Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Etihad Airways to join Aeroplan as an airline mileage earning partner

Aeroplan will be adding a new airline partner tomorrow!



UAE's Etihad Airways will be an earning partner as of May 1st. It does appear there are no redemption options when this partnership kicks off but hopefully that will come shortly. Also there will not be any elite status benefits being extended by Etihad to Air Canada Altitude members.

Here is a link to the news.

Aeroplan update from Air Canada - fewer miles for Market Fare Flight Rewards and more


Here is the latest news on Air Canada's takeover of Aeroplan. It is dated May 1 but it is already up on the Aeroplan website:
Back in January, we shared the news that Air Canada had completed its acquisition of Aeroplan, delivering on our promise to keep your Aeroplan Miles safe, and bringing us a big step closer to launching a more rewarding loyalty program for our customers.

Building a more rewarding Aeroplan program that provides unbeatable value for members remains our first priority.

This starts now, with more value for your Aeroplan Miles. Since the acquisition, and compared to last year, we've already started making improvements to Aeroplan:

Go where you want – for fewer Miles. We've introduced exclusive Market Fare Flight Reward promotions to our most popular destinations. For example, Florida, certain destinations in Southwest U.S., and Hawaii are all on sale right now. Keep an eye out for many more promotions like this one.

A better deal on Market Fare Flight Rewards. You can redeem Market Fare Flight Rewards for 15% fewer Miles on average. On North American routes, we've also increased by 45% the number of "Great Deals" (bookings requiring fewer Miles for Market Fare than for Fixed Mileage).

More Air Canada Gift Cards, for less. You can now redeem Air Canada gift cards for 25% fewer Miles than before. Air Canada Vacations® gift cards are a better deal now, too, and for Air Canada Vacation packages, you can now use $100 to $5000 worth of Miles to pay for your package.

Still the best value on Air Canada. Aeroplan has the lowest fixed fare redemption options among Canadian loyalty travel programs, with only 7,500 Miles needed for a one-way, short haul flight with no advance purchase or roundtrip required.

This is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more updates and surprises (the good kind) as we celebrate Aeroplan's 35th anniversary this year and move closer to launching a more rewarding program in 2020.

The Market Fare Flight Rewards sale we posted about earlier today is the example from the first point. Glad to hear they are lowering Market Fare Reward pricing - I'll have to delve into this a bit deeper in the coming weeks. Finally they say good kind of updates and surprises coming later this year so we'll be anxiously awaiting those!

A look at how the current TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card sign up offer of up to 30,000 miles can provide huge value!

PLEASE NOTE: The 30,000 mile welcome bonus detailed in this post has ended. The current offer is 25,000 miles which still can provide up to $1,450 in value (as of June 12, 2019)

Back in February TD launched one of the richest offers yet for the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card. The offer provides an awesome welcome bonus of up to 30,000 Aeroplan Miles and a first year annual fee rebate for the primary card. The 30,000 Aeroplan Miles welcome bonus is split as 15,000 miles upon your first purchase and another 15,000 miles when you spend $1,000 on the card within the first 90 days of opening your account. For most people this shouldn't be too hard as that will equate to $333.33 in spending per month.no fee etc. This offer ends on June 2, 2019

The questions is after you get the card and receive the miles,  how can you get really good value from them?

To start, here is a broad example of what 30,000 Aeroplan Miles can get you:
  • 2 round trip economy class short haul flights in Canada & Continental USA
  • 1 round trip or 2 one way economy class long haul flights in Canada & Continental USA 
  • 1 one way economy class ticket from Canada to Hawaii, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America or Europe
  • 1 round trip business class short haul flight in Canada & Continental USA
  • 1 one way business class long haul flights in Canada & Continental USA, or to Mexico, Caribbean or Central America


That's great but what is the value of those 30,000 miles? With so many great welcome offers available right now on a variety of travel rewards credit card why would I want to pick the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card over others? You would want to because this card has the ability to get value from as little as $300 to well over $1,000 just from the points - not additional benefits like we see added into 'value' propositions from other cards. You have to remember as well - the card is first year free - so outside of the minimum spend requirement, these miles are coming to you for free.

Enough blabbing! Let's look at some examples!

All of the examples below require miles that are at or below the sign up bonus of this card:

Let's look at Sudbury to Montreal for August 12 to 18:

This round trip flight is 15,000 miles + $182.81 in taxes and fees. To buy the flight outright with Air Canada would cost $363.40. The savings is $180.59 or 1.2 cents per mile. Taking that 1.2 cents per mile value means the 30,000 Mile sign up bonus from the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card would be worth $361. Not bad but we can do better!

Toronto-New York La Guardia for August 16 to 20


This round trip flight is 17,300 miles + $127.06 in taxes and fees. To buy the flight outright with Air Canada would cost $342.39. The savings is $215.33 or 1.24 cents per mile. Taking that 1.24 cents per miles value means the 30,000 Mile sign up bonus from the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card would be worth $373.

Ok those are so-so offers and they are ones that many Canadians would typically book but lets look another popular route. I know some of you like to see higher value per mile redeemed and sometimes you get can real out-sized value from the program. Here is one of those, Toronto to San Francisco for a weekend in the height of summer:


This round trip flight is 25,000 miles + $199.51 in taxes and fees. To buy the flight outright with Air Canada would cost $967.14. The savings is $767.63 or 3.07 cents per mile. Taking that 3.07 cents per miles value means the 30,000 Mile sign up bonus from the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card would be worth $921!  But wait, we can do even better....

How about doing a one-way in business class on the same route as above on the same outbound date - and there's a bonus - it is on Boeing 777-300 with lie flat seats:



This round trip flight is 25,000 miles + $124.69 in taxes and fees. To buy the flight outright with Air Canada would cost $1573.21. The savings is $1448.52 or 5.8 cents per mile. Taking that 5.8 cents per mile value means the 30,000 Mile sign up bonus from the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card would be worth $1,738! 

Are you starting to get the picture here? Sure people like to nitpick on airline frequent flyer programs on how seats aren't available, dates aren't available, too many miles are required. And this isn't false - this is true in many cases when you need to travel when everyone else does. But as we have preached for 18 years, if you can be flexible in your travel (ie you don't need to travel during Spring Break or Christmas and can move your vacations around by a few days) then the best bang for your buck are always going to be frequent flyer and frequent guest programs.

Related: A look at how The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card provides huge value!

If this isn't you then you are probably still best suited to take part in proprietary credit Card reward programs

Related: Why proprietary credit card reward programs are the best option for most Canadians




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Sponsored advertising. The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete and current information on any TD product, please visit the TD site.

April 30 Update: Marriott's first Moxy in Canada will be in Banff, Aeroplan Market Fare Flight Rewards Sale and more!

Marriott's Moxy brand will be opening their first location under this banner in Banff. It will be operated by Canalta Hotels (they have their own hotels as well) who bought the Voyager Inn and they will be doing a major renovation to it before it opens as a Moxy in May 2021 - yes it is still two years away although the hotel will be open as much as possible during those renos as the Voyager Inn. (Source Canadian Lodging News)

The 88-room Voyager Inn opened in 1964 as the first commercial motor hotel built in Banff. "We will be doing a very extensive renovation, taking it down to the bones and adding 12 rooms and underground parking to the back." They will take some meeting space from the original building to make some lofts, for a total of 106 rooms.


One key feature will be the bar. "Guests can check in at the bar," Christianson said. "We'll have a large and very interesting heated pool and hot tub in the courtyard. It will be an activated area with fireplaces. There's a pool there now, but it will be redone." There will also be a big emphasis on games in the lobby.
The rooftop will also be a "pretty awesome space with a bar and fire pits," said Christianson, adding that there's nothing there now. "The view will be amazing. It will offer a chance for guests to get outside all year, with fun, games and family activities."
The rooftop will also be available for events, small weddings and corporate parties. The bar will be enclosed and the rest open. There will also be see-through igloos, plus a rooftop hot tub, steam room and sauna. This spa area will be branded.
http://Aeroplan.com



Aeroplan is offering lower mileage requirements for select Market Fare Flights Rewards on Air Canada within North America and from Canada to Asia, Europe and Hawaii. Book by May 20 for travel May 1 - Sep 30, 19. Visit Aeroplan.com to search for your flights!
Here are just a few examples:

I know Europe's not the best example due to the high taxes and fees - might be better to search for some of the North American routes to get real value.



Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals

 Fly British Airways from Canada to London for as little as $744! 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
- Earn up to 3,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you fly on select Air Canada routes in Canada, or between Canada and the U.S., Sun Destinations, Europe or Asia. More... Register and book by May 13 for travel until Aug 30, 19
- Earn up to 5x Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you shop online via the Aeroplan eStore shopping portal. More... Until May 12, 19

Air France KLM Flying Blue
- May Promo Rewards – Save 25% on the Award Miles required for a business class reward ticket between Toronto and Europe. More... Book by May 31  for travel Jul 1 – Aug 31, 19

Other Bonus Offers

ANA Mileage Club
- Double Mileage Club Miles when you fly on ANA between Seattle and Tokyo Narita. More... Until May 31, 19

IHG Rewards Club
- Earn up to Triple IHG Rewards Club Points starting with your second stay at IHG Hotels Worldwide. More... For residents of Greater China (includes Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan) Register by Aug 17 for stays until Aug 31, 19

Le Club AccorHotels
- Double Le Club AccorHotels Points & up to 25% off for stays at participating Fairmont, Swissotel, Sofitel, Pullman and 21c Museum Hotels properties in North & Central America. More... Book by Aug 31 for stays until Sep 30, 19

Marriott Bonvoy
- 3,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for stays at the Aloft Perth. More... Until Jul 13, 19
- 2,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points PER NIGHT for stays at the Sheraton Grand Seattle. More... Until Jul 12, 19

Philippine Airlines Mabuhay
- 50% Bonus Mabuhay Miles for stays of 2 nights or more at Swiss-Belhotel Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Jun 15,19

SriLankan FlySmiles
- Double FlySmiles Miles when you fly on SriLankan between Tokyo and Colombo on Tuesdays. More... Book by Jul 31 for travel Jul 15 - Sep 30, 19

Voila Hotel Rewards
- 30% Bonus VHR Points for every stay completed at a participating VOILĂ€ hotel Worldwide. More... Until Jul 31, 19



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Earn up to 5x Aeroplan Miles for your online shopping for Mother's Day via the Aeroplan eStore


Offer details:
Earn up to 5x Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you shop online via the Aeroplan eStore shopping portal. Full details Until May 12, 19

Find many more Aeroplan bonus miles offers here!

Air France KLM Flying Blue May Promo Rewards – Save 25% on Air France business class reward tickets between Toronto and Europe


The newest set of Air France KLM’s Promo Rewards are now listed but won’t be bookable until about 6pm ET tonight!  This month’s offering is one of the smallest we have ever seen for the Flying Blue Promo Rewards.With promo rewards the discount ranges from 20 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 month we see Canada back in the mix however it is only one city, Toronto. You can save 25% off business class reward tickets to Europe on Air France.

Offer details
May 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 May 31  for travel Jul 1 – Aug 31, 19
This month's Canadian cities:
Toronto - 25% off business class

Here are the mileage requirements for flying from Toronto to Paris (the mileage amount will vary for other cities in Europe)


As we mentioned above you can't book these just yet which also means we can't provide you with snap shots of availability like we usually do (we'll have a follow up post for that) You'll have to wait until about 6pm tonight to see availability on the routes and to book them. The mileage amounts required will vary by the location you want to fly to, for example you can usually fly to Brussels, Milan, Athens and other cities for even less than what is listed above for Amsterdam or Paris.

If you don't have enough miles for a Promo Reward your best bet is to convert Marriott Rewards points to Flying Blue on a 3:1 basis. Remember you'll earn 5,000 bonus miles when you convert 60,000 points at a time (a total of 25,000 miles per 60,000 points)


If you don't have any Marriott Rewards Points you can always look at getting the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card to top off your account. Currently the card comes with a 60,000 point sign up bonus when you spend $1,500 on the card.  Of course timing of getting the card now, spending and getting the points will likely not happen for this month but it sets you up for future offers. 

   

Earn up to 3,000 Bonus Aeroplan miles on select Air Canada flights Worldwide


Air Canada has released a new bonus Aeroplan miles promotion for select flights in their network. This one is a little confusing, it states for direct flights but it doesn't mention to/from what other cities so we will assume the bonus will be earned for any direct flights to the cities listed below as they do state 'Destinations' on their page for this promotion. Not sure if it works the other direction as well, ie originating from the cities below, my guess is not as why would they bonus every flight out of Vancouver for example. As is usual, the terms with these promos are not the greatest, only new bookings made after April 29 count and only the first Aeroplan member on a reservation will receive the bonus miles. You must register and book by May 13 for travel until Aug 30, 19.

Asia

Shanghai, China (PVG)
Tokyo-Haneda, Japan (HND)
Tokyo-Narita, Japan (NRT)

Canada

Vancouver, Canada (YVR)
St. John’s, Newfoundland (YYT)

Europe

London, UK (LHR)
Rome, Italy (FCO)
Lisbon, Portugal (LIS)
Budapest, Hungary (BUD)

Sun destinations

Mexico City, Mexico (MEX)
St. Lucia (UVF)

U.S.

San Diego, California (SAN)
Los Angeles, California (LAX)
San Francisco, California (SFO)
New Orleans, Louisiana (MSY)
Chicago, Illinois (ORD)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PHL)

Bonuses are as follows (must be round-trip or 2 one way segments to earn the bonus)

Earn 1,500 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for Economy Standard, Economy Flex, comfort, and Economy Latitude fares.

Earn 3,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for Premium Economy lowest, Premium Economy flexible, Business Class lowest, or Business Class flexible fares.

Offer details:
Earn up to 3,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you fly on select Air Canada routes in Canada, or between Canada and the U.S., Sun Destinations, Europe or Asia. Register Online (Registration is required) Register and book by May 13 for travel until Aug 30, 19

Find many more Aeroplan bonus mile offers here!

Here are just a few of the other offers you will find:
  • Earn 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles per night for stays on Thursday to Sunday nights at Marriott hotels in Canada. Maximum bonus of 4,000 miles per stay. Full details & online booking.
    Be sure to set your Marriott Bonvoy earning preference to Aeroplan miles to earn the bonus
  • 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you join the program and complete your first mileage earning transaction within 60 days. Join here!Advertisement  



Monday, April 29, 2019

British Airways changing award flight pricing on partner airlines as of May 30


An email is being sent out to British Airways Executive Club members alerting them to upcoming changes to the program. The news isn't good as it appears award flight pricing on their partner airlines, which is extremely valuable to us Canadians, will be going up in price on May 30.

The airlines affected by these changes are:

Alaska Airlines, Air Italy, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, S7, Sri Lankan and Royal Jordanian Airlines.

Alaska, American, Cathay and JAL are the biggies for us and unfortunately at this time we don't know exactly what the changes are. The page on British Airways' site does not state what the changes are but apparently a PR email sent out to Gilbert at GSTP does specifically state higher pricing:



As many of you know there are lots of great partner airline award sweet spots with the British Airways Executive Club program, even with the great 4,500 Avios short haul award being nixed in North America (but available everywhere else worldwide) I would think that many of these may be increased especially in Asia where that 4,500 Avios can be really utilized. I would also think that business and first class on Cathay, JAL and others will be upped at that time. The only good news out of this announcement is there are no changes to redemption amounts on British Airways (good for those 4,500 Avios flights in Europe), Aer Lingus (great for the cheap off-season award flights from Canada to Dublin), Iberia and Vueling.

Related reading:
One more change comes with this announcement as well and that is the Avios required to upgrade on American Airlines. Guesses are those will get more expensive as well.

Sorry to bring this bad news to you about this devaluation! What are everyone's thoughts even though we don't have too much info yet?

You can find out about all the changes on the British Airways website

April 29 Update: Aeroplan & Carrot Rewards part ways, 60 Bonus AIR MILES at Rexall & more


Carrot Rewards, the wellness app for those who reside in several provinces like B.C. and Ontario announced today that Aeroplan will no longer be a partner as of tomorrow. Citing the new Air Canada ownership as the reason Carrot does remind us that you can still earn with SCENE, More Rewards, RBC Rewards, Petro-Points and Drop.
 

WestJet, well WestJet Encore to be more specific, is discontinuing service between Halifax and Boston as of June 2. (Source RoutesOnline)


You can receive 60 bonus AIR MILES when spend $40 or more at Rexall between today and Wednesday. Get the coupon here.


https://global.americanexpress.com/offers/eligible


Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals

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

IHG Rewards Club
- Earn 500 to 40,000 or more Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points when you complete stays at IHG Hotels in Canada and Worldwide. Bonus varies by member. More... Register by Jun 19 for stays May 1 – Aug 31, 19

Other Bonus Offers

Ethiopian ShebaMiles
- 3,118 Bonus ShebaMiles when you fly Ethiopian between Addis Ababa and Marseille More... Jul 2 - Aug 1, 19
- 500 Bonus ShebaMiles when you fly Ethiopian between Milan and Marseille More... Jul 2 - Aug 1, 19
- 2,500 Bonus ShebaMiles when you fly Ethiopian in Business Class to/from Chengdu More... Until Jun 30, 19
- 902 Bonus ShebaMiles when you fly Ethiopian between Madrid and Dublin More... Jun 2 - Jul 1, 19

IHG Rewards Club
- Earn 500 to 40,000 or more Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points when you complete stays at IHG Hotels Worldwide. Bonus varies by member. More... Register by Jun 19 for stays May 1 – Aug 31, 19

Marriott Bonvoy
- 2,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points when you stay on Friday-Sunday nights (Friday or Saturday required) at the Le MĂ©ridien Kuala Lumpur. More... Until Jun 1, 19
- 5,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points per night at the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul. More... Until Jun 13, 19
- 2,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for stays of 2+ nights at Aloft Hotels in Dubai. More... Until May 31, 19
- Earn up to 3,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points in a Club Room or Tower Suite at the Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection Dubai. More... Until Jun 1, 19
- 2,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points per night on Friday-Sunday nights at the AC Hotel Dallas by the Galleria More... Until May 31, 19

Turkish Miles&Smiles
- Earn up to Quadruple Miles&Smiles Miles for stays at all participating Accor Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Jun 1, 19

Voila Hotel Rewards
- 5,000 Bonus Voila Hotel Rewards Points for stays at the L.A. Grand Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. More... For Platinum members only Until Sep 30, 19


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IHG Rewards Club Accelerate returns for the summer – earn bonus points for your IHG stays worldwide


IHG Rewards Club has launched their next systemwide global points promotion and this time they have returned to the venerable Accelerate offer. The individualized systemwide bonus offers provides IHG Rewards Club members with opportunities to earn 500 to 40,000 or more IHG Rewards Club points on their stays. There are some issues with registration right now – some people including myself are getting errors that we are not eligible for the offer. If registration is successful for you please let us know below – and let us know what offer you got!

Offer details:
Earn 500 to 40,000 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)  Register by Jun 19 for stays May 1 – Aug 31, 19

Find many more IHG Rewards Club bonus points offers here!

Friday, April 26, 2019

April 26 Update: Changes coming to the Scotiabank Gold American Express and Momentum Visa Infinite Cards, PC Optimum redemption bonus event this weekend & more!





If you read Red Flag Deals or Reddit you may have seen news about upcoming changes to the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card and Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card. We are working on getting more details of the changes and have a call with Scotia next week about them and will follow up with a post with all the details. It does seem the details that were leaked and revealed on RFD a couple of days ago of the changes coming on August 1st are legit. Here are the images that are being shared:



Scotia is really upping their game again and really making the claim as Canada's rewards bank more of a reality- the Scotiabank Gold American Express seeing 5x points (still capped at $50K) and No Foreign Transaction fee makes this card even better. In fact it is a big time Cobalt challenger if you don't need to convert points to Marriott. It does surprise me as they are also now competing against their own Passport Visa Infinite Card with the no foreign transaction fee and better earning! I'm guessing Scotia wants clients to carry both cards and in reality that can make a lot of sense.


PC Optimum members can get more for their points this weekend at Shoppers Drug Mart. You can up to an extra $100 in value if you redeem points at the highest level for the promotion. Find out more here!

https://global.americanexpress.com/offers/eligible


Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals


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
- Earn up to 1,500 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for stays of 2 or more nights at all participating Accor Hotels Worldwide More... Book and stay May 1 – Jun 30, 19

Other Bonus Offers


Hilton Honors
- Double Honors points + additional bonus points on every stay starting on your second stay at Hilton Hotels Worldwide. More... May 6 - Sep 8, 19

Marriott Bonvoy
- 10,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points when you stay 2+ nights at any one of 5 participating Marriott Hotels in Paris. More... Until Jun 6, 19

Shangri-La Hotels Golden Circle
- Double GC Award Points for stays in a Horizon Club Room or above at the Futian Shangri-La, Shenzhen. More... Until May 31, 19


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Hilton Honors – 2x Points + additional bonus points for stays this summer


Hilton has released the details of their summer systemwide global points promotion which launches exactly the day after the current 2,000 bonus points per stay offer ends. Its nice to see double points back on all stays since this is very rewarding on more expensive stays or longer stays. Granted the only negative is that you have to make sure you have two stays since your first stay will not earn any bonus points.

Offer details:
Double Honors points + additional bonus points on every stay starting on your second stay at Hilton Hotels Worldwide.   Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required) May 6 – Sep 8, 19
Plus earn additional bonus points as follows:
10,000 Bonus Points on your 10th stay
15,000 Bonus Points on your 15th stay
20,000 Bonus Points on your 20th Stay

Find many more Hilton Honors bonus points offers here!

Image via Hilton