So far, we’ve seen them offer an opportunity to earn Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD) on purchased points, a gifting bonus, and some very high bonuses of 100% or more.
From now until June 1, 2021 at 11:59pm Eastern Time, you can earn a 60% bonus when you buy Aeroplan points. Plus, if you register for the Blue Skies Calling contest to win round-trip economy tickets to select destinations, you’ll earn five entries when you buy points.
Buy Aeroplan Points with a 60% Bonus
Normally, Aeroplan sells points for 3 cents per point (CAD).
With this promotion, you earn a different bonus rate depending on the quantity of points you buy in one transaction. All Aeroplan members will receive with a steady bonus for any size of points purchase:
- 60% bonus when you buy 2,000–350,000 points
With this bonus, you can buy Aeroplan points at a price of 1.88 cents per point. This is lower than our current valuation of 2.1 cents per point, making it a good rate at which to pick up Aeroplan points if you have a future use-case in mind.
Previously, we’ve seen Aeroplan offer a bonus of up to 115% on a very limited supply, and later a 100% bonus with generous limits for everyone. Compared to those promotions, I’m less impressed by this one.
Still, a 60% bonus comes close to the value of converting an Air Canada ticket into Aeroplan points for a 65% bonus. If you need points quickly and can’t wait for a cancelled ticket to get processed, buying points outright is a decent backup plan.
As usual, buying or gifting points doesn’t contribute to your Aeroplan Elite Status. We’ve previously seen a promotion for buying points which also counted towards Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD), but that’s not the case this time around.
How many Aeroplan points can you buy?
Normally, each Aeroplan account can purchase up to 500,000 base points per calendar year. For this promotion, they’ve upped the limit to a whopping 1,000,000 points.
Usually, Aeroplan imposes a limit of 250,000 base points per transaction, although for this promotion the limit is increased to 350,000. Bonus miles don’t count towards your yearly maximum with Aeroplan.
With this promotion, the most you could buy across a few transactions is 1,000,000 base points + 600,000 (60%) bonus points = 1,600,000 points.
If you buy the maximum, it would cost you $18,750. Surely a steep price to pay, but not unreasonable if you frequently fly long-haul routes in business or First Class.
Which credit card should you use to buy Aeroplan points?
As Aeroplan points purchases are processed by Points.com, you won’t be able to earn category accelerators on Air Canada or travel purchases.
Note that buying or gifting Aeroplan points with a Canadian credit card will result in GST/HST being added to the total, which would erode the value of your purchase.
Therefore, the ideal way to make your purchase would be to use a US credit card, in which case GST/HST is not levied. You could use this opportunity to make progress towards a minimum spending requirement on a new US credit card; otherwise, use a card that offers a strong return on everyday spending.
If you must use a Canadian credit card, you’ll be acquiring Aeroplan points at approximately 2.1cpp depending on your provincial tax rate. That’s right on par with our valuation, but not a no-brainer purchase by any means.
Who Should Buy Aeroplan Points?
Travel on Long-Haul Partner Airlines
Although the purchase price of 1.88cpp is lower than our current valuation of Aeroplan points at 2.1cpp, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re guaranteed to get the same value for your booking.
Before buying points, it’s important to consider Aeroplan’s dynamic pricing model. Award ticket prices on Air Canada flights are still a bit unpredictable. Points costs rise and fall, more closely mirroring cash costs, so there isn’t as clear an advantage to buying points and making a points booking.
Instead, you can benefit by flying on Air Canada’s partner airlines, where award tickets are at a fixed points price based on distance and region. There are certainly many more sweet spots to be had where you can stretch the value you get for your up-front cash costs.
In general, I wouldn’t speculatively buy points if you tend to travel on dynamically-priced routes. There’s a lot more risk in making a speculative points purchase if you can’t guarantee the value you’ll get – in that case, I’d prefer to earn the slow way.
On the other hand, if you’re confident that you’ll often have opportunities to redeem points above the price you pay, now is as good a time as any to load up.
Families Who Share Points
With Aeroplan’s new Family Sharing feature, you can easily purchase points on multiple accounts within a household and use them together.
That’s especially the case if you want to purchase more than the maximum of 1,000,000 Aeroplan points per account under this promotion, or if you’ve already purchased points earlier this year but would like to exceed your usual annual cap of 500,000 base points purchased.
You can purchase points on up to eight Aeroplan accounts under the same Family Sharing pool (including any distant uncles if you don’t have a partner) and redeem them out of your own account for your own trips.
Other Ways to Earn Aeroplan Points
Although this is a great deal on paper, there are no shortage of easy and affordable ways to earn Aeroplan points. You should always consider if you can reach the balance you want, on the timeline you’ll need it, in other ways.
Credit Cards by TD, CIBC, and American Express
By my count, Canada has no less than 19 credit cards that either earn Aeroplan points directly, or earn points that can be transferred to Aeroplan. That’s an enormous number of welcome bonuses you can collect, not to mention some strong ongoing earn rates on everyday spending.
In particular, the main cards you should be looking at are any co-branded Aeroplan credit card from TD, CIBC, or American Express, or any American Express charge card that earns Membership Rewards which can be transferred to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio.
Generally, signup bonuses are the most affordable way to “buy” points. The fastest way is via premium cards with high fees and higher bonuses.
For example, the American Express Business Platinum Card represents buying points at 0.44 cents per point, with an annual fee of $499 for 112,500 points after reaching the minimum spend requirement.
On the other hand, if you prefer to keep costs down and earn points more slowly, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite and the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite are great choices. Both are currently offering a first-year annual fee waiver and a welcome bonus of effectively 50,000 Aeroplan points if you convert the Buddy Pass into points. The best cost to acquire points is no cost!
US Credit Cards
American Express’s Membership Rewards cards in the US can also be transferred 1:1 to Aeroplan. However, they have a much wider variety of unique transfer partners that are otherwise unavailable to Canadians.
With so many other ways to earn Aeroplan points in Canada, I prefer to save my US Membership Rewards for other purposes. I’d only transfer them to Aeroplan as a last resort for a quick top-up.
You may also turn to the Aeroplan eStore for bonuses on online purchases at many popular retailers ranging from technology to sportswear companies.
High bonuses can often be found around big shopping days. We recently saw some 5x bonuses for Mother’s Day – I’d keep an eye out for Father’s Day next.
You can access the shopping portal from your Aeroplan account. Unfortunately, there have been many technical difficulties since the new website launched in November, and points haven’t been awarded reliably.
While this is a good way to pad your balance, I wouldn’t count on it for an urgent top-up at this point in time.
Aeroplan‘s 60% bonus promotion on purchased points is a fair rate for buying Aeroplan points. However, unless you need an urgent top-up for a specific high-value redemption, there are better and cheaper ways to acquire points for discounted award travel.
Instead, the current points sale looks like a way to hype up the concurrent Blue Skies Calling contest, which itself doesn’t excite me very much, with low odds of winning and quite limited redemption options.
If you’re interested in buying points for the bonus, make sure you purchase before June 1, 2021 to take advantage of this offer.