Aeroplan Selling Miles With A 75% Bonus

Filed Under: Air Canada, Great Deals

I’m so impressed by everything that Air Canada Aeroplan has been doing to engage members in the coronavirus era, ranging from extending elite status and even giving people the option to gift status to others, to providing innovative ways to earn status from home, to offering 50% off award redemptions.

In May, Aeroplan got into the business of selling miles directly to consumers, as so many loyalty programs do. This week Aeroplan launched its second ever promotion on purchased miles, and this has now been extended by a couple of days. I love how creative Aeroplan got with this promo.

Aeroplan selling miles with a 75% bonus

Through Tuesday, July 14, 2020, Air Canada Aeroplan is offering up to a 75% bonus on purchased miles (the bonus was initially supposed to expire on Sunday). The bonus on purchased miles is tiered, as follows:

  • Buy 2,000-50,000 miles, receive 25% bonus miles
  • Buy 60,000-170,000 miles, receive 40% bonus miles
  • Buy 180,000-240,000 miles, receive 60% bonus miles
  • Buy 250,000+ miles, receive 75% bonus miles

Ordinarily the restrictions on buying Aeroplan miles are as follows:

  • Miles can be purchased for $0.03 CAD each before any bonuses
  • Transactions made with US based credit cards with a US billing address are not subject to sales tax
  • You can buy up to 350,000 miles per transaction (pre-bonus)
  • There’s a limit of purchasing 500,000 miles per year (pre-bonus); however, during this promotion that limit has been doubled to a million miles

If you purchased 350,000 Aeroplan miles in one transaction you’d receive a total of 612,500 Aeroplan miles for $10,500 CAD (~$7,740 USD), which is a cost of $0.0126 USD per mile.

That’s quite a solid deal, and personally is a lower cost than what I value Aeroplan miles at.

Aeroplan is now selling miles

I’m a big fan of redeeming Aeroplan miles for travel on Star Alliance partners, as it’s a program I use all the time. Aeroplan has a solid website, reasonable fees, excellent redemption rates, and doesn’t impose surcharges on many partner awards.

I love redeeming Aeroplan miles on Turkish Airlines

For context, here’s Aeroplan’s award chart for travel originating in the US and Canada:

Do note that the new Aeroplan program will be launching later in 2020. We should expect some changes to the program, but personally I remain optimistic.

Buying miles counts towards elite status

I love how creative Aeroplan is getting, because there’s another feature to this promotion. Like many airlines, Air Canada has a revenue requirement for earning elite status.

During this promotion, you’ll earn Altitude Qualifying Dollars (AQDs) for the cost of your mileage purchase, up to a maximum of $5,000 AQDs. This can help you earn status with Air Canada.

Furthermore, if you decide to gift miles to another Aeroplan member, the recipient will receive the bonus miles, and you’ll receive the AQDs as the donor.

For context, here are the usual AQD requirements for achieving all of Air Canada’s five status levels, which range from $3,000 to $20,000 AQDs.

Which credit card should you buy Aeroplan miles with?

Air Canada mileage purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as an airfare purchase for the purposes of credit card spending.

Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach a minimum spending, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending. See this post for more on the best credit cards for buying points.

Bottom line

Air Canada Aeroplan continues to offer innovative promotions, which I’m happy to see. This is Aeroplan’s second promotion on purchased miles, and you can buy them for as little as $0.0126 USD cents each.

While many might not be looking to buy miles speculatively right now, this is potentially an excellent value. It’s even more valuable if you’re going for Air Canada Altitude status, since that spending counts towards the revenue requirement.

While I probably won’t be buying miles this time around, it’s something I’d consider with the right use in mind.

Do also keep in mind, though, that Air Canada Aeroplan is transfer partners with both Amex Membership Rewards and Capital One, so there are other ways to earn these miles as well.

Do you plan on buying Aeroplan miles with this promotion?

Comments
  1. @ Ben,

    Honestly, Nobody should be buying points right now unless they have an imminent use. I was quite alarmed at Life Mile’s last promo were they had some verbiage about participants of this promo are guaranteed not to suffer from any award chart changes within the next year. But everyone else will be ? What do you make of that ?

    All the sweet spot redemption are international J/F- American’s basically can’t go anywhere at the moment and it will be like this until a vaccine.

    So we are basically limited to domestic travel (Star alliance wise) on United. I’ve been struggling to find saver availability in J or F on United. I found one LAX-EWR in business on July 4th which I jumped on instead of buying a ticket on DL.

  2. I guess those “refunds” with the 65% mileage bonus aren’t so great after all, Air Canada? I wouldn’t trust these people as far as I could see them.

  3. In the interest of honesty and full disclosure, the fact that the award chart in this post is not likely to last to the end of the year should probably be mentioned. Air Canada is planning to introduce major changes to their domestic and international award redemption programs in the fourth quarter this year. While Air Canada has *said* that there will still be an award chart for international flights we don’t know what this will look like yet. And to be honest, the “generosity” of their recent promotions has me worried.

    Anyone buying Aeroplan miles right now needs to consider whether they would still consider this a good deal in a few months if the miles are devalued 20%. Or 30%. Or worse.

  4. Agreed with @ Gene. I thought i bought 110% on their last sale but because to their website error. I end up only get 65%. They wouldn’t allow to refund my money. Fool me once.

  5. Ok, since no one else will, I’ll just say it: $10,500 CAD! In this economy‽ No, ma’am, not today, satan.

  6. The good news is the credit card slinging days are coming to an end. The WSJ reported consumer credit card spend is at the lowest utilization levels since 2008. The types of consumers that are approved for these cards are financial astute and have cut back spending.

    Thus, you’ll start to see the big three (Amex, Chase, Citi) start to roll back incentives to acquire new customers. I actually got a call from someone at Amex to ask why my spending was cut to $0.00 on a certain card I have.

    So now the bloggers will push us to invest in points at a time where you basically can’t (and shouldn’t) travel. I get it though, this blog is a business. Not a hobby.

  7. @John G – Since Ben doesn’t get anything from you buying Aeroplan miles, go to cashbacmonitor and get some savings through a shopping portal.

  8. @ Ben,

    It appears that you do and if that’s the case for the sake of maintaining “public confidence” in your reader base- you should make that very clear in the opening paragraph.

    Journalism 101

  9. @John G

    His link to Aeroplan is a generic link, how would he make money off us buying Aeroplan miles if there is no tracking?

    Don’t be a crazy conspiracy theorist.

  10. @Lucky

    Fair, you don’t get anything from Aeroplan. But surely you don’t think we’re naive enough to think you’d write a post that netted you zilch, hence the links to credit card offers you stuff in every piece, which you DO get commissions.

  11. @ John G — I disclose every time I am paid for something (at the top of the post). You want me to disclose every time I’m not paid for something? Should I also start each post with “this is not a sponsored post?” I’d rather disclose if I am being paid for something, rather than disclosing when I’m not paid for something, because that just seems exhausting for everyone.

  12. Ben and Tiffany have been and continue to be a valuable travel news and award outlet for many people with this hobby.

    See absolutely nothing wrong about mentioning Aeroplan miles sale – in fact, bought last time and put them to good use for travel next year.

    This time, got only 60% bonus offer starting at 350,000 miles, so will skip purchasing this time.

    I bet quite a few of us inadvertently buy points/miles at a higher cost than 1.26 cents per mile by not always optimizing our spend. I am always amazed how many folks criticize people acquiring Alaska miles at a cost lower than 2 cents and then turning around and using Alaska Mileage credit cards for non-bonus category spend…

    Take care.

  13. @ Nate Van Der Woodsen — I could have easily put 32 credit card links in this post about the best cards for buying miles, but I didn’t. Instead I linked to posts about which credit cards to use for buying points, just as I try to link to any resource posts that provide more information for anyone who is interested.

    There’s no need for me to assume anyone is “naive” here. I’ve been blogging for nearly 15 years. My goal with the blog is to make this the first place you stop for news on loyalty programs, credit cards, etc. In order to do that, I need to be a good resource for all aspects of this industry, whether I get paid for promoting something or not. It’s about building trust with readers.

    This blog is also a labor of love. I write about all kinds of topics that aren’t worth my time financially, but which I either find interesting or think are worth covering. Heck, at this point the business is probably “losing” money. But you still see me here all day writing about the industry, because it’s one I’m passionate about.

    Not everyone will come here and appreciate that, and that’s totally fine. But many do.

  14. @ David,

    I don’t have time to look at URL’s for affiliate links. it just APPEARS that he’s getting something out of this. The average person is going to look at this and say “wait a minute, are you crazy” and you’ll lose credibility with your readers. Readership starts to go down, advertising value goes down.

    I like Ben, his writing skills aren’t the best but to be fair- he never studied to be a writer. But I find this site to be a quick way for me to see what’s going on in the industry without having to deal with flyer talk and the others reading through hundreds of post (70% of them are BS).

    @ Ben,

    I’m pretty sure you’ve commented in the Life Miles articles that you get nothing out of it- only we do for using your link (extra 5%). Appearance is everything.

    Everyone reading this should realize a devaluation will come across the board. It’s Economics 101- the more currency you print, the less it’s worth.

    In the “last chance” to buy miles from Life Miles email they hinted it it with this verbiage:

    “Even though we do not intent to change our award rates, for the members who purchase this promotion we will honor these award tables until at least January 2021.”

    Just a friendly reminder January 2021 is like 6 months away. We ain’t going anywhere for at least another year at this point.

  15. @Ben

    You will never appease all the critics. Seems everyone has extra time on their hands with COVID; some create useful content like these posts (I would’ve missed many miles sales if it were not for your helpful posts), and some spend all their time trolling in the comments.

  16. @ John G — I mention that specifically on LifeMiles posts because they offer a special promotion to my readers. I completely understand that would make it appear like I might get something out of it, which is why I get out ahead of that. I constantly write about deals, whether it’s on flights, hotels, points, or whatever, and more often than not I’m not getting anything out of it. That’s why I disclose when I do.

  17. @Ben,

    Fair point. It was just advice- take it or leave it. It’s all love brother.

    Thank you for letting me speak my mind and engaging back with me.

  18. @John G

    It takes literally 1 second to check the URL, and doesn’t even require navigating away from what you’re reading. I would think that’s the least someone could do before accusing others…

  19. @Ben

    You’re way more transparent than most sites. You’re never going to please everyone. If I can get the same sign on bonus with your link, I always use it. Also, with regards to life miles, this was the only place to get an even bigger bonus. I’m not currently buying life miles, but I definitely bought aeroplan miles when they were 1 cent each. Then I used those miles for etihad apartments.

  20. @John G

    @Ben please allow me. @John G shut up. Just…..shut up. “It APPEARS” he gets something out of it? Your laziness gives a bad name to curmudgeons everywhere. Let me guess, you shake your fist at kids after they walk past your yard because “they could have” gone on it. Why didn’t you see them on your yard? Because you’re too busy being a lazy curmudgeon here. @Ben provides information. You, sir, don’t even provide comedic relief.

  21. @Ben PS – since you’re still snake bit on flying Hainan’s 787 with the reverse herringbone seats, I’d be happy to give you my thoughts as I flew both that and their original configuration 8 months apart in 2017/18. I even enjoyed their new (at the time) PEK lounge and put back bottles of Hennessy cognac with one of the producers and original boat captains from Deadliest Catch for nine hours. Now THAT was an experience (I have a great photo of the two of us standing, as he put it, “in the pose everyone does with me” – that being looking gruff with arms folded – and him larger than a tank compared to me, and me wearing a shirt that says “surely not EVERYBODY was kung fu fighting”). Hit me up [email protected]

  22. @The Reverend,

    First and foremost, be respectful. No need to tell people to shut up on the comment fields of a blog. It’s just childish.

    Secondly, It’s constructive criticism and just because there isn’t a referral link, doesn’t mean it can’t be a sponsored post. Look at Instagram- many “influencers” are paid to make post (and don’t disclose it) and there’s no referral link.

    And back on to the core topic of my original post- which none of you have even addressed.. Do you really think it’s wise to buy miles now ? Unless you have a trip with availability and are ready to pull the trigger- hedging miles is a bad bet right now.

    More babies on this site than Flyer Talk.

  23. @ John G — “just because there isn’t a referral link, doesn’t mean it can’t be a sponsored post.”

    Actually, it does. As Ben mentioned, we disclose whenever there is a potential for compensation on every post. We’ve also addressed influencers/sponsored posts in our ethics policy, and in our advertising policy (which is linked multiple times on every page regardless of monetization).

    Disclosure is important to us, so if there’s something specific you think we could be doing to make things more clear we’re certainly open to considering it!

  24. @ Tiffany,

    My comment wasn’t talking about this site specifically- it was a general statement in response to another person’s feedback.

    The point that I was trying to make was very simple, I’m a fan of this site. I find it more useful than having to deal with Flyer Talk (which does have useful information but it’s buried in long threads of egotistical post and members attacking one another), I headline scan and more often than not, I do find a wealth of information.

    But when I see a post talking about what a great deal it is to invest in miles during a time in which there basically is no international travel and airlines are doing everything they can to raise quick cash, It would give any educated reader pause on the motives of the author, especially if the author is a self-proclaimed “miles expert”.

    The post is an advertisement, while you may not be compensated for it, you are recommending purchasing a product to consumers. By definition, that’s an advertisement- it’s not a “review” and it’s not really “news”.

    So I made a comment and while I understand the fine print of your site explains all of this- the average person isn’t going to look through fine print to determine the motive or credibility of the author. Ben corrected me and said he isn’t compensated- and I simply said well maybe that should be disclosed so there is no confusion.

    That is all. Everyone knows know is not the best time to buy miles. I would just hate to see some idiot spend money they don’t have thinking they can live like Ben and get stuck with a worthless currency. Especially during these hard economic times.

  25. Hi All
    I’m in OZ so generally can’t take advantage but read the blog with interest.
    I am still surprised, but shouldn’t be, at the number of people who take any opportunity to nit pick – what do people want for nothing?
    Surely they are astute enough to pick out what they want and ignore the rest.
    If the blog wasn’t there, they would have to do their own research.

  26. I see back and forth comments regarding whether this make sense to buy miles or not
    Kudos to Ben continue blogging throughout this 15 years and providing valuable service to travellers and point hobbyists
    My take on this promotion is not to tell you what to promote or dictate what you should write,
    This promotion may not be suitable to many in this current situation, but that does not hide the fact that this promotion exist,
    Ben is informing us about the promotion, not advising us to buy, 2 different things

    (Note: do we buy each and every stock during market crash even though our advisor or favorite newspaper or news channel suggest or indicate us BUT we still follow them to hear more news)

  27. Hey Ben or anyone else in the know, hi I’mw will Air Canada’s stop over policies on award flights going to change if any?
    I’m currently on the fence between Capital One Venture (2%/ 1.5 miles, $95 Annual fee ) or the PayPal MasterCard ( 2%, No AF ) the stopovers would increase the value of airline miles significantly.
    Also I doubt Air Canada is going anywhere.

  28. Hey Ben or anyone else in the know, will Air Canada’s stop over policies on award flights going to change if any?
    I’m currently on the fence between Capital One Venture (2%/ 1.5 miles, $95 Annual fee ) or the PayPal MasterCard ( 2%, No AF ) the stopovers would increase the value of airline miles significantly.
    Also I doubt Air Canada is going anywhere.

  29. You are easily “impressed.”
    The “deal is not reach enough.
    The “deal” should start start at 75% and increase to 150%
    eh?

  30. Ben, I have been collecting Aeroplan points for a while, and increasing points with credit card promotions, and yes topping up miles by buying them at 0.03c a mile with no bonuses. So reading your posts I understand you don’t only need to buy when topping up miles to travel but can take full advantage of these promotions to buy miles.

    The number of points to the Subcontinent from Canada is 100K, also as outlined in the chart above. Using the example of a return fare to Karachi from Toronto, if one is lucky you can score a seat inbound and outbound with no issues on Turkish which is 100K. Business is at 150K but you may get just one way all on Turkish but the return on multiple star alliance carriers and multiple stops.

    For Travel in November 2020 – Where I could find seats on Turkish with Aeroplan both in Economy and Business and compared them to the Turkish Airlines website.

    Economy
    Regular = 100,000 miles @ .03 = $3,000
    Promotion = 70,000 + 28,000 bonus miles: $2,100 CAD (Say $2,200)
    Fare on Turkish in Economy = Saver Fares from as low as $1,100 to flexible $2,800

    Business Class
    Regular = 150,000 miles @ .03 = $4,500
    Promotion = 100,000 + 40,000 bonus miles: $3,000 CAD (say $3,300)
    Fare on Turkish in Business = $4,452

    So buying points with a promotion may only help if one wants to travel in Business Class but great if one can still do Aeroplan’s mini Round The Worlds 🙂 Not sure if it is still available. Did two mini RTW already in Economy with stopovers in Sydney, Singapore and Karachi in 2015 and Karachi, Hong Kong and Vancouver in 2016. And did a single one way in Business from Karachi to Toronto. No stopovers allowed on that.

    Surprisingly the new partnership with Etihad Airways comes into view as well now in available seats and is at 130K. Just ridiculous when one can add 20K more and fly Business on Turkish however with the restrictions mentioned above.

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