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Via one my favorite award programs, Aeroplan, you can currently get some very good deals on award flights thanks to a 20% transfer bonus from the Amex Membership Rewards program and cards like The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card and The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card.
Update: While my account is showing the transfer bonus, it seems that not all Membership Rewards accounts are showing the bonus. I don’t yet know if this is a targeted transfer bonus, only tied to certain types of cards, or is simply being glitchy.
With the 20% bonus that is slated to run until December 10, 2017, this means that for every 1,000 Membership Reward points you transfer to Aeroplan, you get 1,200 Aeroplan miles. From memory, I don’t recall Aeroplan being a very frequent recipient of Membership Rewards transfer bonuses, so this is a pretty big deal if you like to fly Star Alliance Airlines.
You can check out Aeroplan’s award chart here, but to give you a small taste of what is possible with this offer, Aeroplan typically wants 55,000 miles to fly one-way from the Continental US and Canada to Western Europe in business class. This is already a better deal than the 60,000 – 70,000 miles each way that United would want for a saver award. With this 20% transfer bonus, it gets even better and it would cost you about 46,000 Membership Rewards points transferred to Aeroplan to fly to Europe in a lie-flat seat on an airline like United!
Aeroplan does pass along fuel surcharges, so to avoid those you will want to choose an airline like United that doesn’t tack those fees onto award tickets. Also of note for young families is that Aeroplan is the ideal Star Alliance program to book awards through if you want to book a lap infant as they have a fixed price for lap infants instead of hitting you with 10% of the going cash rate, which can literally mean you pay four figures for the right to hold your baby at the front of the plane. The lap infant fees when booking awards via Aeroplan are:
- Economy Class – $50 or 5,000 Miles
- Business Class – $100 or 10,000 Miles
- First Class – $125 or 12,500 Miles
As is typical the case with these transfer bonuses, I would not recommend speculatively transferring a bunch of miles into Aeroplan using this bonus, in part because the program will be changing dramatically in 2020, though if you will use up your miles in the next couple of years then that won’t impact you.
Here is a post on three of my favorite uses of Aeroplan miles as well as a story on how we used Aeroplan miles transferred in from Amex Membership Rewards to book my mom and aunt to Europe and back in lie-flat business class as a big retirement celebration!
I’d love to hear if you are going to be able to make this new Membership Rewards transfer bonus to Aeroplan work for your family!