Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Chase Marriott and Amazon Visas come to a complete close on March 15


Nearly a year ago Chase stopped accepting new applications for the Amazon.ca Visa and then late in summer 2017 they also stopped accepting applications for the Marriott Premier Visa card. Now we have received the news that both cards will come to a close on March 15 for existing cardholders. This will officially mark the end of Chase bank in Canada and any hopes of a Sapphire Preferred, Reserve or other great U.S. cards coming up here.

Holders of both cards are starting to receive letters (we're still waiting on ours) or have called into to Chase and their representatives confirm the news.
  • For Marriott cards, once all are closed on March 15 all outstanding points will be transferred to Marriott. You should receive a pro-rated credit on your annual based on the number of months it has been since you paid the fee. No annual fees are being charged on the card after January 1st if yours has not come up yet, also if you are entitled to your anniversary free night between now and March 15th you will also still get that. There is some confusion on the latter however as it isn't worded the best in the letters and it almost makes it seem everyone will get it even if you already got it on your card anniversary. For example, my wife's card was renewed in October so the annual fee was paid then and she received the free night certificate. So the question is will she get another one or because she already has for this year she won't? We'll reach out to Chase and Marriott for clarification on this!
  • For Amazon cards, once all are closed on March 15 you will get a statement credit for your outstanding points.
Both of these cards were very popular for their no foreign transaction fee benefit and the Marriott card for its large sign up bonus, free night benefits and elite status credits. There are still several cards in Canada that have no foreign transaction fee (HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard and HomeTrust Preferred Visa are examples) if that is the main reason you had either of these Chase cards.

For Marriott Rewards members who not only had the card for the foreign transaction but were using the card to build up your points account, you still have the option of getting the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express as Starpoints convert to Marriott Rewards Points at a ratio of 1 to 3. The card comes with a 20,000 Starpoint sign up bonus which equates to 60,000 Marriott Rewards points (that's higher than the Marriott Visa ever offered) and everyday earn is 1 Starpoint per dollar spent or 3 Marriott Rewards points per dollar spent. Remember the Marriott Visa was only 1 Marriott Rewards point per dollar on most spend (2 points for Dining, 5 for Marriott/Starwood stays) so you can see how the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card is better in many ways. The SPG card is also offering 2 Starpoints per dollar spent at Marriott and Starwood Hotels until the middle of February and we are hoping that is extended as the UK version of the card has the offer until the end of 2018.

And you may ask, as we were on Twitter earlier today about acceptance and true Amex does have lower acceptance rates at retailers, it isn't that far off from Visa and Mastercard.
https://twitter.com/CanadaCracker/status/953077331492462593

In our household I would estimate 85-90% of our spending goes on American Express cards. You can visit this page we created for the American Express Cobalt card to see what retailers accept the card and you can even visit Amex's Shop Small website to see what non-major retailers accept the cards.



Monday, January 15, 2018

January 15 Update: Further BMO card changes, 75 Bonus AIR MILES via Travel Hub and more

Early today we released the details of the updated BMO Rewards World Elite Mastercard whose program changes went into effect today. It wasn't the only BMO card changing. Also today the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard now only offers a 15% discount when redeeming AIR MILES for flights in North America,which is down from 25%. The limited time sign up offer of 3,000 Bonus AIR MILES and first year free does remain however. The other card that changed as well is the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard with no fee - it still has the 500 AIR MILES sign up offer but gone is the 3x miles for the first few months of having the card and is replaced with a 1.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months. You can find all these updates on our BMO page.


Posts since our last update:
Travel Deals
Remember to visit Rewards Canada's Travel Booking siteto book travel directly with many of your favourite airlines, hotels and more!

Canadian Bonus Offers
AIR MILES
- 75 Bonus AIR MILES Reward Miles on your next hotel booking made via the AIR MILES Travel Hub. More... Until Dec 31, 18


Other Bonus Offers
British Airways Executive Club
- Double Avios for stays on the Linger Longer package at participating Langham Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Feb 28, 18

Carlson Hotels Club Carlson
- 1,000 BonusGold Points on qualifying rentals of 2 or more days at participating Avis locations worldwide. More... Until Jun 30, 18

Malaysia Airlines Enrich
-Earn up to 4x Enrich Miles when you rent with Avis for 3 or more days in US, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands. More... Until Mar 31, 18

Marriott Rewards
- 1,000 Bonus Rewards Points when you stay 2+ nights at over 40 participating Marriott Hotels in California. More... Jan 26 - Apr 20, 18

Saudia Alfursan
- 1,000 Bonus Alfursan Miles for stays at participating Marriott Hotels in Egypt, Kuwait or Oman. More... Until Mar 31, 18

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BMO World Elite Mastercard changes come into effect today but with a higher sign up bonus of 35,000 points & still first year free

The news around the BMO World Elite Mastercard changes that came out in November has been met with disdain by most if not all of the cardholders. This is based on the emails we have received and the comments posted on our post detailing the change. You can read that post and all the comments here.

One thing we have been wondering and asked before is whether the sign up bonus on the card will remain the same at 20,000 points or if it would be increased due to the lower base value of the BMO Rewards Points. Well the good news is that the bonus has been increased and is actually more valuable than on the old version of the card! That being said, don't be swayed by that as they are just trying to make for the lower overall earn on the card. The new sign up bonus is 35,000 points when you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months of having it. More points yes but now you have the spend requirement. For most people who apply for this card, the $1,000 a month for three months should be easily achievable.

As a reminder here is how the new points earn and burn format works with BMO Rewards World Elite Mastercard:
  • 140 points = $1 of travel booked via BMO Rewards (Old rate was 100 points = $1)
  • Earn 3 points per eligible dollar spent on travel, dining & entertainment purchases - giving a 2.14% return on those purchases (under the old program all spend was a 2% return)
  • All other spending will continue to earn 2 points per dollar - giving a 1.43% return on those purchases (under the old program all spend was a 2% return)
Under this new points format on the card this new sign up bonus is worth $250. That's $50 more than the old bonus and for now they are keeping the limited time offer of having the first year's annual fee waived on the card. Ideally this is a really good sign up bonus for people who want to take advantage of the sign up bonus and the Priority Pass membership with 4 lounge passes at no cost other than your spend. For most, you shouldn't look at this card as a long term card unless all your spend on it is strictly in the travel, dining and entertainment categories to achieve the 2.14% return - but then you have to deal with BMO Rewards for all your travel bookings and redemption options - and based upon comments from our readers and even our own Jeff F., the BMO Rewards Centre is a hassle to deal with.

So what would I do if I was you? I wouldn't look at this card as a long term card. I would do the following:
  • Apply for the card and achieve the $3,000 in spending
  • Once the 35,000 point bonus posts, use it and the points you earned for the $3,000 in spending to redeem for some travel - ideally flights as BMO Rewards should be competitive there (not always the case though) and remember you don't have to have all the points, you can mix points and cash.
  • Use up the Priority Pass lounge passes when you travel on those flights
  • Once your travel is done, cancel the card before the card renews after 1 year otherwise you'll be paying the annual fee. You don't want to cancel the card prior to travelling however as the Priority Pass membership will be cancelled when your card is cancelled.
Despite the changes its not a terrible card. Is it less valuable than the old version? Absolutely but it is still better than a good proportion of the cards on the market but on the flip side there are a healthy amount of cards that are also better than this card.

Here are some reasons someone may want to keep this card longer than one year
  • You can use the annual Priority Pass membership with 4 lounge visits every year
  • You have a bank account with BMO that covers the annual fee on the card - so it doesn't cost you anything ever and you get the Priority Pass and the 1.43 to 2.14% return. 
  • You spend a lot on travel, dining and entertainment (and can put all other spending on another card) and have the patience to deal with the BMO Rewards department
Now let's here from you! What do you think of the revised sign up bonus? Is it enough to make you take a crack at this card? And would you keep the card after the first year or dump it for another?


BMO World Elite Mastercard

Limited Time: $150 annual fee waiver in the first year*
Welcome Offer: Get 35,000 welcome points (after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months)*
Get 3 BMO Rewards points for every $1 spent on travel, dining and entertainment purchases*
Get 2 points for every $1 spent everywhere else*
Points you can use to cover all flight charges & taxes*
Fly on any airline, with no blackout dates*
VIP airport lounge access (over $200 US/year value)*
Interest Rate: Purchases 19.99% Cash Advances 22.99%
Apply Now

Friday, January 12, 2018

January 12 Update: Why aren't you using a rewards credit card and two frequent flyer award ticket discount offers to be aware of

No news for you today! But we do have a question for newcomers to the site "Why aren't you using a rewards credit card?"

In the bonus offers section check out the two new discounted award flight offers we added to the main site. They are pretty specific but we know some of you do collect Safar Flyer Miles or Dynasty Flyer miles and now may be the time to use them!
https://www.royalairmaroc.com/ma-en/SAFAR-FLYER/Safar-Flyer-Offers

https://www.china-airlines.com/us/en/member/members-exclusive/explore-the-deals/20171108-20180331


Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
British Airways
has some amazing fares right now for travel between Canada and the U.K. Fares have dropped to below $600 in many markets for a round trip! Find out more here

Remember to visit Rewards Canada's Travel Booking siteto book travel directly with many of your favourite airlines, hotels and more!

Canadian Bonus Offers
China Airlines Dynasty Flyer
- Up to a 20,000 Dynasty Flyer Miles Discount when you redeem for award tickets on most of China Airlines' network including Vancouver-Taipei. More... Until Mar 31, 18

Royal Air Maroc Safar Flyer

- Up to a 50% Safar Flyer Miles Discount when your redeem for an award flight anywhere on Royal Air Maroc's network including Montreal-Casablanca. More... Book by Jan 22 for travel until Apr 15, 18

Other Bonus Offers
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- Triple Mileage Plan Miles on all rentals of three days or longer at any Dollar location Worldwide. More... Until Dec 31, 18

American AAdvantage
- Quadruple AAdvantage Miles on all rentals of three days or longer at any Dollar location Worldwide. More... Until Dec 31, 18

Iberia Plus
- Double Avios for minimum 4 nights stay length in: Hotel Jerez & Spa, Villa Jerez and Duque de Nájera. More... Until Feb 28, 18

Marriott Rewards
- Earn up to 1,500 Bonus Rewards Points for stays at participating hotels in Austria, Germany or Switzerland. More... Until Feb 23, 18
- 1,000 Bonus Rewards Points per night for up to three nights for stays at select Marriott Hotels in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island. More... Until Feb 23, 18
- 5,000 Bonus Rewards Points for stays at select Marriott Hotels in Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky, Ohio, or Texas. More... Until Feb 28, 18

South African Airways Voyager
- 2,000 Bonus Voyager Miles on your first hotel stay booked via Rocketmiles. More... Book by Mar 31, 18

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Scotia Momentum® Mastercard®* Credit Card - the latest cash back card from Scotiabank


Just before the Christmas break Scotia brought out another card to add to their ever expanding portfolio of rewards credit cards, the Scotia Momentum® Mastercard®* Credit Card. There wasn't too much fan fare with the launch and rightfully so as the card is a mediocre cash back card. Outside of being a Mastercard which means that Scotiabank now offers all three major card brands, the card is essentially a duplicate of their Scotia Momentum No Fee Visa Card.  The card has a base earn of 0.5% on spending which is boosted to 1% on eligible gas station, grocery store and  drug store purchases and recurring bill payments. It really doesn't have any insurances or benefits included as well. With many other no fee cards they offer a minimum 1% on all spending and even have some travel insurances included so you can see why this card is mediocre in our minds.

The sign up bonus for this card is an 7.99% introductory interest rate on purchases for the first 6 months so it could appeal to those who need to extend their credit and not pay off the card every month for the first half a year.

I really don't see many people grabbing this other than filling the need of having a Mastercard and not wanting to have financial products outside of Scotiabank, which is old school thinking, but many people still want the clarity of only dealing with one financial institution. For those who still abide by that well the good news is Scotia has very strong products from the other two brands so you could have the Scotia Gold American Express Card, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite or More Rewards Visa Card in addition to this Mastercard and only use the Mastercard at Costco while putting all other purchases on the other cards. I mean we do preach over and over that you should have an American Express, Mastercard and Visa card in your wallet so an all Scotia line up is an option.

Here are the details

Scotia Momentum® Mastercard®* Credit Card
•7.99% introductory interest rate on purchases for the first 6 months*
• Cash back on everyday spending with no annual fee
• 1% cash back on eligible gas station, grocery store and  drug store purchases and recurring bill payments
•  0.5% cash back on all other eligible everyday purchases
• Rates, fees and other information are effective as of February 1, 2018.  Subject to change.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

January 11 Update: Kimpton Hotels now bookable with IHG Rewards Club points, sub $600 fares to London on British Airways & more!

IHG Rewards Club members can now redeem points for stays at Kimpton Hotels. The brand was bought a few years by IHG and at the start of this IHG finally closed the Kimpton Karma program and made IHG Rewards Club the program for stays at the hotels. Kimpton has 66 hotels in the U.S. and Caribbean and the redemption rates for them are on the high end ranging from 40,000 to 70,000 points per night. Find out more here.


Delta Airlines is changing their Halifax to New York JFK route to La Guardia starting May 1st. Nothing else changes with the schedule but may be good for you to know especially if you have already booked flights beyond that date and were expecting to fly into JFK. (Source Routesonline)

Posts since our last update:
Travel Deals
British Airways
has some amazing fares right now for travel between Canada and the U.K. Fares have dropped to below $600 in many markets for a round trip! Find out more here

Remember to visit Rewards Canada's Travel Booking siteto book travel directly with many of your favourite airlines, hotels and more!

Canadian Bonus Offers

Air Canada / Aeroplan
- Earn up to 30% Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you fly on Air Canada or Air China between Canada and China.  More... Apr 1 - Jun 15, 18
Other Bonus Offers

Aeroflot Bonus
- Double Bonus Miles when booking hotels in Vietnam and Thailand with Maldiviana. More... Until Aug 31, 18

Emirates Skywards
- Triple Skywards Miles per eligible Europcar rental in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom. More... Book by Feb 28 for rentals until Mar 15 (except UK until Aug 31)

Jet Airways JetPrivilege
- Earn up to 7x JPMiles when you rent with Hertz for 3 or more days in USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. More... Book by Jan 31 for rentals until Feb 28, 18

SAS EuroBonus
- Double EuroBonus Points on Hertz rentals of 2 or more days Worldwide. More... Book by Jan 22 for rentals until Mar 23, 18

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Earn up to 30% Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you fly Air Canada or Air China between Canada and China this spring


To celebrate the expanded partnership between Air Canada and Air China as well as the Canada-China Year of Tourism the airlines have launched their first joint frequent flyer promotion. The promotion sees a bonus of up to 30% being awarded to Aeroplan members who fly between Canada and China this spring. Registration is open as is booking for the flights and if you fly during the period of April 1 to June 15 you can earn the bonus miles, 15% for Economy/Premium Economy or 30% for Business/First Class. If you don't know your plans yet, at the very least you should register right now for the promotion just in case your travels do take you to China during that time. From the press release it does state joint promotion so there is a very good possibility there will be the equivalent promotion for Air China Phoenix Miles members however we have not been able to find any details on it yet.

Offer details
Earn up to 30% Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you fly on Air Canada or Air China between Canada and China.  Earn 15% bonus miles in Economy or Premium Econony, 30% bonus miles in Business or First Class.
Register Online (Registration is required) Apr 1 - Jun 15, 18


Are you bonusing? Find many more Aeroplan bonus mile opportunities here

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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 *
• That’s enough to redeem for a round-trip Fixed Mileage Flight RewardTM 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. Earn one point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else
• Charge any eligible purchase to your Card then log in to redeem your points for a statement credit 
• Book flights within Canada or to destinations  around the world for a fixed amount of points, with the Fixed Points Travel Program. You can book any airline , fly any day, and even book right up to a day before departure.
• 1 Free Supplementary Gold Rewards Card (a $50 value) to help you earn points faster
• 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. Payments must be received and processed by the date of the next monthly statement to avoid interest charges.
• *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. Conditions apply.
Conditions apply

Apply Now

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

We want to hear your WestJet More Canada More Rewards stories - did you earn 10 bonus dollars? 1,000? Let us know

For the better part of 2017 you could have been or were earning bonus WestJet dollars on flights across Canada with the More Canada More Rewards promotion. This was a promotion where the more provinces you visited the more bonus WestJet dollars you would receive.

We were particularly excited about as we developed this bonus offer concept and pitched it to WestJet Rewards as a great promotion to celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday. WestJet worked the concept to fit perfectly with their needs and budget. They even made it more rewarding than we originally proposed as WestJet added in a  reward for your flight back to your home province on your first round trip!

Read all about the promotion here

Well the promotion wrapped up on December 31 and we have heard through the grapevine that several WestJet Rewards members did end up earning 1,000 bonus WestJet dollars! That is an amazing feat! Personally I only made it to two provinces outside of Alberta on WestJet and if you include the return bonus I earned 40 bonus WestJet dollars.

We know there are many of you who fly across our country on a daily basis and we'd love to hear where you ended up in the More Canada More Rewards promotion. Did you earn 60 bonus WestJet dollars, maybe 115 or even more? Doesn't matter, let us know in the comments section below and if you happen to be one those few who did earn the 1,000 bonus WestJet dollars please pipe up! Let us know what your bonus total ended up being, which provinces you visited and what you liked about this promotion!

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WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard
$250 WestJet dollars Bonus + Annual $99/$299/$399 Companion Flight when you sign up for and receive the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard.
- Earn 1.5% back in WestJet dollars on every purchase you make with your card
- Earn 2% back in WestJet dollars when you purchase WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages with your card
- Companion flight vouchers are an annual benefit.
- First bag free for the primary cardholder up to 8 people traveling on the same reservation to anywhere WestJet flies!

January 10 Update: IHG changes Best Rate Guarantee, Lufthansa A350 to fly YVR-MUC route, Air France seat sale to Asia

IHG has changed their best rate guarantee from offering the first night free on a succesful claim to now offering up to 40,000 points. Over the years most hotel chain's BRGs have been tightened and harder to take advantage of. (HT YHBU)
1. Under the Program (as further described below), if you book a hotel room at an IHG branded hotel using any IHG direct channel (such as a branded website, call center or the mobile app), and within 24 hours of making your reservation you find a lower rate online for the same hotel room, number of guests, and reservation dates, and submit a qualified guarantee claim form, we’ll match the lower rate and give you 5X the IHG® Rewards Club points, up to a 40,000-point maximum,  for the room rate for that hotel stay. 
If you have a $150 stay and make a claim, instead of earning the base 1,500 points you would end up getting 7,500 points. As you can see the 6,000 points extra isn't worth the same amount as getting the first night free! It gets even worse if the stay is at a Staybridge or Candlewood Suites since those locations only have 5 points per dollar earn rate.

Good news for those of you who like to travel to Poland or use Poland as your jumping off point for Eastern Europe, the Baltic's or Russia - Air Canada is upgrading their Toronto-Warsaw route to mainline service from Air Canada Rouge. That means the flights will now be flown with an International configuration 767 with Executive Class Pods. Even Economy Class on these planes is better than Rouge so overall a good upgrade for everyone. The flights run from early June to early September. (Source Routesonline)

Lufthansa is upgrading the aircraft they use on their summer seasonal Vancouver-Munich route come this May! Gone is the A330-300 and in comes the new A350-900XWB! Lufthansa starting taking delivery of the new planes early in 2017 and is a welcome change for the Vancouver route! Let us know if you plan on flying this route when the new plane comes on board - we'd love to have you review it for Rewards Canada! (Source Routesonline)
Image Source: Lufthansa


Posts since our last update:
Travel Deals

Air France
is offering some great rates on flights to Asia from Canada. Fares start at $919. Book by January 15. Find out more here.

  • Montréal - Delhi from $ 919
  • Montréal - Bangkok from $ 939
  • Montréal - Beijing from $ 969
  • Montréal - Mumbai from $ 1 085
  • Toronto - Bangkok from $ 915
  • Toronto - Beijing from $ 939
  • Toronto - Delhi from $ 1 315
  • Toronto - Mumbai from $ 1 640
  • Vancouver - Bangkok from $ 1 015
  • Vancouver - Beijing from $ 1 039
  • Vancouver - Delhi from $ 1 529
  • Vancouver - Mumbai from $ 1 640

Qatar Airways is offering up to 35% off their flights out of Montreal! Book by January 16 for travel until December 10. Find out more here.


Remember to visit Rewards Canada's Travel Booking siteto book travel directly with many of your favourite airlines, hotels and more!

Canadian Bonus Offers
Air Canada / Aeroplan
- Quadruple Aeroplan Miles on all stays at over 6,500 Choice Hotels worldwide. More... Until Mar 31, 18

Other Bonus Offers
Carlson Hotels Club Carlson
- 3,000 Bonus Gold Points when you book the VIP Privilege Package at a participating Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Park Plaza® or Park Inn® by Radisson hotel in China. More... Until Feb 28, 18
- OFFER EXTENDED 3,000 Bonus Gold Points when you complete a stay booked via the Club Carlson mobile app. More... Ongoing

EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- 2,000 Bonus Infinity MileageLands Miles on your first hotel stay booked via Rocketmiles. More... Book by Mar 31, 18

Iberia Plus
- 25% Avios Discount when you redeem for all award travel on Iberia, Iberia Express or Air Nostrum. More... Book by Jan 31, 17

Marriott Rewards
- Earn up to 2,000 Bonus Rewards Points for Sunday - Thursday stays at Gaylord Hotels in the U.S.. More... Until Mar 31, 18
- 10,000 Bonus Rewards Points when you book Vacations by Marriott with airfare and a minimum four nights at participating Autograph Collections Worldwide. More... Book by Jan 31 for travel until Apr 30, 18

SAS EuroBonus
- Double EuroBonus Points for stays at any participating Radisson Blu, Quorvus Collection, Park Inn by Radisson or Radisson RED hotels. More... Until Jan 31, 18'

United MileagePlus
- OFFER EXTENDED 1,500 Bonus MileagePlus Miles when you book a mid-size or larger car with Hertz . More... Until Mar 31, 18

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