Aeroplan is one of my favorite Star Alliance loyalty programs. It’s technically independent from Air Canada, but there are plans to fix that soon. Despite this it remains a competitive option for booking awards on Star Alliance partners, and you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards.
One thing I like a lot about Aeroplan is that you can book awards with a stopover or a circle itinerary. The miles are also pretty easy to use. Contrast that with United Airlines, which recently ditched its award chart. Or Singapore’s KrisFlyer, whose miles have a fixed expiration date. Read more about how to redeem Aeroplan miles in my program guide.
Starting today, Aeroplan is putting its miles on sale with a tremendous discount. The sale begins at 10 AM Eastern, or 7 AM Pacific Time, and runs through May 13. This blog’s audience is primarily U.S. travelers, so as an added bonus when you buy Aeroplan miles you do not need to pay any of the usual taxes.
- The first 10 million Aeroplan miles sold will get a 115% bonus. Once the bonus is factored in that works out to $0.01 USD/mile (or $0.014 CAD/mile + tax).
- The next 100 million Aeroplan miles sold will get a 90% bonus. This works out to $0.011 USD/mile (or $0.016 CAD/mile + tax).
- Finally, any miles sold after 110 million will get a bonus of 65%. This works out to $0.013 USD/mile (or $0.018 CAD/mile + tax).
I normally value Membership Rewards points at $0.014 USD/point and have no problem transferring them to Aeroplan. From that perspective, purchasing Aeroplan miles directly at $0.01 USD/mile is a discount of over 28%. Some awards booked with Aeroplan miles are still subject to fuel surcharges (unlike awards with United MileagePlus) but these can be reasonable and still a good value. I expect the biggest bonus offer to sell out quickly.
Finally, you could earn elite status through your purchase! Aeroplan is giving members credit for 50% of any purchased miles toward their elite status for 2021. That means if you buy 50,000 award miles you could get 25,000 elite qualifying miles — enough for Altitude Prestige 25K status. Members are capped at a one-level promotion, which means if you don’t already have status this is the best you can do, though other members could potentially reach Elite 75K status.
Buying miles always has some risk. Airlines are able to adjust their award charts and redemption rules without much notice, so they can sell you miles at a great price and then quickly devalue them to make that good deal turn sour. This usually doesn’t happen. But it’s a risk worth being aware of.
In today’s climate most people are probably buying miles on speculation without an ability to quickly redeem them. It will be six months or more before you can comfortably plan international travel without worrying about border controls and so forth. I still think Aeroplan’s sale is a good deal. Just be aware that you are placing a bet on the future.