Points Miles and Bling

Anshul was a hyper mobile professional, traveling across 5 continents, to recruit international students for Canada. He loves to share his personal travel gaffes and triumphs in using points and miles. For him, it's 99% planning and 1% execution.

Review: Junior Suite at Intercontinental Dubai Marina

Booking Intercontinental Dubai Marina Dubai has three IC’s to boast and Intercontinental Dubai Marina is located in the famed Dubai Marina area of the city, closer to the Palm Jumeirah. I booked my two night stay (Jan 3 and 4, 2017) on points for 45,000/night. I value IHG points at 0.7 cpm which translates to $315 USD/night. At the time of booking,  cash rates for IC dubai marina were in excess of $350/night. I was happy to redeem on points and keep cash in pocket instead. Getting there I find city-taxi/Uber to be the best option from airport to...

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How to score Uber promo code in new cities

Uber has been on the wrong side of public opinion for a while now. However, I do like their product and continue to use them as my primary transportation option, especially in new cities. Over the years, I have discovered an easy marketing pattern to score uber promo code when traveling. Scoring Uber promo code As Uber continues its aggressive expansion around the world, passengers at airports seem to be their prime target for marketing campaigns. When I arrive in a new country/city, I connect my phone to the airport WiFi and switch my cellular network ON (keep cellular...

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Review: Andaz 5th Avenue, New York City

I love New York city and all things tourist that come with it. Andaz New York properties have been on my wish list for a while. On my last trip to the city, I finally checked off Andaz 5th Avenue from my list. Given the prime location of the property, it tends to be priced higher (~$350/nt) during peak tourist season. Andaz 5th is a category 6 redemption, available for 25000 points/nt or 12500 + $150. I was able to book the points+cash redemption for two nights and also used discounted  Hyatt e-gift card (~20% cheaper via CardCash) towards the cash portion...

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HILARIOUS sketch on Air Canada’s upgrade bidding and more

Hope everyone is having a good Monday. Recently, Air Canada introduced a bidding process which allows passengers to bid for an upgrade seat. I came across this hilarious sketch on Air Canada upgrade bidding and couldn’t NOT share it – the ending had me laugh out loud! I am a big fan of ‘This Hour has 22 Minutes’, a Canadian show that sheds lights on current events with a satirical twist. Without further adieu, here’s the video; Not surprisingly, Air Canada (a Canadian Crown Corporation completely privatized since 1989) and its operations are often at the core of Canadian satire...

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Breaking: UAE visa on arrival for Indian Passport holders

UAE cabinet has approved a simplified visa process that allows Indian passport holders with an American Visa or Green Card to obtain a UAE visa on arrival – according to Emirates News Agency (WAM). This is huge breakthrough for Indian passport holders around the world, that transit or plan to visit UAE. UAE visa on arrival for Indian passport holders Indian passport holders MUST have a valid US visa or a green card, with minimum six month validity,  to be eligible. The UAE visa on arrival will be valid for 14 days with single extension possible (fee associated with extension) India is UAE’s...

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Is Canada considering an electronics ban as well?

The possibility of Canada joining U.S and U.K with its version of electronics ban is rife in Canadian media. Recent media reports suggest that Canadian officials are busy analyzing the U.S and U.K versions of the bans and evaluating the threat carefully. Electronics Ban Canada The U.S version of the electronics ban restricts passengers from bringing electronics larger than a cell phone, as carry-on items. The ban affects passengers traveling on direct flights from eight countries (10 airports) –  Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Turkey. Canada’s transport minister, Marc Garneau has confirmed that the Canadian...

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Link and Status Match with a new loyalty program alliance – Warmer Welcomes

Indian hospitality giants, Taj Hotels group and Hong Kong based Shangri-La Hotels have announced a new loyalty program alliance, named ‘Warmer Welcomes’. The new program combines the two loyalty programs, Taj InnerCircle (TIC) and Goldern Circle (GC) program.  Warmer Welcomes program offers its members reciprocal benefits across the combined network of the two chains. Warmer Welcomes Members can now register and link both accounts through their preferred primary loyalty program. A primary account must be selected at the time of linking, it will determine the membership tier status at the end of the relevant year. Primary account cannot be changed...

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When life comes between flying Cathay First Class

Let me confess – I have never flown a true international first class cabin. To be honest, I don’t care much for it. I am happy with a lie-flat business class seat and some champagne 😉 . While I don’t go out of my way to seek first class seats, I would be happy if it happens organically. Recently, I was planning a trip back from Saigon (SGN) to Canada and wondered if Cathay First Class had finally featured in my travel path. Planning to fly Cathay First Class Life situation and priorities mean that I prefer to travel direct and spend as little...

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Reader Question: Can I sell or refund my Marriott certificate?

Earlier today, I wrote about how I converted 90K Starpoints to 150K Aeroplan miles and 7 nights at Marriott and got some interesting questions from readers about what I would (they could) do with my miles and Marriott certificate. I figured the discussion deserved its own post. Using 7-night Marriott Certificate Reader, Skaner asked “…I have absolutely no use for the 7 nights certificate. Any way to sell/refund it?“ I find it hard to believe that Skaner has NO USE for ‘free’ hotel nights at hand. But I assume they are worried about the constraints around the certificate. My suggestions; You don’t have to use the...

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I converted 90K Starpoints to 150K Aeroplan miles and 7 nights at Marriott

Aeroplan conversion bonus combined with SPG and Marriott transfer rate make for a great redemption! I converted 90K Starpoints to 150K Aeroplan miles and 7 nights at Marriott, by leveraging the Marriott travel packages redemption. This worked perfectly for an upcoming trip to India, where Aeroplan redemption is 150K RT in business class. Aeroplan Transfer Bonus Currently, the Aeroplan bonus promotion offers members a great way to convert hotel points into Aeroplan miles with up to 30% bonus miles. The promotion runs until April 17th and members can transfer as many times as needed. Based on the total points converted, the bonus can range...

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