that the much coveted 50% transfer bonus for RBC Rewards points to British Airways Executive Club Avios is back! This offer is for all of you RBC Avion cardholders (Infinite and Platinum) and runs from tomorrow November 1st to December 31st so now is the time to ramp up your spending if you have been planning to take advantage of this great transfer bonus! As always BA Avios are a great option for flights to Asia (via Cathay Pacific), short to medium haul within North America (Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, US Airways see this post here) and even though huge surcharges are added to their UK/Europe redemptions they can still be an alright value because of this bonus transfer based on your spend with the credit card (see my post about Earn & Burn for an explanation). As always though with any frequent flyer program you will have to be flexible in your options when redeeming due to seat availability issues (ie it may be hard to get tickets to Europe in Summer etc.) so take this into consideration before transferring.

Full details will be found here

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Oct 30 Update: Aeroplan Award Ticket Routing Rule changes, Via Rail 50% off sale, Hilton's winter bonus offer

More changes at Aeroplan, nice to highlight a non air travel deal and more today!

News, Tips & Tricks
Aeroplan has apparently put into place a new MPM routing rules. These changes are unpublished but MPM, the Maximum Permitted Mileage between city pairs had some generous allotments for award travel (ie Canada to Asia via Europe aka the infamous Aeroplan mini-RTW) along with Aeroplan allowing the MPM to be exceeded by 5% previously. Now they are moving to a more centralized mileage validation process which means they will price routings based directly on the city pair not some of the convoluted routings that the IATA publishes. Overall this can be viewed as good thing on some routings while not very good for others. Read this post on FlyerTalk for all the details and what routings are working or not working!

Pacific Coastal Airlines is launching a new route betwen Victoria and Prince George. The flight will operate 6x per week. Pacific Coastal does not have a frequent flyer program but you can use proprietary credt card reward programs like BMO Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards etc. to redeem for this flight or other Pacific Coastal flights. (Source: Airlineroute.net)

Today is the last day to earn Aeroplan miles at Rexall. As of tomorrow Air Miles kicks in and they have a promo to celebrate. Earn 100 Bonus Air Miles when you spend $50 or more between Oct 31 and Nov 2. No coupon is needed.

Second last day to vote for your favourite Travel Rewards Credit Card. If you haven't voted yet be sure to do so by Friday night! Vote here.


Travel Deals
Via Rail
has a 50% off fall sale on rail travel across Canada! Simply book by November 2nd for travel November 6 - Februaury 28. Book online here.


Bonus Offers

AeroMexico Club Premier
- Triple Club Premier Kilometers on all Accor Hotels stays Worldwide. More... Until Dec 31, 14
- Triple Club Premier Kilometers for stays at new City Express Hotels in Mexico. More... Until Dec 31, 14
- Double Club Premier Kilometers when you convert City Express Premier Club points into AeroMexico. More... Until Dec 31, 14
- Triple Club Premier Kilometers for stays at participating Melia Hotels in Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Playa del Carmen. More... Book by Nov 30 for stays until Dec 31, 14

Air Canada Aeroplan

- Earn 30,000 Aeroplan Miles with the TD Aeroplan Visa Business Card. More... Until Nov 11, 14

Asiana Club
- Triple Club Miles on all stays at participating Hilton Hotels Worlwide. More...  Until Nov 30, 14

Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double GarudaMiles on all Garuda Indonesia flights in Economy Class (Y/B/M/K/N). More... Until Dec 15, 14
- 25% GarudaMiles Discount on all Garuda Indonesia award tickets in Economy Class.
More...  Until Dec 15, 14

Hilton HHonors
- Double HHonors Points starting with your second stay at any participating hotel or resort in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio. More...   Nov 1 - Jan 31, 15

La Quinta Returns
- 20% Discount when you buy La Quinta Returns points online. More... Until Nov 23, 14

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- Earn up to 1,000 Bonus Miles&Smile Miles when you rent a car with Garenta in Turkey. More... Until Nov 30, 14


Remember to follow RC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest or subscribe to our Newsletter and RSS feed to ensure you don't miss out on any news, bonuses and more!

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Double HHonors Points on Hilton stays Worldwide starting with your 2nd stay


You may recall that a few weeks ago Hilton asked its members to vote for the next HHonors systemwide promotion and the results are out. It appears that the most votes went to the Double Points starting on your second stay option! As is almost always the case with these HHonors systemwide promos there are hotels that have chosen not to participate, the vast majority of which are in the U.S..

Offer Details
Double HHonors Points starting with your second stay at any participating hotel or resort in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio. Full Details, Online Registration and Booking  (Registration is required) 
For a list of hotels that are not participating please click here. Nov 1 - Jan 31, 15

These are the Canadian properties that have chosen not to participate:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WestJet Rewards Elite Status Match and Fast Track offers


Today marks the kick off of the expansion of the WestJet Rewards program as their new Elite Tiers come into effect. We covered the details of the new Elite Status portion of WestJet Rewards back in September.

To encourage participation and grow the new Elite program WestJet is running two Elite promotions. The first is a status match and the second is a fast track to status offer.



Status Match Offer
WestJet will give you Gold Elite status if you hold Top Tier status (2014 or 2015) in another Canadian frequent flyer program. That really only gives you two options, Air Canada Altitude and Canadian North Aurora Rewards. Even though they state Top Tier, the terms and conditions state:
"is defined as having achieved status through the equivalent of a minimum 25,000 qualifying miles or a minimum of 25 qualifying flight segments in that program during a calendar year. "
Which means that anyone holding Air Canada Altitude status should receive Gold Status with WestJet Rewards. Also if you hold Canadian North Aurora Rewards Diamond Status you should be matched to Gold as well. To get the status match you have to email your credentials to WestJet by January 31, 2015. You can find all the details here.




Fast Track Offer
If you don't hold status with Air Canada or Canadian North you can Fast Track to Gold status by simply achieving $1,500 in qualifying spend on WestJet flights by January 31, 2015. To participate in the Fast Track offer you have to register your WestJet Rewards number which you can do so here.


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Oct 29 Update: Qatar Airways 2 for 1 Biz Class sale, 3 days left to vote for your favourite credit card, United MileagePlus transfer bonus

Wednesday was quiet in this neck of the woods!

News, Tips & Tricks
More of a review here in this section of two posts we put up since the last update:

Only a few more days to vote for your favourite Travel Rewards Credit Card. If you haven't voted yet be sure to do so by Friday night! Vote here.


Bonus Offers

Aeroflot Bonus
- Earn up to 3,500 extra Bonus Miles for stays at Hilton Hotels Worlwide. More... Until Dec 31, 14

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- Receive the next elite status level and 2,500 Elite Qualifying Mileage Plan Miles on your next Alaska Airlines roundtrip flight. More... Targeted Offer - May not work for everyone Until Dec 31, 14

Alitalia MilleMiglia
- Earn up to 1,000 Bonus MilleMiglia Miles when you fly round trip on Alitalia between Rome and Marseille. More... Nov 1 - Dec 31, 14

American AAdvantage
- 1,500 Bonus AAdvantage Miles on your first Best Western stay Worldwide after you register for the promotion. More... Until Dec 31, 14
- 1,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles on each qualifying Best Western stay Worldwide. More... Until Nov 30, 14
- Triple AAdvantage Miles on rentals at participating Budget airport locations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. More... Until Dec 31, 14
- Earn up to 28,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles when you buy or gift AAdvantage miles. More... Until Nov 12, 14
- Earn up to 15,000 Bonus Miles & More Miles when you refer friends to a 1 year subscription to Focus. More... Residents of Germany only Until Nov 30, 14

Emirates Skywards
- Triple Skywards miles on Avis rentals of 3 or more days in Europe, the Middle East, Africa or the US. More... Until Dec 31, 14

JetBlue TrueBlue (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 5x TrueBlue Points on a rentals of 3 days or more at participating Budget airport locations in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. More... Until Dec 31, 14

Miles & More
- Triple Miles & More Miles for stays at the VI Hotel Loipersdorf Spa & Conference. More... Nov 1 - Dec 5, 14

United MileagePlus
- 20% Bonus MileagePlus miles on all Hotel Points conversions worth 5,000 miles or more. More... Until Dec 5, 14


Remember to follow RC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest or subscribe to our Newsletter and RSS feed to ensure you don't miss out on any news, bonuses and more!



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Qatar Airways 2 for 1 Business Class Sale out of Montreal (includes 50% bonus miles) - Book by Oct 31


Qatar Airways has a launched a global 2 for 1 business class sale and it includes their flights out of Montreal to various destinations Worldwide. Fares start as low as $3,252 all in and must be booked by October 31st for travel between November 1 and March 31. The offer also includes 50% bonus QMiles if you are a member of Qatar Airways Privilege Club. You must register for the bonus miles by logging into your account, clicking on 'My Offers' and selecting the promotion at least 24 hours prior to flying. We checked fares and it does not appear that Qatar Airways' home city of Doha is included but definitely found some of the fares available as listed below such as Dhaka. Don't you love airline pricing? You fly Montreal-Doha-Dhaka for only $3,252 per person yet if you book Montreal-Doha only it is over $8,000 per person!

Full details and online booking

Sample fares:



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Credit Card Showdown: mbna SmartCash World MasterCard vs. American Express SimplyCash Card

Welcome to Rewards Canada's second ever credit card showdown. We tested this concept a little over a year ago in this type of showdown but haven't done one since. Now we hope to make it a more frequent feature here on Rewards Canada. With Cash Back credit cards becoming more popular and more of our readers asking us about them we figured we would compare two of the top no fee based cash back cards, the mbna SmartCash World MasterCard and the American Express SimplyCash Card. (Don't worry, we'll have a fee card showdown coming soon as well!) Like the previous showdown I am writing this piece with the intent that the reader has at least some knowledge of the cash back process and credit card reward programs. You don't have to be an expert but if you are new to the rewards game some of this may not make sense to you. Also know that there are other cash back cards that may work better for you but we have set up this feature like a boxing match so we only compare two cards but those two are typically very popular or at the top end of the offerings in the Canadian market.

Annual Fees / Sign Up Bonus

Both cards match up here as they are no fee for the primary and supplementary cards. Both have a sign up bonus of 5% cash back in select categories for the first 6 months you have the card. The mbna SmartCash World MasterCard is for Gas and Grocery only while the SimplyCash card is for Gas, Grocery and Restaurants. Since the mbna maxes this bonus out $400 in spend per month the American Express SimplyCash is the winner in this category since it maxes the bonus at $250 of bonuses ($833.33 in spend per month). The SmartCash World MasterCard does require $60,000 personal annual income or $100,000 household. You can always look at the Platinum version of the SmartCash card which requires $35,000 annual income, still $20,000 above the SimplyCash. The Platinum also caps all spending $1,250 per month that you can earn a cash back return on.

Interest Rate:
Once again American Express is the leader here but barely, a 0.24% difference over the mbna SmartCash World MasterCard. Either way this shouldn't matter as if you have one of these cards you shouldn't run a balance for more than a couple of months otherwise your screwing yourself. If you do you should look at a low interest card or no card at all.


Cash Back Earning
I'll tell you one thing, Cash Back earning is easier to compare than travel rewards but it isn't as easy as you think. Many of the cash back cards out there offer category bonuses and tiered spending cash back percentage increases which can make side by side comparisons difficult. There are some cards however that make it easy by having a flat cash back rate on spending . Outside of the first 6 months bonus, the SimplyCash makes it easy by being 1.25% on all spending versus the SmartCash's 2% on Gas and Grocery up to $400 per month spending then followed by a 1% return.

The basic earn rates for the cards are 1.25% on the SimplyCash while the SmartCash is 1% outside of the Gas and Grocery bonus.

Spend Comparison
Here are our spend comparisons of these two cards. We take into account the first 6 month sign up bonuses and the SmartCash's 2% on $400 at Gas and Grocery stores. As you can see the SimplyCash is the clear leader between these two cards.

$20,000 per year - Year 1
mbna SmartCash World MasterCard SimplyCash™ from American Express®
Cash Back Cash back
Gas 10% $2,000 $135.96 in the first six months based upon half of the spend completed

$63.96 on the remainder of spend
$50 in the first six months based upon half of the spend completed

$12.50 on the remainder of spend
Grocery 30% $6,000 $150 in the first six months based upon half of the spend completed

$37.50 on the remainder of spend
Restaurant 10% $1,000 $10 $25 in the first six months based upon half of the spend completed

$6.25 on the remainder of spend
All other spending 50% $7,000 $70 $87.50
Total Cash Back $279.92 $368.75
$20,000 per year - Year 2 and beyond
mbna SmartCash World MasterCard SimplyCash™ from American Express®
Cash Back Cash back
Gas 10% $2,000 $96 based on the 2% for the first $400 per month

$31.92 on the remainder of spend
$250
Grocery 30% $6,000
All other spending 60% $12,000 $120
Total Cash Back $247.92 $250
$40,000 per year - Year 1
mbna SmartCash World MasterCard SimplyCash™ from American Express®
Cash Back Cash back
Gas 8% $3,200 $172.02 in the first six months based upon half of the spend completed

$100.01 on the remainder of spend
$80 in the first six months based upon half of the spend completed

$20 on the remainder of spend
Grocery 30% $12,000 $170 in the first six months based upon half of the spend completed

$107.50 on the remainder of spend
Restaurant 10% $3,200 $32 $40
All other spending 52% $17,600 $176 $220
Total Cash Back $480.03 $637.50
$40,000 per year - Year 2 and beyond
mbna SmartCash World MasterCard SimplyCash™ from American Express®
Cash Back Cash back
Gas 8% $3,200 $96 based on the 2% for the first $400 per month

$104 on the remainder of spend
$500
Grocery 30% $12,000
All other spending 62% $24,800 $248
Total Cash Back $448 $500
$60,000 per year - Year 1
mbna SmartCash World MasterCard SimplyCash™ Card from American Express®
Cash Back Cash back
Gas 8% $4,800 $195 in the first six months based upon half of the spend completed

$246 on the remainder of spend
$250 in the first six months based upon half of the spend completed

$185 on the remainder of spend
Grocery 25% $15,000
Restaurant 10% $6,000 $60 $75
All other spending 57% $34,200 $342 $427.50
Total Cash Back $843 $937.50
$60,000 per year - Year 2 and beyond
mbna SmartCash World MasterCard SimplyCash™ Card from American Express®
Cash Back Cash back
Gas 8% $4,800 $96 based on the 2% for the first $400 per month

$150 on the remainder of spend
$750
Grocery 25% $15,000
All other spending 67% $40,200 $402
Total Cash Back $648 $750

Of course your spending may be different, if you don't spend very much overall the SmartCash may be better for you because of the 2% cash back on Gas and Groceries up to $400 per month. If your card isn't going to be used for Gas or Groceries because you have another card you primarily use at those places then the SimplyCash would be the better bet as it earns the 1.25% versus the SmartCash's 1%. Also you'll want to look at where you plan on using your card since the SmartCash is a MasterCard which has a higher acceptance rate over the SimplyCash card. However when you look at the numbers above we have to say the clear winner is the American Express SimplyCash card in terms of cash back earning.

Benefits
The last factor to look at when comparing these cards are the benefits that come with the cards. This section is easy as the mbna SmartCash World MasterCard offers more benefits than the SimplyCash card.. It provides a higher travel accident insurance amount, has trip interruption insurance, offers price protection and concierge service. The mbna SmartCash is the clear winner in this category.

Conclusion
Based on the spend comparison above, our comparison chart below and what we believe to be general spending habits of Canadians, the American Express SimplyCash is the winner in this Credit Card showdown. Many no fee Cash Back cards tend to be secondary or tertiary cards for Canadian's who tend to hold Travel Rewards cards as their primary cards so they usually don't need the insurance benefits provided with these card. However for those who don't have Travel Rewards cards but do some travelling they may want to look at the mbna SmartCash World MasterCard because of its benefits but should take into account the loss of cash back by perhaps looking at third party travel insurance combined with the SimplyCash card to see which card or card+travel insurance combination will give them the best return.

Chart Notes: Yellow highlighting signifies a clear winner in that category


Feature / Card
mbna SmartCash World MasterCard
SimplyCash™ Card from American Express®
Fees etc.
Annual Fee
$0
$0
Supp. Card Fee
$0
$0
Interest Rate
19.99%
19.75%
Foregn Exchange Transaction Fee
2.5%
2.5%
Minimum Income
$60,000 Personal or $100,000 Household
$15,000
Cash Back
Card

mbna SmartCash World MasterCard
SimplyCash™ Card from American Express®
Earning Ratio
1% Cash back on all purchases
1.25% Cash back on all purchases
Maximum Annual Cash back limt
Unlimited
Unlimited
Category Bonuses
Card

mbna SmartCash World MasterCard
SimplyCash™ Card from American Express®
Grocery
5% for the first 6 months, 2% thereafter*
5% for the first 6 months, 1.25% thereafter*
Gas
5% for the first 6 months, 2% thereafter*
5% for the first 6 months, 1.25% thereafter*
Restaurant
N/A
5% for the first 6 months, 1.25% thereafter*
Benefits
Card

mbna SmartCash World MasterCard
SimplyCash™ Card from American Express®
Travel Accident Insurance
$1,000,000
$100,000
Trip Interuption Insurance
Yes
No
Auto Rental/Loss Damage Insurance
Yes
Yes
Price Protection
Yes
No
Purchase Protection
Yes
Yes
Extended Warranty Plan
Yes
Yes
Concierge Service
Yes
No
Link to Apply
Apply Online 
Notes:
* On the first $400 spend in each month, anything above is at 1%
Up to $250 total


Do you have a suggestion at a credit card showdown? Comment below on what two cards you'd like to duke it out!

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Oct 28 Update: American AAdvantage 2015 program, 500 bonus Aeroplan Miles with Marriott in the U.S., another Delta SkyMiles devaluation?

A relatively quiet start to the week!

News, Tips & Tricks
Several blogs and people FlyerTalk are stating the you can no longer book stopovers on Delta Airlines SkyMiles award tickets. It may be too early to tell if this a permanent change or a technical glitch. We'll keep you in the loop on this potential devaluation if it sticks.

We highlighted the 2015 American AAdvantage program which includes the integration of US Airways Dividend Miles. Read all about it here.


Only a few more days to vote for your favourite Travel Rewards Credit Card. If you haven't voted yet be sure to do so by Friday night! Vote here.

In the bonus offer section we visit the new Aeroplan partner transfer bonus again but if you want more details on it you can read our separate post here. There is also a new Aeroplan bonus for Marriott stays in the U.S. (this seems to be a recurring bonus nowadays) and a new Dividend Miles buy miles bonus which isn't as lucrative as it used to be.



Bonus Offers Air Canada Aeroplan
- Earn up to 25,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you convert points from a wide selection of Aeroplan partner loyalty programs (hotel, car rental, and points.com). More... Valid until Nov 24, 14
- 500 Bonus Aeorplan Miles per night for stays at select JW Marriott, Autograph Collection, Renaissance, Marriott Resorts and Gaylord Hotels in the U.S.. More... Nov 3 - Jan 31, 15

EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- 500 Bonus Infinity MileageLands Miles when you book Avis Taiwan Taoyuan Int’l Airport chauffeur-drive service.More... Until Mar 31, 15
- 500 Bonus Infinity MileageLands Miles on all Hertz rentals in in USA, Canada, Europe, Australia or New Zealand. More... Until Dec 31, 14

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- Double Mileage Bank Miles when you stay two nights on Regent Hotels & Resorts' Warm Winter package at participating Regent Hotels Worldwide. More... Dec 15 - Feb 28, 14

Malaysia Airlines Enrich (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 25% Bonus Enrich Miles when you convert GC Award Points into Enrich. More... Until Dec 31, 14

Marriott Rewards
- OFFER EXTENDED Earn Double Airline Miles when you join the Marriott Rewards program and select one of the eight participating airline partners as your earning preference. More...   Until Jan 31, 15
- 2,000 Bonus Rewards Points per night at the Courtyard Mobile. More... Until Dec 31, 14
- 2,500 Bonus Rewards Points per stay when yuo book a room on the concierge level Sunday-Wednesday nights (Sunday arrival required) at the Seattle Marriott Bellevue. More... Feb 1 - Apr 25, 15
- 2,500 Bonus Rewards Points per stay on Thursday-Saturday nights (Friday or Saturday required) at the Seattle Marriott Bellevue. More... Feb 5 - Apr 30, 15
- 1,000 Bonus Rewards Points for stays at the the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa. More... Jan 24 - Apr 11, 15

Miles & More
- Double Miles & More Miles for stays at over 450 participating Global Hotel Alliance hotels Worldwide. More... Nov 1 - 30, 14
- 25% Bonus Miles & More Miles when you convert GC Award Points into Miles & More. More... Until Dec 31, 14
- Double Miles & More Miles on rentals at participating Hertz locations Worldwide. More... Nov 1 - 30, 14

Rocketmiles
- OFFER EXTENDED 3,000 Bonus Miles/Points in the Rocketmiles partner program of your choice when you make your first booking. More... Book by Dec 12, 14 for stays until ?

US Airways Dividend Miles
- Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Dividend Miles when you buy Dividend Miles online. More... Until Nov 12, 14

Virgin Australia Velocity (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 25% Bonus Velocity Points when you convert GC Award Points into Velocity. More... Until Dec 31, 14

Wyndham Rewards
- 1,000 Bonus Wyndham Rewards Points per night on stays of 2 or more consecutive nights at participating Wyndham Hotels in the U.S., Caribbean, Mexico and Germany. More... Until Jan 13, 15



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American AAdvantage & US Airways to be merged in Q2-2015 - Here are some of the details


Thanks to our long time reader Andrew S. for forwarding the email to us (I assume we'll get the email later today as it takes some time to send out notices to millions of AAdvantage members) outlining the details of the new AAdvantage program for 2015 which includes the integration of US Airways Dividend Miles. You can read all about the new program here. Here are some of the highlights:

US Airways Dividend Miles integration
In the second quarter of 2015 we'll the see the end of US Airways Dividend Miles as it gets absorbed into American AAdvantage. Sometime before that you'll be able to link your Dividend Miles and AAdvantage accounts to make combining them easier when the time comes.  You will not be able to transfer miles between accounts however.

Elite Status/Qualification
US Airways has four elite levels while American AAdvanage has three, here is how they will line up:


The only change for AAdvantage members is the 120 segment requirement for Executive Platinum which is increased to match the Dividend Miles requirement for the top elite level.

In terms of 2015 status, they will look at your combined elite-qualifying activity for 2014, and separately your combined 2015 year-to-date elite-qualifying activity to determine your elite status level.

Mileage Earning
Starting January 1, 2015, you'll earn a 50% bonus for travel on business class tickets on American and US Airways – an increase from the 25% class of service bonus today.

Upgrades
Upgrades will be different on American and US Airways flights until they have a single reservation system towards the end of 2015.



These are the biggest highlights of the changes. If you want the complete details you can visit this page on the AA website.

As always we'd love to hear your comments on this announcement! Are you pleased with changes and integration process? Let us know in the comment section below.


Gold Rewards CardAdvertisement

Transfer points to Aeroplan to earn up to 25,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles


Aeroplan has once again brought back their partner transfer bonus that we saw in April 2014,  November 2013, April 2013,  November 2012 and so on. Basically what it entails is transferring points out of other select loyalty programs into your Aeroplan account. Just like in May, the offer is once again cumulative across all participating partners and the bonus maxes out at 25,000 miles again. (We haven't seen the 40,000 miles bonus since April of 2013 so it looks like it may have gone the way of the dodo bird...) and there are no financial partners involved this time as well, for Canadians that is, Americans get Diners Club Club Rewards in that category. Basically you can transfer from partners like Starwood, Hertz and more (see the last graphic) and as long as the total Aeroplan miles deposited from all of them reaches one of the bonus target levels you will be awarded the respective bonus miles.

And just like the last two versions of this offer, American Express Membership Rewards is unfortunately not included. so chances are I will not use the promo this time (again).

If you are a Starwood Preferred Guest collector you can really up the bonus by taking advantage of their 5,000 Mile bonus offer when you convert 20,000 Starpoints into Aeroplan. Which means in this promotion you can get 29,000 Aeroplan Miles for 20,000 Starpoints or if you transfer 20k four times, you'll get 125,000 Aeroplan Miles for 80,000 Starpoints. Of course I like to keep Starpoints for award nights or cash+points stays within the Starwood family but some of you may like this transfer option.

Offer Details:
Earn up to 25,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you convert points from a wide selection of Aeroplan partner loyalty programs (hotel, car rental, and points.com). Bonuses are as follows and are awarded on a cumulative basis. Convert Points to
5,000 Aeroplan Miles to earn a 1,000 Mile bonus
10,000 Aeroplan Miles to earn a 2,000 Mile bonus
20,000 Aeroplan Miles to earn 4,000 Mile bonus
50,000 Aeroplan Miles to earn a 10,000 Mile bonus
100,000 Aeroplan Miles to earn a 25,000 Mile bonus
Full details
Valid until Nov 24, 14



Monday, October 27, 2014

Oct 27 Update: Air Canada Rouge delays Toronto-Honolulu flight, Shangri-La conversion bonus, Etihad Premium Class double miles

A relatively quiet start to the week!

News, Tips & Tricks
If you have booked yourself onto Air Canada Rouge's new Toronto-Honolulu flight in the first two weeks of service you'll probably be contacted to reroute as the launch of the new non-stop flight has been pushed back from Nov 26 to Dec 10. (Source Airlineroute.net)

This is the last week to vote for your favourite Travel Rewards Credit Card. If you haven't voted yet be sure to do so by Friday night! Vote here.

Travel Deals
Atlantis,
Paradise Island is available for as low as $99 per night if you book by Nov 18 for stays until Dec 17. And you can earn Marriott Rewards points for your stay! Book online here.

Bonus Offers

Air India Flying Returns
- Double Flying Returns Miles for every US$100 exchanged at UAE Exchange. More... Until Nov 17, 14

British Airways Executive Club
- 25% Bonus Avios when you convert GC Award Points into Avios. More... Until Nov 30, 14

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- 25% Bonus Asia Miles when you convert GC Award Points into Asia Miles. More... Until Dec 31, 14

Etihad Guest
- Double Guest Miles when you fly Etihad Worldwide in First and Business Class. More... Until Nov 20, 14

Marriott Rewards
- 1,000 Bonus Rewards Points when you stay 2 or more consecutive nights at the Leipzig Marriott Hotel. More... Dec 14 - Feb 28, 15
- 2,000 Bonus Rewards Points when you stay three nights Thursday - Sunday at the AC Baqueira Ski Resort, Autograph Collection® . More... Jan 11 - Apr 5, 15
- 3,000 Bonus Rewards Points when you stay 6 or more consecutive nights at the Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Midtown Manhattan/Penn Station. More... Jan 2 - Mar 31, 15

Miles & More
- Double Miles & More Miles for stays at Best Western hotels in Germany and Luxembourg. More... Nov 1 - Dec 31, 14
- 2,000 Miles & More Miles on Budget rentals in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the United States and Canada More... Book Nov 1 - 30 for rentals Nov 1 - Dec 14, 14
- Double Miles & More Miles when you purchase Bergbahn Kitzbuhel ski passes. More... Nov 1 - Dec 14, 14



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Friday, October 24, 2014

Oct 24 Update: Air Canada Altitude Changes, Atlantis Paradise Island Sale, Air Miles + Hilton Double Miles & Elite Status offer

Quite the end to this week here on Rewards Canada!

News, Tips & Tricks
The big news of course are the changes to the Air Canada Altitude Elite Status program. Read all about them in our separate blog post here.


On the bonus offer front, the best deal of the day comes from our own Air Miles program and Hilton HHonors. Double Miles and Fast Track to Gold Status. Read more here.

Travel Deals
Atlantis,
Paradise Island is available for as low as $99 per night if you book by Nov 18 for stays until Dec 17. And you can earn Marriott Rewards points for your stay! Book online here.


Bonus Offers

AeroMexico Club Premier
- Double Club Premier Kilometers for stays at participating NH Hotels in Mexico. More... Nov 1 - Dec 31, 14
- Quadruple Club Premier Kilometers on all prepaid Sixt Car Rentals for 5 or more days Worldwide. More... Until Dec 15, 14

Air Canada Aeroplan
- Earn up to 8,500 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you buy an Air Canada Maple Leaf Club membership. More... Until ?
- Double Aeroplan Miles when you park in the Economy Parking Lot at YVR. More... Until Dec 31, 14

Air Miles (Canada)
- Double Air Miles & Fast Track to Gold Status when you stay at stay at participating Hilton hotels or resorts Worldwide. More...   Until Jan 17, 15

Executive Hotels Executive Rewards
- Double Executive Rewards Points for stays at participating Executive Hotels in Canada and the U.S. More... Until Dec 31, 14

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- Double Mileage Bank Miles when you fly on Japan Airlines between Tokyo and Jakarta. More... Valid for members in American, Europe/Middle East/Africa or Asia/Oceania regions Until Mar 31, 15
- Receive up to 3,000 Mileage Bank Miles back when you stay at JAL Onsen Mile partner Ryokans and board JAL Group domestic flights using JAL Group Domestic Award Tickets. More... Until Mar 31, 15

Jumeirah Sirius
- 1,000 Bonus Sirius Points when you book the Winter Flavours package for 3+ nights at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Madinat Jumeirah or Jumeirah Beach Hotel. More... Until Apr 30, 15

Preferred Hotel Group iPrefer
- Double iPrefer Points when you book the Preferred Bed & Breakfast rate at participating Preferred Hotel locations Worldwide. More... Until ?

S7 Airlines Priority (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 500 Bonus Priority Miles on every second S7 flight between Moscow and Kazan or Ufa. More... Until Dec 31, 14
- 300 Bonus Priority Miles on your first S7 flight between Moscow and Anapa. More... Until Dec 31, 14

Turkish Miles&Smiles
- 1,000 Bonus Miles&Smile Miles on your first hotel booking made via PointsHound. More... Until Dec 31, 14
- Triple Miles&Smile Miles on all Wyndham Rewards Hotels stays Worldwide starting with your 1st stay. Bonus also awarded on 2nd and 3rd stays. More... Until Jan 16, 15


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Air Miles: Double Miles & Fast Track to HHonors Gold Status on Hilton stays worldwide


A great offer for Air Miles members, which for all of you reading this you should already be a member of! The Double Miles are a nice normal type of bonus but the Fast Track to Gold is the what makes this a great offer. Hilton runs many 'Fast Track to Gold' offers (many of which you can find on our HHonors page) but these are targetted towards employees of certain companies although most people seem to have no issues with them even if they don't work for that company. However you never know when and if Hilton will run an audit of accounts and find out that you don't work for that company you'll lose that Gold Status and more than likely have your account shut down with a loss of any points in the account. Since this offer is open to Air Miles members, it is basically open to any Canadian resident and you just have to complete 5 stays with Hilton by Jan 17 to get the status legitimately. Sure you'll have to earn Air Miles on those 5 stays instead of another Aeroplan program or more HHonors Points if you are on the Points+Points option but it is a small sacrifice to make to earn the Gold Status. So you know it normally takes 20 stays to earn Gold Status with HHonors.

Offer Details
Double Air Miles & Fast Track to Gold Status when you stay at stay at participating Hilton hotels or resorts Worldwide. Complete 5 stays during the promotion period and be upgraded to Hilton Gold Elite status. Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required)  Until Jan 17, 15

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Air Canada Altitude Elite Program 2015 Changes - Not very good news

Big changes, most of them not good are coming the Air Canada's Elite Program Altitude. Yesterday they released the details of the 2015 program. You can find all the details on the Air Canada website including a FAQ for the changes. The biggest reason for the changes as stated by Air Canada is:
" These changes are being introduced following a thorough benchmarking exercise in order to competitively position Air Canada alongside the world's leading carriers."
Devaluing a program to position yourself competitively just doesn't make sense. I can see some of the reasoning for the changes, in particular the minimum Air Canada Flight Requirement to weed out not so frequent Air Canada flyers but the eUpgrade changes are hitting loyal AC flyers below the belt.

The changes are as follows:

Minimum Air Canada Flight RequirementThe Minimum Air Canada Flight Requirement needed to reach Altitude status for 2016 is increasing. The Minimum Air Canada Flight Requirement refers to the minimum number of Altitude Qualifying Miles and Altitude Qualifying Segments that must be flown on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge in order to reach any Altitude status level.

As you can see you now need to fly at least half of your qualifying flights on actual Air Canada metal. Not a huge deal for the Altitude flyers who fly mostly within Canada or are already flying lots on Air Canada but definitely a huge issue if you fly lots on United, Lufthansa or other Star Alliance airlines.  This is moving against the grain in the whole alliance attitude we have seen develop over the past 2+ decades. Airlines typically garner more revenue with people flying on their own metal is one factor for this change as well as trying to weed out those who don't even fly Air Canada but credit flights to Aeroplan to earn status sooner than other programs.
500 Mile Minimum

The 500 Mile Minimum privilege will no longer be in effect. For travel from March 1, 2015 onwards, miles earned will be based on the distance flown and the fare option purchased for flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Canada rouge and Star Alliance™ member airlines.
Not a game changer but still for someone who flies a lot of short haul routes you may stand to lose out on miles.
eUpgrades to Business Class
For eUpgrade requests made on or after March 1, 2015, the number of eUpgrade Credits required to upgrade will be increasing. Furthermore, the number of eUpgrade Credits Altitude members can earn through Threshold eUpgrades is changing.
North America

Sun Destinations
Europe, Middle East, South America
Asia & Australia
This is a game changer. And it isn't good. With some increases over 50% on International flights, those of you Altitude members looking to upgrade on long haul flights are going to be fuming! This is the biggest devaluation of the program
Introducing eUpgrades to Premium Economy In early 2015, Altitude members will be able to access the comfort of Premium Economy using eUpgrade Credits when travelling on an eligible fare. eUpgrade Add-ons will not apply for these upgrades. Stay tuned for more information regarding eUpgrades to Premium Economy later this year.
 This is a welcome benefit
eUpgrade Nominees

Effective March 1, 2015, Altitude Super Elite™ 100K members will be entitled to share their eUpgrade privilege with one eUpgrade Nominee, while maintaining their ability to share their privileges with Travel Companions.
Not a welcome change to this benefit as it has gone from 4 to 2 to 1 now.
Priority Boarding

In early 2015, a new streamlined boarding process will be introduced to ensure that Altitude members get even more out of their Priority Boarding privilege.
A good change? Hopefully! Not sure how this will be implemented but I'm guessing Elite members have complained as Priority Boarding is not very priority when you have TD credit card holders and others getting access to Priority Boarding. Will the process be Altitude members followed by Star Alliance Gold, Business Class ticket holders and TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege cardholders?

Complimentary access to International Maple Leaf Lounges and Star Alliance Business Lounges

Altitude Elite 35K members will no longer have the option to choose complimentary access to International Maple Leaf Lounges and Star Alliance Business Lounges as part of their Select Privileges. Instead, members will be able to select a 50% discount on any Maple Leaf Club membership. As part of their Core Privileges, they will continue to enjoy the comfort and amenities of select Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges located in the domestic and trans-border departures zones of Canadian airports, along with those in Los Angeles and New York
Good and bad news. Bad news for the 35K members to lose out on access to International lounges. Good news for all other members as this may curb some of the crowding found in some lounges.
Preferred Seats Altitude Elite 50K members will not only enjoy complimentary access to more Preferred Seats with the purchase of a Flex fare for travel within North America, but will also receive a 50% discount on the Preferred Seat fee with the purchase of a Flex fare booked for travel from Canada to an international destination. The expanded access to Preferred Seats is currently available. More details.

Altitude Elite 35K and Altitude Prestige 25K members will enjoy access to more Preferred Seats at a 50% discount on the Preferred Seat fee with the purchase of a Flex fare for travel originating in Canada. The expanded access to Preferred Seats is currently available. More details.
Some savings to be had here. This is one good benefit for being loyal.
Introducing Flight Rewards for Premium Economy
In early 2015, Aeroplan® and Altitude members will be able to redeem their Aeroplan Miles for seats in the Premium Economy cabin on Air Canada. Details will be coming soon.
Air Canada only recently started adding Premium Economy seats to select aircraft so it makes sense to offer redemptions for them.
Fuel Surcharge on Flight Rewards

For ClassicFlight Rewards made as of March 1, 2015, the flight reward fuel surcharges for travel within Canada and between Canada and the U.S. will be waived for Altitude members. This is applicable on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge.
Furthermore, at the same time, the ClassicFlight Rewards fuel surcharges for travel between Canada and other international destinations will be waived for Super Elite 100K members on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge.
Great news for Altitude members. Super Elite 100Ks will see lots of savings on Aeroplan award tickets while all Altitude members will save around $30 on Canadian and U.S. redemptions.
Flight Reward change fee waivers

Aeroplan® Flight Reward change fee waivers for Super Elite 100K members will be no longer be available for changes made on or after March 1, 2015.
This may seem minor but really, charging change fees to your top customers? But then again Super Elites could be the biggest 'abusers' of booking, changing, cancelling, booking again etc. It is just like the new fees for baggage within Canada. Air Canada could have chose to not charge the fee like WestJet but they would be foregoing tons of revenue. Same with these change fees, they are foregoing a good chunk of revenue.
Priority Rewards Priority Rewards will be limited to ten (10) reservations per eligible Altitude member, per benefit period beginning March 1, 2015. Super Elite 100K members are able to book a combined total of ten reservations in both Economy and Business Class. In the event that Aeroplan ClassicFlight® Reward seats are completely booked, Priority Rewards offer access to additional seats on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge.

Another limitation but not a huge deciding factor in limiting the 2x miles Priority Rewards.

That's it. That's all she wrote. What do you think of the changes for the 2015 Air Canada Altitude program. Are they going to change your travel habits? Your loyalty? Are you going to switch programs? Let us know! To see what some major AC flyers think of the changes read this FlyerTalk thread.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Etihad Guest: 20% Bonus Miles on partner transfers including Amex Membership Rewards


Etihad Airways' Guest Frequent Flyer program has a launched a partner transfer bonus similar in vain to the ones we see from Aeroplan and other programs during various times of the year. This one however is not tiered like the Aeroplan offer as it offers a straight 20% on points transferred from select partners into Etihad Guest miles.  The offer can be found here and is good until November 30th. These are the partners that are participating
  • Rezidor – Club Carlson
  • IHG – Priority Club
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • Le Club Accor Hotels
  • Shangri-La Golden Circle
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Amex Membership Rewards
  • Citibank CitiMiles
  • Emirates Islamic Bank
  • Etisalat Rewards 
  • HSBC UK
  • Mobily 


For us here in Canada you could look at transferring from several of the hotel programs participating but most of them don't have attractive transfer rates like Starwood Preferred Guest, which unfortunately is not participating in this offer. So what else is there, well American Express Membership Rewards of course since they are a participating partner. Canadian Membership Rewards points transfer to Etihad Guest at a rate of 1 point to .75 miles. Which means with this promotion you'll end up getting 1 Mile per Membership Rewards point unless of course you earn those points with a category bonus on the American Express Gold Rewards Card or the 1.25 point earn rate on The Platinum Card. When you take those into account you'll up the return on your spend if you choose to convert to Etihad Guest. I don't see many of you taking advantage of this unless you regularly fly between Toronto and Abu Dhabi on Etihad or are planning to as their award flight redemption rates tend to be high compared to other programs (an example Nov 13-20 in Economy has Etihad Guest at 106,300 miles + ~$600 in fees while Aeroplan is 80,000 Miles + ~$700 in fees but not direct)

More details on this offer can be found here.

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Oct 23 Update: Targetted Aeroplan Volvo Test Drive Bonus, Air Canada Worldwide seat sale, 20 new bonuses

A relatively quiet Thursday here at Rewards Canada.

News, Tips & Tricks
Be sure to check your email for an exlusive offer from Aeroplan and Volvo. The offer is for 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you test drive a Volvo. Normally you'll only earn 250 miles for a test drive but they sent out this targetted offer to select Aeroplan members. Be sure not to delete Aeroplan emails without reading them as you may have been chosen too! I might try to get out next week for a test drive to score the miles.

Have you voted yet? Vote for your favourite Travel Rewards Credit Card in our 2014 Canada's Choice survey! Vote at rewardscanada.ca/vote

Travel Deals
Air Canada
is running a seat sale offering 15% off flights to various destinations Air Canada serves Worldwide. Simply book by Oct 24 for travel through June 2015. Find out more here.


Bonus Offers

Avianca LifeMiles
- Earn up to 1,500 LifeMiles when you stay at participating Melia Hotels in Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico and the United States. More... Book by Nov 30 for stays until Dec 31, 14
- Earn up to 1,000 Bonus LifeMiles on Avis rentals of 3 or more days in the USA, Europe and Latin America.More... Until Dec 15, 14
- 500 Bonus LifeMiles when renting with Budget for 3 days or more in the USA and Latin America. More... Until Dec 31, 14
- Earn up to 4x LifeMiles on Sixt rentals Worldwide. More... Until Dec 15, 14

Bangkok Airways FlyerBonus (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 50% FlyerBonus Points Discount on all Bangkok Airways award tickets. More... Book by Nov 25 for travel until Nov 30, 14
- 50 Bonus FlyerBonus Points when you fly with Bangkok Airways for the first time between Bangkok and Udon Thani. More... Until Nov 30, 14
- 20 Bonus FlyerBonus Points when you fly with Bangkok Airways for the first time between Bangkok and Lampang. More... Until Nov 30, 14

Etihad Guest
- 20% Bonus Guest Miles when you convert points from select Etihad Guest partners into Guest Miles. More... Until Nov 30, 14
- Quadruple Guest Miles on Europcar rentals Worldwide (except for the U.S. and Canada). More... Until Nov 30, 14

Garuda GarudaMiles (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Triple GarudaMiles on all Garuda Indonesia flights in First Class and Business Class. More... Until Dec 15, 14
- 25% GarudaMiles Discount on all Garuda Indonesia award tickets in First Class and Business Class. More... Until Dec 15, 14
- Earn up to 50% Bonus GarudaMiles when you fly Garuda Indonesia between Palembang and Jakarta or Denpasar. More... Until Dec 15, 14
- Up to a 50% GarudaMiles Discount on award tickets when you fly Garuda Indonesia between Bandung and Denpasar or Surabaya. More... Until Dec 15, 14
- 50% GarudaMiles Discount on award tickets when you fly Garuda Indonesia between Medan and Banda Aceh, Sibolga, Bandar Lampung, Surabaya, & Denpasar. More...Until Dec 15, 14

JetBlue TrueBlue (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 2,000 Bonus TrueBlue Points when you join TrueBlue and complete your first JetBlue flight. More... Until Nov 21, 14

Melia Hotels MeliaRewards
- 2,000 Bonus MeliaRewards Points when you join the MeliaRewards program. More... Until ?

South African Airways Voyager
- Double Voyager Miles when you fly Airlink between Cape Town and Windhoek. More... Until Nov 30, 14
- Double Voyager Miles for stays at the Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway Singapore. More... Until Nov 30, 14

Vietnam Airlines Golden Lotus (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double Golden Lotus Plus Miles for Vietnam Airlines flights between Phu Quoc and Singapore. More... Nov 2 - 30, 14
- Double Golden Lotus Plus Miles for Vietnam Airlines flights between Phu Quoc and Siem Reap. More... Dec 18 - Jan 31, 14


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