Friday, January 30, 2015

Air France KLM Flying Blue - Save up to 50% on award tickets between Edmonton/Vancouver & Europe for Apr/May Travel

For the fourth month in a row we are lucky to see Canada included in Air France KLM's Promo Awards and this time we have only cities out west! These award ticket deals are bookable as of Sunday and are good for award travel for April and May of 2015 (Edmonton flight doesn't start until May 8th).  The offer this time is for 50% off Business Class on KLM's new route out of Edmonton to anywhere in Europe! This is a great launch offer 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 economy and premium economy class for Air France's new Vancouver route! 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. The card has a 20,000 Starpoint bonus right now which translates to 25,000 Flying Blue miles, which gets you more than enough miles for the Vancouver-Europe one way in Economy!

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 Feb 1 and 28  for travel between April 1st and May 31st 2015. More details can be found here.



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Current Bonus Miles Offers for flying within Canada or from Canada to the rest of the World

Another reminder for you about the one page on the main Rewards Canada site that sees a good amount of traffic but does get overlooked a good majority of our readers who aren't aware of it or forgot about it! That page is our Route Bonus Listing.  Be sure to bookmark it right now! This page lists all the current bonuses that Canadians can earn on flights around the globe. The list presents all the actual Canadian options first such as flights within Canada or flights originating in Canada to anywhere in the World. The remainder of the listing shows systemwide bonuses next (these are offers for all flights on an airline and may include those leaving Canada) followed by the remainder of flights bonuses from around the world that Canadian's can take advantage of. The big difference between the RC version of this listing and the listing on our Global site FrequentFlyerBonuses.com is that the RC version does not list bonuses that us Canucks cannot use which are primarily offers that are only for residents of certain countries other than Canada.

Now that you have learned about the route bonus listing or have been reminded about it we thought it would be wise to post the Canadian flight portion of the list in a post on a regular basis here on the Rewards Canada blog to remind you of the bonuses that you may be able to earn on your flights! We encourage to consult this list before you book a flight anywhere in the world or even board a flight as some offers may come up after you have already booked but you can still be eligible for. If you don't check the list there is a good chance you may miss on some extra miles to be added to your account!

Current bonuses for flying within or from Canada!

From/To (or Vice Versa)

Bonus Offer

Airline Program

Validity

Details

to/from Canada Up to 12,000 Bonus Miles American AAdvantage Until Dec 31, 15
to/from Canada Up to 12,000 Bonus Miles United MileagePlus Until Feb 28, 15
Systemwide Up to 35% Bonus Miles Canadian North Aurora Rewards Until Feb 28, 15
Canada Europe up to 15,000 Bonus Miles Air Canada / Aeroplan Register and book by Mar 10 for travel Jan 16 - Mar 10, 15
Canada Europe up to 15,000 Bonus Miles United MileagePlus Register and book by Mar 10 for travel Jan 16 - Mar 10, 15
Montreal Toronto 3x Dollars WestJet Rewards Ongoing
Ottawa Toronto 3x Dollars WestJet Rewards Ongoing
Toronto Abu Dhabi Up to Triple Miles Etihad Guest Register and book by Jan 31 for travel until Mar 31, 15
Toronto Hong Kong Double Miles Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Jan 11 - Feb 19 & Mar 2 - 31, 15
Toronto Hong Kong 500 Bonus Miles Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Register and book by Mar 31 for travel until May 31, 15
Toronto Montreal 3x Dollars WestJet Rewards Ongoing
Toronto New York 3x Dollars WestJet Rewards Ongoing
Toronto Ottawa 3x Dollars WestJet Rewards Ongoing
Vancouver Hong Kong Double Miles Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Jan 11 - Feb 19 & Mar 2 - 31, 15
Vancouver Hong Kong 500 Bonus Miles Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Register and book by Mar 31 for travel until May 31, 15
Vancouver Tokyo Double Miles American AAdvantage Until Mar 20, 15 

Jan 29 Update: 25% off Turkish Airlines Toronto-Istanbul award flights, 2x Petro-Points on vacation packages and more!

Thursday is bonus day! Lots of new bonuses to let you know about:

News, Tips & Tricks
Petro-Points members can earn double points on Sunwings or Signature Vacations packages through itravel2000. Simply book by Feb 4 for travel by Apr 30. Find out more here.


Air Miles members out West can earn 25x AIR MILES Reward Miles for shopping at Rexall this weekend (Fri-Sun). See the flyer here.


Our tip of the day comes is our post on When and why secondary loyalty programs can prove to be valuable.

In the bonus offers section you'll notice a discounted award flight offer from Turkish Airlines and the offer includes Toronto-Istanbul. If you have enought Miles&Smiles Miles now maybe the time to redeem to save some miles as long as you can travel by March 31st!



Bonus Offers

Delta SkyMiles
- 200 Bonus SkyMiles per day on rentals at participating Hertz locations in the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East, Latin and South America. More... Until Mar 31, 15

Etihad Guest
- Double Guest Miles on all South African Airways operating flights globally beyond Johannesburg. (Abu Dhabi-Johannesburg is excluded) More... Apr 15 - May 31, 15
- 5,000 Bonus Guest Miles when you subscribe to the Economist. More... Ongoing

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Quadruple HawaiianMiles on any Hertz rental at participating airport and off airport locations in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. More... Until Jun 30, 15

Le Club accorhotels
- Triple Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays of 3 or more nights at participating Suite Novotel Hotels in Europe. More... Book by Mar 9 for stays until Apr 8, 15
- 500 Bonus Le Club Accorhotels Points when you stay in 2 participating Accor Hotels properties in Spain and Portugal. More... Book by Mar 15 for stays Feb 1 - Mar 31, 15

Marriott Rewards
- 1,500 Bonus Rewards Points for stays of 3 or more nights at the Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel. More... Mar 8 - May 31, 15
- 500 Bonus Rewards Points for Thursday or Friday night stays at the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel. More... May 5 - Jul 1, 15
- 5,000 Bonus Rewards Points when you stay 2 or more nights at The Hotel Minneapolis, Autograph Collection. More... Feb 1 - Apr 5, 15
- 1,000 Bonus Rewards Points when you stay 3 or more nights at the St. Louis Airport Marriott More... Until Apr 5, 15
- 1,000 Bonus Rewards Points per stay including any night Sunday-Thursday at the Courtyard Dallas Lewisville. More... Until Apr 4, 15

Miles & More
- Double Miles&More miles for Budget rentals at participating locations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the USA and Canada. More... Feb 1 - Jun 30, 15

South African Airways Voyager
- Double Voyager Miles on all Etihad Airways operating flights globally beyond Abu Dhabi. (Abu Dhabi-Johannesburg is excluded) More... Apr 15 - May 31, 15

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- 25% Miles&Smiles Discount when you fly on Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles award tickets Worldwide.More... Until Mar 31, 15

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When and why secondary loyalty programs can prove to be valuable

Total AIR MILES Reward Miles I have earned
in the past 12 months (2,000+ were from
September on!)
I have always stressed that you should focus only a few programs when developing and maintaining a loyalty rewards program portfolio. Since I posted our first ever article on Maximizing the Miles and Points you earn, back in 2005 I advised that you should only focus on one airline, one hotel and/or one shopping (credit card) program. To this day this still holds true for the vast majority of Canadians. Although I have now been telling some people that it is better to diversify and spread you earning and rewards out, this more so for people who are frequent travellers earning tens of thousands of miles or very high credit card spenders putting five figures on their cards each month. The reason for diversification is to shield yourself from program devaluations, why put all your eggs into one or two baskets only to have those baskets lose value over time. No matter what, the sooner you can use your rewards the more value you'll get out of them.  However for many Canadians that read this site it isn't physically possible to collect enough miles in 2 or 3 airline programs, points in 2 or 3 hotel programs and multiple shopping programs to make it worthwhile.

However in that article I do state that it doesn't hurt to join other programs and collect points or miles in them as one day you may be able to use them. I like to call them secondary programs for your loyalty program portfolio. For me one of these secondary programs has been the well known coalition program, AIR MILES. After a big redemption of miles for flights in 2011 the balance in my account dwindled to 330 miles and it took me until the end of August of 2014 to make that balance grow to 1,000 miles. By December of 2014 that balance had grown to three fold to 3,000 miles! So how did this happen, it took three years to earn 670 miles but only four months to add 2,000 more miles?

There were a couple of major contributing factors. Firstly, if you have read the blog portion of  Rewards Canada for at least 5 months you'll have known that both Rexall and Sobeys both switched from Aeroplan to Air Miles in that time and guess what? The most convenient shopping location for me in my community has both Sobeys and Rexall! In the matter of about a month I went from earning Aeroplan miles at 3 retailers in my community's market to 1 (Esso) and 2 moving to Air Miles.  Since I don't like to go out of my way for grocery store and the occasional drug store purchases I still shop at Sobeys and Rexall as it is convenient, hence a sudden increase in the swiping of my Air Miles card. But it wasn't limited to just swiping the card, much like I did before with Aeroplan, I always try to take advantage of bonus mile offers that retailers provide, either by email, in the flyer at the entrance of the store or on products that I may be buying. For example look at a single day of shopping at my community market:

I earned 17 base Air Miles along with 221 bonus miles!  If it wasn't for these bonuses my balance definitely wouldn't grow so fast. I always make sure to read the emails from Sobeys and Rexall for bonuses but every time I walk into Sobeys, I also make sure to check the paper flyer at the front of the store for a bonus coupon. Here is an Instagram pic I took of a flyer and bonus I used just before Christmas:
As much as I would love to be earning Aeroplan miles on all my shopping, I am not going to go out of my way to earn them unless it is an amazing promotion and unfortunately Aeroplan doesn't have any grocery or drug store partners anymore anyways! So the solution is to use a secondary program of mine to make sure I am being rewarded on those purchases. In fact, not only is it with these retailers and Air Miles, but I will always see if I can be rewarded for any and all of my shopping.

The second factor that helped boost my balance in those four months were those great Air Miles bonuses on buying gift cards at Safeway. This is an example of one of those offers that I did go out of my way to take advantage of. Why wouldn't you!?! If you know you are going to shop at retailers that you can use the bonused gift cards at you should go buy them to earn those extra miles.  I won't bore you with the details again in this post but if you want to find out more about this bonus read my
Earning Stories: 540 AIR MILES Rewards Miles for buying Gift Cards at Safewaypost which details the bonuses earned.

So there you have you it, even though the primaries in my loyalty program portfolio are Aeroplan, American Express Membership Rewards, British Airways Executive Club, Diners Club Club Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest you can see how a matter of convenience and bonus offers have quickly boosted the balance in one of my secondary programs and where in the summer of 2014 I didn't have enough miles for a short haul flight,  I now have enough miles for two short haul flights with some extra miles to boot.

Are you making use of 'secondary' programs in your loyalty program portfolio or do you strictly stick to only a few primary programs? Tell us your stories below!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

1,000 Bonus Le Club accorhotels points, $20 Credit & 20% off 2+ night stays at Novotel Hotels in Canada


Here is nice earn offer from Le Club accorhotels for stays at anyone of their seven Novotel locations in Canada (Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto). Not only does it offer bonus points which can be converted to Aeroplan or anyone of their other airline partners but it includes a $20 hotel credit. Now if you seen offers like these from other chains, chances are the offer tends to be more expensive than AAA/CAA rates as they are usually tied to the best flexible rate. Well that doesn't seem to be the case with this offer. We checked Family Day long weekend at the Novotel Toronto Vaughn and this offer was actually the cheapest available! Even checking Trivago, third party sites bottom out at the same rate but you won't get the points or the credit. The only caveat is that it is non-refundable so only book it if you know you are going to complete the stay. Here is a screenshot of the rates:
The offer is also good for stays at Novotels in the U.S., Mexico and Panama

Offer Details
1,000 Bonus Le Club Accorhotels Points, $20 Hotel Credit and save 20% off stays of 2 or more nights at participating Novotel Hotels in North America.. Full Details & Online Booking Until Mar 31, 15

Remember to always check out our Le Club accorhotels bonus points page for many other bonuses for stays around the globe!

Jan 28 Update: British Airways Executive Club changes, 50 Free AIR MILES Reward Miles, Porter Airlines seat sale

Back in Calgary for this update! Thanks to American Express/Aeroplan/Air Canada for the great event in YYZ last night!

News, Tips & Tricks
The big news for today has already been covered in another post. The unfortunate changes to the British Airways Executive Club program will definitely be felt by many Canadians. Read all about here.



Another Free Points Alert! I was going through a backlog of emails and found this offer for some free AIR MILES Rewards Miles. You can get 50 miles for downloading and installing the AIR MILES Connect online shopping tool (it installs into your browser). The offer ends January 31st so if you haven't done this offer yet try it out. I did a similar offer sometime ago for Virgin Atlantic's Flying Club which awarded me 250 miles for free in that program. This one of course has more relevance for most of you. Find out more here.



Travel Deals
Another Porter Airlines sale for you! Fares from $110! Book by Jan 30 for travel well into June! Find out more here.

KLM's Wild on Wednesday offer is Warsaw for only $849 from Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver!  Must be booked by Jan 29 for travel until
before May 6th, 2015 or between October 16th and December 10th, 2015. Book online here


Bonus Offers

AeroMexico Club Premier
- Triple Club Premier Kilometers for stays of 2 or more nights at participating Melia Hotels in Mexico. More... Until Feb 28, 15

Alitalia MilleMiglia
- Earn up to 50% Bonus MilleMiglia Miles when buy or gift miles. More... Until Feb 26, 15

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
- Quadruple HawaiianMiles on any rental at participating airport and off airport locations in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. More... Until Jun 30, 15

IHG Rewards Club
- 5,000 Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points for your next weekend (Fri+Sat or Sat+Sun) stay Worldwide. Stay must be made within 90 days of registering. More... Until ? Targeted Offer - May not work for everyone
- 3,000 Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points for your next IHG stay Worldwide. Stay must be made within 90 days of registering. More... Valid for IHG Rewards Club Elite Members only Until ? Targeted Offer - May not work for everyone
- Quadruple IHG Rewards Club Points on qualifying rentals of 2 or more days at participating Budget locations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. More... Until Jun 30, 15
- 1,500 Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points on qualifying rentals of 5 or more days at participating Budget locations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean, Mexico and Australia. More... Until Jun 30, 15

Le Club accorhotels
- 1,000 Bonus Le Club Accorhotels Points, $20 Hotel Credti and save 20% off stays of 2 or more nights at participating Novotel Hotels in North America. More... Until Mar 31, 15
- Triple Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at the Novotel Freiburg am Konzerthaus or at the Mercure Hotel Freiburg Am M√ľnster. More... Book by Feb 9 for stays until Feb 28, 15

Marriott Rewards
- 1,000 Bonus Rewards Points PER NIGHT for stays at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Holiday Tarpon Springs. More... Until Apr 19, 15
- 2,500 Bonus Rewards Points for stays at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Knoxville West. More... Until Apr 7, 15

Big changes coming to British Airways Executive Club program - Earning and Redeeming affected


The big news in the travel rewards space today is British Airways announcement of changes to their Executive Club program. Unlike in 2011 when the changes just happened without advance notice, this time BA are giving us ample time as the changes won't kick in until April 28th. Ultimately, the news is good and bad on both the earning and burning side of the equation.

Changes to Avios Earn Rates
As of April 28th those flying in British Airways premium classes from full fare premium economy and up will earn more Avios. But for those flying in discount economy or discount premium economy you'll see the number of Avios earned cut. Here is a chart of the old and new earn rates:

This is a huge reduction for those flying on discounted fares! It may even force some members to reevaluate crediting flights to Executive Club and instead perhaps crediting to AAdvantage or another oneworld program that awards 100% flown miles.

Changes to Avios Elite Bonuses
Silver Elite members get screwed here as their bonus goes from 100% to 50%

Changes to Minimum Awarded Mileage
Similar to Aeroplan, BA Executive Club has made changes to the minimum mileage awarded per sector. Once again full fare premium classes get a positive change while those on lower fares will see their mileage earning slashed to match the % earn rate mentioned above.

Changes to Reward Flight Pricing
This is where there is good news but mostly bad news. The amount of Avios required for redemptions in some cases have gone down but some key awards for Canadians have gone up. Avios is now introducing off-peak award mileage rates that only apply to flights on British Airways  and are lower than some of the rates we have become accustomed to. For example you'll now be able to fly between London and Paris during an off peak period for only 4,000 Avios instead of 4,500. The bad news is premium class redemptions for medium and long haul routes are going up. Right now you can redeem for travel between Toronto and London for only 40,000 Avios in Business Class but that is getting a serious increase to 60,000 Avios as of April 28. For those out west who were used to 50,000 Avios Business Class redemptions out of Calgary or Vancouver will see those also grow by 50% to 75,000 Avios. Even the off-peak rates for these redemptions are more than the current redemption rates. F

The key thing to note here is that the off-peak rates are only for travel on British Airways. All partner awards (AA, CX etc) are charged at the peak rates year round. The good news for a lot of us is that we utilize Executive Club for short haul redemptions out of Canada to the U.S. for only 4,500 Avios one way and those awards have not changed. So you can still fly on AA (or TAM soon) between Toronto and New York or on Alaska Airlines between Calgary or Edmonton and Seattle for the 4,500 Avios. Be sure to read and bookmark our post on how to take advantage of this short haul redemption option

Changes to UK Domestic Reward Flight Pricing (taken directly from BA)
To bring the UK in line with the rest of the world, you will now be charged for any UK domestic connecting flights to and from the rest of Europe.
For example, when booking a reward flight from Manchester to Paris – which requires a connection in London – you are currently charged only for the London to Paris flights. From 28 April, you will be charged for the full journey, including the Manchester to London flights.
This calculates as follows (based on peak period pricing):
  • current price – 9,000 Avios plus £35 Reward Flight Saver fee or taxes, fees and carrier charges
  • new price – 18,000 Avios plus £70 Reward Flight Saver fee or taxes, fees and carrier charges

This change does not apply to UK Domestic connecting flights onto long haul flights, which will remain free of charge. For example, if you are flying to Manchester from Miami via London the Manchester to London flight is included in the reward price (50,000 Avios plus taxes, fees and carrier charges), which is the same as today.

Upgrades are changing
BA states there will be more opportunity to upgrade on flights except from the very lowest economy class fares. However since many Business Class redemption rates have gone up you these upgrades will cost you more Avios as of April 28.

In a nutshell those are the changes which a combination of good and bad but leaning more so to the bad side. The good are the increased earning rates on premium fares but the decrease in earning on low end fares, the increased redemption requirements for medium and long haul flights are all not good news so all in all not the best news out of BA today.  And I guess I would call the no changes to our beloved short haul Canada to U.S. redemptions good news because they could have easily taken those away from us as well!

On another note, British Blog Head for Points notes that BA is reducing Fuel Surcharges on long haul flights. Not huge reductions but better than nothing!

As always let us know your thoughts! I know I was looking at Aer Lingus' as a great biz class option between Toronto and Dublin but now it is looking less attractive!

You can find all the details of these changes on British Airways' Website.







Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jan 27 Update: Marriott buys Delta Hotels, Amex AeroplanPlus Reserve added to our comparison charts, 1,000 FREE HHonors points

Today's update is coming to you from Toronto where we are attending the launch event of the American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Credit Card

News, Tips & Tricks
Of course the big news today is Marriott's purchase of Delta Hotels. Read all about it in our post here.

The officially released today (but soft launched in December) American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Credit Card has had its details added to the following Rewards Canada comparison charts:
All Travel Rewards Credit Card Comparison
Airline Only Credit Card Comparison 



Free Points alert:
1,000 Free HHonors Points for joining Hilton HHonors via this EVA Air promotion




Bonus Offers

Air Canada / Aeroplan
- Earn up to 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles on magazine subscriptions made via Rogers Magazine Service. More... Until Mar 31, 15

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- 288 Bonus Asia Miles on inflight purchases and pre-flight orders of HKD1,000 or above. More... Until Feb 28, 15
- Double Asia Miles when you book and use services at Regus business centres in any of over 2,000 locations across 750 cities in 100 countries. More... Until Mar 31, 15

Etihad Guest
- Earn up to 10,000 Bonus Guest Miles when you have your business sign up for an Etihad BusinessConnect account.  More... Valid for companies based in the following countries: Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States. Until Mar 1, 15

EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Earn Triple Infinity MileageLands Miles + 1,000 Free Bonus HHonors Points when you stay at any Hilton HHonors property worldwide. More... Until Mar 31, 15

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 1,000 HawaiianMiles on Avis rentals of 5 consecutive days or more at participating Avis airport locations in the U.S. (including Hawaii) and Canada. More... Until Jun 30, 15
- 750 HawaiianMiles on qualifying Budget rentals of 5 or more days at participating Budget airport locations in the U.S. and Canada. More... Until Jun 30, 15
- Triple HawaiianMiles on rentals of a compact car or larger for two days or longer at any Dollar location Worldwide. More... Until Jun 30, 15

Hong Kong Airlines Fortune Wings
- Earn up to 1,300 Bonus Fortune Wings Miles when you join Fortune Wings and fly on Hong Kong airlines. More... Until Dec 31, 15

Japan Airlines MileageBank
- Double MileageBank Miles when you fly on Japan Airlines, American Airlines or US Airways between Tokyo and Chicago, Los Angeles or Dallas; Seoul and Dallas; Hong Kong or Dallas. More... Until Mar 20, 15 

Le Club accorhotels
- Triple Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at participating Accor Hotels in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. More... Until Mar 31, 15
- Double Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at all ibis hotels and ibis Styles in France that are booked 15 days in advance. More... Book by Mar 1 for stays until Mar 22, 15
- 500 Bonus Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays of 3 or more nights at participating Accor Hotels along the French Riveria and Monaco. More... Until Mar 31, 15
- Triple Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at any Mercure Hotels in in Poland, Lithuania or Latvia. More... Until Feb 28, 15
- Triple Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at 17 ibis, ibis Styles, Mercure and Novotel hotels in Sweden. More... Feb 6 - Mar 15, 15

Orbitz Rewards (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- $100 Bonus Orbucks when you book a flight with your room at Finest Playa Mujeres all-inclusive luxury resort. More... Book by Feb 12, 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 Feb 16, 15

Virgin America Elevate(on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Triple Elevate Points on qualifying rentals at participating Avis airport locations in the U.S. More... Until Feb 28, 15
- Triple Elevate Points on a qualifying rental at participating Budget airport locations in the U.S. More... Until Feb 28, 15
- Double Elevate Points when you rent any vehicle for two or more days in the U.S. and Mexico. More... Until Jun 30, 15


Marriott Hotels to expand greatly in Canada with the purchase of Delta Hotels

About a year ago, we received an email from Delta Hotels about changes to their Privileges program that were going to happen late in 2014. The hotel chain was also set to embark on a huge marketing campaign, change in marketing tactics and more all throughout the year. When late 2014 rolled by, Delta had opened their new flagship hotel in Toronto to much hurrah but the relaunch of the new Delta Privilege program never transpired. And now we probably know why. Who knows how long these two chains were in talks but we can wager a good guess that when things starting getting serious Delta put a hold on the revamp of their in house FGP.  Now that it is official and Marriott is set to buy Delta Hotels,  Marriott Rewards will eventually become the program of choice for one of our largest Canadian hotel chains.

From the press release today:
...the integration of Delta into Marriott's 4,100 plus hotel global portfolio will provide new travel opportunities for both Delta and Marriott customers. We expect integrating Delta into Marriott's systems, sales engines, Marriott.com, and the more than 49 million member Marriott Rewards loyalty program will create meaningful operational synergies for owners and franchisees.
This is both good news and bad news. There are many Delta Privilege members who love(d) the program. We received numerous emails from our readers on how they loved the simplicity of it and now it is likely those dining and upgrade benefits will be lost to the usual slate of benefits with Marriott Rewards. On the flipside however, Marriott Rewards represents thousands of hotels Worldwide and now those Delta regulars will have an opportunity to use points earned at their beloved Delta locations at Marriott locales around the globe! Not to mention you'll be able to use points earned on the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Card at Delta locations (sorry had to get the credit card mention in as it Delta never had one!)

The deal is still subject to government approval but they do expect that by Q2 2015 the deal will be complete and we would guess that integration into Marriott Rewards may take another 6-12 months (based on the recent purchase of Protea Hotels in South Africa by Marriott)

What are your thoughts? We know there are lots of Delta Privilege members who read Rewards Canada everyday! Are you happy? Are you fuming? Let us know!

Rocketmiles: 5,000 Bonus Miles/Points in the program of your choice for 3+ night stays (not limited to 1st time bookings)


After you have completed you first ever booking with Rocketmiles it can be difficult to earn any 'bonus' miles on subsequent bookings as the majority of promotions run by this third party hotel booking site are not for return customers. And why should there be? They are already awarding a decent amount of miles through their base mileage offerings. So when an offer comes up that is open to all members, new and old, one should take a look if you can take advantage of it to earn those bonus miles/points. Such is the case with this offer for Spring Break bookings of 3 or more nights as you'll earn 5,000 bonus miles or points in the Rocketmiles program of your choice including Aeroplan (and those are Distinction qualifying)

Offer Details
5,000 Bonus Mile in the Rocketmiles partner program of your choice for stays of 3 or more consecutive nights Worldwide.  Reservation must be booked via the special promotion page at www.rocketmiles.com/spring-vacation-2015. The bonus can only be earned once per member. Book by Jan 29 for stays Mar 1 - Apr 30, 15

Monday, January 26, 2015

[NOW CLOSED] Rewards Canada Giveaway - Enter for a chance to win a Maple Leaf Lounge Guest Pass


THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Our giveaway of a pair of Maple Leaf lounge passes on Instagram closed last night and the winner will be announced later today. The good news is that thanks to our regular contributor Sol Z. once again we have one more Maple Leaf lounge pass  to giveaway! This is a 2014 passes which means it  expires on February 28th, so if you are travelling over the next few weeks be sure to enter on below for a chance to win!

Here is how you enter:
Simple comment below on which lounge you are most likely to use this pass at! If you aren't sure yet simply let us know what your favourite Maple Leaf lounge is and why! 


The giveaway closes on Tuesday January 27th, 2015 at 11:59pm MST! Limit 1 entry per person Winner will be determined by random draw from all eligible entries received. Void where prohibited.  No purchase necessary. 

Jan 26 Update: United Airlines drops Regina/Saskatoon to Denver, Canadian North Aurora Rewards systemwide bonus

Here is the start of the week update:

News, Tips & Tricks
United Airlines will be ending their service between Denver and Regina/Saskatoon. This is bad news for MileagePlus and Aeroplan members in Saskatchewan who already have a limited supply of flights to earn and burn miles on! (Source Airlineroute.net)

On Friday we brought you our review of the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard and are pleased to let you know that the details of the card have also been updated on the following Rewards Canada comparison charts:
All Travel Rewards Credit Card Comparison
Travel Points Only Credit Card Comparison 


Canadian North Aurora Rewards has a new systemwide bonus of up to 35% bonus points on all their flights. The beauty of this program is that you can double dip and earn Aeroplan Miles on top of your Aurora Rewards points! Find out more here 





Bonus Offers

AeroMexico Club Premier
- Triple Club Premier Kilometers for stays at City Express Hotels in Cancun. More... Until Feb 28, 15
- 3,000 Bonus Club Premier Kilometers on your first Rocketmiles booking More... Until Jun 30, 15

Canadian North Aurora Rewards
- Earn up to 35 % Bonus Aurora Rewards points on all Canadian North flights systemwide. More... Until Feb 28, 15

Caribbean Airlines Caribbean Miles
- Earn up to 6x Caribbean Miles on Hertz rentals of 1 or more days in in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States. More... Until Mar 31, 15

Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double GarudaMiles on flights between Balikpapan and Berau. More... Until Mar 31, 15

Oman Air Sindbad (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double Sindbad Miles on all Sixt rentals worldwide. More... Until Feb 28, 15

South African Voyager
- Earn up to Quadruple Voyager Miles for stays at Shangri-La Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Feb 28, 15

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Earn up to Quadruple Flying Club Miles for stays at participating Hilton Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Mar 31, 15




Friday, January 23, 2015

[NOW CLOSED] Enter for a chance to win a pair of Maple Leaf Lounge Passes (Closes on Jan 25)


THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

It's giveaway time again on Rewards Canada! Thanks to our regular contributor Sol Z. we have a pair of Maple Leaf lounge passes to giveaway! These are 2014 passes which means they expire on February 28th, so if you are travelling over the next few weeks be sure to enter on Instagram for a chance to win!

Here is how you enter:
Follow @RewardsCanada on Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/rewardscanada) and like the photo of the passes! Simple as that!


The giveaway closes on Sunday January 25th, 2015 at 11:59pm MST! Limit 1 entry per person Winner will be determined by random draw from all eligible entries received. Void where prohibited.  No purchase necessary. 

ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard Review

(This post is a duplicate of the one found on our main Rewards Canada site)
 
Since we launched Rewards Canada in 2001 we have always stated that there aren't really any bad credit cards out there as each card is good for certain individuals. However there are cards that we would have considered being at the bottom of the list when comparing cards and the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard used to be one of them. Not the worst card but not far from taking that title. That was when the card had an annual fee but the card was revamped in the Fall of 2014 and now ATB touts it as the "Best no-fee coverage travel card". So with that statement we decided to give this 'small' issuing bank card the Rewards Canada review treatment!

Overview

The only for Alberta residents ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard is the only travel rewards card from Alberta Treasury Branch portfolio of cards that also includes Cashback and MyHusky rewards cards. It used to be a weak card when compared to others in Canada but with its recent especially since it had an $89 annual fee and lackluster rewards and insurance. Now that has changed and the card provides a decent no fee option for those living in Alberta.

Sign up Features
The ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard does not have a sign bonus when you apply for the card although in the past in was known for having the largest sign up bonus on a credit card in Canada*. In place of a points based sign up bonus they are however providing a 0% interest rate on balance transfers to the card for the first six months.

* Related: ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard 100,000 Point Sign Up Bonus - Classic case of "Remember people it's all about the EARN and the BURN"

Costs
The ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard has no annual fee for the primary or secondary cards. The interest rate on the card is19.9% which is in line with most of the cards at this level.

Earning
The ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard has a simple earning structure of 10 points per dollar spent on all eligible purchases made with the card.
One thing to note with this card is that they round down earnings on non-whole dollar purchases. For example if a purchase is $47.79 you'll earn 470 points.
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Redeeming
The ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard redemption process is like many other cards that have proprietary rewards programs. The card allows for various travel redemptions made via the atbmyrewards.com contracted travel agency or via their website where you can redeem for hotel gift certificates (Fairmont, Delta, Brewsters), VIA Rail Gift Cards, itravel2000.com gift cards and several other travel experience options. There are also other non-travel redemptions available. This card falls into the book any travel anywhere sub-category of Travel Points cards which means you don't have to redeem via ATB MY Rewards. All you have to do is book your travel whether it be aircanada.com, westjet.com, expedia.com or anywhere else including your trusted travel agent and when that charge shows up on your statement you simply call up ATB My Rewards or go online and redeem points against the charge.

With this card you'll want to go with the first option of booking via their travel agency or the latter option of redeeming for any travel as that will get you the best return on your spending. Points are redeemed at a rate of 1000 points for a $1 statement credit towards that travel charge. This means you receive a 1% return on your spending which for a no fee card is standard and equivalent to most of this card's competitors. Both the travel agency and self booking options have a minimum redemption of 50,000 points for $50 off your travel. That is the beauty of this card and many like it, you don't have to have the full amount of points to begin to enjoy the rewards! If you buy an airline ticket for $600 and have 30,000 points you can choose to redeem those points for a $300 credit which means your flight only cost $300. Another benefit of this' book travel on your own' is you can be on vacation and buy travel on the card (say a rail ticket) and then redeem points when you get home. It can't be done with cards that don't have this feature such as the BMO Rewards World Elite MasterCard or CIBC Aventura Visa since you need to redeem the points ahead of time. Essentially the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard falls into the category of most flexible travel rewards cards.


The other travel redemptions on their website are gift cards and gift certificates for several Canadian hotel operators, VIA Rail and itravel2000.com. These options do not provide the 1% return that you would get for redeeming for travel directly. Most of these options run 130,000 for a $100 Gift Card or Certificate. That equates to roughly a 0.77% return on your spending. The question is, unless you need to give a gift certificate as a gift why would you redeem for one of these? If you have a stay planned at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise you are better off booking it through ATB's agency or yourself and redeeming 130,000 points for a $130 credit rather than the $100 gift card.

Features and Benefits

The ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard comes with a really decent insurance and benefits suite for a no fee card. On the insurance side the card comes with wide range of coverage as including travel accident insurance, flight delay, baggage delay insurance, car rental CDW coverage, purchase protection and extended warranty. Save for about three other cards most no fee travel rewards cards do not include insurance coverage like this card does.

The card also offers one other benefit that we typically don't see on a credit card but rather from vacation packagers: a weather guarantee! Called WeatherGuard, it offers up to a $300 discount towards future travel if precipitation is more than 0.5 inches in a 24-hour period on at least half of the total number of days on your affected trip. Trip must be a minimum of 4 days/3 nights within Canada, the United States, or Caribbean. You then have two years after you return from the affected vacation to apply the discount towards another vacation.


What is good about this card
The insurance package that comes with the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard is strong for a no fee rewards card and is the best thing about it.

Also the fact that you can book travel on your own and then redeem points against the charge on your account is great as it provides the utmost in flexibility when it comes to travel rewards.

The WeatherGuard benefit is another good point to the card, while it seems like a great benefit, the longer your trip the less likely it will work out that you would be able to claim this benefit. However since it does work for trips in Canada or to the U.S. and you fly to a location that is known for rain, say Vancouver, Victoria or Seattle for four days, you won't be sad if it rains as chances are you'll be prepared for it and there is a possibility you could qualify for this credit!

What is not so good about this card
The 1% return on the card, while standard for the majority of no fee travel rewards cards is lower than at least three other cards who provide 1.25% or a blend of 1 and 2% back makes the card a little weak in the earning department.

No sign up bonus, many no fee cards don't carry a bonus but this card's major competitors do.

The foreign transaction fee on this card is the highest in Canada. The majority of cards charge 2.5%, some are 0% and 2% while this card is 2.9%. If you travel out of Canada a lot that 0.4% could really add up to a lot of extra fees.

The fact that this card is only available to Albertans makes it not good at all for the remainder of Canada!
Conclusion
For point and mile gamers in Alberta the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard won't even be on the radar. No sign up bonus, no ties to other loyalty programs and a mediocre return. However for those who aren't chasing down every mile and point but like to vacation once or twice a year this card could actually make sense. One percent return isn't huge but the fact that you can book travel how you want and when you want is a nice bonus and makes it much easier to redeem for travel rewards than programs like Aeroplan and AIR MILES. This is especially true if you don't earn a lot of miles in those two other programs from other methods. If you are happy with a few hundred dollars discount each time you take a vacation, these type of cards totally make sense. For others in Alberta the card may be attractive as secondary or tertiary card especially if you bank at ATB for convenience sake however if you don't bank at ATB you are probably better off with one of the no-fee travel rewards cards that offer 1.25% as one would assume that your primary credit card carries all the necessary insurances and benefits for your travels.

If your travel rewards goals is flying like VIPs in first or business class this card is not for you. There are much better options out there that will get you those premium seats much faster and at a better return than this card would.

What about the claim of being "Best no-fee coverage travel card". You'll notice then leave 'rewards' out as they know other no-fee travel rewards offer higher returns but the claim about coverage? The only coverage they have on this card that other no fee cards have is Flight Delay insurance but other cards in the no fee category have other insurances like Trip Interruption and Price Protection which this card does not have. It also has that WeatherGuard guarantee but we here don't feel that is a game changer as the majority of trips taken by cardholders will not qualify. That is why you see travel providers like itravel2000.com offering this type of benefit as well as the pay out for them is very little. So in our minds it is not the Best no-fee coverage travel card but its not bad either. If this card was available across Canada it would definitely make it into our Top 5 Travel Points Credit Cards (with no annual fee) in our annual rankings.

Care to comment? Do you agree or disagree with us? Tell us what you think about the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard in the comments section below.


Related Links:
ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard on atb.com
Rewards Canada's All Travel Rewards Credit Card Comparison including the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard
Rewards Canada's Travel Points Only Credit Card Comparison including the ATB Gold My Rewards Travel MasterCard

Other cards to consider if you are looking at this card:
American Express Air Miles Credit Card
American Express Blue Sky Credit Card
BMO Air Miles MasterCard
Capital One® Aspire Travel™ Platinum MasterCard®
CAA Rewards MasterCard

Jan 23 Update: Porter to launch Charleston SC service, KLM Pack&Go Sale, 15 new bonuses

Final update of a relatively quiet week:

News, Tips & Tricks
Porter Airlines will be launching seasonal service between Toronto City Airport and Charleston, South Carolina. The service will operate only on Saturdays between February 14 and May 2. (Source Airlineroute.net)

Travel Deals
Another KLM Pack&Go sale for you! Fly from Toronto to Amsterdam for $899 all in! Find out more here.



Bonus Offers

Air China Phoenix Miles
- Earn up to Triple Phoenix Miles Kilometers on all stays at participating Hilton Hotels in Greater China. More... Until Mar 31, 15

China Eastern Eastern Miles
- Earn up to Triple Eastern Miles Points on all stays at participating Hilton Hotels in Greater China. More... Until Mar 31, 15

Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings
- Earn up to Triple Fortune Wings Miles on all stays at participating Hilton Hotels in Greater China. More... Until Mar 31, 15

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 3,000 Bonus HawaiianMiles for stays of 4 or more nights at The Turtle Bay Resort. More... Apr 1 - Jun 30, 15

Le Club accorhotels
- Double Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at participating Accor Hotels in South America. More... Book by Jan 31 for stays until Feb 28, 15
- Double Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at Accor Hotels in France. More... Until Mar 8, 15
- Double Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at select MGallery Hotels in the France. More... Until Mar 8, 15

Stash Hotel Rewards
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays at The Riviera Palm Springs. More... Book by Feb 28 for stays until May 31, 15
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays at the Wilshire Grand Hotel West Orange. More... Until Feb 28, 15
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays at The Whitney Peak Hotel Reno. More... Until Mar 27, 15
- Double Stash Rewards Points for stays at The Strand Hotel New York. More... Until Mar 15, 15
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays at the The Resort at Port Ludlow. More... Until May 20, 15
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays of 2+ nights at the Ambassador Hotel Milwaukee. More... Until May 31, 15

Virgin America Elevate (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double Elevate Points between San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX) and Austin (AUS), Boston (BOS), Cancun (CUN), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DAL), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Los Cabos (SJD), New York City (JFK), Newark (EWR), Orlando (MCO), Puerto Vallarta (PVR), Seattle (SEA), or Washington, DC (DCA / IAD). More... Until Mar 31, 15
- 35% Bonus Elevate Points when you transfer American Express Membership Rewards points into Elevate points. More... Until Feb 15, 15






Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jan 22 Update: WestJet 24 hour sale, Up to 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for Avis rentals, Double AAdvantage Miles to Asia

Another relatively quiet day....

News, Tips & Tricks
No news today so here is a recap of posts on the Rewards Canada blog since our last update:

 
Travel Deals
WestJet has a 24hr seat sale for flights in Canada, to the U.S, Mexico and Caribbean. Book by 11:59pm MT tonight Find out more here.

Bonus Offers

Air Canada / Aeroplan
- Earn up to 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles on rentals of 3+ days during the week or 2+ days on the weekend for Intermediate (Group C) and above vehicles at participating Avis locations in Canada and the U.S. More... Until Apr 30, 15 



American AAdvantage
- Double AAdvantage miles when you fly American or Japan Airlines between Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago O'Hare, Los Angeles,  San Diego, New York, Boston, or Vancouver and Tokyo Narita; or between San Francisco and Tokyo Haneda; or between Dallas/Fort Worth and Seoul or Hong Kong. More... Until Mar 20, 15
- Double AAdvantage miles when you fly  Japan Airlines between Tokyo Narita and Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Dalian, Jakarta, Hanoi, Singapore, Delhi; from Tokyo Haneda to Singapore or Beijing More... Until Mar 20, 15
- 30 Bonus AAdvantage Miles for every dollar you spend with 1-800-Flowers.com. More... Until Feb 15, 15

Carlson Hotels Club Carlson
- 10,000 Bonus Gold Points when you book the Mega Points rate at participating Radisson Hotels in North and South America. More... Until Dec 31, 15
- 2,000 Bonus Gold Points for stays on the Bed and Breakfast package at participating Radisson Hotels in North and South America. More... Until Dec 31, 15

SAS EuroBonus
- Receive up to a 25% Discount when you purchase EuroBonus points online. More... Until Jan 31, 15


NOW LIVE Rocketmiles 24 Hour Flash Bonus: Double Miles/Points with all partners including Aeroplan for 1st time bookers


Rocketmiles has decided to celebrate their tremendous growth and success with a new 24 hour flash sale! The offer is simple, if you have never booked with Rocketmiles you can earn Double Miles/Points with any Rocketmiles partner airline including Aeroplan. if you book during this 24 hour flash sale. The sale runs from 8:00am CT today to 7:59am CT on January 23. The bonus can only be earned once per member who has not booked with Rocketmiles before and will awarded a maximum of 30,000 Miles (or 3,000 Norwegian CashPoints) on that stay. The T&C's don't stipulate when the stay has to be completed by but for safety sake I would have your stay done by the end of this year.

If you choose to credit your Rocketmiles stays to Aeroplan you'll be happy to know that the miles are Distinction eligible.

Offer Details
Earn Double Miles or Points in the Rocketmiles partner program of your choice when you make your first booking. Stay must be booked via the special promotion page at www.rocketmiles.com/doublemiles/. The bonus can only be earned once per member.

Complete Rocketmiles partner list:

Earn Double American AAdvantage Miles when flying Japan Airlines between Vancouver and Asia

American Airlines launched these two new AAdvantage flight promotions yesterday to encourage travel between North America and Asia on AA and/or JAL as well as on JAL flights out of to Tokyo to select locales in Asia. For those of you in the Vancouver area this could be a promotion you look at if you are flying to Asia since JAL's Vancouver-Tokyo flight is included in the promotion. Of course for the rest of us not in Vancouver it doesn't stop us from connecting in Vancouver or any one of the many U.S. gateways that are also part of this promotion. With the promotion you can earn the Double Miles on most fare classes except for the lowest discounted economy classes.

Offer Details
Double AAdvantage miles when you fly American or Japan Airlines between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Chicago O'Hare (ORD) Los Angeles (LAX)  San Diego (SAN) New York (JFK) Boston (BOS) or Vancouver (YVR) and Tokyo Narita (NRT) ; or between San Francisco (SFO) and Tokyo Haneda (HND) ; or between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Seoul, South Korea (ICN); or Hong Kong (HKG) Register Online (Registration is required) Until Mar 20, 15 

Offer DetailsDouble AAdvantage miles when you fly  Japan Airlines between Tokyo Narita (NRT) and Shanghai (PVG) or Beijing (PEK) or Guangzhou (CAN)Dalian (DLC)  Jakarta (CGK)  Hanoi (HAN) or Singapore (SIN)  Delhi (DEL); from Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Singapore (SIN) or  Beijing (PEK) Register Online (Registration is required) Until Mar 20, 15 

Visit our AAdvantage Bonus Miles listing for dozens of more bonus mile offers to boost your account!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Earning Stories: 540 AIR MILES Rewards Miles for buying Gift Cards at Safeway

Welcome to the next post in the Earning Stories series right here on Rewards Canada. For years we have provided you with the details on earning points and miles (both regular earning and bonus opportunities) and these stories show the actual offers in action.

Screenshot from Rewards Canada's Instagram account on Nov 27
Back in November and December we shared with you two great AIR MILES Reward Miles earning offers from Safeway. Actually there were more than two great offers from Safeway during the holiday but the two in question here are these posts about the bonus miles for buying gift cards at Safeway.

Nov 21: Huge Air Miles Bonuses for Gift Card Purchases at Safeway - 1.1 Reward Miles per $1 spent Nov 21-27

Dec 29: Huge Air Miles Bonuses for Gift Card Purchases at Safeway - 1.4 Reward Miles per $1 spent (until Jan 1, 15)

Anytime bonuses come up for gift cards you should really consider jumping on the offer if retailers you regularly shop at are included (sometimes Safeway has offers on any gift cards except their own). Don't go out of your way to get them if you won't use it (or gift it!)

In the case of these two sets of offers I found retailers that we use so I went ahead and printed the coupons so I could earn the bonuses. Two simple trips to Safeway, first one I was driving by and had the coupons on me so I stopped quickly and grabbed these six cards. Each with 55 AIR MILES Rewards Miles bonus. Total time spent was less than 5 minutes!

The second time, I had to grab a couple of small items at Safeway on our way to a New Year lunch and printed off coupons for the places I knew I would be using soon. Total time spent was only about 10 minutes

For about 15 minutes of my time I earned 540 AIR MILES Rewards Miles or more than a third of the miles required for a short haul flight. On top of that I put all these purchases on my American Express Gold Rewards Card which earns 2 points per dollar on Grocery Store purchases which means I received 900 Membership Rewards Points (equates to 900 Aeroplan Miles or British Airways Avios) for buying these gift cards. Had I not bought the gift cards and chose to use my Gold Rewards Card at any of the above retailers I would only earn 1 Membership Reward point per dollar. (This is that one trick we always talk about around holiday shopping season that can be applied anytime of the year! Buy gift cards at category bonus merchants for retailers that don't offer your credit card a category bonus)

Tips for Shopping Bonuses
- When taking advantage of shopping bonuses that are not gift card related make sure you do some price checking first, you don't want to be spending more on a product than you could be elsewhere (the bonus would have to really be worthwhile!)
- Always check the flyer at the front entrance of grocery stores. More often then not they have bonus offer coupons for hitting a certain spend level.
- Use a credit or charge card that offers category bonuses when shopping at Grocery Stores, Drug Store, Restaurants etc. and don't forgot to swipe your other loyalty cards if the retailer participates in programs like Aeroplan, Air Miles, SCENE, etc. 

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Have your earning story featured!
Not only are Rewards Canada Earning Stories featured in this series, we want to feature your stories as well! Have you earned a lot of points or miles by utilizing offers posted on Rewards Canada? We would love to hear about them and potentially feature them here on Rewards Canada. Tell us your earning story by emailing us the details of what you earned, screenshots if possible of those points/miles posting and what offer on Rewards Canada you took advantage of. Email it to us info@rewardscanada.ca