Friday, September 30, 2016

September 30 Update: Use Amex Membership Rewards Points at Amazon.ca, Bonus Shoppers Optimum points & last day for Marriott contest!

News, Tips & Tricks
Rewards Canada
will be on the Informed Traveler radio show this Sunday as we discuss the Marriott acquistion of Starwood and how it affects members of the two chain's loyalty programs. You can hear it at 8am MT on Newstalk 770 in Calgary and 10am PT on Newstalk 980 CKNW in Vancouver. Learn more about the show here.

During our update of Rewards Canada's Guide to Business Class Lounge Access we came across an offer for CIBC credit card holders. You can save 25% off of lounge visit package rate when you buy them at any Plaza Premium lounges in Canada or if you book ahead of time online you'll get 15% for lounges in Canada or 10% off globally outside of Canada. This offer is good until Dec 31. Find out more here!


American Express has teamed up with Amazon.ca so that you can pay for purchases with points at check out! The redemption rate is that same as the Use Points for Purchase program of 1,000 points = $7. Pretty cool option though thinking you could go totally cashless with your Amazon purchases..... Find out more here.


You can earn 18,500 Bonus Shoppers Optimum points this weekend if you spend $75 or more in store. Valid Oct 1/2. Find out more here.


Today is the last day to enter our latest Marriott contest! Check it out here for your chance to win up to 30,000 Marriott Rewards points!!

Posts since our last update:



Bonus Offers

Best Western Rewards
- 2,000 Bonus Rewards Points for weekend stays at Best Western Hotels in Central Europe (Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovakia or Slovenia). More... Until Oct 31, 16
- Earn 40,000 Best Western Rewards points on your first purchase with the MBNA Best Western MasterCard. More... For residents of Canada only

Delta SkyMiles
- SkyMiles Status Match - If you're a top-tier flyer with another airline, you can request to participate in our one-time SkyMiles Medallion Status Match Challenge and qualify for comparable status with the Medallion program. More...

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
- 550 Bonus Gold Plus Rewards Points + 25 Free Points on rentals at participating Hertz locations in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, USVI, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand only. More... Residents of the U.S. or Canada only Until Nov 13, 16
- 550 Bonus Gold Plus Rewards Points + 25 Free Points on when you complete 2 rentals at participating Hertz locations in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, USVI, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand only. More... Residents of the U.S. or Canada only Until Nov 13, 16

Le Club accorhotels
- Earn up to 800 Bonus Le Club Accorhotels Points for stays at Accor Hotels in Portugal or Spain. More... Book by Nov 25 for stays Nov 2 - Dec 31, 16

Lindner Hotels Nights
- Double Nights Points and a free upgrade for stays at the me and all hotel düsseldorf. More... Oct 11 - Dec 31, 16

Starwood Preferred Guest
- 3,000 Bonus Starpoints when you book a Suite at participating Starwood Hotels in North America, Latin America and French Polynesia. More... Until Dec 31, 16

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Earn up to 50% Bonus ROP Miles when you fly Thai Airways from Bangkok to London, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Rome, Milan, Zurich, Copenhagen, Stockholm, or Oslo. More... Until Dec 31, 16
- Double ROP Miles and get up to 25% off Hertz rentals of 2 or more days in any one of over 100 countries. More... Book by Oct 10 for rentals until Dec 15, 16


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New 40,000 point sign up bonus for the no fee Best Western Rewards MasterCard


This may not be as lucrative at the 60,000 point sign up bonus we saw earlier this year or even the 50,000 in past years but this new sign up bonus of 40,000 Bonus Points is definitely better than the standard 20,000 points the card normally offers. Since the card can be churned now may be the time to get it since it has no annual fee and you'll score those 40,000 points at no cost then hopefully timing will work out for you to get the card in the future with an even bigger bonuses. We've seen 40,000 and 50,000 point sign up bonuses for this card in the past while the standard sign up bonus is 20,000 points. Unlike the 60K offer earlier in the year this offer doesn't have a spend requirement, you'll simply get the 40,000 point on your first purchase.

Offer details:
• Earn 40,000 Best Western Rewards® points on your first purchase – qualifying you for two free nights
• Earn 1 Best Western Rewards® point for every $1 in eligible purchases
• Earn 5 Best Western Rewards® points for every $1 in eligible purchases at Best Western properties
• You will be awarded "Gold Status" upon first use of your credit card and "Diamond Status" when you spend $10,000 in eligible purchases within one year
• No limit to the Best Western Rewards® points that can be earned using the credit card in a year
• Use your Best Western Rewards® points in many ways – hotel stays, elite status upgrades, dining, airfare, gift cards and more.
• 1.99% promotional annual interest rate† (AIR) on balance transfers for the first 10 full months
Apply now for the Best Western MasterCard® Credit Card 

With the points from this card you have various redemption options with the top two being free nights at Best Western hotels or converting the points to airline miles including Aeroplan. In fact for the latter we list this card as one of three you should get for the Ultimate Aeroplan Credit Card portfolio. The sign up bonus on this card is worth 8,000 Aeroplan Miles, so not a bad deal seeing they are  free!. You can pull out better value however by using the points for actual award nights at Best Western Hotels (such is the case with almost any hotel program).

Free nights at Best Western run anywhere from 8,000 points to 24,000 points per night which means the sign up bonus could get you anywhere from 2 to 5 free nights.


For example you could do two nights at the Best Western Premier Bangtao Beach Resort and Spa and pull out over $300 in value from those points:
 
The hotel itself doesn't seem too shabby for a BW! 



And there are many more options around the globe that you can choose from seeing that Best Western has over 4,100 hotels in over 100 countries.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Using the American Express Gold Rewards Card for your wedding and honeymoon

Courtesy RGB Stock Photos
Right now there are many of you who are starting to plan a big spring or summer wedding in 2017 with a honeymoon to follow right after! This is an event that should involve a rewards strategy and using a card like the American Express Gold Rewards Card can fit right in. While the wedding should be your main focus, since it’s an event that involves many large expenses, don't forget about maximizing your rewards. While trying to get the most points possible from your wedding expenses may not have been your first to-do when you started planning, just keep reminding yourself that those points can be used for your honeymoon! They will also come in handy for big purchases that come after you’re married, like new items for your home or upgrading to a bigger TV. With the expense of a wedding in front of you (and/or your family) you can save money on the honeymoon portion, even if it is being funded by your parents or other family by utilizing your Membership Rewards points. Read on to find out how you can maximize your points and rewards for this grand celebration.

The Wedding
You've proposed or been proposed to and you've set the date for this amazing day - now comes the planning and of course the spending.  Many of you want a traditional wedding: big, lots of people, the whole nine yards. These weddings cost a lot of money so, whatever you do, try to put as much of the spend on your Card as those points will come in handy for your honeymoon. The wedding dress, the reception hall in that fancy hotel, the catering, you name it. You put it on the Card. Some purchases like booking a reception hall in hotel could earn you 2x points since the hotel might fall under the travel category. Just remember to always consciously think about using your Card and try to refrain from cash, cheque or even debit. You want to earn as many points as you can to help you out on your honeymoon!


The Honeymoon
This is where all your hard work of putting all your wedding expenses on your American Express Gold Rewards Card comes in handy. You want to stay at an all-inclusive resort with no kids or families to pester you on the honeymoon. You want the utmost in service and luxury so you pick a great resort in St. Lucia or elsewhere in the Caribbean or Mexico. You would have a hard time using points or miles from traditional reward programs here as they typically don't have all-inclusive resorts as part of their rewards catalogs. However, with the Membership Rewards® from American Express you can use your points for any travel charge and you'll earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases to boot when you actually book the resort! Not only should you use your Gold Rewards Card for the points earning and redemption, but also for insurance purposes as you'll want your Card to keep you covered should anything go wrong. Once the charge from that resort (or whatever vacation you choose) shows up on your account, go online to log in to your Online Account and click on “Use points for eligible purchases” , or log onto the Amex App to redeem your points against that charge. You should be able to save a good portion of the costs with the points you earned getting the Card (New Cardmembers can earn 25,000 Welcome Bonus points) and then for your wedding spend (I know some people will spend $30,000+) so chances are you'll have 50,000 or more points on your Card. That will save you $500 right off the bat and you still have 12 months after the travel charge to keep collecting points to redeem against it if you want.


Final thoughts
Remember, saving $500 on your honeymoon, even if it is fully funded by others, means you have $500 more to help pay for that condo, house, or furniture.  If that isn't a concern, you have $500 more to spend while you are on your honeymoon to make it that much more special! You'll have lots more time to accumulate more points and as we see in the industry it is typically better to use up your points when you can rather than hoard them. The flexibility and ease of use with cards like the American Express Gold Rewards Card means you can enjoy redemptions at any time and reap the full benefits of the rewards the Card avails.


American Express Gold Rewards Card
American Express Gold Rewards Card

• New American Express® Gold Rewards* Cardmembers can earn a Welcome Bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards® points just by making $1,500 in purchases in the first three months of Cardmembership.
• No Annual Fee for the first year; $150 Annual Fee thereafter*
• Transfer your points to frequent flyer or other loyalty programs, including 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
• Add your eligible1 American Express® Card to Apple Pay, and use your eligible Apple device2 to pay for goods and services at participating American Express contactless merchants3
1. Available on eligible cards. Eligible cards are active American Express Consumer, Small Business or Corporate Cards (excluding Corporate Purchasing Cards and Corporate Meeting Cards) issued by Amex Bank of Canada. Prepaid cards and products (such as the American Express Gift Card) are not eligible.
2. Apple Pay works with iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus running on iOS 9 and above or an Apple Watch that is paired with an iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6s, 6 Plus or 6s Plus. For a list of other compatible Apple Pay devices see apple.com/ca/apple-pay. 
3. With participating American Express contactless merchants and Apple Pay in app purchases on eligible devices. Transaction limits may apply.
• 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

®* Aeroplan is a registered trademark of Aimia Canada Inc.

September 28 Update: Six new international routes from Air Canada, Guide to Business Class Lounge Access and 15 bonus offers

News, Tips & Tricks
There were a bunch of press releases from Air Canada in our inbox this morning about their 2017 International expansion. Looking over the releases 2017 will be another exciting year of growth for AC on the International front! Find out more about the six new routes!



In case you missed it on Facebook, Twitter or right here on the blog we updated our Guide to Business Class Lounge access. The updated piece covers single entry, annual pass, credit card and airline club options! A must for anyone who wants to get out of the hustle and bustle that airports tend to be and lack elite access! Find the newly updated guide right here!


Remember to enter our latest Marriott contest! Check it out here for your chance to win up to 30,000 Marriott Rewards points!!

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
American Express Travel Complimentary Night Sale. If you book four or more consecutive pre-paid nights you'll get a complimentary night. Book by Oct 31 for stays until Nov 15, 16. Find out more here.

Bonus Offers
American AAdvantage
- Earn up to 42,500 Bonus AAdvantage Miles when you buy miles online. More... Until Oct 31, 16

Amtrak Guest Rewards
- Double Guest Rewards Points on all qualifying Amtrak travel. More... Until Nov 19, 16

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- 50% Bonus Asia Miles on all your hotel stays booked via Rocketmles. More... Book by Oct 31, 16
- Triple Asia Miles and get up to 25% off Hertz rentals of 2 or more days in any one of over 100 countries. More... Book by Oct 10 for rentals until Dec 15, 16
- Earn up to Quadruple Asia Miles on Hertz rentals in USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. More... Until Nov 30, 16

China Airlines Dynasty Flyer
- Double Dynasty Flyer Miles and get up to 25% off Hertz rentals of 2 or more days in any one of over 100 countries. More... Book by Oct 10 for rentals until Dec 15, 16

Saudia Alfursan
- 1,000 Bonus Alfursan Miles for stays at the Marriott Hotel Doha. More... Until Oct 30, 16
- Double Alfursan Miles for stays at Radisson Blu or Park Inn by Radisson Hotels in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey. More... Nov 18 - Dec 30, 16
- 3,000 Bonus Alfursan Miles when you complete your first hotel stay booked via Rocketmles. More... Book by Oct 31, 16
- Double Alfursan Miles for Sixt rentals in Ankara. More... Nov 18 - Jan 18, 17

TAP Portugal Victoria
- Double Victoria Miles for stays at Altis Hotels in Lisbon. More... Book by Oct 31 for stays until Dec 31, 16
- 1,000 Bonus Victoria Miles for stays at Dom Pedro Hotels. More... Until Dec 31, 16
- Triple Victoria Miles for stays of 2 or more nights at the PortoBay Marquês hotel Lisbon. More... Until Dec 31, 16
- Double Victoria Miles for Europcar rentals Worldwide except the U.S. and Canada. More... Book by Oct 31 for rentals until Nov 30, 16
- 50% Discount when you buy, transfer or extend your TAP Portugal Victoria Miles. More... Until ?


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Rewards Canada's Guide to Business Class Lounge Access has been updated!


Back in 2013 we released Rewards Canada's Guide to Business Class Lounge Access right here on the blog but didn't update it since that time. The other problem with being on the blog is that it gets buried way down deep in the posts and becomes harder to find and harder for us to updated.

The good news today is that we have updated the Guide and it has found a new home on the main Rewards Canada website where it will be easier to find, bookmark and for us to update.

You can find the updated guide at:
www.rewardscanada.ca/lounges

And look for a special offer from us for purchasing Priority Pass memberships in the guide!

We hope you enjoy the piece!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September 27 Update: Rewards Canada's Weekly Round Up Podcast Episode 2, Air Canada Destination Bonus and more!

News, Tips & Tricks
Pretty quiet day today OTHER than the release of our second podcast episode! We talk Marriott-Starwood, WestJet, Aeroplan and more. Be sure to check it out on our podcast page at www.rewardscanada.ca/podcast or find it on iTunes
 
Remember to enter our latest Marriott contest! Check it out here for your chance to win up to 30,000 Marriott Rewards points!!


Posts since our last update:


Bonus Offers
Air Canada / Aeroplan
- Earn up to 100% Bonus Aeroplan or up to 60,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for travel on select Air Canada flights Worldwide. More... Register and book between Sep 26 & Nov 14 for travel until Apr 30, 17

Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Double QMiles and get up to 25% off Hertz rentals of 2 or more days in any one of over 100 countries. More... Book by Oct 10 for rentals until Dec 15, 16

SAS EuroBonus
- 1,500 Bonus EuroBonus points and get up to 25% off Hertz rentals of 2 or more days in any one of over 100 countries. More... Book by Oct 10 for rentals until Dec 15, 16

Saudia Alfursan
- Double Alfursan Miles for stays at the Mövenpick Hotel Ankara. More... Nov 18 - May 1, 17
- Double Alfursan Miles and get up to 25% off Hertz rentals of 2 or more days in any one of over 100 countries. More... Book by Oct 10 for rentals until Dec 15, 16


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Monday, September 26, 2016

Air Canada Destination Bonus Event returns - Earn thousands of Aeroplan Miles for Air Canada flights until April 2017!


Air Canada has brought back the Destination Bonus Event where Aeroplan members who fly on select Air Canada flights can earn bonus Aeroplan miles. The bonus ranges from 50% for economy class flights in North America and Sun Destinations to 60,000 Aeroplan Miles when you take four round trip Intercontinental flights in premiums fare classes.

Offer details:
Earn up to 100% Bonus Aeroplan or up to 60,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for travel on select Air Canada flights Worldwide. Register online (Registration is required) Register and book between Sep 26 & Nov 14 for travel until Apr 30, 17

Flights in Canada, to the U.S. or Sun Destinations will earn between 50% and 100% bonus Aeroplan Miles while flights to everywhere else in the globe will earn anywhere from 5,000 to 60,000 bonus Aeroplan miles depending on fare class and the number of flights taken. See link above for complete details and all eligible routes.


IHG Rewards Club Buy Points Flash Sale! 100% Bonus until September 30th - use it to save some $$$


Just like the flash offer in February and May we see a flash sale of a 100% bonus when you buy IHG Rewards Club Points until September 30th!!

This offer brings the price of a point down to 0.575 of a cent when you buy between 5,000 and 60,000 points! If you choose to buy the maximum number of points, 60,000, it will cost you US$690 but of course you'll end up getting 120,000 points. That's 24 nights at IHG hotels if redeeming via the PointBreaks option which works out to only $28.75 per night!

Offer Details
100% Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points when you buy points online.  Minimum purchase of 11,000 points. Full details. Until Sep 30, 16

Here is just one example of how this can save you some money:

The Holiday Inn Bonnyville Alberta is available for 5,000 points via the PointBreaks offer which means you could stay here for only US$28.75 instead of the ~US$90 they are asking:



Now we are towards the end of the current PointBreaks which means slim pickings on the hotels available but you could still buy the points now for the next set that should come out towards the end of October.