Use this Aeroplan points sale to buy business class tickets to Europe for under $1,000

Sep 30, 2021

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Air Canada is offering bonuses of up to 80% on Aeroplan points purchased by Oct. 11 at 11:59 pm ET. Purchasing enough Aeroplan points to trigger the full bonus brings the price down to roughly 1.31 cents per point, which might make this a worthwhile play for some.

The sale applies to points purchased for yourself or points gifted to another Aeroplan member and can be a way to score Star Alliance flights at a discount — including round-trip business-class awards from the U.S. to a reopening Europe for as little as $1,572 before taxes and fees.

That can equate to a steep discount considering round-trip flights on United (a Star Alliance partner) from Newark (EWR) to Frankfurt (FRA), for instance, cost almost $6,000 on some dates this November.

United NYC to FRA round-trip ticket in Google Flights
(Screenshot courtesy of google.com/flights)

But should you buy points and miles now? Here’s what you need to know to answer that question for yourself.

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In This Post

Should you buy points and miles now?

Air Canada 777 at Frankfurt Airport
(Photo by Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock)

Before we discuss the new Aeroplan buy points promotion, specifically, you should be aware of the risks of buying points and miles now.

While coronavirus numbers are again trending downward in the U.S., the delta variant is still a concern that’s resulting in tighter COVID restrictions in some locales.

For example, Chicago reinstated a mandatory quarantine from some travelers and Los Angeles is again requiring everyone to wear masks indoors. Further, the European Union recommended that member states impose restrictions on American travelers last month, though most countries still remain open. Depending on how the next few weeks go, we could see more restrictions implemented in other destinations around the world. You should only buy points and miles if you’re comfortable with the possibility of having to reschedule your trip if the country you’re traveling to closes its borders.

Further, you should only buy points and miles if you have an immediate plan to use them. Hoarding miles leaves you open to unexpected devaluations. This could be due to award chart, award space, partner or pricing changes. These devaluations often come with zero notice from the airline. We only advise buying points and miles when you have already found the award space you want to book and just need to stock up on some points to book it quickly.

Also, keep in mind that there are many ways to earn Aeroplan points without buying them. For example, you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Capital One Miles to Aeroplan. Or, you can credit Star Alliance flights to Aeroplan instead of another frequent-flyer program. For instance, you could add your Aeroplan frequent-flyer number to an upcoming United ticket and earn Aeroplan points instead of United MileagePlus miles.

Related: Traveling soon? Here’s where you can quickly get a COVID-19 PCR test for travel

Buying Aeroplan points with an up to 80% bonus

Back to the promo: Air Canada is selling Aeroplan points with bonuses of up to 80% for the next couple of weeks. You need to purchase at least 110,000 points to get the full 80% bonus, with lesser amounts triggering smaller bonuses. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Buy 2,000 – 9,000 points, get a 50% bonus
  • Buy 10,000 – 45,000 points, get a 60% bonus
  • Buy 50,000 – 105,000 points, get a 70% bonus
  • Buy 110,000 or more points, get an 80% bonus
(Screenshot courtesy of aeroplan.com)

If you purchased enough points to receive the the full 80% bonus, those points would end up costing just under 1.31 cents apiece, well 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.

This is one of the best deals we’ve ever seen for Aeroplan points but doesn’t beat March’s 100% bonus. You may want to skip this sale if you think Air Canada may offer a better deal near the holidays, but that doesn’t seem likely.

Related: Pros and cons of the new Air Canada Aeroplan loyalty program

Using this sale to buy discounted business class tickets

By taking advantage of this sale, you could end up being able to book Star Alliance partner tickets at steep discounts. More specifically, you could score an excellent deal on long-haul business class award flights to Europe, South America, the Middle East and elsewhere.

Air Canada recently revamped Aeroplan to allow members to add stopovers for 5,000 miles each. It also removed fuel surcharges and made various other award chart changes. These alterations were largely positive and make this points sale intriguing for booking certain itineraries.

For example, you can leverage Aeroplan’s stopover policy to book a one-way flight from New York-JFK to Madrid (MAD) via Lisbon (LIS) in TAP Portugal business class for 65,000 points total. You could spend a few days in Lisbon 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 80% bonus, then the 65,000 for this itinerary would cost $851 plus taxes and fees — quite a bargain.

TAP Portugal A330 business class seat
(Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy)

Instead, you could book a round-trip business class ticket from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Sao Paulo (GRU) in United Polaris business class for 120,000 Aeroplan points and $73 in taxes and fees. If you bought Aeroplan points with the 80% bonus, your total out-of-pocket cost for the trip is $1,633. This is far cheaper than the $3,332 United charges for the same round-trip ticket next February

United Polaris cabin
(Photo by Zach Griff / The Points Guy)

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 point with these credit cards

If you decide to 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, such as:

Related: The best credit cards of 2021

Bottom line

Air Canada is selling Aeroplan points with a bonus of up to 80% bonus through Oct. 11, 2021. This could be a convenient way to stake out discounted Star Alliance business class tickets to Europe, South America and beyond. That said, there is risk involved with buying miles now.

The delta COVID variant has caused some countries and regions to reinstate COVID restrictions, which could impact travel in the near term. Only buy points and miles if you have an immediate plan to redeem them and are comfortable with the fact that you may have to reschedule your trip.

Feature photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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

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