Friday, May 31, 2019

May 31 Update: American AAdvantage World of Hyatt partnership is live, Air Canada cuts Toronto-Delhi flights & more!

The American Airlines AAdvantage and Hyatt Hotels World of Hyatt partnership that we had announced back in March is now live. This partnership is for elite members in both programs and you can go onto the Hyatt website here and link your accounts or on the American AAdvantage site here.

There is also a fast track offer to achieve status with American AAdvantage if you have Explorist or Globalist status with World of Hyatt.

All elite World of Hyatt members can earn:
  • 1 World of Hyatt Bonus Point for every eligible $1 USD spent on qualifying American Airlines flights. That’s in addition to the AAdvantage®  miles you would already earn as an AAdvantage® member.
And American AAdvantage elite members recevie the following:.
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® bonus mile for every eligible $1 you spend on qualifying Hyatt stays and experiences.
  • ConciergeKeySM members can receive World of Hyatt Globalist status.
  • AAdvantage® Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum members can earn World of Hyatt elite status at a faster rate.

Air Canada is temporarily suspending their direct non-stop Toronto to Delhi route for the summer. Right now the flights will NOT operate from June 15 to August 31. (Source: RoutesOnline)

Rewards Canada is now on Flipboard

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals

Receive $100* off any round trip scheduled transatlantic flight from Aer Lingus' Toronto gateway to select European destinations! Book by Jun 11 for travel Aug 1 - Oct 31. Find out more here.

IHG Global Sale!
Book now and save up to 20% at thousands of IHG® Hotels & Resorts worldwide when you book between now and July 31st.! Full details

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 up to 50% Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you complete stays at IHG Hotels Worldwide. More... Jun 1 - Jul 31, 19

- Double AIR MILES Reward Miles when you complete stays at IHG Hotels Worldwide. More... Until Aug 31, 19

IHG Rewards Club
- Redeem only 5,000 to 15,000 points for stays at select hotels Worldwide including 6 in Canada with IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks. More... Until Aug 31 19

Other Bonus Offers

Aer Lingus Aer Club
- 1,000 Bonus Avios for stays at Melia Hotels in Palma. More... Until Jun 30, 19

Marriott Bonvoy
- 4,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for stays of 2+ nights at the at the Miami Airport Marriott, and Courtyard or Residence Inn Miami Airport. More... Until Jul 30, 19

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Earn Double AIR MILES Reward Miles for stays at IHG hotels this summer!

Aeroplan isn't the only Canadian loyalty program with a bonus miles offer for stays with IHG! Their biggest competitor, AIR MILES also has one! AIR MILES members can earn double miles for all IHG stays until the end of August! Remember IHG hotels is the banner name of brands like Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza and many others!

Offer details:
Double AIR MILES Reward Miles when you complete stays at IHG Hotels Worldwide. Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required) Until Aug 31, 19
You must select AIR MILES as your earning preference to earn the bonus miles.

Can't make use of this offer? Check out these other bonus miles offers that are available:
  • 40 Bonus AIR MILES Reward Miles for each stay you complete at Best Western Hotels in Canada, the U.S. or Caribbean.  Full details, online registration and booking (Registration is required)  
  • Earn up to 120 Bonus AIR MILES Reward Miles when you rent with Budget in Canada or the contiguous U.S. Full details

Save 25% on business class reward tickets between Calgary, Edmonton or Montreal and Europe with Air France-KLM's June Promo Rewards

The newest set of Air France KLM’s Promo Rewards are now listed but won’t be bookable until about 6pm ET tonight!  This month’s offering is a better than what we saw in May with more offers for those in North America however Asia and Intra-Europe options are quite limited/ With promo rewards the discount ranges from 20 to 50% off the regular amount of miles required to redeem for these flights. As you can see just by the discount this can be a very good offer if you get 50% off for Business Class! This month sees a trio of Canadian cities in the mix. You can save 25% off business class reward tickets to Europe from Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto on Air France or KLM.

Offer details
June Promo Rewards – Save 20% to 50% on the Award Miles usually required for an award ticket.
Destinations vary by each promotional period. Full Details  Book by Jun 30  for travel Aug 1 – Sep 30, 19
This month's Canadian cities:
Calgary - 25% off business class on KLM
Edmonton - 25% off business class on KLM
Montreal - 25% off business class on Air France or KLM

Here are the mileage requirements for flying from Calgary, Edmonton or Montreal to Amsterdam or Paris (the mileage amount will vary for other cities in Europe). As you can see Montreal is a real good deal even at 25% off!

As we mentioned above you can't book these just yet which also means we can't provide you with snap shots of availability like we usually do (we'll have a follow up post for that) You'll have to wait until about 6pm tonight to see availability on the routes and to book them. The mileage amounts required will vary by the location you want to fly to, for example you can usually fly to Brussels, Milan, Athens and other cities for even less than what is listed above for Amsterdam or Paris.

If you don't have enough miles for a Promo Reward your best bet is to convert Marriott Rewards points to Flying Blue on a 3:1 basis. Remember you'll earn 5,000 bonus miles when you convert 60,000 points at a time (a total of 25,000 miles per 60,000 points)

If you don't have any Marriott Rewards Points you can always look at getting the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card to top off your account. Currently the card comes with a 50,000 point sign up bonus when you spend $1,500 on the card.  Of course timing of getting the card now, spending and getting the points will likely not happen for this month but it sets you up for future offers. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Earn up to 50% bonus Aeroplan Miles for stays at IHG hotels in June and July

Another Aeroplan hotel stay bonus for you to start taking advantage of as of Saturday. Here is the newest IHG stay bonus for Aeroplan members. This time it's up to a 50% bonus for stays at any IHG hotels.

Offer details:
Earn up to 50% Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you complete stays at IHG Hotels Worldwide. Full details and online booking Jun 1 - Jul 31, 19
No registration is required but you must select Aeroplan as your earning preference to earn the bonus miles. You can earn a maximum of 3,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles during the promotion.

Terms and conditions:
Must be an IHG® Rewards Club member with Aeroplan miles as the chosen earning preference to participate in “50% more miles” campaign. Bonus Miles will be awarded on all Qualifying Stays after completing 1st Qualifying Stay, between 1st June 2019 and 31st July, 2019 (both dates inclusive). Base 2 miles / $1 USD or local currency equivalent paid on eligible charges at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hualuxe Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, EVEN Hotels, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and avid Hotels. Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites will earn 1 mile / $1 USD or local currency equivalent paid on eligible charges. Bonus of 1 Miles /$1 USD (3 miles for $1 USD) and 1 Mile/$1 USD (2 Miles for $1 USD) respectively. Maximum bonus award is 3,000 bonus miles during this campaign. A Qualifying Stay is defined as one night or consecutive nights at the same hotel, regardless of frequency of check-in/out. A stay constitutes a Qualifying Stay when paying qualifying rates, which include most business and leisure rates at InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, EVEN™, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites® or HUALUXE™ hotels worldwide.

Can’t make use of this offer? Here are some other offers that might work for you!
  • Earn up to 3,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles in Premium Economy, Air Canada Signature Class or Business Class on any Air Canada flights.  Register Online (Registration is required)
    Targetted offer -may not work for everyone
  • 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 & booking (Registration is required)
  • 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you join the program and complete your first mileage earning transaction within 60 days. Join here!Advertisement 
Find many more Aeroplan Bonus Miles offers here!

May 30 Update: 100 Bonus AIR MILES at Rexall, More Rewards Points Extravaganza & $100 off Aer Lingus flights to Europe

Another AIR MILES bonus offer for those shopping at Rexall! 100 bonus miles for spending $50 or more this weekend. No coupon required.

Aeroplan is sending out targeted emails to members for bonus miles to shop at Home Hardware. If you haven't shopped at HH lately there is a good chance you'll get the offer.

More Rewards is having a More Points Extravaganza for shopping at Save On Foods! Lots of bonuses to be had including 5,000 bonus points when you spend $200 or more. Find out more here.

Rewards Canada is now on Flipboard

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals

Receive $100* off any round trip scheduled transatlantic flight from Aer Lingus' Toronto gateway to select European destinations! Book by Jun 11 for travel Aug 1 - Oct 31. Find out more here.

IHG Global Sale!
Book now and save up to 20% at thousands of IHG® Hotels & Resorts worldwide when you book between now and July 31st.! Full details

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

Copa ConnectMiles
- Double ConnectMiles when you rent a car at participating Alamo locations. More... Until Jul 31, 19
- Double ConnectMiles when you rent a car at participating National locations. More... Until Jul 31, 19

Emirates Skywards
- Triple Skywards Miles for stays of 3 or more nights at participating Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Full details & online booking Book by Jun 30 for stays until Sep 30, 19
- Receive up to a 25% Discount when you buy or gift Skywards Miles. More... Until Jun 10, 19

Marriott Bonvoy

- 5,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for stays of 3 or more nights at the W Costa Rica - Reserva Conchal. More... Until Jul 12 , 19
- 5,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for stays of 3 or more nights at the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay. More... Until Jul 5 , 19
- 5,000 Bonus Bonvoy Points for stays of 2+ nights at the at the Courtyard San Diego Mission Valley/Hotel Circle. More... Until Jun 23, 19

TAP Portugal Victoria
- Earn up to 3,000 Miles&Go Miles for stays at the Pestana Churchill Bay. More... Until Jul 31, 19

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- 50% ROP Miles Discount when you redeem for select award flights within Thailand. More... Until Sep 30, 19

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British Airways Executive Club's new Avios redemption rates for partner airlines are here

Late in April we brought you the details of changes coming to the British Airways Executive Club program.  The changes are to Avios redemption rates on Executive Club partner airlines award tickets and they are officially live as of today.

The airlines affected by these changes are:

Alaska Airlines, Air Italy, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, S7, Sri Lankan and Royal Jordanian Airlines.

As you can see British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia are not in the mix. Those airlines will retain their original redemption rates for the time being.

Here is the new chart of Avios redemption rates on British Airways Executive Club partner airlines ( North America short haul 1-650 miles remains at 7,500 economy, 15,000 business and 30,000 first class):

Chart courtesy of Karfa on Flyertalk

As mentioned above North American short haul flights are not affected in today's changes. Still prices out at 7,500 Avios one way in economy:
For a lot of us Canadians this now means that popular redemption options for flying from Canada to Europe, Asia, etc. on American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and JAL have now become more expensive.

For example, one popular redemption of our readers for their Avios is on JAL from Vancouver to Tokyo:
You can see the cost is now 25,750 Avios for a one way economy class redemption, 750 Avios more than what was previously required.

Overall the changes aren't huge for most of those redemptions, in the neighbourhood of only a few percent however if you were one who took advantage of the great short haul 4,500 Avios option for travel within Europe, the Caribbean, Asia etc. those have now jumped 30%! Yes the percentage is big but in the long run 6,000 Avios for those flights is still a great deal when you compare it to other frequent flyer programs.

Related:  How you can easily get a free flight between Toronto and Dublin, Ireland (pre taxes/fees) or 4 flights for $240+fees

Earning British Airways Executive Club Avios in Canada is relatively easy thanks to a generous list of credit cards that earn Avios or points that can be converted to Avios! These include but are not limited to the RBC Visa Infinite Avion Card , the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card, the American Express Gold Rewards Card, the  Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card and the mbna Best Western Mastercard®

Related: 30% Bonus Avios when you convert RBC Rewards Points (Avion cardholders only) to British Airways Executive Club Avios. Full details

Image courtesy of British Airways

Etihad Airways Business Class sale from Toronto to India, Pakistan & UAE - fares start at C$2353

Etihad Airways has launched a new business class sale for travel out of Toronto and the fares are quite attractive! You can fly to Islamabad from $2,353 all in, Abu Dhabi for $2,985 and Lahore from $2,808. Book by June 3 for travel July 1 to November 30.

Find out more and book this sale offer here!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Hotel Review: Candlewood Suites West Edmonton - Mall Area

Another Bill W  review for you! Bill is a true road warrior, his work has him driving and flying across Western and Central Canada every week while staying in a variety hotels from a variety of chains.  Bill has been reading, following and even giving Rewards Canada tips and updates for a very long time so let's welcome him back with this contribution!  
This newer hotel is part of the IHG group of hotels. There are actually 2 IHG hotels at this site, the other being a Holiday Inn Express.

The Front Desk area is rather small (compared to the Holiday Inn next door), though it is still inviting. It is open 7:00 am – 11:00 pm, and closed overnight, but the Holiday Inn Front Desk is available to handle any concerns or issues.

Access is from 100 Ave NW (which is one-way Eastbound). However, there is only one entrance and if you miss it, you will have to circle the block.  There are 4 hotels in this block, and the only entrance is at The Element (by Westin). After that is the Four Points by Sheraton and then the Holiday Inn Express and Suites and the Candlewood Hotel. There is an exit from the parking lot at the end by the Candlewood, left turn only. This access cannot be used from 100 Ave NW, it is clearly marked that left turns from 100 Ave NW onto the property are not allowed.

Parking is abysmal at best for all of these hotels.  The main parking is in front of the hotels along 100 Ave and the Holiday Inn & Candlewood do have underground parking (which is really appreciated in the wintertime. Warm car and no snow to clear…). The other hotels (The Element & Four Points) also have underground parking.  There are approximately 70 above ground parking stalls in front of the Candlewood and the Holiday Inn, the balance are in the underground parking.

The room I received was on the 4th floor overlooking the main highway (100 Ave NW).  It was a King bed with pull out couch and kitchenette. There is a bulletin Board that provides you with hotel information.

This room was equipped with a functional kitchenette that is located right inside the door as you enter.  There is a full-size fridge, microwave, coffeemaker, dishwasher and small two-burner stove. They have also provided a toaster, kettle and place settings for 4. The room is designed primarily for 2 but having more than two place settings does allow for you to have some friends over for dinner. The kitchen-area table only seats two as well, but the coffee table can be used as an alternate.
The room is a bit convoluted in its setup; that is due primarily to the fact that the bedroom is in a separate room from the rest of the unit.

There is a 48” TV located over the table on the wall beside the table, but it is in line with the couch so viewing sightlines are good. It’s very nice to see that they are offering HDTV and not just standard definition.

The bathroom is located across from the kitchen and features a shower only (no tub). The shower head is 75” from the bottom of the tub, so even people over 6’ tall will be able to shower comfortably. The bathroom is very nicely laid out with lots of towels available and the usual amenities.  They feature J.R. Watkins shower products (shampoo, conditioner and shower gel). These are conveniently located in pump bottles in the shower itself, though they do have soap bars available if you wish to use them instead of the shower gel. The water pressure was quite good with plenty of hot water.

Past the living room is the work table and bedroom. The work table is nicely located by an outside window which helps to provide natural light for you to work with. However, there is a HVAC unit underneath the counter, and it does get to be a bit chilly sitting here, especially if it should start up. There are 4 outlets available to power your devices, though one of them is utilized by the HVAC unit, leaving you with only three. The outlets are located under the counter, so you will have to sort of crawl under to plug in your equipment. (It may be an idea for the hotel to install a power bar on top of the desk for ease of access for guests). The door to the bedroom had to be propped open or closed if you were sitting at the desk. It was held in place by the chair when I arrived, but once you move the chair, it swings outwards. I had to put my backpack against it in order to work comfortably. The Internet speed was very good and I was able to stream a Netflix movie with ease.

The bedroom has a king size bed, 40” TV, and closet space to hang your clothes. The two end tables on either side of the bed both have easily accessible electrical outlets for your phone or other electronics. (Very handy for someone like myself who uses my phone for an alarm clock). One thing they have done to try to help you get a good night’s sleep is they have installed a “Sound Machine”. This machine can be used to create various “white noise” sounds designed to soothe you to sleep more easily. It has 48 different audio selections, so you should be able to find the type of sound that is right for you.

There are quite a few amenities that you would not expect to find in a Hotel. While it is common nowadays for hotels to offer laundry facilities (washer & dryer), they are usually coin operated. Not so at Candlewood, laundry facilities are complimentary. (Though you will still have to purchase the laundry soap). They also have a “Lending Locker” where you can borrow board games, jumper cables, and umbrellas along with various kitchen items (blenders, toaster ovens, crock pots, etc.). The Candlewood cupboard is also available. This is open 24 hours and is like a mini convenience store. They have assorted drinks, food items (including microwaveable product) and sundries (razors, deodorant…) available for purchase. The kicker is that this operates on the honor system. You can either fill out a charge slip to charge to your room or place the correct amount of money in the drop box. Virtually everything is priced in even dollar amounts for ease of calculation and payment. (Let’s face it, most people don’t carry much cash, so the chances of having coins to pay the correct amount is not high).

Several of the amenities are shared by the 2 hotels. The pool area with hot tub is very inviting. The hotel has also provided tables and chairs in the pool area. They have a games room complete with foosball table and hockey along with a couple of arcade style video games. The fitness area is well-equipped with several treadmill, stepper machines and free weights.

Overall, I found my stay to be very comfortable and enjoyable. The hotel is definitely geared for the longer-stay traveller and would easily be very comfortable over the course of a week or more. Even just for the overnight traveller, it is very comfortable and relaxing.

Hotel details:
Candlewood Suites West Edmonton - Mall Area (Book here)
Points required for a free night 20,000 Points
Points+Cash rates: 10,000 Points + C$81 or 15,000 Points + C$40

Talk to us! Have you stayed at the Candlewood Suites West Edmonton - Mall Area ? What are your thoughts of the hotel? Or are you planning to and looking forward to it? Let us know below!

Title image via IHG, all other images are those of the authors.

All photos courtesy of the author!