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Tuesday 28 February 2017

JFK or Newark to Paris for $329USD, including SUMMER travel!

This includes summer travel.  Use this link to get a discount of $65 and get the $329USD rate!  Of course, you still have to make your way to JFK or Newark, using Aeroplan.  Trying to use the British Airways website to fly out of Toronto and still get the discount--futile.
Dates include (as advertised on DansDeals):
Valid outbound dates from EWR and/or JFK to Paris/ORY:
March 6, 19, 26, 28, 31
April 1, 2, 3, 4, 27, 28, 29
May 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11
August 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28
September 3 through 30
October: Entire Month
November 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
December 1 through 14
Valid return dates from Paris/ORY to EWR and/or JFK:
March 24, 25, 27
April 20, 21, 23, 27, 30
May 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 30
June 1, 2
August 22, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31
September 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
October 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
November 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
December 1 through 14
January 10 through 21
Take advantage of this great deal while it lasts!

Sunday 5 February 2017

2.35% Fixed 5 Year Closed

What those Canadian websites that list mortgage rates from the brokerage firms and big banks DON'T want you to see is that in fact, HSBC, since December, has had a 2.35% 5 year fixed closed rate, which for a while, has not required you to be an account holder with them.  It's still available!! They will throw $500 towards your appraisal costs and legal fees to refinance or purchase your first home, but legal fees are around $1K with them, and appraisal costs are around $400, so that leaves you paying around $900--still worth it with such a low finance rate compared to the competition--and you can TRY to go to your bank and tell them about HSBC's posted 2.35% rate--they won't even bother to try to match it.
They WILL give you 1% for transferring in business such as RRSPs of at least $15K, up to a maximum of $1200 ($120K).  RESPs do NOT count towards this particular bonus.  This can help you to subsidize the cost of your legal fees, which other institutions may pay, depending on what you worked out with them.
If you are in the market for a mortgage, just go into your closest HSBC branch and sit down with a rep.  I'd appreciate you mentioning that Steven Kastner, who signed up for an account and mortgage with Shelly Li from the Yonge & Clark branch in Thornhill referred you when you open up an account with them (free, and a place for them to put your transfer-in or any other bonus).
Click the link in the pic above to go to the HSBC website.

Amazon.CA Free SAME DAY Shipping is Terrific!

So I got a half price deal on Amazon.CA Prime. by speaking to someone (I took it up to a supervisor's level) as I explained, I'm already paying for Prime, so, considering I'm already paying for that, and I'm like to give Amazon.CA Prime a chance to see if I'm going  to use the service, as I usually buy most things from the States, and then go pick it up at an opportune time, I gave Amazon.CA Prime a chance today and it passed with flying colours!
I've got shoulder and neck pain, and the time had come to purchase a neck and shoulder heating pad.  It was Sunday, but that doesn't stop Amazon.CA from boasting same day delivery in the GTA and Vancouver if the order is placed before 12pm (minimum $25 order, otherwise, 2 day free shipping). So I placed the order, chose free same day shipping (why would anyone choose 2-day shipping who has the same day option????) and it was guaranteed delivery by 9pm tonight.  It showed up around 7:45pm.  The guy rang the door bell in rapid succession, left it at the door and waved to me as I opened the door to get it.  SOOOO much better than wasting time walking into a store to get it--and yes, it was about $5+lower taxes cheaper than, and yes, even sold it for $3 less, but that convenience of free same day shipping can't be beat!
For $79 a year with a free month to start, you not only get free same day shipping in the GTA, but access to, which is mostly Amazon TV programs.  These programs are PHENOMENAL. I don't watch regular TV (expect for Supergirl, which even then, I watch CWTV on line) as I can't be bothered to bring that trash into my home AND pay for it.  Amazon has fabulous programming, including Man In The High Castle (possibly the best drama TV EVER), Mozart In The Jungle, Goliath (coming soon--why they didn't release ALL the Amazon Prime programs at once to Canada, who knows) and  MANY more excellent programs. You can download them onto your Android  device as well. Of course, let Netflix, the US version is WAAAAY better (more content) due to Canada's archaic copyright regs, but it still is worth the money for the convenience of the shipping, and PrimeVideo is a nice added plus!
It also includes 30 minute early access to lightning deals (limited time specials 'til they sell out or time runs out on it), free storage of all your pics, and Twitch, which includes discounted video games and a newsletter.
Try it out free!  Students can get it for free for SIX months!  Click here to get more info. For everyone else, click on the top right, assuming you have an account (or account will work just as well if you're on the .CA version) on "Try Prime" for more info.

Saturday 4 February 2017

How To Get A Platinum AMEX Business Card, SPG/Marriott Gold Status For FREE PLUS over $400 OR > 81K AMEX Points ($810 value)!!

81K+ AMEX points + Platinum = $399 (tax write off for biz) OR 81K+ Aeroplan points  OR 81K+ Avios=$812.50 OR $412.50 + FREE PLATINUM CARD
Currently, with the link embedded in the pic above, you can earn 75K (NOT THE REGULAR 60K) AMEX points after spending $5K in 3 months (there are ways--see below) when you use my referral to get a Platinum AMEX Biz card plus 1.25 points per dollar spent, so after spending $5K, you'll get 6,250 points plus the 75K, making 81250 AMEX points.  In the past, there was a glitch in the AMEX system, that allowed one to upgrade from a gold to a platinum, and even though the rep on the phone would tell you about the $399 fee you'd be paying, they didn't charge for the upgrade.
As reported in a previous post, AMEX Business cards allow you to cash out by using your points in lieu of transactions, so charge an $800 trip to your points and get the transaction for free--or any percentage of that transaction if you wish.  Personally, I'd use the points with Aeroplan or in a pinch, to pay the taxes on an Aeroplan ticket (not the best use--airline points are the best use). In fact, you may use your points, with platinum status (not with gold) to pay off ANY transaction, travel-related or not.

Here's the order of things:

Apply using the link embedded above to get the AMEX Platinum Business card--even if you've had it before, you still qualify for the welcome bonus again.  Even if you have one NOW, you qualify.  Just apply, get approved, and "consolidate" (i.e., CANCEL) your other card. If you have any kind of business, any at all, you can apply as a self-proprietor (no Revenue Canada tax number) and give your income as your total overall income, give yourself (and perhaps your spouse) as the employee(s) and hopefully get approved.

After being approved you have to spend $5K in 3 months--I do that by paying for my father's residence monthly (they accept AMEX) and he pays me by cheque.  Find a way to do it--gift cards to gas stations, Sobey's, Metro, hardware stores, hotels, rental cars, charitable donations, PayPal--they all accept AMEX.

If you cannot legitimately write-off the annual fee on your taxes, you can use 39,900 AMEX points on any of your transactions to cover the cost of your annual fee, making the card free!

BTW, if you have employees (or spouse) that would like the upgrade, get them only the gold business card for $50 rather than paying for the platinum business supplementary card (save $) and still get 1.25 AMEX Membership Reward points per dollar PLUS a whole lot of benefits listed below.

And THAT is how you get 75K points for FREE (Plus the points you get for all your spending). Enjoy the Platinum card for the year, and if it's a tax write-off  for businesses (the $399 annual fee) go for it and keep using it.  Others may choose to downgrade at year's end or see if they'll offer you a spending threshold to meet for more points.  If not, you may choose to cancel the card and reapply for the platinum again.  This is called "churning" and is frowned upon by credit card companies but is not against their rules--as long as it's a new application and you're willing to take the hard inquiry credit hit (usually a few points off your credit score), they won't care.

The link embedded above in the pic can be used to apply for any of the membership reward cards: business gold (waived annual fee first year and worth 40K welcome points points but only 1 point per dollar and no platinum benefits), the personal platinum (pricey but awesome) or the Platinum Business card. It defaults to the platinum business, but if you look to the right, you'll see pics of the other cards--just click on any of them for more info and to apply.

Most importantly, other than the points is the SPG Gold status that comes with the card when you call AMEX and provide them with your SPG number.  If you don't have an SPG number, they can set you up with one (or just to and sign up for one) and they will, in 7-14 days, have your SPG status upgraded to GOLD!  That means free upgrades at SPG hotels--and Marriott hotels after linking you SPG account with your Marriott account online as you will have Marriott Gold status as well since SPG got bought out by Marriott.

Some people manufacture spending to hit the threshold--for example, they make a $5K purchase on the card for a hotel stay months in advance that is refundable--wait for the points to post (may take 8-10 weeks) and then cancel the stay and keep the bonus--I STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU RESIST THIS URGE.  Putting morality aside (it's illegitimate spending), if you cannot spend your way to the spending threshold, don't get the card.  In the US, AMEX has already clamped down on this practice by taking away people's welcome bonus and making it hard to get it back.  These bonuses are offered so that AMEX hopes to get some serious business from new customers, but that doesn't mean you cannot choose to meet the threshold, keep using the card (platinum card value is awesome) and then choose to not renew the card.  If you really don't think it's worth it, and you happen to be the few that are charged the annual fee upon upgrading, you could cancel the card or downgrade after meeting the spending threshold to get back a prorated refund (though AMEX in the States is ending this).
Here's the Plat Biz benefits:
  • Free lounge access for the card holder, including at Pearson (for the personal version, it even allows access to the prestigious Centurion Lounge, including for the family or a friend but the for the Plat Biz, only yourself in the Plaza Premium Lounges around the world, including at Pearson).  Click here to read more about this benefit
  • 15% off parking at Pearson (even though this is only supposed to be a benefit of the platinum personal, it's a glitch and you it will show on your next statement)

Exceptional Platinum Worldwide Benefits that include:
  • Access to over 600 lounges around the world.1
  • Extras at over 700 world-class properties in the Fine Hotels & Resorts Program.
  • Front Of The Line® access to some of the hottest events in town.
  • Concierge service.
  • Watch what Small Business Platinum Cardmembers have to say about their experience with American Express.

Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards® points for virtually every $1 in purchases6and get the most out of your business expenses.

Earn a Welcome Bonus of 75,000 points when you charge $5,000 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership.** That’s enough to redeem for a $750 TripFlexTM rewards statement credit to use towards eligible travel purchases charged to your Card.7

Maximize your cash flow with up to 55 interest free days4 and get purchasing power that can grow with your business.

Travel Accident Insurance up to 1/2 a million, Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance, Flight Delay Insurance up to $1K in coverage, travel emergency assistance

Apply using the link at the top of the page (in the AMEX Plat Biz pick).

Friday 3 February 2017


While I planned on retiring, I decided to keep it running but on a limited update basis. is my domain host, and boy did I learn a lesson from dealing with them.
Here are some points that you should always do:

  • Record your conversations.  There are smartphone apps such as ACR that will allow you to record your phone conversations. In Ontario and many other jurisdictions, as long as one person is aware it is being recorded, it CAN be legally recorded.  You won't be using it in a court, but you will be able to let them know, if they don't hold up their end, that you've recorded the conversation, the date and time of it, when you hit a snag with whatever company you dealt with that is giving you a hard time.
  • Speak to a supervisor when you're not getting satisfaction.  Even if the customer rep tells you that a supervisor will tell you the same thing.  Usually, they just don't want to get in trouble. Supervisors usually know more and have more power to compensate if you've been wronged.
  • They usually record all conversations, so welcome them to listen to the one that you recorded and the date and time of the recording.  Even tell them how long the call lasted so they know that you've got 'em.
  • When a supervisor won't help, you can ask to speak to THEIR supervisor.  Doesn't always work as sometimes the supervisor is the highest person in the department but worth a try.  Unfortunately, you can't prove that they're lying about no one who can help you above them.  I've gone up to a VP level before to get satisfaction, at which point, they'll give you compensation and offer the jerk supervisor and customer service person a "retraining" opportunity.
  • Be prepared to go to your credit card provider to have the charge "charged back".  Companies HATE it as it's a lot of paperwork for them and they'll charge you (in my case, a $50 admin fee with GoDaddy) if you still wish to deal with them.  Only use this option when you plan on NOT purchasing anything from the service provider/merchant. Get over it if you do "lose."  I lost with GoDaddy in a sense as I spent hours of my life trying to resurrect my website, after I was charged DOUBLE--10 years worth of renewal service when on the final screen where I entered my credit card info, I chose 5 years.  They were absolutely horrible about it because I was left with no choice but to go to the credit card company to have it charged back.  THEY HATE WHEN YOU DO THAT.
  • Even with a supervisor involved, and promises from that supervisor, AND a recorded conversation, another supervisor may not obide by the decision made by a previous one--case in point, GoDaddy, that REFUSED to obide by the decision of a previous supervisor.  Promises were made as to when my website would be back in action and what I would, in addition to the admin fee, get as a bonus, that was not honoured. 
  • Consider print screening EVERY final checkout screen and saving it, as online companies' websites DO have glitches, and they WON'T necessarily honour or even admit that it was their fault at all (case in point, GoDaddy that states that you accept all terms and conditions, that they believe includes paying for unauthorized charges to your credit card).
Is this a bitching session against GoDaddy--partly--I did everything right, including going after them on FB, which they have the right to approve (which usually works with other companies), but it did nothing with them. Suing is too much trouble financially and emotionally.  Bottom line, BUYER BEWARE!!!

25% off Groupon-**DEAD**

GrouponGood 'Til tonight, February 4th, use promo code  WINTER25.
First, go to, log in, and type in groupon in the search box.  It will take you to to save you 9% cashback.
Pick the city of your choice (including wherever you're planning on vacationing).
Choose the category of choice (e.g., Things To Do, Food & Drink).  Good for 3 uses, max $50 discount per deal.
Don't have an account?  Click here to go to EBates.  I will get a referral and you will save hundreds throughout the years that you use Ebates!


While I won't make as much time for Steve's Deals, I will add posts when I believe there's a deal that is REALLY worth knowing about.  Unlike other blogs that may list 6 packs of socks for $8 on Amazon, I won't.  I WILL continue to give you deals and advice to educate you, to help you to achieve your vacation goals, and some general deals that will help make a vacation better (Groupon 20% off coupon code on today and tomorrow that could be used for restaurants and attractions in cities you'll be visiting).
I will also give buyer beware advice, such as what took my blog offline for 2 months.
Stay tuned!