Should You Convert Points To Aeroplan For A 55,000 Mile Bonus?

Through April 18, 2016, Air Canada’s Aeroplan frequent flyer program is offering up to 55,000 bonus miles when converting points from many of their partners to Aeroplan. They seem to run this promotion up to a few times per year — most recently they offered the promo in December, prior to that in August, and then before that in April.

However, this bonus has the potential to scale even more than past ones.

Aeroplan-Bonus-Transfer

The bonus is tiered, with the following thresholds:

Aeroplan-Bonus-1

As you can see, the promotion maxes out at 55,000 bonus miles, which converts into a 27.5% transfer bonus for those transferring exactly 200,000 miles.

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.

Aeroplan-Bonus-2

There are a couple of circumstances under which this could potentially represent a good value:

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 160,000 Starpoints you’d usually get 200,000 Aeroplan miles, and then through this promotion you’d get a 55,000 mile bonus on top of that, for a total of 255,000 miles.

So that’s potentially like earning ~1.59 Aeroplan miles per Starpoint, which is pretty darn good.

Unfortunately in some ways this deal isn’t quite as good as in the past, given that Aeroplan devalued some of their best awards this past December. For example, roundtrip business class between the US and Europe now costs 110,000 miles rather than 90,000 miles. That’s still a pretty good deal, especially when you consider two stopovers are allowed on such an award. But it’s not quite as exceptional.

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 100,000 miles will run you 250,000 Marriott Rewards points.

If you did that, you’d earn a total of 120,000 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. And then last December the program became even less lucrative, though I’d call the recent changes not quite as substantial as past ones.

But when you factor in the good value for converting partner points to Aeroplan, and then the current promotion on top of that, there are definitely circumstances under which it could make sense to take advantage of this promotion.

110,000 miles for roundtrip business class between the US and Europe is still a good deal assuming you can take advantage of the two stopovers (in addition to the destination), which is an extremely generous policy. Just make sure you fly on a carrier for which Aeroplan doesn’t impose fuel surcharges, like Brussels, SAS, 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. No surcharges on SAS either. And from the look of it, maybe one of the better Star Alliance business cabins if you’re on one of their refurbished planes.

  2. Could this also be compelling on a Marriott hotel + miles package? 400,000 Marriott points for 7 nights in a Tier 3 Ritz-Carlton property and 125,000 Aeroplan miles.

  3. We’d rather save our SPG for transferring to LH M&M. FCQ and I are both nearing Senator status! We can’t wait to have better access to LH/LX award space and the 50% companion awards. I see lots of ducks in our future. 🙂

  4. Does your example for transferring Starpoints really check out? I think I remember you should only transfer 79,999 Starpoints at a time because the SPG bonus is capped at 20k at a time or something?.. If that were true you couldn’t get into the 200k batch with aeroplan even if transferring 160k starpoints in total

  5. @ SQflyer — You shouldn’t transfer more than 60,000 Starpoints at once, as you noted. But that’s a daily limit. Just make the transfer over several days.

  6. Hhonors points transfer at a rate of 10000 points to 1000 Aeroplan miles. I have about 250,000 Hhonors points accumulated, meaning I would only get 25,000 Aeroplan miles plus a bonus of 4,000, total 28,000. A coast to coast round trip flight within North America on AC costs about 25K points in economy (plus those beloved “fees”), or about US $500.00 if you book smartly. Or I can redeem 250K points for 5 nights stay in NYC (starting at 50K points per night if you stay at a cheaper Hilton brand like Hampton or Hilton Garden) or pay US $1500.00. The math tells me it’s much better to use my Hhonors points for hotel stays. No Aeroplan conversion for this traveler.

  7. I got shorted 500 miles! I converted 120,000 SPG points, which nets 150,000 Aeroplan and then after bonus was supposed to add 40,000 more for 190,000 total. I log in today, the bonus has posted, but I have 189,500 LOL! (See here for screenshot: https://gyazo.com/2a9599efd3de8435cba404f9129a829a)
    It’s broken down like this:
    STARWOOD PREFERRED GUEST: 75,000
    STARWOOD PREFERRED GUEST: 75,000
    CONVERSION BONUS LEVEL 2: 500
    CONVERSION BONUS LEVEL 3: 1,000
    CONVERSION BONUS LEVEL 4: 2,000
    CONVERSION BONUS LEVEL 5: 6,000
    CONVERSION BONUS LEVEL 6: 15,000
    CONVERSION BONUS LEVEL 7: 15,000

    Maybe it’s that Metric system conversion that threw them off?… But in all seriousness, what the heck?

  8. I have American Express points (Approx. 100,000 points). I know Aeroplan does not offer American Express bonus anymore. My Question is… Can I transfer these American Express point to my Starwood account and then transfer them again to Aeroplan to get this bonus?

  9. Josh – I stand to be corrected on this, but I think your Amex points ca go 1:1 to Aeroplan anyway. So you can get 100,000 miles for a straight up exchange. If you convert the Amex to SPG, the SPG to Aeroplan is 2:1, so you’d only get 50,000. Better to simply transfer to Aeroplan from Amex.

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