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.
For this round, you’ll earn more bonus points the more you buy. From now until May 20, 2022 at 11:59pm Eastern Time, you can earn up to an 85% bonus when you buy or gift Aeroplan points.
Buy Aeroplan Points with an 85% Bonus
Normally, Aeroplan sells points with a base price of 3.5 cents per point.
With this promotion, you earn a different bonus rate depending on the quantity of points you buy in one transaction. Here’s the breakdown I’m seeing on my account:
- 85% bonus when you buy 70,000+ points
- 70% bonus when you buy 50,000–60,000 points
- 60% bonus when you buy 20,000–45,000 points
- 50% bonus when you buy 5,000–19,000 points
Other Aeroplan members may see different thresholds, so be sure to check the exact offer available to you.
With an 85% bonus, you can buy Aeroplan points at a price of 1.89 cents per point. That’s lower than our current target redemption 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.
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?
Since the launch of the Buy & Gift Points feature, Aeroplan has been allowing each member to buy up to 1,000,000 points per calendar year. That’s an enormously generous limit, much higher than other loyalty programs offer for buying points.
(Note that gifting points refers to buying points for another Aeroplan member, not transferring your existing points. Gifted points count against the gift-giver’s annual limit on buying points.)
Usually, Aeroplan imposes a limit of 250,000 base points per transaction, although for this promotion the limit is increased to 500,000. Bonus points 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 + 850,000 (85%) bonus points = 1,850,000 points.
If you buy the maximum, it would cost you $35,000 for 1,850,000 points. Surely a steep price to pay, but not unreasonable if you frequently fly long-haul routes in business or First Class, given that those points would easily score you at least seven round-trip journeys anywhere in the world in premium cabins.
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 2.1 cents per point depending on your provincial tax rate. That’s still not a terrible rate, on par with our current valuation.
Who Should Buy Aeroplan Points?
Travel on Long-Haul Partner Airlines
Although the purchase price of 1.89 cents per point is much lower than our current valuation of Aeroplan points at 2.1 cents per point, 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 per year.
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 or kids) and redeem them out of your own account for your own trips. Across all linked accounts, your family could purchase up to 8,000,000 points per year.
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 20 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 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 Aeroplan Reserve Card represents buying points at 0.54 cents per point, with an annual fee of $599 for 110,000 points after reaching the minimum spend requirement. Plus, you’d get all the perks of being a premium Aeroplan cardholder.
On the other hand, if you prefer to keep costs down and earn points more slowly, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card and the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card are great choices. Both are currently offering a first-year annual fee waiver and a welcome bonus of 50,000 or 20,000 Aeroplan points, respectively. The best cost to acquire points is no cost!
Finally, consider splitting the difference: go for the American Express Aeroplan Card, currently offering up to 60,000 Aeroplan points for a very reasonable annual fee of $120. At that rate, you’re looking at a low price of 0.2 cents per point.
It’s worth noting that the current American Express credit card offers distribute the welcome bonus on a monthly basis, not all at once. Therefore, if you need the points right away, it might be better to take advantage of this Buy & Gift Points promotion, even at a higher cost than a new credit card.
US Credit Cards
The new Chase Aeroplan Card is one of the best ways to earn award travel at a great price. For an annual fee of $95 (USD), you’ll get a welcome bonus worth up to 101,000 Aeroplan points. That’s a spectacular rate to acquire points, at roughly 0.1 cents per point (USD) or 0.12 cents per point (CAD).
It’s worth noting, however, that instead of entirely Aeroplan points, you’ll get a Welcome Flight Reward Certificate which is equivalent to Aeroplan points. In short, this is fine if you redeem for long-haul routes which cost 50,000+ points, but if you mostly use Aeroplan for cheaper tickets, you’d be better off earning points another way.
American Express US Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards can also be transferred 1:1 to Aeroplan. However, both programs 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 transferable 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. Keep an eye out for a possible Back to School promotion, and then dates like Thanksgiving and Christmas/Boxing Day.
You can access the shopping portal from your Aeroplan account. Unfortunately, there have been many technical difficulties since the new website launched over a year ago, 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.
As you decide whether this promotion is a good opportunity for you to meet your travel goals, here’s a look back at Aeroplan’s past bonuses on purchasing points:
Cents per point (CAD)
Up to 85% more purchased points
May 9, 2022
May 20, 2022
Up to 100% more purchased points
March 9, 2022
March 22, 2022
Up to 100% more purchased points
January 27, 2022
February 2, 2022
Up to 80% more purchased points
September 27, 2021
October 11, 2021
Up to 80% more purchased points
July 19, 2021
July 30, 2021
60% more purchased points
May 26, 2021
June 1, 2021
Up to 100% more purchased points
March 22, 2021
April 2, 2021
Up to 80% more gifted points
February 3, 2021
February 14, 2021
50% more purchased points
November 19, 2020
November 29, 2020
Up to 75% more purchased points, qualifying for Elite Status
July 7, 2020
July 12, 2020
Limited supply up to 115% more purchased points
May 7, 2020
May 13, 2020
Aeroplan‘s 85% bonus promotion on purchased points is a good 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.
With a higher base price on purchased points introduced this year, we’ve also seen higher bonuses more frequently. Therefore, these promotions are comparatively a much stronger opportunity to buy points.
However, this promotion is lower than the “baseline” recurring points sale promotion. Lately, these bonuses have been 100%, so you may want to consider waiting for a better promotion if you’re not in a rush.
If you’re interested in buying points, make sure you purchase before May 20, 2022 to take advantage of this offer.