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ALERT: The 75K Points Welcome Bonus Is Back! Click here for more info..

Do you have questions, comments or suggestions? Please click here.

Click on any icon below for more information:

Sunday, 10 December 2017

1K Free Marriott Points!

Yet again, this Sunday, Marriott is giving those with a Twitter account that is linked to their Marriott account a free 1K points for answering today's trivia question: The extra point ball is snapped from what yard line?  Answer: It's the 15 yard line.
Reply: 15 yard line #RewardsPoints
Click here to be redirected to the Twitter page.  Be sure you log in and that you're already following Marriott through your Twitter.
You have 'til 8pm Eastern to reply.
If your spouse/household partner has a Marriott account, s/he can get 1K points, switch the points after the post to your account to your SPG, then move your points into one SPG account (either yours are hers/his).
That's 2K Marriott points!

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Welcome to the 24rd Century, Canada!

Well, it's finally here.  The Amazon artificial intelligence (AI) devices that have made life easier and fun have finally been officially released in Canada (at least, some of them).  I've listed them here, plus new ones that will eventually come to Canada.

With an Amazon Prime account for only $79CDN, you get:

  • free 2 day shipping (no option of no-rush shipping with a video/music credit like Americans get)
  • same day shipping in Toronto if ordered before 12pm, including on Sundays
  • Amazon Prime video, which, unlike the US, is limited to mostly Amazon's critically acclaimed TV shows with a few additional videos
  • Amazon music, which includes millions of free songs that you can play through an app or through Amazon's artificial intelligence devices (not the "unlimited" version that has millions MORE songs)
  • The ability to use Amazon's AI devices after you purchase them, along with tons of devices that can make your home a "smart" home--light bulbs, thermostats, your front door smart dead bolt to open the door for people and see who you're opening it for, smart plugs that you can plug anything into (e.g., a toaster, a light) and name it anything you want (see below)
I expect the price of Amazon Canada Prime WILL go up soon, as in the States, it's been $99USD for a couple of years now, except for two individual days where the price went back down to $79 for new customers.

It reminds me and others of Star Trek, The Next Generation, whereby the crew could talk to the computer and ask it questions as well as control devices.  The wake up word defaults to "Alexa," which is what many call these devices (incorrectly). It won't listen to you until you state its name.

These devices are regularly getting updated and new apps are available on it all the time, including flash news updates, weather, jokes, your shopping lists, purchase items on Amazon.ca, Wikipedia--the list is EXTENSIVE.

As can be expected, you getting ripped off buying them in Canada (except for one--see below).
As an "introductory price" of "only" $49.99 CDN (will go up soon to $69.99), you can get the mini version, known as the Dot, which works terrifically well in a small room or in a larger one, connected to bluetooth or through an audio wire to a more powerful speaker than the one it comes with.
In the US, they're $29.99USD, and right now, you can get one for $5USD more, a TP Link smart plug that you can plug into your wall and control whatever you plug into it.  For example, plug a living room lamp into the TP Link plug, use the TP Link app for your Android/Iphone to name it and control it: "Alexa, turn off the living room lamp.

They'll likely offer "Alexa" exclusive deals, that offer discounts above and beyond what Amazon normally offers, but you have to purchase it through your Amazon AI device, though you have 30 minutes to rescind the edit your purchase.  You will also be able to Subscribe and Save for everyday purchases that they can send you monthly, bi monthly, etc.

Here's the devices currently available from Amazon:
The Amazon Echo Dot
Love how they Canadianized it in the pic, with the background apps that will work with it.  The Canadian Amazon team has been working on the introduction of these devices to Canada for a couple of years, and many Canadians have been using them by buying them from Amazon.COM (they STILL WON'T deliver them to Canada) and shipping them to a US address, then bringing them back and using a service that masks one's URL to allow them to be used, fooling Amazon into believing you're in the States--I recommend unblock-us.com for this ($50CDN a year).  As mentioned, BUY IT IN THE STATES--buying in Canada, other than food, tends to be for suckers, as companies know they can overcharge Canadians as competition is 1/10th the American market.

This is the new mini version of the full sized Echo that has superb sound.  Last count, 1923 reviewers on average in the US, gave it 4 stars out of 5.  This second gen version did not get reviewed as highly as the first gen version, which is still available refurbished in the US, but even if you get the new version, you're going to get enough sound out of it to satisfy you, unless you REALLY want to crank it--the first gen Echo could do that!
It IS worth buying in Canada, as it's going for $79 here and $99 in the US.

The Third Echo product, being released December 14th, is a lot like the first gen Echo, in size at least.  It comes with a built in smart hub, which the old one did not--you had to just buy devices that did not need a hub, or had to buy a hub separately.  It even comes with a Philips smart bulb that you can control with your Amazon AI devices.

Here's device you can buy in the States, but not yet available to get ripped off in Canada...yet
The Echo with a screen, giving you detailed pics, words to songs, YouTube clips, your shopping list visually--it's awesome (not that I have it, but I imagine it is from the videos I've seen of it).
The mini version of it, coming December 19th to the States

By invitation only--here's what Amazon says about it:
  • Introducing Echo Look—an Echo focused on style. Now Alexa helps you look your best.
  • Using just your voice, easily take full-length photos and short videos of your daily look and build your own personal lookbook
  • The Echo Look hands-free camera features built-in LED lighting, depth-sensing, and computer vision-based background blur to make your outfits pop
  • See yourself from every angle in the Echo Look app. View photos and videos of your outfits, select your favorites, and share with friends. Discover new brands and styles and see what colors you wear most often.
  • Get a second opinion on which outfit looks best with Style Check, a new service that combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists
  • Echo connects to Alexa—a cloud-based voice service—to ask questions, set alarms and timers, check your calendar, weather, traffic, manage to-do and shopping lists, control smart home devices, play music, and more—instantly
  • Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Starbucks, Fitbit, NPR, and more

And then, there's the Amazon Tap
The beauty of this baby is it's portable.  As long as you have a wifi connection, including using your smartphone as a hotspot, you have "Alexa" with you wherever you go--including the beach!


Friday, 1 December 2017

How To Diagnose Your OWN Car

Would you like a device that can diagnose your engine issues?  Amazon does sell a product called "FIXD" that does it for around $60, but with an Android device, you can get one that gets good reviews on Amazon for around $15USD.  With an Android app you download, you can connect it through bluetooth to the device that you connect to your car easily.  You can (especially in car models that are not old--over 10+ years old) get a lot of info, including turning off your engine light, for $15.  TOTALLY worth it.
Don't let "the man" tell you that you need things done to your car that in fact, you DON'T need to get done!
Click here for more on the device on Amazon's website.

Next Steve's Deals Seminar Coming In February-WHAT YOU MISSED LAST NIGHT

Everyone who came to the first Steve's Deals seminar will tell you they walked away with a lot of information that will help them with their future vacation plans.
The turn out was not as grand as I'd hoped considering it was my first, and a free seminar.  The next one will cost--a donation to the synagogue that it will be in, this coming February.  Details to follow.

People who came learned about deals I cannot post publicly, they learned about how to upgrade to 2 bedroom suites, they learned how to save money on groceries and everything else.  They learned about everyday spending credit cards and others that are important to have to help you score practically free vacations.

Look out for upcoming information on the next Steve's Deals seminar!

HOT!! Calvin Klein Men's Suit from Men's Wearhouse From $50USD or $89.15CDN!!

Men's Wearhouse is having a clearance sale.  They have several styles with different sizes in stock.  If you ship to Canada, the suit is $89.15 plus $34.46 shipping--but if you buy 2 suits, they'll ship it for free.  You'll still be possibly dinged with a customs brokerage fee and taxes by Canada Post or...
Send it to a US address, be it NYAddress.ca, a hotel, or a friend's/relative's house, get free shipping and minimal NY state tax--and if you know someone with a US phone, have them text "mw" to 66960 and you'll get a code for $10USD off your purchase, bringing the cost of the suit down to $50USD +$2.38 NY State tax.  Be sure to change your country to the US at the bottom of the screen, clicking on the Canadian flag, "Quick Links" and switching it--"Proceed as a US Customer".

Act FAST!!--And of course, before checking out, open a new Ebates.com tab, go to the Men's Warehouse through it and save an additional 4% cashback, bringing the cost down to about $50 total!
Click here and see which suits are only $60, including the main one that shows on the link.


Thursday, 30 November 2017

Last day for HOT Exchange--SPG to United

If you have SPG points, know that today is the last day to get a 30% bonus when switching your points from SPG to Marriott to United through their miles and nights program.
United does not charge fuel surcharges, including on Air Canada flights booked with United points.
19K SPG points will switch in your account to 57K Marriott points, and from there, you'll be left with 1K Marriott points leftover after the transfer, and 32.5K United miles.
If you transfer 90K SPG points, that turns into 270K Marriott points, and when you transfer them to United, you'll get 157K United miles and a 7 night stay at a Marriott property up to category 5.
Call Miles and Nights to put through the transfer by calling 1-800-321-7396.
Act fast!!

How My Family of 6 Travelled Around America A Month For "Free" + More Deals!!

Come tonight to the first ever Steve's Deals seminar and find out secret deals that cannot be posted online, due to the information being revealed publicly could pooch the deal in the future for me and others.
Find out how my family travelled around America last summer for 29 days for "free".
All tonight at the Steve's Deal Seminar in Thornhill.
Register here.
Like those who don't vote and then complain after, don't expect this information to be revealed to you in the future if you don't come to the seminar!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Find Out About Secret Savings At Tonight's Steve's Deals Seminar!

Not only will you find out more about the deals I discuss on my website and be able to ask questions relevant to you and your vacation goals, you'll find out deals that are not given out to the general public, but only if you come to the Steve's Deals Seminar, in Thornhill, tonight at 8pm!
Included topics will be:

  • How to get basically free accommodations, using points, that will be large enough to host a family of 6
  • Rental Cars
  • General Savings
  • Grocery Savings
  • How to buy and where to ship products in the US
Did I not mention it's FREE?  If you don't come, you clearly want to overpay for vacations or think you know it all, but that can't be!!  Look forward to your registration for tomorrow night!
Register here.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Two days left to sign up for the First Ever FREE Steve's Deals Seminar!!

The First Ever Steve's Deals seminar is on at Eitz Chaim Elementary School on York Hill Boulevard in Thornhill.  Find out how to score affordable vacations, save money towards vacations and how to diversify your points in the most lucrative way! 
Find Sign up for free registration here!

HOT!! Less Than 2 Hours Left For TWO SUITS FOR $150 USD Total!

Jos A Bank regularly has Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals and this year is no exception.
You can get clearance suits that sell as high as $699USD for $99.

First go to EBates.com to get 4% cashback for going through EBates to get to Jos A Bank's website.

Then, if you place two in your cart (the same or a different style suit), you'll be over $150--then use promo code "CYBER" to get an additional 20% off.

$699 down to $99 down to $79, and then with 8% cashback makes each suit around $80!

Here's the link to EBates.  Sign up if you haven't yet.  Then, go to Jos A Bank through the search bar of EBates-and you're on your way to a great deal!

You can have them shipped for free to a Jos A Bank store nearby, such as the one at Walden Galleria in Buffalo.  That way, if you're unhappy with it, you can return it right there in the store after trying it on!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

ONE WEEK 'Til The First Ever Steve's Deals Seminar!

I'm having my first ever Steve's Deals seminar in only one week!  Click here for more info!  Registration is limited.  Book now!

Do You Wish You Had A US Address To Ship Things This Black Friday?

There are 3 options for those of us who don't live in the States but want to avoid shipping fees to Canada when taking advantage of Black Friday deals in the States.
1: Ship to a friend/family member-if this works for you--either because they're willing to bring back the items under their personal exemption when coming into Canada, then great.  If not, and you're planning a trip at some point, and nothing is time sensitive that you're buying (buying clothes or shoes that may not fit when you only have 30 days to return it for free with Amazon), then you can bring back $800CDN per person after being gone for 2 days or longer.  The exemption if $200CDN for an overnight, but with that one, if you buy, say, one item for $201, you MAY have to pay tax on all $201, while if you're gone for 2 days or longer, and you bring back one item worth $801CDN, you only pay tax on $1.

2: Ship it to a hotel-most hotels will accept packages and hold onto them for you even if you aren't slated to arrive for several weeks.  Check with the hotel first before you do this.  I've once come upon a Choice hotel in Buffalo that charges per package and more depending on how long they hold onto it.

3: A US address that is your own--e.g., NYAddress.ca.  They give you a suite number (not a P.O. Box number) that any company will send to, along with their address.  You have up to 4 months to pick it up at no additional cost, and then you only pay $2.95USD per package when you arrive there and show ID.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Another 1K Marriott Points For Free! ACT BEFORE 8PM!!

Answer the following NFL trivia question through Marriott's Twitter (click on the above pic to be taken to the Twitter page), and get 1K Marriott points!  The answer to provide is 16 #RewardsPoints .  Answer by 8pm ET tonight!  You must have a Twitter account linked to Marriott.  It's worth it considering they've been doing this 1K point give away for weeks and likely will for a few weeks more, as long as the NFL season is on, and perhaps right up to the Superbowl!

11 Days 'Til The First Ever Steve's Deals Seminar!

I'm having my first ever Steve's Deals seminar in only 11 days!  Click here for more info!  Registration is limited.  Book now!

Friday, 17 November 2017

Toronto to Tel Aviv from $790 CDN Taxes In, For Passover from $841 CDN


Turkish Airlines, a highly rated Star Alliance airline, is offering flights from Toronto to Tel Aviv via Istanbul from $841CDN for a Passover visit.  The kosher food option is very good, with food made under the supervision of the O-K out of Istanbul and under a reliable certification out of Tel-Aviv and Toronto.  You get the typical 2 checked in bags, so though you can go WOW Airlines through Iceland for $700 on different dates, you have to pay for everything with WOW--possibly even the privilege of being seated in an aisle that has closed windows (LOL).

I've travelled on Turkish before and have felt safe in Istanbul airport, though since the terrorist bombing last year, my in-laws would likely kill me if I tried again to take that routing. :(

Cheaper prices are available for different dates.  Use the Google Flights engine to find the cheapest dates that work for you.  Click on the pic above to be redirected to Google Flights, click on the day I've pre-chosen and see the calendar open with prices for departure, and then after you click on one, prices for return.

Book FAST!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Countdown: 11 Days 'Til The First Steve's Deals FREE (For Now) Seminar

I'm having my first ever Steve's Deals seminar in only 11 days!  Click here for more info!  Registration is limited.  Book now!

WOW!! $278CDN return Toronto to L.A.!!

Westjet is having a seat sale from Toronto to L.A. for $278CDN, taxes in.  That deal is $70 less than Air Canada's current prices at the same time period. The deal are for select direct flights from November to February.
Book now by going to Google Flights, and then opening up their availability calendar by clicking on my pre-chosen departure date. You'll then see the prices for departures for every day of the month.   After choosing your departure date, you'll see the prices for returning dates.
Book Fast!!

SUPER HOT!! Flights from YYZ to Beijing for $559CDN!! Only 'til 11pm tonight!

If you're looking to get away, flying out and completing your flight between March 16th and April 18th, until 11pm tonight (though it seems the website countdown will take this deal 'til 1am Friday), you can book a flight for around $559 CDN taxes in! 

They're rated by Skytrax as a 5 star airline.
To get to the deal, click here to get to their flash sale deal out of Toronto!!

Melia Hotel & Resorts for THREE nights from $181.48+!


Click the pic above to be taken to the Melia website.
Melia Hotels & Resorts have locations worldwide, including 3 in the US (Miami, Orlando, and NYC).
Currently, they have a deal--sign up and get 2K points and an additional 30K points that you can use immediately towards your first stay.  The stays can be anytime, but the points will need to be used in the next 10 days, after which they expire.
The prices vary, even with the deal, but personally, I was looking at Orlando, and found they have several different types of rooms, from a classic room, to one looking over the pool, to 1 and 2 bedroom suites.
After you've signed up, click "Log In" and from there, "create account." Once you've completed your sign up, you can access the use of ALL 32K points by choosing the "points and cash" option, then moving the bar all the way across to using up all 32K points towards the deal.
For Orlando, you can get a one bedroom suite for $181.48CDN for three nights, plus all the points you just "earned" and used up for the booking.  There is a $20 resort fee charge per day on top of it.
The 2 bedroom would be $398CDN for 3 nights.  They are gorgeous and get good reviews on TripAdvisor.com.

VERY HOT!!! Buffalo to Miami for $40-$48USD Return, Taxes In? YES!!

Click on the pic above to be redirected to Frontier Airlines' website. Act FAST!!

Fly November 28-February 14th out of Buffalo Airport with Frontier Airlines, and fly for $20 each way on select flights!  This includes (of course) late January and early February!
Yes, with Frontier, you have to basically pay for air and a closed window (LOL) but seriously, you can take one bag with you on flights that can fit under a seat.  Checked luggage is cheaper than full size carry-on ($35 compared to $25) when you book it when you book your ticket.
A family of 7 would pay $324.80USD!!  It's cheaper if you're a member of their "Discount Den"-but for these prices ($4 more), it's may not be worth the $49.99USD to join--with it, you can fly 6 people out at the discounted rate, so for a family of 7, you'd save $48 for the return trip.  The membership is good for one year--but then, you'll also have bragging rights, to tell your grandchildren about the $20 flights you got out of BUF! ;)
Frontier has been around for years, but they expanded their routes with 4 new routes out of Buffalo back in July, and clearly they want to stay competitive!
A round trip bag, in CDN$, will cost you around $75 per bag.
The flights are at very reasonable hours too!
Act FAST!!!

Toronto to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Kelowna return from $202 Taxes In!

Westjet is selling tickets to Vancouver from $202 for dates departing Toronto from January 9th to early March 14. Tickets to all those cities (except Kelowna from $305) are $202-$203!
Lately, I've been finding the Matrix ITA Software search is quite inaccurate for prices, despite being powered by Google, while Google flights is more accurate.
Use Google flights to find the flight for you!
The flights seemed to be departing Mondays and returning between Monday and Wednesday.
Use this link to see not only one example but if you  click on a date on the January 9th date near the top of  the screen, the availability calendar with prices for all the dates will open up.


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Need Aeroplan Points For A Redemption? The 62.5% SPG Bonus Option, Marriott Option, & AMEX One

This post is partially a review of what you may or may not already know from Steve's Deals or other sources.

AMEX offers instant transfers of points in Canada from AMEX to Aeroplan.  A gold or platinum rewards card (personal or business) offer Membership Rewards points that on the AMEX website, you can make the transfer from.

SPG offers normally offers 25K Aeroplan points (a 20% bonus) for every 20K Membership Reward (MR) points you transfer, but until December 11th, you can get a further bonus that is equivalent to 62.5%!  You'll have to wait until as last as the end of January to see the bonus points post.

If you transfer 20K SPG points to Aeroplan, you'll end up with 32.5K Aeroplan points!  To get this 62.5% bonus, you MUST transfer SPG points in 20K point increments; otherwise, you'll lose out on the 20% bonus for increments of 20K that SPG normally offers.

Currently, there are no good deals with ANY Aeroplan cards out there other than the CIBC Privilege Visa, offering 50K Aeroplan points, but you need to have a household income of at least $200K for that one--and if you lie and they ask for proof, you could be BLACKLISTED by Visa.  Not to mention the hefty $399 fee. You're better off getting an AMEX Platinum Business card through my referral, getting 75K MR points, which transfer to 75K Aeroplan, and write-off the $399 annual fee. The regular bonus with that card through their website is only 40K--not worth it.

With the AMEX Business Platinum, you can lounge access, 1.25 points per dollar on EVERY purchase, and SPG Gold status when you call them at 1-88-625-4990.  Gold status with SPG gets you Gold status with Marriott when you link your accounts.  That gets you free upgrades when you arrive at the hotel, and if you call a general manager of a hotel, and book the stay on points, you may get them to agree to upgrade you ahead of time; especially if you're staying at a long-term stay property such as a Residence Inn or TownePlace Suites which have full kitchens and up to 2 bedroom suites.

I'll write more about the card again soon, but for an old post on it, you can click here to read the post and apply for that card.

The Chase Canada Marriott Visa card is being phased out, as SPG's card is three times more valuable per dollar at the same annual fee as the Chase card. Currently, if you apply for the Marriott card, you won't even get a welcome bonus for it--only the free anniversary certificate, for a one night stay at a  category 1-5 hotel. It was only really worth getting for the welcome bonus and certificate, not for actual spending on the card.

Marriott does offer a Nights & Miles program, but you'll need 270K Marriott points or 90K SPG points (transferred over to Marriott) to take advantage of it.  It's a superb way to get a free one-week certificate to stay at a Marriott, category 1-5 property AND a bunch of airline points for several different airlines, of which in Canada, there's no easy way to get those airline points (example: Southwest, Jetblue, United) without flying them and paying cash. Ewww.  Click here for more about the Marriott/SPG Nights & Miles program.  And no--you cannot use the Miles & Nights program in conjunction with any other bonus offer.





Thursday, 9 November 2017

Seat Sale AND $60 Air Canada Giftcard!

Until November 19th, 11:59pm EST, if you purchase any flight on Air Canada's website, and check out with "Masterpass," you'll get a $60 gift card for Air Canada.  It CANNOT be used for paying the taxes on an Aeroplan ticket, as Aeroplan's checkout system does not allow for gift cards of any kind.

Look for the ad above just before you get to the checkout screen.  If you don't see it, the deal may be over.

You'd be wise to get 2 one-way tickets rather than 1 roundtrip ticket so that you can take advantage of the deal twice.  Don't let an Air Canada agent tell you that buying a round trip ticket is cheaper.  I confronted an agent on the phone today about their claim and proved them wrong.  In fact, in the scenario I was in, the ticket was $30 CHEAPER, despite the fare sale, and despite that it's one-way travel.

Masterpass is a lot like PayPal--after signing up, you can use any major credit card, INCLUDING AMEX, as your funding source.  So if you have AMEX points that you'd like to use towards a flight, you'll charge your AMEX card through Masterpass, use your AMEX points online to cover the costs, and get a $60 gift card for Air Canada mailed to you within 3 weeks of your online purchase.  This deal is limited to the first 12,500 people that take advantage of this deal.  It can be used in combination with up to one more gift card, along with a credit card to pay off any outstanding amount.  It can be used for on flight purchases and taxes too.

Apparently, as long as the ticket you used to get the gift card is still valid when you receive and use the gift card, it remains valid even if you have cancelled the ticket--well, what are they going to do if you've used it up and THEN cancel your flight?  Nothing, of course.

Air Canada has a seat sale that ends tonight, so you can double dip--though I find with their seat sales, that only the seats that are already reasonably priced are the ones that go on sale.

Oh, and NO--you cannot buy a ticket for a child unaccompanied, online, to take advantage of the deal.  And NO, purchasing a ticket with an AC agent does not lead to a Masterpass offer.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Steve's Deals Seminar!


Click on the pic above to register!

Steve's Deals is having its first seminar, and of course, it's FREE to attend!
Learn the finer points of how to score affordable vacations, save money that you could use towards those vacations, and how to diversify your points wisely.
Registration is limited!
Feel free to bring a laptop or paper to take notes.  No recording devices please.



Sunday, 5 November 2017

1000 Free Marriott Points-Act before 8pm EST

Today's Marriott Twitter question is How Long is Each Quarter in the NFL?
Click here to be taken to the Twitter page to respond.
Answer: 15 Minutes #RewardsPoints
Get 1000 Marriott Points, which you can convert to SPG and extend the life of your SPG points (worth 333 SPG points).
Act fast!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Get 3000 Club Carlson Points For Almost Free!

Club Carlson, the hotel chain that includes the Radisson hotels, the Park Plaza, and Country Inn & Suites (honestly, I've never stayed in any of these properties before but diversifying is what it's all about, especially when the points are this easy to get).
They have a promotion right now whereby if you complete your first transaction with any of their "Extras Partners," they'll give you 300 Club Carlson points.  3000 points gets you one-third of the way towards a category 1 stay.
This includes EBay Buy It Now purchases--so you buy something cheap for 99 cents, such as watch batteries from somewhere in Asia for example, and you'll qualify for the 3K points.  The points get desposited 36 days after your purchase.
You'll need to download the Club Carlson App on your Android or Iphone, register and then use their app to go to EBay (for example) to complete an inexpensive purchase.
It's that easy!

How To Get 1500 IHG Points For Free

Not a member of IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group)?  That's the hotel chain that includes the Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Indigo, and Holiday Inn.
On previous posts, I rave about the IHG Point Breaks that come out every 3 months (next one is coming VERY soon), and with it you can stay at an IHG property for only 5K IHG points, which translates to around $30USD per night if you buy points through a back door in their online system.
BUT you must have IHG points before you can buy them.
So here's how you do it.
IHG is trying to get you to sign up with them (if you haven't already) and are willing to give you 500 Iberia Avios points (Spanish airline affiliated without British Airways Avios) if you already have an Iberia account.  That doesn't get you much, but if you decline, there's a loophole in their terms and conditions.
Sign up for an IHG account and decline giving your Iberia info when you register, and you'll still get 1500 IHG points!  So theoretically, if you register here and join IHG but decline to make Avios your "preferred alliance," and you sign up before December 31st, you'll have 1500 IHG points!


Air Canada AND Westjet Seat Sale

Air Canada has a seat sale ending tomorrow evening (October 25) while Westjet's sale ends Thursday evening.
Book before it's too late! 
Westjet's blackout dates apply to flights within the Canada and the US but not to Europe, Mexico or the Caribbean.  The blackout dates are: December 20-24, 26-31, 2017 and January 1-7, 2018.
Air Canada's seat sale doesn't seem to have blackout dates, but tickets during typical blacked out periods are high.
You can fly out of YYZ to NYC on Westjet for as little as $183 out and $82 back, while with Air Canada, you're looking at $151 out and $103 back.
You may want to split up your flight, one way with AC out and Westjet back, depending of course on whether you have luggage to check in and have status with one, the other or both, and of course, availability at cheap rates when you're flying out.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

'Til 8pm, get 2000 Marriott Points For Free!

Link your Marriott account to other social media and get bonus points for it!
All week different opportunities have arisen but here's the newest!
Link your Twitter to Marriott and get 250 Marriott points by clicking here.  Use the same link to connect to Instagram for another 250 and another 250 to Facebook!
If you
Link here by 8pmEDT to get another 1000 Marriott points!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Rocketmiles--How To Get 1K Airline Points Free AND Thousands MORE Free Airline Points!

Rocketmiles is a website that allows you to book hotels and acquire airline points through doing so.  There are about 59 airline point systems, as well as Amazon gift cards and Uber points--you can choose to have your points go to any of the airlines through Rocketmiles.
Sign up using your email address, pick your dates and location, see how many points you can get for any one property, and make your booking.  After your stay is complete, you'll earn the points!
Use this link to get started and get a free 1K points for your choice of airline miles after your first stay is complete!

Sunwing 50% Off Second Seat Sale--Is It Worth It?

Since last week (and for THREE more days--ends October 20th), Sunwing has been having a sale--buy one flight only ticket with Sunwing and get the second base fare at 50% off.  Click here to go to the Sunwing page.
It's not a bad deal in fact, especially if you're looking to book a vacation during peak times and haven't done so yet.
Only problem is they're a charter, only fly out once a day, and depending on the route, may only fly out a few times a week at most.  That means, if they end up cancelling a flight, they won't rebook you until the next time they fly and you're stuck wherever the cancelled flight occurred.  If you have a deadline and must be somewhere, I'd never fly a charter airline.
Unlike a regular airline, charter airliners like Air Transat and Sunwing in Canada, and Spirit and Frontier in the US will not do what needs to be done to get you to your destination in good time--regular airlines will either get you out on the next flight with that airline or will fly you out with a competitor to get you to where you're going.
So if you have flexibility in your schedule, you may want to take your chances; otherwise stay away from charter airlines!!

Monday, 16 October 2017

Toronto to Lima For As Low as $380 CDN Taxes In!

Flying from Toronto to Lima has never been cheaper (perhaps)!  Depending on how flexible you are, you can get tickets on select dates from October to March from $380 taxes in!  You need to fly Delta and make two stops along the journey though, but if that's "too much" for you, Aeromexico has flight for around $476, and Air Canada for $544!
Here's a link for flights from February 27-March 8th on a Google Flight search.  Click on the date to have a monthly calendar open that gives you the prices daily for departure and return.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

THREE HOURS LEFT To Acquire The Highest Welcome Bonus PLUS A 30% Bonus Transfer to United Miles, Free Week Stay At A Marriott!


THIS IS AN UPDATED VERSION AS OF JUST BEFORE 9PM, WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 18TH.

United Airlines is offering a 30% bonus (up to 25K bonus United miles) for transferring points from most hotel point programs to theirs until November 30th!  Choice Privilege points (eww) and Club Carlson are at a different rate, but SPG (Starwood Preferred Guests) transfers to United will give you the best rate I've ever seen.

You can apply for the 25K SPG Welcome bonus for either the AMEX SPG personal card or SPG Business card by clicking on the pics above.  Spend $1500 in 3 months and earn a welcome bonus of 25K points--the deal ends in THREE days (October 18th)!

United Airline points are a very valuable commodity as United doesn't charge fuel surcharges, so you can get intercontinental flights, such as Toronto to Tel-Aviv on Air Canada, using United miles without paying fuel surcharges, saving you around $750 per ticket (I've seen a surcharge as high as $775 for that destination).

If you can accumulate as much as 90K SPG points before November 30th, you can call the Marriott Miles & Nights program at 1-800-321-7396 and transfer them into 270K Marriott miles and then from that they can turn them into 157K United Miles (up to 30% bonus up to 25K United miles --regularly you'd get 132K United miles) and a category 1-5, 7 night stay certificate at a Marriott good for 1 year from issue.  You can extend it once for one more year.  That means you are saving 150K Marriott (50K SPG) miles if you would use the certificate at a category 5 hotel.  This includes Residence Inns and TownePlace Suites with full kitchens as well as any of the other Marriott properties around the world.  We still don't know if and when Marriott will allow their certificates to be used interchangeably with SPGs, at least up to a certain category number.  As SPG points are triple in value to Marriott and can be exchanged easily at no cost after merging your Marriott and SPG account online.  Some agents at Marriott will allow you to turn the certificate into 45K Marriott (15K SPG) but that's only if you get the right agent, REALLY don't think you'll use the certificate, and book a hotel with it and then cancel--then they may agree to it.

Even if you don't have 90K SPG, perhaps you could...since you can also combine your SPG points with a spouse or whoever shares the same address as you). If all you and a fellow address sharer have Marriott points and you first switch them to SPG, then you can combine them in that way.

You can also switch SPG to United at a 30% bonus without getting a certificate at smaller amounts than that.  Call them and tell them how many you'd like to transfer, but the magic number of 90K SPG points are what get you the certificate bonus!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Is The New AMEX Cobalt Worth It?

The New AMEX Cobalt credit card is a unique card.  It charges a MONTHLY fee of $10 instead of an annual fee, a first in the industry.
It's currently offering up to 40K Membership Reward (MR) points.  Spend $1500 in the first three months and receive 10K points.  They expect you to spend $500 a month to receive a bonus of 2500 MR points each month for the first year.  It offers more 5 points per dollar for restaurant, bars, and cafe transactions, double points on travel and transit, and 1 point for all other transactions.
If you are interested in a card that is uniform, in giving the same reward, no matter what the transaction, this card is complex and not the card for you.  To think, you need to watch your spending every month for a full year to get the full welcome bonus?
I'm not a fan of this new product.  It's hard enough to find merchants that accept AMEX, much less be watching your spending so carefully...
IF you are looking for the two best points systems AND best welcome bonuses around, see my next post by clicking here.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

HOT! Fly YYZ-TLV Return for $347-$527CDN!!

Sorry, not as hot as the Air Canada price glitch but nonetheless, still HOT!
Fly WOW Airlines, stopping over in Reykjavik (the hub)  for $347CDN taxes in with NO luggage (a small carry such as a purse or laptop bag are free) and $527 with luggage.  You need to book one-way out of Toronto (in CDN$) and then back from Tel-Aviv is USD$ to get the low price.
Best way to search down a flight is the Matrix--UPDATE--not working well--use GoogleFlights--click here to get to it.  I'm finding dates out of Toronto on some Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays for $200 (for those who would travel on a Friday).
Coming back, flights are $119.99USD!  You must change the currency to USD though as I find it defaults onto Canadian dollars (must know I'm in Canada).
You can use this link for a date in January that I've set to USD if you wish or just change it from CAD to USD in the website address when Google or the Matrix takes you to the WOW page. Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays out of Tel-Aviv for that price.
Book before they're gone!!  Don't hesitate or you'll be sorry!

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Air Canada Return Flights for under $437CDN!

A number of dates are available, and though I saw this on a website advertising the deal out of NYC and Boston, I've found there are dates available out of Toronto too!
The dates seem to be originating on a Sunday and departing on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
When I tried Toronto on February 11-20th ( a bit different than the ones listed below), it worked at $437CDN!

Many book on Priceline as you can cancel your tickets up until 11:29pm tomorrow (Monday).
Here are some prices and originating city options in US$
Sample NYC-Tel Aviv $347 dates:
October 25-November 1
November 1-8
November 7-19
November 14-26
November 19-29
December 3-13
December 10-20
December 13-25
January 7-17
January 14-24
January 21-30
January 28-February 7
February 4-11
February 11-21
February 18-27
February 25-March 7
November 30-December 13
December 5-13
November 20-29
December 3-13
December 10-20
November 19-28
November 26-December 5
December 3-17
December 10-26
January 21-February 5
January 28-February 12
February 4-13
October 24-November 1
November 19-December 5
November 26-December 11
December 3-17
December 10-18
October 30-November 8
November 7-15
November 13-27
November 26-December 13
December 3-17
December 10-18
January 14-23
January 21-30
January 28-February 7
February 4-14
February 11-21
February 18-26
September 6-11 nonstop
September 6-12
September 6-14
September 13-28 nonstop
September 27-October 9 nonstop
December 3-13 ($309)
December 10-20 ($309)
November 19-29
November 25-December 5
December 3-13
December 10-20
January 14-23


Sample Miami-Tel Aviv $203 dates:
Sample Boston-Tel Aviv $217 dates:
Sample Chicago-Tel Aviv $217 dates:
Sample Baltimore-Tel Aviv $232 dates:
Sample Los Angeles-Tel Aviv $309 dates:
Sample Montreal-Tel Aviv $192 dates:
Sample Toronto-Tel Aviv $350 dates:
Good luck before the window on this HOT deal closes!  AC DID accept the tickets last time such a hot deal took place!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

HOT! London Ontario to Paris France for $244USD-$12.50 Return!

Westjet in conjunction with British Airways is offering very low rates to Paris from London, Ontario.  While you'll have to possibly make the schlep to London first (I'd recommend taking the train one-way) and when returning, disembarking in Toronto, gathering your luggage and just not completing the trip back to London if you live in the GTA, it's a superb deal.  If you go through EBates, you'll also get an additional $12.50 off per return trip ticket!  If you haven't signed up yet for EBates, click here for the scoop.
Here are some dates that work for the deal, from YYZ Deals, who notified the public of their offer:
Nov 2 to Nov 13 -- $234 USD / $301 CAD
Nov 9 to Nov 20 -- $234 USD / $301 CAD
Nov 16 to Nov 27 -- $234 USD / $301 CAD
Nov 23 to Dec 4 -- $234 USD / $301 CAD
Nov 23 to Dec 4 -- $234 USD / $301 CAD
Nov 30 to Dec 11 -- $234 USD / $301 CAD
Dec 7 to Dec 18 -- $306 USD / $394 CAD
[2018]
Feb 08 to Feb 12, 18 -- $234 USD / $301 CAD
Feb 13 to Feb 18 -- $244 USD / $319 CAD (Valentine's weekend in Paris?)
Feb 13 to Feb 27 -- $244 USD / $319 CAD
Feb 22 to Mar 5 -- $234 USD / $301 CAD
Mar 1 to Mar 10 -- $279 USD / $359 CAD
Mar 15 to Mar 26 -- $326 USD / $420 CAD
Mar 20 to Mar 29 -- $326 USD / $420 CAD
Mar 29 to Apr 9 -- $326 USD / $420 CAD (over Easter)
Apr 5 to Apr 16 -- $366 USD / $472 CAD
Apr 12 to Apr 23 -- $338 USD / $432 CAD
Apr 19 to Apr 30 -- $338 USD / $432 CAD

Monday, 31 July 2017

IHG Hotels Point Breaks Are OUT! Stays From $30USD per night!

Every 3 months, the Intercontinental Hotels Group, which includes Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and extended stay hotels such as Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites releases a limited number of hotels that instead of 10K +++ IHG points per night, they only charge 5K IHG points.
For those of you with IHG Points, HERE'S the current link to the hotels that are eligible for Point Breaks, but each hotel takes only 200 reservations and you can only book up to 2 reservations per hotel, for as long a stay as you wish, as long as the stay ends before October 31st, 2017.  That means you could stay at an IHG Point Break hotel for a week for 35K IHG points!

For those who do NOT have any IHG points:

Now if you don't have any IHG points, you can exchange them with other point systems such as Aeroplan, through Points.com.  You WON'T get value for your dollar, but it will get you your foot in the door.  You can exchange a minimum of 15K Aeroplan points for 10,588 IHG points (at today's exchange).  That's worth 2 free nights at an IHG property.  If you don't have enough Aeroplan points, you can always transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan instantaneously (if you have AMEX points--if you don't, click HERE to find out how to get AMEX points!

There's a trick through the IHG website which allows one to buy more points at a rate of $30 for 5K IHG points, a MUCH better rate thatn with Aeroplan.
You book a "Cash & Points" combo hotel stay through the IHG website after having the minimum 5K IHG points in your IHG account.
If you have less than 15K IHG points but more than 10K (such as by purchasing 10,588 with 15K Aeroplan points), you can book a stay at the Holiday Inn Auburn from September 4th to the 5th, with 10K IHG Points and $65USD cash.  When you cancel your stay, you won't get back the $65USD, but instead, you'll get an additional 10K IHG points along with the 10K IHG you used to make the reservation, meaning you paid $65 for 10K IHG points, or $32.50USD for enough points for a one night stay at a Point Break Hotel!   See below:

IHG® Rewards Club Reward Nights
  • FREE Cancellation until 6:00 PM local hotel time on September 4, 2017
  • No deposit required
  • Points + Cash bookings are charged immediately, and cancellations are refunded in points only.
* per night
View More Rates 

Choose the Crowne Plaza Syracuse, for example, same 1 night stay, and get offered $89 plus 15K IHG points for the stay, and when you cancel, you get back 15K plus the original 15K that you used, so you just paid $89 for 15K IHG points, less than $30USD for 5K points!  See below:

IHG® Rewards Club Reward Nights
  • FREE Cancellation until 6:00 PM local hotel time on September 3, 2017
  • No deposit required
  • Points + Cash bookings are charged immediately, and cancellations are refunded in points only.
* per night
View More Rates 

Book while you still can!!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Want a 10 Cent Glow In The Dark Fidget Spinner with pennies for shipping?

Gearbest is currently, with promo code CBColorful, selling glow in the dark fidget spinners, shipping from overseas for 10 cents plus a few pennies for shipping.  You can get one of EVERY colour, while supplies last!! ONE colour per order, so you can get up to 6 (6 colours) in one order!  Unreal, and how is this going to help you achieve your vacation goals?  I don't know, but it's a crazzzzy deal you'll tell your grandkids about when your taking them on your ultimate vacation!!  The price will drop after you put the promo code in.
You'll need to register your account first with Gearbest.
Click here to go the website.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Sign Up Bonus 20,000 for the SPG AMEX in Canada



SPG, the Starwood Preferred Guests hotel chain, in conjunction with American Express, is currently offering the 20K SPG (equivalent after switching them to 75K Marriott points)--and you can apply and receive the welcome bonus EVEN if you've had the card before (be it the personal or business card).   CLICK THE PICS ABOVE (BUSINESS CARD ON THE LEFT, PERSONAL ON THE RIGHT) to take advantage of this offer!

SPG that was bought out a few months back by Marriott, is by far the most lucrative hotel credit card you can get--the reason being that you can use the points not just for hotels in the SPG chain, but to transfer to over 40 different airlines--and an even better option is to transfer your points to Marriott with at least 270K (90K SPG), at which point you can turn them into a 1 week stay at a Marriott property category 5 (that's a Marriott property that costs up to 25K Marriott points per night, making it worth up to 125K Marriott points) PLUS a boatload of points to the airline of your choice, including United Airlines, that does not charge fuel surcharges on its overseas flights, meaning you can fly on Air Canada (a United affiliate through the Star Alliance), and get yourself 132K United Mileage plus points!

Here's the chart and the airlines you can switch your points to:
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

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

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, airberlin, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA LifeMiles, China Eastern, China Southern, 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
I personally love the option to switch  points to Southwest Airlines or JetBlue. While the Southwest deal used to include a companion fare pass with the switch, it's still a lot of points, worth $1700-$2300USD ON TOP of the 1 week stay at a Marriott property.  You can ask to have them extend the certificate once, and if you need to, do so just before it expires, as they will only renew it for another year from the date that you call them.

If you're desperate for Aeroplan points, and don't want to go about getting them this way, you can make a straight up switch from SPG to Aeroplan AND get a THIRTY FIVE PERCENT BONUS that Aeroplan is currently offering for switches from hotel points until August 21st, so you'll have to act quickly to apply and meet the $1500 spending threshold on the card.  And yes, the cards come with an annual fee of $120 on the personal version and $150 for the business version (which is eligible to be deducted as a business expense) but for the number of points you're getting, it's worth it.  Also, keep in mind that if you choose to apply for the business card first, and then apply before October 18th for the personal, you have the choice of cancelling the business and getting the personal card, along with a pro-rated refund on the business card or vice-versa.  You can also refer you spouse, friends, or family members and get 10K SPG points for doing so!  The link is found on the AMEX website once you already have an SPG card.  That could mean a LOT of SPG points for you and your spouse, and know that you can combine SPG points from the same address--it takes a few days to be processed, making it easier to rake up the points  in one account and transfer them to either an airline or to the Marriott miles and nights promotion!  Call Marriott at 1-800-321-7396 to transfer points this way.