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Yesterday I wrote about Aeroplan (Air Canada’s frequent flyer program) running a pretty generous temporary sale on awards. You can get business class for the price of coach and first class for the price of business class on many of their awards – including Star Alliance partners. You can check out their award charts here. Aeroplan is an instant 1:1 transfer partner of American Express membership Rewards, so this could make a lot of sense if you have any Star Alliance awards you are looking to book in the near future.
While Aeroplan does impose some hefty fuel surcharges, they don’t levy them when you book on United/Continental, US Airways, Singapore and Turkish. So instead of paying 100,000 miles for a roundtrip US to Paris roundtrip using your Continental/United miles, you could get the same trip for 60,000 Aeroplan miles!
On top of this, if you transfer partner miles (like American Express Membership Rewards, Starwood, Marriott and Hyatt) you can earn up to 25,000 bonus Aeroplan points for each partner. I wrote about this a couple weeks ago, but wasn’t too excited about it because it was announced as Aeroplan was instituting lots of customer unfriendly fuel surcharges. However, you can get huge value with both promos combined – especially if you book awards with partners that don’t have fuel surcharges. However, not all of them have gone into effect yet. Right now only Air Canada, Lufthansa, Asiana Airlines, THAI, ANA, Austrian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines and bmi have surcharges.
On December 14th, 2011 Aegean Airlines, Adria Airways, TAM, South African Airways and TAP Portugal itineraries will also have them – so book soon!
Starwood already gives a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 Starwood points transferred to Aeroplan- and now Aeroplan will throw in up to an additional 25% (up to 25,000 miles total).
Several readers have Tweeted and emailed me their successes. Here are a couple of my favorites:
@Geralddent JFK – FRA – SIN – SQ A380 Business Class SIN – IST – YYZ TK Business Class for $168. NO FUEL SURCHARGES !!!
TPG reader CK emails: On Saturday, I transferred 160k Amex points to Aeroplan. With them, I booked two business class awards to Australia. I’m flying next week direct on United from LAX. On the return, I’m taking advantage of the open jaw to get home to the east coast for Christmas.
25k aeroplan miles appeared in my account today.
So, I basically got two r/t business tickets to australia for 67,500
miles! Very low taxes/fees since it’s a United flight. Actual price
= over $12,000 each. (I considered doing multiple transfer partners,
but I was afraid my starwood points wouldn’t transfer in time. If
you’re just doing one ticket, I suppose you could look at it as 55k
miles r/t [as long as you’re okay w/ leaving extra miles in your
AMAZING, huh? If you want to do the same thing, go to continental.com and then search for the route (since I find Continental’s engine to be easier and faster). Once you find the SaverPass availability on the dates you want, put them in at Aeroplan.com. I did this and Continental.com was going to charge 135,000 miles for San Francisco to Sydney in business class (not bad for a $13,000+ ticket), yet Aeroplan only wanted 80,000 miles – which would only be 70,000 Amex points with the transfer promo. So play around with this promotion- there are amazing deals to be had!
With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.
- Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
- Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
- There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
- Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees