Thursday, March 28, 2019

A look at how The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card provides huge value!

PLEASE NOTE: The 60,000 Point Welcome Bonus Offer is no longer available The current bonus is 50,000 points.

Late in February American Express released the refreshed Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card. This is the new version of the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express that was always highly recommended by us for many years. With the name change also came an increased welcome bonus of 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you spend $1,500 on the card within the first three months of having it. For many of you who may be new to points and miles or just the Marriott program, you may not be fully aware of what 60,000 points can really bring you. In this post we'll give a few examples of this value and why this card ranks in our Top 5 Sign Up offers for the month despite having an annual fee. On top of the welcome bonus the card has lots of other benefits that extend the value of this card, namely the anniversary free night benefit for hotels which we also look at below!

Value in the the Welcome Bonus
Let's get down to business. I hear your yelling at your screen. Show me the value! What can I get for 60,000 points?

Fancy a fancy staycation during the summer high season? The St. Regis Toronto runs over $600 per night, $612 to be exact for the AAA rate but you can get that one night for 60,000 points:

So with the 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points welcome bonus from the card you would can get a room worth $612! Oh and if you are thinking maybe the value could be less because you could book via a third party? Well Expedia, and the host others all were selling the above room for $629. Subtract the annual fee of $120 and the card already has you $492 ahead. There are very few cards in Canada that will give you $492 in value just from the welcome bonus.

Using points isn't all about staying at fancy hotels. Maybe you need to go to Guelph? The Fairfield Inn and Suites Guelph is only 12,500 points per night in July for rooms that run $175. The welcome bonus of 60,000 points would get you four of those nights plus you would have points left over. (and you could get a 5th night if you needed for free - see below)

Four nights here would cost you 50,000 points for a $700 stay. Minus the $120 annual fee and you've made your welcome bonus worth $580 and you still have 10,000 points left over to use elsewhere. This would push the value of the welcome bonus closer to $700!

Have an early flight out of Vancouver and need a hotel near the airport the night before in August? The Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport is only 25,000 points while the best rate we could find was the AAA rate of $396

Redeeming 25,000 points for $396 stay shows us the best value yet in our random searches until you keep reading on! Imagine two nights, 50,000 points for $792. Now you have $672 in value from the welcome bonus and still have 10,000 points leftover.

Are you starting to get the picture of the immense value of this card?

Enough with the Canadian hotels you say! Show me something far away!

How about the St. Regis Mauritius in January 2020?  This would only be one night:

$2,109 USD for the welcome bonus of 60,000 points? Unheard of value! But let's be real - you're not going to stay here for one night. You could achieve two nights if you have a partner/spouse who would also get the card - both of you would get 60,000 points for 120,000 in total and you have two nights. The two cards would cost you and your partner C$240 in annual fees but as you can see the value being pulled from two cards could be huge!

Stay for 5, pay for 4 Benefit!
You also have to remember the benefit from the Marriott Bonvoy program that allows you to book 5 nights with points and you only pay for 4. This benefit is another way you can stretch the value of the sign up bonus (and of course any points you earn for card spend!)
You could get 5 nights at the Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna in Egypt and still have 10,000 points leftover as it is a Category 2 hotel that runs 12,500 points per night. However with the 5th night free you are only paying 50,000 points in total for a stay that would otherwise cost you US$912 or about C$1220. Again the card is providing you a savings of about $1,100 after taking the annual fee into account (and you still have 10K points leftover!) Technically speaking, since you have to spend $1,500 on your card to get your Welcome Bonus you would have more than enough points to actually get 6 nights at this hotel for 62,500 points.

Value in the Anniversary Free Night benefit
I could go on and on with many more examples but I think by now you should be able to see what the welcome bonus on this card can provide you. How about keeping the card beyond the first year since you won't have the welcome bonus? You definitely would want to, even if it is just for the anniversary free night of at a hotel up to 35,000 points. Back to examples for this one!

While I was searching up Mauritius I saw that the Westin Turtle Bay Resort and Spa is only 35,000 points per night.
To get your anniversary free night you have to pay the $120 annual fee again on the card again. As you can see from the example above you are way ahead as you would be getting a US$497 room for C$120. Again let's get more realistic and look closer to home where you might use a one night free night benefit:

Now you are in Calgary and need a hotel for the night before an early flight. Or maybe you live in YYC and want a staycation. The Rewards Canada family can recommend the Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel (read our review here) and it runs 35,000 points for one night:

The 35,000 points you got as an anniversary benefit just got you a $287 room for $120. This is just one example of the most realistic type of redemption you would be making with this benefit. It shows that this is a card you will want to keep in your wallet as it will continue to give you more than what you put into it.

There you have it - a look at the value this card provides strictly from the welcome bonus and anniversary free night benefit. We didn't even touch upon the 15 Elite Night Credits given to you every year you have the card, the automatic Silver Elite status (and Gold if you hit $30,000 in spending on the card), the ability to convert to a wide selection of airlines and the earn rates of 5 points per dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties and 2 points per dollar everywhere else.

Now, do you see why the card ranks as one of top five overall cards in Canada (Rewards Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2019) and as one of the Top 5 Sign Up offers?

Do you have the card? Let us know how you have maximized the value from it in the comments section below!

- 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.
- This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

Monday, March 25, 2019

30 to 35% Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you convert hotel loyalty program points until April 22 - Marriott is included again

We see the return of the Aeroplan hotel loyalty program conversion bonus! Last seen in November, the hotel only transfer bonus is back and as we have now become accustomed to it is a 30% bonus. There are two programs offering more miles however, Radisson Rewards is adding in an additional 30% for 60% total while Coast Hotels Coast Rewards is giving 4x Aeroplen Miles. You'll have until April 22 to make any transfers into Aeroplan. This bonus offer is a good way to use up some of those orphaned hotel points you may never use if you are a frequent Aeroplan redeemer.

The great news for the spring version of this bonus is that Marriott Bonvoy is included again, well last time we still knew it as Marriott Rewards. Marriott (and its subsidiaries) have the best transfer ratio to airline programs at a rate of 3 Marriott Rewards points to 1 airline mile but they also add in 5,000 more miles when you convert 60,000 points at a time. That means with this promotion 60,000 points transferred to Aeroplan will net you 32,500 miles (20,000 miles at 3:1 + 5,000 miles from Marriott + 30% bonus). The easiest way to earn Marriott points in Canada outside of actual hotel stays is with the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card which at the time of this post is offering 60,000 points as a welcome bonus. Now chances are you won't have the points post from the card in time for this iteration of the Aeroplan transfer bonus but you can start banking on the summer bonus which typically comes around August. This is also a good time to convert points from something like the Cobalt Card to Marriott to Aeroplan!

Most of Aeroplan's hotel partners are participating in the promotion so you can convert from any of the following to add to your final tally.

Offer details
30% Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you convert Hotel loyalty programs points to Aeroplan Miles.  Click here for full details Until Apr 22, 19

Additional bonus offers:
* Radisson is offering an extra 30% conversion bonus, meaning members will earn a total of 60% more miles if they convert their Radisson Rewards points during the campaign

* Coast Hotels is offering a bonus of 4x the miles when you convert your Coast Rewards points to Aeroplan Miles during the campaign
Hotel partner loyalty programs eligible for this promotion are: Marriott, IHG, Hilton Honors, Best Western, Radisson, Shangri-La, Accor Hotels, Choice Hotels and Coast Hotels.

There is also this targeted offer being sent out to select members:
I did receive it and many of our readers have let us know that they have received it as well!
Find many more Aeroplan bonus offers here

Images via Aeroplan

Friday, March 22, 2019

Earn Double Avios on all British Airways flights from Canada to London (and all other BA flights worldwide)

Here is another great flight bonus offer, not only for us Canadians, but anyone flying British Airways globally! Right now when you register and book British Airways flights by April 19 that are flown anytime this year - you'll earn 100% bonus Avios on those flights. The bonus is good for up to 6 flight sectors which means if you are flying point to point it would be valid for three round trips however if you are say flying Toronto-London-Milan that would count as 4 sectors if flown round trip.

Offer details:
Double Avios on all British Airways flights worldwide and also on a BA prefix on American Airlines, Iberia or Finnair between Europe and North America. The promotion also applies to travel on domestic flights within the UK and southern Africa (operated by Comair), Sunnair and CityFlyer.
Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required) Register and book by Apr 19 for travel until Dec 31, 19

Find many more Executive Club bonus Avios offers here!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Limited Time – Earn up to Quadruple Skywards Miles on all Emirates flights (Book by Mar 31)

Yesterday Emirates launched a pretty amazing system flight bonus campaign for Skywards members! The more you fly the more you’ll earn with this bonus. After you register and book you’ll earn 100% (Double) Bonus Miles on your first flight, 200% (Triple) Bonus Miles on your second flight and 300% (Quadruple) Bonus Miles on your fourth flights! Simply register for the offer and book your flights by March 31 for travel April to June 27 and September 6 to November 30, 2019!

  1. The ‘Emirates Skywards Bonus Offer March 2019 ‘ is open to all Emirates Skywards members who:
    a) are existing members, or who enrol as a new member by 11.59pm on 31 March 2019 (Dubai time).
    b) have registered for the promotion by 11.59pm 31 March 2019 (Dubai time) either via the email link, via, via, or through an Emirates Contact Centre. Skysurfers can register only with consent from their Parent/Guardian, who must register via the Emirates Contact Centre.
    c) have booked and completed issuance of an Eligible Ticket and Eligible Fare (return or one way) between 00.01am on 20 March 2019 and 11.59pm on 31 March 2019, as per the ‘Date of Issue’ on the ticket receipt. Tickets may be purchased via; or through a travel agent.
    d) have completed their journey on Eligible Flights between 00.01am on 10 April 2019 and 11.59pm on 27 June 2019 and/or between 00.01am on 6 September and 11.59pm on 30 November 2019 (Dubai time). Note the Bonus Offer is not valid for any travel between 28 June and 5 September 2019 (inclusive).
  2. An Eligible Fare on Emirates is defined as: “Saver”, “Flex” or “Flex Plus” in either Economy Class or Business Class.
  3. An Eligible Fare on flydubai is defined as: “Value” or “Flex” in Economy Class or “Business” in Business Class.
  4. An Eligible Flight is defined as: one operated and/or marketed by Emirates or flydubai to/from any destination. All other codeshare and interline flights are excluded from this offer.
  5. An Eligible Ticket is defined as: prefix 176 (being Emirates), prefix 141 or 169 (being flydubai) or any booking receipt issued directly via
    a) Tickets purchased under Cash plus Miles form of payment are not eligible to earn the bonus.
  6. A member who, at the discretion of Emirates Skywards, satisfies the conditions set out in Clause 1 will be awarded bonus Skywards Miles increments in addition to the Skywards Miles normally earned in respect of the flight.
    a) The bonus multiple is calculated on the base Skywards Miles earned, excluding any cabin class bonuses and/or tier status bonuses. As per Skywards Programme Rules, base Miles are defined as the Miles a member earns per Eligible Fare in Economy Class from one Emirates Skywards zone to another.
    b)The Skywards Miles bonuses applicable for this promotion are: 100% bonus on the first Eligible Ticket, entailing the first journey undertaken during the promotion period; 200% bonus on the second Eligible Ticket, entailing the second journey undertaken during the promotion period; 300% bonus on the third Eligible Ticket, entailing the third journey undertaken during the promotion travel period.
    c)The bonus applies as per the original ticketed class, excluding any subsequent reward or complimentary upgrades, or other changes.
  7. Any tickets ineligible for normal Skywards Miles accrual are also excluded from earning bonus Miles. These are detailed in the Emirates Skywards Programme Rules.
  8. All other Emirates Skywards Programme Rules apply.

AIR MILES Mega Miles Event: Earn up to 1,000 Bonus Reward Miles for shopping at multiple sponsors

The annual AIR MILES Mega Miles event kicked off today and presents a really nice bonus mile earning opportunity. If you meet the requirement of using Mega Miles coupons at 3 or 5 or more sponsors you'll be awarded with 300 to 1,000 Reward Miles over and above the base miles and coupon bonus miles awarded. This promotion runs until April 25. This year the bonus miles offers are lower than before with 2015 through 2018 all maxing out at 1,250 miles compared to this year's 1,000 miles. We also noticed a lot of the individual offer coupons are lower this year.

As was introduced in 2018,  AIR MILES now gives you two levels of bonuses, you can make it to only 3 sponsors and get a lower bonus of 300 miles (it was 650 last year) or still go for 5 or more to get 1,000 bonus miles.

The offers from the participating sponsors do have varying validity dates so be sure you check those to make sure you can earn them. For example, the Sobeys Liquor offer for Alberta is only valid April 4 to 10.

Here is the cheapest way we found to earn the bonus simply by looking at all the details on the coupons (Alberta region) would be as follows:
  • Spend $50 at IGA, Safeway or Sobeys (5x Bonus Miles coupon)
  • Spend $10 at Shell for in-store items (5 Bonus Miles coupon)
  • Spend $40 on almost anything at Rexall (20 Bonus Miles coupon - this coupon was 40 miles last year)
  • Join Rewarding your Opinions and complete your first survey (15 Bonus Miles Coupon)
  • Spend $20 at Food Saver, Oster or Crockpot online (10x Miles Coupon)

That's $120 in spending to earn the 1,000 Bonus Mega Miles Miles (or as little $30 for 3 sponsors to get 300 bonus miles) but then you have to add in your base amount miles plus the coupon bonuses for an additional miles. We value AIR MILES Rewards Miles at an average of 13 cents each, so you are getting back $130 on your $120 in spending, that is a great return!  For some of you it may take more or less spending but  if this is shopping you are already planning on doing then jump on the Mega Miles event right away so that you can earn this bonus.

Find out more and print all your coupons here!

March 21 Update: Tim Hortons launches Tims Rewards & six new airline & hotel bonus offers

Tim Horton's has officially launched their loyalty program Tims Rewards. You can tell its modelled to compete with one of their biggest competitors, McD's. The program is simple, make 7 purchases, get 1 item free. The free item is limited to a coffee, tea or baked good. Ideally if you want to maximize the program you'll want to just buy lower priced items however you won't be able to do split purchases like the old Starbucks MyRewards program as there is a 30 minute time span in which you have to wait before scanning your Tims card for another purchase. Also purchases under 50 cents won't count towards a reward. Also of note is that unused rewards expire after 120 days and you can only bank up to 5 rewards on your account. You can find more about the Tim Rewards program here.

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
Marriott: Complimentary Room Upgrade and EUR50 Resort credit for stays at participating Marriott Resorts in Europe. Book by Apr 5 for stays until Apr 1 - Jun 30 & Sep 1 - Oct 30, 19 Full details & online booking

Spring Sale - Save up to 30% on Avis Rentals Worldwide until March 31 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
British Airways Executive Club
- 800 Bonus Avios for Avis rentals of 3 or more days Worldwide that are booked via BA. More... Book by Apr 15 for rentals until May 31, 19

Marriott Bonvoy
- 5,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for stays at the Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay More... Apr 1 - Jun 24, 19
- 5,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for stays of 3 or more nights at the Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection. More... Apr 17 - Jun 17, 19

Miles & More
- Earn up to Quadruple Miles & More Miles on Hertz rentals in Italy. More... Until May 31, 19

SAS EuroBonus
- Earn up to 8,000 Extra EuroBonus Points on Hertz rentals in Europe and North America. More... Book by Mar 31 for rentals until Jul 12, 19

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

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Cineplex's SCENE program changing earn and burn rates on April 17 - significantly devalues current balances and the SCENE Visa Card

Playing catch up on this news! Some time ago Cineplex announced changes coming to their very popular SCENE program. These changes will take place on April 17, the day after Starbucks' changes, so that will be the week of change!

The forthcoming changes to the SCENE program will be seen on both points earning and points redeeming sides. I think for most people who don't hold a SCENE Visa Card or have a big points balance, the changes aren't that significant moving forward as the majority of members do earn and redeem for movies. Ultimately when you look at the revised earn and burn schedule for movies you are still getting 1 free movie for  every 10 movies you purchase (of the same type that is, ie Standard or 3D or Enhanced or VIP)

But in reality what this does mean, is all your current balances, if not used prior to April 17 are being devalued. Your 1,000 points that you thought would get you a movie will not after that date. You'll have to spend at 250 more points or more if you are going for the fancier movie settings.
Other devaluation comes in the food and drinks at the movies and to the credit card. Concession Combos will now earn more points and remain the same on the redeeming side but it is when you buy non-combos where you will take the hit. The earn rate is being cut in half from 10 points per $1 to 5 points per $1 however it will still take 500 points to get $5 off those items. Outside of Cineplex movie and food options the earn and redemption rates at their dining partners (Cara group of restaurants and The Rec Room) will remain the same.

The other major hit that I see here isn't mentioned on the SCENE website and that is with these new redemption rates for movie tickets the points earned from the Cineplex SCENE Visa are being devauled. You see, the card, as pointed out by one of our readers when we mentioned the new welcome bonus on it, has been increased to 2,500 points which still equates to 2 free movies, so this is the same as the old welcome bonus of 2,000 points. Glad they kept that the same. What they don't mention is that your everyday earn rate on the card has not changed. You still earn 1 point per $1 spend on the card outside of Cineplex purchases which earn 5 points per $1. This means where you could spend $1,000 on the card before and get a free standard movie ticket you now have to spend $1,250 to get that same ticket!  I would wager a guess that is this a major reasoning behind the change in the program not what is stated on the website - that's just marketing speak:

As is seen with most loyalty programs, most points that are issued are from co-branded credit cards and I believe this to be the same for the SCENE program. People spend lots on their cards and hold onto big balances of points. So how do you get rid of all those points that have been accumulated and hoarded? Make it cost more points to redeem for items. This to me stands out to be the main reason for the upcoming changes. I could be wrong, I hope I am but time after time this tends to be the case. Hey though,  it's not all bad news, 3D movies have gotten cheaper now but really how many 3D movies are out there these days?

Learn more about the Cineplex SCENE changes here.

What are all your thoughts on the changes? Did we miss anything? Will you be keeping the SCENE Visa Card? Let us know in the comments section below!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

March 20 Update: Our global bonus miles blog moves to Boarding Area, we add Singapore Airlines as a partner & more!

Many of you know we run a global points and miles website Frequent Flyer Bonuses which you can find at Much like Rewards Canada there is a main site and the blog, the latter of which is used to provide news, updates on the latest bonuses, time limited offers etc. Well the blog officially moved today to Boarding Area. If you are not aware of Boarding Area it is the go to source for points and miles blogs from around the world. Some of the biggest blogs out there are on Boarding Area and for the FFB blog, we feel it is the perfect fit since Boarding Area is global, has a global audience and FFB is global. In fact we don't know of any other site or blog that covers loyalty promotions from as many programs around the world as FFB! Check out the blog today!


We're also excited about our newest travel booking partner - Singapore Airlines! You can now book Singapore Airlines as a partner of Rewards Canada. Any bookings you make are directly with Singapore Airlines any thet are attributed to Rewards Canada. You can book your Singapore Airlines flights here or via our Book Travel page!

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
Marriott: Complimentary Room Upgrade and EUR50 Resort credit for stays at participating Marriott Resorts in Europe. Book by Apr 5 for stays until Apr 1 - Jun 30 & Sep 1 - Oct 30, 19 Full details & online booking

Spring Sale - Save up to 30% on Avis Rentals Worldwide until March 31 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
Miles & More
- Double Miles & More Miles when you fly Austrian Airlines between Montreal and Vienna. More... Register and book by Jun 30 for travel Apr 29 - Dec 31, 19

Other Bonus Offers
Choice Hotels Privileges
- Earn up to 50% Bonus Privileges Points when you buy points online. More... Until Apr 22, 19

Finnair Plus
- Double Plus Points for stays at participating Accor Hotels Worldwide. More... Book by Apr 15 for stays until May 31, 19

Le Club AccorHotels
- Earn up to Triple Le Club AccorHotels Points for stays at participating Asia Pacific Accor hotels More... Until May 31, 19

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Earn up to Triple KrisFlyer Miles for stays of 2+ nights at participating Pan Pacific and PARKROYAL hotels and resorts Worldwide. More... Until Jun 30, 19

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- 30% Bonus Miles&Smiles Miles when you fly on Turkish Airlines between Istanbul and Colombo, Karachi, Dubrovnik, Sofia, Varna, Warsaw, Najaf, Abidjan, Accra, Lusaka, Addis Ababa or Libreville. More... Apr 1 - 30, 19
30% Miles&Smiles Discount when you redeem for award travel on Turkish Airlines between Istanbul and various cities in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. More... Apr 1 - 30, 19

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A closer look at how a Winnipegger maximizes his Scotiabank Gold American Express Card purchases

Today we welcome a new contributor to Rewards Canada, Jeff W.! Jeff has been a long time reader of Rewards Canada and we've had lots of discussions with him via email and Twitter as he is always looking to maximize his credit card, travel and other loyalty program rewards! This is his first post of several that will look at how he utilizes the Scotiabank Gold American Express card!

Hey fellow Rewards Canada Readers.  I’ve always been intrigued by rewards credit cards, as well as travel and other loyalty programs.  We’re a family of four, with two young kids, I’d say with an average family income. We love to travel and take our kids on experiences as often as we can as I think family vacations can be very educational.  Normally we’ll do a few weekend road trips per year, a week or two summer vacation, and then a winter tropical vacation every two years, for a couple weeks.

We have used several different rewards travel credit cards for our travels, but out of all of them the card that brings us the biggest value is the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card.  This card is our main card when it comes to gas, groceries, dinning, and entertainment as it gives you a 4% return on those purchases.  All other purchases result in a 1% return, therefore we use a secondary travel credit card for those purchases. (Editors note: Jeff still has a grandfathered Capital One Aspire World Elite Mastercard earning 2% on those purchases) 

Over $1,200 in travel earned in 12 months
The entertainment portion of the 4% multiplier is where we earn the most points.  37% of our points earnings since signing up for this card in January of 2017 is in this category.  One area where we earn lots of entertainment points is at the movies.  With having two kids we love movie days, as well as date nights at the movie theatre (VIP Theatres are great!).  We rack up the SCENE points when purchasing our movie tickets, food, and drinks.  Once you have accumulated 1,000 SCENE points you can then transfer them over to your Scotia Rewards account.  1,000 scene points will give you 950 Scotia Rewards points, which equates to $9.50 in travel rewards.  You might ask why not keep the SCENE points and redeem them for free movies.  Well, we prefer to pay for our movies to get the 4% benefit, and have the added benefit which I consider bonus points in the transfer for SCENE points to Scotia Rewards points.

Another way we maximize our 4% entertainment return is with our Winnipeg Jets Season tickets.  Last year with our regular season payment, we earned $278 in travel, simply with that one purchase.  Plus, keep in mind playoff ticket purchases simply add onto that number as well.  We are a sports family, whether that’s the Jets in the winter time, or the Winnipeg Goldeyes, or Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the summer time, those tickets all bring us a 4% return.  Like going to concerts?  Yup, that’s another 4% return.
Jeff and his wife at a Jets game - paid for with the Scotiabank Gold Amex Card!
One of the great or not so great benefits, depending on how you look at it, is what do most people do before or after an entertainment event?  They eat…or drink…or both.  Yes, dining also gives you a 4% return on your purchases.  It’s not surprising that since we started using our Scotiabank Gold Amex, 26% of our spending has been on dining.  As long as the restaurant or bar is classified as dining with Amex you get your 4% return.  That includes most mall restaurants, McDonalds, Burger king, Starbucks, and full-service restaurant.  So if you decide to hit up a restaurant before the Jets game, then attend the game, and go out for drinks after, you’re earning 4% back towards travel that entire night.

In the approximately 25 months since having this card…again with only modest spending habits, we are averaging almost $100 a month in travel.  Combine this with a modest annual fee of $99 for your first card, and $29 for supplemental cards, it’s a great value.  The added benefit of how flexible this card is, you can book your travel as you see fit, charge it on your card, and then use your points for a statement credit.  You’ll receive a slight discount on your travel too, as you’ll earn 1% back for your travel purchase.

Oh and if you do decide to travel, and fly with WestJet, if you book your flight through the Scotia Rewards website, you can receive up to a 5% discount of your base fares.  This is a nice perk which isn’t typically discussed as one of the card perks.

How about you? Do you have the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card? How do you maximize your points earning from the card? Tell us in the comments section below!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Earn Double Miles & More Miles on Austrian Airlines' new Montreal-Vienna Route!

In just a few short months Austrian Airlines will be launching their new Montreal to Vienna route and to celebrate they are offering double Miles & More miles for all of 2019 (well from route launch of Apr 29 to Dec 31) as long as you book your flights by Jun 30. Remember Miles & More awards miles per euro spent on airfare rather than the mileage flown. The base rate is 4 miles per Euro unless you have status with Miles & More in which case you'll earn 6 miles per Euro spent. 

Offer details
Double Miles & More Miles when you fly Austrian Airlines between Montreal and Vienna. Register online (Registration is required). Register and book by Jun 30 for  travel Apr 29 - Dec 31, 19

Find many more Miles & More bonus miles offers here!

March 19 Update: Air Canada provides updated Boeing 737 MAX-less schedule, British Airways new Club World seat coming to Toronto & bonus Hilton points in downtown Ottawa

Air Canada revealed today that they have removed the grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8 from their schedule until July 1st at the very earliest. They have completed updating their schedule until April 30 with roughly 98% of their flights now being covered. There are several 737 MAX 8 flown routes that have been cancelled which probably accounts for that 2% of the schedule that they didn't cover. Of course the Rewards Canada family was scheduled to fly one of those routes that was cancelled, Palm Springs to Calgary. I actually chose to get a refund yesterday for the flight and booked with WestJet for the return. Sure the flight on AC was supposed to be in Business Class but all the options that were being presented by AC (and from what I researched as well) would have meant 7 to 12 hours of traveling with connections (ie PSP-SFO-YVR-YYC) and we'd rather spend 3 hours direct in WestJet economy than 7 to 12 hours in domestic business class. Air Canada is also chartering aircraft from Air Transat to cover some flying for the next month and are accelerating the intake of A321 aircraft acquired from WOW Air. According to the press release other routes that have been cancelled out right include Halifax and St. John's to London and Vancouver to Kona and Lihue. (Source Air Canada)

Torontonians can consider themselves lucky! British Airways revealed a Club World seat that will debut on BA's A350-1000XWB aircraft and after some short haul familiarization flights it's first scheduled long destination is slated to be Toronto! The first flight is set for October 1. (Source Routesonline)

Here's a video of the new Club World seats and cabin:

If you need a hotel in downtown Ottawa you may want to check out the recently opened Hilton Garden Inn or Homewood Suites Ottawa Downtown. Both properties are offering 1,000 bonus Honors points per night as part of a grand opening special! You can check out the offer for the Hilton Garden Inn here and for the Homewood Suites here.

 The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Buy Miles bonus that was to end on Sunday has been extended to today. You can still buy them with a 40% bonus until later tonight! Find out more here.

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
Marriott: Complimentary Room Upgrade and EUR50 Resort credit for stays at participating Marriott Resorts in Europe. Book by Apr 5 for stays until Apr 1 - Jun 30 & Sep 1 - Oct 30, 19 Full details & online booking
Hertz: Enjoy $20 off the base rate a weekly rental plus Free inflight Wi-Fi for one (1) month. Book by Dec 31 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
Hilton Honors
- 1,000 Bonus Honors Points PER NIGHT for stays at the Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Downtown. More... Until Jun 21, 19
- 1,000 Bonus Honors Points PER NIGHT for stays at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Downtown. More... Until Jun 21, 19

Other Bonus Offers
Copa ConnectMiles
- Earn up to 1,750 Bonus ConnectMiles on qualifying rentals at participating Avis locations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. More... Until Jun 30, 19
- Earn up to 1,750 Bonus ConnectMiles on qualifying rentals at participating Budget locations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. More... Until Jun 30, 19

Iberia Plus
- 25% Avios Discount when you redeem for select Iberia Express award flights between Madrid and Copenhagen, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Rennes, Berlin, Birmingham, Manchester, or Naples. More... Until Apr 30, 19

IHG Rewards Club
- 100% Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points when you buy points online.  Minimum purchase of 7,000 points. More... Until Mar 22, 19
Le Club AccorHotels
- Earn up to 1,000 Bonus Le Club AccorHotels Points for stays of 2+ nights at participating Accor hotels in Africa More... Book by Mar 31 for stays until Apr 30, 19

- 3,000 Bonus Miles / Points with most Rocketmiles partners for booking at select properties Worldwide More... Book by Mar 26, 19

Stash Hotel Rewards
- Double Stash Rewards Points for stays at the Perdido Beach Resort Orange Beach. More... Until Apr 30, 19
- Double Stash Rewards Points for stays at The Firebrand Hotel Whitefish. More... Book by Mar 31 for stays until Jun 14, 19

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