Book 2 Roundtrip Business Class Awards to Europe for Just 145,000 Points and Avoid Fuel Surcharges

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Air Canada’s Aeroplan, a Star Alliance member, is offering a bonus for transferring in points of up to 55,000 miles through April 18.

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

Here’s the bonus earning chart:

Normally 40,000 Starwood Starpoints will transfer to 50,000 Aeroplan points. That will get you a bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points and you’ll have a total of 60,000 in your Aeroplan account (40,000 -> 60,000Z).

Normally 80,000 Starwood Starpoints will transfer to 100,000 Aeroplan points. That will get you a bonus of 25,000 Aeroplan points and you’ll have a total of 125,000 in your Aeroplan account (80,000 -> 125,000).

Normally 160,000 Starwood Starpoints will transfer to 200,000 Aeroplan points. That will get you a bonus of 55,000 Aeroplan points and you’ll have a total of 255,000 in your Aeroplan account (160,000 -> 255,000).

Aeroplan charges 55,000 points each way, 110,000 points roundtrip, per person for business class between the Continental US and nearer Europe (“Europe 1”) defined as:

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

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
  • Air New Zealand
  • 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.

Here are the terms and conditions of the bonus offer:

Miles received from the conversion of other loyalty program points to Aeroplan Miles are not eligible for status in the Aeroplan program.

Bonus offer valid only on conversions made between March 14, 2016 and April 18, 2016 (11:59 EDT). Maximum 55,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles can be earned per Aeroplan Member. Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be issued by Aeroplan as follows: 500 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 2,500 and 4,999 Aeroplan Miles; 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 between 150,000 and 199,999 Aeroplan Miles; OR 55,000 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 200,000 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.

(HT: Frequent Flyer Bonuses)

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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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. 3 comments.
    1. Where does the 90k come from. Chart says 55/110.
    2. Typo in 3rd paragraph. 225,000 s/b 255,000
    3. How do you get to 145,000 for 2 seats with the bonus?

    Thanks.

  2. For folks with infants, they charge extremely low lapchild fares on award tickets. We utilized that for our Europe vacation this past holiday season.

  3. Yes, but how good is TATL availability on the surcharge free airlines. I have a sense that United and Swiss are pretty hard to find availability on. Others (New Zealand, Air China, Egypt Air) likely have little to no European service.

  4. Probably too late to apply now as promotion is over in 34 days – or do points post instantly after the minimum spend?

  5. @Ben, what minimum spend? Just transfer the points and you get the bonus based on the total number you transfer between now and April 18. Transfers from SPG for example shouldn’t take more than a week to post.

    I’ve been thinking about opening an Aeroplan account for a while. For those who don’t live in Canada, what do you do to keep your points from expiring under the 12-month mileage expiry policy? I guess you can always transfer in a couple thousand Starpoints or similar every year.

  6. How do you find flights using those partner airlines? Do you just do a search through the aeroplan site and look at every possible option? It’s pretty rare that the flight doesn’t end up being Air Canada. Is there a better way?

  7. @Anthony – when you refer to the good lap child price, are you flying air Canada’s own planes or one of the partner’s? I was assuming the lap child cost would be imposed by the actual carrier.

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