I thought I’d just highlight a few deadlines coming up this month. As a points and miles collector, it can be a challenge to keep on top of everything. I’ll also mention a couple of bits of information I’ve noticed recently that may or may not turn up in a separate future blog post.
This month the Shop The Block bonus miles will post to your Air Miles account. Last year it was February 14th. So now’s the time to decide if you want those miles to be designated as “cash” or “dream” or some combination of both. Unlike the regular miles you earn, the category settings at the time the miles are added will determine where they go. At least that’s how it has worked in the past.
If you completed 7 offers you should see 1200 miles. If they don’t post correctly you’ll need to contact Air Miles for an adjustment. Make sure to have your receipts handy. In my experience, the Air Miles reps are usually pretty reasonable about fixing your bonus.
On the redemption side, Air Miles reduces the number of miles required for park tickets when a discount is offered by Disney. The current Canadian resident ticket discount is set to end Feb. 7, 2020 for Walt Disney World and Feb. 16, 2020 for Disneyland. It’s possible these discounts will be extended by Disney or Air Miles might offer them at a discount beyond the end date to clear remaining inventory.
Lastly, the Bonus Boom promotion is returning Feb. 6-12, 2020. This is just a collection of coupons for bonus miles at various Air Miles partners. It doesn’t really compare to MegaMiles or Shop The Block but it’s good to be aware of if your shopping plans include these retailers. The web page for the promo has yet to be updated with info.
RBC Avion Visa Infinite
The RBC Avion Visa Infinite has a great sign-up promotion: 35,000 points upon enrolment. The first year fee is not waived but there is no minimum spend requirement. Avion points are a very flexible reward currency as they can be converted to WestJet Dollars, British Airways Avios points, American Airlines AAdvantage miles or Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. They can also be a good value when used for flights via the Air Travel Redemption Schedule or redeemed for various gift cards including Hotels.com, especially during a bonus promotion. Offer expires Feb. 28, 2020.
The promotion to buy Choice points at a 30% discount ends Feb. 4, 2020. You can save a lot on stays in the 6000 – 12,000 point categories, and at some hotels it’s possible to book larger rooms or suites. The Daily Getaways sale is set to happen again in 2020 but it remains to be be seen if Choice will be participating. I assume it will be and that’s the best opportunity to purchase Choice points – if you’re fast enough.
I see there is a new Ascend Collection hotel opening in Venice this month. It’s not possible to book with points yet but it will be interesting to see what room types are available (assuming it eventually allows reward stays). It’s a small property and definitely not the typical Choice hotel. Even at 20,000 points per night, it might be a reasonable redemption option.
Alaska Mileage Plan
UPDATE: Today, Feb. 13, 2020, Alaska Mileage Plan announced that it will be joining the Oneworld alliance in 2021, so you can continue to earn and redeem Alaska miles on American Airlines flights. The March 1st deadline to redeem Alaska miles for American flights is no longer in place.
It was announced a while back that as of March 1, 2020 you will no longer be able to book American Airlines flights using Alaska Mileage Plan miles. This was a disappointing development now that American is flying out of Halifax seasonally again. If you have some Alaska miles that aren’t earmarked for another purpose, it might be worth checking to see what’s available. Pickings are pretty slim though.
There is a small window of opportunity in late October to book a one-way flight to Europe for only 22,500 miles. For example, Halifax to Lisbon on October 29th.
Note that searching as a one-way won’t reveal this option. You need to search multi-city even though it’s just a normal connection of a few hours.
That’s all I can think of at the moment. Hopefully we’ll see some good travel or loyalty program promotions this month. If you’d like to add any other notable February dates please feel free to add them in the comments.