Air Canada’s Aeroplan, a Star Alliance member, is offering a 30% bonus transferring in points from hotel programs through December 11.
- This is one of the most lucrative regular points conversion bonuses
- 30% is the usual semi-regular offer, but over the summer they offered 35%
- Most of the time they have tiers of bonuses up to some maximum (30%). This one is a straight 30%
- But this time there’s one change — Marriott Travel Packages are no longer eligible for the conversion bonus (neither are Starwood Nights + Flights packages).
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 60,000 Aeroplan points and you’ll have a total of 260,000 in your Aeroplan account. That’s an effective transfer ratio of 1.625 Aeroplan points per Starwood point.
Let me show you the math on 133,000 points for 2 business class tickets.
- 140,000 Starwood points normally transfer to 175,000 Aeroplan points (since each block of 20,000 Starpoints moved to Aeroplan receives a 5000 mile bonus).
- Transferring to 175,000 Aeroplan points generates a 30% bonus of 52,500 giving you a total of 227,500 Aeropolan points.
- Two roundtrip business class awards between the US and nearer Europe costs 220,000 Aeroplan points.
So you don’t need to transfer the full 140,000 from Starwood but because of the 5000 bonus for hitting 140,000 you’d only save a couple thousand Starpoints if you don’t.
- The minimum transfer of Starpoints for these 2 business class roundtrips would be 139,231. That normally yields 169,231 miles. This promotion delivers another 50,769 bonus miles for a total of 220,000 miles.
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.
However you do need activity in your account every 12 months to keep miles from expiring and it’s expected that Aeroplan and Air Canada will sever ties in 2020 so I don’t view this program as good for a long term store of value (sad for my own half million Aeroplan miles balance).
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 November 6 and December 11, 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 30% 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 December 11, 2017.
*The total amount of miles received from the conversion of hotel loyalty program points into Aeroplan miles must be greater than or equal to 5,000 Aeroplan Miles in order to be eligible to receive the 30% bonus.
While the conversion of Membership Rewards® points from American Express Card members accounts into Aeroplan Miles is still possible, it is not eligible for this bonus miles promotion.
Although eligible CIBC Aventura cardholders as of October 1, 2013, can convert their Aventura points into Aeroplan Miles, these conversions are not eligible for this bonus miles promotion.
Bonus Aeroplan Miles received from the exchange of hotel loyalty program points into Aeroplan Miles are not eligible for status in the Aeroplan program.
This offer is not applicable to Hotel+Air package redemptions offered by Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest.