Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Air Canada with TD, CIBC and Visa make a bid to buy Aeroplan back

We continue with our catch up posts from last week with what was the biggest news of the week if not the year now and that was the news that Air Canada along with TD, CIBC and Visa making a bid to buy Aeroplan from Aimia!



The news, when it was released was surprising but in reality it it makes a lot of sense for this consortium of four companies to attempt the buy out of Aeroplan.  Here are just some of the reasons why:
  • With the programs splitting you have a lot of loyal Air Canada frequent flyers who are sitting on hundreds of thousands of Aeroplan miles that they will not be able to use as they have become accustomed to come July 2020. If the takeover works Air Canada has explicitly stated that Aeroplan miles will convert 1:1 to their new program. They would be taking away the factor of having a lot of PO'd members now having 0 mile balances in a new program and tons of miles in a program they may not want to use. We mentioned in the past that Air Canada would maybe have to dole out some miles in the new program to these elite frequent flyers to appease them and this would negate the need to do so
  • It essentially lets the new Air Canada program start with 5 million members rather than starting from 0. 
  • With Aeroplan's promising announcement from the week before and the majority of Aeroplan members not being Air Canada frequent flyers, Air Canada stood at a place where they may not have been able to attract those members over to their program. Again it goes back to starting from scratch and not having an attractive membership base
  • It removes the necessity to compete against Aeroplan
  • The credit card issuers will also have access to those 5 million members rather than the small amount Air Canada would initially see and they won't worry about having to lose cardholders to the new Air Canada program should Air Canada choose to go with a different bank and perhaps a Mastercard as their co-brand card. Both TD and CIBC have a lot invested in Aeroplan so it makes sense for the banks to try to keep all those customers.
The consortium has given Aimia until August 2nd to respond and I have a feeling Aimia may reject this offer in hopes of getting a better offer from the group of companies. As a company, Aimia stands to lose their major portfolio should they sell Aeroplan as in 2017 Aeroplan represented $1.3 billion of Aimia's $2 billion in billings so they will want to get as much value out of it if they sell Aeroplan.

If this deal does go through there are both pros and cons for consumers. The pro is not having to burn all your Aeroplan miles before 2020 and being able to continue to use them on Air Canada, Star Alliance and other airline partners for Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First class redemptions with the latter premium classes still providing an out sized value for the miles redeemed. Members could relax and continue on as normal with their earning and burning of miles. The con to this deal is the loss of that potential competition. We've stated quite a few times over the past year with the introduction of a new Air Canada program the market in Canada will boom with offers for the consumer and not just from Aeroplan and Air Canada, from other programs looking to take advantage of the split and there is also one other potential huge con or loser in the deal and it is the one piece that many people did not cover and that is where is American Express in all this. Currently American Express' contract with Aimia will run until June 29, 2020 and there is a very good chance that may not be extended after that date if this proposed takeover happens. Seeing that you have two major banks combined with Visa looking to buy the program, chances are they will not want a competitor who can offer richer rewards to be part of it. Of course if Aimia does not accept this or any future offer and continues on the split course then chances are Amex will still be part of Aeroplan's and/or Air Canada's future plans come July 2020.

That's about it in a nutshell, we just have to wait two more days to see what happens with the continuing drama of the Air Canada Aeroplan saga. Speaking of saga be sure to check out our resource page that covers everything and anything of the Aeroplan Air Canada split.

Last day to grab the RBC Visa Infinte Avion card with up to 25,000 points and no annual fee in the first year

THIS OFFER IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Today is the last day to grab the first year free and up to 25,000 RBC Rewards points offer for with the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card! As of August 1st the card will revert to its standard offer of 15,000 points with a $120 annual fee but come with a special low interest rate for balance transfers and cash advances....



RBC Visa Infinite Avion

  • Get 15,000 welcome points and earn 10,000 extra RBC Rewards Points with a minimum spend† Plus the 1st year annual fee waived upon approval†
  • Earn 25% more RBC Rewards points on travel related purchases1 
  • Book flights, hotel stays, cruises, vacation packages, car rentals with RBC Rewards site, powered by Orbitz
  • Transfer your RBC Rewards points towards other eligible loyalty programs (WestJet Rewards, British Airways Executive Club, American AAdvantage, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. Look for the transfer bonuses to the airlines several times per year!)
  • Premium suite of insurances including trip cancellation3, trip interruption3, travel medical4, car rental insurance5
  • Redeem your points toward your credit card balance using Payback with Points2
  • Instantly save 3₵ per litre on fuel▲ & earn 20% more Petro-Points§ and RBC Rewards points** when you link your Petro-Points card to any RBC Card online.
  • Up to a 2.3% return on your spending depending on which reward ticket you book
  • Unwritten ability to redeem for Business Class tickets although at a lower rate of return when compared to the Avion Reward chart
Apply Now

Monday, July 30, 2018

July 30 Update: Three Canadian Hotels in the latest IHG PointBreaks, some BMO card changes coming and playing catch up!

Rewards Canada was off last week for some R&R but of course that was interrupted with the Air Canada news that they along with TD, CIBC and Visa want to buy Aeroplan from Aimia so we did a lot of interviews about it from Southern California! We'll have full coverage of that news tomorrow and we'll also play catch up on other news from mbna (not good news), Aeroplan (the transfer bonus is back), WestJet and more.

 Last week the newest IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks were released, we prescheduled our post as we were travelling when it went live so we couldn't cover what Canadian hotels were on the list and really not much was missed. Only three Canadian hotels were included this time at the 10,000 point level. The Holiday Inn Calgary-Airport, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Terrace and Staybridge Suites London are the hotels being offered at a discounted rate. You can find all the details here.

Jsut a heads up - some BMO credit cards will have some slight changes coming to them on August 8th. Keep an eye out on our blog for that news in a little over a week!

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
Save up to 15 % on Marriott stays in Canada! Book at a participating hotel by August 1, 2018 for stays until August 31, 2018 and save up to 10% on best available rates!  Marriott Rewards® Members save up to 5% more. Find out more here.

Hilton
Summer Sale - Save up to 25% on weekend stays in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Find out more here

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

Canadian Bonus Offers
WestJet Rewards
- Gold Elite Status Match - If you hold Air Canada Altitude status you can receive a status match to WestJet Gold Elite status. More... Until Aug 31, 18


Other Bonus Offers
Aegean Miles&Bonus
- Up to 40% Miles&Bonus Miles when you buy miles. More... Until Aug 30, 18

AeroMexico Club Premier
- Double Club Premier Points for stays at over 6,500 Choice Hotels worldwide. More... Aug 1 - 31, 18

British Airways Executive Club
- Double Avios for stays at participating Mandarin Oriental Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 18

IHG Rewards Club
- IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks Redeem only 5,000 to 15,000 points for stays at select hotels Worldwide. Offer and participating hotels are subject to change at any time. More... Until Sep 30, 18

Le Club AccorHotels
- Triple Le Club AccorHotels for stays at participating Accor Hotels in Queenstown. More... Book by Aug 19 for stays until Sep 30, 18


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August 18 is the confirmed date for the new combined Marriott Rewards Starwood Preferred Guest program


Rewards Canada is back from vacation and of course last week was filled with more news than we typically see in an week, heck even in a month so now it is time to play catch up!

On Wednesday Marriott released the news a lot of us have been waiting and that is the actual date in August that all three of their reward programs, Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards would merge. We now know the date is going to be August 18th. Here is what is going to happen on that day:
  • All Starpoints in Starwood Preferred Guest accounts will be multiplied by 3 and combined with your Marriott Rewards points to create a unified points balance
  • Elite qualifying from the programs will be combined into one and the new elite status tiers will take affect
  • You will be able to book, earn and redeem across the portfolio of 29 participating brand, 6500 hotels in 127 countries all in one place, on any of their digital, mobile and voice reservation channels including www.Marriott.com and www.SPG.com
  • The new points earning rates will come into affect as follows: 10 points per dollar spent for stays (except 5 points per dollar spent at Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Element and 2.5 points per dollar spent at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay properties) 
  • The new 8 category combined free night award chart will become active
  • A new SPG app will launch, mirroring the functionality of the Marriott Rewards app, including Mobile Requests
Also the following was advised to us from Marriott:
  • All SPG members will receive a new 9-digit account number that aligns with the specifications of the new system. The new account number will appear through a pop-up when they log into their account. Passwords will stay the same (unless the member elects to change it themselves). Some members of Marriott Rewards will also receive a new account number.These members will receive an email with their new account information or a call from our customer engagement centers.
  • Important to note, on August 18 starting early morning (U.S. Eastern Time) their sites and apps will periodically be unavailable as they migrate our systems to one, new platform. This means during this planned system transition there will be times when no one can make a booking, and times when they will only be accepting credit card bookings. As a result of those particular instances, members will not be able to book a redemption stay or have their member number attached to their reservation.
Here are some tips that you should follow up until August 18th. First log in to your Starwood and Marriott accounts and take screenshots of your points balances and elite status earning. This way should any issues arise during the integration you have your back up to make sure you get all your points and elite status credit. Make any award night bookings at hotels that are increasing in price as of August 18th so that you can lock in at the current lower rate and if you already have a booking(s) at a hotel that will go down in price, check for availability after August 18th and if their is availability re-book at the lower rate. Redeem for the famous Marriott Travel Packages prior to August 18th as it has been confirmed you can book at the old rates until August 17.

To learn more and completely educate yourself on any of the items of the integration of the programs like the new award chart rates, points earning, and elite status I would recommend you visit our resource page for the Marriott SPG merger. I am also including below some the main articles you should read:

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

WestJet Rewards Gold Status Match offer





WestJet has brought back its Canadian status match offer! If you have Air Canada Altitude status you can match to Gold status in WestJet Rewards:

1. By August 31, 2018, send in proof of your current frequent flyer status (valid till February 28, 2019) with a competitive Canadian airline to statusmatch@westjet.com and get Gold until October 31, 2018.* Be sure to include:
Your first and last name
Your 9-digit WestJet Rewards ID (provided to you upon joining WestJet Rewards). If you’re not already a member you can join now.
A photo or scanned copy of your membership card in the other Canadian airline’s frequent flyer program showing your name, current status and valid dates. 

2. Take at least six WestJet flights between July 23 and October 31, 2018 and have your Gold status extended to December 31, 2018.* 

3. Also, get the WestJet RBC® World Elite Mastercard‡ between July 23 and December 31,2018 and receive 120 bonus WestJet dollars. Plus, you’ll have your Gold status extended to August 31, 2019.

Full details of this offer can be found here

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Hotel Review: Best Western Plus Moosomin Hotel, Saskatchewan


We welcome another hotel review from Rewards Canada contributor Bill Wheatley:

The Best Western Plus Moosomin Hotel is located on the TransCanada Highway approximately 20 kms west of the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border. Moosomin is a small town of approximately 2,700 residents.

This 79-room Hotel is relatively new having opened about 2.5 years ago. There is ample parking available both in front and behind the building. The frontage road also allows space for Semi-trailers to park.



The lobby area is very open and inviting with a fireplace and several couches located across from the Front Desk. A good place to relax and meet friends before heading off to your room or out to dinner. The Front Desk itself is located to the right as you walk in and has space to accommodate two sets of guests checking in (or out) at the same time. The staff were very professional and outgoing when I arrived and acknowledged me as a member of the Best Western Rewards program. I had reserved a single King, but I ended up with an upgrade to a King with sofa bed and kitchenette due to my Diamond Select status. The check-in process was very expedient, and I was given a welcome bag with 2 bottles of water, a small bag of mixed nuts and a snack bar. There is even a jar with complementary fresh cookies that you can help yourself to.


 My room was on the third floor close to the elevator. This Hotel uses the room keys that do not have the magnetic strip. Hence you don’t have to struggle inserting it the right way when your hands are full, it just needs to be waved at the lock to open.

The room was very neat and clean with a comfortable room temperature. Quite often when I get to my room the temperature is either stifling or way too cold. This was very nice to not have to immediately adjust the temperature. It was tastefully decorated with plenty of room for my luggage. (Even on a short trip, I usually have a suitcase, computer bag and camera bag). The 10’ ceiling gave the room a very open feeling which contributed to the overall comfort of the room.



The bathroom had a single sink with plenty of counter space and very good lighting.  There was even a light over the tub. The shower nozzle is about 7’ from the bottom of the tub, so that even taller people can have a comfortable shower without having to stoop to get their head under the water for rinsing. Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are provided in dispensers right in the shower. This is handy as it means you don’t have to get out of the shower to get the shampoo you forgot to bring into the shower with you. The water pressure was very good, and the water didn’t take long to heat up.
The kitchenette would be quite handy for someone staying a few days who wished to cook something of their own. The room is supplied with pots/pans/cutlery and place settings for 4. There is also the usual Keurig coffee maker, microwave and mini fridge.



The 42” flat screen TV is within a good viewing angle from either the bed or the sofa. Unfortunately, there is no HDTV (as is quite common in most hotels). The hotel doesn’t provide a channel listing, but there are 50+ channels to choose from.

There is a small desk available for your computer and other electronics with 4 electrical plugs available at the desk. All of these are located at desk height; therefore it is not necessary to have to climb under the desk to connect your equipment to charge. I found the Wi-Fi to be very good and did not experience any issues with disconnects or slow speeds (even with watching a Netflix movie).
Lamps are located on either side of the bed, both of which have an electrical plug. Very handy if you’re like me and use your phone for an alarm clock and still wish to have a full charge in the morning.

The bed itself was quite comfortable, it was easy to fall asleep and get a restful night of slumber. Even with my room facing the highway, the traffic noise was quite minimal and didn’t interfere with the quality of sleep.

There is a 24-hour Business Centre available located just off the lobby offering 2 computers and a printer for guest use.

The Fitness Centre (also available 24-hours) has a good selection of exercise equipment including free weights, treadmill, and stepper, to name a few. TV’s are also offered to help you catch up on the news/sports or your favorite show as you burn those calories.


The Pool area (7:00 am – 10:00 pm) also includes a hot tub along with half a dozen deck chairs to relax and perhaps read a book while the family burns off some energy in the pool. The maximum depth of the pool is 4’.



Breakfast is available from 6:00 am – 10:00 am daily in the Breakfast Room. They offer the usual assortment of juices (Apple, Orange and Cranberry) along with water, coffee and tea. Also available are cereals and toast along with egg wraps, hash browns, ham and assorted bagels and some fresh baked cinnamon buns.




The Moosomin Regional Park is a short 14 km drive from the hotel which offers a picnic area, boat launching, fish cleaning station, and a nice sandy beach. If you stop by in the beginning of August, Moosomin also has an annual 2-day fireworks competition (now in it’s ninth year).

This location is clean and well run and an asset to the Best Western Brand. I had a very comfortable stay here and would certainly recommend it for anyone travelling through the area.

Hotel details
Best Western Plus Moosomin Hotel  (Book here)
Best Western Rewards Points required for a free night 16,000 to 24,000 Points

Remember that until September 3rd, 2018 you can earn a $20 Best Western Gift Card for stays at this or any other Best Western hotel. Register for the offer here!

Talk to us! Have you stayed at the Best Western Plus Moosomin Hotel? What are your thoughts of the hotel? Or are you planning to and looking forward to it? Let us know below! 

Monday, July 23, 2018

NOW LIVE: IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks - book hotels for only 5,000 to 15,000 points per night until Sep 30, 18


The latest IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks hotel are now available for booking for 5,000 points to 15,000 points per award night for stays until Sep 30, 2018.

Remember the PointBreaks rules are that a member can only book up to 2 reward reservations per hotel participating in the individual offer.  My tip to get around this would be to book 2 reservations with one IHG Rewards Club account and then have your spouse book 2 more etc. Of course this is dependent on both accounts having enough points to redeem for these awards.  Also be sure to book these ASAP as soon as the list comes out as once the allotted nights are booked at certain locations those hotels will fall off the list.

Why are IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks such a great deal? Because they offer reward nights at participating IHG hotels Worldwide for as little as 5,000 Rewards Club points. For those of you not to familiar with IHG Rewards Club , normal redemption rates for Rewards Club reward nights run from as low as 10,000 points for some Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express locations to 70,000 points for ultra-luxurious InterContinental locations and even these locations can participate in Pointbreaks.

If you don't have enough points, even 0, you can buy points right now with up to a 100% bonus if you buy 26,000 or more points which works out to 0.5 cents per point. That means you can get each of the PointBreaks hotels for as little as US$25 per night. You can buy points with the bonus here until Aug 22, 18. 

An example of a good deal on this list the InterContinental Doha. This hotel normally starts at 35,000 points for standard room so the 15,000 point rate is more than 50% off. Something to look at if you are heading to Qatar between now and October!

Click here to view and book any of the current PointBreaks offers.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Amex Membership Rewards to the new Marriott Rewards/Starwood Preferred Guest program conversion rate is here!

A question that has been asked by many and to which I have not had the answer to is 'What will the Membership Rewards conversion rate be to the new Marriott/SPG program"! Many American Express cardholders (primarily Cobalt and Gold Rewards Card) have been wondering this and now we have the answer:

We now know that the conversion ratio will be 1,000 Membership Rewards points to 1,200 new Marriott/SPG points.  (Source American Express website)


 How does this compare to the current rates? It is a slight devaluation but not too bad at all. The current transfer rate is 2 Membership Rewards points = 1 Starpoint, which equates to 3 Marriott Rewards points. To compare apples to apples, currently 1,000 Membership Rewards Points will net you 1,500 Marriott Rewards points and for the new program you will only get 1,200 Marriott/Starwood points. This is a 20% devaluation and while all devaluations aren't good it's not as bad as some had predicted but not as good as other predicted. Some people were thinking it would drop to 1:1 (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Marriott/SPG points) while myself was being hopeful they would keep the equivalent of the current rate and go 1:1.5 (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,500 Marriott/SPG points)

So what does this mean for the Amex cards that allow conversions to SPG? Well the front runner since last fall has been the American Express Cobalt card earns 5 points per dollar on eats and drinks which equals 2.5 Starpoints. With the new conversion rate 5 points will now convert to 6 points in the new program (divide that by 3 and you are getting equivalent of 2 Starpoints per dollar which is still quite strong). For the American Express Gold Rewards card which earns 2 points per dollar on gas, groceries, drug store and travel purchases that equates to one Starpoint per dollar will drop to the equivalent of 0.8 Starpoints on those purchases or 2.4 points in the new program. As you can see the Cobalt card is still a strong Marriott/SPG earner however and the American Express Gold Rewards card still comes out ahead of the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express.

If you want to make sure you still get the most Starpoints for your Membership Rewards points you'll want to redeem by July 26 as the transfers will be unavailable from July 27 to August 9 after which the new rate will take effect.

Be sure to also visit our resource page on the Marriott/SPG integration for more details!



American Express Cobalt Card

Card Type: Credit
Monthly Fee: $10 Supplementary Cards: $0
Annual interest rate 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on funds advances; Missed payment applicable rates, 23.99% and/or 26.99%

• In your first year as a new Cobalt Cardmember, you can earn 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in net purchases on your Card. This could add up to 30,000 points in a year.
• Earn 5 points for every $1 spent on Card purchases at eligible restaurants, bars, grocery stores and food delivery in Canada
• Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible transit & gas purchases in Canada and eligible travel purchases. That’s 2X the points on purchases that get you from point A to B
• Earn 1 point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else. We won’t tell you where to spend, we’ll just reward you on your Card purchases
• Monthly Fee: $10 Supplementary Cards: $0
• Get advance access to tickets to some of the hottest concerts, shows and events through Front Of The Line® by American Express Invites® and advance screenings to blockbuster movies. Plus, more great perks.
• American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details, current product information and Terms and Conditions, click the Apply now link.
• Conditions Apply
Apply Now

Friday, July 20, 2018

Aeroplan reveals more details of the program post July 2020 - most economy redemptions remain the same, charter flights and conversion to other frequent flyer programs


Late yesterday evening Aeroplan sent out a press release and posted a video giving us a better picture of just some of what they are planning to offer come 2020 when they split from Air Canada. I was a little surprised by an evening news release on Thursday in July when many people are on summer holidays but maybe, just maybe, they heeded my advice.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with Jeremy Rabe who is the new CEO at Aimia, the parent company of Aeroplan. We discussed many topics during our hour long call and one thing I mentioned was to not leave the Canadian public hanging. The earlier news from May didn’t really give us much and I said if you have details of what the program will be like, even if it was just one good thing let us know, don’t wait and don’t give it a chance to lose members by keeping them in the dark. Now chances are I didn’t influence the decision for Aeroplan to release this news and video that they did last night but who knows maybe I did. ;-)

So let’s dive into what Aeroplan is telling us in the press release and video:

Economy Class award flight redemption rates will remain the same for most flights

In the phone call I stressed, as I have in some media interviews that to remain competitive in the market against programs like AIR MILES, proprietary credit card programs and even the new Air Canada program they can’t change their economy class offerings and the good news is they aren’t for the most part.

The press revealed that the following economy class redemptions will remain the same:

• North American short-haul: 15,000
• North American long-haul: 25,000
• Mexico and Caribbean: 40,000
• Europe: 60,000
• Asia: 75,000

These are published as ‘beginning at’ so it does appear Aeroplan's Market Fare pricing will still be part of the program still - that is if a flight is near capacity and the last few seats are pricing out high chances are you will be paying more miles than what is listed above.

We did discuss business class redemptions and I had mentioned they should try to keep business class at an out-sized value as one way to differentiate themselves from their main competitors but the press release mentions nothing so I have a feeling those will change.

Aeroplan (and most frequent flyer programs for that matter) are primarily economy class driven programs. That is when redeeming for travel most program members redeem for economy class and Aeroplan has confirmed this on numerous occasions. Firstly in last night's press release Aeroplan let’s us know that close to 95% of their redemptions will remain the same thanks to keeping the above mileage levels. What does that leave for the other 5%? It leaves economy Class redemptions to Hawaii, Australia, South Pacific, South America and Africa plus all premium economy, business class and first class redemptions. A few years ago Aeroplan raised the redemption rates for many International business class awards and they let us know at the time that it affected less than 2% of redemptions. So we know these premium class awards aren’t the primary or achievable goals for most Aeroplan members. You can even take an example from BMO and AIR MILES, remember when the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard offered an exclusive 25% discount on all flight redemptions worldwide but then changed it to North America only? That’s because almost no one redeemed for flights outside of North America as most members just couldn’t earn enough miles to do so. That is a similar case here with Aeroplan but more so on the economy vs. premium class rather than geographic area.

Any seat any airline

Aeroplan let us know back in April that they will become more flexible in the airlines you can choose. You will be able to book any seat on any airline with your miles. This means they are going to operate like an online travel agency but rather than paying cash you will pay in miles or as they mentioned in the video with a combination of cash and miles. Even if you don’t want to redeem miles you can pay all cash via the Aeroplan site and earn miles for flight, hotel, car rental and other bookings. Anyone remember destina.ca, the first time Aeroplan did this travel bookings? Aeroplan is definitely not going into this blind, they have the knowledge and experience!

Aeroplan only charter flights

Once again going on their past experience Aeroplan will begin offering charter flights that will be for Aeroplan members only. They did this many years ago in conjunction with CIBC for CIBC Aerogold cardholders who could redeem miles for these member only flights. (Here is the offer they had in 2013)

Convert Aeroplan miles to over 20 other frequent flyer programs

Jeremy asked me during our call about transferiring miles from programs and I thought he meant from hotels etc. to Aeroplan. I didn’t even think when he mentioned it about the miles going the other way! After the call I did contemplate it but not to other airlines rather to hotels just like you can with some frequent flyer programs (think Virgin Atlantic to Hilton) But I did not see this one coming - being able to transfer Aeroplan miles to almost 20 other frequent flyer programs! This may be huge but it will all depend on what the conversion rates are. And to many it may come as a surprise it’s not Torontos points.com who Aeroplan is teaming up with for this option! Instead it’s Singapore based Kaligo! Many Rewards Canada readers will recognize Kaligo as we have run exclusive promotions with them in the past and provide extensive coverage of their mileage bonuses for booking hotels with them such as this post: Current Bonus Mile & Point Offers for hotel stays booked via 3rd Party sites - Agoda, Kaligo, PointsHound, Rocketmiles. On the hotel booking site Kaligo has over 40 partners and chances are the almost 20 programs Aeroplan will offer will come from that list.
Which partners will Aeroplan choose?
The press release makes no mention of what will happen on the credit card front and that's simply because most of these contracts extend past 2020 so there shouldn't be many changes. Both TD and CIBC have contracts that run until 2024 with Aimia/Aeroplan although I would maybe see one of them cut the contract short if they bid on the new Air Canada program credit card portfolio and win it. I'd hedge my bets on CIBC for that one. The one card issuer we don't know about yet is American Express. Earlier this year American Express extended its agreement with Aimia/Aeroplan but only to June 29, 2020. That doesn't mean they won't extend it further after that but it does appear American Express is keeping its options open for July 2020.

There you have it. Aeroplan has now let us know what we can look forward to for the most part with the program. There hasn't been much said on earning miles, but that shouldn't change. If the earn is changed they will lose members to their competition that we mentioned earlier. Also there isn't too much mentioned about new earning partners but that sort of news is best kept to their own separate press releases like they did with Amazon.ca.

Related: The Air Canada Aeroplan Saga - All the resources you need

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this news! Are you happy with it? Will you stay with Aeroplan or will you still part ways? Does this give you a better feeling about what the program will be post July 2020? Tell us in the comments section below!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Summary of global hotel systemwide bonus points promotions - July Edition

One of the easiest ways to rack up lots of hotel points is to take advantage of the systemwide bonuses that come from many of the big chain programs and also from the lesser known programs. In fact, right now it should be rare for you NOT to earn a bonus. Unless you are staying at a boutique hotel or perhaps an Accor or Fairmont Hotel most other hotels out there have a bonus. So take advantage of it! These systemwide bonuses simply require you to register beforehand and they do not affect hotel pricing as long as you book a point eligible rate which are most rates out there. Of course booking through a third party site like Expedia or Rocketmiles does not count as most chains only award points on bookings that are made directly with them.  Without further ado here are all the current promotions that are available to everyone:

Provider
Offer
Validity Date
Best Western Rewards Earn a US$20 Best Western Travel Card on your next Best Western stay Worldwide. Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required) Until Sep 3, 18
For a complete listing of all Best Western Rewards bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's Best Western page
Choice Hotels Privileges Earn up to 8,000 Bonus Privileges Points (enough for a $50 Gift Card) for 2 separate stays you complete at participating Choice Hotels Worldwide. Stay must be booked via ChoiceHotels.com, the Choice Hotels mobile app, or 800.4CHOICE at qualifying rates. Members will be awarded a maximum of 8,000 bonus points, depending on the number of base points earned for 2 separate qualifying trips. Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required)

Restrictions
For Residents of the U.S. and Canada only
Jun 12 - Aug 17, 18
For a complete listing of all Choice Privileges bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's Choice page
Fairmont Presidents Club No Offers at this time
--
For a complete listing of all Fairmont bonus offers please visit Rewards Canada's Fairmont page
GHA Discovery No Offers at this time
--
For a complete listing of all GHA Discovery bonus offers please visit Rewards Canada's GHA page
Hilton Earn Double Points on all Hilton family of hotels stays Worldwide. Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required)

  • For every $1 spent on stays, you’ll earn 10 Base Points, plus an additional 10 Bonus Points (5 Base Points plus 5 Bonus Points at Home2 Suite by Hilton and Tru by Hilton). Silver, Gold & Diamond members will earn their Elite Tier Bonus on top of that. 
  • Excludes Hampton by Hilton Hotels in Mainland China.
May 1 - Aug 31, 18
For a complete listing of all Hilton HHonors bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's Hilton page
Hyatt Earn up to 1,000 Bonus World of Hyatt Points per night for stays at Hyatt hotels Worldwide.  Maximum of 25,000 bonus points awarded. Full details, online registration & booking (Registration is required)
- 500 bonus points per night for stays at Hyatt House or Hyatt Place
- 1,000 bonus points per night at all other Hyatt brands.
Until May 15, 18
For a complete listing of all Hyatt Gold Passport bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's Hyatt page
InterContinental Hotels Group IHG Rewards Club Accelerate: Earn 500 to 30,000 or more Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points when you complete stays at IHG Hotels Worldwide. Bonus varies by member  Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required) May 1 - Jul 31, 18
For a complete listing of all IHG Priority Club bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's IHG page
Le Club accorhotels No Offers at this time
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For a complete listing of all Best Western Rewards bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's Best Western page
Marriott No offers at this time - eagerly awaiting the first promotion of the combined program sometime in August! --
For a complete listing of all Marriott Rewards bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's Marriott page
Preferred Hotel Group iPrefer Double iPrefer Points and up to 35% off for last minute stays at participating Preferred Hotel Group hotels Worldwide.  Full details & online booking
Until Dec 31, 18
For a complete listing of all Marriott Rewards bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's iPrefer page
Radisson Rewards Double Points for all stays of 2 or more nights at participating Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson RED, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inn & Suites® by Radisson hotels worldwide Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required) ) Once registered you can book online at at Radisson, Park Plaza, Country Inns & Suites, Radisson Blu, Radisson Red or Park Inn  Until Aug 31, 18
Receive a USD $25 gift card of your choice when you stay 2 or more consecutive nights at a Radisson Hotel Group property in the U.S. and Canada. Full details & online booking
The Treat Yourself promotion includes an option of a $25 Amazon.com (or Amazon.ca for Canadian residents) or Starbucks Coffee Gift Card under the terms and conditions described below and is available for new reservations at all Radisson Hotel Group hotels in the U.S. and Canada
Book between Jul 8 - Aug 2 for stays until Sep 3, 18
For a complete listing of all Radisson Rewards bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's Radisson Rewards page
Ritz-Carlton Rewards No offers at this time - eagerly awaiting the first promotion of the combined program sometime in August! --
For a complete listing of all Shangria-La bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's Ritz-Carlton Rewards page
Shangri-La Golden Circle No Offers at this time
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For a complete listing of all Shangria-La bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's Golden Circle page
Sonesta Hotels Travel Pass No Offers at this time
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For a complete listing of all Sonesta Hotels bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's Travel Pass page
Starwood Preferred Guest No offers at this time - eagerly awaiting the first promotion of the combined program sometime in August! --
For a complete listing of all Starwood Preferred Guest bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's SPG page
Voila Hotel Rewards Triple VHR points & Double Elite Status Credit when you stay at participating VOILÀ network hotels Worldwide. Register Online (Registration is required) Until Nov 30, 18
30% Bonus VHR points when you stay at participating VOILÀ network hotels Worldwide. Register Online (Registration is required) Until Aug 31, 18
Double VHR Elite Status Credit when you stay 2 or more nights at participating VOILÀ network hotels Worldwide. Register Online (Registration is required) Until Jul 31, 18
For a complete listing of all Voila Hotel Rewards bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's VHR page
Wyndham Rewards Earn 7,500 Bonus Wyndham Rewards Points when you complete a stay at participating Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and pay for that stay using Masterpass. Bonus can be earned twice for a maximum of 15,000 points. Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required) Until Sep 1, 18
For a complete listing of all Wyndham Rewards bonus point offers please visit Rewards Canada's Wyndham page

July 19 Update: The Marriott Rewards Starwood Preferred Guest Merger - All the resources you need

 We are only a few weeks away from the complete integration of the Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards programs. Sometime in August they will become one program and to help navigate this for our readers we have compiled all of our articles and posts onto one page: The Marriott Rewards Starwood Preferred Guest Merger - All the resources you need. This summary page will help you find all the articles easily so that you can stay abreast of the merger of these programs that will be happening in August of 2018.

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
Save up to 15 % on Marriott stays in Canada! Book at a participating hotel by August 1, 2018 for stays until August 31, 2018 and save up to 10% on best available rates!  Marriott Rewards® Members save up to 5% more. Find out more here.

Hilton
Summer Sale - Save up to 25% on weekend stays in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Find out more here

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

Canadian Bonus Offers
Air Canada / Aeroplan
- 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you park for a minimum of 7 consecutive days at ValetParc at the Montreal airport. More... Until Sep 4, 18

Other Bonus Offers
Aeroflot Bonus
- Double Bonus Miles on all hotel stays booked via Aeroflot Hotels. More... Until Oct 21, 18
- 10,000 Bonus Miles when you stay for 7+ nights at participating Rixos Hotels in Turkey. More... Until Oct 31, 18

Alitalia MilleMiglia
- 3,000 Bonus MilleMiglia Miles when you rent with Avis for 3 or more days Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 18

IHG Rewards Club
- Up to a 100% Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points when you buy points online. More... Until Aug 22, 18

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus

- Triple ROP Mils for stays of 2+ nights at MGallery by Sofitel Hotels in Thailand. More... Until Sep 30, 18

Wyndham Rewards
- Earn 7,500 Bonus Wyndham Rewards Points when you completea a stay at participating Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and pay for that stay using Masterpass. More... Until Sep 1, 18

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