Air Miles Credit Cards

By Robb Engen | July 24, 2011 | Comments Off on Air Miles Credit Cards

Air Miles is one of the most popular rewards programs in Canada and is used by many large retailers and credit card issuers including BMO and American Express.  The Air Miles collector card can be used to earn Air Miles rewards at any sponsoring retailer.  The benefit of using Air Miles credit cards is that you can earn Air Miles with any purchase at any retailer regardless if they are an Air Miles sponsor or not.

Air Miles can be redeemed for flights, vacations, and merchandise all through their online store.

Air Miles Credit Cards

BMO and American Express are the only two issuers of Air Miles credit cards.  They combine to offer 6 different choices of Air Miles credit cards, including a no fee option and a platinum option for earning Air Miles even faster.  Let’s take a look at the different options issued by BMO and American Express:

No Fee Air Miles Credit Cards

  1. BMO Air Miles MasterCard – with this credit card you can earn at least 1 Air Mile for every $20 spent at any location.  There is no annual fee and the interest rate is 19.5%.  This card comes with limited insurance benefits but balance insurance, travel and medical protection can be added for additional fees.
  2. American Express Air Miles Credit Card – another basic rewards credit card earning at least 1 Air Mile for every $20 spent at any location.  There is no annual fee and the interest rate is 18.5% (after an introductory rate of 3.99% for the first 6 months).  This card includes $100,000 in automatic travel accident insurance.

Low Interest Rate Air Miles Credit Cards

  1. BMO Air Miles Low Rate MasterCard – earn Air Miles with every purchase and benefit from a low interest rate of 12.9%.  This card has an annual fee of $35 and comes with limited insurance benefits but balance insurance, travel and medical protection can be added for additional fees.
  2. BMO Gold Air Miles Low Rate MasterCard – earn 1 Air Mile for every $15 spent on your BMO Gold Air Miles MasterCard and enjoy a 25% discount on Air Miles flights worldwide. The annual fee of $134 gets you a low interest rate of 12.9% and includes extended warranty/purchase protection and travel and medical protection and balance insurance can be added for a fee.

Gold/Platinum Air Miles Credit Cards

  1. American Express Air Miles Platinum Credit Card – With this credit card, earn 1 Air Mile for every $15 dollars spent. Earn 1 Air Mile per $10 spent when purchased at an Air Mile sponsor.  This card has an annual fee of $50 and the interest rate is $18.5%.  Insurance benefits include extended warranty doubling the manufacturers warranty, car rental insurance and $100,000 travel accident insurance.
  2. BMO Gold Air Miles MasterCard – Earn 1 Air Mile for every $15 spent on your BMO Gold Air Miles MasterCard and enjoy a 25% discount on Air Miles flights worldwide.  The annual fee of $99 includes extended warranty/purchase protection and travel and medical protection and balance insurance can be added for a fee.  The interest rate is 19.5%.

Final Thoughts

Air Miles credit cards are a great way to earn additional rewards with your everyday purchases.  When determining the best reward credit cards for your situation, it’s always best to understand your shopping patterns and your monthly spending habits.  It’s also important not to carry a balance on your credit card, since the interest you pay will negate any rewards you earn.

For the no fee cards, I would tend to choose BMO over American Express since MasterCard is more widely accepted in Canada.  The exception would be if you shop regularly at Costco, which only accepts American Express.  I’ll ignore the low interest rate cards, since I don’t carry a balance.

As for the Gold/Platinum options, the American Express Air Miles Platinum has the same earning power as the BMO Gold Air Miles MasterCard and costs $49 less per year to carry.  If you spend over $2,500/month on your credit card or you require a small business credit card, the American Express Air Miles Platinum looks like the best choice.

Delta Privilege Hotel Rewards Program

By Robb Engen | July 22, 2011 |

The Canadian hotel industry is extremely competitive, and one way for hotel brands to set themselves apart in the eyes of their guests is to offer a hotel rewards program.

Delta has 46 hotels and resorts across Canada including flagships like the Delta Chelsea in downtown Toronto – the largest hotel in Canada with 1,590 rooms, the Delta Bessborough in Saskatoon, and the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort.

Delta Privilege is its signature loyalty and recognition program for frequent guests.  The program’s hallmark feature – the famous “One Minute Check-In Guarantee” – was an industry first.  It guarantees members that they will be checked in within one minute, or the first night of their stay will be free.

Signing up for the Delta Privilege hotel rewards program is as simple as entering your email address and basic personal information, however they do require a credit card number in order to receive many of the benefits such as guaranteed reservation and One Minute Check-In.

Delta Privilege Membership Benefits

According to industry experts, the Delta Privilege hotel rewards program offers incredibly generous benefits.  Just for signing up to be a member you will automatically receive the following hotel perks:

  • Extended Checkout to 6:00pm
  • Free local calls and no-access charge dialing for 1-800 and credit card calls
  • Express Checkout
  • One-Minute Check-In (after 3:00pm)
  • “I’m On My Way” Early Check-In
  • 24-hour Concierge
  • Exclusive Member E-Newsletter
  • Exclusive Offers from Avis
  • Free in-room high-speed Internet access
  • 500 frequent flyer miles per stay

Additional Membership Benefits

Gold Status – After just 5 stays at Delta Hotels members will be upgraded to Gold status.  Additional benefits for reaching Gold status includes a $200 credit for dining, room service, or meeting room charges, 2 upgrades to the next best available room type at check-in, and free turndown service.

Platinum Status – When members accumulate 15 stays at Delta Hotels they will reach Platinum status.  Platinum members receive a $300 credit for dining, room service, or meeting room charges, unlimited upgrades to the next best available room type at time of check-in, complimentary breakfast, 48-hour guaranteed availability, turndown service and a personalized welcome snack.

Platinum Plus Status – Members who accumulate 25 stays at 3 or more Delta Hotels within a calendar year can reach Platinum Plus status.  Platinum Plus members receive additional benefits such as 1,500 Aeroplan Miles per stay, 2 one-time guest passes to any Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, unlimited upgrades to the best available room type at time of reservation, and a $500 credit for dining, room service, or meeting room charges.

Hotel Rewards and Then Some

This has to be one of the richest hotel rewards programs offered in Canada.  The free upgrades, food and beverage credits and frequent flyer miles are definitely great perks.  Delta hotels also has an outstanding reputation in the industry for guest service.

Are there any Delta Privilege members out there?  Do you feel this is the best hotel rewards program in Canada?

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