How to Redeem 120,000 Starwood Points for TWO Roundtrip Business Class Tickets to Europe (and Have Points Left Over!)

Air Canada’s Aeroplan, a Star Alliance member, is offering a bonus for transferring in points through August 24.

American Express Membership Rewards is excluded from this bonus. But Starwood points transfers are eligible.

Normally 120,000 Starwood Starpoints will transfer to 150,000 Aeroplan points. That will get you a bonus of 40,000 Aeroplan points and you’ll have a total of 190,000 in your Aeroplan account.

Aeroplan charges 45,000 points each way, 90,000 points roundtrip, per person for business class between the Canada or the Continental US and nearer Europe (“Europe 1”) defined as:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Spain (incl. Balearic Islands; excl. Canary Islands)
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

(Note: first class is 62,500 each way.)

You can even have a stopover (visit a city along the way to or from your destination) on a roundtrip award and an open jaw (either come back from a different city than the one you arrive in, or return to a different city than the one you started in).

Changes to Aeroplan tickets are even less expensive than we’re used to in U.S. programs — a $90 (Canadian) fee per passenger applies for changes, and cancel/redeposit is also $90 Canadian — however you need to cancel at least 3 weeks prior to commencement of travel. If you want to redeposit within 3 weeks of travel you’d need to first change your dates for $90 per person to farther out travel and then cancel for $90 per person. That’s still less than the US$200 per person some carriers charge.

Aeroplan does add fuel surcharges to award tickets on some of airlines. However you can book award tickets on Star Alliance partners without fuel surcharges if you stick to travel on the following airlines:

  • Air China
  • Brussels Airlines
  • EgyptAir
  • EVA Airways
  • Scandinavian
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United

Fuel surcharges are whatever would be charged on a similar, paid itinerary. LOT fuel surcharges are low, so booking an Aeroplan award on LOT Polish isn’t very costly.

Aeroplan doesn’t put awards on hold, and trasnfers are Starwood points are not instantaneous. The conversion bonus will take 7 to 10 days to post. So you can’t lock in an award with available space now, and then make the transfer. You have to make the transfer, wait for all of the points to post, and then book an award.

Aeroplan was once my favorite frequent flyer program (back in 2008). It’s fallen quite far since then, two years ago I called it the most devalued frequent flyer program. Since then other programs have gotten worse too! And there are still sweet spots, like 45,000 mile US-Europe business class awards. With the Starwood bonus, too, you can get real value.

Here are the terms and conditions of the bonus offer:

Bonus offer valid only on conversions made between July 27, 2015 and August 24, 2015 (11:59 EDT). Maximum 40,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles can be earned per Aeroplan Member. Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be issued by Aeroplan as follows: 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be deposited into the member’s account when the total Aeroplan Miles earned by converting points from any combination of eligible partner programs during the promotion is between 5,000 and 9,999 Aeroplan Miles; OR 2,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be deposited into the member’s account when the total Aeroplan Miles earned by converting points from any combination of eligible partner programs during the promotion is between 10,000 and 19,999 Aeroplan Miles; OR 4,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be deposited into the member’s account when the total Aeroplan Miles earned by converting points from any combination of eligible partner programs during the promotion is between 20,000 and 49,999 Aeroplan Miles; OR 10,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be deposited into the member’s account when the total Aeroplan Miles earned by converting points from any combination of eligible partner programs during the promotion is between 50,000 and 99,999 Aeroplan Miles; OR 25,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be deposited into the member’s account when the total Aeroplan Miles earned by converting points from any combination of eligible partner programs during the promotion is between 100,000 and 149,999 Aeroplan Miles; OR 40,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be deposited into the member’s account when the total Aeroplan Miles earned by converting points from any combination of eligible partner programs during the promotion is 150,000 Aeroplan Miles and more. Conversion of Membership Rewards® points from American Express Cardmember accounts into Aeroplan Miles are not eligible for this promotion. Although eligible CIBC Aventura cardholders as of October 1, 2013, can convert their Aventura points to Aeroplan Miles, these conversions are also not eligible for this promotion. BONUS MILE CREDITING: Bonus miles are credited 7 10 days following successful receipt by Aeroplan of a conversion transaction from the partner. Note that some partners may take 2-4 weeks to submit point to mile conversions to Aeroplan.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Brian did you read-transfer is for Starwood SPG. (AMEX SPG card generates SPG points)

    @Gary what is primary reason of these bonus transfers? Just wondering. I cant keep enough SPG points as I spend them like crazy

    Rob

  2. Beware if you are flying on AC metal. Some flight are Rouge and and do not have real business class seats or service. You could be headed to Venice in nothing better than a economy plus seat.

  3. 1) with the new amex rules on personal cards, the typical consumer only has left the SPG Amex Business card to rack up pts from credit cards. (MR transfer ratios are 3:1 so forget that)
    2) did you read the terms before posting

  4. Do any normal people have 120,000 SPG points? They’re so, so hard to get. You get two credit cards and you’ve got 55-70k, but then you’re just earning one point per dollar on spend and 3 points (assuming elite status) at SPG hotels. I don’t know how any normal people (who don’t have a ton of business travel or referral links) could reasonably accrue an additional 50-75k points

  5. Our churn team is sitting on almost 1 million Starpoints, thanks in large part to double dipping in Canada, where their SPG/Amex MR program is more lucrative than in the US. Still probably won’t go for this, though. I love flying the Emirates Shower Plane too much…

  6. Why (and not just this blog) does it seem that everyone writes about how to get and use points for first class and business class and rooms with showers on the plane, etc.? Or about staying in all these luxury hotels, etc when all a person really needs is a bed, potty and shower and wifi?

    I don’t mind sitting in economy and all and it seems to me that you can get a lot more travel for your points that way.

    I’d love to see some columns or posts about bargain travel on the super cheap or free for us that are not luxury needing persons.

  7. How do you transfer 120K SPG Points? I am SPG Platinum, the max transfer is 79,999.
    Do you do it in 2 transfers?

  8. @Robert Wenig YOU NEVER TRANSFER MORE THAN 60K IN ONE DAY. Because as I’ve written before you want to maximize transfer bonuses. 60k Starpoints -> 75k Airline miles normally. If you did 80k that would imply 100k, but that will exceeds Starwood max per day.

    So you do 60k one day and 60k the next

  9. Gary,

    I know spg transfers can take 7-10 days. Do the points have to hit your Aeroplan account by August 24th? Or is that he last transfer initiation date?

  10. Thanks! I had some miles orphaned from the Aeroplan glitch where awards were pricing ultra-low last fall.

  11. Thanks Gary. I’ve been looking for a Star Alliance member I can use to redeem for partner awards on Turkish ever since US Airways left the fold. Perhaps Aeroplan could fit the bill.

  12. Like Carl P, I’d prefer to get a higher quantity of tix for my points, rather than 1 luxury ticket. I went to Aeroplan’s website to see how many economy seats I could get for 150,000 points, but they won’t let you view ticket costs (in miles) unless you’re already an Aeroplan member.

  13. @paul
    I completely agree. Talking about over 100k points to me is so much time growing that I would GENERALLY rather have more new places and fly economy (admittedly brutal). Especially since I don’t travel for work.
    I am learning a great deal here but nothing to gain over 100k, especially related to Amex. I got a Marriott rewards because it is in my chace circle but I find I use the hotel points a great deal.

  14. So if I have 60K starpoints I want to transfer, to maximize my bonus, it’s best to do this on 3 separate days, 20K at a time? Will they allow me to split it up like this?

    Because if I do 60K all at one time, I will only get 10K mile bonus (as opposed to 12k).

  15. @miz – 60k Starpoints -> 75k airline miles with most programs, plus in the case of Aeroplan the bonus miles from this offer. No need to split transfers.

  16. What is Aeroplan’s lowest cost (in miles) for Economy Coach seating? And, how readily available are those?

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