Monday, July 22, 2019

Canadian North and First Air to merge - Aurora Rewards will remain as the new airline's frequent flyer program


On July 10 the Government of Canada approved the merger of Canada's two major airlines of the north, First Air and Canadian North. The merged airline will be known as Canadian North but with a planned integration timeline of 18-24 months the two airlines will continue to operate separately for the time being.

Here are highlights of what is to come:
  • A major priority will be to develop a combined flight schedule that will enable customers of both airlines to book any flight operated by First Air or Canadian North. This schedule will be released later this year, several months before it takes effect. Communities will continue to receive passenger and cargo capacity that fully meets their needs, with competitive passenger and cargo rates.
  • Canadian North’s popular Aurora Rewards loyalty program will be expanded to all scheduled flights operated by First Air, so that customers of both airlines have the ability to earn Aurora Rewards points and Aeroplan Miles that can be redeemed for free flights.
  • A unified ‘Canadian North’ brand will begin to roll out, featuring the First Air’s distinctive Inukshuk logo and red and white colour palette. This brand will be seen in more and more places as time progresses, including the website, uniforms, counter signage and aircraft livery.
  • Dedicated and hard-working First Air and Canadian North team members will be brought together under the unified Canadian North banner. This will be a gradual process that will be completed hand-in-hand with other milestones such as combining flight reservations systems, fare products, operational processes, fleets and facilities.
  • The merged airline will strive to lead the aviation industry as a top employer, with continued focus on recruiting Inuit and other Indigenous team members for excellent careers within this sector.
For most of you reading this post it is the second bullet point that will be of greatest interest. The new airline will retain Canadian North's current Aurora Rewards program. As we have written about in the past, this program is unique in that all flights let you double dip for earning - that is you can earn Aurora Rewards points AND Aeroplan miles for the same flight on the same ticket. You can then choose to redeem either Aurora Rewards points or Aeroplan miles for the flights on the airline.  The latter tends to be very popular as ticket prices for flying to the North or even between two points in Northern Canada can be very expensive so being able to redeem Aeroplan miles for them can provide some huge value.

We'll be sure to keep you up to date with the integration process over the next year and a half to two years! 

Read more about this announcement here.

 Title image courtesy of Canadian North

Friday, July 19, 2019

July 19 Update: Canalta Rewards members can enter to win Roughriders tickets for tomorrow and a flashback to the Canada Dry Aeroplan promo from the 2000s


Canalta Rewards is offering up a chance to win two tickets to the Saskatchewn Roughriders versus B.C. Lions game tomorrow in Regina. You must enter by noon MST today and make sure you are a Canalta Rewards member before you join! Find out more and enter the contest here.


Flashback Friday - I don't know why but the other day I was thinking about the old Canada Dry Aeroplan promotion that ran in 2001 and again in 2003. You would receive Aeroplan miles for buying Canada Dry products, 25 to 75 miles per bottle or box of cans, I remember earning a few thousand miles with these promotions especially when bottles of ginger ale were selling for 99 cents each. Any one else remember these promotions? Let us know in the comments below! Image courtesy of Opticom Interactive Marketing


Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals

Hilton Asia Pacific 100th Anniversary Sale – Save up to 20% for stays through to February 2020

IHG Global Sale! Book now and save up to 20% at thousands of IHG® Hotels & Resorts worldwide when you book between now and July 31st.! Full details

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

Hilton Honors
- 50% Bonus Honors points when you convert American Express Membership Rewards points to Honors Points. More... Until Aug 31, 19

Other Bonus Offers

AeroMexico Club Premier
- Earn up to 3,000 Bonus Club Premier Points when you stay 2+ nights at Marriott Hotels & Resorts on the Mexico Pacific Coast. More...  Book by Dec 23 for stays until Dec 31, 19

British Airways Executive Club
- Earn up to 18,000 Avios when you subscribe to The Economist. More... Until Sep 30, 19

IHG Rewards Club
- Triple IHG Rewards Club Points when you stay at any one of 10 avid Hotels in the U.S. More... Until Sep 30, 19

Le Club AccorHotels
- Earn up to 1,200 Bonus Le Club AccorHotels Points for stays at participating Accor Hotels in Israel. More... Book by Aug 31 for stays Jul 22 - Sep 30, 19

Marriott Bonvoy
- 2,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for stays at the the Four Points by Sheraton Midtown - Times Square. More... Until Sep 10, 19


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Earn 3,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles on your first hotel booking made via Rocketmiles


Here we have another Aeroplan specific bonus for making your first hotel booking via Rocketmiles, the third party hotel booking site that awards miles on stays worldwide. Be sure you check pricing on the stays, sometimes these third party sites can be more expensive and you won't earn hotel loyalty points and may not have your hotel elite benefits recognized. That being said the mileage bonus may be worthwhile for you to book via Rocketmiles especially if the hotel isn't part of a hotel loyalty program (like a boutique hotel). Aeroplan miles earned via Rocketmiles do count towards Aeroplan status.

Offer details:
3,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles on your first hotel booking at select hotels made via Rocketmiles. Full details and online booking Book by Sep 30, 19

Can't make use of this offer? Check out some of these other bonus miles offers:
  • Earn 750 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for each stay at Best Western Hotels in Canada, the United States, or the Caribbean Islands Full details, online registration & booking (Registration is required) 
  • 1,500 Bonus Aeroplan Miles on qualifying Avis rentals Worldwide of 3 days or more during the week, or 2 days or more during the weekend. Book online at Avis.com 
  • Earn up to 25,000 Aeroplan Miles when you apply for and receive the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card
Find our complete list of Aeroplan Bonus Miles offers here!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors and receive 50% bonus points


American Express revealed a new transfer bonus this week - and if I recall correctly this is the first time we have seen it for this transfer partner! That partner is Hilton Honors and until August 31 when you transfer your Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors you'll receive a 50% bonus. The regular conversion rate is 1:1 which means with the bonus you'll receive 1.5 Honors points per Membership Rewards points. It is well known that the conversion to Hilton at 1:1 isn't the greatest value when you compare it to the other hotel conversion option with Marriott Bonvoy but for some of you this bonus may be just what you need to top off your Hilton account for a free night redemption or maybe Hilton Honors is your main hotel program and you don't even touch Marriott Bonvoy or other programs and you can use the extra points easily. Either way it is nice to see this new transfer bonus from American Express! For me I received details on this bonus for my American Express Gold Rewards card but the offer should work for any card that earns Membership Rewards points

Offer details:
50% Bonus Honors Points when you convert American Express Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors. Transfer points here. Until Aug 31, 19


July 17 Update: We add TAP Air Portugal as a partner, new nightcap benefit at Cambria Hotels & Air Canada's Big Summer Sale


We've added a new partner to our travel booking page - TAP Air Portugal! You can now book your TAP Air Portugal flights via Rewards Canada. TAP currently serves Toronto from Lisbon. Visit our travel booking site here or book direct with TAP here. (We earn a commission for these bookings - thank you in advance to anyone who does choose to use our link to book!)


 Choice Hotels is now offering a 'Complimentary Nightcap' at select Cambria Hotels locations in the U.S.. Guest will be able to select a nightcap of milk and cookies, craft beer or a spa-quality face mask and this is in addition to more Nightcap benefits if you are a Choice Privileges member. Those additional choices are a Face mask, Shower burst spa product, $5 beverage voucher for the hotel bar or grab-and-go market, Cambria® custom blend chamomile lavender tea or 250 Choice Privileges points. Learn more about the new Treat Yourself option here. (Source TPG)

American Airlines will be suspending two of their routes out of Vancouver for the upcoming Winter 2019/20 seasona (and beyond). Those routes are to Chicago and Phoenix. (Source Routesonline)


Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals


Air Canada's Big Summer Sale is here! Enjoy savings on flights in Canada, to the U.S. and Sun Destinations when you book by July 18. Find out more here.

Hilton Asia Pacific 100th Anniversary Sale – Save up to 20% for stays through to February 2020


IHG Global Sale! Book now and save up to 20% at thousands of IHG® Hotels & Resorts worldwide when you book between now and July 31st.! Full details

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

N/A

Other Bonus Offers

Avianca LifeMiles
- Earn up to 125% Bonus LifeMiles when you buy LifeMiles. Bonus varies by member. More... Until Jul 31, 19

Iberia Plus
- 25% Avios Discount when you redeem for select Iberia Express award flights between Melilla and Seville, Lyon, Nantes, Nice, Rennes, Malta or Cagliari. More... Book by Aug 31 for travel Sep 1 - Nov 30, 19

Marriott Bonvoy
- 5,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for stays at the Sheraton Towers Singapore. More... Until Sep 23, 19

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- 30% KrisFlyer Miles redemption discount on selected destinations across the Singapore Airlines and SilkAir network. More... Book by Jul 31 for travel Aug 1 - 31, 19

Voila Hotel Rewards
- Double Elite Status Credit for every stay of 3+ nights completed at a participating VOILÀ hotel Worldwide. More... Until Nov 30, 19


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American Express Shop Small Promotion is back again - Earn a $5 credit for spending $5 at participating merchants


Amex's awesome Shop Small offer is now in its third iteration! Last seen in spring, the same four Canadian cities are in the mix again and the offer provides a $5 statement credit when you spend $5 or more at participating Shop Small retailers. You can earn the statement credit for purchases from  up to 5 different retailers for a total of $25. Ideally, those looking to maximize the offer will only spend $5 at each location to come out ahead by essentially getting whatever they buy for free thanks to the statement credits. This time, for this third incarnation, I received the offer for my Gold Rewards Card but in the past I did receive it for my Platinum Card from American Express and Cobalt Card. If you didn't receive the email to register you can do so via the four links below (one for each city) with any American Express card.
As I only received it for my Gold Rewards Card I am going to use the above link for Calgary to register my other American Express cards. This offer runs until August 31 and to find out what merchants are participating you just have to go to the American Express Shop Small website and look for the $5 icon beside the merchant:


Or you can choose to filter for only the merchants that are participating in the offer:


And some quick examples from all four cities:

  

Want to learn more American Express' Shop Small program and how to use the maps to your advantage? Read our Step by step guide to the American Express Shop Small Program

https://www.rewardscanada.ca/AmexShopSmall/



Disclaimers:

American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link.

All images courtesy of American Express


This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

July 16 Update: Marriott Bonvoy Emirates Skywards Your World Rewards returns, AIR MILES adds Lumino Health as a partner & more!


Marriott Bonvoy and Emirates Skywards have reopened Your World Rewards to new applications. This was a partnership that originated with Starwood Preferred Guest that was 'put on hold' with Marriott's takeover of SPG. We say put on hold in that it was closed to new registrations but that has now changed and once again elite members both programs will receive reciprocal benefits. If you are an elite member in either program you can now link your accounts for Your World Rewards. Find out more here.
Marriott Bonvoy Elite members flying on Emirates receive:
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members earn 3 points per US dollar spent on all eligible Emirates flights (on top of Skywards Miles).
- Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members enjoy Elite in-airport benefits, including priority check-in and priority boarding.


Emirates Skywards Elite members staying at Marriott Hotels:
- Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members earn 1 Skywards Mile per US dollar spent on all eligible stays at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and resorts worldwide.
- Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members enjoy additional benefits at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and resorts, including 4 p.m. Late Checkout, access to Elite check-in and complimentary in-room Wi-Fi.
AIR MILES has a new partner that you can earn miles with, Lumino Health. If you request an appointment with an eligible Dental, Vision or Paramedical provider through Lumino Health you can earn 25 AIR MILES per appointment booked by August 17 (appointment must be attended by Sep 30) You can earn the bonus for up to three appointments. Find out more here.


Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals

Hilton Asia Pacific 100th Anniversary Sale – Save up to 20% for stays through to February 2020

IHG Global Sale!
Book now and save up to 20% at thousands of IHG® Hotels & Resorts worldwide when you book between now and July 31st.! Full details

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
- 3,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles on your first hotel booking at select hotels made via Rocketmiles. More...   Book by Sep 30, 19

Other Bonus Offers

Aeroflot Bonus
- Double Bonus Miles when you rent with Europcar Worldwide except in Canada, China and Japan. More... Book by Aug 4 for rentals until Dec 15, 19

IHG Rewards Club
- 50% Bonus IHG Rewards Club Bonus points when you book the Best Flexible rate at participating IHG hotels in the Americas. More... Until Sep 30, 19

Le Club AccorHotels
- Earn up to Triple Le Club AccorHotels Points for stays at participating Accor Hotels in France, Greece, Italy, Portugal or Spain. More... Book by Aug 18  for stays until Sep 1, 19
- Triple Le Club AccorHotels Points for stays at participating luxury Accor Hotels in France, Greece, Italy, Portugal or Spain. More... Book by Aug 18  for stays until Sep 1, 19

World of Hyatt
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points for stays at the Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest More... Until Sep 30, 19
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points for stays at the Hyatt Place Tokyo Bay More... Until Sep 30, 19
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points for stays at the Hotel Hesperia Barcelona Tower More... Until Sep 30, 19
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points for stays at the Hyatt Place Fresno More... Until Sep 30, 19


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Aeroplan announces positive changes to flight reward refund fees but temporarily claws back stopovers


The Air Canada Aeroplan saga, as we penned it, technically ended with Air Canada completing the acquisition of Aeroplan many months ago. What didn't end was Air Canada's commitment to launching a new, updated Aeroplan program in July of 2020. With only 1 year left in that timeline the Air Canada owned and operated Aeroplan is now starting to bring us some changes to the program. Yesterday they revealed mostly positive changes to the program but also some negative changes that do affect a very small amount of members. Those changes are as follows:

1. Complimentary, full refunds within 24 hours of booking
You are now able to cancel Aeroplan bookings within 24 hours and receive a full refund of the miles and fees paid effective immediately. This aligns with the standard rule for paid Air Canada flights where you cancel with no fee within 24 hours. If you had booked your flight via the Aeroplan call centre the $30 service is not refunded however.


2. Receive a refund for your Aeroplan flights up to 2 hours prior to departure
Another change that is effective immediately allows you to cancel your flight reward up to 2 hours prior to departure and receive a refund of your miles and fees albeit with a fee. Previously the refund rule only applied to bookings if you cancelled up to 21 days prior to departure. If you cancelled within 21 days you could only apply those miles and fees towards travel within a year.

3. Reduction of the refund fee
The Aeroplan fee charged to cancel flight rewards has now been dropped to $125 if you complete it online. Phone in to cancel and it will cost you $150. Top tier Aeroplan Diamond members will continue to be charged even less for cancelling their rewards.

4. Super Elite 100K members to receive complimentary changes and refunds
A big win for top tier elite Air Canada members, Super Elite 100K members will now have all flight reward change or cancellation fees waived. This even includes flight rewards booked prior to this change that became effective on July 15.

Those are all the positive changes to the program which in our minds are all very good changes especially the 24 hour cancellation rule and now getting your miles refunded up to 2 hours before departure.

The negative changes that are happening are being penned as temporary, which we really hope will be the case and if the way Air Canada has handled Aeroplan over the past few months then this should be the case. Citing important system upgrades that are being implemented for the launch of the new program these are two features of the program that are being suspended:

1. Stopovers on Multi-City bookings being reduced to one only
Right now you can include up to 2 stopovers or 1 stopover and 1 open jaw selection on Aeroplan flight rewards. This generous option is also known in the points and miles world as the Aeroplan mini round the world reward (Mini-RTW) where you could pretty much fly around the world for the cost of only one round trip ticket.  As of September 1, 2019 this is being reduced to only 1 stopover or 1 stopover or 1 open jaw in addition to point of turnaround. They are also removing any stopovers for flights within the same continent except for travel wholly within North America.

2. Around the World Flight Rewards being discontinued
Aeroplan had a true Around the World Flight Reward option (not the Mini-RTW as noted above) and these reward options will be discontinued as of September 1.

Aeroplan revealed that the above two options that are being suspended only affect 0.3% of all the flight rewards that are booked annually. It is a small number and much like the increases to international business class that happened a few years ago, doesn't affect the majority of Aeroplan members and the majority of reward bookings. Most of 5 million plus Aeroplan members are booking point to point one way or round trip flights for their vacations, visiting friends and family etc. so these last two changes won't even affect them. Aeroplan also states they are temporary suspensions - so does that mean they will come back exactly as we know them or will they come back in some other form when the system upgrades are done? That is a question we do not have the answer to at this time. One would hope they do bring back the 2 stopover option seeing that it is only such a small proportion of members who utilize it, but it is an option that makes those members utilize Aeroplan over and over again rather than seeking out other loyalty program options.

You can learn all about the Aeroplan changes here! Also feel free to let us know what you think of these changes in the comment section below.






Monday, July 15, 2019

Earn 5x Aeroplan Miles for Costco.ca purchases for two days only!

 

Not to be outdone by Amazon, Costco.ca is looking to have you Aeroplan miles collectors shop with them over the next two days as well! Today and tomorrow you can earn 5x Aeroplan Miles for all online purchases made via Costco.ca. You do not need to go through an online shopping portal to earn these miles, you can go straight to Costco.ca to make your purchases however you must have your Aeroplan number registered to your Costco membership number (you can do that here) and then when you go to complete your Costco.ca purchase you must enter the promo code AERO5 in the promo code field:
Click here to find out more about this deal and to shop on Costco.ca!

Amazon Prime Day bonus miles & points offers from Aeroplan, AIR MILES, American Express & more


Amazon Prime Day 2019 is here! The highly anticipated two days of shopping via one of the world's largest retailers offers deals on thousands of items so it is no wonder that many other companies look to capitalize on it! This includes online shopping portals, credit card companies and even competitors! All of this benefits you, the collector, as you can earn a slew of points and miles for all those Amazon deals you are looking to score.

If you are planning to shop via Amazon.ca today or tomorrow you'll want to initiate each purchase via an online shopping portal as most, if not all of them are offering have a bonus for Amazon. Here are the offers from the four most popular online shopping portal:


Aeroplan's eStore is offering 5x Aeroplan Miles on all Amazon.ca purchases for Prime Day.  Find out more about this offer here.


airmilesshops.ca is also offering 5x miles for Amazon Prime Day purchases for today and tomorrow. Click here to find out more about this offer. 


You can also choose to go via a cash back online shopping portal. Both ebates.ca and Great Canadian Rebates are offering up to 10% cash back for Amazon purchases over the next two days. Personally I prefer the mileage earning sites, not only to build up my balances but mainly because ebates and GCR's bonuses are limited to select categories and not all Amazon purchases like we see from Aeroplan & AIR MILES.


If you have an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards or Membership Rewards Select points, you'll want to make your Amazon purchases on those cards. As we detailed last week you can earn 5x points on up to $500 of Amazon purchases on the American Express Cobalt Card or earn 3 bonus points per dollar spent up to $2,000 in purchases on either the American Express Gold Rewards Card or The Platinum Card. You need to register for these offers via the emails sent by American Express, if you didn't receive the email call the customer service number on the back of your card and ask them to register you for the offer) Of course, don't go straight to Amazon after registering your card, go via one of the shopping portals listed above and then use your Amex card to complete the purchase and double dip on your miles and points!



Friday, July 12, 2019

July 12 Update: Aeroplan mileage accumulation changes on Asiana, Destination Hotels joining World of Hyatt in August, 20x PC Optimum Points at Shoppers on July 13


Aeroplan has adjusted mileage accumulation for select fare classes on Asiana Airlines. These changes take effect on July 15. (Source Aeroplan)
  • Earn 50% of the miles you fly in booking classes H, E, Q, K or S. For travel until July 14, 2019, earn 100%
  • Earn 25% of the miles you fly in booking classes V or W. For travel until July 14, 2019, earn 70%
  • Earn 25% of the miles you fly in new booking classes G or T.

World of Hyatt has revealed the last remaining brand from their takeover of Two Roads Hospitality, Destination Hotels, will join the program as of August 20. All 8 hotels that are joining are located in the U.S. (Source Hyatt)


You can earn 20x the PC Optimum points when you spend $50 or more with Shoppers Drug Mart on July 13. You can also earn an additional 5,000 bonus points when you pay with a PC Optimum Mastercard. Find out more here


Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals

Hilton Asia Pacific 100th Anniversary Sale – Save up to 20% for stays through to February 2020

IHG Global Sale!
Book now and save up to 20% at thousands of IHG® Hotels & Resorts worldwide when you book between now and July 31st.! Full details

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 Bonvoy
- 500 Bonus Bonvoy Points for stays at the TownePlace Suites Fort McMurray.  More... Until Aug 11, 19

Other Bonus Offers

AeroMexico Club Premier
- Earn up to 3,000 Bonus Club Premier Points when you stay 2+ nights at Marriott Hotels & Resorts in Los Cabos. More... Book by Dec 23 for stays until Dec 31, 19

Copa ConnectMiles
- Earn up to 3,000 Bonus Copa ConnectMiles when you stay 2+ nights at Marriott Hotels & Resorts in Panama. More... Book by Sep 30 for stays until Dec 31, 19

Le Club AccorHotels
- 1,000 Bonus Le Club AccorHotels Points for stays at participating Accor Hotels in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia. More... Book by Jul 30 for stays until Jul 31, 19

Turkish Miles&Smiles
- Triple Miles&Smiles Miles for stays of 3+ nights at the Titanic Mardan Palace. More... Until Aug 31, 19



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