Use this Aeroplan points sale to buy business-class tickets to Europe for under $1,500
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with the latest promotion.
Air Canada is offering bonuses of up to 85% on Aeroplan points purchased through Sept. 3.
Purchasing enough Aeroplan points to trigger the full bonus brings the price down to roughly 1.44 cents per point, which is just below TPG’s valuation of Aeroplan points and might make this a worthwhile play for some.
The sale applies to points purchased for yourself and points gifted to another Aeroplan member.
It can also be a way to score Star Alliance flights at a discount — including round-trip business-class awards from the U.S. to Europe for $1,865 before nominal taxes and fees.
That can equate to a steep discount considering round-trip flights on Brussels Airlines (a Star Alliance partner) from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Brussels Airport (BRU), for instance, cost just under $4,000 per person on almost all dates next spring.
Alternatively, you could buy 240,000 points to fly two passengers round-trip on this same itinerary.
Using this promotion, 240,000 points cost $3,465. That’s an incredible deal for two passengers round-trip across the Atlantic in business class. Or, put differently, you're effectively getting two tickets for the price of one.
Let's take a closer look at this promotion.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Buying Aeroplan points with up to an 85% bonus
Back to the promotion: Air Canada is selling Aeroplan points with bonuses of up to 85% through Sept. 3.
You need to purchase at least 15,000 points to get the 85% bonus:
With the 85% bonus, you're purchasing points at 1.44 cents per point — below TPG’s valuation of 1.5 cents per point.
All Aeroplan members can buy points at this rate since this is not a targeted deal. Better yet, while Canadian residents are subject to a sales tax on points purchases, U.S.-based Aeroplan members are not.
Earlier this year, we saw an Aeroplan sale that gave up to a 100% bonus when purchasing at least 80,000 points. With that in mind, you may want to wait until a better sale comes around if you're stocking up on points for a future trip.
Related: The best ways to maximize Air Canada’s Aeroplan program
Using this sale to buy discounted business-class tickets
By taking advantage of this sale, you may be able to book Star Alliance partner tickets at steep discounts. Specifically, you could score an excellent deal on long-haul business-class award flights to Europe, South America, the Middle East and elsewhere.
Additionally, Air Canada allows members to add stopovers to one-way tickets for 5,000 miles and doesn’t add fuel surcharges to any of its award tickets.
For example, you can leverage Aeroplan’s stopover policy to book a one-way flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) via Lisbon Airport (LIS) in TAP Air Portugal business class for 75,000 points total.
You could spend a few days in Lisbon, Portugal, on the way to Spain and enjoy two vacations for slightly more than the points price of one ticket. If you bought enough Aeroplan points to earn the 85% bonus, the 75,000 points for this itinerary would cost roughly $1,085 before moderate taxes and fees.
You could book a round-trip business-class ticket from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport (EZE) in United Polaris business class for 120,000 Aeroplan points.
If you bought Aeroplan points with the 85% bonus, your total out-of-pocket cost for the trip is just under $1,735 before taxes and fees.
Of course, this assumes you can find saver award availability on the dates you wish to travel.
Do your own research and see if there’s an opportunity for you to use this sale to get a discount on future travels. Read our complete guide to earning and redeeming Aeroplan points for more details.
Related: How I got bored and burned 130,000 Aeroplan points for a weekend in Switzerland
Buy points with these credit cards
If you take advantage of this promotion, your purchase will be processed by Points.com — not Air Canada. Unfortunately, this means you won’t earn bonus rewards for using a card with airline spending as a bonus category.
To earn the most points for your purchase, pay with a credit card that offers a solid return on non-bonus spending. Additionally, make sure to pay with a card that doesn’t add foreign transaction fees since Aeroplan points purchases are charged in Canadian dollars.
Two cards that fit the bill include:
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn 2 miles per dollar on purchases, which is a 3.7% return based on TPG valuations.
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Earn 2 miles per dollar on purchases, which is a 3.7% return based on TPG valuations.
Related: The best credit cards of 2022
Air Canada is selling Aeroplan points with a bonus of up to 85% through Sept. 3. This could be a convenient way to stake out discounted Star Alliance business-class tickets to Europe, South America and beyond.
That said, there’s always a risk in buying miles as we’ve seen rampant airline program devaluations.
Additional reporting by Benji Stawski and Kyle Olsen.