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Aeroplan members will soon earn and redeem with Virgin Australia

Jan. 07, 2021
3 min read
Aeroplan members will soon earn and redeem with Virgin Australia
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Air Canada has really been on a roll over the last year. After adding a handful of partners, including Etihad and South America's Azul, the airline unveiled a new and improved loyalty program. Now, just last month, it detailed plans to add Chase as a transfer partner later in 2021.

This week, Aeroplan shared plans to add another new partner, too. As of Jan. 19, 2021, members will be able to earn and redeem points on flights operated by Virgin Australia, which has undergone some especially dramatic changes during the pandemic.

Previously, Aeroplan members could earn miles on codeshare flights operated by Virgin Australia, but this expanded partnership adds the rest of the carrier's flights to the mix. Points will be issued based on distance flown, breaking down as:

  • Business class (J): 150%
  • Business class (C, D, I): 125%
  • Economy (Y, B, H, K, L): 100%
  • Economy (E, N, V, Q, T, S, G): 50%
  • Economy (M): 25%

Meanwhile, Aeroplan members will also be able to earn Status Qualifying Miles (SQM) and Status Qualifying Segments (SQS) for Virgin Australia flights within Australia, along with Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD) for domestic VA flights ticketed by Air Canada.

Personally, I'm most excited about the potential redemption opportunities, since Aeroplan is an instant transfer partner of both American Express Membership Rewards and Capital One — and, as I mentioned, soon Chase as well — making it easy for travelers to boost their balance.

Members will be able to bundle Star Alliance flights with Virgin Australia connections at the same redemption rate. Screenshot courtesy of Air Canada.

With this new partnership, you'll be able to pair Star Alliance flights to Australia with Virgin Australia connections within the region as part of one itinerary, flying Air Canada or United Airlines from North America and connecting onward within Australia once you arrive.

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United's offering widespread business-class award space on its nonstop from Houston (IAH) to Sydney (SYD) at the moment, so you could book that flight through Aeroplan along with a connection to Melbourne (MEL) for 85,000 points, or add a Sydney stopover for just 5,000 more points.

With cash fares as low as $60 and an Air Canada booking fee added to awards, some redemptions exclusively within Australia may have limited appeal. Screenshot courtesy of Air Canada.

Note, however, that Air Canada applies a $39 CAD ($31 USD) booking fee to all partner awards, so you'll always want to do a bit of math — if you're looking to redeem Aeroplan miles for travel exclusively within Australia, it may make more sense to pay cash.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.