Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20 Update: Increased spend requirement for The Platinum Card from Amex, Alaska adds Condor as a partner & more!

News, Tips & Tricks
If you follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter you'll have seen our message alerting you to an upcoming change to The Platinum Card from American Express. Come this Thursday the card will require $3,000 in spending to receive the sign up bonus instead of the current $1,000. So if you have been considering the card we recommend applying for it by Wednesday so you only have to spend $1,000 over three months to get the sign up bonus. You can apply for the card here.

Also another card we recommend getting now if you have been eyeing it is the American Express Simply Cash Preferred Credit Card. It has changes coming to it in April that are for the most part good but if you get it now part of the card that will change for the worse will be grandfathered at the current rate.

Alaska Airlines announced a new frequent flyer partnership with Germany's Condor. Mileage Plan members will now be able to earn miles on Condor flights and soon enough will be able to redeem miles for their flights as well. This is really good news for Canadians as Condor has a decent presence here with seasonal flights out of Vancouver, Calgary, Whitehorse, Toronto and Halifax. You also continue to have the option to collect Miles & More miles with Condor but Mileage Plan definitely has a bigger presence here so if you are planning on flying this low cost German airline be sure to include your Mileage Plan number on the reservation. Of course we'll let you know once you'll be able to redeem miles for these flights as well. Find out more here.

Good news for Air France KLM Flying Blue members who fly semi-frequently with the airline. They have extended their expiry of their miles from 20 months to 24 months. Flying Blue is different than many of the other programs out there in that not all activity counts to keeping your account active. To keep the account active you have to have one qualifying flight on Air France, KLM and their airline affiliates or a SkyTeam airlines once in that 24 month period. This rule would not fall under the new Ontario legislation for expiring miles as it more so an inactivity rule than an expiry rule. Find out more here.

If you are Nexus member here in Canada you should have seen an email about custom forms being elimanted here in Canada! The email came out Friday as Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will be phasing out the paper CBSA Declaration Card (Form E311) for travellers arriving in Canada by air. Here is an excerpt from the email:
  • What does this mean for NEXUS members?
    NEXUS kiosk display screens at all designated NEXUS airport locations in Canada are being updated to simplify the declaration process. Members will be prompted to respond to questions on the NEXUS kiosk screens that mirror the questions that were previously found on the paper CBSA Declaration Card.
  • Why is this change being made?
    This change is being made to coincide with the upcoming launch of new Primary Inspection Kiosks that will expand self-service options to all international air travellers arriving in Canada. NEXUS members should continue to use their dedicated NEXUS kiosks, which are exclusively for their use and are designed to expedite their arrival to Canada.
  • When and where will this change be made?
    Beginning late-March 2017, all travellers flying into the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport will no longer be required to fill out a paper CBSA Declaration Card. The elimination of the paper CBSA Declaration Card will continue to be rolled out at other major Canadian airports across Canada, over the course of 2017-2018. Visit the CBSA NEXUS website for the most up-to-date information regarding where this automated service will be available for NEXUS members. Airline staff will distribute the paper CBSA Declaration Cards to travellers only if the airport is not equipped with the Primary Inspection Kiosks. If you are given a CBSA Declaration Card en route, please continue to fill it out.
Ottawa gets it first and we wouldn't be surprised if that is quickly followed by Calgary (the new terminal has everything in place to do so) Vancouver and Toronto seeing that the last two see the most incoming passengers of any Canadian airports.

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
TAP Portugal will be starting Toronto flights this June and have some decent fares for travel between Toronto and Lisbon. Fares start as low as $934 all in for Economy and under $3,000 for business class. Find out more here.

Canadian Bonus Offers

Other Bonus Offers
AeroMexico Club Premier
- 3,000 Bonus Club Premier Points on your 1st and 2nd qualified stay at any Wyndham Rewards hotel. More... Until Apr 30, 17

American AAdvantage
- Quadruple AAdvantage Miles for stays at over 5,500 Choice Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Apr 15, 17

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Earn up to Triple Asia Miles on all stays at participating Hilton hotels Worldwide. More... Until Jun 30, 17

Choice Privileges
- Earn up to 40% Bonus Privileges Points when you buy points. More... Until Apr 20, 17

Hilton Honors
- 100% Bonus Honors Points when you buy 5,000 or more points online. More... Until May 3, 17

JAL Mileage Bank
- 50% Bonus Fly On Points when you fly JAL between Nagoya (Chubu) and Bangkok. More... Until Apr 27, 17

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Earn up to Quadruple KrisFlyer Miles for stays at participating Hilton hotels in Worldwide. More... Until Jun 30, 17

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