Thursday, May 31, 2018

Earn 1,000 Miles when you join Aeroplan and complete your 1st transaction

What's the next step in Aeroplan's evolution and eventual growth away from Air Canada? Acquire more members. And how do you do that? Entice them with a bonus for joining the program! Right now when you join Aeroplan and make an eligible mileage earning transaction with an Aeroplan partner they'll give you an additional 1,000 miles. Your first transaction could be very easy from purchasing something at Home Hardware (there is a free miles offer from HH for subscribing to their email but we're not sure if that will count towards this 1,000 miles) to buying something from Amazon via the Aeroplan eStore. You have until July 15 to join and make that first mileage earning transaction to get the bonus.

Offer details
1,000 bonus miles, you must become an Aeroplan member by completing and submitting this form and making a first accumulation transaction with an eligible Aeroplan partner. Join Aeroplan via this link to be eligible to earn this bonus. Until Jul 15, 18

Find many more Aeroplan bonus offers here

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May 30 Update: 50 Bonus AIR MILES for travel bookings, Aeroplan's new Avis/Budget offers plus 500 bonus miles flying Air Creebec to Waskaganish

You can earn 50 bonus AIR MILES for making a travel booking via This bonus is awarded when you spend $35 or more, excluding shipping, duties and taxes, on eligible travel bookings through at participating online travel stores until June 29. Find out more hereHere are the participating partners:

Aeroplan will be releasing their new bonus offers for Avis and Budget rentals on June 1st. We have them for you already! The bonuses aren't as big the last offers as they have gone to Triple Miles for Avis and Double Miles for Budget - still it's better than nothing! Check out the bonus offers section below for details!

And also on the Aeroplan side they have a very specific flight bonus. Air Creebec is celebrating Waskaganish’s 350th Anniversary with 500 bonus Aeroplan miles on flights to this Cree community on James Bay!

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
Accor Hotels: Enjoy this summer with 30% off in more than 2,700 properties worldwide. Offer valid from May 29th until June 1st, 2018 for stays between July 6th and September 2nd, 2018 Phuket from $31 Paris from $57 Berlin from $58. 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
- 500 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you fly Air Creebec to Waskaganish (YKQ). More... Jul 1 - Jul 31, 18
- Triple Aeroplan Miles on Avis rentals of 3 or more days Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 18
- Double Aeroplan Miles on Budget rentals of 3 or more days Worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 18

Other Bonus Offers
Delta SkyMiles
- 2 SkyMiles + Starpoints per dollar spend for stays at any SPG-participating hotel or resort in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. More... Targeted Offer - May not work for everyone Until Jul 15, 18

Finnair Plus
- Triple Plus Points on Europcar rentals in Germany. More... Book by Jun 2 for rentals until Jun 30, 18

IHG Rewards Club
- Double IHG Rewards Club Points for stays of 5 nights or more at any Candlewood Suites or Staybridge Suites in the U.S., Mexico, or Canada. More... Targeted Offer - May not work for everyone  Until Aug 15, 18
- 3,000 Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points on Hertz rentals Worldwide. More... Until Jul 31, 18

Marriott Rewards
- 1,000 Bonus Rewards Points when you stay at one of 12 participating Moxy hotels in the UK, Germany, Italy and Norway. More... Jun 29 - Sep 2, 18

Radisson Rewards
- Receive a USD $25 gift card of your choice when you stay 2 or more consecutive nights at a Radisson Hotel Group property in the U.S. and Canada. More... Book by May 31 and between Jul 8 - Aug 2 for stays until Sep 3, 18

Starwood Preferred Guest
- Double Starpoints for stays on the grand opening offer at the Four Points by Sheraton Danang. More... Until Jun 30, 18
- 1,000 Starpoints on Hertz rentals. More... Until Jul 31, 18

Voila Hotel Rewards
- 30% Bonus VHR points when you stay at participating VOILĂ€ network hotels Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 18

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7 months in and The American Express Cobalt Card is still going strong - we've earned a LOT of points and huge value organically

Last September American Express launched the Cobalt card - their new card targetted towards Millennials but in reality it is a card that is good for everyone. How good is this card? Good enough for us to crown it the 2018 Top Travel Rewards Credit Card in Canada. There are numerous reasons the card took over top spot in Canada in our 10th annual rankings but the primary reason is the earning ability for Eats and Drinks. The card earns an unprecedented 5 points per dollar on eats and drinks and unlike most of the card's competition, this category bonus is unlimited. This earn rate is huge - it equates to a 3.5% return when looking at it as cash back (Use points for purchases non-travel), 5% return towards any travel (Use points for purchases travel) or even more by converting those points to Starwood Preferred Guest.

About a month after the card was released both my wife and I applied for our own Cobalt cards. At that time the card had it's standard sign up bonus of up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points (split into 2,500 per month for 12 months when you spend $500 per month) but it also had an extra 10,000 points if you spent $3,000 on the card in the first three months as the card's launch bonus. With these bonuses, the 5x multiplier and then a special bonus in December that offered up 10x points on eats & drinks up to $2,000 for the month we have racked up a lot of points in the short 7 months of having the cards.

On my Cobalt card I have earned nearly 138,000 Membership Rewards points and my wife is just over 82,000 points.

Combined we are approaching a quarter million points in this short time. What are those points worth? To us a minimum of $2,200 towards travel. That's a good chunk of change and we aren't even putting business expenses on the cards or any manufactured spending. It's all organic and almost exclusive to eats and drinks categories and the bonuses for getting the cards. We have purchased gift cards here and there for places like and Sephora at grocery stores as this is a good way to earn 5x points for places that don't have category multipliers but for the most part it has been groceries and restaurants. These are pretty big returns for day to day non-business related spending and it is why I recommend for others to get the card - its not hard to earn a lot of points. The points come quickly, here is a snapshot of some my regular spending over a very short period:
As you can see outside of the two Petro-Canada purchases, all of my spending on the card is at the 5x points level.

Related: American Express Cobalt Card Confirmed Multiplier Locations
A listing of all the confirmed 5x/2x/1x point earning locations in Canada and around the globe

The $2,200 of value comes from the Use Points for Purchases on travel purchases but that's not the route we are going right now with the cards. We will be converting those points very soon to Starwood Preferred Guest. The points will convert 2:1 to SPG which equates to about 110,000 Starpoints. I value Starpoints at a minimum of 2.5 cents each but closer to 3 cents (in C$) so right away you can see the value of these points is now up to a minimum of $2,750. The plan is to convert points in the next week to make sure we get the full value out of the Starpoints as come August this could all change. This August the new combined Marriott/Starwood program will launch and in all likelihood I expect the conversion ratio from Membership Rewards to the combined program to change and not for the better. This guess is based on the earn rate of the new Starwood credit cards Stateside. Nothing is confirmed but I'm not holding out hope. The good thing is all points in Starwood accounts up to the date the new program launches will be converted 1:3 so the points will for the most part retain their value. As my wife is the main SPG earner in the family and the one with Platinum status once the points are in my SPG account we will move them over to her account thanks to SPG allowing household accounts

Now let's see if we do a dummy booking and see how much value you can really get out of the Starpoints:

I tested five nights at the St Regis Mauritius Resort which is a category 6 hotel that normally runs 20,000 to 25,000 points per night, however with SPG (and the new combined Marriott/SPG program) when you book 5 award nights you get one free. So 5 nights in November at this resort will cost 90,000 Starpoints. The cheapest non-cancellable rate is EUR2950, for us however, we never book the non-cancellable rates so the price would go up even more from this:

2950EUR equates to C$4,424 ( rate on May 30) which means for 90,000 Starpoints you are getting $4424 in value. That's a redemption value of 4.9 cents per Starpoint. So if we apply that to the 110,000 Starpoints earned via our Cobalt cards our return is $5,390! That's nearly double my minimum valuation of $2,750. Think about this way - between my wife and I, the Cobalt cards have cost us $140 so far in monthly fees and all of our spending is spending we would have done anyways and would have put on other cards if we didn't have the Cobalt cards. To earn nearly $5,400 of rewards for $140 is insane and would be the envy of any financial planner. I can tell you right now that putting $140 into other investments would not generate that sort of return!

Update: Just wanted to add in that this $5390 equates to about a 17% return on the actually spending made on the cards!

Ultimately we will continue to run with two separate Cobalt accounts for another 5 months until the 12 months is up at which time the plan is to cancel my card and get a supplementary card for my wife's account. There will not be a need for two separate accounts as the 12 months of sign up bonuses will be complete and might as well pool the spending into one account.

How about you? How has the Cobalt card been for you? What sort of value are getting from it? let us know in the comments section below!

Don't have the card and are still not convinced and want to learn more about it? Visit our Cobalt Card Resource page for lots more information!

Otherwise here are the details for the card:

This is not a sponsored post and is fully the opinion of the author. American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details, current product information and Terms and Conditions, click the Apply now link.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

May 29 Update: 50 Bonus AIR MILES at Rexall, use Mileage Plan miles for hotel stays, new Amex discount for Air Canada flights

Earn yourself 50 bonus AIR MILES if you spend $50 or more at Rexall with this coupon.

Alaska Airlines has expanded their relationship with Rocketmiles and have launched Mileage Plan Hotels as a result. The interface is very similar to their previous earning relationship with Rocketmiles however now they have their own URL and branding for it. The big difference with the new Mileage Plan Hotels is that you can now redeem miles for hotel stays. Find out more here

Surprisingly the value of using miles for hotels isn't terrible - about C$ 1.44 cents per mile, not great but not as bad as we see with other programs. Still Mileage Plan miles are way too valuable to be using them for hotels unless you have so many miles that you don't know what to do with them!

Check your email for an exclusive 15% discount code for Air Canada flights if you are an American Express cardholder!

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
Accor Hotels: Enjoy this summer with 30% off in more than 2,700 properties worldwide. Offer valid from May 29th until June 1st, 2018 for stays between July 6th and September 2nd, 2018 Phuket from $31 Paris from $57 Berlin from $58. 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 750 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for each stay at Best Western Hotels in Canada, the United States, or the Caribbean Islands. More... Until Sep 30, 18

WestJet Rewards
- Earn up to 50% Bonus Elite Qualifying Spend when you fly on WestJet. More... Targeted offer - may not work for everyone y Register and book by Jun 30 for travel until Jul 10, 18

Other Bonus Offers
Copa ConnectMiles
- 750 Bonus ConnectMiles on qualifying rentals of 3 or more days at participating Budget locations worldwide. More... Until Sep 30, 18

Hilton Honors
- 5,000 Bonus Honors Points when you stay at least two nights at participating Waldorf Astoria or Conrad hotels & resorts. More... Targeted offer - may not work for everyone Until Dec 31, 18

IHG Rewards Club
- Fast Track to Gold Elite Status - Complete one stay within 90 days of registering and receive Gold Status. More... Targeted Offer - May not work for everyone  Until Aug 7, 18

Jet Airways JetPrivilege
- Earn Double JPMiles for stays at Wyndham Hotels Worldwide. Bonus will be awarded on the first, second and third stays. More... Book by Oct 31 for stays until Nov 9, 18

Shangri-La Golden Circle
- Earn up to 3,000 Bonus GC Awards Points when you book a return flight on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir, and reserve a stay at any Shangri-La Hotel and Resort, Kerry Hotel, Traders Hotel or Hotel Jen. More... Book by Jun 30 for flights/stays Jul 1 - Aug 31, 18

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Flight Review: Air Canada Business Class AC8567/8568 Calgary - San Francisco (YYC-SFO)

It's been sometime since I've posted a flight review on here so I thought I would bring you one that I did take a few pictures on!

The Rewards Canada family made our annual pilgrimage to Maui, this time for Easter Break and for the first time in a long time we took connecting flights instead of flying direct. There were several reasons for this. First Air Canada rouged the Calgary to Kahului route so International Business Class pods are no longer available on the route and secondly since we were booking for Easter break which meant both Air Canada and WestJet were charging an arm and a leg for the direct flights! I started researching other options to get their comfortably and found Hawaiian Airlines was selling their first class (really business class but that’s what they call it for flights from the US mainland to the islands) but out of San Francisco. Not a big problem easy enough to fly to SFO from YYC and Air Canada has excellent pricing for business class there and back so it didn’t take long to book all the flights. The combination of AC business class and Hawaiian business calls came in at a price that wasn’t far off what WestJet and Rouge were charging! This was a good way to travel, try out a new airline and add in a day in SFO to our Maui trip

Here is the actual review of our YYC-SFO flights!

The flights between Calgary and San Francisco are operated by Air Canada Express (Jazz) with CRJ-900s. It’s been probably 10 years since we’ve flown on a CRJ and that last flight was in Economy Plus on United from SFO to Calgary! The flight down had an older plane while the flight back had a much newer one which was super clean, had LED lighting and felt and smelled brand new!

The seats seemed like your standard North American business class seats but all of us in the family did find them more comfortable than those used on Air Canada's Airbus family.  The business class cabin has a 1-2 layout which is perfect for families of 4 (2 and 2 ahead of each other) or for single travelers who want that coveted single seat! The seats offer a 37" pitch and are 21" wide. For a family that doesn't tower like ours the 37" pitch works just fine - here are shots of the leg room I had:

Flights in both directions were delayed especially so for the return. On that return flight the incoming plane was apparently held in Calgary due to ground delays at SFO for the rain. In SFO we wanted to visit the American Express Centurion Lounge for the delay, we went in and were out within about 5 minutes as it was so crowded! The line up to get drinks from the single bartender was at least 10 people deep if not more. Even with further entry restrictions on these lounges they are proving to be so popular that they can't be enjoyed. We found a much quieter and surprisingly comfier spot in terminal G where AC flies out of, sure the food and drinks weren't free but the sanity was worth it.
Arriving into SFO is always fun as it is one of the best airports to plane spot from your seat on the plane:

In flight service both ways was attentive and good. There are no complaints at all with the friendliness of the crews as well as  the drink and snack selections.

Food was so-so for both flights. Going down to SFO the chicken dish was edible and on the return flight you could tell the my wife’s meal was at the hottest part of the oven as the rice was rock hard while mine was probably next to it as it was partially hard!

AC8568 Menu SFO-YYC

General Tao Chicken with hard rice
On the flight back to Calgary the in-flight entertainment system was inoperative and despite several resets the cabin crew could not get it to work. They had issues on the flight down to SFO as well so the attendants already had compensation cards ready and handed them out to all of the business class passengers. Good planning on the flight attendant's part!

Overall flying AC domestic business class between Calgary and California is always nice and many times it is a great deal price wise - we've been lucky enough to do it quite a few times and find it a better option over WestJet's Plus cabin although the latter will start implementing a true 2-2 cabin so we'll have to see how that compares!

You may ask, why did we fly business class on this relatively short flight instead of economy and bring the price down even further? Well, we were lucky, when booking the flights business class was pricing out only about $100 more than economy - likely to compete with WestJet's Plus pricing and when you factor in bag fees, seat selections fees and so on with the economy class fare not to mention extra Aeroplan miles earned in business the difference ends up only being around $40 which is more than worth it on a ~2 hour flight.

For future flights I would definitely fly Air Canada Express' Business Class on this route if the price is right like it was for these ones!

IHG Rewards Club: Gold Elite Status with one stay (Targeted offer - may not work for everyone)

Received this offer in my email not too long ago - it may possibly work for some of you as well. Always be careful however with IHG as they have been known to close accounts that sign up for too many targeted offers that weren't targeted for that member.

Offer details:
Fast Track to Gold Elite Status - Complete one stay within 90 days of registering and receive Gold Status. Full details and online booking  Until Aug 7, 18
Targeted Offer - May not work for everyone

Find many more IHG Rewards Club Bonus Points offers here

Monday, May 28, 2018

Earn 750 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for Best Western stays this summer

We've already let you know about Best Western's own summer promo offering a $20 gift card but what if you will have more than one stay at a BW (since the BW promo is limited to one $20 gift card) or don't think you can make use of the gift card within 120 days? Credit your stay to Aeroplan! Especially now that they have a summer promotion offering 750 bonus miles (1,000 total miles) for stays until the end of August.

Offer details:
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 and booking (Registration is required) Until Sep 30, 18

Find many more Aeroplan bonus offers here.

Friday, May 25, 2018

May 25 Update: 3x AIR MILES on select outdoor items at Lowe's and Cathay Pacific YVR-JFK seat sale

Now that spring has hit most of Canada (Newfoundland we hope you get it soon after that big snow day this week!) lots of you will be doing gardening and outdoor updates which may include new patio furniture and more. Well if that's the case Lowe's is offering 3x AIR MILES Reward Miles when you spend $150 or more on patio furniture, grills, gazebos and more this weekend. Find out more here.

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
Cathay Pacific Vancouver - New York JFK sale: Economy class from $525 and Premium Economy from $965 round trip. Book by May 31 for travel until June 30. 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
Best Western Rewards
- Earn a US$20 Best Western Travel Card on your next Best Western stay Worldwide. More... Until Sep 3, 18

Other Bonus Offers
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- Earn up to 40% Bonus Mileage Plan Miles when you buy 10,000 or more miles. More... Until Jul 3, 18

American AAdvantage
- Earn up to 4x AAdvantage Miles for stays at IHG Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Jul 31, 18

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- 50% Bonus Asia Miles for 2-night stays at any participating properties under Millennium Hotels & Resorts. More... Until Jun 30, 18

Copa ConnectMiles
- 40% Bonus ConnectMiles when you buy or gift 5,000 or more ConnectMiles. More... Until May 31, 18

Ethiopian ShebaMiles
- Double ShebaMiles when you fly Ethiopian between Addis Ababa and Barcelona. More... Jul 1 - Jul 31, 18

Iberia Plus
- Triple Avios for stays at Accor Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Jun 30, 18

IHG Rewards Club
- Fast Track to Elite Status or earn Triple Points for stays at Kimpton Hotels More... Targeted Offer - May not work for everyone  Until Aug 15, 18

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
- Double Mileage Bank Miles for stays at participating Chatrium Hotels in Asia. More... Until Jun 30, 18

Marriott Rewards
- 3,000 Bonus Rewards Points PER NIGHT for stays on the opening package at the Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse. More... Until Jun 28, 18
- 5,000 Bonus Rewards Points per stay of 2+ nights at any of 8 participating Kessler’s Autograph Collection hotels in Southeast U.S. More... Jun 1 - Aug 24, 18

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Earn up to Triple ROP Miles for stays of 2+ nights at Accor Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Jun 30, 18

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