Up To 40,000 Bonus Miles When Converting Points To Aeroplan

Through December 21, 2015, Air Canada’s Aeroplan frequent flyer program is offering up to 40,000 bonus miles when converting points from many of their partners to Aeroplan. They seem to run this promotion a few times per year — most recently they offered this promo in August, and prior to that in April.

Aeroplan-Bonus-1

The bonus is tiered, with the following thresholds:

Aeroplan-Bonus-2

As you can see:

  • For reaching the 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, or 50,000 mile thresholds you earn a 20% points bonus
  • For reaching the 100,000 mile threshold you earn a 25% bonus
  • For reaching the 150,000 mile threshold you earn a ~27% bonus

The bonus you earn is based on the cumulative miles generated, so not all the miles have to come from a single transfer partner. Registration is not required, and the bonus miles should post 7-10 days after eligible transactions are complete.

The eligible partners include all of Aeroplan’s hotel partners, some rental car partners, and points.com. American Express Membership Rewards transfers are not eligible for the bonus.

There are a couple of circumstances under which this could potentially make sense:

Convert Starpoints into Aeroplan miles

Starpoints convert into Aeroplan miles at a 1:1 ratio, and for every 20,000 points transferred you get 5,000 bonus miles. So if you transferred 120,000 Starpoints you’d usually get 150,000 Aeroplan miles, and then you’d get a 40,000 mile bonus on top of that, for a total of 190,000 miles.

So that’s potentially like earning ~1.58 Aeroplan miles per Starpoint, which is pretty darn good.

At the moment Aeroplan still charges 90,000 miles for roundtrip business class between the US and Europe, including two stopovers (the price for this award will increase to 110,000 miles as of December 15, 2015, however). As of now this means that 120,000 Starpoints would be more than enough for two business class tickets. That’s quite a good value!

Earn Aeroplan miles with Marriott’s Flight and Hotel Packages

Another good option is Marriott’s Flight and Hotel Packages, of which Aeroplan is a partner.

Aeroplan-Points

Through Hotel + Air packages you receive a set number of free nights plus a set number of miles as part of the package. These packages are in my opinion the best use of Marriott Rewards points to begin with, so the value only gets better when you add in a potential conversion bonus.

To put this into perspective, seven nights at a Category 1-5 property plus 120,000 miles will run you 270,000 Marriott Rewards points.

If you did that, you’d earn a total of 145,000 Aeroplan miles, plus seven free nights at Category 1-5 properties.

Bottom line

Aeroplan certainly isn’t as rewarding of a loyalty program as it used to be. They used to be my single favorite airline frequent flyer program before they devalued their award chart and added fuel surcharges to most partners several years back. For some, the program will become even less lucrative as of December 15, 2015.

But as of now there are still some great redemption values, like 90,000 miles for business class between the US and Europe with two stopovers in addition to your destination. They don’t impose fuel surcharges on many of their partner airlines, like Brussels, Swiss, Turkish, and United.

Swiss-Business-Class-A330-06
Redeem Aeroplan miles for travel in Swiss business class

While I wouldn’t make a speculative transfer to take advantage of this promotion, if you have a specific use in mind it could be worthwhile.

Do you plan on taking advantage of this Aeroplan bonus promotion?

Comments

  1. Hey Lucky, have a pretty big bank of aeroplan miles and looking for 4 round trip tickets to Portugal next summer. Live in YEG, my Mom works for AC so connector flights to YYZ, EWR, etc are easy. Any airline or route recommendations? Anything you can give me would be greatly appreciated. PS, no or low fuel surcharges would be a near requirement

  2. Does the 7-night package with Marriott need to be on one booking? or I can stay on several bookings in total of 7 nights?

  3. What is the cost of this Marriott Flight and hotel package?
    Is it only available to US citizens?…It seems that I cannot open it with a German account.

  4. You know, you mention Marriott’s Flight and Hotel packages a lot, but I don’t think you’ve ever mentioned Starwood’s Nights and Flights redemption option, which if you happen to be redeeming for a Cat 3 or 4 hotel and need to transfer SPG points to an airline is an even better deal than the already-usually-good deal of doing either of those things separately. Certainly Marriott’s program is more of a unique value proposition for them, but SPG’s could be good too.

  5. @ Alex — You could, but you’d lose soooo many points in the process that it’s not worth it. You’d ultimately end up with fewer points than if you transferred Amex > Aeroplan directly.

  6. If the program I’m transferring from doesn’t send the points until after 12/21, do we miss out on the bonus? Or does AP somehow know when we initiated it before 12/21.. Thanks

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