Tuesday, June 26, 2018

June 26 Update: What happens to Marriott Free Night Certificates come August, lower sign up bonus on no fee SimplyCash and Amex Business Gold Rewards no longer 1st year free

As of today the sign up bonus for the no fee SimplyCash Card from American Express has been lowered. The new rate is 2.5% on purchases in the first three months (up to $150). This is down from 5% with a maximum of $250 cash back however you are not limited to grocery, gas or restaurants to get this sign up bonus - it 2.5% back on all purchases up to that $150 level.

That's not the only change from American Express today, the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card is no longer first year free. The $250 annual fee must now be paid in the first year of having the card. Going to have to update our Travel Hacking 101 post now and we just did so last week. The card issuers are really clamping down on the gaming of the cards!

Rewards Canada reader Thomas M asked a very good question on what happens with Marriott Free Night Certificates in the new combined program:
I have multiple certificates currently (Chase Canada Visa and Fall Megabonus) that will expire in the fall/next spring. They both state they are valid to be used on category 1-5.

Do you know:

a) will you be able to use the above mentioned certificates on a new category 5 hotel once the new categories are realeased this summer(combined SPG/marriott)? I know those will now cost 35,000 points, but they technically will be categorized category 5, which the certificates also state.

b) can you book a category 7 hotel (35,000 points) and then apply the certificate to a reservation once the hotel changes are announced? This is with the assumption that a hotel stays in the same points category (requiring 35k points before (cat 7) and after(cat 5))
And this is the answer from Marriott:
Certificates attached now for a stay after launch date will convert as well but still be honored at the hotel for redemption regardless of any possible points required change for that specific location.  This is the same approach as our annual category changes. If the reservation is canceled or modified after launch date then the free certificate sits as up to 25k regardless of what it used to be attached to. 
Short answer that is safe to say is all free night certificates issued to date will be honoured at the points thresholds issued.
So if I read this correctly the old Category 1-5 certificates will be good at hotels that are up to 25,000 points (the old Cat 1-5) not the new Cat 1-5 of up to 35,000 points. However if you book a hotel now that is Category 1-5 it will be honored even if it ends up above the 25,000 point level in the new program

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
Save up to 15 % on Marriott stays in Canada! Book at a participating hotel by July 1, 2018 for stays until July 31, 2018 and save up to 10% on best available rates!  Marriott Rewards® Members save up to 5% more. Find out more here.

Receive a $100 CAD resort credit each night of your stay at the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge. Book by Jun 30 for stays until Jul 31, 18 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

Other Bonus Offers
Best Western Rewards
- Double Rewards Points for stays at the Best Western Plus Buckingham International Melbourne. More... Until Sep 30, 18

Hilton Honors
- 5,000 Bonus Honors Points per night when you complete a stay of 2 or more nights at Hilton Hotels in the Americas. More... Targeted offer - may not work for everyone Until Jan 31, 19

Le Club AccorHotels
- Triple Le Club AccorHotels Points for stays at participating Accor Hotels in France. More... For members residing in Asia Pacific only Book by Aug 31 for stays until Oct 31, 18

Marriott Rewards
- 2,000 Bonus Rewards Points per night for stays at participating Courtyard Hotels in New York, Pennsylvania or Texas. More... Until Aug 31, 18

SAS EuroBonus
- 750 EuroBonus Points per night for stays at First Hotels in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. More... Until Jul 31, 18
- Earn 6,000 Bonus EuroBonus Points for Sixt car rentals of 6 or more days Worldwide. More... Book by Jul 8 for rentals Sep 1 - Oct 31, 18

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Earn up to 3,000 Bonus Flying Club Miles when you book hotels via PointHound. More... Until Jul 31, 18
- 75% Bonus Flying Club Miles on your first hotel stay booked via Rocketmiles. More... Book by Sep 30, 18

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