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Amazing new welcome offer for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard - Up to 100,000 points with first year free! (Quebec gets 130,000 points with fee)

HSBC has just come out with their biggest and best offer yet for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard and in fact the bonus for Quebec resident...

Friday, January 31, 2020

Save 20% on TAP Air Portugal flights out of Toronto and Montreal - book by February 5


TAP Air Portugal has a new promo code that you can use if you are planning to book flights with them! The promo code, SPRING20 saves you up to 20% on all fare classes except for the lowest economy fare called Discount.  The code is valid for all of TAP’s flights  and unlike the last code this one DOES APPLY to Business Class fares! Book by February 5 for travel March 1 to May 31, 2020. Note that March 31 to April 20 are blacked out for this offer. This code is best for Toronto travel but it can be utilized for the last week of May when TAP's Montreal flight launches on May 23.

Book this offer here!

Here is an example of using the promo code for a flight between Toronto and Lisbon for both economy and business class:


 On the low end you see a discount of $127 and these were the cheapest flights we could find during the travel period for this promo code and you can see that in business class the discount is significant at over $800.

January 31 Update: New transborder lounge coming to YUL late this year, Air Canada & other airlines cancel more flights to China, PC Optimum redemption event this weekend


After I published the 2020 update for Rewards Canada's Guide to Business Class Lounge Access, Ron S. asked in the comments section of that feature if there is any word on Montreal (YUL) airport opening any lounges in the domestic or transborder areas other than the Maple Leaf lounge. We reached out the ADMTL and the good news is there are plans for a new lounge in the transborder area however they do not have room for a lounge for domestic departures.
We are looking to have our own lounge open in the transborder jetty by November or December 2020. Presently, we do not have any space to open a lounge in the domestic jetty because of the works. If a space becomes available, we will likely open a lounge in the domestic jetty.
As you can see the new transborder lounge is slated to open in November or December of this year. There is no mention of who will operate it for ADMTL and no word yet on access options although one could imagine Priority Pass and LoungeKey are front runners. I will follow up with them to see if they can provide more details on lounge access and who will operate the lounge. Visit our updated Lounge Access feature here.
Image via ADMTL



In our last daily update post from Wednesday we had passed along the news that Air Canada had cancelled some flights to China - well as of yesterday it was updated to all Air Canada flights to China now being cancelled until February 29 however Taipei and Hong Kong do not fall under that. This is the case for many carriers flying to China like British Airways, Air France, KLM and American Airlines who have cancelled some or all of their flights. If you have flights booked for the upcoming be sure to check with your airline about alternate options or to change those flights as the airlines are offering free changes. The Government of Canada issues a non-essential travel avoidance advisory for China on the 29th and it was further updated yesterday. You can read those details here.


PC Optimum is running another redemption bonus event this weekend for shopping at Shoppers Drug Mart. If you redeem 50,000 points towards your purchase you'll receive $65 off instead of the standard $50, redeem 100,000 for $140 off instead of $100 or redeem 200,000 to get $300 off instead of $200. Find out more here
 Image via PC Optimum

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals

Choice Hotels Pop Up Sale - Save 20% off the Best Available Rate at participating hotels within Canada when paying in advance. Book by Feb 9 for stays until Apr 30, 2020. 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

N/A

Other Bonus Offers

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- Triple Mileage Plan Miles on all rentals of three days or longer at any Thrifty location Worldwide. More... Until Dec 31, 20

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Earn up to Quadruple Asia Miles when you rent with Hertz for 3 or more days in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the USA. More... Book by Feb 29 for rentals until Mar 31, 20

Preferred Hotel Group iPrefer
- 8,000 Bonus iPrefer Points when you Book a Stay More, Save More package at participating Preferred Hotel Group hotels Worldwide  More... Until Feb 29, 20

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Triple ROP Miles for stays at participating World Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Mar 31, 20





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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

January 29 Update: How to maximize the elite status benefits from The Platinum Card from American Express updated, great Marriott bonus in the Bahamas, BA and AC China flight cancellations


Another feature update to let you know about. How to maximize the elite status benefits from The Platinum Card from American Express has been updated and now shows you how you can get 11 hotel elite status, 1 airline status, 2 car rental status and 1 cruise line status with The Platinum Card. My tweet yesterday stated 10 hotel statuses but after posting about the Choice Hotels sale earlier today I went back to check the Choice status match and they have removed the stay requirement that they added last year so I have further updated the feature to reflect this. Check out the feature here.


Over on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com I highlight a pretty amazing Marriott Bonvoy bonus points offer. You can earn 25,000 Bonus Points for stays of 2 or more nights at the French Leave Resort, Autograph Collection, Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera. The special rate for earning the bonus points is the same as the member only rate - there is no extra charge from them. If you only stay 2 nights that means you'd earn 12,500 bonus points per night! Find out more here.


British Airways has cancelled all flights to mainland China (Beijing and Shanghai) until January 31 in light of the Corona Virus outbreak. Flights to Hong Kong are not affected at this time. Find out more here.

Air Canada is also cancelling some flights to China over the next few weeks to better meet the lack of demand for the flights. If you are booked to fly to China on Air Canada be sure to double check your reservations! Find out more here.

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals

Choice Hotels Pop Up Sale - Save 20% off the Best Available Rate at participating hotels within Canada when paying in advance. Book by Feb 9 for stays until Apr 30, 2020. 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 Bonvoy
- 4,000 bonus Bonvoy points PER NIGHT for stays at the Delta Hotels Kamloops. More... Until Mar 6, 20
- 2,500 bonus Bonvoy points for stays at the Courtyard or Residence Inn Halifax Dartmouth. More... Until Feb 22, 20

Other Bonus Offers

China Airlines Dynasty Flyer
- Earn up to 4x Dynasty Flyer Miles when you rent a car at participating Hertz locations for 3 or more days in the USA, Asia, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. More... Book by Feb 29 for rentals until Mar 31, 20

Marriott Bonvoy
- 25,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for stays of 2 or more nights at the French Leave Resort, Autograph Collection Governor's Harbour Eleuthera.  More... Mar 28 - Jun 20, 20
20
- Earn 2,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points PER NIGHT for stays at the W Ibiza More... . Apr 9 - Jul 2, 20
- 2,500 Bonus Bonvoy points plus a $50 food and beverages credit for stays at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. More... Book by Feb 7 for stays until Mar 29,20

National Emerald Club
- Receive an automatic upgrade to Executive Elite status for having an American Express card. More... Until Feb 29, 20

Philippine Airlines Mabuhay
- Earn up to Quadruple Mabuhay Miles when you rent with Avis for 3 or more days in in the USA (excluding all locations in Alaska), Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. More... Book by Feb 29 for rentals until Mar 31, 20



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25% discount when you buy World of Hyatt points until February 29


Hyatt has come out with their first buy points deal of 2020 . When you buy 5,000 or more points in one transaction they will give a 25% discount on the price. This is different than the typical 40% bonus we have become accustomed to with Hyatt.  With the discount the price works out to 1.8 cents (US) per points. Slightly higher than the 1.714 cents per point (US$) when it is a 40% bonus. Still this is a pretty good price to buy points especially if need some right away.  Depending on how you redeem them it could be worthwhile to purchase them for rewards at high end hotels like Park Hyatt’s around the globe or even buying less if you just need a few thousand points to top off for an award. You can buy up to 55,000 points per calendar year so if you take advantage of this now at the full amount of points you won’t be able to buy any later on this year.

Offer details
25% Discount when you buy 5,000 or more World of Hyatt Points in one transaction.   Buy World of Hyatt Points here. Until Feb 29, 20

Can’t make use of this offer? Here are some other offers that might work for you!
  • 3,000 Bonus World of Hyatt Points per paid stay at over 300 destinations from Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Register online (Registration is required)
  • 2,000 Bonus World of Hyatt Points for stays at participating Hyatt Hotels Worldwide. Full details and online booking. 
    Targeted for Google Employees but it may work for anyone (YMMV)
Find our full list of other World of Hyatt bonuses here!


Choice Hotels Pop-up Sale - Save 20% on stays at their Canadian properties


Choice Hotels has released a new sale for stays at their various hotel brands in Canada. Dubbed the Pop-up Sale, you can save 20% on the best available rates if you book by February 9 and prepay your stay. The sale rates are good for stays until April 30, 2020. Since these are prepaid rates you'll only want to take advantage of the sale if you know your travel dates are set in stone since you cannot cancel your reservation.

As a reminder there are no physical Choice Hotels - it's the parent name of all these brands to choose from:

Here's an example of the savings it can provide:
This is in fact not much less than the prepaid member rate (also non-refundable) but at least you'd save a couple more dollars:

Pop-up Sale rate

Prepaid member rate


Click here to learn more or to book this sale.

Remember as well if you hold elite status with a different hotel chain Choice Hotels will match that status. Learn all about Choice Privieges' Status Match here

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

January 28 Update: RBC Rewards launches new website, more Marriott Bonvoy stay bonuses in Canada and the Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2020


RBC Rewards has launched their new website that has been promoted recently on the old version of the site! It is easier to navigate with the fresh new look and they promise to have more promotions and offers with this launch. Most of the site is working although I did get the occasional error. The first thing I did with the new site however was to check the Avion Air Travel Redemption chart to make sure a change wasn't snuck in in the revamp (programs tend to like to do that) and I am happy to report no changes in the reward chart at this time. All points rates and max dollar values remain the same. Check out the new site here.

Avion Air Travel Redemption schedule remains the same

Still having some issues


It also appears that certain promotions will not show up for anyone who visits the site without signing in:
And only having the WestJet RBC World Mastercard means I can't log in to the site
Above images via RBC


Yesterday we posted about eight new Marriott bonus point offers here in Canada - well we've come across two more:

Halifax
2,500 bonus Bonvoy points PER NIGHT for stays at the Courtyard or Residence Inn Halifax Dartmouth. Full details & online booking Until Feb 22, 20

Kamloops
4,000 bonus Bonvoy points PER NIGHT for up to two nights at the Delta Hotels Kamloops. Full details & online booking Until Mar 6, 20
Above image via Marriott



And if you missed it somehow - we released our 12th annual Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards today! Check them out here

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals

KLM's Dream Deals seat sale is back and is offering some great economy class and business class fares between Canada and Europe and beyond. Book by Feb 10 for travel May 7 to Oct 15. 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

N/A

Other Bonus Offers

Air New Zealand Airpoints
- Triple Airpoints Dollars for stays at Cordis Hotels in China, Hong Kong and Auckland. More... Book by Feb 16 for stays until Mar 31, 20

Best Western Rewards
- Double Rewards Points or Airline Miles for stays Friday thru Sundays at the Best Western Eurostop Orebro. More... Until Mar 31, 20
- Double Rewards Points or Airline Miles for stays at the Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace Hotel Chicago. More... Until Mar 5, 20
- Double Rewards Points or Airline Miles for stays of 2 or more nights at the Surestay Plus Hotel By Best Western Albuquerque I40 Eubanks. More... Until Feb 29, 20

Sonesta Hotels Travel Pass
- Double Travel Pass Points per stay at the The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel San Francisco. More... Book by Mar 1 for stays until Aug 31, 20
- Double Travel Pass Points per stay at the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach. More... Book by Mar 15 for stays until Mar 31, 20
- 500 Bonus Travel Pass Points per night for stays of 2+ nights Sunday-Thursday at the Royal Sonesta New Orleans. More... Until Dec 29, 20
- Double Travel Pass Points for stays of 14+ nights at the Sonesta ES Suites Andover Boston or the Sonesta ES Suites Auburn Hills. More... Until Mar 31, 20
- Double Travel Pass Points for stays of 14+ nights at the Sonesta ES Suites Oklahoma City More... Until Mar 31, 20
- Double Travel Pass Points for stays of 14+ nights at the Sonesta ES Suites Malvern Valley Forge More... Until Mar 31, 20
- Double Travel Pass Points for stays of 14+ nights at the Sonesta ES Suites Houston Galleria. More... Until Mar 31, 20

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Earn up to Triple ROP Miles + 600 bonus miles on Hertz rentals of 3 or more days in USA, Canada, Europe*, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. More... Book by Feb 29 for rentals until Mar 31, 20

World of Hyatt
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points for stays at the Hyatt Place Changchun Jingyue. More... Jan 31 - Apr 29, 20
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points for stays at the Hyatt Regency Manchester or the Hyatt House Manchester. More... Until Apr 29, 20
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points for stays at the Hyatt Centric 39th & 5th New York More... Feb 18 - May 30, 20
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points for stays at the Hyatt Place Amarillo - West. More... Jan 31 - Apr 29, 20
- 500 Bonus World of Hyatt points for stays at the Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria More... Jan 31 - Apr 29, 20



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IHG Rewards Club nixes PointBreaks - gone temporarily or forever?


Yesterday when we posted about IHG Rewards Club's new buy points bonus we mentioned anticipation of the newest set of IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks. The current set of PointBreaks is slated to end on January 31st however IHG typically would release the new ones a few days before that (usually the Monday before, so yesterday or even Tuesday, today) however LoyaltyLobby broke the news later yesterday that IHG has no plans for a new set of PointBreaks. They reached out to IHG after not seeing any new offers come out as they are typically released around noon ET. We were tracking this here on Rewards Canada to see if the new list was out at 10am our time (even using IHG's 'Force Update' link for the PointBreaks) and saw no updates so figured it may come out on Tuesday. Well the response that LoyaltyLobby received, which I'm sure was a surprise to them and all of us, is that they aren't planning any PointBreaks for the time being. IHG did not reveal however if it is just a temporary pause of the promotion or the complete end of it.

PointBreaks was known as the best hotel redemption promotions in the market since it launched over 10 years ago. Even when they revised it in 2018 from the single 5,000 points per night to 5,000 to 15,000 points per night, it was still a very strong promotion. However when IHG did the revamp in 2018 they stated it would allow them to have more hotels available on the list and this didn't really materialize. If you have read all our PointBreaks posts over the years you'll know that maybe once did the list get over 200 hotels (out of thousands) versus 150 or so hotels under the old 5,000 any night version. In most cases it stayed right around that 150 mark and here in Canada we typically only saw five to six hotels on the list each time and most cases those were in Alberta. So not a great selection here and even abroad. While the premise of the promotion was and is awesome we just didn't see turn into what IHG had promoted during the 2018 revamp. I reached out personally to my IHG contact to see if we can more details on whether it is just temporary, permanent or even if it might be replaced with something else. I'll report back if and when I hear something.

Canada’s Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2020 revealed - It's the calm before the storm


The more things change, the more they stay the same, at least that is the case in the travel rewards credit card industry. For a third straight year, the American Express Cobalt Card takes the top prize in Reward Canada’s Travel Rewards Credit Cards Ranking. For over 12 years Rewards Canada has been helping Canadians sift through the more than 70 travel rewards credit card offerings with its annual ranking. The rankings can be found at rewardscanada.ca/topcc2020 

This year’s ranking reflects a holding pattern as the industry braces for what will likely be a seismic event; the unveiling of Air Canada’s new loyalty program.

“This is the calm before the storm,” says Patrick Sojka, founder of RewardsCanada.ca. “We know that Air Canada will announce their plan for Aeroplan in the comings months as they reveal their new reward program that will launch this summer. This should spark a strong reaction from competitors and ultimately translate into better consumer offers.”

In addition to the Cobalt Card taking home “Best Overall Travel Reward Card’ honours, the remaining five categories that cards are ranked in are: Travel Points with annual fee, Travel Rewards Credit Card with no annual fee, Hybrid (flexible currency), Airline and Coalition card. The credit cards are evaluated by key factors including cost, co-brand partnerships, rate-of-return, benefits and redemption options.

And The Winners Are:

Top Travel Rewards Card overall


Travel Points Credit Card
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

No Fee Travel Rewards Credit Card
mbna Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

Hybrid Card (Flexible Currency)
American Express Cobalt Card


Coalition Program Card
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card


Other highlights include the Scotiabank Gold American Express card, which thanks to a major revamp catapulted it to Top Travel Points Credit Card. The card saw an increase in points earning and sets itself apart with its No Foreign Transaction fees. Another notable highlight is the enhanced American Express Air Miles Platinum Card, it is now the strongest earning AIR MILES card in the market which moves it ahead of the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard in the coalition category.

“The purpose of our annual ranking is to make choosing the right travel reward card easier”, adds Sojka. “It’s also about staying on top of trends and keeping Canadians informed of how industry changes may impact their enjoyment of these cards.”

The Top Travel Rewards Card feature, with complete rankings and background, can be found online at: rewardscanada.ca/topcc2020

Monday, January 27, 2020

IHG Rewards Club – Up to a 75% bonus when you buy points until February 27 (think new PointBreaks list coming soon)


IHG Rewards Club is once again running a buy points bonus! Once again it is a  tiered offer but this time it caps out at only 75% instead of 100%. And just like the last promotion they have also increased the number of points you can buy to 150,000 instead of 100,000. This sale runs until February 27, 2020. Unless you really need the points – and you may as read further into this post – I would wait until the next 100% bonus offer instead of taking advantage of this one.

The best price for buying points comes when you buy 20,000 or more points in one transaction. For example, buying 150,000 points (262,500 total with bonus) costs US$1,500.  This means each point will cost you 0.57 cents compared to 0.50 cents when it is a 100% bonus. But here’s where you may still want to buy at this price. The current set of IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks expire on January 31 and we should see the list sometime this week, in fact I’m guessing we may even seen them tomorrow. PointBreaks is where you only need 5,000 to 15,000 points to redeem for free nights at hotels on the list.  So with 262,500 points that’s up to 52 nights at the 5,000 point level, 26 nights at 10,000 and 17 nights at the 15,000 point level.  Even at that highest PointBreaks level it is like you are buying each night for only US$85.50 and this can be for hotels that cost more than $300 per night. So the question you will have to answer, is do I preemptively buy points to catch the best PointBreaks offers right when they come out or do I wait until the list is out, go buy points and come back to try to book the hotel of my choice hoping it hasn’t disappeared off the list in the time I went to buy the points.

Offer details:
Earn up to 75% Bonus IHG Rewards Club points when you buy points. Buy points here.
50% bonus when you but 7,000 to 19,000 points
75% bonus when you buy 20,000+ points

Here are some more IHG Rewards Club Bonus Points offers to check out:
For these and many more bonuses check out RC’s IHG Rewards Club Bonus Points page