| | | |

My Favourite Loyalty Programs / Looking for Topics to Write About

I was recently asked on TV what my favourite loyalty program was. I realize that I did not give a direct answer. In my About Us section, I do list a few current favourite programs, such as AeroplanAmerican Express Membership Rewards, Best Western RewardsRBC Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest.

As I explained on the show, my preference shifts as loyalty programs change and evolve. I am always loyal to a competitive program rather than sticking to a program during its ups and downs. Unlike a sports team, where I will cheer for my favourite teams regardless of how well they do, I do not have the same approach with loyalty programs.

The reason is because I am not trying to get value out of a sports team. If you want to win the miles and points game, you gotta keep shifting your business to where it is most valuable.

List of Favourite Programs

Even if I had to answer the question again, I don’t think that I can pinpoint one single program that is a favourite of mine. Instead, I will provide a quick explanation on why the following programs are some of my favourites:

Aeroplan

The main reason this is my favourite frequent flyer program is because it is the easier one to accumulate miles with. Despite all its shortcomings, the variety of ways to earn miles is what makes it so attractive to me. The point is, if another program became just as widely accessible, my loyalty can shift right away.

American Express Membership Rewards + RBC Rewards

What I really love most about these two programs is their ability to transfer to several other loyalty programs. What’s great about transferable points is that you can keep your points pooled into the central account and transfer them as you need them. This way, it keeps your points flexible to help you top up specific accounts as you need them for a specific reward redemption. Also be on the look out for conversion bonuses.

Best Western Rewards

This is probably not a top choice for too many people, but I really like them. Very affordable hotels if you need to pay for a stay. The only chain that has a points program that never expire, without worrying about having elite status or activity. MBNA has a decent co-branded credit card. The reward redemption schedule for a free stay is average, so good enough.

Granted you will probably not see to many luxurious Best Western stays, but affordability is very high on my list!

Starwood Preferred Guest

I think most people can agree that SPG is at least within the top 3 favourite hotel chains on most people’s list. The ability to transfer points. Very nice selection of hotels. American Express has a co-branded credit card. A better question to ask is, what’s not to like about SPG?

Looking for topics to write about

You may have noticed by now that I am not posting as often as before. Main reason is because I am actually looking for more topics to write about. I rather not write just for the sake of having a post. So if you have any ideas on what you would like to read about, now’s a good a time as any to submit your suggestions to us in the comment section below.

Also in the comment section below, feel free to share your favourite

14 Comments

  1. One of my favourite topics is the difference between Amex US benefits. For example, Amex platinum in US offer much more value than in Canada. For example, Boingo, TSA ,etc.

      1. Matthew,

        I really liked this post. It’s a good start. We the readers once aware of the benefits that we don’t have as Canadian cardholders perhaps can start a conversation with Amex so we can get most value out of the card

  2. Are there “types” of points hoggers? I think so. There’s the Premium Cabin type, there’s the Classic Canadian (queues well, always polite). I’ve often wished you wrote two parallel blogs, one for the mainstream economy traveller who wants to read about Best Western Rewards, Westjet, Air Miles and other economy topics, another for those of us who simply want to use the game to “sit up front”. We crave articles on flying in Business/First, Lounge Access, Elite status, and the whole war against the velvet rope. Other blogs do a good job on this on the redemption side, but the content is entirely American on the cards side. If I read one more article about the Citi Prestige card or Chase Ultimate Rewards, I’m gonna throw something.

    Luxury seekers are a segment of your audience. Initial card strategy is completely different for these folks. REsponses to offerings (accumulation or redemption) are different. Different broader (philosophical?) musings would be interesting. Looking for topics that “everyone” will find interesting is limiting, IMHO.

    Premium cabin, faraway destination, luxury lodgings: how best to get it? This is a segment of your readership. Grow the segment?

  3. I would like to see in chart form a comparison of the important travel-related insurance coverages (car rental, trip cancellation, trip interruption) offered by the various travel credit cards. For example, I wonder if any of the car rental insurances cover the cost that the agency imposes for their loss due to their car being out of service during repairs…

  4. MS techniques in Canada could be interesting. There are (were) techniques covered by numerous blogs for American users.

  5. I enjoy reading your posts. New card bonuses are the best, but as they don’t pop up daily, I can understand you wanting new topics. Here are suggestions :
    (1) Not every reader is from Toronto, Montréal… So not all flights are cheap and/or convenient. I’d personally love to hear about what cities are cheap and convenient from Halifax, for instance. I’ve noticed Rome, Venice, Paris, Frankfurt are examples of cities in Europe that seem to have better deals than Prague, Budapest, Vienna… Maybe identifying those key cities would be interesting.
    (2) You could talk of your personal travels to give readers firsthand accounts of interesting places you’ve been.

    1. Hi Fernand, those are some great suggestions. 1) I like the idea of identifying some specific airports. Though keep in mind that deals are so random that I would not generalize it like that. It’s better to keep all options open because anything can happen anywhere, any time. 2) The reason we may not have posted trip reviews is because it does not fall in line with our mandate about maximizing rewards for Canadians. Though we may look into changing our mandate one day, in which case this would be awesome! Thanks for the feedback!

      1. I know that it’s not “fullproof” but I’ve noticed Venice seems to often be a better portal to Eastern Europe than Sarajevo, for instance – or that Nice seems much cheaper than Marseille, while Madrid prices almost always trump Lisbon. So if you know of other cheaper hubs in different parts of Europe/the world it’d be helpful to readers.

  6. I’d love to read an overview/link about building credit in Canada if you’re moving there from the states or abroad. Do you recommend using US credit cards until you’ve been there a year or so? Applying right away for Canadian cards for CAD purchases? Any thoughts or data points on applying for a Canadian Marriott or SPG card if you already hold the US version?

    I check out your site at least twice a week or so and enjoy the informative posts!

    1. Definitely seems like a popular topic idea since there are lots of people to and from both countries. Thanks for the suggestion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.