Buy Aeroplan Miles (Indirectly) For Just 1.46 Cents Each

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As I first wrote about at the beginning of February, through March 16, 2018, Starwood is offering a 35% discount on purchased Starpoints when you buy at least 5,000 points in one transaction.

Starwood ordinarily charges 3.5 cents per purchased Starpoint. If you max out this promotion you can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints (which is the maximum number of points you can buy per calendar year) at a cost of $682.50, which is a rate of 2.275 cents per Starpoint.

In addition to this potentially being a great deal for acquiring hotel points for stays with Starwood and Marriott, this can also be a great deal for acquiring airline miles.

Starwood Preferred Guest is transfer partners with the following 35 airline programs, and most of them allow 1:1 transfers:

Aegean Airlines Miles+BonusAmerican Airlines AAdvantageHainan Airlines Fortune Wings ClubQatar Airways Privileges Club
AeroMexico Club PremierAsiana Airlines Asiana ClubHawaiian Airlines HawaiianMilesSaudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan
Air Canada AeroplanBritish Airways Executive ClubIberia PlusSingapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Air China CompanionCathay Pacific Asia MilesJapan Airlines (JAL) Mileage BankThai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
Air France/KLM FlyingBlueChina Eastern Airlines Eastern ClubJet Airwaystopbonus loyalty
Air New Zealand Air PointsDelta Air Lines SkyMilesKorean Air SkypassUnited Mileage Plus
Alaska Airlines Mileage PlanEmirates SkywardsLATAM Airlines LATAMPASS KmsVirgin Atlantic Flying Club
Alitalia MilleMigliaEtihad Airways GuestLifeMiles of AviancaVirgin Australia Velocity
ANA Mileage ClubGol SmilesLufthansa Miles & More

As mentioned, Starpoints convert into airline miles at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. So whenever possible you’ll want to convert Starpoints into airline miles in increments of 20,000 points. So if you’re acquiring Starpoints at 2.275 cents each and convert them at a ratio of 1:1.25, then you’re really paying just 1.82 cents per airline mile.

If your goal is to acquire airline miles it could make sense to buy 30,000 Starpoints if you currently have 10,000 Starpoints, for example. But if you don’t currently have any Starpoints, the sweet spot is buying exactly 20,000 Starpoints, as that allows you to acquire 25,000 airline miles for $455.

At the moment you can even do significantly better than paying 1.82 cents per airline mile. A couple of days ago I wrote about how Air Canada’s spun off Aeroplan program is offering a 25% bonus when you convert hotel points into Aeroplan miles.

If you are in the market for some Aeroplan miles, you could stack these two deals:

  • You could buy 20,000 Starpoints for $455
  • That would turn into 25,000 Aeroplan miles
  • Then you’ll receive a further 6,250 miles due to the 25% bonus
  • In the end you’re getting 31,250 Aeroplan miles for $455, which is a cost of 1.456 cents per mile.

Also note that if you use the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express to purchase Starpoints, you’ll earn two Starpoints for every dollar you spend purchasing points. I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each, so to me that’s a further ~4.4% return, and that would reduce the cost per acquired Aeroplan mile from 1.46 cents to 1.42 cents.

This isn’t necessarily a deal everyone should take advantage of, but that’s an attractive price for purchasing Starpoints and converting them into Aeroplan miles, especially if you’re looking to top off an account for a redemption.

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Comments

  1. @ Ethan — Generally correct, though the SPG Amex specifically offers double Starpoints on points.com transactions for SPG points.

  2. Potentially aiming for a Europe 2 RT J redemption for 2019 (so too soon to book). Currently have 63k starpoints and want to transfer a combo of MR and starpoints. Waiting to see if Amex gold offers an increased sign up within next few months.

    Does it make sense to speculatively buy 20k starpoints and transfer it with 20k points I currently have to Aeroplan now to take advantage of bonus and chance a devaluation, while waiting on a targeted or increased Amex gold sign up bonus? Feel like that may be a bit of a dangerous game.

  3. Why would people still want to accumulate aeroplan points? They are a company of scam and will vanished in two years after Air Canada dumped them. Try finding tickets to Europe, Asia and South America and you will be lucky if you are able to pay fixed mileage or finding availability with airlines that charge low scam surcharges. Most of the time the only availability for Europe are Air Canada, Lufthansa, Vienna etc, for South America good luck for finding Avianca or Copa that charge you a lot less scam surcharges even though 10 months out, for Asia they will ensure you are routed everywhere so they can add up the charges in one redemption.

  4. If you paid SPG with Chase Sapphire Reserve card, would that be treated as a travel expense and qualify for 3 points/dollar?

  5. @Jose- They’re no worse than anyone else. I just booked a one-way for two in J on EVA Air yesterday through Aeroplan. KUL-TPE-SEA. For May.

    77.5k +~$35 in fees/pax. Many of those points I moved from MR last year when they had a similar bonus. Incredible value for nearly $6k of paid airfare.

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