Air Canada’s Aeroplan, a Star Alliance member, is offering a 35% bonus transferring in points from hotel programs through August 21.
At best these semi-regular offers usually top off at 30%. They usually have tiers of bonuses. This one is a straight 35% with no minimum to earn that.
American Express Membership Rewards is excluded from this bonus (it isn’t a hotel program). But Starwood points transfers (and other hotel programs) are eligible.
The bonus is on the cumulative miles transferred across all hotel programs during the promotion period. You can transfer from several hotel programs or move points in several transfers. No registration is required.
Normally 160,000 Starwood Starpoints will transfer to 200,000 Aeroplan points. That will get you a bonus of 70,000 Aeroplan points and you’ll have a total of 270,000 in your Aeroplan account. That’s an effective transfer ratio of 1.6875 Aeroplan points per Starwood point.
Let me show you the math on 133,000 points for 2 business class tickets.
- 133,000 Starwood points normally transfer to 163,000 Aeroplan points (since each block of 20,000 Starpoints moved to Aeroplan receives a 5000 mile bonus).
- Transferring to 163,000 Aeroplan points generates a 35% bonus of 57,050 giving you a total of 220,050 Aeropolan points.
- Two roundtrip business class awards between the US and nearer Europe costs 220,000 Aeroplan points.
Marriott’s travel packages are an even stronger play with this promotion.
- Transfer 90,000 Starwood to 270,000 Marriott Rewards (or just start with Marriott Rewards). That transfers to 120,000 Aeroplan miles. Add the 35% bonus and you’ve got 162,000 Aeroplan miles plus a 7 night hotel stay in a property up to category 5.
- In fact, do this twice. 180,000 Starpoints is 540,000 Marriott Rewards. That transfers to 240,000 Aeroplan miles. And you wind up with 324,000 Aeroplan miles and two 7-night hotel stays.
You’ll have enough Aeroplan miles for 2 roundtrip business class tickets to Australia or New Zealand (or more than enough for nearly every other destination) and you’ll have up to 14 hotel nights as well.
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).
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 specific airlines like Air China, Air New Zealand, Brussels Airlines, EgyptAir, EVA Airways, Scandinavian, Singapore, Swiss, Turkish or 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 transfers are Starwood points are not instantaneous. 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.
I find though that I use Aeroplan quite frequently (at least as a Membership Rewards transfer partner) for 55,000 mile business class one-way awards between the US and Europe.
Here are the terms and conditions of the bonus offer:
Bonus offer valid only on conversions received from eligible hotel partner loyalty programs points into Aeroplan Miles made between July 17 and August 21, 2017 (11:59 EDT). Bonus Aeroplan Miles will be issued by Aeroplan as follows: once the total Aeroplan Miles are earned by exchanging points from any combination of eligible partner programs during the promotion, the bonus miles deposited will represent 35% of the total miles earned from the exchange, BONUS MILE CREDITING: Bonus Aeroplan Miles may take up to 4‑6 weeks to be credited after the promotional offer end date of August 21, 2017.