Cell Phone – The umbilical cord of globalization.

The world has become much smaller because it has become more communicative. From Peru to Pakistan, and everywhere in between, the smartphone is one of the most important tools in any Canyon traveler’s kit.

But what is the best way for a Canadian living abroad to stay in touch without thick markup? Today, let’s deal with it The best solution for roaming abroad In the market.

1. Buy a local SIM card

By my means, the most effective solution to use your cellphone while abroad is to buy a SIM card when you arrive at your destination.

Local plans reflect local prices, and since Canadians are one of the most charged people with cell phone fees, especially mobile data, there is no guarantee that you will find a good deal wherever you are, no matter where you are. Going.

However, I am not pointing out that you have to buy a SIM card every second time. Almost every airport on the planet now has mobile kiosks with English-speaking salespeople trying to thwart their “competitive” phone plans on undoubted foreigners.

Avoid such people, and find a seller in town. I have found that either the Hotel Concierge staff or, alternatively, your Airbnb host can be the ideal font for finding reliable local SIMs.

Another advantage of buying a local SIM card is that in many countries voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, such as WhatsApp or Telegram, are the main form of communication. Locals with businesses like restaurants often do not respond to traditional calls or text messages.

In such cases, getting a local SIM card may be ideal as mobile data will be offered at a much more competitive rate, regardless of the charges your service provider charges you while roaming. If you stop buying a local SIM, you’ll want to make sure you set up your VoIP app to use your new, local phone number.

Note that when traveling abroad, there is always a slight chance that your phone model may not work with a local SIM card or technology. Therefore, always do your research before traveling to make sure you have a compatible phone.

2. Cafe Camp

You can completely skip purchasing a SIM card. I would only recommend this option to locales that rely heavily on VoIP services, as you won’t have to worry too much about missing old-school texts or calls.

This type of thing is quite common in practice, if not ideal, for citizens of countries where Wi-Fi is free but cell service is relatively expensive, such as Cuba.

By turning off your roaming settings and putting your device in airplane mode, you will be able to use any universally-available Wi-Fi with a Canadian SIM card on your phone, even if Wi-Fi is enabled.

Then, you’ll be able to connect to any VoIP service of your choice at your destination for all your communication needs.

3. Use your mobile provider’s roaming plan

Of course, if you do not speak the local language or are not the most technically savvy person there, buying another SIM card can be a bit of a headache.

It should also be argued that the facility has a premium of its own and that “cafe camping” is certainly not convenient for every single traveler on the go.

If so, it may be best to accept a roaming fee for your carrier. The industry seems to be around average ড 15 per day Across all carriers that allow unlimited roaming, but these allow you to make full use of your device as if it were in Canada while abroad.

Too bad this is in addition to your regular billing costs. I have compared the talus, which is larger here in western Canada, to the bell for successor:

One of my pets for these services is that they do not always have a maximum charge cap; You could theoretically charge a roaming fee of $ 15 per day indefinitely. Rarely ideal for a mini-round-the-world bonanza.

On the other hand, it can be seen that the cost of less than $ 12 is standard for services that you can use while traveling across or through the United States. Not exactly a great savings, but cheaper than per-use.

My suggestion is that if you can use this option, do it for a short period of time and only for short-distance travel.

4. Google Fi?

If the idea of ​​backpackers collecting SIM cards to collect their flags or paying মোবাইল 15 per day to your mobile provider doesn’t appeal to you, I may have only one solution: a service called Google Fi.

Before we begin, I would like to suggest that Google Fi be listed as available to Americans only. This means you need to have a minimum: a US-issued credit card, a US address, a US-based Google Account created with a US IP address, and a 5G-enabled smartphone that meets Google’s compatibility requirements.

Once you have these in hand, you can consider which Google Fi plan is best for your travel needs. Personally, I think the best economic option is available for US $ 20 per month with US $ 10 per gigabyte of data, although there are others with more extensive service to think about.

The best part is that on all Google Fi plans, you are charged for a maximum of six gigabytes of data, or US $ 60 per billing cycle, including data. Unlimited and free past this point.

After that, you need to order a Google SIM card And as a modern technology company, they offer you a few choices.

You can get an e-SIM card and start using your Google Fi account right away, but not every phone is able to do that.

Alternatively, you can wait for your physical SIM card to arrive at your US address and either pick it up and activate it during a trip, or arrange to receive the chip sent to you here in Canada.

Either way, it is up to you to get your US IP address to work, for which you need a US VPN. Having that US IP address will allow you to successfully activate your Google Fi account, at least if your device e-SIM is compatible.

Once your account is activated, you can always suspend your service through your Google Account, which will suspend your payments (taken automatically via Google Pay) until you re-enable Fi. I would recommend doing this whenever you are not traveling, in which case you will be billed at a regular monthly rate for your chosen plan.

For those of you who either have e-SIM capabilities or have a dual SIM port (which many modern cell phones, especially flagship models), Google Fi always allows you to create your travel options on your device – an ideal roaming solution for anyone Traveler

A word of caution, though: I would be wary of using your Fi account too much in Canada and would certainly not switch to using it as your daily carrier, as this product is intended for Americans only.

Excessive foreign use may seem suspicious, and there is no point in taking the risk of closing a potential account so you can avoid Canadian telecom companies.

One last thing to consider: Google Fi is in beta development for Apple. Although I’m an Android fanboy, I know many Miles and Points enthusiasts are equally loyal to iOS.

So far, I haven’t heard any complaints from my US-based Google Fi user friends who are Apple lovers, but it’s something to consider.

Conclusion

In a digitalized world, communication is more important than ever.

That’s why cell phone service can be a source of concern for any Globetrotter, and it can be an unexpected expense if not calculated properly before catching your flight.

I hope some of you can use a local SIM for a fraction of the price, or jump through the hoops to join our cousins ​​in the South using Google Fi.

And if both of these solutions seem less appealing than using public Wi-Fi, why not launch your career roaming plan just for convenience?

Until the next time, go around cheap.

Nowadays there seems to be a lasting truth in the landscape of Canadian loyalty: wherever Air Canada goes, WestJet will follow.

In fact, in line with Air Canada’s recent double status-qualification campaign, WestJet is taking similar steps to encourage its status members, including double qualifying spend promotions for existing Silver, Gold and Platinum members on summer travel.

Offering double eligibility costs for existing status members

WestJet members will need to register for the promotion before they can start earning double the qualifying expenses.

Generally, 100% base fare for any WestJet flight you purchase is calculated as the cost eligible for your WestJet status.

Under this promotion, if you currently hold WestJet Silver, Gold or Platinum status, you will be charged instead for travel booked until July 5, 2022 and for travel completed between September 6, 2022. 200% of base rent Your status-eligibility costs towards your travels.

The promotion excludes basic economy fares or any travel whose base fares are booked using WestJet dollars (including members’ exclusive fares).

With the launch of this summer’s travel across WestJet’s domestic and international route networking, WestJet status members should keep this promotion in mind, as it may be possible to easily reach the next level by strategically booking a few flights for the rest of the year.

However, while existing WestJet status members may find this promotion useful, it is unfortunate that non-status members will not be allowed to benefit from this promotion. If you do not currently have status, you will need to acquire at least Silver status biologically before you can benefit from double the qualifying expenses on your next trip.

It is clear that WestJet is not necessarily interested in increasing its loyalty pool, but rather in strengthening its existing base – and indeed, to avoid tempting its members by airplane elite status and similarly powerful promotions.

What does WestJet Status offer?

As a reminder, eligibility criteria for WestJet Platinum, Gold or Silver status are as follows:

Members only need to meet these spending requirements to achieve the status; No additional segments or mileage requirements to meet.

In addition to flying, it is also possible to gain status-qualification through the status lift facility at WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard, although the price offer is not the strongest in doing so.

The status facility can be found on the WestJet website. Silver members receive free first and second checked bags, priority check-in and airport lounge vouchers, Gold members receive unlimited lounge access, and Platinum members receive the highest priority for upgrades.

While flying with WestJet, all Status members increase their earnings in WestJet dollars, with Platinum members topping the 8% earnings rate.

In my view, WestJet Status is most suitable for travelers to or from WestJet’s hub in Calgary, or those who frequently fly only on routes served by WestJet, but there is no broad attraction to the program.

Status benefits can be achieved through many other means. For example, a free first-check bag is available for any WestJet RBC World Elite cardholder, while access to WestJet’s flagship elevation lounge in Calgary is limited by American Express Platinum Card or Business Platinum Card provided by American Express. Priority pass network.

Moreover, WestJet seems to lack an idea of ​​how they can boost their loyalty and elite status programs, often with Air Canada rolling out similar loyalty initiatives months after the incident.

In order to truly compete for trusted flyers, WestJet needs to innovate and bring new ideas to the market without relying on the tactics of operating cockpits in the shadow of its larger competitors.

Conclusion

Followers of WestJet will have the opportunity to book a flight this summer from July 5 and reach a higher level of promotion for the Double Qualifying Spand flight on the flight between September 6.

The promotion is valid on all WestJet routes of any booking class except Basic Economy, and registration is required before the bonus can take effect.

In terms of their track record so far, what do we see next from WestJet – a status extension with a certain level of co-branded credit card spending?

I had a chance to see Maple Leaf Lounge in Halifax Recent cross-country mileage runs. I had my first flight to Montreal, but arrived at the airport bright and early to check out the lounge.

Compared to lounges at larger airports, it was quite small, but let’s see how it stacks up against other maple leaf lounges.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Access

I arrived at the airport at around 5 am in anticipation of the 8:30 am flight. Safety was a breeze, because there weren’t too many unfortunate spirits on a long weekend Sunday morning.

The lounge is located on the third floor, one floor above the exit level in the center of the airport.

After going through security, I got on the exit level and then took an elevator to the Maple Leaf Lounge. There is also a staircase for those who like to go some extra steps.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Elevator
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Entrance

The lounge is open daily from 4:15 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. for travelers traveling to Canada and international destinations, but not to those flying to the United States.

I entered the lounge in different ways. Just holding an American Express airplane reserve card would suffice and I also had the opportunity to hold Air Canada Airplane Elite status as a Super Elite.

I was greeted by a friendly check-in agent who smiled as I took a few pictures after entering. Models of airplanes and world clocks are present in the check-in lobby, as they are in other maple leaf lounges.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Model Aircraft
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Lobby

After scanning my boarding pass to confirm my eligibility, I entered the lounge so that a few more people could occupy the place.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Seats

Upon entering is a business center with a door on the left. The area has several work desks, some lounge chairs and a printer.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Business Center Entrance
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Business Center
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Business Center

To get to the main part of the lounge, the space opens up to the initial seating area. Next to the hallway is a pair of seats with a small table.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Hallway seating area
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Hallway seating area

There are clusters of seats across the lounge with chairs in groups of two and four.

There are seats in front of a fish tank to the right of the immediate food and beverage area. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fish tank in any other Maple Leaf Lounge, so thank you Halifax.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Seating
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Fish Tank

An area to the right of the fish tank has a table in the middle of a standard maple leaf lounge chair. Next to them is an eight-story high-top workstation with a power outlet.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Early Seating
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Early Seating
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Early Seating

Near the high-top workstation is a television with four scooped seats and a small table. The television was playing sports highlights from the previous night’s action, which was a bit more at this time of day.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Television area

There are paired seats with tables along the walls. Behind the lounge, there is another cluster of lounge chairs.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Wall Seating
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Back Seat

There are more leather seats, including tables, in front of the window overlooking the terminal and tarmac. These seemed to be the most popular seats during my stay.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – window seat

In the dining area, two sets of red chairs along the windows and an island in the middle of four other spaces.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Dining Area Window Seat
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Dining Area Seating

I spent most of my time at the workstation because I wanted to get some emails sent before my flight.

The restrooms are located near the check-in desk with a door on the right at the time of entry. My visit to the men’s room was clean and tidy. Unfortunately, there is no shower in this lounge.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Entrance to the lounge area
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Restroom

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Bar & Dining

The bar and dining area meet in a single spot to the left of the fish tank.

As I visited very early in the morning, the lounge is not served alcohol. Standard Maple Leaf Lounge offers of domestic beer, wine and spirits seem to be available until 11am.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Bar area
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Bar area

There was an automatic juice machine, two refrigerators and a filtered water machine that were closed to the public. There were no staff members at the time, as the rest of the area offered the same thing.

Two Lavaza automatic coffee machines and a variety of self-serve teas are available.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Lavaja Coffee Machine
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Coffee Machine and Tea Selection

In the buffet opposite the dining area, you will find muffins and several cold drinks.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Buffet Area
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Muffins
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Cold Drinks

The only other food options were in a refrigerator near the window, which offers quality breakfast items and more cold drinks.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Cold Food & Cold Drinks
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Halifax – Breakfast menu

Since this was my first visit to this lounge, I’m not sure if hot food was served before the epidemic. In any case, it would be nice to see some hot food items, as well as more cold items, as the drinks are the most available in this lounge.

I took a sip of sparkling water and ate a muffin during my stay, knowing that on my flight later that day I would eat two parsley omelettes.

Conclusion

Halifax Robert L. The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at Stanfield International Airport is a small place with limited food available. The space has several seating options and a fish tank.

It was quiet during my morning visit, but I imagine it gets a lot busier during the day. I would love to see hot food items available, as well as some more variety in the beer offer.

As the only airport lounge, the Maple Leaf Lounge is a quieter, more comfortable place to spend time before your flight than at the terminal.

More Air Canada Lounge reviews

How to Use ITA Matrix Following Part 1 of Like A Pro, let’s take our flight-searching and bargaining skills to another level with Part 2, which will cover additional advanced control and ITA Matrix power tools.

More advanced control

Remember the extension code we discussed in Part 1? Well, there are a few even more advanced ones worthy of going over.

Last time, we mainly discussed the fare codes in the “Travel Schedule” section, specifically the most commonly used: MINCONNECT, MAXCONNECT, and MAXDUR. We used them to specify minimum connection time, maximum connection time, and maximum travel duration, respectively.

Now let’s talk about another section of the extension code, which deals with the specific airline or alliance’s fare class (also known as fare code or fare bucket) that we want to fly.

Specify a rental class

The examples provided by the ITA matrix are all useful, but let’s focus on the code “F BC =”, which allows you to search for one or more specific rental classes in the same cabin.

For example, you might want to book a specific rental code Optimize your Air Canada e-upgradeOr to make sure you have earned 100% miles on your ticket when crediting to a given Frequent Flyer program.

Imagine we wanted to specify an Air Canada “M” fare, which is the lowest Flex fare that does not require a subscription fee when using eUpgrades on an international booking.

To request a flight with a specific fare code, we type “F BC = M” in the extension code field.

Search results “M” increase Air Canada fares in booking class.

Marketing vs. Operating Airlines

There is something else that the intelligent traveler can take care of Marketing And Operating The airline for a given flight.

After all, in the world of transatlantic joint ventures, codeshares are a necessary and common occurrence. However, whether you are aiming for airline elite status or trying to maximize your mileage earnings, you will notice that most loyalty programs have different earning rules depending on who is marketing and who is operating the flight.

For example, under the Airplane Loyalty Program, tickets issued by Air Canada will eventually be fare-based rather than distance-based point earnings, resulting in lower total points for most travelers.

If the flight is marketed by a partner airline like Lufthansa, instead, even if it is operated by Air Canada, you may be ahead in terms of the number of Aeroplan points you earn.

To request a flight Conducted By an airline, we use the extension code “O:” and then the airline’s two-letter IATA code. If we want a transatlantic flight operated by Air Canada, we will write “O: AC” in the routing code.

Now, if we want to specify the flight To market To avoid earning Air Canada’s new fare-based points by Lufthansa, we will input “O: AC” in the routing code and “AIRLINES LH” in the extension code as below.

(Note: Enter “AC” as the routing code No. It’s like entering “O: AC”. The former specifies a flight operated and marketed by Air Canada, while the latter specifies only the operating airline, which allows you to further specify the marketing airline in the extension codes.)

As a result the search dragged out the preferred flight which was operated by Air Canada but marketed by Lufthansa. When booking this flight on a ticket issued by Lufthansa you will be able to earn Aeroplan points based on distance, not on the fare you paid under the new Aeroplan program.

As you can see, ITA Matrix’s advanced routing and extension codes are incredibly powerful and customizable.

To start creating your dream (or nightmare …) itinerary, I encourage you to visit the website and play with all the advanced controls we discuss, and maybe something we don’t have.

ITA Matrix Power Tools

We will cover the final part of the software here ITA Matrix Power Tools, ITA is an add-on to the Matrix that further supercharges its capabilities. This requires a little more technical knowledge than the previous items we discussed, but still not much.

Keep in mind that ITA Matrix is ​​great for rentals, but doesn’t really allow you to book anything through its native software. ITA Matrix PowerTools is a piece of JavaScript software that lets you book travel routes that allow you to find ITA Matrix travel routes through online travel agencies (OTAs).

There are several different ways to install ITA Matrix PowerTools and I recommend checking the FlyerTalk thread for complete installation instructions.

Once PowerTools is installed, it should look something like this (for reference, it is in Google Chrome):

Navigate matrix.itasoftware.comAnd you know that PowerTools is active when you see the “Passenger (1a)” bar at the top left of the screen.

Note that full functionality of PowerTools can only be found on older interfaces. This old interface will eventually be removed from the ITA Matrix website, but hopefully the full functionality of the power tool will eventually be incorporated into the new platform.

To get back to the old interface, click on the yellow banner link on the main website.

Enter all the information you would otherwise have in the new interface.

To book a itinerary, just start your search using the guidelines described above and beyond. Part 1. For this example, let’s just look for a simple non-stop route from Toronto to London:

Looking at the options, our traveler decides to go with Air Canada instead of the British Airways or American airline codeshare options. Even with the price difference, their Airplane Elite Status Lounge access and e-upgrade possibilities will come in handy.

Compared to before, the page with all the rental information looks much more complete.

On the far right, the ITA Matrix is ​​powered by PowerTools, providing mileage, cent-per-mile calculations, as well as a list of booking options, direct booking links to each airline or OTA’s website.

Below the booking links there is also a credit link from somewhere, which will take you directly to the exact location of the credit website, showing you how many miles you will earn while crediting this flight to all possible frequent flyer programs.

This is very useful for combining mileage runs or figuring out how many redeemable miles you will earn before booking.

Booking is as easy as it seems: clicking on the link to your desired airline website or OTA will bring up the corresponding booking page with all your rental options selected just like the search in ITA Matrix.

Click on the Air Canada booking link, as it is usually best to book directly from the airline whenever possible. Keep in mind that if you click on the “+” sign next to Air Canada, you will have the option to choose a country from which you would like to purchase a fare or add a promotional code if you have an additional 15% discount code. Almost false.

This brings us to the booking link on the Air Canada website, as if we were searching directly on the website. Just click to complete the booking.

Conclusion

For the intelligent traveler, the ITA Matrix is ​​one of the most comprehensive tools for finding, understanding and maximizing airfare, especially when combined with the ITA Matrix Power Tools browser extension.

While the ITA Matrix’s search and filtering function and advanced routing codes are already extremely powerful, PowerTools takes things to the next level by giving you extra insight into the fares you find as well as allowing you to book directly with an airline or online travel agency. Likes

Aeroplan has just launched a new 20% transfer bonus from Marriott Bonvoy, which can be a great opportunity to pad your Aeroplan balance if you have extra bona fide points.

20% transfer bonus from Marriott Bonvoy to Aeroplan

From today until now May 31, 2022, Airplane members will receive a 20% bonus when converting points from Marriott Forest Fear. The nature of this agreement is fairly time-sensitive, as there are about 10 days to take advantage.

Typically, Marriott Forest Fear points can be transferred to airplanes in a 3: 1 ratio, with a bonus of 5,000 airplane points whenever you convert to 60,000 Fear Point points. Thus, the optimal transfer ratio is 60,000 forest fear points = 25,000 airplane points.

With a 20% bonus promotion in-game, converting 60,000 forest fear points will result in 30,000 airplane points or effective transfer ratio 2: 1

It may take up to four to six weeks from the day you start the transfer for the bonus airplane points to show up in your account.

Is this Marriott-Airplane transfer bonus worth it?

This promotion has historically been offered often under the “old” airplane program, but this is the first time we’ve seen it offered since the airplane relaunched in November 2020.

There are many ways to earn points in each program by transferring points from the Marriott Forest Fear and Airplane to the core of the Canadian Loyalty ecosystem, credit card welcome bonuses and American Express Membership Rewards.

Whether or not this 20% transfer bonus is successful will depend on your specific strategy as a point collector: Do you prefer to spread your earnings effort across both flight and hotel, or do you place more emphasis on altitude-price flight redemption on top of everything?

Airplane continues to represent the best low-cost luxury travel for Canadians, whether booking an ANA Business Class from Vancouver to Tokyo at 55,000 points or Etihad Airways First Class at Abu Dhabi at 130,000 points for a sweet spot or a “latitude attitude”. .

Etihad Airways 787 First Class

Meanwhile, hotel chains are devaluing their loyalty programs left and right, including the recent move by Marriott Forest Fear’s dynamic pricing – and this trend will continue for years to come.

So, if you have extra forest fear points that you would rather use for high-cost flight redemption, the current 20% conversion bonus would be quite convenient.

Overall, I would say that this 20% conversion bonus from Marriott Forest Fear to Airplanes isn’t very appealing when you see the big picture, and I personally won’t take advantage.

Aeroplan points are easy to earn through a variety of other methods, such as 10+ Aeroplan co-branded credit cards, 1: 1 Amex MR point transfers, Aeroplan eStore, or various 5x or 10x earnings promotions that we’re blessing on a regular basis.

However, if you don’t see enough value to use Forest Fear points for hotels and would like to use them for high cost flights, then a 20% bonus on Aeroplan would be a helpful incentive to book one of the sweet spots of the program.

Conclusion

From today until now May 31, 2022, You will receive a 20% bonus when you convert Marriott Forest Fear points into airplanes. This is the first time we’ve seen a historically frequent campaign in a few years.

If you find luxury premium cabin redemption more tempting than using points for hotels, then this is the right promotion for you to funnel some points of your hotel to book future flights.

On the other hand, if your strategy is to gain enough points to cover both flight and hotel, it is best to direct your airplane and forest fear points toward their respective best goals.

American Express has introduced three new welcome bonuses in four Hilton Honors co-branded credit cards issued by US, which are on the market. July 6, 2022.

Amex US Hilton Cards represent one of the best ways to diversify your hotel rewards game outside of the Marriott Forest, so let’s take a look at the details of these exciting signup offers.

Amex US Hilton Card: 100,000 points + $ 100 statement credit

The Amex US Hilton Card Entry-level products without any annual fees. As part of the base offer, you can earn 100,000 Hilton Honors points And a US $ 100 statement credit at Hilton Hotel The first three months cost US $ 1,000.

Previously, the card offered a standard welcome bonus of 70,000-80,000 Hilton Honors points, as well as an occasional 100,000+ points limited time offer, sometimes accompanied by a statement credit or free night reward.

As part of this offer, you will receive a US $ 100 statement credit at the Hilton Hotel, which should be fairly easy to use within the first 12 months of holding the card.

While the signup offer isn’t as strong as some of the previous offers that came with the Free Night Rewards, it’s still an attractive deal if you want to sign up now.

If you haven’t started with a US credit card yet, Amex US Hilton Card represents one of the best choices for your first US credit card. Thanks to its ফ 0 annual fee, you can easily keep it year after year and extend your US credit history in the long run.

Amex US Hilton surpass card: 130,000 points + $ 130 statement credit

The Amex US Hilton surpass card Hilton lineup mid-level personal card, with an annual fee US 95

As part of the base offer, you can earn 130,000 Hilton Honors points And a US $ 130 statement credit at Hilton Hotel The first three months cost US $ 2,000.

Previously, the card offered a standard welcome bonus of 130,000 Hilton Honors points, as well as a limited time offer with occasional incentives of 150,000+ points.

Again, the current bonus of 130,000 points and a US $ 130 Hilton statement credit in the first 12 months is a competitive signup offer, although not the best we’ve seen recently.

At an ongoing price of US $ 95 per year, Hilton Sarpas gives you instant Hilton Gold status as long as you hold the card, a priority pass membership with 10 lounge visits per year, as well as a free night reward. Costs US $ 15,000 per calendar year.

Amex US Hilton Business Card: 130,000 Points + Free Night Prize

Ready for business owners, Amex US Hilton Business Card Actually similar in many ways to Sarpas.

Its price point US 95 The same goes for the current extended signup bonus 130,000 Hilton Honors points And a US $ 130 statement credit at Hilton Hotel The first three months cost US $ 3,000.

As with Sarpas, as long as you hold the card, you will have the ability to obtain Hilton Gold status, a priority pass membership with 10 lounge visits per year, and a free night’s certificate at a cost of US $ 15,000.

Also, on the Hilton Business Card, you can actually earn a second Free Night Prize by spending US $ 60,000 in a calendar year, even though it’s probably not worth it.

Strategy for Amex US Hilton Card

Let’s take a look at some of the key strategies for maximizing these offers. Which of the three refreshed Hilton Honors credit cards should you apply for?

As mentioned above, if you haven’t yet started with a US credit card, it may be worthwhile to start with a no-fee Hilton card – which is also the most achievable minimum cost of the three.

However, I will note that the Hilton Sarpas card may also be the right choice.

This is because if you do not see the value of keeping the card year after year, you always have the option to switch the Hilton Sarpas card to a no-fee Hilton card after 12 months. That way, you’ll still be able to keep your oldest account open to strengthen your US credit history.

Hilton Queenstown
Hilton Queenstown

What’s more, in the early stages of your US credit card journey, the Hilton Business Card can also make sense.

Because Amex US Business Credit Cards do not report to your personal credit file, Hilton Business Chase will not count against the “5/24 Rule”, which is Chase’s unofficial policy if you refuse a new credit card for the last 24 months. More cards opened.

Overall, a newcomer to the US credit card scene, it’s best to start with the Hilton Card or Hilton Sarpus. In the meantime, anyone who has been around the block for a while can choose between personal cards with Hilton Business, remembering that you can get a one-time signup bonus on each product.

The best luxury property in Hilton is usually priced 120,000 Hilton Honors points The maximum per night, with two properties – Waldorf Astorias in Los Cabos and Maldives – exceeded the limit. 150,000 Hilton Honors points Every night.

If you can snatch one or two of these limited time bonuses, you’ll have enough points for a few nights or more overnight at some of Hilton’s best hotels if you book some of the more common hotels in Hilton’s portfolio.

Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Center

What about the Hilton Aspire card?

You will also notice that, unlike its lesser-known peers, the top-level Hilton Aspire card Its welcome offer is fixed 150,000 Hilton Honors Points, With no additional statement credit.

Despite the US $ 450 annual fee, I believe the Hilton Aspire card is one of the most powerful reward cards in all of North America when you consider the ongoing benefits: an automated free night award each year, instant Hilton Diamond Status, a US $ 250 airline, A US $ 250 Hilton Resort credit, 14x points at the Hilton Hotel and an unlimited priority pass subscription for you and two guests.

However, unless you plan to stay with Hilton very soon and urgently need Diamond Status, it makes more sense to apply for one of three more Hilton Cards with higher bonuses while they are around.

You can add Aspire to your portfolio later, as its welcome bonus is quite stable with very few fluctuations over the last few years.

Apply now

Again, we see enhanced bonuses on the Hilton Card, Hilton Sarpas and Hilton Business Cards.

The point bonuses are at 100,000, 130,000, and 130,000 Hilton Honors points, respectively, and are stacked with statement credits of US $ 100, US $ 130, and US $ 130, usable on the Hilton property within the first 12 months of holding the card.

Advanced offers are available through both public and referral-to-friend channels, unless July 6, 2022.

So, if you earn points in two-player mode, it’s best to sign up using a partner referral link; Otherwise, feel free to contact us if you are interested in using one of our referral links here at Prince of Travel.

What can we say about Egypt? It is the land of myths and legends, ancient civilizations and the Pyramids of Giza. Egypt is an exciting country to visit with some of the most fascinating historical sites on the planet. There is more to Egypt than just the pyramids and you will see why we are going through this most interesting information about Egypt!

As one of the oldest civilizations in the world, Egypt is a fascinating destination. If you are planning a trip to the Middle East, this information from Egypt will help you understand the history of the ancient Egyptians and the background of the most popular attractions in the country.

Interesting facts about Egypt

Interesting facts about Egypt

Speaking of being one of the oldest civilizations, much of the best information about Egypt relates to ancient Egypt. Many of its top tourist attractions were built by the ancient Egyptians and follow many of the customs and traditions of ancient Egypt that Pharaoh and his followers of Islam followed.

1. Egypt is home to the only surviving ancient wonder in the world

Information about the ancient Egyptian pyramids

The only surviving monument to the 7 ancient wonders of the world still stands in Egypt. Only the Great Pyramid of Giza, El Giza, Egypt stood the test of time. The Pyramids of Giza are located in the capital Cairo and they are as wonderful as ever. The Great Pyramid of Khufur is the largest of all the pyramids and was built in the 4th century to house Pharaoh Khufu. Today it is known as the Pyramid of Cheops.

You can’t miss the pyramids when you travel to Cairo, they can be seen from all over the city. The Pyramid of Khufur stands huge at a height of 146.7 meters (481 feet) Read more: 7 Wonders of the World – New, Natural and Ancient

2. No, the pyramids were not built by slaves

Interesting facts about the ancient Egyptian pyramids

As for the pyramids, I always thought they were built by slaves. While in Cairo I learned that the pyramids were actually built by the right workers. Archaeological discoveries prove that there was a purpose-built village for the workers to live in and they were fed and well treated. The things you learn when you travel fill our little heads with lots of fun information!

Read about a great Egyptian pyramid we saw – the Red Pyramid of Egypt – experience it inside and out

3. Ancient Egypt and the afterlife

Ancient Egypt

Here is some interesting information about the pyramids that were built to house the rulers of ancient Egypt and bring them and their families back to the afterlife. The pyramids were built as tombs for the pharaohs and their families.

The ancient Egyptians believed that they would have to follow strict rules for a better future. They also believed that it was up to the survivors to help them get to the next life. The mummification process took great care because the ancient Egyptians believed that the body needed to be preserved for rebirth and carried to the next life. They even mummified animals.

4. Many gods of ancient Egypt

It was hard to navigate life as an ancient Egyptian, there were many gods to please them. They worshiped hundreds of gods and goddesses and had to constantly work to keep their lives balanced and to please them all in order to secure their place in the next life. Gods have fallen into fashion year after year and just like our celebrities today. Some of the most enduring gods were Isis, Osiris and Ra – the sun god.

5. There are 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Egypt

Information about Abu Simbel in Egypt
Abu Simbel in Egypt

Did you know that Egypt also has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites? That’s right, Egypt has a lot to offer! The six sites are Abu Mena, Historic Cairo, Abu Simbel, St. Catherine, Wadi Al-Hitan (Whale Valley in the Western Desert of Egypt) and Memphis and its Necropolis and Ancient Thebes. Have you had any of them?

We came to everyone except the two of us. We have not yet visited Abu Mena or the Whale Valley.

Memphis and its Necropolis are actually pyramidal areas from Giza to Dahshur so if you are in Egypt you have visited this UNESCO site. Ancient Thebes where you will find Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel is on Lake Nasser, historic Cairo is an obvious destination and is located at the foot of Mount St. Catherine where Moses received the 10 Commandments.

6. Mount Sinai and 10 orders

Mount Sinai is the mountain where Moses climbed to receive the Ten Commandments. Located on the Sinai Peninsula, the mountain is sacred to both Christianity and Islam. It is an important pilgrimage site and is located at an altitude of 2,285 meters (7,497 feet). Here you will find the UNESCO World Heritage Site of St. Catherine which we mentioned above. Read more: Amazing historical sites of the world – which we have seen

7. The ancient Egyptians loved board games

Information about Egypt board games

We actually have a lot in common with the ancient Egyptians and more interesting information about the ancient Egyptians is that they also liked board games. Not only rich people play board games, but even the common people enjoy a good board game.

The most popular board games were Senate and Mehen. The Senate was a game involving throwing sticks and was so popular that even pharaohs were buried with the game to keep them in the afterlife. These board games are 5000 years old. What is your favorite board game?

8. Cleopatra was not Egyptian

Another interesting fact about Egypt is that Cleopatra, one of the most famous personalities of ancient Egypt, is actually Greek, not Egyptian. He had no Egyptian blood when he was born in Alexandria and instead was a descendant of the Ptolemaic dynasty which was a line of Greek Macedonians. The Ptolemaic dynasty ruled ancient Egypt from 323 to 30 BC. The name Cleopatra is actually Greek for “her father’s fame” or “her father’s fame”.

9. 95 percent of Egyptians live along the Nile

Information about Egypt Blue Tube Cruise

Did you know that the longest river in the world is located in Egypt. The Nile River flows through Egypt, and about 95 percent of Egypt’s population lives along the Nile River. While most of the country is occupied by deserts, this fact about Egypt is not so surprising. Egypt is made up of 90 percent deserts, and the Nile divides that desert.

The ancient Egyptians divided Egypt into two lands, the Desert and the Nile Valley. Contrary to what you might think, Upper Egypt is to the south and Lower Egypt to the north. Because the Nile River flows northward into the Mediterranean Sea.

10. Desert of Egypt

Interesting facts about the White Desert of Egypt

Egypt has three deserts, the Western Desert, (aka Libyan Desert) the Eastern Desert, (aka the Arabian Desert), and the Great Bali Sea which is a part of the Sahara Desert.

The Egyptian desert has its own ecosystem which includes several oasis, mountains, sand dunes and oil reservoirs. Our favorite desert in Egypt was the white desert in central Egypt. Read all about the White Desert here.

11. King Tut and Mummy’s Curse

Interesting facts about the tomb of King Tuts of Egypt

King Tut is probably the most famous of all the ancient Egyptians, but little was known about the boy king who died at the age of 19 until British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb in 1922. King Toots Tomb is in the valley of the smallest of the tombs but it was full of riches.

It was believed that the hieroglyphs on the wall of King Tut’s tomb contained the curse of death. I am glad that I did not know about this curse before entering the tomb of King Tut during our visit or I could not enter this innocent tomb. Read more: Amazing places to visit in Egypt

12. Alexandria was named after Alexander the Great

Information about Alexandria in ancient Egypt

Not surprisingly, the city of Alexandria was named after the Egyptian conqueror in 331 BC. One of the oldest wonders of the world, the lighthouse of Alexandria was here. Read more about the wonders of the world here: 7 wonders of the world – new, natural and ancient

13. Egypt is the border of two seas

Geography of ancient Egyptian information

Egypt is strategically located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. The Suez Canal connects the two seas, allowing ships to navigate between Asia and Europe. Egypt has been a highly strategic position for many centuries.

14. One of the largest dams in the world is located in Egypt

Egypt has one of the largest dams in the world. Aswan High Dam is the largest dam in the world, separating Egypt from Sudan across the Nile River and creating NASA Lake. Lake NASA is one of the largest reservoirs in the world.

Although it seems like a great achievement, when we cycled from Egypt to Sudan, we saw the devastation caused by this dam. At one time, Sudan was green and lush along the Nile River, and even tourists from the United Kingdom used to spend their holidays in the Wadi Halfa of Sudan. Today it is a mess because of NASA’s Lake Dam. See: We cycled across the African continent

15. Cats are sacred

Information about Egypt - Cats are sacred

True, cats were considered sacred animals in ancient Egypt. And from what we see from our visits to Egypt, they are still caring and respectful. There were lots of cats hanging on the rooftop veranda of our guesthouse in Cairo with which we enjoyed hugs. Cats were supposed to bring good luck and they were so respected that when a cat died, the pharaohs mummified them. As a cat lover, I can relate.

16. The twelve month calendar was invented in Egypt

You probably don’t know it, but the calendar we use today was invented by the ancient Egyptians. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the first calendar known to mankind was invented in Egypt. In fact, it is 6264 in the Egyptian calendar.

The ancient Egyptians used our 12-month calendar as we do today. However, each month always had 30 days which means their years were a total of 360 days making the years inconsistent with the seasons. So to make up for lost time, they organize a 5 day festival at the end of each year.

17. Make-up and ancient Egyptian

The ancient Egyptians believed that makeup had healing powers that protected them from the sun and so both men and women wore makeup. The black eye paint that we know very well from the ancient Egyptian paintings was made of red and they also wore green makeup made of copper.

18. Quick funny Egyptian facts

Cairo, Egypt

The capital city of Egypt is Cairo and it is the largest city in Egypt. Cairo is also the largest city in the Middle East and the Arab world.

The official language of Egypt is Arabic but don’t worry, many people also speak English and if you know French it will go a long way in Egypt too.

The official name of Egypt is The Arab Republic of Egypt

As of 2020, Egypt has a population of 102.3 million.

The first humans in Egypt are 8000 years old but the ancient civilization that we know of was founded around 3000 BC.

For centuries, Egypt was under the control of the Roman Empire, the Greek Ptolemaic Empire, Muslim armies, and even the British.

Did you know that hieroglyphs, an ancient language once used by the Egyptians, have about 700 symbols? Can you imagine learning this language? Why don’t you try to go? Maybe you will be able to read some ancient signs in some tombs.

And this is some interesting information about Egypt. Did we miss anything? Have you been to Egypt, what is your favorite place in Egypt?

Start planning your trip to Egypt with these resources

Leveraging is one of the best ways to get value out of the Hilton Honors program Free night prizes Amex US Hilton Credit Card.

Hilton’s Free Night Rewards can unlock some incredible opportunities around the world for $ 0 out of pocket, so in this article, let’s take a look at what you need to know about these potentially extremely powerful devices.

How to win the Hilton Free Night Award

In most cases, you need to start with a US credit card to rack up Hilton’s free night certificates.

The good news is, it’s easy to take the first step on this journey, because you can get your first certificate very quickly with just one US credit card application.

1. Amex US Hilton Aspire Card: Free Weekend Night Award each year

The Hilton Aspire Card is the only credit card that certifies an annual free weekend night each year as an ongoing benefit without having to “work” for it through your annual expenses.

Note that the Hilton Aspire has won the Free Weekend Night Award Immediately in the first year.

This makes it superior to the corresponding Free Night Awards on the Marriott Forest Fear Co-branded credit card, which is earned as a single Anniversary Benefits starting in the second year.

In addition to the free night you get for just keeping the card, you can earn an extra free night every year if you spend US 60,000 Hilton Aspire in a calendar year.

Alas, this is probably beyond the reach of most of us, and the return on cost is probably not worth it even if you Can It costs so much

2. Amex US Hilton Surpass & Business Cards: উই 15,000 Free Weekend Night Rewards

In addition to the Hilton Aspire, there are two other US-issued Hilton Co-branded cards that offer the ability to win free weekend night prizes each year.

Both the Hilton Sarpas Card and the Hilton Business Card allow you to earn a free weekend night reward after spending. US 15,000 In a calendar year.

Following the instant free weekend night prizes from Aspire Cards, these two free weekend night prizes are easily accessible year after year, although they require a fairly significant extra spending capacity.

Meanwhile, the Hilton Business Card lets you earn a second Free Weekend Night Prize after spending US 60,000 In a calendar year.

Again, though, this probably won’t be a worthwhile endeavor unless you have a lot of business expenses that you wanted to put on your Hilton Business Card.

3. Amex US Hilton Card Welcome Bonus

Amex US Hilton credit cards often offer a variety of advanced welcome bonuses. In the past, in addition to the high amount of Hilton Honors points, the cards have also occasionally offered free night prizes as part of signup incentives.

For example, in early 2022, Amex US Hilton Card, Hilton Surpass Card, and Hilton Business Card all offered a Free Night Prize in addition to the total of their usual points as part of the signup bonus.

Earning a welcome bonus with Free Night Rewards may be worth more than just getting Hilton Honors points, as there is a potential for unpublished redemption of Free Night Rewards (we’ll discuss below).

Therefore, if you are still in no hurry to apply for one of the Hilton Cards, consider waiting for a promotional bonus with a free night reward attached to the tour.

4. Amex US Hilton Card Cost-Based Promotion

Lastly, Amex US Hilton Cards are reported to offer occasional cost-based promotions for existing cardholders, with a free night reward on the table if they can reach a certain spending threshold within a specified time.

For example, towards the end of 2021, many Amex US Hilton cardholders were targeted for a promotion where they could win a Free Night Prize by spending US $ 8,000 by the February 2022 deadline.

There is no predicting when these campaigns will come, but it will certainly be very fruitful when they do

If possible, sign up for these promotions using the Hilton Surplus Card or the Hilton Business Card, as the costs you incur will help you reach the annual US $ 15,000 threshold for a free weekend night reward as part of the card’s benefits. .

How to Redeem Hilton Free Night Awards

The Hilton Free Night Prizes will be credited to your account within eight weeks of earning. In my experience, though, they show up much sooner than eight weeks after they meet the criteria used to earn them.

You will receive an email confirming the arrival of your Free Night Rewards, which will also mention the expiration date of your certificate. You must have this date, without booking.

Generally, Free Night prizes are valid for 12 months from the date of issue, although Hilton offered several extensions for the validity of free night certificates during the epidemic.

Redeem your Free Night Rewards

The Hilton Honors website allows you to track your free night certificates in your online dashboard, but it does not allow you to redeem these certificates through the online booking engine.

Instead, you’ll need to call Hilton Honors 1-800-446-6677 To redeem you. Before making the call, you’ll first want to conduct a search on the Hilton Honors website to find out where your certificate can be redeemed.

You will need to find a “Standard Room Award” on the date you choose – if a Standard Room is not available and only “Premium Room Award” is shown, you will not be able to apply for your free Weekend Night Award

Property excluded from the Hilton Free Night Award

Significantly, there is a list of excluded hotels that are not eligible for free weekend night redemption, which you can find here.

These are essentially Hilton Grand Vacations, all-inclusive, or accommodation-style features. Fortunately, most of the best hotels in Hilton’s portfolio are not on this list and are eligible to book a free night.

What counts as a weekend night?

You will notice that the Hilton Free Night Rewards issued as part of the Hilton Aspire, Sarpas and Business Card benefits are known as Free On the weekends Reward of the night.

This certificate is intended for redemption Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, And it limits their usefulness to just three days out of the week.

(During the epidemic, Hilton Honors temporarily relaxed this requirement and any Free Weekend Night Prize issued before December 31, 2022 may be redeemed any day of the week.)

Strategies to maximize Hilton Free Night rewards

Within the trio of Hilton Co-branded credit cards, it is theoretically possible to receive five free weekend night prizes each year.

However, aiming for a free night at the US $ 60,000 cost threshold is almost certainly not understandable.

Even if you want to redeem these certificates in the Maldives where you would otherwise pay US $ 2,000 + per night, you will probably come a long way if you spend that US $ 60,000 instead of another card (s).

Therefore, some Hilton Honors members may earn Until Three certificates each year If they could spend up to US $ 30,000 across Hilton Business and Hilton Sarpas.

In the meantime, the vast majority of members will probably be satisfied A certificate every year From just holding the Hilton Aspire year after year.

I recently redeemed three Hilton Free Night Awards at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

In terms of redemption, like all such devices, the key to maximizing prices is to book a hotel that would otherwise cost as much cash as possible, though still true to your travel goals and the places you want to see.

Since Hilton Honors is essentially a dynamic pricing program, we can use the hotel’s point value as a barometer to evaluate the value you receive from your Free Weekend Night Award:

  • Two properties have been valued 150,000 Hilton Honors points Each night for a standard room award: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithafushi and Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal.
  • The maximum value of other top-level features is determined 120,000 Hilton Honors points Every night for a standard room prize.
  • In general, I would say any property that would otherwise cost you 80,000 Hilton Honors points Each night represents a good use of the Free Night Prize. This price point is almost identical to a cash price US $ 400 +

In general, you want to maximize the value of your free night’s rewards by doing one of the following:

  • Riding on Hilton’s high-end luxury brands such as Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, and LXR
  • Reading for long-distance ambitious destinations like Maldives or Bora Bora
  • Redeeming for a very popular place during peak season like Hawaii in winter
Conrad Osaka

Now, some luxury hotels in major cities can make a fun one night hop, but if you are going to Maldives or Bora Bora, you will definitely want to stay more than one night.

In that case, you’ll want to combine your free night with Hilton Honors Point Redemption so that you can be chained for a long stay together, especially if you have some weekends as well as weekends.

(Just keep in mind that you can unlock the Fifth Night Free when redeeming Hilton Honors Point, but No. Free Weekend Night Rewards.)

Finally, if you earn points in two-player mode, the sheer power of the Hilton Aspire card should be used by both you and your partner.

As a family, you will receive at least two Free Weekend Night Rewards each year, which you can repeatedly redeem once a year for a luxurious weekend holiday while enjoying top-notch elite treats as a Hilton Diamond member.

Conclusion

The Hilton Free Night Award is the most powerful feature of the Hilton Honors program and the co-branded card suite issued by American Express US.

Compared to Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton’s free night certificates are stronger in many ways: you can earn them in the first year and you can redeem them without any upper limit for the best luxury hotels in the portfolio.

The only drawbacks are the restrictions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights (which were relaxed during the epidemic in late 2022).

If you want to experience staying at some world-class hotel without paying out of pocket, diversifying Hilton Honors – and in particular, getting a Hilton Aspire card – is a great way to do this.

IHG recently relaunched their loyalty program in the form of IHG One Rewards, and the program now seeks to increase interest by providing a status challenging their two highest elite levels.

Now and in between July 31, 2022, Anyone can automatically register for a status challenge to enjoy IHG Platinum Elite status for 120 days At this point they have the opportunity to achieve Platinum Elite or Diamond Elite status until December 2023.

Sign up for the IHG One Rewards Status Challenge

The IHG One Rewards Status Challenge is open to anyone who is a member of the Competitive Hotel Loyalty Program.

There is no need to be an elite member of a specific location – having an account with another hotel chain allows you to participate in the IHG Challenge.

After registering on a subscription basis with a different chain, you will receive a free 120 day IHG Platinum status.

At this time, you are invited to stay with the IHG and take your Platinum Elite status to visit their property to see if the hotel and loyalty experience is right for you.

If you have five paid nights in the 120-day Status Challenge period, you will automatically maintain Platinum status by the end of 2023.

And if you have 15 payday nights in a 120-day period, you will achieve top-level diamond status by the end of 2023.

Remember that the 120-day challenge period begins as soon as you successfully register for the campaign, which you can do anytime before July 31, 2022.

That way, make sure you register accordingly – if you can’t arrange to stay at an IHG hotel until the end of October, for example, you’ll want to wait until the end of July to register.

Is it worth following IHG Platinum or Diamond status?

Staying five or 15 nights in 120 days is a fairly lucrative opportunity to achieve IHG Platinum or Diamond status by 2023.

Platinum and Diamond status usually requires 40 and 70 nights per year, respectively. Therefore, this status challenge represents a significant reduction from the normal threshold, and will probably be a one-time opportunity with the relaunch of their loyalty program at IHG.

In the case of meaningful status benefits, both Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members are entitled to a suit upgrade subject to availability, where Diamond Elite members are offered a free breakfast in the morning.

From a Canadian perspective, this promotion is one of the easiest ways to get involved with IHG One Rewards, and if you visit IHG’s properties in Canada or abroad, you can find some value out of the program.

After all, unlike Marriott Bonbay, IHG One Rewards does not offer a co-branded credit card in Canada, which makes it challenging for the average traveler to participate in the program if better options are available.

Kempton St. George, Toronto
Kempton St. George, Toronto

Ultimately, whether you are eligible to take advantage of this status challenge will depend on your choice of existing hotel status.

If you don’t travel frequently enough to earn 50 Elite Qualifying Night Marriott Bonavoy Platinum Elite Status each year, then of course it makes sense to take advantage of 120 days of free IHG Platinum Status and get some useful benefits out of it. Such as suit upgrade and initial check-in, subject to availability.

Also, for rare travelers, staying 15 nights with IHG in summer or autumn could represent the easiest way toward top-level elite status in any hotel loyalty program – with them free breakfast, upgrades and other benefits (albeit rare) by 2023. Travels.

(Of course, assuming you’re not in a position to follow US credit cards, getting an Amex US Hilton Aspire card for instant top-notch Hilton Diamond status would be an even easier step.)

On the other hand, if you are already committed to the Marriott Forest Fear and plan to stay in most of your hotels with Marriott to earn, retain and / or reap the benefits of your Platinum Elite or Titanium Elite status, this may not be the case. Some of your accommodation will be diverted to IHG.

Still, there’s no harm in registering for the Status Challenge if it pays down the road – perhaps your trip will take you somewhere that is much better served by IHG features than the Marriott, and will at least have some advantage over your lag.

Conclusion

IHG One Rewards offers a lucrative status challenge for virtually anyone interested in signing up.

By simply registering, you will enjoy the benefits of the IHG Platinum Elite for 120 days, and you will be able to maintain that status until 2023 by staying five or 15 nights with the IHG during the status challenge, respectively, or upgrading to the top-tier diamond elite. Can.

The status challenge can be an interesting path for rare travelers towards mid- or top-level situations, although I don’t think it will affect many existing elite members of other hotel chains to change their allegiance.

After a planned trip flight rescheduling to the Maldives was doomed to hell, as well as some doubts about international testing and segregation, I decided to return to Brazil on a recent vacation.

This time, however, I felt it would be better to take a break from the beaches and bars of Rio de Janeiro and move to Sao Paulo, the country’s economic capital instead.

Despite being such a vibrant metropolis, not too many hotels can be booked at the points, although the few that do exist usually have great locations. As we will see, Renaissance Sao Paulo Exceeded my expectations.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Booking

I booked my stay here just before the very sad move for the dynamic price of the Marriott Forest Fear. As a Division 4 property, the Renaissance was a very reasonable one before S সাo Paulo 20,000–30,000 Marriott Forest Fear Points.

When one considers that a night is built here, it goes on US $ 225–300 And charged on that currency (instead of the local Brazilian real), I thought it was a great use of a little over 55,000 forest dot points. I clicked on my Marriott Forest Fear app and booked in a matter of seconds without any hassle.

During my date, rooms are going to cost US $ 244 per night, so I scored a redemption value of 1.1 cents per point – not as a knockout of my preferred rate, but still above our current price of 0.9 cents per point.

Book the Marriott Hotel with the Prince of Travel

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Location

Sao Paulo reminds me of Toronto, my birthplace. In fact, if the signs were not in Portuguese and randomly scratched tropical plants and animals, you would be hard pressed to distinguish End (Locals call it) from Big Smoke.

Gray concrete and cluttered cosmic life spanned everywhere, and since I chose to be in the heart of the business quarters, there were plenty of shopping centers, skyscrapers, and smartly dressed professionals in tropical business casual attire.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – City View

As always in Brazil, there may be security concerns, but I visited the area without any real problems. And for those of you who adore Ronaldo, he has a complete exhibition dedicated to him Football Museum Directly north of the hotel.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Check in

The front of the hotel is not as beautiful as the interior, but there is plenty of space in front for you to get off for a taxi or Uber. I would definitely recommend the latter, as it is quite cheap and highly reliable.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Gateway

On the other hand, the lobby is really nice. For the first time in South America, I felt like I was walking into a modern luxury property, accented with gold and black marble.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Lobby Lounge
Renaissance Sao Paulo – Lobby Lounge

The lobby has multiple seating areas where you can go back and relax, as well as an all-day bite and a sushi bar.

There is also an area dedicated to sitting and talking and as a Renaissance-branded hotel, an entertainment ambassador who acts as a doorman and can recommend local activities or save you dinner.

After taking all this, I made my way to the front desk. The staff, and indeed most of the guests, were quite helpful and spoke excellent English, and had no problem thanking me for my Titanium Elite status.

I was offered a large room downstairs or a room with two double beds upstairs. I chose the latter with an apology for my broken Portuguese, which I am now studying with some intensity in Duolingo.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – check-in desk

Before heading upstairs, I took in the sights on the first floor, realizing how much open space there was for guests and how perfectly it was laid out.

Then, I made my way to the beautiful circular lift system and climbed to see the room.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Lobby Lounge
Renaissance Sao Paulo – elevator

Renaissance Sao Paulo – High Floor Two Double Rooms

Room 2506 is on the top floor of the hotel. But before I got to my room, I knew I was in Sওo Paulo when I saw that the hotel had a helipad.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – helipad sign

Brazilian traffic is not equally known in the world, and Sao Paulo traffic is the top predator of that particular species. Therefore, wealthy patrons who can stay here should be able to come and go in their spare time.

As a North American, it’s a little exotic for me, but it’s interesting to see such features in high-end property.

Then it was my turn to enter the room.

Renaissance S সাo Paulo – Room 2506

My accommodations were a bit small, though not as cramped as some European hotels.

The walls also had a decent thickness, so I didn’t have to listen to my neighbors’ insults or impose my own on them.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – High Floor Two Double Room Foyers

Despite the modernity of the lobby, I can say that the houses must be a little older because of the design of their connecting doors.

The beds here are firmly in the budget range. Maybe the Latin American sizes are different, because they must have seemed twice as big, even twin or even bigger than the full-size mattress I owned, but not as big as the Queen.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Bedroom
Renaissance Sao Paulo – Double Bed

There was also a small desk area to hold laptops if needed.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Desk

A snack tray and minibar have been unveiled on the other side of the desk and television area.

Although many hotels, including luxury properties, have discontinued these in the era of Uber Eats (or use InstaFood as in Brazil), the added benefit, albeit with ridiculous markup, has been complimented by my intoxicated 5am alternative arrogance.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Snack Tray
Renaissance Sao Paulo – Minibar

Also, the Nespresso machine worked wonders for me when I was recovering from a miserable condition in the morning.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Pantry

The bathroom was probably the most beautiful part of the whole room, complete with all the marble accents, including a shower and a large tub.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Bathtub
Renaissance Sao Paulo – dive

Toilet setup includes a bidet. I have never seen this item in a low-income Brazilian property before, so its inclusion was a surprising bonus.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – toilets and bidets

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Breakfast

Breakfast was served in the hotel’s Club Lounge, located on the 23rd floor, on weekdays from 7am to 10:30 am and on weekends from 7am to 11am.

I felt that this was the “standard fare” for most Latin American hotels, but I felt that the individual dishes could be the same as those served elsewhere, but the quality was much higher.

The croissants, for example, tasted a bit fresh, while the ham did not have a strangely ill glaze as I have seen in other hotels. Such items Cheese bread (Brazilian cheesecake) It seemed more fulfilling than anything I had ever seen in a city restaurant.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Breakfast Buffet

Served buffet-style, I still feel that pastries were the highlight of the offer, although self-serving espresso was a much-needed pick-me-up in my house after the previous three nespressos. If it can only cure headaches.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Breakfast Pastry
Renaissance Sao Paulo – Cold cut

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Club Lounge

Hotel Club Lounge Anyone pays for lounge access as part of their room rate or Marriott Forest Fear Platinum Elite members and above.

A nice component of this hotel is that access to the lounge was all day long, and there were no locks or other barriers in the drink cabinets, if you want beer or guarana, my favorite soft drink, anytime you want.

The lounge has a fun time every day from 5pm to 8pm, with lots of canaps and hearty rentals. You can easily have a full dinner here without any problems.

I found quite good quality, a solid cut Ramp steak On top of anything in Canada with the name “Maple Leaf” on it.

Renaissance S সাo Paulo – Selection at Club Lounge Canap
Renaissance Sao Paulo – Club Lounge Dessert Cart

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Dining

The hotel prides itself on 24-hour room service, if this is your type of meal. There is also a lounge bar, which serves meals daily from 6am to 11pm and has a sushi bar.

Sushi is a huge deal due to the large number of Japanese expatriates living in Sao Paulo, so I doubt they are quite good, but I haven’t tried.

I name their in-house restaurant anyway Terrace Garden. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever eaten.

It should be noted that this contains odd hours, which I was sometimes warned to move randomly according to the booking for a public holiday or special event. Be sure to check before you go.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Terrace Garden

I had a local seafood stew. Alas, it looked much prettier than the taste, but it was still delicious, lacking a little heat and spice for my taste.

Again, I kicked myself for lack of Portuguese because when the manager was fluent in English, I didn’t have a waiter and I didn’t want to create a scene.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Terrace Garden Seafood Stew

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Other benefits

The hotel boasts a complete spa level on the third floor, which is incredible to see and smell.

Renaissance Sao Paulo – Spa

There’s also a gym there, but my blurry pictures don’t judge. There is a personal trainer among the staff who is older than me and looks like he knows Jiu-Jitsu, so I took his friendly advice not to take any more pictures while in session with the client.

Instead, I made my way to the roof pool area. It was lonely, probably due to cloudy weather, which was cold by local standards.

Renaissance Sওo Paulo – a rooftop seating area
Renaissance Sao Paulo – rooftop outdoor pool

Conclusion

I was pleasantly surprised to find Renaissance in S সাo Paulo. For a while, I resigned myself to the idea that the idea of ​​a luxurious hotel had been killed by COVID and that only the super-rich could again act as valued guests.

Instead, I found a well-designed and renovated hotel with a nice location.

Hard products were highly competitive even if it was a bit old. The hotel staff was extremely helpful and accommodated all my requests during the day and night.

The next time I enter, I must return to Renaissance Sওo Paulo EndWhich is expected to happen later this year.