Friday, January 29, 2016

January 29 Update: 8x Aeroplan Miles for Best Western stays, Flying Blue Promo Awards, IHG Reward Night Point Changes

Last update of January!

News, Tips & Tricks
All of today's news has already been posted to the RC blog, see the links below for the Aeroplan Best Western bonus, IHG's Reward Night changes and of course AF KLM's Promo Awards.

Posts since our last update:



Bonus Offers

Air Canada / Aeroplan
- 1,750 Bonus Aeroplan Miles (8x miles) for each qualified stay at any Best Western® branded hotel in Canada, the United States, or the Caribbean Islands. More... Until Apr 2, 16

Air France KLM Flying Blue
- February Promo Awards - Save 25% to 50% on the Award Miles usually required for an award ticket. Destinations vary by each promotional period. More... Book by Feb 29 for travel between Apr 1 - May 31, 16

airberlin topbonus
- Receive 50% off your first topbonus flight award redemption when you join the topbonus program by March 31. More... Register by Mar 31 and redeem by Dec 31, 16

American AAdvantage
- Double AAdvantage Miles on all rentals at participating Hertz locations in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. More... Until Mar 31, 16

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- 20% Asia Miles Discount on Standard Awards between Hong Kong and selected destinations in Asia, Australia and Europe. More... Book by Feb 7 for until Mar 31, 16

IHG Rewards Club
- Triple IHG Rewards Club Points for rentals at participating Budget locations worldwide. More... Until Jun 30, 16
- 1,500 Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points on Hertz rentals at participating locations in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. More... Until Jun 30, 16


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Air Canada / Aeroplan - 8x Miles for Best Western stays in Canada, the U.S. and Caribbean



Seen throughout much of 2015, today we see the return of the Aeroplan bonus for stays at Best Western hotels. This is a really strong bonus for those needing a BW stay that don't credit them to Best Western Rewards as there are only two other non-BW promos right now from Miles & More and our coalition program AIR MILES.

Offer Details
1,750 Bonus Aeroplan Miles (8x) for each qualified stay at any Best Western® branded hotel in Canada, the United States, or the Caribbean Islands. Full details, Online Registration and Booking (Registration is required)
Until Apr 2, 16

Air France KLM Flying Blue Promo Awards - Save 25% between YEG, YUL, YYZ & Europe in Business Class


The newest set of Air France KLM's Promo Awards were released today but won't be bookable until February 1st (well 6pm EST on the 31st) The discount ranges from 25 to 50% off the regular amount of miles required. As you can see just by the discount this can be a very good offer if you get 50% off for Business Class! However this month's bookings are all at 25%, still decent if your planning to redeem anyways.

Three Canadian cities are up for a discount in this latest offering. Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto are all available at 25% off for business class redemptions on KLM.

Offer Details:
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. Full Details Book between Feb 1 -29 for travel between Apr 1 - May 31, 16

Here are the Canadian offers available for booking during February:


 Don't have all 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.

IHG Rewards Club Reward Night Point Changes: 11 Hotels in Canada affected and new high end categories introduced


If you follow our global website, FrequentFlyerBonuses.com you'll have seen that last night we gave you a heads up on IHG's imminent annual point changes being released today. Well they're out now and roughly 400 hotels are either moving up or down in the amount of points required for a redemption by 5,000 or 10,000 points. These new rates take effect on February 17th. So if you were planning a redemption at any of the hotels on the list you'll want to redeem and book before that date if the rate is going up while you'll want to wait until after that date if you see a hotel is going down. If your are redeeming for stays in Canada the good news is more hotels are going down then up. Out of 11 hotels changing in our country 7 of them are going down by 5,000 points. Bad news is the Holiday Inn Deer Lake jumps from 10,000 points to 20,000 points! That's a 100% increase!


Internationally we see the introduction of new 55,000 and 60,000 point levels, previously the highest redemption level was 50,000 points so this isn't great news for those higher end hotels around the globe. It's not surprising to see two of the most coveted IHG hotels (both in Bora Bora) being pushed up to that new 60,000 point level from the previous 50,000.

You can learn all about the changes and see the complete list of hotels here.

Now over the next month be prepared to watch for changes from SPG, Hyatt and Marriott.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

January 28 Update: beVancouver Amex Gift Card offer extended and use your RBC Rewards points for Apple products

Your Thursday news, deals and more!

News, Tips & Tricks
beVancouver
has extended their American Express Gift Card offer of up to $125 per night to April 30th. Originally the end date was Feb 29. Find out more here.


Earn up to 100 bonus AIR MILES Rewards Miles for shopping at Rexall this weekend. 40 miles if you spend $40+, 60 if you spend $60+ and 100 if you spend $80+. No coupon required.


RBC has added a new redemption option for holders of RBC Rewards Points. You can now redeem your points for Apple products via their special redemption page. We are not RBC cardholders so we couldn't log in to see the redemption rate. If any of our readers could kindly do so and let us know what the redemptions are like that would be greatly appreciated! (Source RBC) You can find all the details and RBC's login page for Apple redemptions here.





Posts since our last update:


Travel Deals
KLM Dreams Deals
! Fly in business class between Canada and Europe or beyond from $2499 all in! Book by Feb 4 for travel this Spring and Fall.  Find out more here.





Bonus Offers

Air Canada / Aeroplan
- Earn up to Triple Aeroplan Miles when you shop at Bentley. More... . Until Mar 31, 16

Alaska Airlines MileagePlan
- Double Mileage Plan Miles on all rentals at participating Hertz locations in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. More... Until Mar 31, 16

American AAdvantage
- Earn up to 1,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles when you rent for 2 or more days at participating Avis locations in the U.S. or Canada. More... Feb 15 - Mar 31, 16

Delta SkyMiles
- Double SkyMiles for stays at participating Okura Hotels & Resorts, Nikko Hotels International and Hotel JAL City Worldwide. More... Feb 1 - Apr 30, 16

Virgin America Elevate (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 1,000 Bonus Elevate Points on your first purchase with Scorebig. More... Until ?



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How I maximize my everyday American Express card spending

I have now had the American Express Gold Reward Card for almost six years and have to say it is still the favourite card in my wallet. My love of the card along with the fact that it is so flexible led to it be ranked the #1 overall travel rewards card in Canada in our recently released 2016 rankings. 


Related: Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2016

On top of that I also have The Platinum Card from American Express primarily for the benefits it comes with but also for the accelerated points earning it provides. When you hold both these cards as the primary cardholder, the points from both will accumulate into the same Membership Rewards account. By using both I really make my MR points balance grow quickly!

The American Express Gold Rewards Card earns 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on everyday purchases except on Gas, Grocery, Drug Store and Travel purchases where it earns 2 points per dollar.

The Platinium Card from American Express earns. 1.25 Membership Rewards points on everyday purchases.

Now you should see where I am going with this. To maximize my Membership Rewards earning I put all possible purchases that aren't Gas, Grocery, Drug Store or Travel on The Platinum Card to earn the 1.25 points as long as that merchant accepts American Express.  For Gas, Grocery, Drug Store and Travel purchases, these all go on my Gold Rewards Card. Tons of groceries and of course tons of travel have really pushed the balance up in my Membership Rewards account, not to mention fueling up two vehicles.
Maximizing the Amex program by using the Gold Rewards Card for gas purchases
(Source Rewards Canada Instagram)
I also make sure we buy gift cards only at the 2 times multiplier locations, usually the grocery store but sometimes drug store and gas stations as well. So those $25 Gift Cards we're buying that the kids take to birthday parties are at least earning 50 points each or when Safeway runs their big AIR MILES bonuses for buying gift cards, those go straight onto the Gold Rewards Card:
Example of using the Gold Rewards Card for Gift Card purchases!

Screenshot of my Membership Rewards account showing 2 purchases with the Gold Rewards Card
and one with the Platinum Card.

So in the end I am earning anywhere between 1.25 and 2 Membership Rewards points for any purchases made with an Amex card. Now you might be thinking well that's only worth 1.25% to a 2% return on your spending, why not use a card that provides a straight 2% return? This is true if I was to only use the points for American Express' TripFlex feature where you can book any travel at anytime and redeem the points against the charge at a rate of 1,000 points = $10. I do actually use the TripFlex feature but I combine it with transferring points to Aeroplan and British Airways. This is where the bigger value lies. With both those programs I value their respective currencies between 1.5 and 2.3 cents per mile/Avios at a minimum (ie for an economy class flight redemption) Take those points being earned on my everyday American Express spend and you can see that those points now take on return of anywhere between 1.875% to 4.6% per dollar spent. Redeem those points via Aeroplan or British Airways for business class and the rate return gets even higher. On average, for me my rate of return is above 2% so that is why it is better than the straight 2% return cards for me. I do love the flexibility of these cards and that is why they rank so high in our rankings, having that option of redeeming for any flight or travel I want via the TripFlex feature or being able to convert to Aeroplan, British Airways, Alitalia and more just gives me so many options. Essentially I am diversifying my portfolio without actually diversifying my spending habits.

Even if you only carry the Gold Rewards Card and don't want or cannot afford the Platinum Card there is no harm in using it at the 1 point per dollar locations to ensure you are building up the balance in your Membership Rewards account.

There you have it that is how I maximize the spending on my American Express cards. How do ensure you are earning the most points possible with your spending? Tell us below!

American Express Gold Rewards Card
• New American Express® Gold Rewards* Cardmembers can earn a Welcome Bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards® points - our HIGHEST Gold Rewards Card offer - just by making $500 in purchases in the first three months of Cardmembership
• No Annual Fee for the first year; $150 Annual Fee thereafter*
• That's enough for a round trip flight to almost anywhere in North America
• Transfer your points to frequent flyer programs, or 1:1 to Aeroplan®* and Avios
• Earn 2 points for every $1 on eligible travel and everyday purchases
• Charge any travel to your Card then pay for it with points
• 1 Free Supplementary Gold Rewards Card (a $50 value*) to help you earn points faster
• 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.
• *As a Charge Card, the balance must always be paid in full each month. 30% annual interest rate applies to balances not paid in full.
Conditions apply
Apply Now

* Canadian Residents Only

The Platinum Card from American Express
New Platinum Card® Cardmembers, earn 50,000 Bonus Membership Rewards® points by spending $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of Cardmembership. Apply Now
• Platinum members are automatically enrolled in the Membership Rewards First™ Tier and earn 1.25 points for every dollar in purchases charged to the Card
• The Platinum Card gives you access to exceptional lounge benefits such as the Canadian Platinum Lounge Benefit, Airport Club Program and access to the Cathay Pacific Business Class lounges and oneworld® alliance airlines Business Class lounges.
• You will also have access to elevated status with many Hotel & Car Rental loyalty programs, $200 Annual Travel Credit for Travel Bookings through Platinum Card Travel Service, lodging benefits at a collection of over 700 Fine Hotels & Resorts around the world, access to special events and unique opportunities and a dedicated concierge team
• 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.
• *As a Charge Card, the balance must always be paid in full each month. 30% annual interest rate applies to balances not paid in full.
Conditions apply
Apply Now

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January 27 Update: Hainan Airlines confirms Calgary-Beijing service, Triple Avios for Accor stays, China Airlines Vancouver bonus!


News, Tips & Tricks
As we mentioned well before Christmas, there were rumours of Hainan Airlines launching new service between Calgary and Beijing. Looks like that rumour has come true as Airlineroute.net has found that Hainan has loaded the flights into their system. The service will commence on June 30 and will operate 3x per week. We already cover Hainan and their Fortune Wings program here on Rewards Canada as the airline does serve Toronto. It is currently running a promotion for the entire year for flights between North America and China of up to 20,000 bonus Fortune Wings miles so the new Calgary flight should automatically be included. One should also note that Hainan Airlines is an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan partner so you don't have to credit miles to Fortune Wings if you do take this flight. At the time of writing this the two airlines had not launched redemption options although that should be coming soon.



Posts since our last update:

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Bonus Offers

British Airways Executive Club
- Triple Avios for stays at over 2,800 Accor Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Mar 23, 16
- Double Avios for stays at all Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in Europe. More... Until Mar 31, 16
- Double Avios for stays of 2+ nights at over 140 Preferred Hotel Group Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Mar 31, 16
- Earn up to 4x Avios for stays at participating Shangri-La Hotels Worldwide. More... . Until Feb 29, 16
- Double Avios for stays at participating Taj hotels Worldwide. More... Until Mar 31, 16

China Airlines Dynasty Flyer
- 3,747 Bonus Dynasty Flyer Miles when you fly in Premium Economy between Vancouver and Taipei. More... Until May 31, 16

Delta SkyMiles

- Fast Track to Elite Status + Bonus SkyMiles when you fly with Delta Airlines. More... Targeted offer - May Not Work for everyone Register by Jun 30, 16
- 200 Bonus SkyMiles per day (300 for Medallions) 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 Jun 30, 16

JetBlue TrueBlue (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 3,500 Bonus TrueBlue Points when you join TrueBlue and book a flight by Mar 14. More... Until Mar 14, 16

Le Club accorhotels
- 500 Bonus Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at participating Accor Hotels in Austria starting with your 2nd stay. More... Book Feb 1 - Mar 31 for stays Feb 15 - May 31, 16
- 500 Bonus Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at participating Accor Hotels in Germany starting with your 2nd stay. More... Book Feb 1 - 29 for stays Feb 15 - May 31, 16

United MIleagePlus (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- 500 Bonus MileagePlus miles for joining MileagePlus Dining + up to 2,500 bonus miles when dine within 30 days of joining at any participating restaurant, bar, or club and spend at least $25 (including tax and tip) on your check. More... Until May 31, 16

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January 26 Update: SkyTeam Alliance Travel Hack, Avis bonus for Aeroplan Distinction members, Hilton introduces new hotel brand

Relatively quiet day compared to yesterday...

News, Tips & Tricks
Check out our potentially lucrative travel hack for flights on SkyTeam Alliance airlines. If it works and on paper (well websites) it does, it could be huge...  Find out more here.

Hilton Hotels
has announced a new mid-scale hotel brand that will be launching later this year in the U.S. but will eventually come to Canada as well. The new brand is called Tru by Hilton. The brand already has 102 hotels signed on and 30 more in the works. Find out more here.

Tru by Hilton's innovative features include:
  • The Hive, a first floor experience that's more than a lobby - 2,770 square-feet of open space with unique ways for guests to engage with others or spend time alone - in one of four distinct zones for lounging, working, eating or playing.
  • The Play Zone, filled with table games, a large-screen TV (featuring DIRECTV), and tiered, stadium-inspired seating.
  • A centrally located Command Center - a re-envisioned front desk - featuring a social media wall with real-time content to foster engagement among guests, and a 24/7 market offering fun snacks and refreshments, single-serve wine and beer*, healthy light meal options and sundries for purchase.
  • A complimentary "Build Your Own" breakfast consisting of a toppings bar with 30 sweet and savory items allowing guests to customize bagels, donuts, Greek yogurt and oatmeal to satisfy their taste buds and cravings.
  • Smart and efficiently designed guest rooms full of the things that matter most - all-white comfortable platform beds, 55" TVs, eight-foot wide windows, access to power everywhere, and surprisingly spacious bathrooms.
  • A fitness center that defines wellness trends, rather than follows them, with a concept focused on cardio, strength and flexibility.
  • A technology-forward mentality featuring segment-leading complimentary Wi-Fi bandwidth allowing guests to download and stream content on their devices, plentiful power sources, and mobile check-in, room selection and Digital Key available through the Hilton HHonors mobile app.
  • A collaboration with DIRECTV, offering guests more than 150 channels, like they have at home.
  • Rooms and linens cleaned by P&G Professional's (NYSE: PG) top hospitality brands, including Tide® ProfessionalTM, Swiffer® ProfessionalTM and Febreze® ProfessionalTM to help enhance the guest experience and drive operational efficiencies.
  • A brand personality that's full of life with a spirited culture grounded in a thoughtful, reliable and unflappable approach to guest service.



Posts since our last update:



Bonus Offers

Air Canada / Aeroplan
- Quadruple Aeroplan Miles for Avis rentals of 3 or more days in Canada and the U.S. More... Valid for Aeroplan Silver, Black or Diamond Distinction status only. Until Mar 31, 16

Delta SkyMiles (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Earn up to 3,000 Bonus SkyMiles when you join the SkyMiles Dining program. More... Until Mar 31, 16

Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Earn up to 100% Bonus GarudaMiles when you fly on Garuda Indonesia between Balikpapan or Medan and Jeddah; Denpasar and Shanghai as well as select domestic routes. More... Jan 29 - Feb 28, 16
- Earn up to 100% Bonus GarudaMiles when you fly on Garuda Indonesia during the Lunar New Year. More... Feb 5 - 8, 16
- Earn up to 10,000 Bonus GarudaMiles when you book hotels via Kaligo. More... Until Feb 29, 16
- 5,000 Bonus GarudaMiles when you rent a car via Rentalcars.com. More... Until Mar 31, 16

IHG Rewards Club
- Up to 75% bonus IHG Rewards Club Points when you buy points online. Targeted offer - may not work for everyone. More... Until Feb 15, 16

Le Club accorhotels
- Earn up to Triple Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at participating Accor Hotels in France. More... Book by Feb 29 for stays until Mar 31, 16

Stash Hotel Rewards
- Double Stash Rewards Points for stays at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. More... Until Mar 31, 16
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays on the Winter Escape Package at the Caribe Royale Orlando. More... Until Mar 20, 16
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays on the Newport Family Adventure package at the Hotel Viking Newport. More... Until Mar 31, 16
- Triple Stash Rewards Points for stays at the Cooper Hotel Conference Center & Spa Dallas. More... Until May 31, 16
- Triple Stash Rewards Points and $25 dining credit for stays at The Resort at Port Ludlow. More... Feb 1 - 29, 16


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