Aeroplan, Air Canada’s frequent flyer program, periodically offers bonuses for converting hotel points to its mileage program. In the past, the bonuses have ranged anywhere between 25% and 35%. Now, Aeroplan is offering another one of these promotions.
Through Sept. 22, 2019, you can earn a 30% bonus when converting points from 10 hotel partners to Aeroplan miles. You can convert as often as you want and receive this bonus from the following hotel brands:
The bonus Aeroplan miles may take up to six weeks after the promotion end date to be deposited into your Aeroplan account. In other words, if you transfer hotel points to Aeroplan for a specific award flight, just know that seat may have disappeared by the time you receive your bonus miles.
Also note that this bonus applies strictly when transferring from the above hotel programs. American Express points transfers to Aeroplan won’t earn additional bonus miles through this promotion for this type of conversion.
If you’ve never transferred hotel points to airlines, there are some quirks you should know about. Not all hotel partners covert to Aeroplan evenly, and some programs even offer additional bonuses based on the number of points you transfer. Based on TPG’s latest valuations, Aeroplan miles are worth 1.5 cents each. To help you determine which points to convert, the following table shows the effective value of Aeroplan miles transferred from each hotel program during this promotion. Pay particularly close attention to the far right column, which will indicate your effective purchase price per Aeroplan mile (calculated as the value you’re giving up from the applicable hotel program for every Aeroplan mile you’d get):
|Transfer Partner||Standard Ratio||Transfer Ratio (Assuming Bonus)||TPG Value per Transferred Point||Value “Given Up” per Aeroplan Mile|
|Marriott Bonvoy (<60k points)||3:1||100:43||0.8 cents||1.86 cents|
|Marriott Bonvoy (increments of 60k points)||3:1||100:56||0.8 cents||1.43 cents|
|IHG Rewards||5:1||100:26||0.5 cents||1.92 cents|
|Hilton Honors||10:1||100:13||0.6 cents||4.62 cents|
|Radisson Rewards||10:1||100:18 (50% bonus from Radisson Rewards for 80% total bonus)||0.4 cents||2.22 cents|
|Best Western Rewards||5:1||100:26||0.7 cents||2.69 cents|
|Wyndham Rewards||5:1||100:26||1.1 cents||4.23 cents|
|Coast Rewards||1:1||100:400 (400% bonus)||N/A||N/A|
|Choice Privileges||5:1||100:26||0.6 cents||2.31 cents|
|Le Club AccorHotels||2:1||100:65||N/A||N/A|
|Gold Circle (Shangri-La)||1:1||100:130||N/A||N/A|
Since the value transferred per Aeroplan mile for most hotel currencies is greater than TPG’s valuation of Aeroplan miles, you’ll usually be giving up value by converting your hotel points to Aeroplan miles.
Marriott is the exception. If you decide to transfer Marriott points in increments of exactly 60,000 points, you can come out ahead, as you’ll receive a 5,000-mile bonus plus 30% additional miles on these transfers. This is the closest thing to a “sweet spot” in this promotion. For every 60,000 Marriott points converted, you’ll receive 32,500 Aeroplan miles.
That said, it is possible to get outsized value from your Aeroplan miles by taking advantage of sweet spots in the program’s award chart. For example, short-haul flights on Air Canada cost just 15,000 miles. You could earn more than enough miles for two round-trip short-haul flights by transferring 60,000 Marriott points during this promotion.
Other sweet spots include partner award flights with no fuel surcharges, lap child awards, or flying to Europe in business class. A round-trip business-class ticket to Western Europe costs 110,000 Aeroplan miles.
There are tons of ways to earn Marriott points in a hurry, with cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express® Card, which comes with 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. Or the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express® Card which comes with 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first three months (offer ends October 23, 2019).
Remember, this Aeroplan bonus ends on September 22, 2019, so if you apply for a new card now, you won’t receive your welcome bonus in time for this current promotion. But this offer tends to reappear every few months, and you’ll certainly be ready for the next one.
Additional reporting by Joseph Hostetler
Featured photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy