Happy holidays! I hope everyone’s either enjoying their travels or getting some well-deserved rest in the company of loved ones. With only one week left in 2017, I wanted to recap some of the numerous outstanding offers that are expiring at the end of this year, to make sure you’re able to find some time and make use of them if they represent a good fit for your 2018 travel needs.
Scotiabank Gold American Express 35K
One of the best fixed-value travel points deals we’ve seen in the recent past, the Scotiabank Gold American Express is offering 35,000 Scotia Rewards points when you spend $750 in the first three months, along with a first-year fee waiver. It doesn’t really get better than a no-questions-asked $350 in your pocket.
Even when you leverage rewards points to travel at a low cost, there’s always going to be incidental travel expenses along the way – stuff like taxes and fees on award tickets, ferry tickets, or hotel incidentals. By offsetting these costs with your Scotia Rewards points, the Scotia Gold Amex can help you bring down your out-of-pocket expenses by a huge margin.
Given how great of a proposition this represents, you should definitely be going all-in on it if you haven’t already. It goes without saying that you should get both yourself and your partner a Scotia Gold Amex if you travel together. And you might even consider applying for two cards at once – anecdotal evidence indicates that you can get the bonus twice, even on concurrent accounts.
This is only available by signing up via a referral – on the Scotia website, the normal offer is only 25,000 points – and the referrer earns 5,000 Scotia Rewards points per referral, up to a maximum of 25,000. Referrals with Scotiabank can be frustrating, since the ability to refer a friend is often targeted for certain members, meaning that not everyone gets a chance to take advantage of the referral bonuses.
Feel free to use my friend’s referral offer at the below link to sign up and grab the 35,000 points, but keep in mind that he’s most certainly already maxed out his referral bonuses, so if Scotia has bestowed the ability to refer a friend upon someone else you know, by all means use their link to help them out!
Earn 10x the Points on the Amex Cobalt Card
Until the end of the year, you can earn 10x MR Select points on your American Express Cobalt Card on the first $2,000 of purchases in the “eats and drinks” category, which includes grocery stores and restaurants. These would normally earn 5x MR Select points, so you’re getting an incremental gain of 10,000 MR Select points if you maximize this offer. That’s an instant $100 in statement credits, or 5,000 Starpoints if transferred to Starwood Preferred Guest, for doing nothing other than your regular holiday shopping.
That’s right, notice that I said “regular holiday shopping” rather than just buying food and drink. That’s because if you wouldn’t normally spend $2,000 a month on groceries or dining out, you can still take full advantage of this offer by purchasing gift cards at grocery stores. Every retailer offers gift cards these days – from Best Buy to Hudson’s Bay, from Amazon to Indigo – so by going to the grocery store and getting a gift card for places you’d actually shop at, you’re maximizing this offer while avoiding spending extra money in doing so.
Whether you’ve got last-minute holiday shopping to do, or planning for a big purchase in the new year, don’t forget to use this trick to maximize your 10x on the Cobalt if you’re a cardholder.
RBC Rewards 30% Transfer Bonus to Avios
Until December 31, if you transfer RBC Rewards points to British Airways Avios at the usual 1:1 ratio, you’ll get a 30% bonus! The current highest offer on the RBC Visa Infinite Avion, for example, is 25,000 RBC Rewards points, which can be converted into 32,500 Avios. That’s more than enough for seven short-haul one-way flights on British Airways and Oneworld partners – not bad for a card on which you can easily negotiate away the first-year annual fee!
Head to RBCRewards.com to convert your points. Note that you won’t actually see the bonus reflected on the confirmation pages during the transfer process, but when the points show up in your Avios account, the extra 30% will be there.
The end of each calendar year is a boon for credit cards and points programs, given the ramped-up consumer spending that takes place around this time. Keeping yourself in the loop when it comes to these special promotions is a great way to ensure that you’re well-positioned to take advantage and set yourself in good stead for next year’s travel!