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 of up to 40,000 miles through December 21.

American Express Membership Rewards is excluded from this bonus. But Starwood points transfers (and most others) 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.

Until December 15 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.)

Note that come December 15:

  • Poland moves from Europe 1 to Europe 2 (so more miles). Luxembourg moves from Europe 2 to Europe 1 (fewer miles).
  • Business class goes to 55,000 miles each way and first class to 70,000 each way.

With Aeroplan 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 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 and even 55,000 mile 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 November 16, 2015 and December 21, 2015 (11:59 EST). 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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Comments

  1. I’m using this transfer opportunity to finally book tickets to those far north territories. YOW to YFB (Iqaluit) is only 15K round trip on Canadian north (5T); it’s been on my bucket list for a while I just have to find availability and call in. 20K starpoints will almost get me and a guest there.

  2. Worth the reminder that a SPG transfer should be done in 20k increments to get the 5k bonuses needed for the example to work, 6 20k transfers net 6 5k SPG bonuses, plus the Air Canada ones on top.

    We are looking at a Canadian Christmas so I need to finally learn about Aeroplan. Their US-Canada short-haul awards are attractive, I need to dig in to the stopover and open-jaw rules for those.

  3. @rapidtravelchai Am I incorrect that you do not need to separate the transactions into 20k increments? I was under the impression that for every 20k, 5k would be added on…

    “Starwood Preferred Guests can transfer up to 79,999 of their Starpoints® per transaction per program within a 24-hour period to the frequent flyer programs listed below.1 Plus, for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred within the same transaction, Starwood will automatically add another 5,000 Starpoints! This means that up to 94,999 Starpoints can be transferred into your frequent flyer account, with most airline partners, making a free flight that much closer.2 Please keep in mind that only one airline transfer transaction per member, per airline program, is permitted within a 24-hour period. Additionally the name must be the same on both accounts.”

  4. Starpoints are so tough to earn that one might be better off booking most flights with hard cash and using starpoints (especially the large numbers that we are talking about here) to book “aspirational” hotel awards at SPG properties…

  5. It is impossible to transfer SPG points to Aeroplan in order to get 150K Aeroplan miles in one transfer to get the 40K bonus Aeroplan miles!

    The most SPG points that can be transferred in a single 24 hr period is 79,999 points. The most SPG points that can be transferred and still receive the 25% transfer bonus from SPG is 60,000 points (which will get you 75,000 Aeroplan miles).

    The question then is will Aeroplan give you the 40,000 miles bonus if you make TWO SPG transfers over 2 days of 60,000 SPG points apiece (75,000 Aeroplan miles after the SPG bonus x 2 transfers = 150,000 Aeroplan miles from SPG over 2 transfers)? Does anyone have information to confirm that Aeroplan will consider that eligible for the Aeroplan 40,000 mile bonus as per this offer?

  6. @BILL It states that it will award points based on all cumulative transfers within the promotional period, so therefore you could transfer enough for 150,000 points from many partners and receive the 40,000 per the t&c’s.

  7. @Gib GodSaveThePoints – I was wrong, for some reason I thought it was in 20k blocks, maybe it used to be, it’s been a long time since I’ve done it, what @Bill says is correct, I think, 60k per day. I have been busy not finding availability for Air Canada flights around Christmas.

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