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ALERT: Possibly your LAST CHANCE at 75,000 AMEX Points! Click here to read why!.

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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Get A Free 25K AMEX Points!!

AMEX, through an organization called Perkopolis, which I happen to be a member of through my teacher's union, is offering a deal on the Gold AMEX card.
The gold AMEX card used to come with a waived first year annual fee, but that has not been available for awhile--until now--in a way...
Your annual fee will be charged, but you will be refunded the full amount after hitting the spending threshold of $1500 in three months. Even better, there is NO language stating that the welcome bonus is only available to those who've never had the card, so EVERYONE is eligible!!
If you apply through THIS link, you can apply for the card if you have the Perkopolis RSVP code.
The code is the short form for American Express (I gave it to you right in the beginning of this blog), followed by the first four letters of the organization I mentioned, followed by the number that is one more than 17.  Goes to say, I'm not suppose to advertise the code! BTW, all the letters in upper case letters.
25K AMEX points is worth 25K Aeroplan points (long haul flight across North America), 25K British Airways Avios points (that you could use to fly any of BA's affiliates, including American Airlines, including a long haul flight across North America).  Keep the points as AMEX points until you're ready to use them.  You can be in touch with me on how to get even more with your points!

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Join Markham Museum And Get In Free To Over 400 Museums/Science Centres Worldwide!

Joining the Markham Museum with a family pass (2 adults, 4 children) will put you back $79CDN plus then, but then you can get free access to over 400 museums and science centres around the world through its affiliation in the ASTC Passport Program!  To the other places around the world, each has its own rules--many will allow 3 or 4 children for free with 2 adults, so the rules are different for each place, but expect to save a LOT of money.
One warning--you CANNOT use it within 90 miles of either your home or the museum that you have the membership at, so no, you cannot use it to get into the Ontario Science Centre.  ;)
For example, my wife went to the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY--apparently, an amazing museum.  Admission would normally be $19.50USD per adult and free for kids 17 and under.  By having a membership at the Markham Museum, you just saved over $50CDN.  Going to Buffalo for a day or two?  Get in free to the Buffalo Museum of Science--adults are otherwise $11 and all aged children are $9--a family of 6 would save $58USD.  Whether you're vacationing in NYC, Florida, Jerusalem, etc., you'll be thankful you invested in the Markham Museum!
Go to the Markham Museum website HERE.  My understanding is it is sort of like Black Creek Pioneer Village.
Click HERE for a full list of locations around the world that you can get into through the  ASTC Passport Program from May to October 2018.
Click here for the the ASTC website.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

20% Off Marriott Gift Cards Goes LIVE at 1pm Today!

DailyGetaways.USTravel.org is having another one of my favourite sales today.  At 1pm EDT, and they sell out FAST so you'll have to act quickly--right at 1pm.  Click HERE to go to their website to choose which gift card you will wish to buy.  If you normally stay on points, you can use the gift cards for incidentals, such as parking, snacks, etc. that come up in a hotel, or just use it to pay for your stay at 20% off!  The gift cards come in 3 denominations, $100USD (maximum 5), $250USD (max 2), and $500USD (max 2).  Yes, you can use your Canadian address to purchase these, and they accept all major credit cards.

Monday, 30 April 2018

IHG Point Breaks Are OUT! Stay for as little as $30USD per night!

The list of IHG hotels participating in the Point Breaks sale (where the number of points to stay at a hotel is reduced for some of their worldwide hotels) from May 1-July 31st is ON!  The number of points per night is either 5K, 10K or 15K per night.
If you don't currently have any IHG points, you can buy, starting at 8.5K for $49 to get your foot in the door--you need at least 5K for a point break night, OR to purchase a stay with "Points & Cash"--right now, you can still buy points easily, including enough for your stay through Daily Getaways.  Click here to take advantage of buying points on sale through them.
HERE'S the link to see the hotels on sale for the next three months!

Monday, 23 April 2018

DON'T FORGET THE ALAMO!! HOT!! Daily Getaways Deal Goes On Line At 1PM Today!

Daily Getaways is offering Alamo gift certificates worth $50USD for $25USD at 1pm today.  They have 2K of them for sale.  Each person can buy 3.  You can use up to 3 per reservation (excluding taxes).  I use these when I go on vacation in the States.
You can even make a Costco.com booking with Alamo and call Alamo with the reservation number to attach the 3 certificates to it (saving you $75USD per rental)!
Go to THIS page at 1pm and BUY!


Sunday, 22 April 2018

A Future Stay At An IHG Hotel Property for $30 or less!

As I've written about before, Daily Getaways.ustravel.org is a US Travel Association organization that offers superb deals for about a month every year.  After that, you have to wait again 'til next year to take advantage.
I LOVE two deals.  As many Canadians do not have IHG points unless they stay at an Intercontinental Hotel owned property (Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, etc.) as Capital One dropped their most awesome IHG Mastercard over a year ago from their selection.
This is a foot in the door to getting a great deal on an IHG property.  Every 3 months, on the last Monday of the month, IHG brings out their point breaks.  It's a list of select IHG properties from around the world that will let you stay at their property over the upcoming 3 months from 5K points per night.  It MAY come out early this time as the last day of the month this month is the 30th, and I've never seen it come out on the last day of the month so stay tuned.  I'll let you know if it comes out tomorrow.
It used to be the IHG Point Breaks were all 5K per night, but now they've changed it so that some are 5K, some are 10K and some are 15K IHG points.  These are still bargains, and at least they are offering some nicer properties that they were not necessarily offering before when they only charged 5K points per night.  You can stay as long as you wish (depending on how many points you have) and make up to 2 reservations per hotel.  The hotel takes up to 200 reservations at the point breaks level.
You can see this point break as an opportunity to stay in a new city at a small number of points.  I like to stay at Staybridge Suite properties that are IHG's answer to Marriott's Residence Inn--long term stay properties with 1-2 bedroom suites with full kitchens and up to 2 bathrooms per suite.
IHG also allows for a trick to turn points into cash at a very reasonable rate.  The way it works is, firstly, you have to HAVE at least 5K points to take advantage of this trick.
Daily Getaways is still offering IHG points at a good rate, including $89USD for 15K points.  That could be worth 3 free nights at an IHG 5K Point Break per night stay property, 1 1/2 nights worth at a 10K point break stay, or 1 night at a higher end hotel for 15K points.
Once you have at least 5K IHG points in you account, which you could buy through Daily Getaways, (they are selling minimum 8.5K points), you are eligible to book a stay at an IHG property on a combo of points and cash. 
So as to not have to invest purchasing as many points as you need for a stay, you may choose to buy 8500 points through Daily Getaways HERE , wait for the IHG Point Breaks to come out (MAYBE tomorrow!). Either that, or the EASY way--wait until the Point Breaks come out, find out how many points you need for your stay, and buy that many!  The other option, if you are not happy with any of the properties, is to invest in the minimum, 8500 IHG points.  Buy them after the Point Breaks come out.  Find out how many points you'll need for the hotel you wish to stay in, let's say 10K points per night for 7 nights (35K points) make a booking for a hotel that you have no intention of staying at using the cash and points option.  You'll have to pay for the hotel cash differential.  Then, you cancel the reservation.  They will not pay you the cash back, but instead, give you points back in your account in lieu of the cash.  That rate is about the same as the Daily Getaways rate of around $30USD per 5K points.  Then, use the points now in your account to take advantage of the point break!

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Don't Wait!! INFO And Cashing In AMEX MR, SPG & Marriott For Miles & Nights

So some of the information is in regarding the final stages of the Marriott and SPG merger.  We still don't know for certain what will happen with the AMEX Canada SPG card for sure.  We do know that in the US, the AMEX SPG business and personal will know longer offer a welcome bonus.  Instead, they'll offer $100 for spending $1K and another $100 if you use the card at a Marriott or SPG property.  That's a terrible "welcome bonus" and I would imagine they will change that once the merger is complete.  In the US, they're also offering a high-end SPG card coming, likely in the summer once the final stages of the merger begin (August 1st).
Here's what we know:

  • If you have a Ritz Carlton membership, Marriott membership, and SPG membership, they will be merged into the Marriott system for points and elite nights.
  • There will be a new name in February for the combined points program
  • If you have earned elite nights through credit cards, be it through nights stayed or credit card nights that are given on anniversary dates, they will all be merged towards achieving silver, gold, or platinum status--and there will now be a higher status than platinum--platinum premier
  • In February 2019, the category chart for the two will merge.  Instead of 14 categories with Marriott (category 1-9, then Tier 1-5 for Ritz and other pricey hotels), it will apparently become 7.  This will match up with SPG's current 7 categories.  This means a current Marriott category 6 may turn into a category 5 under the new system.  Some will be rounded down, some up.  It hasn't been made clear yet as to how that will pan out exactly.
  •  I spoke to a supervisor tonight at AMEX Canada--they have been left in the dark as to what will happen with the CDN AMEX SPG cards--whether they will be discontinued, whether they will begin giving 2 (like in the US) or perhaps 3 Marriott points per dollar spent on everyday spending
  • For very complex questions and answers to the merger (lifetime status requirements, elite nights you earn for several rooms per night, etc.) go to DansDeals.com and see his latest posts

We know the Chase Marriott Visa in Canada is history as March 2018 as are all Chase Canada cards.  The only credit card option for getting SPG points or Marriott points is currently through the AMEX SPG card or by transferring your Membership Rewards points to SPG at a 50% loss (SPG points are the most valuable hotel points of all).
We also know that as of August 1, 2018, your SPG points will switch over at a 3:1 ratio into Marriott points, so the points will be totally merged.  On top of that, any points that one would earn with the US SPG AMEX card will only give you 2 Marriott points, a decrease of 33% (instead of 3 Marriott points).  Will that happen in Canada?
The best option is likely Miles and Nights.  With that option, you transfer Marriott points into points for your favourite airline, and then get a certificate to spend a week at a Marriott property.  Starting at 270K Marriott (90K SPG) points, for a category 1-5 stay, the talk is that with the merging of the categories in August, you will be better off making the transfer before August 1st, and then using your certificate at a Marriott or SPG property with 12 months--apparently the new certificates will NOT be allowed to be extended another 12 months as they used to be (and still are) allowed.
The reasoning being that, as I wrote about in the bullet info section, the categories for Marriott properties may be rounded up or down to match the new 7 category scheme.  You will only lock yourself in to saving points under the old plan.  It's highly unlikely the new plan will cost the same or be less than 270K points for a 1 week certificate, category 1-5.

Here's the current Miles and Nights offer:

Please call 1-800-321-7396 to order any of the travel packages below.


Enjoy more miles from RewardsPlus from Marriott Rewards® and United MileagePlus®.
You’ll receive 10% more MileagePlus miles when you redeem for a Marriott Rewards Hotel + Air Package, up to 12,000 more miles. Your bonus miles are shown below. Discover all the advantages of RewardsPlus.
7 Nights + 55,000 Miles7 Nights + 77,000 Miles7 Nights + 110,000 Miles7 Nights + 132,000 Miles
Category 1-5200,000 | View220,000 | View250,000 | View270,000 | View
Category 6230,000 | View250,000 | View280,000 | View300,000 | View
Category 7260,000 | View280,000 | View310,000 | View330,000 | View
Category 8290,000 | View310,000 | View340,000 | View360,000 | View
Category 9320,000 | View340,000 | View370,000 | View390,000 | View
Tier 1-3350,000 | View370,000 | View400,000 | View420,000 | View
Tier 4-5470,000 | View490,000 | View520,000 | View540,000 | View

Hotel + Air Package 1:

7 Nights + 50,000 Miles or Avios7 Nights + 70,000 Miles or Avios7 Nights + 100,000 Miles or Avios7 Nights + 120,000 Miles or Avios
Category 1-5200,000 | View220,000 | View250,000 | View270,000 | View
Category 6230,000 | View250,000 | View280,000 | View300,000 | View
Category 7260,000 | View280,000 | View310,000 | View330,000 | View
Category 8290,000 | View310,000 | View340,000 | View360,000 | View
Category 9320,000 | View340,000 | View370,000 | View390,000 | View
Tier 1-3350,000 | View370,000 | View400,000 | View420,000 | View
Tier 4-5470,000 | View490,000 | View520,000 | View540,000 | View
Participating Airlines: Aeromexico, Air Canada*, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Virgin Atlantic

*Bonus miles from Aeroplan (Air Canada) offers are not applicable.

Hotel + Air Package 2:

7 Nights + 35,000 Miles

7 Nights + 50,000 Miles7 Nights + 70,000 Miles7 Nights + 85,000 Miles
Category 1-5200,000 | View220,000 | View250,000 | View270,000 | View
Category 6230,000 | View250,000 | View280,000 | View300,000 | View
Category 7260,000 | View280,000 | View310,000 | View330,000 | View
Category 8290,000 | View310,000 | View340,000 | View360,000 | View
Category 9320,000 | View340,000 | View370,000 | View390,000 | View
Tier 1-3350,000 | View370,000 | View400,000 | View420,000 | View
Tier 4-5470,000 | View490,000 | View520,000 | View540,000 | View
Participating Airlines: Aeroflot, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA LifeMiles, China Eastern, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Korean Air SKYPASS, LAN, Lufthansa Miles & More, Multiplus, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Saudia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways Voyager, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines

Hotel + Air Package 3:

7 Nights + 50,000 Rapid Reward Points7 Nights + 70,000 Rapid Reward Points7 Nights + 100,000 Rapid Reward Points7 Nights + 120,000 Rapid Reward Points
Category 1-5200,000 | View220,000 | View250,000 | View270,000 | View
Category 6230,000 | View250,000 | View280,000 | View300,000 | View
Category 7260,000 | View280,000 | View310,000 | View330,000 | View
Category 8290,000 | View310,000 | View340,000 | View360,000 | View
Category 9320,000 | View340,000 | View370,000 | View390,000 | View
Tier 1-3350,000 | View370,000 | View400,000 | View420,000 | View
Tier 4-5470,000 | View490,000 | View520,000 | View540,000 | View
Participating Airlines: Southwest Airlines

Hotel + Air Package 4:

7 Nights + 25,000 TrueBlue Points7 Nights + 35,000 TrueBlue Points7 Nights + 50,000 TrueBlue Points7 Nights + 60,000 TrueBlue Points
Category 1-5200,000 | View220,000 | View250,000 | View270,000 | View
Category 6230,000 | View250,000 | View280,000 | View300,000 | View
Category 7260,000 | View280,000 | View310,000 | View330,000 | View
Category 8290,000 | View310,000 | View340,000 | View360,000 | View
Category 9320,000 | View340,000 | View370,000 | View390,000 | View
Tier 1-3350,000 | View370,000 | View400,000 | View420,000 | View
Tier 4-5470,000 | View490,000 | View520,000 | View540,000 | View
Participating Airlines: JetBlue Airways
Stay tuned for more info as it is released by AMEX Canada and SPG.