Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Earn up to 1,000 Bonus AIR MILES Reward Miles for shopping online until September 9

With less than a week left before most kids in Canada go back to school many families are out doing their last minute shopping for clothes and supplies. If you happen to be doing that shopping online and haven't done so yet you may want to funnel that shopping through as they offering up to 1,000 bonus AIR MILES when you shop at multiple partners until September 9.

  • Make purchases of $20 or more per store at two stores and you'll receive 100 bonus AIR MILES.
  • Make purchases of $20 or more per store at three stores and you'll receive 300 bonus AIR MILES.
  • Make purchases of $20 or more per store at five or more stores and you'll receive 1,000 bonus AIR MILES.
Simply visit for complete details!

Hilton Honors Moments Made Bigger - Earn up to Triple Points on all stays between September 10 and January 3

Hilton emailed us last night with the details of their next global system Honors bonus points promotion. It is essentially a continuation of their double points on all stays worldwide that we have now seen for quite some time however for this version there is an extra bonus if your stay is at a luxury or resort location in the Hilton family of hotels. That bonus is triple points per stay at those 243 specific locations.

Offer details:
Earn up to Triple Honors Points for stays at Hilton family of hotels Worldwide. Earn Triple points on all luxury and resort stays, double points on all other stays.  Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required) Sep 10 - Jan 3, 19

  • Registered Hilton Honors members will earn double points per stay on all non-luxury and non-resort properties and will earn triple points per stay at any luxury or resort property during the promotion period. Waldorf Astoria® Hotels and Resorts and Conrad® Hotels and Resorts are considered luxury properties. See here for a full list of luxury and resort properties that qualify for the Triple Points promotion
  • Excludes Hampton by Hilton Hotels in Mainland China.
Find many more Hilton Honors bonus points offer here (many of which can be stacked with this offer)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: Up to a 50% bonus when you buy miles until October 4

Just as we saw at this exact time last year (well within 2 days) Alaska Airlines has once again brought out their mystery bonus for buying Mileage Plan miles. The bonus can range from 35% to 50%. The bonus depends on the member and will be revealed when you log in to the buy miles page.

If you reveal the 50% you'll definitely want to consider buying the miles. We were targeted and after reading some other sites it seems many are targeted for the up to 50% bonus but there are some who are not and are getting lower options. If you get the 50% you definitely want to jump on this offer! With the 50% offer you are buying Mileage Plan Miles under U.S. 2 cents a piece:

Seeing that you can redeem miles for premium class flights on British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Hainan, Korean Air and more, there are lots of options for you to use these miles. Remember it only takes 70,000 Mileage Plan miles to fly Cathay Pacific First Class from North America to Asia and that flight alone will cost a lot more than US$1,773.75!

Remember there is no maximum limit on miles you can buy - it strictly limited to 60,000 miles per transaction so you can make multiple purchases if you like.

Offer details
Receive up to 50% Bonus Mileage Plan Miles when you buy miles online. Buy miles here Until Oct 4, 18
The bonus offer varies per member and ranges from 35% to 50% as the maximum bonus. Here is an example of the tiered 50% bonus:
  • Buy 10,000 – 19,000 miles and get a 20% bonus
  • Buy 20,000 – 39,000 miles and get a 35% bonus
  • Buy 40,000 – 60,000 miles and get a 50% bonus

Thursday, August 23, 2018

A portion of WestJet Vacations package purchases will now count towards WestJet Rewards elite status qualification

Many frequent flyer programs have allowed you to earn miles or points on vacation packages and even redeem miles or points for vacation packages. However you have never been able to earn elite status qualification on vacation packages with these programs and in what we believe to be an industry first, WestJet rewards becomes one of the first programs to now award elite status qualification with the purchase of WestJet Vacations packages.

As of August 20, 2018, WestJet Rewards has added another way for members to achieve the Silver or Gold tiers by including twenty per cent of their individual spend on WestJet Vacations packages to the qualifying spend calculation (i.e. the amount used to track a member’s progress in achieving or maintaining a top tier). This means if you buy a $1,500 package (before taxes and fees) to an all inclusive resort in Mexico you'll get $300 in qualifying spend towards Silver or Gold WestJet Rewards status. Here are the elite status qualifying requirements:

Unless you buy a lot of vacation packages (or buy really expensive ones - think Sandals or Beaches) chances are you won't reach an elite status on them alone but they will definitely help build your qualification amount up if you do fly with WestJet regularly as well.
Also, effective August 20, 2018, Gold members will see an increase in the WestJet dollars they earn on WestJet Vacations packages. For all bookings made on or after August 20, 2018, members in the Gold tier will earn 1.5% back on their individual portion of the base package price of an eligible WestJet Vacations package. Members in the Teal and Silver tiers will continue to earn at 0.5% and 1% back, respectively.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: Air Canada along with TD, CIBC and Visa reach a deal to purchase Aeroplan

It appears the Aeroplan Air Canada saga may have come to a close today! It has just been announced that the consortium of Air Canada, TD, CIBC and Visa have reached a deal to purchase Aeroplan from its parent company Aimia. It appears that Aeroplan's posturing and Aimia'svaluation of $450 million has been met by the consortium. It is still subject to negotiation which really should only be for ironing out some minor details. I would have to say everyone can relax, take a breather and be happy you won't have to rush out and use up your miles...... although we still don't have details of the new program come 2020 that Aeroplan will be rolled into. Here's to crossing our fingers that Air Canada doesn't mess it up hugely. Oh and seeing that TD, CIBC and Visa are part owners there is a good chance that American Express will be out as a partner.

Here is the main body of the press release that came out about an hour ago:

  • Purchase price consists of $450 million in cash and the assumption of approximately $1.9 billion of Aeroplan Miles liability 
  • Agreement in principle was unanimously approved by Aimia's Board of Directors and is supported by Mittleman Brothers 
  • Transaction would provide value for Aimia and its shareholders and continuity for Aeroplan members and customers of Air Canada, TD, CIBC and Visa
  • Transaction subject to negotiation of definitive agreements and other conditions; completion expected fall 2018
TORONTO, Aug. 21, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada, The Toronto-Dominion Bank ("TD"), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ("CIBC"), Visa Canada Corporation ("Visa") (collectively, "the Consortium") and Aimia Inc. ("Aimia") announced today that they have entered into an agreement in principle for the acquisition of Aimia's Aeroplan loyalty business.

"We are pleased to see that an agreement in principle has been reached as Aeroplan members can continue to earn and redeem with confidence. This transaction, if completed, should produce the best outcome for all stakeholders, including Aeroplan Members, as it would allow for a smooth transition to Air Canada's new loyalty program launching in 2020, safeguarding their miles and providing convenience and value for millions of Canadians," said Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada, on behalf of the consortium. 

The transaction is expected to deliver significant value to Aimia's stakeholders and the agreement in principle was approved unanimously by Aimia's Board of Directors upon recommendation by its Special Committee of independent directors.  Mittleman Brothers, LLC, Aimia's largest shareholder who owns approximately 17.6% of Aimia's common shares, has provided a lock-up and support agreement under which it has agreed to vote in favour of the proposed transaction.

The aggregate purchase price consists of $450 million in cash and is on a cash-free, debt-free basis and includes the assumption of approximately $1.9 billion of Aeroplan Miles liability. 

The transaction is subject to the satisfactory conclusion of definitive transaction documents, Aimia shareholder approval, and certain other conditions, including due diligence, receipt of customary regulatory approvals and completion by the Consortium of credit card loyalty program and network agreements for future participation in Air Canada's new loyalty program.

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express is back with a 50,000 point sign up bonus

This past weekend marked the official integration of the Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Starwood Preferred Guest hotel loyalty programs. While integrated, the three programs will still run under separate names until the new year when a unified program name and name for the currency will be revealed. So right now, the currency is being simply referred to as 'Points' and we still have the Starwood branded credit cards until then.

In anticipation of the integration the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express was pulled from the market temporarily in late July. It had already gone through one transformation earlier in the year when the typical bonus points offered for getting the card was replaced with hotel credits. We knew that the U.S. card would be getting bonus points offer back as those details were revealed several months ago. At that time we asked Amex Canada if the same thing would happen here and they said it would but wouldn't reveal what the offer would be.

Fast forward to today and we now know what the offer is with the relaunch of the card today. The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express will now offer 50,000 bonus points in the new program when you spend $1,500 on the card within 3 months of approval. Now 50,000 points may sound big but you have to remember those are points for the new program (well essentially Marriott Rewards points) and those are worth 1/3 of what Starpoint was worth before the integration. To compare apples to apples, this 50,000 point sign up bonus is the equivalent of 16,667 Starpoints and you will probably recall the card offered a 20,000 Starpoint bonus for the longest time, with 25,000 being recently offered for old Marriott Visa cardholders. The base sign up bonus on the card was 15,000 Starpoints but we hadn't seen that in several years so one could take 20,000 as the level to compare to the new card. This means the new sign up bonus is nearly 17% lower than what we were accustomed to.

Here's the thing though, 50,000 points is still a pretty good sign up bonus based on the new combined program award chart. Its value, anywhere from $400 to $500 is still significantly higher than many other card sign up bonuses in Canada.

It can get you up to 10 nights in a Category 1 hotel during off-peak times, 4 standard nights in a Category 2 hotel, 1 night in a Category 6 hotel during standard times or even Category 7 for off-peak. Still 60,000 points (which would equal 20,000 Starpoints) would have been an ideal bonus offer to offer on this card, at least for a limited time, to soften the blow of the lower card earn rates and lesser elite benefits in the new program.

The sign up bonus is not the only decrease on the card, as we previously revealed in June, the everyday spend earn rate on the card is also lower. The card will earn 2 points per dollar spent. This is a down from the previous earn rate of 1 Starpoint per dollar spent which was equivalent to 3 Marriott Rewards points. So it is a 33% reduction in earn for most spending made on this card. For Marriott and Starwood purchases, the new earn rate is 5 points per dollar - again another devaluation from the previous promotional rate of 2 Starpoints per dollar or 6 Marriott Rewards points.

On the bright side, as we already knew as well from the post in June the card does now come with annual free night award without the spend requirement that was on the previous iteration of the card and it also includes automatic Silver Elite status which isn't much but better than nothing I guess! The card also retains Gold Elite status after $30,000 in spending however that elite status level has lost some lustre in the new combined program. It has also been mentioned in literature from American Express that the card will provide elite night credits starting in 2019. Our guess would be 15 like we saw on the Marriott Visa card.

It is unfortunate to see what has been one of the best cards in Canada take some of these hits to what made it so good. I know some people may not get the card now but the value is still relatively high when comparing it to other cards in our market. For us, we already have this card in our family card portfolio and will keep it for the annual free night, the elite night credits that will come in 2019 and for paying for our Marriott and Starwood stays.

How about you? Will you apply for the new version of the card? Or if you already have it will you keep it? Let us know in the comments section below!

To learn more about the Marriott SPG integration please visit our resource page here.

Here are the details of the re-released Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express:

Friday, August 17, 2018

August 17 Update: Last day before Marriott Rewards & Starwood Preferred Guest integration, 2x Mileage Plan miles between Vancouver & Frankfurt

Today is your last day to book hotel stays (paid or reward) separately from the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs. As of tomorrow the programs will be integrated. If you have been holding out to book a reward stay and it's at a hotel that is going up in price as of tomorrow you only have a short period of time today to get it for lower points! Visit our resource page on The Marriott Rewards Starwood Preferred Guest Merger for all the details about the merger.

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
Stash Hotel Rewards
have a flash sale where you can save up to 55% off on stays at their partner hotels. Find out more here.

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

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- Double Mileage Plan miles when you fly on Condor from Vancouver, B.C. to Frankfurt. More... Register by Aug 31 for travel Oct 1 - Apr 30, 19

Other Bonus Offers
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- Double Mileage Plan miles when you fly on Condor from Anchorage, Fairbanks, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle or Vancouver, B.C. to Frankfurt. More... Register by Aug 31 for travel Oct 1 - Apr 30, 19

Alitalia MilleMiglia
- Earn up to Quadruple MilleMiglia Miles for stays at Accor Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 18

Best Western Rewards
- Double Rewards Points for stays at Best Western Hotels in Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, or Vietnam. More... Until Oct 31, 18

IHG Rewards Club
- Triple IHG Rewards Club Points for stays at the Avid Hotel Oklahoma City. More... Until Dec 31, 18

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

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

Another friendly reminder about The Hilton Summer Sale! Don't Miss Out On Savings Of Up To 25% On Selected Hotels in Europe, Middle East & Africa. #ad #sponsored

Make your summer one to remember with the Hilton Sale. Save up to 25% off breaks across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. To access our best savings, simply join Hilton Honors for free while you book. With hotels in over 100 locations, there is a break for every occasion.

Stays must be booked by September 3, 2018 and completed on weekends until October 7, 2018. Remember that you should also be earning Double Points on these stays with the current summer Hilton Honors promotion that runs until September 9. Find that and all other Honors bonuses here.

Discounts are up to 15% off the Best Available Rate and Best Available Bed & Breakfast Rate and vary by property, excluding Hampton by HiltonTM hotels where the discount is up to 10% off. The Summer Sale Hilton Honors member rates are an additional 10% off the Best Available Rate and the Best Available Bed and Breakfast Rate, for weekend stays.

Click here to take advantage of the Hilton Summer sale 

For purposes of this offer, "weekend" is defined as Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday nights and in Middle East (excluding Turkey, Lebanon, Morocco, Africa) as Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday nights. Must book a minimum 3 days before arrival, this may vary and be reduced at points throughout the campaign

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Top 5 Credit Card Sign Up offers for August

Here are the Rewards Canada Top 5 Credit Card Sign Up offers for the month of August! This is not a 'best' credit card list like our Top Travel Rewards Credit Card rankings but instead a look at cards that have very good acquisition (sign up) offers. As always when choosing a card you should always take other factors into account other than the just sign up bonus, but when most or all of these cards are first year free, they can and do pay off even when you grab them strictly for the sign up rewards. In fact all of the cards on this list are first year free or have no annual fee so you can try them out at no cost and decide later on if the card is right for you. All the while you earn the sign up bonus which can be used to subsidize your travels!

Only one change this month as the first year free offer on the RBC Visa Infinite Avion is no longer available. That offer has been replaced with the no annual fee mbna Best Western Rewards Mastercard.

Here are our top 5 credit card sign up offers for August (in alphabetical order)

BMO Rewards Mastercard- 20,000 Points  (Apply here)
Included in the revamped BMO Rewards program that essentially sees the program devalued the BMO Rewards Mastercard has never been on this list before. It now makes the list because it actually has a limited time sign up bonus and the card has no annual fee so these 20,000 points (worth ~$142) come to you at no charge.  10,000 points are awarded after the 1st purchase and then 10,000 more if you can hit $1,000 in spending in the first three months.

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite - 15,000 Points (Apply Here)
The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card now offers a 15,000 Aventura Points sign up bonus worth up to $300 in travel depending on what type of flight you redeem for and since the annual fee of $120 (and supplementary cards are waived as well) those 15,000 points come at no cost to you. The current offer also includes a $100 travel credit if you book travel via CIBC!

HSBC World Elite Mastercard - 30,000 points (Apply here)
This is first time we have featured a HSBC card in the Top 5 list as HSBC makes a big acquisition push for their newly released World Elite Mastercard. The card has a 20,000 point welcome bonus and then awards another 10,000 points when you spend $1,000 on the card within 90 days. All of this of course with the first year annual fee being waived! Those 30,000 points are worth $150 in travel rewards. Those points can also be converted to British Airways Executive Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles or Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. Also of note is this card has no Foreign Transaction Fees!

mbna Best Western Mastercard - 20,000 Points (Apply here)
The mbna Best Western Mastercard is a no annual fee card so there isn't a time limit to grab it but it is one you get now, cancel and grab again in the future. The 20,000 points is enough points to redeem for one to two nights at many Best Western hotels or you can even convert them to one of Best Western Rewards airline partners like Aeroplan or British Airways. The 20,000 points equates to 4,000 miles in most of their 20 airline partner programs. First Class Visa Infinite Card - 40,000 Points (Apply here)
Last time this card was being featured with no annual fee in the first year was back in February! It's nice to see it return albeit with a slightly lower sign up bonus of 40,000 points versus 50,000 back in February You get the standard sign up bonus of 20,000 points upon approval and another 20,000 if you keep your account active an in good standing for 90 days. Those 40,000 points translate to $160 worth of travel credits for any travel booking or $200 worth of travel for bookings made via Expedia For TD

If you went for all these cards you ultimately could end up with at least $1,000 in travel credits but even if you only take on one or two you are helping your travel budget significantly at no cost other than regular credit card spend

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

August 14 Update: Aeroplan Moments Worth Millions returns, Marriott/SPG outages starting tomorrow, new WestJet routes & more!

Aeroplan's Moments Worth Millions promotion is back! Aeroplan Members have a chance to win 1 million miles each week for five weeks simply by sharing a travel photo/video using #withaeroplan. Click here for more information:

As the August 18 integration of Marriott and SPG quickly approaches they programs have been sending out emails to their members advising them of intermittent system outages starting on August 15 for Marriott Rewards and August 18 for SPG. This all to do with the launch of the combined program! Short term pain for long term gain hopefully!

During this period, you may experience disruptions with:
• Contacting Member Support
• Making a new reservation
• Managing an existing reservation
• Accessing or updating your account
• Using our Mobile app
• Using points

As of September 4 WestJet via WestJet Encore will start flying direct between Calgary and Terrace BC. The flights will operate twice per week. (Source WestJet)

Also announced since our last update is WestJet's winter 2018/19 schedule that will see new flights between Calgary and Montego Bay, Jamaica as well as between Saskatoon and Orlando.Along with these new routes there increases to frequencies on a lot of WestJet's routes. You can find all the details out on these new routes here.

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
Stash Hotel Rewards
have a flash sale where you can save up to 55% off on stays at their partner hotels. Find out more here.

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
Marriott Rewards
- Earn up to 10,000 Bonus Rewards Points PER NIGHT for stays at the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain. More... Until Sep 15, 18
- Earn up to 7,500 Bonus Rewards Points for stays at the TownePlace Suites London, Ontario. More... Until Sep 22, 18
- 2,000 Bonus Rewards Points per stay at the at the Courtyard By Marriott Waterloo St. Jacobs More... Until Sep 22, 18
- 500 Bonus Rewards Points when you stay 3 consecutive nights - Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the TownePlace Suites Thunder Bay. More... Until Sep 30, 18

Other Bonus Offers
American AAdvantage
- Earn up to 85,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles and save 10% when you buy or gift American AAdvantage Miles. More... Until Aug 31, 18
- Triple AAdvantage Miles per stay at La Quinta properties in the U.S., Mexico, Central America and Canada. More... Until Dec 31, 18

Copa ConnectMiles
- Earn up to 1,000 Bonus ConnectMiles on qualifying rentals a t participating Avis airport locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad, Bahamas, St. Maarten, Haiti, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. More... Until Nov 15, 18

Hilton Honors
- OFFER EXTENDED Earn Double Points on all Hilton family of hotels stays Worldwide. More... Until Sep 9, 18

La Quinta Returns
- Earn up to Triple Returns Points for stays at participating La Quinta locations in the U.S.. More... Until Sep 9, 18

Le Club AccorHotels
- Earn up to 4x Le Club AccorHotels Points for stays at participating Accor Hotels in France. More... Book by Aug 31 for stays until Dec 31, 19

Miles & More
- 2,500 Bonus Miles & More Miles per stay at any Hilton family of hotels locations Worldwide. More... Until Oct 31, 18
- Double Miles & More Miles for stays at any participating Accor Hotel locations Worldwide. More... Book by Aug 31 for stays until Sep 30, 18

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Edmonton to Europe in Business Class for as little as 53,000 miles round trip with the latest Flying Blue Promo Rewards

It has been a few months since we have predominantly featured the Air France KLM Flying Blue Promo Rewards here on Rewards Canada. This has been due to a couple of reasons - two months ago it was because there were no Canadian cities included and for July... well, I kind of forgot about it!

Since the last time we covered this promotion, Flying Blue introduced their new award pricing that has done away with the traditional award chart and moved to dynamic pricing. There are both pros and cons to this when it comes to Flying Blue's Promo Rewards. The pro is that there are routes/times the miles required will actually be less than they used to be with the old Promo Awards - yes the used to be Promo Awards and are now called Promo Rewards 🤷.  While the con is that there are routes/times that may be higher than they used to price at. Also the dynamic or variable pricing doesn't always make sense on as you'll find out below.

Now onto the actual newest set of Air France KLM's Promo Rewards!  This time we only see three Canadian cities included. With promo awards the discount ranges from 25 to 50% off the regular amount of miles required to redeem for these flights. As you can see just by the discount this can be a very good offer if you get 50% off for Business Class! This set does see one half off business class offer from Edmonton to Europe,  25% off business class out of Calgary and 25% off both business or economy class out of Vancouver. While 25% isn't as good as 50% of course, it still is something to look at if you were planning travel to Europe in the fall.

Offer details
August Promo Rewards - Save 20% to 50% on the Award Miles usually required for an award ticket. Destinations vary by each promotional period. Full Details Book by Aug 30 for travel Sep 30 - Nov 29, 18
This month sees:
Calgary to Europe: 25% off Business Class on KLM
Edmonton to Europe: 50% off Business Class on KLM
Vancouver to Europe: 25% off Economy or Business Class on Air France or KLM

Here are the mileage requirements for flying from any of the cities to Amsterdam as well as Paris from Vancouver

And an example of some of the availability from Edmonton to Amsterdam:
Definitely a lot more availability going out than coming back but again this is only a one month spotlight of the two month travel window. You could easily go for a week late in October:
Not bad at all - 60,500 miles and $635.12 in fees and taxes for business class. Under the old promo awards this flight would have been 62,500 miles plus the same fees. Yes the fees are on the high side but most other programs who may have lower fees would be costing you at least 50% more miles.

Next I was going to give an example of how routes are variable and where you would have to connect via Amsterdam or Paris would become more expensive then the direct flight. However in my search I randomly selected Milan Italy and it screwed everything up. Have a look:
Only 58,000 miles and close to the same amount of taxes. People have said that the new Air France KLM award rates make no sense and here is an example of that!

And an even cheaper route (can you tell I had fun last night searching for the cheapest biz class offers from YEG to Europe?)
That's unheard of! Only 53,000 miles to fly Business Class round trip?!?

Even the 25% off Economy Class between Vancouver and Amsterdam or Milan is a good deal

Don't have enough miles to redeem? You could look to pad your Flying Blue account to get these award flights by taking advantage of Marriott's Travel Packages where you can get 7 nights and miles as follows (although these packages are less valuable than Package #1 options):

However you would need to redeem by August 17th because as of August 18 they are being massively devalued. Of course you have to have enough Starpoints/Marriott Rewards Points to do this in the first place. Your other option is to also do a straight conversion from SPG to Air France KLM where you can get 25,000 Flying Blue Miles for every 20,000 Starpoints so that Edmonton-Brussels flight could be had for 43,000 Starpoints! As of August 18th, you will be able to convert from Marriott to Flying Blue at this same ratio, albeit 60,000 Marriott Rewards points will net you 25,000 miles.

All in all there are quite a few good deals to be had with this latest Promo Rewards from Air France KLM's Flying Blue program, especially so if you can take advantage of the 50% off business class flights from Edmonton!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

BMO World Elite Mastercards switch from Priority Pass to Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey

As of today, BMO's three World Elite Mastercard products will no longer offer Priority Pass memberships and lounge visits as a benefit. Instead they are moving in sync with most World Elite products that are using the Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey.

LoungeKey works in a similar fashion to Priority Pass so existing cardholders who have become accustomed to PP shouldn't fear. In fact both companies are owned by the same parent company so it's no wonder they are very similar to each other. LoungeKey offers access to over 1,000 airport lounges Worldwide so the coverage is very similar. The major difference between Priority Pass and LoungeKey, which isn't of significance to World Elite Mastercard holders is that unlike Priority Pass, LoungeKey membership cannot be purchased by anyone rather it is only supplied to Mastercard cardholders around the world. The good news is you don't need the separate membership card like the one that is provided by Priority Pass, your Mastercard card acts as your membership card.

Related: Rewards Canada's Guide to Business Class Lounge Access

You may be asking, "OK so the membership is now LoungeKey but the old Priority Pass option gave me some free lounge visits with my card" Well that is still the case for the BMO Rewards World Elite Mastercard and the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard which get 4 and 2 annual complimentary passes respectively. The BMO CashBack World Elite MasterCard gets you the Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey membership but no complimentary passes. Once you use up those passes or in the case of the Cash Back card have no passes each lounge visit is US$27. This is a familiar number as it the same price charged by Priority Pass.

You can find the details of the three cards listed above and other cards offered BMO on our BMO Credit Card - Bonus Mile & Point Offers page

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Miles & More - 2,500 Bonus Miles for Hilton stays that can be stacked with the Honors Double Points promotion

A very generous offer for Hilton stays is out now where you can earn 2,500 Miles & More for every Hilton stay until the end of October. The great thing about this offer is that you can still earn Hilton Honors points on all those stays which means you can take advantage of the current global double points offer that runs until September 9. If you don't think you may have a use for the Miles & More miles right now I would register anyway to collect them over and above your Honors points.

Offer details
2,500 Bonus Miles & More Miles per stay at any Hilton family of hotels locations Worldwide. Full details, online registration & booking (Registration is required) Until Oct 31, 18
You must ensure you add your Miles & More member number to your Hilton Honors profile to earn the bonus miles

Aeroplan adds Ultra Low Cost Carrier Flair Airlines as a preferred partner

Just as I hit 'post' for the Aeroplan Air Transat announcement an email notification popped up with another press release from Aeroplan - "Aeroplan and Flair Airlines Announce Preferred Partnership"

Now we have another leisure airline being added and this one is an Ultra Low Cost Carrier. Part of me was hoping we wouldn't see this sort of partnership, I mean Air Transat is one thing, but Flair Airlines is bare bones where you have to pay for everything (carry on bag fees, airport counter fees etc), it's no Air Canada, it's no WestJet but again it is an airline the average Canadian who travels less than once a year would fly to visit friends or family across Canada. It once again makes sense for a  portion of Aeroplan members who only collect a few miles here and there - they aren't going to earn enough miles to fly to Australia and need some closer in options.
Starting July 2020, Aeroplan Members will be able to both earn Aeroplan Miles when booking flights on Flair routes and redeem for flights at fixed-rate fares.

"The addition of Flair Airlines as a preferred partner airline further strengthens our air offering in Canada for Aeroplan Members come July 2020," said Jeremy Rabe, Chief Executive Officer, Aimia. "In addition to providing members with the ability to fly any airline, anywhere, this relationship with Flair will give our members exceptional value for popular Western Canada routes."
When flying with Flair Airlines, a Canadian low-fare airline, Aeroplan Members will earn Aeroplan Miles for their flight and ancillary product purchases and have the ability to redeem for Flair flights at fixed-rate fares.  The relationship with Flair Airlines will give Aeroplan Members new redemption options, particularly those travelling out of Flair's Edmonton hub, extending from coast to coast and upcoming southern destinations.
 Flair Airlines is a young airline that used to be known as newleaf who have been expanding their service across Canada - however with WestJet launching Swoop earlier this year and our already existing airlines Air Canada and WestJet also competing for traffic across Canada we don't know if Flair will be around in two years, these airlines don't have a good track record in Canada (think JetsGo, Greyhound Air, Canjet). I hope they are so that there is this option for Aeroplan members but this is perhaps one bit of news I would have maybe kept under wraps just to see how the airline does over the next couple of years.

Here is Flair's route network as of August 2018:

Aeroplan has now added two new chapters to ongoing Aeroplan Air Canada saga today and we'll add it to our summary that we always remind our readers of where you can keep track of it all this news. on our