Through August 15, 2016, Air Canada’s Aeroplan frequent flyer program is offering up to 55,000 bonus miles when converting hotel points to Aeroplan. They seem to run this promotion up to a few times per year — most recently they offered the promo in April, prior to that last December, and then before that last August.
The bonus is tiered, with the following thresholds:
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, which are as follows:
Transfers from other partners, including Amex Membership Rewards, don’t qualify for this promotion.
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 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.
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 receive a total of 120,000 Aeroplan miles, plus seven nights at Category 1-5 properties.
Aeroplan certainly isn’t as rewarding of a points 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.
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?