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Aeroplan conversion bonus is back and its better than ever, at 35%. While that opens some great promotion stacking and leverage options, the fact is Aeroplan redemption options come with its set of hurdles. Without sounding alarmist or negative, I want to layout the leverage options and the hurdles.
Leverage this promotion: Aeroplan Conversion and SPG
Until August 21, 2017, Aeroplan is offering a 35% bonus on points converted from select hotel loyalty programs into Aeroplan. This time around, the bonus is not tiered and all/any points converted get a 35% bonus.
- Bonus Aeroplan Miles received from the exchange of hotel loyalty program points into Aeroplan Miles are not eligible for status in the Aeroplan program.
- Conversion of Membership Rewards points is not eligible for this bonus miles promotion.
Since SPG transfers to Marriott 1:3, the best value proposition to leverage the promotion is by converting SPG to Aeroplan via Marriott travel packages . Marriott travel packages can be redeemed (using Marriott rewards points) for a set number of Airline miles + 7 night certificate.
You can convert 90K SPG to 270K Marriott points (1:3), just enough to purchase 7 Nights + 120K miles (Aeroplan in this case) package. The 120K Aeroplan will earn a 35% bonus and yield 162K Aeroplan miles in total. Essentially, converting 90K SPG will fetch you 162K Aeroplan miles and 7-nights Marriott certificate for Category 1-5.
SPG to Marriott transfer is instant and Marriott travel package can be redeemed by calling Marriott.
If you are light on SPG account balance, or need a top-up, you can buy or gift SPG points before converting to Marriott.
Caution!! Don’t rush into the conversion bonus
Don’t get me wrong, its a great way to accrue massive amounts of Aeroplan miles and redeem, if you know what you are doing. But, before you put all your eggs in one basket, consider the following;
- Several members have reported great difficulty in booking the Aeroplan fixed mileage price rewards as everyone tries to use up their Aeroplan balance before devaluation/Air Canada split.
- Aeroplan has been blocking Business Class award space from several partners (on and off: Swiss, Ethiopian, Avianca etc.), which can be a frustrating experience for members.
- Aeroplan – Fuel Surcharges. Need I say more?
- If you are looking to book award in the next few days – Don’t expect miles to post immediately. Aeroplan miles from Marriott travel package take 7 days after Marriott travel package redemption.
- The 35% bonus posts 4-6 weeks AFTER the end of promotion on August 21, 2017.
- 7 night cert expires in one year.
- Marriott Cat 5 or lower properties may not be for everyone, not many Cat 5 properties make the “luxury or premium list”.
- While 7 nights sounds good in theory, its not as easy to find award availability in top destinations during peak season.
Alternatives and Solutions
The key here is using the Marriott travel packages and they transfer to several airline programs other than Aeroplan – think Alaska! Alaska Mileage program with its unique partnerships and routing rules, has some incredible sweet spots. 35% Aeroplan conversion bonus aside, I would recommend using Alaska as a transfer partner for Marriott travel packages.
If you do utilize the 35% bonus and go with Aeroplan, I would recommend redeeming with airlines that do not charge fuel surcharges, like United, Swiss, SAS, Turkish, Air India, Brussels, Air China, EgyptAir, EVA.
For Marriott hotel award space, use Hotel Hustle to help you with availability. If Marriott Cat 1-5 properties are not for you, book higher category properties by paying the difference in points (30K for Cat 6, 60K for Cat 7 and so on).
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Aeroplan is desperate for cash ever since Air Canada announced they were going to launch their own loyalty program in 2020 and Aeroplan’s stock nose dived from $9 to $1.73 today.
Unfortunately, that is where things stand for Aeroplan. While a higher conversion bonus is good, I would like to see a promo that makes fixed price redemption easier as well. Many Canadians that have accumulated miles over years are now struggling to use them efficiently.