Friday, February 27, 2015

Feb 26 Update: New Marriott Rewards points expiration policy, KLM extends Business Class sale, 15 bonuses left in our exclusive promo on FFB!

Here is our final update of the week and for February!

News, Tips & Tricks
More bad news from Marriott Rewards. They have now announced that they will enforce their point expiry policy. All points will now be forfitted if you don't have at least qualifying activity action within a 24 month period. What qualifies? Paid stays, Award stays, Marriott Credit Card purchases, earning with program parnters, purchasing points or holding a meeting or event that qualifies. What doesn't qualify are gifting or transferring points, receiving points as a gift or transfer, earning points through social media actions. This change kicks in on February 1st, 2016 so you have nearly a year to save your points if you haven't had a qualifying action since January 31, 2014. Is this huge? Not really, most hotel programs do have some sort of account inactivity period as do most airlines but still for those of you who don't use Marriott Rewards very often your points may disappear if you don't do anything about it. You can find all the details here.


Don't forget about our Exclusive Offer with Kaligo offer: 2,000 Bonus AAdvantage/MileagePlus Miles or 3,000 Bonus Avios! Only 15 bonuses were left as of last evening!

Here are our blog posts since the last update just in case you missed them
. Of course the 50% off biz class between Edmonton and Europe is amazing!

Travel Deals
KLM has extended their great World Businesss Class sale to March 2nd! You can fly to Europe and beyond from only $2899 all in from the East or $3299 from the West! Find all the details here



Bonus Offers

Air France KLM Flying Blue
- Save up to 50% with Promo Awards Save 25% to 50% on the Award Miles usually required for award ticket. Destinations vary by each promotional period. More... Book Mar 1 - 31 for travel between Mar 1 - Jun 30, 15

American AAdvantage
- Minimum 5,000 AAdvantage Miles on your first Rocketmiles booking More... Book by Apr 15, 15

Etihad Guest
- Double Guest Miles for stays at the Art Rotana – Amwaj Islands in Bahrain. More... Until Jul 10, 15

Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 50% Bonus GarudaMiles on flights between Kupang and Denpasar, Jakarata or Surabaya. More... Until Mar 31, 15
- Double GarudaMiles on flights in Business Class between Semarang and Denpasar, Jakarata or Surabaya. More... Until Mar 31, 15
- Double GarudaMiles on flights between Medan and Meulaboh, Lhoksemauwe or Sabang. More... Until Mar 31, 15

Le Club accorhotels
- Triple Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at anyone of 6 participating Accor hotels in Hong Kong. More... Mar 1 - 31, 15

Petro-Points
- 3x Petro Points on all rentals with Discount Car and Truck Rental. More... Mar 10 - May 11, 15

Sears Club
- Earn up to 3x Bonus Sears Club Points when you book a Walt Disney World Hotel or Vacation package. More... Book by Mar 15 for travel Mar 29 - Jun 15, 15

US Airways Dividend Miles
- Minimum 5,000 Dividend Miles on your first Rocketmiles booking More... Book by Apr 15, 15
- Save up to 30% when you share Dividend miles online. More... Until Mar 25, 15

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Double Flying Club Miles for stays of two or more nights at Preferred Hotel Group Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Dec 31, 15




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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Air France KLM Flying Blue - Save up to 50% on Business Class award tickets between Edmonton/Montreal/Toronto & Europe for May/Jun Travel

Another good month awaits us in March with Air France KLM's Promo Awards!  These award ticket deals are bookable as of Sunday and are good for award travel for May and June of 2015 (Edmonton flight doesn't start until May 8th).  The offer once again has 50% off Business Class on KLM's new route out of Edmonton to anywhere in Europe! This is a great deal for those in Alberta and you can't complain by flying to Europe in style for only 62,500 miles round trip! The other offer is 25% off World Business Class for KLM between Toronto or Vancouver and Europe. While not great, taking 25% off if you are a Flying Blue member it is a good deal if you were planning on redeeming at full price! Don't have the miles? We have two options for you to get more miles. You could always consider transferring Starpoints earned via the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express to Flying Blue. The card has a 20,000 Starpoint bonus right now which translates to 25,000 Flying Blue miles, which gets you close to at least one way in biz class between Edmonton and Europe!

You can also top off your account by buying Flying Blue miles with their current up to 50% miles bonus: Earn up to 50% Bonus Flying Blue Miles when you buy Flying Blue miles online. Full details Until Mar 15, 15

  • 2,000 to 8,000 Award Miles – 20% Bonus
  • 10,000 to 30,000 Award Miles – 30% Bonus
  • 32,000 to 38,000 Award Miles – 40% Bonus
  • 40,000+ Award Miles – 50% Bonus*

Promotion Conditions

  • Ivory members can buy up to 75,000 Award Miles each year.
  • Elite members can buy unlimited Award Miles.
  • Award Miles are sold in units of 2,000 Miles.
  • Promotion valid until 15 March 2015.
* For the promotional period, Elite members can receive a maximum bonus of 50,000 Award Miles on purchases of up to 100,000 Award Miles.
 
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 Europa and Kenya Airways award tickets in select cabins.  To take advantage of this deal you must book your promo award ticket between Mar  1 and  31  for travel between May 1st and June 30 2015. More details can be found here.





American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card Review

(This post is a duplicate of the one found on our main Rewards Canada site)


For well over a year now we've known about a new Air Canada / Aeroplan co-brand card that was to be launched by American Express. When the press release from Amex came out in 2013 about the renewal of the co-brand contract it briefly mentioned that it was to be a new high end product. Taking the same branding as their higher end AIR MILES card, the new card is called the American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card. Details of the card were revealed via a soft launch in December 2014 and the card itself was officially launched on January 27 at an event in Toronto.

Overview

The American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card is now the most expensive publicly available payment card in Canada, taking the title from American Express' The Platinum Card. It falls into the AeroplanPlus portfolio from American Express which also has a basic card, a Gold card and a Platinum card. One major difference with the Reserve Card over the other AeroplanPlus cards is that it is a credit card versus a charge card. The card falls into our Airline Card category and is targeted to Air Canada travelers who can enjoy the rewards, benefits and insurances that come with the card.

Sign up Features
The American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card comes with a 50,000 Aeroplan Mile welcome bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership. The 50,000 Miles are enough for two economy class or one business class ClassicFlight award ticket within North America.

Costs
As we already stated, the American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card has the honour of now being the most expensive card in Canada because of its $899 annual fee. Supplementary cards also run a hefty $299 each. The interest rate on the card is19.99% which is in line with the majority of cards in Canada.

Earning
The American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card earns 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every dollar spent on the card outside of Air Canada purchases. For Air Canada purchases the earn rate is bumped up to 2 Aeroplan Miles per eligible dollar spent.


Redeeming
Being a co-brand card redemption is actually done via Aeroplan not American Express Membership Rewards. This is where the strength of the Aeroplan program comes through again and makes any Aeroplan co-brand card shine. Aeroplan offers numerous redemption options but of course having routes from being a frequent flyer program, the primary redemption option which most people look at are award flights on Air Canada and Aeroplan partner airlines In total there are 25 major partner airlines outside of Air Canada ranging from Adria Airways to United Airlines, most of whom comprise the Star Alliance of which Air Canada was founding member. Air Creebec, Bearskin Airlines,Calm Air, Canadian North and First Air make up the minor Canadian airline partners that you can also redeem Aeroplan miles with. Overall you can redeem Aeroplan miles to over 1,000 destinations Worldwide which is one of the reasons Aeroplan is so popular. 



For redemptions on Air Canada and most of the other partners there are numerous options depending on availability. Much like many other frequent flyer programs, award seats are limited at the lower redemption level (Aeroplan calls this level ClassicFlight) but you can use more miles to get an ‘any seat any time’ award ticket (Aeroplan calls this Market Fare Awards) as long as the flight still has seats available. Flight redemptions start as low as 7,500 miles for a short haul one way economy class ClassicFlight Award and go as high as 290,000 Miles for a round trip flight in First Class to Asia on a Aeroplan partner airline. With the new half price awards in place you can see that redemptions can come quite easily. Even for round trip flights you are only looking at 15,000 to 25,000 miles for travel in North America. These levels are easily achieved with credit card spend alone. For a complete listing of ClassicFlight award levels see Aeroplan's latest Reward Flight Chart

In some rare cases when flights are relatively empty or are available as a seat sale you may see the Market Fare Price be lower than the ClassicFlight amount. This is especially holds true for those Aeroplan member who hold Distinction status and get a discount on Market Fare awards. One recent search for a dBlack member showed the ClassicFlight level at 60,000 miles for a flight between Toronto and Paris while the Market Fare price was only 55,000 miles.

Related: To learn more about Aeroplan flight awards see this helpful page on Aeroplan.com.


Other flight reward options with Aeroplan include Around the World rewards which run 200,000 miles in Economy, 300,000 for Business or 400,000 for First Class. You can also use Aeroplan miles to upgrade flights on Air Canada and its Star Alliance partners to Business or First Class when you travel on an eligible fare.

Overall Aeroplan has been well known for their flight awards as the mileage requirements on ClassicFlights tend to be competitive despite recent devaluations in certain categories and the fuel surcharge issue on some carriers like Air Canada themselves. The "Mini Round The World" award (AKA Mini-RTW) is an example of a well-known and good value flight award by maximizing the two stopover or one stopover and open jaw feature.

Finally Aeroplan miles can also be used for many non-flight award options as the Aeroplan reward catalog has expanded greatly over the years. Most of these other redemption options tend to represent a poor value when compared to redeeming for flights however they are a good option for those who may not have enough miles for the flights they want or for those people who more miles than what they know what to do with them! These other options include using miles for hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards and merchandise. You can also transfer miles to another Aeroplan member (at a cost), donate them to charity, even use them for exclusive 'Money Can't Buy' awards like autographed photos, activities and events. 


Features and Benefits
The American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card comes with a very strong insurance package and a big bag of benefits. On the insurance side the card comes with wide range of coverage as including emergency medical, travel accident insurance, trip cancellation, trip interruption, flight delay, baggage delay/lost or stolen baggage insurance, car rental CDW coverage, purchase protection and more. Pretty much every type of insurance is provided except for Price Protection. The insurance package is definitely built for the traveller and is very similar to those we seen on Visa Infinite/Infinite Privilege and MasterCard World/World Elite cards.

The card comes with a whole bag of traveller benefits over and above the insurance package!

  • Receive one annual $200 Annual Travel Credit that can be used towards any flights, car rentals, hotels and more charged to your Card when you book travel online or call American Express Travel Services.
  • Bring along a friend on us with the Partner Ticket Benefit. Once per year, you can redeem up to 25,000 Aeroplan Miles for a short-haul or long-haul round-trip ClassicFlight reward seat in economy class and receive a second Partner Ticket for the same itinerary.
  • The Air Canada Privilege Flight Pass lets you experience ultimate convenience and flexibility with eight prepaid, one-way flight credits within Air Canada’s North American network. This feature offers approximately a 5 to 8% discount on regular flight pass prices and not only that you have only eight credits to worry about using up instead of the 10 seen when you buy passes without this card
  • Enjoy the benefit of an eligible complimentary first checked bag on flights operated by Air Canada, up to 5 bags annually .
  • Enjoy maximum comfort and a calm atmosphere in state-of-the-art lounges worldwide, including unlimited access to the Air Canada Maple Leaf LoungeTM* where available, in airports across Canada, in London and in Paris, and around the globe.
    In addition, receive unlimited access to a world of first class service and tranquillity with Priority Pass Membership. Escape the chaos of airports and relax in over 700 executive lounges around the world. Regardless of which class or which airline you fly, these luxury lounges offer amenities designed with comfort in mind.
  • And if you are flying from Toronto Pearson you get whole bunch of benefits that are like those seen on The Platinum Card from American Express like Valet Service, Parking Discounts and Pearson Priority Security Lane.
What is good about this card
There are some really good things about this card that only a select few of people will agree with based on the price of this card. Those are the Air Canada frequent flyers who can't reach higher status with the Air Canada Altitude programs as this card will bridge the gap on benefits they don't get. These benefits are primarily the Maple Leaf Lounge access and the discounted less credit requirement of the Air Canada Privilege Flight Pass.

The annual Complimentary Short Haul/Long haul flight benefit could bring a value of $500 or more when taking advantage of it so it is definitely a good feature of this card. Not to mention the $200 annual travel credit to save some money on your travels.

Of course the insurance package is superb but doesn't stand out as a game changer since many cards offer the same or similar benefits

What is not so good about this card
The price! This is the number one sticking point we have heard about this card! For $899 it is and will be a very tough sell. Even with the $200 annual credit you are still looking at $699 for the card. However there is that niche market where the $899 will be more than worth it!

Although at 50,000 Aeroplan Miles, the sign up bonus is low for a card that costs this much. Yes the price of the card is not based solely on the sign up bonus but it isn't much higher than the AeroplanPlus Platinum Card and is the same as The Platinum Card from American Express (or lower if you take into account the referral sign up bonus of 60K). A higher sign up bonus in the 65,000 - 80,000 miles range could just be the tipping point that would make someone grab this card instead of some other card or no card at all.

The checked baggage credit of only 5 bags annually is not so good. While you'll save $125 each year if you max out the benefit it could be better as most other cards in Canada and the U.S. that have this benefit offer it with no limitation.. I can see where Amex is coming from however as the majority of people who will get this card are Altitude Prestige 25K or Elite 35K which means they already get some sort of complimentary bag perk and this card will just cover them when travelling with friends or family.


Who should get this card
  • Air Canada frequent flyers who won't or can't achieve Altitude 50K, 75K or 100K status as the card bridges the gap for benefits that 25K or 35K (or no status) don't see. We know this is common for many who fly frequently on short routes in Air Canada's network (i.e. Sudbury-Toronto) who while loyal just don't get the miles or segments in to get the benefits this card offers in the Altitude program
  • Air Canada frequent flyers who even though they have higher Altitude status can find value in the complimentary short haul/long haul Aeroplan Ticket and/or the Flight Pass privilege to cover the $899 annual fee.
Conclusion
This card was definitely made for a niche market. The American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card will appeal to a select few and what we mean by select few are primarily Air Canada Altitude Prestige 25K and Elite 35K members who lack the benefits of the higher Altitude Elite tiers and travel enough to warrant them by getting them with this card. This isn't to say that non Altitude members shouldn't get this card. If you can get value out of what this card offers like the annual companion redemption, the $200 travel credit, lounge access and potentially the flight pass option then it may just be worth paying the $899 for the card.

Does this card upset the balance in the entire Canadian credit card space? No, it doesn't . Is it the card everyone was hoping for when American Express announced a new high end Aeroplan card in 2013? No I don't believe so. While the benefits do fit a niche, there wasn't really anything excitingly new offered on this card when it was released. In todays market it is those new and exciting differentiator that will make a card stand out and get it noticed.

Care to comment? Do you agree or disagree with us? Tell us what think about the American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card by commenting below!


Related Links:
American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card on americanexpress.com
Rewards Canada's All Travel Rewards Credit Card Comparison including the American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card
Rewards Canada's Airline Only Credit Card Comparison including the American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card

Other cards to consider if you are looking at this card:
The Platinum Card from American Express
American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card
American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Card
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege

Feb 26 Update: TD Aeroplan $100 credit back to being targeted, Marriott Rewards Hotel Category Changes, Answers to reader questions!

Lots of items to pass along to you today!

News, Tips & Tricks
More confusion the whole the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite $100 credit for Air Canada purchases. First it wasn't targeted, then it was, then it wasn't and now it is again. The latest has an update that it is once again for select customers only. They do now say to call to see if you are applicable to earn the bonus. We didn't want to get your hopes up too much after yesterday's latest update. Loyalty programs, credit cards companies etc. really need to get a promotional expert consulting to them before doing such promotions, hey wait a minute, that's what we do (The FFB Group) on the B2B side of our business ! Just a hint to all of the loyalty companies and credit card issuers reading this right now. Think about what paying us for a couple of hours will save you in customer service headaches and nightmares!! :-)

Marriott Rewards has announced their hotel category changes for 2015. The list of changes is huge, apparently over 25% of their hotels are moving up a category, that's a huge change. The PDF list of hotel changes is painful to read but from first glance it appears that 9 hotels in Canada are moving down a category while 10 are moving up. You can read the PDF list of changes here.

Reader question on a topic we have covered many times before!
What my wife and I are looking for is avoiding the 2.5% surcharge made on top of the exchange rate for transactions made in a foreign currency. Do you know of a card that will waive this fee?
"There are only a few cards that don't have the 2.5% fee charged and all are from Chase. Our favourite is the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa (https://www.marriottpremier.ca/?JOBNUM=VMR1207095) as it has very strong rewards and the lack of the foreign transaction fee! The other Chase options that don't have the fee are the Sears Voyage MasterCard (https://www.chase.com/online/canada/voyage-en.htm) or the Amazon.ca Rewards Visa (https://www.chase.com/online/canada/amazon-ca-home.htm)"

Another reader question:
Do you have a comparable subscription newsletter for the USA?  

"We sure do, our global website FrequentFlyerBonuses.com has a weekly newsletter which you can subscribe to at http://frequentflyerbonuses.com/mailinglist/?p=subscribe"

If you haven't joined Etihad Guest yet you can get 1,000 miles for doing so when you complete a mileage earning action before March 31st. One of those actions could simply be transferring American Express Membership Rewards Points to Etihad Guest (and they have 25% bonus on those transfers!) See details on the transfer bonus here and for the joining bonus see the link below in the bonus offers section.




Bonus Offers

Air France KLM Flying Blue
- 1,000 Bonus Flying Blue Miles for stays at participating Thalassa Hotels in France, Italy, Morocco and Bahrain. FMore... Book by Apr 6 for stays Mar 1 - Jul 10, 15
- Triple Flying Blue Miles for stays at the new Meliá Paris La Défense. More... Book by Apr 30 for stays until Jun 30, 15
- Double Flying Blue Miles for stays of 2 or more nights at Shangri-La Hotels Worldwide. More... Mar 1 - May 31, 15
- 4,000 Flying Blue Miles on Avis rentals of 4 our more days in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. More... Book by Mar 31 for rentals Mar 15 - Sep 30, 15
- Triple Flying Blue Miles for Sixt Car Rentals in the U.S. More... Until Apr 30, 15
- Earn up to 50% Bonus Flying Blue Miles when you buy Flying Blue miles online. More... Until Mar 15, 15
- Double Flying Blue Miles when you shop at any of the nine Chic Outlet Shopping villages in Europe. More... Mar 9 - Apr 30, 15
- Double Flying Blue Miles when you book private ground transportation in any country where Driving Blue operates. More... Until May 10, 15

Etihad Airways Guest
- Double Guest Miles when you Economy Class or Business Class to any destination on the Etihad network. More... Register and book by Mar 3 for travel Mar 3 - Dec 12, 15
- 1,000 Bonus Guest Miles for joining the Etihad Guest program and completing your first mileage earning action. More... Until Mar 31, 15

IHG Rewards Club
-5,000 Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points for stays on the “Canton Fair All-in-1” package for two consecutive nights or more at any participating IHG hotels in Guangzhou or Foshan More... Apr 14 - May 5, 15

Le Club accorhotels
- 500 Bonus Le Club Accorhotels Points when you book the Time for Business rate at participating Pullman Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Dec 31, 15


Sri Lankan FlySmiles
- Triple FlySmiles Miles on weekend stays at participating Hilton hotels and resorts in South East Asia and India. More... Until Apr 30, 15

United MileagePlus
- Up to 10,000 Bonus MileagePlus miles when you book a United Vacations package to Hawaii. More... Book by Mar 5 for travel until Oct 31, 15

Virgin America Elevate (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 1,000 Bonus Elevate Points for 3+ night HOTEL STAYS in spring break destinations booked via PointsHound. More... Until Mar 31, 15






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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Feb 25 Update: $100 Statement Credit for TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Update, SPG and Uber partner up, IHG PointBreaks now live



News, Tips & Tricks 

You may recall that back in January we detailed a $100 statement credit on the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card that at first looked open to everyone but then were told it was targeted. Well now it appears that it is open to everyone! Be sure to read my post on this offer and that if you don't have the TD Aeroplan Infinite Card on how you can get it first year free with 25,000 Aeroplan Miles bonus and then get this $100 credit to boot! Thanks to Paul M for sending this us:
I contacted TD regarding the $100 statement credit offer if you spend 100 on an Air Canada flight.  They seem to indicate that it is not a targeted offer and is available to all primary card holders. See below.  The question and response is copied from the td aeroplan community website
 Question: I found this promotion on a search but it is unclear whether it is available to all TD Aeroplan Visa infinite Card holders or alternately that it is a targeted promotion to some cardholders only. Can you let me know whether all card holders are eligible for this benefit? Receive a $100 statement credit: From January 8, 2015, to April 30, 2015 Receive a $100 credit on your credit card statement when you use your TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card to make a minimum $100 Air Canada purchase.
SabrinaTD Moderator:  Great question, paulme. It might seem too good to be true, but it's true! When you make an Air Canada purchase of at least $100 on a single transaction with your TD Aeroplan Credit Card between January 8 and April 30, 2015, you'll be eligible to receive a $100 statement credit. You must be the primary cardholder on the account to be eligible for this offer. The credit will appear on your account statement within ten weeks after your purchase.

IHG PointBreaks are now live! There are only 2 hotels in Canada participating this time but there are about 150 other hotels Worldwide also included in this still amazing and best hotel award night redemption option. Read our post from yesterday for details.

Starwood Preferred Guest and Uber have teamed up. Simply link your accounts at spg.com/uber and when you complete at least one SPG qualifying Starwood stay you'll earn Starpoints for using Uber.

Here is our list of posts since the last update:



Bonus Offers

airBaltic PINS (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Earn up to 7,000 Bonus PINS when you subscribe to The Economist. More... Until Mar 31, 15

Best Western Rewards
- Double Rewards Points for stays at the Best Western Antea Hotel & Spa. More... Mar 1 - 31, 15

Emirates Skywards
- Triple Skywards Miles when you stay at the Burj Al Arab. More... Until May 31, 15

Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Triple GarudaMiles on weekend stays at participating Hilton hotels and resorts in South East Asia and India. More... Until Apr 30, 15

IHG Rewards Club
- IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks - Redeem only 5,000 points for stays at select hotels Worldwide. Offer and participating hotels are subject to change at any time. More... Until May 31, 15
- 10,000 Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points for stays of 2 or more nights at participating hotels in New York City More... Until Apr 4, 15
- 1,500 Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points on your next stay at IHG Hotels Worldwide. Stay must be made within 90 days of registering. More... Until ? Targeted Offer - May not work for everyone

Le Club accorhotels
- Triple Le Club Accorhotels Points for weekend stays at participating Accor Hotels in Italy. More... Book by Mar 8 for stays until May 3, 15
- Triple Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays of 2 or more nights at any Mercure Hotels in in Poland.More... Apr 1 - May 31, 15
- Double Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at Ibis hotels in Kaliningrad, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Omsk, Samara and Yaroslav. More... Mar 15 - Apr 30, 15

Marriott Rewards
- 2,000 Bonus Rewards Points on Sunday-Thursday nights when you stayt at any one of the four Gaylord Hotels in the U.S. More... Until Mar 31, 15

Orbitz Rewards (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Triple Orbucks when you book a select standalone flight with Alitalia. More... Book by Mar 19, 15
- Quadruple Orbucks when you book a select standalone flight with South African Airways. More... Book by Mar 22, 15
- $50 Bonus Orbucks when you book an eligible vacation package of a 5 night stay or longer with an Iberostar accommodation as your hotel. More... Book by Mar 8, 15
- $75 Bonus Orbucks when you book a Disney hotel or resort as part of your flight/hotel or flight/car/hotel package. More... Book by Mar 2, 15

Stash Hotel Rewards
- Double Stash Rewards Points for stays at any Stash Hotel Rewards Hotel after you complete a stay at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange New Jersey. More... Stay at Wilshire between Mar 1 and Apr 30, complete stay at any other Stash Hotel by Jun 1, 15

Turkish Miles&Smiles
- 1,000 Bonus Miles&Smiles Miles for stays at the Elite World Business, Elite World Istanbul and Elite World Prestige, 500 Bonus Miles for their stays at Elite World Van Hotel. More... Until Mar 31, 15
- Triple Miles&Smiles Miles for stays at the Rixos Krasnaya Polyana Sochi. More... Until ?






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Hilton HHonors: Double Points or Miles for stays at participating hotels Worldwide between March 1 - May 31


We mentioned not too long ago that Hilton was changing their promotion strategy this year from 4 global systemwide bonuses to only 2 and then targeted offers for members. We are happy to announce that the first of those 2 global systemwide bonuses is now open for registration for stays starting on March 1st. The offer is simple, Double Points or Double Miles, your choice but once you make that choice during registration you can't switch during the promotional period. The list of hotels that have chosen not to participating is once again very U.S. heavy while outside of the U.S. there are only a few hotels that are not. 

In Canada these are the hotels that have chosen not to participate:
Hampton Inn & Suites Calgary Airport
Hilton Garden Inn Calgary Airport
Hampton Inn By Hilton Chilliwack

Hampton Inn & Suites Montreal / Dorval
Hilton Niagara Falls / Fallsview

Hilton Garden Inn Toronto / Oakville


Offer Details
Double HHonors Points or Double Airline MIles for eligible stays at participating Hilton Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Full Details, Online Registration and Booking  (Registration is required)  Mar 1 - May 31, 15
For a list of hotels that are not participating please click here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Air Miles accumulation changes at Shell for gas purchases and tips on how to get around the downgrade!

Today we welcome Rewards Canada's newest contributor, Bill W! Bill is a true road warrior, his work has him driving and flying across Western and Central Canada every week while staying in a variety hotels from a variety of chains.  Bill has been reading, following and even giving Rewards Canada tips and updates for a very long time so it is only natural to have him come on board and have him share his insights into the world of Travel Rewards!

Today Bill shares with us the details of the recent change in Air Miles Reward Miles accumulation at Shell stations in Canada and tips on how to combat this change to earn more miles on your gas purchases.


Shell recently and quietly changed the Air Miles collection guidelines when filling up with gas.  The old earn rate was 1 Air Miles Reward Mile for the first $20.00, then 1 mile for each $30.00 thereafter in the same transaction. As a result, a fill-up of $80.00 would result in an award of 3 Air Miles.  That has now changed.  The new parameters are with a minimum 15 litre fill, you will receive 1 Air Mile.  That's it. 1 Air Mile.  It does not matter how much more you spend or how many liters of gas you purchase in the same transaction, you will only get 1 Air Mile. The only way to get more Air Miles is to do multiple transactions (put in 15 litres, stop, complete the transaction, and then put in another 15 litres, stop and complete the transaction. Continue to so this until your tank is full.

I drive a vehicle with a 118 litre tank, so this would mean approximately 7 transactions for 7 Air Miles. However, Shell is currently running a promotion (Offer valid from January 5 - March 1, 2015) where you can obtain 4X your base Air Miles if you purchase Bronze, Silver or Diesel grade fuel and 20X if you purchase Shell V-Power Premium fuel. This promotion, however, requires you to purchase a minimum of 25 litres of gas. 

This is where the multiple transactions would be beneficial. Using my vehicle with a 118 litre tank as an example, I would be able to complete 4 transactions of 25 liters. At 4X the base, I would get 20 points. If I were to purchase Premium grade gasoline, at 20X I would get 80 Air Miles. You will have to decide if it is worth it for you to do this to maximize your miles accumulation.  The choice is yours, but I would take advantage of this offer while it lasts.

Screenshot of Bill's accumulation at Shell utilizing his multiple transaction tip!
Editor's note:
This reminds us of the first Air Canada / Aeroplan Star Challenge where tons of people would fill up at Esso with multiple $3 transactions to reach the various bonus tiers!

---

Looking to earn even more Air Miles? Here is a great way to earn 2,000 of them:
The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card
• Earn a bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES reward miles when you charge a total of $500 in purchases to your Card within your first three months of Cardmembership
• Enjoy your first year free
• Earn 1 reward mile for every $10 in Card purchases at AIR MILES®* Sponsors
• Earn 1 reward mile for every $10 in Card purchases at other eligible grocery stores, gas stations, and drugstores in Canada
• Plus, earn 1 reward mile for every $15 in Card purchases everywhere else
• Shop at participating AIR MILES Sponsors across Canada with your Card and show your AIR MILES®* Collector Card, and you can earn reward miles twice
• More than 1000 rewards to choose from! Redeem for a wide range of rewards - everything from movie tickets to electronics, travel and more
• American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link.
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Scotiabank Gold American Express Card 20,000 Points + First Year Free to end on Feb 28th

We just learned that a card featured in our top 5 sign up bonuses for February will be ending in four days! The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card will be reverting back to its standard 15,000 Point bonus with an annual feee as of March 1st.

 If you have not jumped on this card yet now is the time to do so as you'll get 20,000 points when you reach $1,000 in spending in the first three months. That 20,000 points is equal to a $200 travel credit and since this card is a book anywhere card you can book the travel how you want when you want and when the charge shows up on your account you can redeem the points against the charge. The card normally has a $99 annual fee but of course that is waived in the first year as long as you apply by February 28th. You can apply for the card here or read our review of the card first to see if it is right for you!



Feb 24 Update: SPG's Annual Category Update - Good news here in Canada, Air France YVR-CDG from $899 + 2x Miles

SPG's 2015 annual hotel category changes is the big news today!

News, Tips & Tricks
Starwood Preferred Guest has released their annual hotel award night category changes. Per the SPG representative on FlyerTalk:
"Just over 22% of hotels are changing category; of these, 10.49% are moving up and 11.78% are moving down including some favorites such as The St. Regis Rome, The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, Maui, W Paris – Opera, and others."
These changes take effect on March 10th so we reiterate the old addage that you should try to book award nights (if you have planned any) for hotels going up before the 10th while those that are going down you should wait if possible to book after that date. I am very happy to see one of my favourites, the Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas go down! Closer to home, 2 Canadian properties are moving up Four Points by Sheraton Prince George (Cat 3 to 4) and the Four Points by Sheraton Waterloo - Kitchener Hotel & Suites (Cat 2 to 3) while 15 (that's right 15!!!) hotels in our beautiful country move down a category. Some highlights of those 15 are The Westin Ottawa, Le Meridien Versailles, and the Le Westin Resort & Spa, Tremblant. You can view the entire list of hotel changes here.


Travel Deals
Last week we brought you the details of the double Flying Blue miles offer for flying on Air France's new Vancouver to Paris and now AF themselves are promoting it heavily along with a great economy class sale on the route starting at $899 all in! Simply book online at www.airfrance.ca and be sure to include your Flying Blue number on the reservation to earn the Double Miles (Mar 29 - Jun 18).
While your in Paris why not stay in a Hilton to take advantage of the bonus listed below!


Bonus Offers

Air Canada / Aeroplan
- Double Aeroplan Miles when you shop online at costco.ca More... Until Mar 29, 15

Air France KLM Flying Blue
- Earn up to 15,000 Bonus Flying Blue Miles when you register and complete a qualifying stay at participating Hilton Portfolio hotels and resorts within Europe, the Middle East and Africa. More... Until Apr 30, 15

Alaska Airlines MileagePlan
- Triple Mileage Plan Miles on all rentals of three days or longer at any Thrifty location Worldwide. More... Until Jun 30, 15

Etihad Guest
- Double Guest Miles when you stay for three nights and more at any Millennium & Copthorne Hotels worldwide. More... Until Mar 31, 15
- Earn a Minimum 5,000 Guest Miles on your first Rocketmiles Booking More... Book by May 31, 15
- Triple Guest Miles on all rentals with Avis in Europe, Middle East and Africa. More... Until May 31, 15

La Quinta Returns
- Earn up to Triple Returns Points for stays at participating La Quinta locations in the U.S. More... Until Mar 5, 15

Le Club accorhotels
- Double Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at the ibis Moscow Paveletskaya or the ibis Moscow Centre Bakhrushina. More... Mar 12 - Apr 30, 15

Stash Hotel Rewards
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays at the Table Mountain Inn Golden. More... Until Mar 31, 15
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays of 3 or more nights at The Olde Mill Inn Basking Ridge.More... Until Apr 30, 15
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays at The Strand Hotel New York.More... Book by Mar 6 for stays Apr 1 - 30, 15
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays at the Viana Hotel & Spa Westbury. More...Until Mar 31, 15
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays of 2 or more nights at the The Lodge at Woodloch Hawley. More... Until Mar 31, 15
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays at the Hotel Andra Seattle. More... Book by Apr 3 for stays Apr 1 - May 31, 15

United MileagePlus
- Earn up to Triple MileagePlus Miles when you book online and stay at participating Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. More... Until Apr 30, 15




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IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks - Complete list of hotels that will be available as of tomorrow (only 2 in Canada again)

As we mentioned on Twitter a few days ago the new IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks list would be available today and here it is thanks to the info posted on the IHG blog! The  150 hotels participating in this set of offers will be bookable as of tomorrow Feb 25 for stays Feb 25 - May 31, 15 (subject to availability). For those of you stuck traveling within the confines of our beautiful country you'll only find two Canadian locations participating. The Staybridge Suites West Edmonton and the Holiday Inn Express Milton.

Each Reward Night at these participating hotels will be only 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points during the above mentioned dates. Remember the new PointBreaks rules that a member can only book up to 2 reward reservations per hotel participating in the individual offer (ie 2 at Pointbreaks hotels and 2 at Last Minute Reward Night hotels).  My tip to get around this would be to book 2 reservations with one IHG Rewards Club account and then have your spouse book 2 more etc. Of course this is dependent on both accounts having enough points to redeem for these awards. Also be sure to book these ASAP as once the allotted nights are booked at certain locations those hotels will fall off the list.

Why are IHG Rewards Club Point Breaks such a great deal? Because they offer reward nights at participating IHG hotels Worldwide for only 5,000 Rewards Club points. For those of you not to familiar with IHG Rewards Club , normal redemption rates for Rewards 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 PointBreaks. 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 PointBreaks rate. These offers will be bookable via the primary PointsBreaks page as of tomorrow


PointBreaks Hotels in Canada

  • Staybridge Suites West Edmonton (Alberta, Canada)
  • Holiday Inn Express Milton (Ontario, Canada)


PointBreaks hotels in Asia, Middle East, and Africa:

  • InterContinental Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
  • Crowne Plaza Chongqing New North Zone (China)
  • Crowne Plaza Jinan City Center (China)
  • Crowne Plaza Tianjin Jinnan (China)
  • Crowne Plaza Xiangyang (China)
  • Crowne Plaza Zhongshan Wing On City (China)
  • Holiday Inn Express Nantong Xinghu (China)
  • Holiday Inn Hangzhou Xiaoshan (China)
  • InterContinental Lhasa Paradise (China)
  • Holiday Inn New Delhi Int’l Airport (India)
  • Crowne Plaza Ube (Japan)
  • Holiday Inn Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)
PointBreaks hotel deals in Europe:
  • Holiday Inn Tampere (Finland)
  • Holiday Inn Express Saint – Nazaire (France)
  • Holiday Inn Express Marseille – Provence Airport (France)
  • Holiday Inn Fulda (Germany)
  • Holiday Inn Express Guetersloh (Germany)
  • Holiday Inn Budapest – Budaörs (Hungary)
  • Holiday Inn Genoa City (Italy)
  • Crowne Plaza Vilnius (Lithuania)
  • Holiday Inn Express Arnhem (Netherlands)
  • Crowne Plaza Bucharest (Romania)
  • Holiday Inn Elche (Spain)
  • Holiday Inn Express Campo de Gibraltar – Barrios (Spain)
  • Holiday Inn Express Braintree (United Kingdom)
  • Holiday Inn Cardiff – North M4, Jct.32 (United Kingdom)
  • Holiday Inn Darlington – A1 Scotch Corner (United Kingdom)
  • Holiday Inn Express Hamilton (United Kingdom)
PointBreaks Hotel Deals in Central and South America
  • Holiday Inn Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport (Argentina)
  • Holiday Inn Express Belém Ananindeua (Brazil)
  • Holiday Inn Fortaleza (Brazil)
  • Crowne Plaza Suites Tequendama Bogota (Columbia)
  • Holiday Inn Express Medellin (Columbia)
  • Crowne Plaza San Jose Corobici (Costa Rica)
  • Hotel Indigo San Jose Forum Costa Rica
  • Holiday Inn Guatemala (Ciudad De Guatemala, Guatemala)
  • Holiday Inn Express Tegucigalpa (Honduras)
PointBreaks Hotel Deals in Mexico
  • Crowne Plaza Tuxtla Gutierrez
  • Holiday Inn MEXICO COYOACAN
  • Holiday Inn Express TOLUCA GALERIAS METEPEC
  • Holiday Inn Express TOLUCA ZONA AEROPUERTO
  • Staybridge Suites Guadalajara Expo
  • Holiday Inn Monterrey Norte
  • Holiday Inn Express Queretaro
  • Holiday Inn Express GUAYMAS
  • Holiday Inn Reynosa Zona Dorada
  • Holiday Inn ORIZABA
PointBreaks Hotels Deals in the United States
Alabama
  • Holiday Inn Express Dothan North
  • Candlewood Suites Huntsville – Research Park
Arkansas
  • Holiday Inn Little Rock-Airport-Conf Ctr
Arizona
  • Holiday Inn Express Nogales
  • Holiday Inn Express Page – Lake Powell Area
California
  • Holiday Inn Express Beaumont – Oak Valley
  • Holiday Inn Express Calexico
  • Holiday Inn Express Moreno Valley (Lake Perris)
  • Staybridge Suites Sacramento Airport Natomas
Colorado
  • Holiday Inn Express Fraser – Winter Park Area
  • Holiday Inn Express La Junta
Connecticut
  • Holiday Inn Express Southington
Florida
  • Holiday Inn Express Tampa-Anderson Rd/Veterans Exp
Georgia
  • Holiday Inn Express Commerce-Tanger Outlets
  • Holiday Inn Express Macon-West
  • Holiday Inn Express Warner Robins North West
  • Holiday Inn Express Waycross
Iowa
  • Holiday Inn Express Clinton
  • Holiday Inn Express Le Mars
Idaho
  • Holiday Inn Express Boise-University Area
Illinois
  • Holiday Inn Express Bloomington West
  • Candlewood Suites Elgin NW-Chicago
  • Holiday Inn Express Rochelle
  • Staybridge Suites Rockford
Indiana
  • Holiday Inn Express Auburn-Touring Dr
  • Candlewood Suites Bloomington
  • Candlewood Suites Indianapolis Airport
  • Holiday Inn Express Scottsburg
Kentucky
  • Holiday Inn Express Murray
  • Holiday Inn Express Pikeville
Louisiana
  • Holiday Inn Covington
  • Holiday Inn Morgan City
  • Holiday Inn Express Scott-Lafayette West
Massachusetts
  • Candlewood Suites West Springfield
Maryland
  • Holiday Inn Express North East
  • Even Hotels Rockville – Washington DC Area
  • Holiday Inn Express Waldorf
Michigan
  • Holiday Inn Express Grand Blanc
Minnesota
  • Holiday Inn Express Mankato East
Missouri
  • Holiday Inn Express Kirksville
  • Holiday Inn Express Lebanon
  • Holiday Inn Express St Louis – Central West End
Mississippi
  • Holiday Inn Express Greenville
  • Holiday Inn Express Meridian
  • Candlewood Suites Tupelo North
  • Holiday Inn Vicksburg
North Carolina
  • Holiday Inn Express Conover (Hickory Area)
  • Holiday Inn Express Laurinburg
  • Holiday Inn Lumberton North – I-95
Nebraska
  • Holiday Inn Express Lincoln South
New Hampshire
  • Crowne Plaza Nashua
New Jersey
  • Holiday Inn Express Vineland Millville
New Mexico
  • Holiday Inn Express Silver City
Nevada
  • Holiday Inn Express Fallon
New York
  • Holiday Inn Middletown-Goshen
  • Holiday Inn Express East Greenbush(Albany-Skyline)
Ohio
  • Holiday Inn Express Bryan-Montpelier
  • Holiday Inn Express Toledo North
Oklahoma
  • Holiday Inn Express Bartlesville
  • Holiday Inn Express McAlester
  • Candlewood Suites Woodward
Pennsylvania
  • Holiday Inn Express Drums-Hazleton (I-80)
  • Holiday Inn Express Frazer-Malvern
  • Candlewood Suites Harrisburg
  • Holiday Inn Lansdale
  • Holiday Inn Express Irwin (Pa Tpk Exit 67)
South Carolina
  • Candlewood Suites Columbia-Ft. Jackson
  • Holiday Inn Express Greenwood
  • Holiday Inn Express Lexington-Hwy 378
South Dakota
  • Holiday Inn Express Vermillion
  • Holiday Inn Express Watertown
Tennessee
  • Holiday Inn Express Athens
Texas
  • Candlewood Suites Abilene
  • Holiday Inn Express Carthage
  • Holiday Inn Express Center
  • Holiday Inn Express Cleveland
  • Candlewood Suites Decatur Medical Center
  • Holiday Inn Express Ennis
  • Holiday Inn Express Falfurrias
  • Staybridge Suites Laredo International Airport
  • Holiday Inn Express Levelland
  • Holiday Inn Express Lufkin South
  • Candlewood Suites Mount Pleasant
  • Holiday Inn Express Fort Worth North – Northlake
  • Holiday Inn Express San Antonio SE by AT&T Center
  • Staybridge Suites San Antonio – Stone Oak
  • Holiday Inn Express Wharton
Utah
  • Holiday Inn Express Salt Lake City South – Murray
Virginia
  • Holiday Inn Express Christiansburg
  • Holiday Inn Petersburg North- Fort Lee
  • Candlewood Suites Richmond North-Glen Allen
  • Holiday Inn Norton
  • Holiday Inn Express Rocky Mount/Smith Mtn Lake
  • Staybridge Suites Quantico-Stafford
Washington
  • Holiday Inn Downtown-Everett
  • Holiday Inn Express Tacoma South – Lakewood
Wisconsin
  • Holiday Inn Conference Ctr Marshfield
  • Holiday Inn Wausau-Rothschild
West Virginia
  • Holiday Inn Express Newell-Chester WV
Wyoming
  • Candlewood Suites Sheridan

Monday, February 23, 2015

Interview with Expedia.ca on their new Expedia+ Rewards program


If you recall back in November we brought you the details of Expedia Canada's new reward program called Expedia+. It was a soft launch of the program back then and in mid January the program officially launched with a major marketing campaign. Perhaps you've seen the commercials on TV (well for those of you who watch shows live and don't DVR/PVR them and skip the commercials!)

We were lucky enough to be able to interview Sean Shannon, the Managing Director of Expedia.ca about the new program with more loyalty based questions.

To start, Sean explained that the program is already quite big and did not grow from a 0 person status. Instead it grew from the Expedia Elite program that did not offer points but recognized frequent bookers with exclusive benefits at select hotels.

Here are the questions we posed to Sean along with his responses:

1. Although the program formally launched on the 21st, it was soft launched in November 2014. What has the traction and been like for people joining the program prior to the official launch and TV marketing campaign? How have the initial reactions been?
Uptake was quick because of a clear base of customers from Expedia Elite that were rolled over into different status levels in the new Expedia+. From non Elite members there is postive initial reaction with not much negative pushback. For most, if they are already doing business with Expedia it just better but there are also some people moving from other programs to Expedia.

2.
Expedia+ Rewards has existed in the U.S. for several years now and just recently went through a major devaluation (which seems to be par for the course for most programs these days). Could we expect something similar with the Canadian version or has the program been in development long enough that knowledge from the U.S. version and it's current reward structure (essentially the same for the .ca version) that it should stand true for a number of years to come?
Everything should stay put, Canada did stay on the side lines until the U.S. went through the learning curves and found their sweet spot. By holding off and taking the knowledge of the U.S. program the Canadian program should stay how it is for quite sometime with its healthy balance.

3. Any plans for a co-brand credit card like the U.S.?
Nothing immediately, they are watching the U.S. market and waiting to see what happens with the base of Canadian members.

4. One of our readers avoids booking Air Canada flights on Expedia.ca as the system logic behind the searches will only bring up Tango fares when booking 7 or more days out and not Flex Fares. He seems typical of many business and frequent flyers that like to book Flex Fare or higher on AC for upgrade purposes, 100% Altitude Qualifying miles etc.. Is Expedia working on a work around for this? It could be a major tipping point in getting the 'frequent traveller' on board with the Expedia+ Rewards program even though the marketing for the program seems to be targeting the infrequent traveller? FYI This reader does book AC fares on Expedia within 7 days of departure since Tango fares drop off and the lowest booking class becomes Flex.
The system that Expedia runs doesn't support that at this time. It will only pull the lowest available fare class so Flex Fares outside of 7 days will only show up if Tango is no longer available.

5. Hotels are big business for Expedia however many Canadians are unaware that most major hotel chains do not award their own loyalty program points or elite stay credit for bookings made via Expedia and other OTAs (and only a handful extend Elite benefits on Expedia stays). Do you plan on letting travellers know that this is the case and that they shouldn't expect to double dip on hotel stays? I notice there isn't any mention of frequent guest programs in the marketing or press release but there are numerous references to frequent flyer and credit card programs. This could lead to some potential confusion and the odd guest who will be 'mad' that they didn't earn Starpoints, Gold Passport points etc. on their stay in addition to their Expedia+ points. Or is the 'frequent guest' such a small portion of Expedia's booking clientele that it isn't really on the radar?
Our customers are less concerned with status benefits or earning points in hotel programs as they are more leisure based and price sensitive to where they stay so they are not loyal to one chain. It is mentioned in the T&Cs for frequent guests to make them aware of potentially earning or not earning points/benefits in their preferred hotel frequent guest program. Expedia doesn't want to hide it from people so that someone is not blindsided and would have made a different booking choice. The 3rd party booking rule put ibn place by most hotel programs are always subject to negotiation and those are things that may always come in the future.

6. You talk of the triple dip, Expedia+ Points, Frequent Flyer and Credit Card points being earned on one booking. Do you plan on exploiting the other potential boon for customers when redeeming credit card points? With cards like the American Express Gold Rewards Card, TD First Class Visa Infinite and about a dozen others allowing you to book travel via any provider then redeem the points against the charge on the statement it could prove beneficial for Expedia to promote the earning of Expedia+ Rewards, Frequent Flyer miles etc. on the booking all the while saving money by redeeming credit card points for the Expedia purchase.
Definitely agree with the idea but it probably will not be marketed by Expedia. It is more so something that should be marketed by the credit card companies themselves as a way to triple dip and use their points.

I want to thank Sean for taking the time out to answer our questions about the new Expedia+ program!

In the mean time if you are or will join Expedia+ be sure to take advantage of their current bonuses like Double Points on Packages and Triple Points on bookings made via their app.

British Airways Executive Club: 50% Bonus on buying Avios (Three days only!)


British Airways Executive Club has launched their best buy Avios offer yet. Is it worth taking advantage of? It definitely can be especially if you buy Avios at the higher levels. This is because the price goes down with the more Avios you buy. At 3,000 Avios, you'll get a total of 4,500 with the bonus for US$108 or 2.4 cents per Avios. At 35,000 you'll receive 52,500 Avios for US$988 or about 1.88 cents per Avios. Canadians of course have to pay GST on top of this since Points.com who facilitates the purchases is Canadian.  At the top end rate even with GST it could very well be worth buying for redeeming multiple times on BA's famous short haul redemptions of 4,500 Avios one way/9,000 round trip. A great example is Toronto to New York or Calgary to Seattle!
See our post on How to get select Canada to U.S. award flights faster by utilizing British Airways' Executive Club for more details!

Here are more details on the offer as worded on BA's site:
If you purchase 2,000 Avios or more before midnight 25 February 2015, you will enjoy our best ever bonus of 50%. Don't forget you can now purchase up to 35,000 Avios each year too, so if your current Avios balance doesn't quite stretch to a reward flight or upgrade, purchasing Avios is a great way to boost your balance. 

To find out more or to go ahead and purchase Avios click here.

20,000 Starpoint Bonus for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express to end on March 31

Amex has let us know the current public offer for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card of 20,000 Starpoints will be ending on March 31st after which it will revert to the standard 10,000 Starpoints. We just wanted to pass this along as when the offer came out it was unknown how long it would stick around. This gives you a little over a month to apply for the card and get this great bonus. Unlike some other cards the first year fee of $120 is NOT waived however the 20,000 Starpoints is worth a minimum of $400 but more like $460-$500 all depending on how you value Starpoints.

This card has been ranked the #1 Hotel Credit Card in Canada for years on end here on Rewards Canada and that is with the 10,000 point bonus. So you can only figure that doubling that offer makes this card even better! Find out more or apply for the card here.

Here are some highlights of what the card offers:
• Earn 20,000 bonus Starpoints® after you charge $500 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership.
• Earn 1 Starpoint for every $1 in purchases charged to the Card
• Enjoy a Free Weekend Night Award when you reach $40,000 in purchases each year
• Experience Starwood Gold Preferred Guest status when you reach $30,000 in purchases each year
• Redeem Starpoints for Free Nights with no blackout dates at over 1,100 of the world’s most desired hotels in nearly 100 countries
• Use Starpoints for flights on over 350 airlines with no blackout dates with SPG Flights
• Experience once-in-a-lifetime events with SPG Moments
• Get Front Of The Line®* access to tickets for some of the most popular concerts, theatre and special events
• Annual interest rate 19.99% on purchases and 21.99% on funds advances
• American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link.


Apply Online

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Feb 23 Update: IHG PointBreaks coming on Feb 24, Choice Hotels Stay 2 Get 1 offer returns, Update on targeted WestJet $100 offer

Here is the start of the week news and bonuses for you!

News, Tips & Tricks

IHG Rewards Club's PR team let it's slate of website and bloggers on their mailing list know last night that the next set of IHG PointBreaks will be released on Tuesday Feb 24. From the preview list of 7 hotels, we know at least one Canadian property is participating, the Staybridge Suites West Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Keep an eye out right here on Rewards Canada for the entire list of hotels on 24th!

Choice Hotels has launched their latest systemwide promotion and it is the same one we see over and over again! The offer awards bonus points so that you reach the 8,000 Point level so that you can redeem at over 1,500 of their locations Worldwide, lots of which are here on our home turf. I know there are a lot of our readers who frequent Choice properties here in Canada so I thought it best to highlight it up here in the news and tips. Find out more here!



I had the luxury of speaking with WestJet about the targeted offer that select WestJet Rewards Gold members have been receiving and wanted to clarify who got it and how they got it.
  • Members were strictly targeted based on the Status Match promotion only.
  •  It was not based on having any flight history with WestJet. 
  • Members who earned status the hard way with WestJet weren't targeted. 
  • If you did do status match and didn't receive the offer there is a good chance you didn't opt in for communications from WestJet Rewards when you joined the program so you wouldn't have been on the list. 
  • There isn't anyway you can get the offer after the fact if you opt-in now. So if you didn't get this offer sent to you make sure opt-in for future opportunities and this applies for all reward programs not just WestJet.

Don't forget about our Exclusive Offer with Kaligo offer 2,000 Bonus AAdvantage/MileagePlus Miles or 3,000 Bonus Avios! Almost half of the 50 bonuses are already taken! 



Bonus Offers

Aerolineas Argentinas Plus (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double Plus Miles when you use RedCoach bus service between Miami and Orlando. More... Until Apr 10, 15

Air France KLM Flying Blue
- Double Flying Blue Miles when you book an Air France flight from Vancouver to the destination of your choice. More... Valid for residents on Canada only Mar 29 - Jun 18, 15

Choice Hotels Privileges
- Earn up to 8,000 Bonus Privileges Points when you complete 2 separate stays at participating Choice Hotels Worldwide. More... Restrictions For residents of the U.S. and Canada only Until Apr 22, 15

Etihad Airways Guest
- Etihad Airways Status Match - Receive Guest Gold Status if you hold Gold Status with another airline. More... Register by Mar 15, 15

Hilton HHonors
- Triple HHonors Points when you rent any size car at any participating Alamo location in the United States or Canada More... Until Dec 31, 15
- Triple HHonors Points when you rent any size car at any participating National location in the United States or Canada More... Until Dec 31, 15
- Fast Track to Gold Status for Oldcastle employees when you complete six qualifying stays at Hilton Hotels Worldwide within 90-days of enrolling in this offer. More... Until ?

Hyatt Gold Passport
- Double Gold Passport Points for stays at the Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort. More... Until May 31, 15
- 2,000 Bonus Gold Passport Points for stays of 3 or more nights at the Hyatt City of Dreams Manila.  More... Until Mar 31, 15

Starwood Preferred Guest
- 3,000 Bonus Starpoints for stays at the Element Vancouver Metrotown More... Until ?
- 800 Bonus Starpoints for stays on the Pick your Perk Package at the Westin Georgetown Washington D.C. Hotel. More... Until ?
- 500 Bonus Starpoints for stays on the Starpoints Perks Package at the Westin Georgetown Washington D.C. Hotel. More... Until ?
- 1,000 Bonus Starpoints for stays on the Grand Opening offer at the Sheraton McKinney Hotel. More... Until ?

United MileagePlus
- 3,000 Bonus MileagePlus miles when you join MileagePlus Dining. More... Until Mar 31, 15




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Friday, February 20, 2015

Double Flying Blue Miles on Air France's new Vancouver - Paris route


Flight bonuses from the Flying Blue program tend to be few and far between especially so on the Air France or KLM flights out of Canada. So when we came across this one we were super excited! Not only is it double miles route launch bonus, Air France has a great business class sale going on right now for the route as long as you book by Feb 22! The fares are $3299 all in to European destinations and $3299 to $3775 to the Middle East, Africa and Asia! To get the bonus miles just make sure you include your Flying Blue number when you book your flights.


Offer Details
Double Flying Blue Miles when you book an Air France flight from Vancouver to the destination of your choice at www.airfrance.ca and fly between 29 March and 18 June, 2015.

Conditions:

  • Only Flying Blue members of legal age residing in Canada will be eligible for this offer
  • Eligible flights: transatlantic flights departing from Vancouver, operated by and marketed as Air France
  • The extra Award Miles are not taken into account for your Flying Blue membership level
  • This promotion is valid only once per person
  • Free stopover in Paris: additional airport taxes may apply

Deal Alert: New Element Vancouver Metrotown - 3,000 Bonus Starpoints, Free Upgrade and more


Earlier today in our daily update we brought you a quick snippet on yesterday's opening of the newest Starwood Hotel in Canada, The Element Vancouver Metrotown. As part of the grand opening celebrations there is an promotion being offered of 3,000 Bonus Starpoints, Free Breakfast and a complimentary upgrade from a studio suite to a one-bedroom suite. We decided to see if this was a good deal or not and we feel it is!

We pulled up rates for a stay on March 10th with the following results for a Studio King:
AAA: C$152 + taxes/fees
Advance Purchase (non-refundable): $161
Fully Flexible Rate: C$179 + taxes/fees
3,000 Bonus Starpoints offer: C$179 + taxes/fees


As you can see the 3,000 Bonus Starpoints offer is equal to the Fully Flexible rate but more than the AAA rate or Advance Purchase. It appears the free breakfast is a moot point per the rates all rooms include free breakfast.  But is it worth it to pay the additional $27 over the AAA rate or $18 over the Advance purchase rate. Personally we always avoid Advance Purchase as we hate not having the option to cancel. But how about the $27 extra over AAA? Absolutely! We value Starpoints at a minimum of 2 cents each but more so around 2.3 cents each which means the 3,000 Starpoints is worth $60 to $66 in our books, which already beats out the $27 difference but then you also get the free upgrade to a Suite as long as one is available! By booking the 3,000 Starpoints rate you will come a minimum of $33 ahead  and at least $77 ahead if you get the Suite as it prices out $44 more per night on the AA rate. Of course if you are not a CAA/AAA member then the 3,000 Points offer is a no brainer when compared the fully flexible rate.


To find out more about this new hotel or to book the 3,000 Bonus Starpoints offer visit here.

Feb 20 Update: Exclusive offer up to 3,000 Bonus Miles/Avios on FFB, WestJet vs. Air Canada on Western Canada routes, Air Canada 15% off Asia flights

A great end to the week with the launch of an exclusive promotion from the FFB Group!

News, Tips & Tricks
Many of you know that RewardsCanada.ca is not our only website and that we actually run three other websites. One of those, our global FrequentFlyerBonuses.com is proud to offer an EXCLUSIVE bonus for your first ever hotel booking made via third party hotel booking site Kaligo. Kaligo is similar to Rocketmiles and Pointshound which readers of Rewards Canada should be very familiar with. Our offer is for 2,000 Bonus American AAdvantage or United Mileage Plus Miles or 3,000 Bonus Avios for British Airways Executive Club! This is a great offer considering you can earn the bonus over and above Kaligo's base earn rates and their own AAdvantage/MileagePlus/BAEC promos! This means you can earn as much as 12,000 AA/UA miles or 23,000 Avios just in bonuses!! Find all the details here. (Oh yes, this is limited to the first 50 bookings so don't wait to book as you may miss out on the bonus!!!)

Starwood Hotels opened their second Element Hotel in Canada yesterday! The Element Vancouver Metrotown features 169 rooms and is located on the northeast corner of Kingsway and Willingdon Avenue within Metropolis at Metrotown. And to celebrate the opening they are offering 3,000 Bonus Starpoints on all stays booked with promo code EYD3K (kind of odd as(that's typically the Earn Your Dreams code used for stays in Europe, the Middle East and Africa but whatever its a bonus!) To find out more about this new hotel or to book the 3,000 Bonus Starpoints offer visit here.

Yesterday we brought you the details of WestJet bonus offer on select routes in Western Canada that matches Air Canada's current promo. WestJet clarified that their offer is only for non-stop flights (no connections allowed) so if you are flying Regina-Edmonton-Grande Prairie you won't earn the bonus on the Edmonton-Grande Prairie portion. I reached out to Air Canada to see if this was the same case with them and it is not. If you fly a connecting route you will still earn the bonus on the portion of your itinerary that does offer a bonus. So with the example above you would earn only your base Aeroplan Miles between Regina and Edmonton but you'll earn base+bonus on the Edmonton-Grande Prairie portion. Looks like AC is the winner here.

Travel Deals
Air Canada
is offering 15% off flights between Canada and Asia to celebrate Chinese New Year. Use promo code SHEEP15 when you book onlie. Book by February 24, 2015, at 11:59 pm from your city of departure in Canada, Valid on Tango and Premium Economy Lowest fares, Travel from March 1 to June 15, 2015
. Find out more here.


Bonus Offers

Air Canada / Aeroplan
- Triple Aeroplan Miles for every qualifying stay at any participating Choice Hotel Worldwide. More... Until Apr 15, 15

AirAsia Big (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double Big Points when you book hotel stays via Agoda Singapore. More... Book by Mar 31 for stays until Apr 30, 15

American AAdvantage (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- FFB EXCLUSIVE! 2,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles on your first hotel booking via Kaligo. More... LIMITED TO THE FIRST 50 BOOKINGS Register and Book by Feb 28, 15

British Airways Executive Club (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- FFB EXCLUSIVE! 3,000 Bonus Avios on your first hotel booking via Kaligo. More... LIMITED TO THE FIRST 50 BOOKINGS Register and Book by Feb 28, 15

Jet Airways JetPrivilege
- Triple JetPrivilege Miles on weekend stays at participating Hilton hotels and resorts in South East Asia and India. More... Until Apr 30, 15

Le Club accorhotels
- Double Le Club Accorhotels Points when you stay at participating Accor Hotels properties in Barcelona. More... Book by Apr 30 for stays Apr 13 - May 13, 15

Starwood Preferred Guest
- 1,000 Bonus Starpoints for stays of 2 or more nights on the Grand Opening offer at the Le Méridien New Orleans. More... Book by Apr 1 for stays until Dec 30, 15
- 500 Bonus Starpoints for stays on the Unlocked Package at the Le Méridien New Orleans. More... Until ?

TAP Portugal Victoria
- 2,000 Victoria Milesfor stays of 3 or more nights at the Porto Bay Liberdade. More... Book by Feb 28 for stays Mar 1 - Dec 31, 15

United MileagePlus (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- FFB EXCLUSIVE! 2,000 Bonus MileagePlus Miles on your first hotel booking via Kaligo. More... LIMITED TO THE FIRST 50 BOOKINGS Register and Book by Feb 28, 15




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