Turn 180,000 Points into 2 Business Class Tickets to Almost Anywhere and 14 Hotel Nights

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.

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. I’m about to book a Marriott package primarily to get the 7-night hotel stay. I have no immediate use for the miles so I was going to snag 120K Alaska miles speculatively.

    Now this raises a question: with no specific uses in mind, should I go for 120K Alaska miles, or 162K Aeroplan miles?

    The uncertainty around Aeroplan and Air Canada makes me hesitate about accumulating them speculatively… then again I’m much more likely to end up booking on a *A partner than Air Canada, so maybe that doesn’t matter.

    What does the group mind think?

  2. Starting from the point where I have the 270,000 Marriott points, would you please do a “step-by-step” showing how to get from this point to the end result of having the 7 Marriott nights and also the AC part of the Marriott package increased by 35%.

  3. @Ben,

    I’m in the same boat as you. I am planning to redeem 100K SPG points for a Category 6 Hotel cert plus 120K Alaska for a trip next spring to Europe. I don’t have an Aeroplan account, but will create one if this proved to be a better transfer opportunity than Alaska.

  4. I don’t understand how you’d get the 35% bonus if it’s Marriott issuing the reward miles and not Aeroplan. Can you please explain?

  5. I have never spent 7 nights in one hotel. That is too much. I wonder how people have this much time in one city. I guess it requires a lot of free time and patience

  6. @caveman – I typically would agree with you, but for some kinds of trips it makes sense.

    For instance, right now I’m planning a baby-moon, so want a nice chunk of time in a single resort to relax. Most vacations I would love to run around multiple cities, but that just doesn’t fit right now.

    Only offering 7-day packages is a kind of perverse “value-minimizer” — if there were more options I’m sure this would be incredibly popular.

  7. Have you ever tried to get two Aeroplan award seats in business class to Australia or New Zealand for the basic redemption level? They’re next to impossible even 360 days out! And since Air Canada announced its ending its Aeroplan alliance getting premium awards anywhere at the basic mileage rate is next to impossible. So caveat emptor. Read the AC forum threads on Flyertalk to see how even top tier elites can’t get premium class seats!

  8. Once you have the 220,000 Aeroplan points, where do you connect that with the Marriott 7 night hotel package?

  9. Some people are getting confused by the hotel part, so I’ll try my best to explain:

    Marriott offers a promo whereby instead of just transferring points to your choice of airline, they allow you to redeem Marriott points for a “flight and hotel” package. The package is for 7 nights at any category of hotel PLUS they transfer a pre-determined amount of miles to your airline of choice. From your perspective you have 7 nights at the Marriott and 120,000 miles transferred to Aeroplan. From Aeroplan’s perspective, Marriott has just transferred 120,000 miles to your account, so they will add the 35% bonus on that 120,000 miles making it 162,000 aeroplan miles

  10. Great Article.
    Quick question… I don’t have quite this many miles on my starwood or marriott accounts but i do have around 30k in each. Would you say its better to consolidate them into Startwood and then transfer or Marriott and then transfer?

    Aeroplan is typically my rewards program of choice so I want to move the points, just want to be sure I do it in a way that will maximize my gain.


  11. A couple different scenarios here, hoping for some advice -To transfer to Aeroplan or not to … Background – Currently have a 7 night Marriott Cat 5 cert from getting the Southwest Companion pass – Reserved 4 nights at the Marriot in Vail, in Jan – was going to use it for that, but then booked 4 nights at Hyatt Beavercreek on points – So haven’t decided if its worth using the Marriot cert or keeping it for future – So not sure if i want to transfer Starwood to Marriot for another cert (if I use the hyatt points, I would use the Marrioy cert for a week in Costa Rica) – If I got another cert, I could
    save the hyatt points, and use the certs for Vail and Costa Rica – Thoughts?

    Looking at booking a trip to Moscow and St Petersburg next August – Was thinking of using Korean Air miles via Ultimate rewards for 2 tix on Aeroflot – Business class seems to usually be wide open – Surcharge would be $400 a ticket – I will need a stopover and Open Jaw – Korean air allows this – I believe Aeroplan does as well – Korean air classifies Russia as Europe so only requires 80K RT for business – Not sure about Aeroplan


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