The Latest From PointsWise

The Latest From PointsWise 2017-11-18T23:02:32+00:00

Top 10 Questions For Travel Hacking Beginners in Canada

November 15th, 2018|How To|

Travel Hacking In Canada If you want to travel better, or simply just travel more for less, you’re going to need to learn how to travel hack and get the most out of your credit card points and miles. This post is for Canadian travelers looking to use their reward points for travel, but aren't quite sure how. We'll talk [...]

How To Get Up to a $100 USD Daily Credit at Fairmont Hotels

November 5th, 2018|Hot Deals!, How To, News|

Currently, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts is offering a promotion where you can receive up to a $100 USD daily credit when you stay at Fairmont properties around the world. This credit is applied daily during your stay,so you’ll be able to use it on the property towards things like: Restaurants and bars Room service Spa Parking/valet charges How to get [...]

New Welcome Bonus On The American Express SPG Card In Canada

August 21st, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, News, Reviews|

Introduction The merger of Marriott and Starwood is now complete, after months of updates we finally have a new welcome bonus on the American Express SPG Card in Canada. A few months ago Amex changed the welcome bonus from SPG points to a lousy statement credit, and more recently made the card unavailable for new applications. However, they had shared [...]

New Membership Rewards To Marriott Transfer Rate Better Than Expected!

July 24th, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, News, Reviews|

New Membership Rewards To Marriott Transfer Rate After months of speculation we finally know what the new Membership Rewards to Marriott transfer rate will be, and it's slightly better than expected! As of August 4, 2018, Membership Rewards will transfer to the new Marriott program at a rate of 1,000:1,200. This is slightly better than the 1:1 both Kyle and [...]

Coming Soon: Canadian SPG Amex Elite Qualifying Nights And New Welcome Bonus

July 8th, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, News, Reviews|

Canadian SPG Amex Elite Qualifying Nights Announced A couple of weeks ago we learned details of changes coming to the American Express Cards in Canada, effective August 4th, 2018, just after the merger of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest is complete. Shortly after that post, I received some mail from Amex going over the changes, which seemed to be [...]

Fairmont And Le Club AccorHotels Merger Complete…. Kind Of

July 4th, 2018|Hotel Loyalty Programs, News, Reward Programs|

Fairmont And Le Club AccorHotels Merger Complete Back in December we learned that Le Club AccorHotels would replace the Fairmont President's Club effective July 2, 2018. I didn't take this news particularly well, since the Fairmont President's Club provided a lot of opportunities for arbitrage (similar to what's happening between August and the end of the year with Marriott), whereas [...]

Exciting: New Marriott Award Pricing, And How You Can Book Before August 1st!

June 29th, 2018|Hot Deals!, Hotel Loyalty Programs, News, Reward Programs|

New Marriott Award Pricing The wait is finally over! After what felt like an eternity, we finally have details on the new Marriott Award pricing, including (not so good) changes to one of my favourite travel hacks - the hotel and air packages. This news came all at once yesterday, including some info on the changes to the SPG Amex [...]

New Details About Changes To The American Express SPG Cards In Canada

June 28th, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, News, Reviews|

Changes To The American Express SPG Cards Introduction First, let me say it took Amex long enough to announce the changes to the American Express SPG Cards in Canada. While our American counterparts have known how their cards would change with the merger of Marriott and Starwood, we were left in the dark to speculate. The changes are.... ok, kind [...]

Ouch! American Express Business Gold Card Devalued Overnight, With More Changes Coming

June 26th, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, News, Reviews|

American Express Business Gold No Longer Offering First Year Free Well, this kind of sucks. As of this morning, the seemingly never-ending American Express Business Gold first year free promotion was terminated without any advance warning. American Express Business Gold First year Free Cancelled Without Notice Furthermore, American Express has added some of that dreaded language to the [...]

Alaska Airlines MBNA Mastercard Currently Unavailable In Canada

June 25th, 2018|Credit Cards, Hot Deals!, MBNA, News, Reviews|

***Update: The application is now working again through Great Canadian Rebates with an increased welcome bonus of 30,000 Alaska Miles. The $99 annual fee can be reduced by applying through this link for $60 cash back*** Alaska Airlines MBNA Mastercard Introduction Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of my favourite airline programs due to the generous routing rules on award [...]

5 Reasons Why The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Is My Favourite Hotel In The World

June 22nd, 2018|Expert Opinions, Fairmont, Hotels|

Why The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Is My Favourite Hotel In The World This week The Fairmont Vancouver Airport had a grand opening event for the recently renovated Gold Floor, and I was lucky enough to attend. Brad and I stayed one night during their soft launch (actually we were the first guests welcomed on June 1st, which was kind of [...]

Flight Review: EVA Air (A330) Business Class – Taipei to Jakarta

June 21st, 2018|Airlines, EVA Air, Trip Reports|

EVA Air A330 Business Class Introduction My EVA business class flight from Vancouver arrived just before 6am, which meant I had just over 2.5 hours to wait until boarding for my onward flight to Jakarta (featuring the new EVA Air A330 business class product). I've transited Taipei before, and really dislike the lounge. I don't think the food is very [...]

30% RBC Rewards Transfer Bonus To British Airways Until July 31, 2018

June 19th, 2018|Hot Deals!, News|

From now until July 31, 2018, RBC Visa Avion cardmembers can earn a 30% bonus when transferring RBC Rewards To British Airways Executive Club. While the RBC Avion program isn't my favourite when using points for fixed-value redemptions, I do consider the RBC Avion Visa as one of my top travel reward cards for Canadians when transferring points to airline [...]

Flight Review: Eva Air (777-300ER) Business Class – Vancouver to Taipei

June 18th, 2018|Airlines, EVA Air, Trip Reports|

EVA Air Business Class Vancouver To Taipei Introduction I've flown EVA Air business class on the Boeing 777 in the past from Taipei to Vancouver and Singapore to Taipei, and so has Brad from Los Angeles, and we both agree that it's one of the world's best overall business class products. While the seat is similar to what you might [...]

Just Announced! New WestJet Rewards Program In Canada In Partnership With RBC Bank

June 14th, 2018|News|

New WestJet Rewards Program Introduction Well this is exciting. It has just been announced that Canadians can expect to see a new WestJet Rewards program by the end of the year, which is being launched in partnership with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Details of the new program, being called Ampli, are largely unknown at this time, though consumers can [...]

Review: Plaza Premium Lounge (International Terminal) – Vancouver Airport

June 13th, 2018|Airport Lounges, Canada, Trip Reports|

Plaza Premium Lounge Vancouver Airport Introduction I'll get it out of the way - contract lounges kind of suck. Sure, they're better than waiting at the gate (most of the time), but compared to flagship airline lounges, such as the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt or the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge in Tokyo, these contract spaces feel more [...]

Program Sweet Spot – Aeroplan Mini Round-The-World

June 12th, 2018|Hot Deals!, News|

Aeroplan Mini Round-The-World Introduction As I set out to publish my next trip report, I realized I've yet to make a post explaining one of my favourite program sweet spots. While Aeroplan gets a bad name for taxes and fees and lack of availability, the truth is they are actually a very important airline program for Canadians wishing to leverage travel [...]

New Warning For Churning American Express Cards – What Does It Mean For Canadians?

June 8th, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, News|

New Language Offers A Warning For Churning American Express Cards Yesterday we learned of some new language being included in the footnotes of applications for anyone considering churning American Express Cards (in The United States only). One Mile At A Time reported that Amex has introduced a vague new footnote, indicating that American Express may, at their sole discretion, choose [...]

Best First Year Free Travel Reward Credit Cards For Canadians

June 7th, 2018|Best Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Reviews|

Best First Year Free Travel Reward Credit Cards Introduction I'm often asked what the best first year free travel reward credit card is for Canadians, particularly for people just getting started in travel hacking. Credit card offers are changing all the time, including the size of the welcome bonus and whether or not the annual fee is waived the first [...]

Restaurant Review: The Wildflower Restaurant – Fairmont Chateau Whistler, BC

June 6th, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Fairmont Authentically Local Food Experience Introduction One of the aspects of The Fairmont President's Club that is so unique is the issuance of certificates over traditional hotel points. Every year, members would receive a set of certificates based on their status level, including free-night, suite upgrade, and dining certificates. Furthermore, Platinum members were allowed to choose two additional benefits, ranging [...]

Sneak Peak: Impressive Gold Floor Renovations at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport

June 2nd, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, News, Trip Reports|

New Fairmont Vancouver Airport Gold Floor In 10 Photos While a full review will be following shortly, I wanted to share my initial thoughts and some photos from our stay in the brand new Fairmont Vancouver Airport Gold Floor King Room. To be honest, I was excited, and a bit nervous. The old Fairmont Gold Floor was close to perfect [...]

Hotel Review: Hi-Lo Hotel, Autograph Collection – Portland, Oregon

May 31st, 2018|Autograph Collection, Hotels, Trip Reports|

The Hi-Lo Portland Introduction Given that I was booking two paid rates in Seattle through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts at The Fairmont Olympic Hotel and The Four Seasons Hotel, I knew I wanted to find a points redemption in Portland. Since it was New Year's Eve, rates were moderately high, and the choices between SPG and Marriott properties [...]

Are Crowded American Express Centurion Lounges Worth The Visit?

May 30th, 2018|Expert Opinions|

Overcrowding At American Express Centurion Lounges Introduction American Express is a leader in premium travel reward cards in Canada, with a range of products essential to any travel hacker's wallet. American Express Membership Reward cards regularly top my list of the best credit cards in Canada, and feature some impressive welcome bonuses throughout the year. Right now American Express is [...]

Le Club AccorHotels Review – Just How Bad Is It?

May 29th, 2018|Hotel Loyalty Programs, Reviews, Reward Programs|

Le Club AccorHotels Review - Introduction Back in December Fairmont President's Club members learned the fate of their beloved program with the news that Le Club AccorHotels would replace FPC beginning July 2, 2018. Unlike other programs, such as Starwood and Marriott, where management decided to take features from both programs when merging, Accor decided to just outright replace The [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Olympic Hotel (Executive Suite), Seattle, WA

May 29th, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Fairmont Olympic Hotel Seattle Executive Suite Introduction I booked this hotel as our first stop on our road trip to Portland, which included a stop in Seattle in both directions. Seattle, like Vancouver, is a highly seasonal market, and rates were quite reasonable just before New Year's Eve. Opened in 1924, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel is rich with history, and easily [...]

Exciting News – Big Changes Coming To PointsWise!

May 25th, 2018|News|

Big Changes Coming Soon! It's been an exciting year for PointsWise! What started as a humble blog getting a few page views per day grew into a full service website offering the latest news, travel hacking tricks, and product reviews. In addition to the blog, we launched premium concierge award booking service, which has been well-receieved, and an eBook designed [...]

Don’t Miss Your Last Chance For A Bonus Set Of Fairmont Certificates

May 24th, 2018|Fairmont, Hot Deals!, Hotel Loyalty Programs, Hotels, News|

Last Chance For A Second Set Of Fairmont Certificates For Elite Members Just a quick reminder, Fairmont elite members (Platinum and Premier) have until July 1, 2018 to get two qualifying stays to be eligible for a second set of Fairmont certificates, which will be issued on July 2, when Le Club AccorHotels replaces the Fairmont President's Club. For me, [...]

Could the Fairmont Pacific Rim Become the new Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver?

May 23rd, 2018|Fairmont, Four Seasons, Hotels, News|

Could The Fairmont Pacific Rim Become The New Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver? Full disclosure: I have no inside information - I'm simply speculating, but wanted to share my thoughts about what I believe could be a possible option for the new Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. Brad and I just finished up a stay this last weekend in a beautiful Stanley [...]

Is The Fairmont Chateau Whistler The Most Dog Friendly Hotel in Whistler, BC?

May 22nd, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Fairmont Whistler Dog Friendly Program Introduction Having stayed at many dog-friendly hotels in Vancouver and the surrounding areas, I would have to say Whistler is one of the best destinations when it comes to being a dog owner. With the vast number of trails, outdoor patios (a lot of which are open year round), and dog friendly hotels, Whistler is [...]

The 5 Best Luxury Hotels You Need to Stay at in Vancouver, BC

May 18th, 2018|Fairmont, Four Seasons, Hotels, JW Marriott, News, Rosewood, Trip Reports|

Top 5 Favourite Luxury Hotels In Vancouver Introduction Vancouver is my favourite city in the world! A true world class destination with unparalleled beauty, great food, and activities to enjoy for all types of travellers - it's no wonder it's constantly rated as one of the most liveable places on earth. I also happen to live in Vancouver. Well, kind [...]

Flight Review: Japan Airlines (777-300ER) First Class – Tokyo to San Francisco

May 17th, 2018|Airlines, Japan Airlines, Trip Reports|

Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo - San Francisco Introduction This will be a shorter flight review than normal, mainly because I flew the same Japan Airlines first class from San Francisco to Tokyo where I went into greater detail on the hard product. On this flight, I want to focus more on the service, which was great, and the catering, [...]

The Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver is Closing and Here’s Why

May 16th, 2018|Four Seasons, Hotels, News|

Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver Is Closing Well, this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to anyone. As per a recent press release, The Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver is Closing as of January 31, 2020. Here are the full details from corporate office: Four Seasons is concluding its management of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, effective January 31, 2020. Four [...]

Hurry!! Incredible American Express Offer In Vancouver – Dinner And Luxury Hotel Stay

May 15th, 2018|Hot Deals!, News|

American Express Offer In Vancouver Introduction American Express routinely offers special invites for cardmembers to a variety of events, though I find the lucrative deals are normally targeted for American consumers. When we do see offers in Canada, they're usually underwhelming, and I've actually never taken advantage of one. Today I received an email for an American Express Offer in [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Chateau Whistler (Gold Floor Lounge), Whistler, BC

May 14th, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor Lounge Introduction As mentioned previously, I decided to publish this stay in a series of posts, rather than just one large one. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons, but mainly because I felt there was just too much to talk about for one review, including the new Pampered Pooch pet program, resort dining [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Chateau Whistler (Gold Floor King Room), Whistler, BC

May 13th, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor King Room Introduction For this hotel stay I'm doing the review a little bit different, as I explained in an introductory post with all of the highlights. Rather than having one (really) long review covering all aspects, I'm breaking them into four smaller reviews, including this post of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor King [...]

Review: CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Card Prepaid Visa

May 11th, 2018|Credit Cards, Reviews|

Air Canada AC Conversion Card Introduction I don't like bank fees. Actually, I loathe bank fees. As a frequent traveler, I'm quite familiar with all of the extra costs associated with spending money in a foreign currency, with the dreaded foreign exchange fee at the top of my 'most hated' list. The foreign exchange fee (or FX fee), is a percentage added [...]

Review: Japan Airlines First Class Lounge – Tokyo Haneda Airport

May 10th, 2018|Airport Lounges, International, Trip Reports|

Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda Introduction My flight from Singapore on Japan Airlines in business class arrived at 5:15am, which would give me a full day to enjoy the Japan Airlines first class lounge Tokyo Haneda. I had timed this flight strategically to have a day in Tokyo, though due to work commitments and lack of sleep, I [...]

Flight Review: Japan Airlines (777) Business Class – Singapore to Tokyo

May 9th, 2018|Airlines, Japan Airlines, Trip Reports|

Japan Airlines Boeing 777 Business Class Introduction I'll be honest - I didn't even realize Japan Airlines had a business class configuration with reverse herringbone seats. I knew they had the Apex Suite, since I flew it on their 787 from Delhi to Tokyo on my crazy 11-day trip around the world, and I assumed they would operate some sort [...]

Hotel Review Highlights: Fairmont Chateau Whistler (Gold Floor Experience), Whistler, BC

May 7th, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Fairmont Chateau Whistler Gold Floor Experience Introduction Brad and I were looking to get away for a weekend to celebrate our anniversary a bit early and decided on Whistler, mainly because the weather looked great, but also because we had a boatload of certificates to use since we both qualified as Platinum in the Fairmont President's Club. While up until [...]

Deal Alert: 20% Bonus On Fairmont Gift Cards For A Very Limited Time!

May 7th, 2018|Hot Deals!, News|

Bonus On Fairmont Gift Cards For A (Very) Limited Time Only! Fairmont is one of my favourite hotel chains in the world, with a great mix of modern city hotels and historic buildings rich with Canadian history. I generally find the value to be good at most Fairmont properties, but especially appreciate the many ways to get discounted stays or [...]

Review: British Airways Business Class Lounge – Singapore Changi Airport

May 2nd, 2018|Airport Lounges, International, Trip Reports|

British Airways Business Class Lounge Singapore Changi Introduction I checked out of the JW Marriott South Beach Hotel at around 4pm and took a 25 minute taxi to the airport. My flight wasn't until 9:50pm, but I love Singapore Changi Airport, and knew I wouldn't have a hard time spending 5 hours there prior to my flight. Japan Airlines is [...]

Vancouver Travel Hacking Meetup A Success!

May 1st, 2018|News|

On April 29, 2018, PointsWise co-hosted a "Learn How To Travel Hack" meetup in Vancouver with Kyle from Adventure Never Enns. The event was held at the St. Regis Bar and Grill to a SOLD OUT crowd who came hungry to learn all of the expert tricks and tips for earning and redeeming points for their dream trip. We had [...]

Review: Scotiabank American Express Gold Credit Card

May 1st, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, Reviews|

Scotiabank American Express Gold Card Introduction When it comes to travel reward credit cards in Canada, American Express is my favourite issuer. Not only do I love their Membership Reward cards with generous welcome bonuses and useful transfer partners, but they also have a generous referral program, which can help boost award balances quickly. So what's the deal with the [...]

Future Of Aeroplan – New Third Party Booking Website?

April 28th, 2018|News|

Future Of Aeroplan - Introduction As most of you probably know by now, Air Canada is cutting ties with Aeroplan and launching their own loyalty program in 2020. I didn't put much thought into this up until yesterday, and have been telling readers to continue earning and redeeming Aeroplan miles, as there are still some great redemption options to be [...]

Why The American Express Platinum Card Is Worth The Fee For Canadians

April 27th, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, Reviews|

One of my first posts when the website launched was reviewing all of the benefits of The Platinum Card, which is arguably the premier travel rewards cards in Canada. Despite the list of benefits, I still get asked 'is The American Express Platinum Card worth the fee?', to which I respond 'YES!!' about 90% of the time. What Makes The [...]

JW Marriott Parq Vancouver Hotel Executive Lounge Review

April 26th, 2018|Hotels, JW Marriott, Reviews, Trip Reports|

JW Marriott Vancouver Executive Lounge for Marriott Rewards Members While staying at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver Hotel, we decided to check out the executive lounge. You can read my review of our standard room water view here! Marriott Rewards - Huge Changes Ahead Marriott recently announced some huge changes coming to the program as of August 1st which will [...]

JW Marriott Parq Vancouver Hotel Review, Standard Room, Water View

April 26th, 2018|Hotels, JW Marriott, Trip Reports|

Booking The JW Marriott/Free Night Promotion From The Parq Casino I decided to tag along with my grandma who received a complimentary room valid for either the JW Marriott or The Douglas Hotel which are both connected to the Parq Casino in Vancouver, BC. The promotion is put on by the Parq Casino and is based on playing habits. I'm [...]

Review: JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel

April 24th, 2018|Hotels, JW Marriott, Trip Reports|

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Introduction When planning this trip to Singapore, I was originally considering staying both nights at The Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel on Orchard Road, though unfortunately that property didn't have availability on my second night. Luckily the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel did have space, which would provide a great opportunity to compare the two [...]

Sneak Peak At Marriott Rewards New Hotel Categories

April 23rd, 2018|Hotel Loyalty Programs, News, Reward Programs|

A Glimpse Into Marriott Rewards New Hotel Categories Marriott recently released a list of select properties across five distinct region as a sample of what to expect with Marriott Rewards new hotel categories. Overall, I'm not really shocked by any of the new rates, though I do suspect these properties were 'cherry-picked' a bit to highlight some of the better [...]

Strategy For Starwood Points Since The Marriott Announcement

April 20th, 2018|Hotel Loyalty Programs, Hotels, News, Reward Programs|

Strategy For Starwood Points Since The Marriott Announcement We've had a lot of news this week about upcoming changes to the Marriott Rewards program, with both Marriott and Starwood becoming one program as of August 1, 2018. We also saw a change to the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card in Canada, where the welcome bonus (and referral program) where greatly [...]

Review: Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Executive King Room

April 18th, 2018|Hotels, Marriott, Trip Reports|

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Introduction Singapore is one of my favourite places in the world, but it's super expensive. It's not uncommon to see luxury hotels price out at $500+/night, so redeeming points for free-night stays can represent really decent value, and free up a lot of money for other activites, such as eating at the legendary hawker markets [...]

Not Good – Changes To The SPG Credit Card In Canada

April 17th, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, News, Reviews|

*** UPDATE: American Express has announced details regarding earning rates and new benefits for the Starwood Preferred Guest Cards in Canada. Learn all of the details through my recent post here*** Not Good - Changes To The SPG Credit Card In Canada Yesterday we heard some big news about the changes to the Marriott Rewards program coming in August, 2018, [...]

Changes To Marriott Rewards – Much Better Than Expected!

April 16th, 2018|Hotel Loyalty Programs, News, Reward Programs|

Changes To The Marriott Rewards Introduction The wait is finally over. Today Marriott announced all of the changes to Marriott Rewards and SPG, and I must say I'm relieved. Generally when we see programs merge, there's some give and take on both sides to keep all loyalists (or as many as possible) happy. I was really nervous for this announcement, [...]

Flight Review: Japan Airlines (777) First Class – San Francisco to Tokyo

April 16th, 2018|Airlines, Japan Airlines, Trip Reports|

Japan Airlines Boeing 777 First Class Introduction It had been a couple of months since my last international trip and I had a bunch of Alaska Miles itching to be used since redeeming 360,000 Marriott Reward points on a Hotel+Air package for our spring break trip to Maui. I knew I wanted to fly the Japan Airlines Boeing 777 first [...]

Review: Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge – San Francisco Airport

April 12th, 2018|Airport Lounges, Trip Reports, USA|

Introduction My United Airlines flight from Vancouver arrived in San Francisco shortly after 8am, giving me a whopping 7 hours or so to take in all the Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge San Francisco had to offer. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the lounge doesn't open until the afternoon, and I still needed to get my boarding pass, which meant I would need [...]

Review: Marriott Wailea Beach Resort Maui Ocean View Room

April 11th, 2018|Hotels, Marriott, Trip Reports|

Marriott Wailea Beach Resort Maui Introduction Let me preface this review by saying that I really wanted to love The Marriott Wailea Beach Resort Maui. Since Fairmont announced the end of the Fairmont President's Club, I've been a bit of a free agent for loyalty, with Marriott being the natural choice given the Gold status I receive with my American [...]

How I Used My Travel Points For a Japan Airlines First Class Flight to Singapore

April 5th, 2018|How To|

Japan Airlines First Class To Singapore Introduction We recently returned from a trip to Maui where I was able to redeem 360,000 Marriott Reward points for a hotel+air package including a 7-night stay at the Marriott Wailea Beach Resort (full review coming soon - it was a bit disappointing), and 120,000 Alaska Airline miles. I didn't actually use the miles [...]

How To Apply For An American Express Business Card

April 4th, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, News, Reviews|

Introduction American Express is my favourite overall credit card provider in Canada. Not only do they offer a large selection of personal cards with good earning potential on everyday spend and industry-leading welcome bonuses, they also have a range of small business cards that can be instrumental in accumulating points quickly and easily. Many people are unaware they qualify for [...]

Expert Tip: How To Pick The Best Airplane Seat Every Time

April 3rd, 2018|News|

Introduction: How To Pick The Best Airplane Seat I often talk about how to find the best awards along with the booking process, but realized I've yet to talk about how to pick the best airplane seat. Like anything, not all seats are created equally, and there are a few tricks you can employ to ensure you don't get stuck [...]

Prediction: Changes To The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

March 28th, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, News|

Changes To The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card It looks like we can expect some changes to The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card in the near future. While the changes are unknown at this time, I'd hazard a guess that they won't be good. Right now American Express is offering 20,000 SPG points on the personal [...]

Not Good: Changes To The American Express Business Platinum Card

March 22nd, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, News|

Changes To The American Express Business Platinum Card Today we saw one of the biggest devaluations to travel hacking in recent memory with changes to the American Express Business Platinum Card. This product has long been one of my favourite cards to recommend for it's amazing welcome bonus and referral program. Today we're seeing multiple changes, and it's all bad [...]

First Impressions Of The Marriott Wailea Beach Resort Maui

March 21st, 2018|Hotels, Marriott, Trip Reports|

Marriott Wailea Beach Resort Maui Introduction Aloha from Hawaii! This is mainly a vacation for me, so I won't be posting regular content while here, but I did want to take an opportunity to share my initial impressions of the Marriott Wailea Beach Resort, where we're staying for our 7-night vacation. For those who don't know, I was able to [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel (Deluxe King Room), Vancouver, BC

March 15th, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel Deluxe King Room Introduction Brad and I are leaving for Maui next week, and as such, this week has been dragging, so we decided very last minute to use one of our 2018 Fairmont President's Club certificates for a free-night stay at The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel! I had to call the Fairmont President's Club number [...]

Is It Good Value Transferring American Express Membership Rewards To SPG?

March 14th, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, Hotel Loyalty Programs, News, Reward Programs|

Transferring American Express Membership Rewards To Starwood American Express is my favourite credit card issuer in Canada. Not only do they offer great cards for everyday spend, they are generally the leader when it comes to welcome bonuses. Right now they are offering a card with the highest available sign-up bonus in Canada, and another with the highest sign-up bonus [...]

Hotel Review: Four Seasons Hotel (Executive Junior Suite), Vancouver, BC

March 13th, 2018|Four Seasons, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver Executive Junior Suite Introduction Brad and I were attending a function at the Vancouver Art Gallery with friends from his undergrad, so rather than worrying about taxiing home to the suburbs (can be seriously tough from Vancouver without Uber) we decided to book the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver Executive Junior Suite. American Express travel (just a [...]

Program Sweet Spot: Marriott Rewards Hotel And Air Packages

March 12th, 2018|Hot Deals!, Hotel Loyalty Programs, Marriott, News, Reward Programs|

Marriott Rewards Hotel And Air Packages Before Marriott acquired Starwood hotels, I didn't have much interest in the Marriott Rewards program mainly due to the lack of earning opportunities in Canada. However, since the merger, Starwood has allowed points transfers between the two programs, with SPG points transferring to Marriott at a generous 1:3 ratio. This opened my eyes to [...]

Review: Air China First Class Lounge – Beijing Capital Airport

March 9th, 2018|Airport Lounges, International, Trip Reports|

Air China First Class Lounge Review I checked out of the JW Marriott Beijing at around 11am and got a taxi to the airport, which took about 45 minutes. I had heard stories of immigration and security taking a long time, with no fast track lanes for premium cabin passengers. Check-in was quick, and I was through passport control and [...]

Flight Review: Air China (777-300) First Class – Beijing to Los Angeles

March 9th, 2018|Air China, Airlines, Trip Reports|

Air China First Class Introduction Not too many people in the frequent flyer community intentionally look for Air China first class space when planning award travel, yet that's exactly what I set out to do when planning my trip to Beijing. Air China is kind of the black sheep of the Star Alliance family, but award availability is generally good [...]

JW Marriott Beijing Executive Level Room Review

March 8th, 2018|Hotels, JW Marriott, Trip Reports|

JW Marriott Beijing Executive Level Room Introduction When planning my first class trip to Beijing I had originally considered staying in one of the many luxury hotels available through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts. Luxury hotels in Asia are so much cheaper than North America and Europe, and having stayed at the Fairmont Peace Hotel and Four Seasons Pudong [...]

PointsWise Insider – 5 Travel Hacking Myths Debunked

March 7th, 2018|News|

Introduction: Travel Hacking Myths I've always believed 'if it seems too good to be true, it probably is', which is something I hear a lot from our readers, and also from family and friends. When PointsWise was launched, I thought the biggest hurdle would be convincing people that paying credit card annual fees can almost always result in huge savings on travel, [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Pacific Rim (Stanley Park Suite), Vancouver, BC

March 6th, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Introduction A full review will follow soon, but for now I wanted to share my initial impressions of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Stanley Park Suite. Brad and I decided to spend a night out after our Fairmont President's Club Platinum certificates posted to our account, and chose the Pacific Rim to use one of our free-night stays. To be completely [...]

Fairmont Certificates And Platinum Benefits Are Available Now!

March 2nd, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, News|

Premier and Platinum 2018 Fairmont Certificates Available Now As of March 1, Fairmont President's Club members should see their 2018 Fairmont Certificates available online through their member profile. Certificates are valid until February, 2019, although the Fairmont President's Club will end as of July 2, 2018 at which point it will be replaced with Le Club AccorsHotels and property benefits [...]

Introducing Fans Of MO – The New Mandarin Oriental Loyalty Program

March 1st, 2018|Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, News|

New Mandarin Oriental Loyalty Program Traditionally luxury hotel brands such as The Four Seasons and The Peninsula don't offer loyalty programs, so it was hard to contain my excitement when I heard about the new Mandarin Oriental Loyalty Program! Unlike other hotel programs, such as Marriott and SPG, there are no status tiers or points rewarded, but rather it's a [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Waterfront Hotel (Signature Harbour View Corner Room), Vancouver, BC

February 28th, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Fairmont Waterfront Hotel Signature Harbour View Corner Room Brad and I just spent a night in a Fairmont Waterfront Hotel Signature Harbour View Corner Room, and while a full review will follow soon, I wanted to take the opportunity to share my initial thoughts along with some photos from the stay. It's been almost two years since we stayed at [...]

Flight Review: ANA (767-300) Business Class – Tokyo To Beijing

February 27th, 2018|Airlines, ANA (All Nippon Airways), Trip Reports|

ANA Regional Business Class Introduction I booked this trip to Beijing primarily around flying ANA first class from Los Angeles to Tokyo and Air China first class from Beijing to Los Angeles. As such, I needed a connecting flight from Tokyo, and decided to try yet another ANA regional business class product - the cradle type seat on the Boeing [...]

Flight Review: ANA (777-300) First Class – Los Angeles To Tokyo

February 23rd, 2018|Airlines, ANA (All Nippon Airways), Trip Reports|

ANA First Class Introduction This product has a special place in my heart.... ANA first class was my introduction to the world of international first class travel years ago, and I was excited to try it again on this trip to Beijing! I booked the roundtrip first class flight using 210,000 Aeroplan miles, which I transferred from my American Express [...]

Review: Star Alliance First Class Lounge – Los Angeles Airport

February 20th, 2018|Airport Lounges, Trip Reports, USA|

Star Alliance First Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport Introduction Airport lounges in North America can be a but underwhelming, with many of them lacking the service and amenities found internationally. There are some exceptions though, such as the Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX, and the Cathay Pacific Lounge in Vancouver. This was my first time flying in first class [...]

Review: Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel Double Guest Room

February 19th, 2018|Hotels, Marriott, Trip Reports|

Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel Introduction I booked my trip to Beijing primarily around flying first class on ANA All Nippon Airways and Air China using 210,000 Aeroplan miles for the roundtrip ticket. Since my ANA flight was leaving LAX in the morning, I decided to fly from Vancouver the night before (didn't review the short domestic business class product, [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Pacific Rim (Gold Floor Experience), Vancouver, BC

February 17th, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor Room Introduction While a full review will follow shortly, I wanted to share my initial impressions of The Fairmont Pacific Rim Gold Floor from our recent stay, along with 10 photos from the property. Admittedly, this wasn't a good stay, with some serious service issues, though I've recently been in touch with the Director of [...]

American Express Business Platinum Card Increases Annual Fee

February 16th, 2018|American Express, Credit Cards, News, Reviews|

*** Update: As of March 22, 2018 American Express has changed the welcome and referral bonus on this card, and increased the minimum spend requirement. Details can be found here. Increased Fee And Better Lounge Benefits On The American Express Business Platinum Card In Canada As of today, The American Express Business Platinum Card in Canada has a higher annual [...]

Review: MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard Credit Card (Improved Offer)

February 15th, 2018|Credit Cards, MBNA, Reviews|

MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard Introduction Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of my favourite airline programs due to the generous routing rules on award tickets and multiple airline partners. However, for Canadians living anywhere but the west coast, earning Alaska miles can be tricky. Thankfully the MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard is available for Canadians looking for an easy way to [...]

Pointswise Picks: The Best Luxury Hotel You Need to Stay at in Whistler, BC (Part 4 of 4)

February 14th, 2018|Fairmont, Four Seasons, Hotels, Trip Reports|

This post is a part of a 4 part series where we dig into the best luxury hotels in Whistler, BC. Check out the other posts in this series here: PointsWise Picks: We Rank The Best Luxury Hotels in Whistler, BC (Part 1 of 4) PointsWise Picks: Spotlight on the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Alpine Suite (Part 2 of 4) PointsWise [...]

PointsWise Picks: Spotlight on the Four Seasons Resort Whistler Premier Room (Part 3 of 4)

February 12th, 2018|Four Seasons, Hotels, Trip Reports|

This post is a part of a 4 part series where we dig into the best luxury hotels in Whistler, BC. Check out the other posts in this series here: PointsWise Picks: We Rank The Best Luxury Hotels in Whistler, BC (Part 1 of 4) PointsWise Picks: Spotlight on the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Alpine Suite (Part 2 of 4) PointsWise [...]

PointsWise Picks: Spotlight on the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Alpine Suite (Part 2 of 4)

February 9th, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

This post is a part of a 4 part series where we dig into the best luxury hotels in Whistler, BC. Check out the other posts in this series here: PointsWise Picks: We Rank The Best Luxury Hotels in Whistler, BC (Part 1 of 4) PointsWise Picks: Spotlight on the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Alpine Suite (Part 2 of 4) PointsWise [...]

PointsWise Picks: We Rank The Best Luxury Hotels in Whistler, BC (Part 1 of 4)

February 8th, 2018|Fairmont, Four Seasons, Hotels, News, Trip Reports|

This post is a part of a 4 part series where we dig into the best luxury hotels in Whistler, BC. Check out the other posts in this series here: PointsWise Picks: We Rank The Best Luxury Hotels in Whistler, BC (Part 1 of 4) PointsWise Picks: Spotlight on the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Alpine Suite (Part 2 of 4) PointsWise [...]

Tips To Avoid Getting Sick During Air Travel

February 7th, 2018|News|

5 Tips To Avoid Getting Sick During Air Travel Air travel can be a dirty experience, even when flying in first and business class cabins. I always try to avoid getting sick during air travel by following some common sense practices (and some you may not have thought of). Despite my best efforts, it doesn't always work out, as was [...]

Flight Review: United Airlines (787-800) Business Class – Paris to Washington DC

February 5th, 2018|Airlines, Trip Reports, United Airlines|

United Airlines Boeing 787 Business Class Introduction When I started the planning process for this Aeroplan mini-round-the-world trip, my jumping off point was searching for the transatlantic segment first. Generally speaking, I find this the toughest part of the itinerary to coordinate, since transpacific flights are somewhat abundant from the west coast, whereas flights from Europe usually involve a connection [...]

Exciting News! PointsWise Guide To Travel Hacking eBook Is Now Available!

February 3rd, 2018|Hot Deals!, News|

We're excited to share the launch of our 'PointsWise Guide To Travel Hacking', an eBook designed for Canadians who want to learn about reward programs in Canada, and how to leverage those rewards for incredible travel experiences around the world. Act Fast! The First 50 Customers Can Grab The eBook for 50% Off! As a special launch promotion, the first 50 [...]

Prince de Galles Paris, A Luxury Collection Hotel, 10 Photos

February 2nd, 2018|Hotels, Luxury Collection, Trip Reports|

Prince de Galles Paris Introduction I get a lot of questions about Paris, as it seems to be a destination many people aspire to visit. And what's not to love? Between the culture, history, food, and architecture, it truly is an amazing city. However, like the rest of Western Europe, Paris is incredibly expensive, including accommodations. Whenever trip planning for [...]

Flight Review: Turkish Airlines (A321) Business Class – Istanbul To Paris

February 1st, 2018|Airlines, Trip Reports, Turkish Airlines|

Turkish Airlines Airbus A321 Business Class Introduction When I originally planned this trip I was scheduled to fly to Paris from Istanbul on a Turkish Airlines Airbus A330, with similar seating the to disappointing 777 I flew from Jakarta. However, I was having such a nice time at The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, I decided to extend my stay and rearrange my flights. [...]

Flight Review Highlights: Turkish Airlines (777) Business Class

January 30th, 2018|Airlines, Trip Reports, Turkish Airlines|

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 Business Class While a full review will follow soon, I wanted to share a quick recap of my Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 business class flight from Jakarta.  First off, let me say that I had really, really high expectations of this flight, having read numerous positive reviews of Turkish Airlines. Let's start at the beginning. I checked the [...]

Ritz-Carlton Jakarta Pacific Place Mayfair Suite In 10 Photos

January 28th, 2018|Hotels, Ritz Carlton, Trip Reports|

The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta Pacific Place When I originally planned my latest Aeroplan round-the-world trip I had decided to spend only one night at The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta Pacific Place and two nights in Paris at The Prince de Galles. However, after a fantastic first night, and checking the weather in Paris (on high alert for a catastrophic flood), I decided to [...]

Flight Review Highlights: EVA Air (A330) Business Class – Taipei to Jakarta

January 27th, 2018|Airlines, EVA Air, Trip Reports|

EVA Air Airbus A330 Business Class Hello from Jakarta! While a full review will follow soon, I wanted to share my initial thoughts on the EVA Air Airbus A330 business class product with a mini-review. This flight was operated by a newly delivered plane (only 3 months old) and featured fully-flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. While the seats felt [...]

Hotel Review: Four Seasons Hotel (Strip View Room), Las Vegas, NV

January 24th, 2018|Four Seasons, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas Strip View Room Introduction I'll preface this review by admitting I didn't really want to go to Las Vegas. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, or maybe because I'm boring, but there just isn't much about that city that appeals to me. If you asked me 10 years ago, I probably would have considered Vegas [...]

How I Used My Travel Points: Hawaii Vacation at the Marriott Wailea, Maui

January 23rd, 2018|How To|

Hawaii For Spring Break Introduction I just booked Hawaii for spring break using reward points for the flights and hotel, and thought I would write a post sharing how. I often get asked about reward travel over peak periods to popular destinations, and I usually encourage people to book well in advance to secure the best flights and hotel rooms. [...]

Are You A Fairmont President’s Club Member? Finally, Some Great News and Freebies For Us!

January 22nd, 2018|Fairmont, Hotels, News|

Fairmont Platinum And Premier Members Announcement It's been a tough couple of months from Fairmont. First we found out Le Club AccorHotels would be replacing The Fairmont President's Club effective July 2, 2018. Then we learned from Amex that the accelerated Fairmont Platinum status would be discontinued immediately on the American Express Platinum and American Express Business Platinum Cards, with no [...]

The Canyon Suites Resort Scottsdale Review

January 22nd, 2018|Hotels, Luxury Collection, Trip Reports|

Canyon Suites Resort Scottsdale Introduction Scottsdale has no shortage of luxury resorts available, and many of them start to look similar when trying to select a property. Most will be attached to (or nearby) a world-class golf course, many will be massive with sprawling acres of desert landscape, and much of the design is similar with distinct southwest decor inspiring [...]

Silvercar Rental – My New Favourite Car Rental Option

January 15th, 2018|News, Trip Reports|

Silvercar Rental Introduction I'll start this review by admitting that I really dislike renting cars. Unlike other aspects of travel, including airpot lounges, flights, and hotels, I find nothing about car rentals exciting or luxurious. Furthermore, I generally consider the whole process a bit tiring. The booking process is convoluted and it's often difficult for me to know if I'm [...]

Toronto Contest! Free Night At The Ritz-Carlton Hotel

January 14th, 2018|News|

Toronto Contest Details We recently completed our first giveaway at PointsWise with Andy Duncan winning a one-night stay at the JW Marriott PARQ Hotel in Vancouver! The response to this contest was so great that we decided to run a similar giveaway, but this time for our readers on the east coast! This Toronto contest is open from Monday, January [...]

Hotel Review: Four Seasons Resort (One Bedroom Suite), Scottsdale, AZ

January 12th, 2018|Four Seasons, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale Introduction Brad and I had both wanted to visit Arizona for a long time, and thought it would be the perfect opportunity while we were down in Las Vegas for his 30th birthday. We decided to fly into Vegas, rent a car, and drive to Arizona, where we would stay a couple of nights in Scottsdale [...]

Review: American Express Centurion Lounge – Seattle Airport

January 10th, 2018|Airport Lounges, Trip Reports, USA|

American Express Centurion Lounge Seattle Airport Brad and I decided to fly to Las Vegas from Seattle because paid fares were much cheaper, and we had a companion pass to use from our MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard (one of my current top credit card picks for Canadians). We checked out of the Four Points by Sheraton Seattle Airport Hotel around 6am and [...]

Hotel Review: Four Points by Sheraton Seattle Airport South (Accessible King Room), Seattle, WA

January 9th, 2018|Four Points by Sheraton, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Four Points Sheraton Seattle Airport Hotel Introduction We were kicking off our trip to Arizona and Las Vegas with a quick one-night stay at The Four Points Sheraton Seattle Airport Hotel. We had booked our Alaska Airlines flight out of SeaTac in the morning, and rather than brave the unpredictable traffic, we decided to redeem some SPG points and have [...]

Flight Review: EVA Air (777) Business Class – Taipei to Vancouver

January 5th, 2018|Airlines, EVA Air, Trip Reports|

EVA Air Boeing 777 Business Class - Taipei To Vancouver My EVA flight from Singapore landed just after 7pm, which meant I had a solid few hours to spend in the business class lounge before my flight home to Vancouver, which was scheduled to depart at 11:55pm. The EVA Air lounge in Taipei wasn't my favourite, and I chose not [...]

Flight Review: EVA Air (777) Business Class – Singapore to Taipei

January 4th, 2018|Airlines, EVA Air, Trip Reports|

EVA Air Business Class In 10 Pictures Brad had the chance to fly EVA Air business class from Los Angeles to Taipei on his trip to Chongqing and had nothing but positive things to say about the experience. I've read multiple reviews from frequent travellers who claimed that EVA offered the best all-around business class experience, with many saying it [...]

Review: Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge – Changi Airport

January 2nd, 2018|Airport Lounges, International, Trip Reports|

Singapore Airlines SilverKris Changi Introduction My flight to Taipei was scheduled to depart at 3pm, so I checked out of the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel and grabbed a taxi to the airport. Singapore Changi is one of my favourite airports in the world, and is consistently ranked the best amongst frequent travellers. The business class check-in line for [...]

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach In 10 Pictures

December 30th, 2017|Hotels, JW Marriott, Trip Reports|

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Introduction My flight from Frankfurt on Lufthansa in first class arrived in Singapore in the early afternoon, and I decided to take a taxi to the hotel. While I sometimes prefer to arrange a car service after a long flight, Singapore is incredibly easy to get around by taxi, since they are strictly regulated, efficient [...]

Credit Card Travel Insurance In Canada – Am I Covered?

December 28th, 2017|News|

Credit Card Travel Insurance In Canada Introduction Credit card travel insurance in Canada. What a horrible, but necessary, conversation. My attitude on insurance is simple: I get it for things that matter, and really hope I never have to use it. It seems like every aspect of life comes with the chance to insure against every peril imaginable. I recently [...]

Flight Review: Lufthansa (A380) First Class – Frankfurt to Singapore

December 27th, 2017|Airlines, Lufthansa, Trip Reports|

Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class I've flown Lufthansa first class before, but it was back when travel hacking was just a hobby for me and I didn't take the opportunity to review the flights. The Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class seating is very similar to other aircrafts in the fleet, but feels much more spacious due to the sheer size [...]

Happy Holidays From The PointsWise Team!

December 24th, 2017|News|

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays From The PointsWise Team! We wanted to take a chance to wish our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the PointsWise team, and say thank-you for your continued support over the last year! We also want to offer some insight into what to expect in the coming days, along with a hint at [...]

The Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver Is Being Sued. Here’s Why

December 21st, 2017|Four Seasons, Hotels, News|

Well, this is interesting. It was brought to my attention by one of our readers that The Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver is being sued by Cadillac Fairview, the hotel's current landlord. As per the court documents filed on October 20th, 2017, Cadillac Fairview is claiming (in part) that The Four Seasons has breached the terms of their lease agreement by [...]

Review: Lufthansa First Class Lounge – Frankfurt Airport

December 20th, 2017|Airport Lounges, International, Trip Reports|

Lufthansa First Class Terminal Introduction Visiting the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt had been on my radar since I first got into collecting reward points. Widely considered one of the best airport lounge experiences in the world, I was finally going to experience it for myself before my first class flight to Singapore. Access to the terminal is quite [...]

Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel In 10 Pictures

December 19th, 2017|Hotels, Sheraton, Trip Reports|

Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel Introduction When booking this trip, I didn't put much effort into scoring the best hotels, as I was more focused in trying some really great flights and airport lounges. My flight from San Francisco was scheduled to arrive just before 10am (it ended up being a bit delayed), and with a next day flight on Lufthansa [...]

Flight Review: United Airlines (747) First Class – San Francisco to Frankfurt

December 18th, 2017|Airlines, Trip Reports, United Airlines|

United Airlines Boeing 747 First Class Introduction Let's take a look at the United Airlines Boeing 747 First Class flight I took between San Francisco and Frankfurt on a mini-round-the-world trip I booked using Aeroplan miles. I had recently flown United on their Boeing 767 in first class but was excited to fly the 'Queen of the Skies' before her [...]

American Express Cancels Fairmont Benefits. Now What?

December 15th, 2017|American Express, Fairmont, Hotel Loyalty Programs, Hotels, News, Reward Programs|

American Express Cancels Fairmont Benefit Well I guess this comes as no surprise given the recent announcement that Le Club AccorHotels will be replacing the Fairmont President's Club as of July 2, 2018, but American Express has now sent official notice that the accelerated status benefit offered by The American Express Platinum Card and The American Express Business Platinum Card [...]

Bad News: Fairmont President’s Club Is Ending Next Year

December 13th, 2017|Hotel Loyalty Programs, Hotels, News, Reward Programs|

Le Club AccorHotels Program Replacing The Fairmont President's Club In 2018 Fairmont President's Club has long been one of my favourite hotel loyalty programs for Canadians, and unfortunately it's just been announced that Le Club AccorHotels will replace the Fairmont program as of July 2, 2018. I've had Platinum status with Fairmont for a number of years and have really [...]

Booked: First Class To Beijing Using Reward Points

December 7th, 2017|News, Trip Reports|

Introduction: First Class To Beijing Using Reward Points I've wanted to visit Beijing for a long time. To me, it's one of those 'bucket list' destinations with everything a global traveler expects: culture, history, shopping, food, nightlife, and of course, The Great Wall of China. Getting to Beijing using reward points is relatively easy from North America, with many carriers [...]

Flight Review: ANA (787) Business Class – Tokyo to Vancouver

December 5th, 2017|Airlines, ANA (All Nippon Airways), Trip Reports|

Introduction: ANA Business Class, Tokyo - Vancouver When booking my trip to Shanghai, I intentionally decided to get home as efficiently as possible. While I usually prefer to take the longest, most convoluted route possible, and sometimes even travel for the sake of flying (see my 11-day trip around the world where I was in a new country almost everyday), [...]

Vancouver Contest! Free Night At The JW Marriott Parq Hotel

December 3rd, 2017|News|

Vancouver Contest Details The travel reward experts at PointsWise get to spend a lot of time in luxury hotels, and decided it was time to reward one of our supporters with a free night at one of Vancouver's premier luxury properties - the brand new JW Marriott Parq Hotel! This Vancouver contest is open from Sunday, December 3rd until Sunday December [...]

PointsWise Picks – The Best Travel Reward Cards In Canada

December 1st, 2017|Best Credit Cards, Reviews|

Best Travel Reward Cards In Canada Introduction Let me preface this post by saying a lot of what you'll read is subjective, and based on my personal experiences earning and redeeming travel reward points. So while note completely scientific, I have managed to earn and redeem millions of travel reward points, and think it's time I share a new list [...]

30% Transfer Bonus From RBC Rewards To British Airways Executive Club

November 26th, 2017|Hot Deals!, News|

From now until December 31, 2017, RBC Visa Avion cardmembers can earn a 30% bonus when transferring RBC Rewards To British Airways Executive Club. British Airways Avios are one of my favourite reward currencies for Canadians, with several program sweet spots providing exceptional value on certain award redemptions. RBC Rewards To British Airways Executive Club Promotion RBC Rewards [...]

Aeroplan Black Friday Promotion – Earn Up To 10x The Miles On eStore Purchases

November 24th, 2017|Hot Deals!, News|

Aeroplan Black Friday Promotion Act fast! The Aeroplan Black Friday promotion is back and offering up to 10x the miles on purchases made through the Aeroplan eStore! Bonus miles vary from retailer to retailer, with most offering between 4-10x the miles on all purchases. Also, these bonus miles are earned in addition to any Black Friday sales being offered by [...]

Flight Review: ANA (787) Business Class – Shanghai to Tokyo

November 23rd, 2017|Airlines, ANA (All Nippon Airways), Reviews|

ANA 787 Business Class Review Introduction When I booked my trip to Shanghai I knew I wanted to try different business class products across the Pacific to see how they compared. I flew United Airlines on their brand new Boeing 777 featuring the new Polaris seating on my outbound flight and really enjoyed the new configuration. Unfortunately, the service was typical [...]

How To Churn Credit Cards In Canada And Earn Points Faster

November 22nd, 2017|News|

I recently published a post on manufactured spending in Canada after the CBC released an article outlining how a Canadian college student managed to fly first class for 'free' by purchasing face-value coins from the Canadian Mint on his travel reward credit cards and returning the coins to his bank for cash. While there was certainly some truth in this [...]

What Is Manufactured Spending In Canada?

November 17th, 2017|News|

Manufactured Spending In Canada Introduction Yesterday The CBC published an article about manufactured spending in Canada which featured a story from fellow Canadian blogger, Avery, from Don't Call The Airline. The article briefly talked about what it was, and highlighted a simplified version of leveraging the Canadian Mint to earn massive amounts of credit card points for 'free'. Sounds great, [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Peace Hotel (One-Bedroom Suite), Shanghai, China

November 16th, 2017|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai Introduction Fairmont is one of my favourite hotel chains in the world for their historical properties, world-class service and consistent loyalty recognition. When planning my trip to Shanghai, I had originally planned to stay at only Fine Hotel and Resort properties, though my plans changed when Fairmont emailed me a complimentary 3rd night free certificate as [...]

Flight Review: Alaska Airlines (737-800) Premium Economy – Bellingham to Maui

November 14th, 2017|Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Trip Reports|

Alaska Airlines Premium Economy Introduction I'm not a huge fan of flying economy, but when British Airways offers roundtrip tickets to Hawaii from the west coast for only 25,000 Avios roundtrip, I'm willing to make a compromise. Furthermore, American Express Membership Rewards just offered a 25% transfer bonus on British Airways Executive Club transfers, meaning roundtrip tickets to Hawaii from [...]

Hotel Review: Four Seasons Hotel (Pearl View Junior Suite), Pudong, Shanghai

November 13th, 2017|Four Seasons, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Four Seasons Hotel Pudong Introduction I knew in advance I would be staying three nights at the Fairmont Peace Hotel on The Bund, and thought it would be nice to stay on the Pudong side to get better access to all that Shanghai had to offer. I originally considered booking the Ritz Carlton or Mandarin Oriental, but decided on the [...]

American Express Business Gold Rewards Card Canada

November 9th, 2017|American Express, Credit Cards, Reviews|

**Update: The American Express Business Platinum Card is now offering 60,000 Membership Reward points after spending $7,000 in the first three months of membership** I often get asked if American Express Cards are worth it for Canadians, to which I always respond YES!!!! Membership Rewards is one of my favourite reward currencies in Canada due to their flexible redemption options, [...]

Review: ANA Business Class Lounge – Tokyo Narita Airport

November 8th, 2017|Airport Lounges, International, Trip Reports|

My flight from San Francisco landed well ahead of schedule at 1:30pm, and it was only a few minutes to get through transit security with no lineup whatsoever. I've transited Tokyo Narita several times and always enjoy the experience. I find the airport extremely efficient, with good signage and friendly staff! Best of all, I had access to the ANA [...]

Earn Marriott Reward Points For Online Shopping In Canada

November 7th, 2017|News|

Online shopping portals can be a great way to earn reward points on everyday spending, and an easy way to keep points balances from expiring! Unfortunately for Canadians, many programs such as Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and United MileagePlus only ship to the United States, which can be inconvenient and not worth the effort. Marriott recently launched their online shopping [...]

30% Transfer Bonus When You Convert Hotel Points Into Aeroplan Miles

November 6th, 2017|Hot Deals!, News|

Introduction Between now and December 11, 2017, you can earn a 30% bonus when transferring participating hotel points into Aeroplan! Earn 30% More Aeroplan Miles When Transferring From Participating Hotel Programs We see this offer a few times a year, with the most recent promotion offering a 35% bonus (expired at the end of summer). There are a number [...]

Flight Reviews: United (777) Polaris Business Class – San Francisco to Tokyo

November 3rd, 2017|Airlines, Trip Reports, United Airlines|

United Boeing 777 Polaris Business Class Review It had been a while since my last big trip, with the most recent being my Easter weekend in Hong Kong. I wasn't able to spend much time there, given the restraints with my work schedule, but now that I had become a full-time travel hacker, I didn't have to worry about my schedule [...]

Last Chance Canada: 25% Bonus When Transferring American Express Membership Rewards To British Airways Avios

November 2nd, 2017|Hot Deals!, News|

Act fast! American Express is currently offering a 25% transfer bonus when converting points to British Airways Executive Club! If you have some upcoming travel, this could be a great opportunity, but you'll need to hurry, as this offer ends on November 12th, 2017! Why should you care about British Airways Avios? British Airways has three great redemptions that I've [...]

How To Save Up To $125 Off Your First Night’s Vancouver Hotel Stay

November 2nd, 2017|Hot Deals!, News|

**Update as of March 1, 2018: beVancouver is no longer offering this promotion, though I'm told they will be launching a new hotel search engine with similar promotions under a different name soon** It's that time of year again for discounted rates at Vancouver hotels! In an effort to combat Vancouver's hotel off-season, beVancouver in partnership with American Express has [...]

Flight Review: Air Canada (A320) Business Class – Vancouver to San Francisco

October 30th, 2017|Air Canada, Airlines, Trip Reports|

Introduction I had given my notice at work and knew I wanted to plan something exciting to celebrate the next big step in growing our business! I decided to book a trip to Shanghai where I would actually stay put for a week and not bounce around from country to country like I did on my 11-day trip around the [...]

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, Mandarin Studio Room Review

October 26th, 2017|Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Trip Reports|

Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, Review Introduction Welcome to Zen City. The Mandarin Oriental is a true oasis in the midst of the Las Vegas strip. When you’ve had your fill of fighting crowds, dealing with lineups at every stop,and giving your donation to the casinos you’ll be delighted to return to the Mandarin Oasis, a 5-star resort. 5-Star Awards [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Pacific Rim (Deluxe Partial Harbour View Room), Vancouver, BC

October 19th, 2017|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Introduction It had been a relatively crazy couple of months of travel for both Brad and I, with my trip to Hong Kong for easter and Brad spending 3-weeks in China as part of his Education training. His return aligned with our 1-year anniversary of being married, and I knew I wanted to spend it somewhere great, but wanted to stay [...]

How To Save 25% On Any Fairmont Stay In Canada!

October 16th, 2017|Hot Deals!, News|

This is an amazing opportunity to save 25% on any stay in Canada booked directly with Fairmont! Best of all, this promotion can be stacked with most promotional rates already offered by the hotel, such as: Early booking and prepaid discounted rates Non-refundable/flexible rates Special rates that include parking, resort credit, etc CAA/AAA discounted rates There is a bit of [...]

Travel Hacking Courses For Canada Available Now!

October 13th, 2017|News|

PointsWise Now Teaches Canadians How To Travel Hack PointsWise is happy to provide comprehensive travel hacking courses for Canadians, designed for beginners new to the hobby. Our courses are constructed in consultation with a professional educator and offer carefully curated content to help you learn the basics fast! And if you already have travel reward points you're looking to redeem, [...]

Award Booking Services For Canada Available Now!

October 12th, 2017|News|

PointsWise Now Offers Award Booking Services and Teaches Canadians How To Travel Hack We've been working hard on PointsWise over the past few months and are excited to share some of the new changes with our readers! PointsWise now offers two membership levels to help Canadian travelers reach their goals: Learn How To Travel Hack [...]

Flight Review: Asiana Airlines (A380) First Class – Seoul to Los Angeles

October 5th, 2017|Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Trip Reports|

Introduction: After spending a few hours in the Asiana first class lounge, it was time to board. Well, it was actually time to go through the terminal and buy a bunch of Korean face masks, and then head to the gate for boarding. I'll be honest, I had really high expectations for this flight. My first ever international first class [...]

The Business Platinum Card From American Express Canada

October 4th, 2017|American Express, Credit Cards, Reviews|

*** Update: As of March 22, 2018 American Express has changed the welcome and referral bonus on this card, and increased the minimum spend requirement. Full Details can be found here. American Express is my favourite credit card provider in Canada for many reasons. First off, I consider their Membership Rewards program to be the best overall for Canadians, offering [...]

The Cobalt Credit Card – New From American Express Canada

September 26th, 2017|American Express, Credit Cards, Reviews|

**Updated** The Cobalt Card is no longer offering the additional 10,000 Membership Reward points as part of the welcome bonus, just 2,500 for each month you charge $500 to the card I really love American Express in Canada! When I heard Amex was coming out with a new card exclusive to Canada, I was ecstatic to say the least. What's best, [...]

Review: Asiana Airlines First Class Lounge – Seoul Incheon Airport

September 25th, 2017|Airport Lounges, International, Trip Reports|

Introduction: My business class flight on Asiana Airlines arrived in Seoul a little bit early, and I had about 3 hours before boarding my first class flight to Los Angeles on the Asiana Airbus A380! The airport felt really busy when I arrived, and the line for transit security was deep. I was a bit surprised there was no ground [...]

Flight Review: Asiana Airlines (A321) Business Class – Chongqing to Seoul

September 24th, 2017|Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Trip Reports|

Introduction: After three long weeks in Chongqing I was ready to come home, and excited to fly Asiana for the first time! Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the experience to teach abroad, especially with a couple weekends away from campus at the Marriott Hotel Chongqing and the JW Marriott Chongqing Hotel, but I was eager to get home! I [...]

Marriott Hotel Chongqing, Review Of The Executive River View King Room

September 7th, 2017|Hotels, Marriott, Trip Reports|

Introduction: As part of my Bachelor of Education, I was invited to spend 3-weeks studying at Southwest University in Chongqing, China. Initially Tyler wanted to book me at one of the Marriott hotels in the city for the entire stay, but the school was located about 45-minutes from the city centre, which was really impractical. I opted instead to stay [...]

Review: EVA Air Business Class Lounge (The Infinity and The Star) – Taiwan Taoyuan Airport

September 4th, 2017|Airport Lounges, International, Trip Reports|

Introduction: My business class flight on EVA from Los Angeles arrived just after 5:30am, and after a short wait at the transfer security counter and walk through the airport, I was at the EVA business class lounge entrance. All of the lounges are in the same area, and very easy to find with good signage throughout the terminal. I was [...]

Flight Review: EVA Air (777-300ER) Business Class – Los Angeles to Taipei

September 1st, 2017|Airlines, EVA Air, Trip Reports|

Introduction: I had the opportunity to travel to Chongqing, China with my university's Community Field Experience program. It had been over eight months since I experienced  ANA First Class from San Fransisco to Tokyo and I was very excited to try out another world class airline. Prior to booking this flight I was looking into economy flights on Air China, which [...]

Flight Review: Air Canada (777) Business Class – Hong Kong to Vancouver

August 30th, 2017|Air Canada, Airlines, Trip Reports|

Introduction: It had been a couple of months since my 11-day trip around the world and I was starting to get the itch for a weekend trip. I was browsing Aeroplan one morning when I stumbled across a direct flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver on Air Canada in business class. While I've reviewed some of the best international business [...]

Marriott Hotel Nanshan, Shenzhen, China, Review Of The Executive Studio King Room

August 28th, 2017|Hotels, Marriott, Trip Reports|

Introduction: I knew I wouldn't be staying two nights in Hong Kong when I booked my last minute trip over the Easter long weekend for a few reasons: Hong Kong hotel prices are expensive (like, really expensive) Points redemptions aren't very aspirational I felt there was more bang for my buck (or points) just across the border in Mainland China [...]

Aeroplan Redemption – First Class Trip Around The World

August 8th, 2017|News|

I love to fly. So much so, that sometimes I travel just to fly. While I still consider the destination (I do end up staying a day or two after all), I'm more motivated by choosing the best combination of flights for a unique in-flight experience. While I will be staying a couple of nights abroad (one night in Germany [...]

Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong, Review Of The Club Deluxe Victoria Harbour Room

August 3rd, 2017|Hotels, Ritz Carlton, Trip Reports|

Introduction: I decided last minute to take a trip to Hong Kong over Easter weekend after finding some award availability on The Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 in business class from Vancouver. As an added bonus, I found a return ticket on Air Canada in business class on their Boeing 777, which is an airline I've yet to fly in a [...]

Flight Review: Cathay Pacific (A350) Business Class – Vancouver to Hong Kong

July 31st, 2017|Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Trip Reports|

Introduction: Cathay Pacific continues to be one of my favourite airlines for their generous award availability, consistent premium class products, and fantastic route network to Asia from the west coast. I tried their first class product from Los Angeles to Hong Kong and business class from Hong Kong to Delhi on my crazy 11-day trip around the world earlier this [...]

Restaurant Review: SIDECUT Restaurant, Four Seasons Hotel, Whistler, BC

July 27th, 2017|Four Seasons, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Introduction: I decided to split this review into two separate posts as I felt there was just too much content for a single entry. Also, while it's not uncommon for me to try various restaurant options at a hotel, this stay was especially good, with the three of us all agreeing it was some of the best resort dining we've [...]

Increased Sign-Up Bonus On The American Express SPG Card In Canada!

July 18th, 2017|Hot Deals!, News|

*Updated Oct 18, 2017 - The increased welcome bonus is no longer available. The Personal and Business Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards are currently offering 20,000 SPG points after spending $1,500 in the first three months of membership* For a limited time only, American Express in Canada is offering an increased sign-up bonus on their Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card [...]

Hotel: Review: Four Seasons Resort (Deluxe Executive Suite), Whistler, BC

July 17th, 2017|Four Seasons, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Introduction: Whistler is one of my favourite local destinations, and I try to make it up there at least a few times a year. Located just 90 minutes from Vancouver, this resort town offers something for everyone, from world class skiing in the winter to championship golf in the summer. While we normally stay in the Creekside area, just south [...]

Increased Sign-Up Bonus In Canada on The American Express Gold Rewards Card

June 6th, 2017|Hot Deals!, News|

Introduction: American Express in Canada is currently offering an increased sign-up bonus on The American Express Gold Rewards Card! I already consider it the overall best travel rewards card for Canadians, so this increased welcome bonus only sweetens the deal! Here are the details: 30,000 Membership Reward welcome bonus after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months of membership and adding [...]

Flight Review: ANA (777) First Class – San Francisco to Tokyo

June 5th, 2017|Airlines, ANA (All Nippon Airways), Trip Reports|

Introduction: You always remember your first... This was our debut international first class flight, and second flight on a trip around the world that included stops in San Francisco, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Singapore, Munich and Denver. I originally hadn't planned to write a review for any of this trip (we took it in summer, 2016) as a lot of the photos are [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (Deluxe Room), Vancouver, BC

May 29th, 2017|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Introduction: Staying at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver has been on my travel bucket list for quite some time. Located in the heart of the city, this historic building is currently undergoing a renovation (complete July, 2017) that will see the magnificent castle brought up to modern standards while retaining all of it's unique charm and rich history. It took me a few [...]

Flight Review: United Airlines (767) Polaris First Class – Paris to Chicago

May 24th, 2017|Airlines, Trip Reports, United Airlines|

Introduction: I don't think United Polaris First class is on anybody's bucket list, including mine. Furthermore, United is in the process of eliminating first class on all long-haul flights, and the following information will be obsolete in the near future. Unfortunately when I booked my 11-day trip around the world, United was the only option crossing the Atlantic ocean without [...]

Booked: Easter Weekend In Hong Kong

April 10th, 2017|News|

Introduction: Two months had passed since I returned from my 11-day trip around the world and I was starting to itch for more travel. With Brad leaving for Mainland China in a couple of weeks, I had been spending a lot of time looking at flights to Asia and thought it might be nice to go back myself. Originally I was [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel (Gold Floor Room), Vancouver, BC

April 6th, 2017|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

***Update: The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Gold Floor recently underwent a 1.8 million dollar renovation, seeing an entirely new 14th floor reception area and lounge along with new guest rooms. Full details and a sneak peak at the new product can be found here*** Introduction: The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel has a lot of sentimental value for me. It was the [...]

Flight Review: Thai Airways (A380) First Class – Bangkok to Paris

April 3rd, 2017|Airlines, Thai Airways, Trip Reports|

Introduction: I decided to route home over the Atlantic on my crazy 11-day trip around the world in an effort to try as many new products as possible. My business class flight on Singapore Airlines arrived in Bangkok just after 8:00pm, which allowed for 4 hours in the Thai First Class lounge. I was met at the jet bridge by [...]

Review: Rosewood Hotel Georgia Vancouver Junior Suite

March 28th, 2017|Hotels, Rosewood, Trip Reports|

Introduction: For those who may not know, my partner Brad is currently finishing his Bachelor's of Education degree in Vancouver and has been buried in books for the past 6 months. Spring break was rapidly approaching, and I knew I wanted to spend some time reviewing some new properties, and getting reacquainted with the person I share my life with. [...]

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines (A330) Business Class – Singapore to Bangkok

March 22nd, 2017|Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Trip Reports|

Introduction: My flight from Jakarta on Singapore Airlines in first class arrived just after 5:00pm, which gave me just over 90 minutes before my departure to Bangkok. An epic thunderstorm rolled in just after we touched down so I spent the first 15 minutes at Changi Airport gazing out the windows at the torrential downpour. I was excited to try two [...]

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines (777-300) First Class – Jakarta to Singapore

March 16th, 2017|Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Trip Reports|

Introduction: When I initially booked my add-on flights from New Delhi to Tokyo and Tokyo to Jakarta I was  planning to stay in Indonesia for a couple of days and take the quickest route home over the pacific for two reasons: I knew I would be exhausted after travelling an average of 5,000km per day for a week I was [...]

Hotel Review: Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta (Premier Suite), Jakarta, Indonesia

March 15th, 2017|Four Seasons, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Introduction: Jakarta was the turnaround point on my crazy 11 day trip around the world and I had planned to stay two full days before starting my journey home. While Jakarta wasn't on my list of places to visit, I couldn't pass on the opportunity to redeem 30,000 Alaska miles for a first class flight from Tokyo on Japan Airlines, [...]

Flight Review: Japan Airlines (777-300ER) First Class – Tokyo to Jakarta

March 8th, 2017|Airlines, Japan Airlines, Trip Reports|

Introduction: My flight from Tokyo to Jakarta was about the midpoint of a crazy 11-day trip around the world and I was seriously starting to question my sanity when booking this itinerary. What had started as a quick trip to Hong Kong to try out Cathay Pacific's fantastic first class product had turned into a whirlwind trip covering more than 50,000 [...]

Review: Japan Airlines First Class Lounge – Tokyo Narita Airport

March 6th, 2017|Airport Lounges, International, Trip Reports|

Introduction: My business class flight from New Delhi landed just before 7:00am and I couldn't have been happier to be off that plane. I had been planning to sleep most of the flight, but got only a couple of hours due to the strange service schedule on the overnight flight. Thankfully I had a 4 hour layover in Tokyo and [...]

Flight Review: Japan Airlines (787-9) Business Class – New Delhi to Tokyo

March 1st, 2017|Airlines, Japan Airlines, Trip Reports|

Introduction: The next stop on my 11-day trip around the world was Jakarta, so naturally, as an avgeek, I chose to route through Tokyo instead of flying direct in order to sample two of Japan Airlines premium products - The Skysuite business class on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from Delhi to Tokyo and the first class Skysuite on the Boeing [...]

Review: Marriott Rewards Program

February 21st, 2017|Hotel Loyalty Programs, Reviews|

Introduction: Late last year Marriott finalized the takeover of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and with that, became really relevant for Canadian travellers, as well as the largest hotel company in the world. As an individual program, I never found it all that enticing, as I don't find the Marriott brand 'aspirational' (with the exception of some Ritz Carlton properties), earning [...]

Review: The JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity

February 20th, 2017|Hotels, JW Marriott, Trip Reports|

Introduction: New Delhi wasn't originally on my list of places to visit, but after Japan Airlines became bookable with Alaska Air Mileage plan, I decided to jump on the opportunity to fly from New Delhi to Tokyo in business class and Tokyo to Jakarta in First class for 30,000 miles on Japan Airlines, which eventually transformed into an 11-day journey [...]

Flight Review: Cathay Pacific (A330) Business Class – Hong Kong to New Delhi

February 20th, 2017|Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Trip Reports|

Introduction: I checked out of the Marriott SkyCity Hong Kong Hotel at 4:00pm and managed to catch the airport shuttle leaving on the hour (shuttle service runs every 30 minutes). As a Marriott Gold Elite, I was entitled to the same private car transfer as when I arrived in Hong Kong, but the shuttle was no less convenient. I personally prefer [...]

Flight Review: Cathay Pacific (777-300ER) First Class – Los Angeles to Hong Kong

February 14th, 2017|Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Trip Reports|

Introduction: This was my first time flying Cathay Pacific first class, and the anticipation was almost unbearable! I had read many trip reports and reviews and had a good idea of what to expect. Speaking of expectations; mine were high, as Cathay Pacific is largely considered one of the best first class products in the sky, with a great hard [...]

Review: Sheraton Gateway LAX Los Angeles Airport Hotel

February 9th, 2017|Hotels, Sheraton, Trip Reports|

Introduction: When I originally booked this trip it was just a quick weekend in Hong Kong over Chinese New Year, courtesy of some first class award availability being released in advance by Cathay Pacific, although things evolved drastically over the course of a couple months. My flight was scheduled to depart at 8:25 am, so I decided to spend the night in [...]

Hotel Review: The Four Seasons Hotel (Deluxe City View Room), Vancouver, BC

February 7th, 2017|Four Seasons, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Introduction: We decided to book a stay at The Four Seasons hotel in Vancouver the night before I started my journey around the world for a couple of reasons. First, I'm making an effort to review all of the American Express Fine Hotel and Resort properties in Vancouver this year, and second, because I had never stayed at a Four [...]

The Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver: No Photographs Please

January 24th, 2017|News|

As I set to embark on my 11 day trip around the world, I thought I would share an interesting story from a recent communication with the Director of Public Relations at The Four Seasons Vancouver. I booked the property for a one night stay using American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts. The Four Seasons doesn't participate in any loyalty programs, however, [...]

Are American Express Cards Worth It For Canadians?

January 19th, 2017|American Express, Credit Cards, Reviews|

The Canadian credit card market consists of three main players: Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Many Canadians have mixed feelings about American Express Cards, and admittedly, I used to be one of them. Some common complaints I often hear are: Most places don't accept American Express they have high interest rates Annual fees are expensive However, most of that is misinformation, [...]

Review: American Express Canada Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

January 16th, 2017|American Express, Credit Cards, Reviews|

***Update as of June 2, 2018. There have been huge changes to the SPG card in Canada, including devaluations to the welcome bonus and referral program. Get all of the information in my updated post here*** Introduction In my opinion, Starwood Preferred Guest is the most valuable loyalty program out there. SPG points are undoubtedly the most flexible and valuable [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Pacific Rim (Signature Harbour Mountain View Room), Vancouver, BC

January 13th, 2017|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Introduction The Fairmont Pacific Rim is my favourite hotel in Vancouver, and certainly in my top 5 worldwide. The building is stunning, with lively common areas, and rooms that feature all the comfort and technology one comes to expect in a luxury hotel. What really stands out, however, is the service. Fairmont never fails at making you feel special, and in [...]

Review: Fairmont President’s Club

January 12th, 2017|Hotel Loyalty Programs, Reviews|

Updated 2017-12-15: Important News Regarding The Fairmont President's Club There have been two recent and major announcements concerning the Fairmont President's Club. You can read more about them here: The Fairmont President's Club will come to an end, July 2, 2018 and be replaced by Le Club AccorHotels.. To make matters worse, American Express Platinum members will no longer receive [...]

Booked: Around The World In 11 Days

January 11th, 2017|News|

Introduction I just finished planning my upcoming trip and thought I would write a post on the planning and booking process in anticipation of my departure on January 26th, 2017. This trip has certainly evolved over the past 2 months, when I initially planned to visit Hong Kong for a few days after finding some first class award availability on [...]

Japan Airlines Now Bookable With Alaska Air Mileage Plan

January 9th, 2017|News|

Back in June 2016, Alaska Air announced a new partnership with Japan Airlines which included a codeshare agreement and reciprocal mileage earning opportunities. Alaska wasn’t clear on when partner redemptions would be available, however. I’m happy to report that as of December 6th Japan Airlines reward flights are now searchable and bookable using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan! This new opportunity [...]

Four Seasons Jakarta Best Rate Guarantee Experience

January 9th, 2017|News|

Most hotel brands will offer special incentives to book directly; whether its complimentary internet, enhanced rooms, or special rates. It’s clear hotels are trying to shift consumers from using online travel agencies for reservations, which has become the norm for most leisure travellers. A lot of the big brands offer a best rate guarantee – if you find a lower [...]

American Express Gold Rewards Card (Canada) Review

January 7th, 2017|American Express, Credit Cards, Reviews|

I consider the American Express Gold Rewards Card the best travel rewards card for Canadians due to the generous welcome bonus, annual fee waiver for the first year, and high earning potential for everyday spend. Furthermore, American Express Membership Rewards points are a flexible points currency that can be transferred to a number of airline loyalty programs, including British Airways [...]

The St Regis (Fifth Avenue Suite), New York City, Hotel Review

September 30th, 2016|Hotels, St. Regis, Trip Reports|

Introduction I needed a room for my second night in New York after redeeming a free night certificate at The Plaza Hotel the night before. Hotel rates in New York are high, bordering on obscene, and I knew rooms would be very expensive given the short notice and the time of year. Manhattan has no shortage of luxury hotels and [...]

Hotel Review: The Plaza Hotel (Edwardian Suite), New York, NY

September 29th, 2016|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Introduction There has always been something magical about The Plaza Hotel. With charming, old-world style, and an ideal location on 58th and 5th, The Plaza offers a lot of convenience and style. However, with prices nearing $1000 USD per night, staying there has been nothing more than a lofty dream, until recently. The Plaza New York Flexible Rate [...]

Review: Cathay Pacific Lounge (International Terminal) – Vancouver Airport

September 28th, 2016|Airport Lounges, Canada, Trip Reports|

Introduction: I arrived at Vancouver Airport at 8:00pm for my 10:50pm departure to New York and was immediately helped by a friendly check-in agent. He explained to me the location of the lounge, and how to find security. This flight to New York is unique in that you don’t actually clear customs in Vancouver. There was no line-up for security [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Singapore (Junior Penthouse Suite), Singapore

August 12th, 2016|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

Booking Singapore was the last major stop on our first ‘Mini Round-The-World’ trip using Aeroplan points. We had originally planned to spend a week at The St. Regis Istanbul but the political tension in that region forced us to make some last minute changes. Having never been to Singapore, I found choosing a hotel less than a week before our [...]

American Express Platinum Card Canada Review

July 21st, 2016|American Express, Credit Cards, Reviews|

American Express Platinum Card Canada Review When it comes to premium credit cards, The American Express Platinum Card for Canada is top contender for its various benefits and earnings potential. Although the card doesn’t come cheap at $699 per year, it can be very easy for the frequent or leisure traveler to get many times that fee in value and [...]

Hotel Review: Fairmont Chateau Whistler (Deluxe Slopeside View Room), Whistler, BC

June 29th, 2016|Fairmont, Hotels, Trip Reports|

This past weekend I spent a night in Whistler with some friends and decided to check out the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. I usually stay at The Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre or Evolution in Creekside but decided to try the Fairmont given my loyalty to their brand. Fairmont Chateau Whistler Booking I booked the Fairmont Chateau Whistler using my Platinum [...]