How to redeem Aeroplan points for maximum value

Air Canada’s loyalty program, Aeroplan, is a favorite among award travelers due to its easy-to-earn points and great redemption rates. Unlike some major U.S. loyalty programs, Aeroplan still has an award chart and offers a wide range of airline redemption partners, making it a highly valuable program for travelers. In this article, we will explore the best ways to use Air Canada Aeroplan points for maximum value.

One of the key benefits of Aeroplan is its extensive list of airline partners, which includes Star Alliance carriers and non-alliance partners like Azul Brazilian Airlines, Bamboo Airways, and Etihad Airways. This allows members to redeem their Aeroplan points for flights to over 1,300 destinations worldwide. Additionally, members have the flexibility to mix and match partners, which can be useful when award availability is limited.

Aeroplan’s award chart is particularly valuable for short-haul economy flights and international premium-cabin seats, especially on partner airlines. For example, short-haul economy flights under 500 miles on United Airlines and Air Canada can cost as little as 6,000 points. This is a great sweet spot considering that TPG values Aeroplan points at 1.5 cents each, making 6,000 points worth $90. Routes within this distance include most flights within the Northeast of the United States and to and from Toronto Pearson Airport.

For longer economy flights within North America, the redemption rates generally range from 10,000 to 12,500 points each way, which is around the industry average. However, flights over 2,751 miles, such as from the East Coast to Hawaii, can range from 17,500 to 25,000 points. The benefit of using Aeroplan is the flexible transfer options available for earning points.

When it comes to travel to Europe, Aeroplan offers excellent redemption rates, especially now that it has eliminated fuel surcharges. Traveling from the continental U.S. to Europe on one of Air Canada’s partners typically costs 35,000 to 40,000 points for economy, 60,000 to 70,000 points for business, and 90,000 to 100,000 points for first class. Business class flights from the East Coast to most of Western Europe can be booked for just 60,000 points, making it a great option for travelers.

Aeroplan also offers great deals for travel to Asia. Partner awards between North America and the Pacific cost 35,000 to 75,000 points in economy, 55,000 to 105,000 points in business, and 90,000 to 140,000 points in first class, depending on the distance. For example, a business-class ticket from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport operated by All Nippon Airways would cost 55,000 points. Cash fares for this route are usually upwards of $3,000 each way, making the redemption value over 5 cents per point, which is exceptional.

Aeroplan is also an excellent loyalty program for families. Aside from the family points pooling feature, Aeroplan charges low fees for traveling with a lap infant. Infant awards are free for travel wholly within Canada and between Canada and the United States, and cost just 25 Canadian dollars or 2,500 Aeroplan points for all other itineraries. Additionally, Aeroplan allows for stopovers for just 5,000 points each, making it a convenient option for families looking to explore multiple destinations.

Earning Aeroplan points is easy, especially with the right credit card. The new AeroplanĀ® Credit Card offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months, which is valued at $900 according to TPG’s valuation. The card also comes with triple points in multiple categories, monthly bonus points, statement credits, Aeroplan elite status, and discounted award pricing. Additionally, there are several credit card rewards programs that allow for a 1:1 transfer ratio to Aeroplan, further increasing the earning potential.

In conclusion, Air Canada’s Aeroplan loyalty program is a favorite among award travelers for good reason. Its easy-to-earn points, great redemption rates, and extensive list of airline partners make it a highly valuable program. Whether you’re looking to book short-haul flights, travel to Europe or Asia, or plan a family trip, Aeroplan offers excellent value and flexibility. With the right credit card and transferable points, you can maximize your Aeroplan points for unforgettable travel experiences.

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