The Best Ways to Redeem 150,000+ Aeroplan Points

The new American Express welcome bonuses for Summer 2021 are the talk of the town.

Between American Express’s twin flagship premium travel cards, the Platinum Card is offering a tantalizing 150,000 MR points, while the Aeroplan Reserve Card is offering a groundbreaking 150,000 Aeroplan points. 

Meanwhile, the Aeroplan Business Reserve and the core-tier Aeroplan Card aren’t to be overlooked either, with a further 150,000 and 75,000 Aeroplan points available for the taking. 

With many of us poised to rack up huge sums of Aeroplan points this summer, let’s have a refresher on the best ways to redeem your 150,000+ Aeroplan points for some incredible trips around the world. 

1. Business Class within North America

If you aren’t ready to embark on international trips just yet, you can still get very impressive value out of your Aeroplan points even if you’re travelling domestically or across the border to the US. 

Given the prevalence of cheap economy class fares these days, it’s business class redemptions that will fetch you the highest value. In particular, you want to aim for Air Canada Boeing 777 and 787 flights with lie-flat seats, which are among the best business class experiences for intra-North America travel. 

You’ll find these planes mostly operating out of Toronto Pearson, headed to Vancouver, Calgary, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Vancouver–Montreal also frequently receives these widebodies, supplemented by Air Canada’s refurbished A330s with equally comfortable pods. 

Air Canada 787 business class

As you go about searching for business class redemptions, you may find yourself roadblocked by Aeroplan’s unpredictable dynamic pricing model on Air Canada flights. 

If you’re lucky, transcontinental business class flights can be booked for around 20,000–40,000 Aeroplan points one-way if you have preferred pricing. But most likely, you’ll only find one or two flights per day (if that) at that level, with other flights priced at 60,000 or even 100,000 Aeroplan points one-way.

That’s where Air Canada’s eUpgrades come in. If you have at least Aeroplan 25K status, you can leverage the “Latitude Attitude” and book an Economy Latitude flight in the region of 20,000 points, before using eUpgrades to confirm an instant upgrade into business class. 

Effectively, eUpgrades offer “protection” against the ugly side of Aeroplan’s dynamic pricing model, allowing you to lock in cheap intra-North America business class flights on a reliable basis even if the dynamic pricing shoots up to a nonsensical number. 

Whether you hunt for reasonably-priced direct redemptions or leverage the Latitude Attitude, a signup bonus of 150,000 Aeroplan points would be enough for 4–7 one-way business class flights all on its own – an incredible return on a single credit card application! 

2. Hawaii with eUpgrades

We can extend the same line of reasoning to Hawaii, which promises to be an ever-popular destination in the intervening period between domestic and international travel fully reopening.

With Hawaii, however, the dynamic pricing problem is even more exacerbated. In fact, it’s very rare to find any business class redemptions that are at the lower end of Air Canada’s dynamic pricing range, so eUpgrades are very much the dominant strategy if you want to kickstart your island getaway in the fancy lie-flat seats.

eUpgrade availability tends to only be available on Air Canada’s flights from Vancouver to Honolulu and Maui. While the direct flights from Toronto and Montreal do offer greater convenience, they typically don’t offer any eUpgrade space, since there are too many high-rolling East Coasters who are happy to pay the premium for those direct lie-flats. 

From anywhere in Canada, then, your strategy is to fly into Vancouver and connect onto one of the Hawaii-bound services on an Economy Latitude booking, before deploying your eUpgrades for a confirmed upgrade into the forward cabin. 

3. Business Class to South America

Many South American countries are already open to travel with no more than a COVID-19 PCR test. If you’re headed to this part of the world, then Aeroplan points are very much the best way to get you there in comfort… and maybe a little bit of creativity. 

A round-trip business class journey will likely cost you 120,000 Aeroplan points if you’re travelling to the pointy end of the continent. 

You also have the ability to add stopovers on a one-way bound for 5,000 points each, so you could leverage the strong connectivity of Copa Airlines and Avianca to schedule extra stops in Panama City and Bogotá on your way to and from, say, Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro. 

That would cost you 130,000 Aeroplan points all-in, making it a sweet use of the 150,000 points you earn from this summer’s welcome bonuses. 

As a side note, the proximity of Panama City and Bogotá also creates a few interesting routing possibilities, especially when combined with the fact that intra-South America redemptions are priced rather favourably under the new charts.

4. Business Class to Europe

Among global destinations, Europe is most likely on the radar for the majority of Canadians who’d be interested in international travel as soon as borders open up, thanks to the short flight times, cultural proximity, and relatively lax travel restrictions. 

If you’d like to treat yourself to a luxurious transatlantic flight to celebrate your first post-pandemic trip, you’ll be delighted to know that 150,000 Aeroplan points will be just enough to cover a round-trip journey from the East Coast. 

Indeed, 140,000 points will get you the round-trip flights themselves, with a further 10,000 points allotted for any stopovers you’d like to schedule.

(If you’re travelling from the West Coast, you might need closer to 170,000 points to fly round-trip to Europe in business. An extra bit of spending or maybe a Buddy Pass conversion should cover that quite easily.)

There’s a variety of high-quality business class airlines that can get you across the pond. Between Air Canada, Lufthansa, SAS, Swiss, TAP Air Portugal, and Turkish Airlines, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding some lie-flat availability for your desired dates. 

Turkish Airlines 787 business class

Certain routes in particular, such as Turkish’s new Vancouver–Istanbul route, are bound to prove more popular than others, so planning farther in advance is always a good idea. 

5. ANA Business Class to Japan

Trips to Asia are probably going to be more realistic in early 2022 compared to late 2021. But with the phenomenon of “revenge travel” taking hold across adventure-starved travellers around the world, you’d do well to start thinking about making a booking now. 

While you can’t go wrong with any business class product en route to Asia, there are two particular redemptions that I wanted to highlight. 

The first is the well-documented sweet spot of ANA 787 business class between Vancouver (or Seattle) and Tokyo for only 55,000 Aeroplan points – a real winner for anyone based on the West Coast. As an alternative, Air Canada’s direct flights between Vancouver or Calgary and Tokyo would also fall under this price point, subject to dynamic pricing.

A single summer signup bonus of 150,000 Aeroplan points would be almost enough to cover three one-way business class flights! It really doesn’t get much better than that.

(Keep in mind, though, that ANA rarely releases more than two award seats in business class on a single flight, so if you’re a family of three, you may need to split up the party here.)

Timed at a 4:40pm departure and a 2:50pm arrival back into Vancouver, a set of well-timed round-trip flights on ANA business class from Friday to Monday could even be suitable for a cheeky long weekend getaway to the other side of the world, giving you a full two days’ time to eat your way through Tokyo.

ANA 787 business class

6. EVA Air Business Class to Asia

If you’re headed further afield in Asia, the primary routing that I’d aim for is EVA Air business class from either Vancouver or Toronto. 

In both cases, the flight itself would cost you 75,000 Aeroplan points one-way (meaning that a signup bonus of 150,000 points would be enough for a round-trip), although you’ll most likely pay more if you’re connecting beyond Taipei. 

EVA Air has one of the best business class products across all of Star Alliance. With comfortable reverse herringbone seats on the 777 and a cutting-edge staggered seat design on the 787, a wide menu to pre-order your meals from, and an impressive drinks menu, EVA Air business class makes for one of the best ways to cross the Pacific using your points. 

It’s one of the redemptions that I personally cannot wait to book for my post-pandemic travels, and indeed, I’ve already locked in a couple of flights out of Vancouver for the spring of 2022, with the intention of modifying my onward routing to whichever Asian destination is open to international travel when the time comes. 

EVA Air 787 business class

7. Speculative Trips Down Under

Hey, remember Australia and New Zealand? Who wouldn’t want to plan a trip down under once their borders reopen after so long?

You’d think that an Aeroplan redemption on the ultra-long-haul flight to Sydney would be amazing value, wouldn’t you? 

You pull up the search engine, start dreaming of those brunches and flat whites… only to find that your signup bonus of 150,000 Aeroplan points would be enough for half of a one-way business class flight. 

That’s right, Air Canada redemptions down to Australia and New Zealand are still beset by the uncertainty of Australia’s border restrictions and flight capacity controls. Since Air Canada doesn’t want too many travellers booking these flights, lest they pay out hefty compensation in the event that they have to cancel the flight, the redemption price points are set prohibitively high as a result.

Instead, if you wanted to roll the dice on the off-chance that Australia’s borders reopen by mid-2022, then there’s plenty of award space on Air Canada and ANA business class via Tokyo for only 85,000 Aeroplan points.

And don’t forget, as long as you book by the continuously rolling deadline of July 31, you can cancel your booking and get all your points back for free if your plans don’t work out.

8. First Class with Etihad, ANA, Lufthansa

Venturing beyond business class, First Class awards represent one of the best ways to extract maximum value from your Aeroplan points, although they’ll require either lots of advance planning or extreme flexibility in snagging last-minute award space. 

Etihad Airways First Class is probably the easiest to book, with a fair bit of award space available on the three-class Boeing 787s between Washington DC or New York and Abu Dhabi for 120,000 Aeroplan points. Even though the Etihad A380 First Class Apartments are sadly no more, the 787 First Class product still counts among the best experiences you can unlock with Aeroplan.

Pair it with an Etihad business class flight onwards to the Maldives, or perhaps with an indulgent Marriott Bonvoy redemption at Al Maha Desert Resort in the UAE, and you have all the ingredients for the perfect post-pandemic pilgrimage.

Etihad Airways 787 First Class

ANA First Class is another aspirational award to aim for. The Japanese airline operates its best cabins on the Boeing 777 between Tokyo and Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, or New York JFK in the US, as well as London and Frankfurt in Europe.

If you book out of JFK, London, or Frankfurt, you’ll even get to experience ANA’s “The Suite” New First Class, which is one of the top remaining items on my own personal luxury travel bucket list. 

Note that even though an ANA First Class redemption will cost you at most 110,000 Aeroplan points one-way, which is covered by the summer signup bonuses of 150,000 Aeroplan points, it’s arguably not an optimal way to book ANA First Class.

That’s because the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club sweet spot for ANA First Class is so outstanding, requiring only 60,000 Virgin Atlantic miles for a similar journey.

Finally, Lufthansa First Class is a real classic, although it may be a little challenging to book over the coming months as we emerge out of the pandemic.

Lufthansa had retired much of their First Class fleet during the fallow months of 2020, and even though they’ve restored a few A340s in 2021, the overall set of First Class seats is still much lower than before.

Combine that with the fact that Lufthansa only releases First Class award space at most 15 days before departure, and you’ll have to hunt for availability very keenly if you want to snag a transpacific Lufthansa First Class award for 90,000–100,000 Aeroplan points – and unlike the old Aeroplan program, now with $0 in fuel surcharges! 

9. The New Aeroplan Mini-Round-the-World

The new generation of the “Aeroplan Mini-Round-the-World”, which refers to maximizing Aeroplan’s stopover allowance to book three destinations for the price of one, has gotten more expensive compared to before.

Now, if you’d like to hop through Europe en route to Asia and indulge in another stopover on the way back, it’ll cost you at least 180,000 Aeroplan points in most cases.

The sweet spot to aim for is the third distance band in the “North America to Pacific zone” chart, which costs 85,000 Aeroplan points for a one-way journey of up to 11,000 miles flown.

This allows you to route through much of the Atlantic zone en route to the Pacific zone, but still pay the more favourable pricing for the Pacific zone. For example, departing from Toronto, you could stop in Europe for a few weeks before heading down to Singapore, and then returning via Japan.

If you’re starting from Vancouver or elsewhere in Western Canada, your overall mileage allowance is more constrained given the longer flying distances via Europe.

But you still have many possibilities to play around with, such as an extended stop in Istanbul before heading to Singapore, and then returning via a multi-city hopper journey with a stopover in one of the places.

As long as you keep both of your one-way bounds under 11,000 miles in distance, you’re looking at two sets of 85,000 Aeroplan points for a total of 170,000 points. Add in 5,000 points for each of the two stopovers (one in each direction), and we arrive at a total of 180,000 Aeroplan points for what promises to be an unforgettable round-the-world trip.

A single welcome bonus of 150,000 points wouldn’t quite be enough, but throw in a Buddy Pass conversion for a further 50,000 points with First Year Free and an easy spending requirement, and you’re more than set. 


The Summer 2021 welcome bonuses of 150,000 points on the American Express Platinum Card and Aeroplan Reserve Card are certain to fuel some epic adventures in the fall, winter, and beyond.

Once you’ve amassed your newfound riches in Aeroplan points, it’s time to think carefully about how you plan to redeem them for optimal value on your first few post-pandemic trips.

What high-value Aeroplan redemptions have you planned for 2021 and 2022? Are you aiming to take advantage of the best sweet spots, like 55,000 points to Japan, or would you prefer to string together a three-stop round-the-world bash for 180,000 points all-in? Let’s get the ideas rolling in the comments below. 

  1. David

    Hi Ricky. Thanks for all of your posts and youtube videos. I recently booked YVR-HND (ANA) Business class with 55K points, however, I checked again today for different datea, they all raised up to 140K. Even the economy class is raised up from 35K to 80K. Do you think this is just temporary thing or is it the start of devaluing the point?

  2. Speedy123

    Looking at a number of transatlantic options from New Brunswick to Europe for next spring. See a few dates with 70k one way options labelled as business class. Clicking on those often shows mixed cabin, where one of the feeder or connecting flights is in business, but the main transatlantic flight is in economy. No point in that, seems like bait and switch.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Those options should say “Mixed cabin” pretty clearly before you click, as well as the percentage of mixed cabin when you hover over the box. Best to pick the options that aren’t mixed-cabin or with 90%+ in business class, for which a cursory search shows there are quite a few.

  3. Tyson

    Hey Ricky, what’s with the flight award fees on business class? Was looking for domestic YVR-YUL under business lower reward 18.8K each way but have transportation charges of $83 each way on top of taxes fees and charges. I tested with economy and premium award and there’s no additional. Charges. Am I missing something? Also couldn’t find on AC website for the business class fees.

  4. Stacey

    Thanks for the post. I am wondering if you can please let me now what was the date you used for the Toronto to Taipei Eva Air light? For some reason I never could see Aeroplan shows Toronto – Taipei direct flight under this new Aeroplan site even with cash option, but I checked Eva Air they do still fly Toronto- Taipei frequently. Maybe there’s some setting I need to change, but knowing the date you used in this post will be really helpful. Thanks!

  5. Kothar

    I have just an Aeroplan account with 15k points. If I get the Reserve card, can these points be “merged” just to the Aeroplan account I have from the credit card?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes, they’ll all pool into your Aeroplan account.

    2. Rocky

      when you sign up for any Aeroplan cards, youll be asked to provide your aeroplan account number. any points earned on the card (sign up bonus and spending) will be deposited into the aeroplan account you specify. if you dont put a number in then they’ll create a new account for you and you will have to call in to merge accounts.

  6. Jonathan

    Is ANA Biz to Japan bookable on AC’s site, require a phone call, or require ANA site / phone call? Thank you.

    1. Ricky YVR

      It’s bookable on the Aeroplan website, just like all international airline partners.

      1. Jonathan

        Thank you

  7. Andrea

    Using the new AE card sign up bonus with my existing Aeroplan points, booked next-year Spring YVR-TPE-SIN; then open jaw HKG-PVG-YVR all biz class for 165000 points. Found out that during an 48 hours duration, the points needed from PVG to YVR changed from 173k points to 70.2k points, won’t believe the difference. So it really pays to patiently search on different dates, different times, to search out the lowest points needed…. I guess that’s why AC calls it “Dynamic Pricing”…. true Dynamic !!

  8. Jerry

    All great options to explore. One thing to note, PCR test is so annoying if not unbearable. Not sure if it’s me or the medical testing staff, invasive throat and nasal swab are hard to take with frequent testing requirements. Hopefully vaccine passport/travel pass will be able to bypass the testing requirement in the near future. Damn it hurts.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Personally, I’ve gotten pretty used to it! A few seconds of discomfort is well worth the joys of being able to travel again.

  9. James Bock

    I booked business a/r yul-cmn 110k for september, good?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Quite good, and indeed one of the best sweet spots for Montreal-based flyers when compared to the old program!

  10. Vee

    What happens if I spend over 1k a month? Will there be penalties on the reserve card if I’m spending close to 2K?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Nope – just more points!

  11. CT YOW

    Hi Ricky, Thanks for the tips in light of 150 K Aeroplan points.
    In May this year, I booked 2 tix 1 way from Las Vegas to Ottawa via Vancouver, a total of 27,800 pts + $192.98 includes tax & fees. Economy flex – upgraded to Business ( 20 e-upgrades) I was looking forward to the lie-flat seat for the seg YVR- YOW. ( 777-300ER) This morning I received a notification email from AC, stating that a change in departure time and aircraft, ( A-320). My e-upgrades are returning back into my account. My point is AC can change whatever they want. “Latitude Attitude” won’t help much.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Sorry to hear that. When equipment downgrades happen (and they do happen), eUpgraded passengers tend to be the first to be bumped. You can always make a new booking with the same strategy; you may pay higher points as a result, but it’d be cheaper than booking directly into business class on a new booking after all.

    2. Florian

      That can also work in your favour: I booked YYZ-YYC on an A320, and AC changed it to a 787-9!

  12. RWrubel

    Great article – Thank you!

    Been trying to get flights to France next Spring and I am seeing 110k points required one-way for business, and other dates the usual 70k. Hope there is some consistency in the future.

    1. Ricky YVR

      DenB is correct, in his inimitable style. I’d expect the AC prices to continue bouncing around unpredictably, so it’s best to lock in any “reasonable” price points when you see them, especially when you can still do so without incurring a cancellation fee if you were to cancel.

      1. RWrubel

        Thanks Ricky. Just booked business Toronto to Nice via Frankfurt. Staying at jW Marriott for weekend then on to Paris. Decided to lock n at 70k

    2. DenB® YTO

      There is no “consistency”. many times a day, the airline’s system decides how desperate they are, how badly they’ve failed to sell their seats for “real money” and whether they should give up hope and let us “points people” book a seat or two. The airline is most likely to give up hope in the final days before the flight. Earlier than that, they are more inclined to be stingy, because “there’s still hope”. Playing this game requires understanding this principle, deep in your bones. Most flights have a fixed number of seats 355 days in advance, and new availability (sometimes masses of it) in the final days before flying. For those who want to book on points, well in advance, a Pro subscription to ExpertFlyer (to unlock the SeatAlert feature) is invaluable. You get an email within minutes when the airline releases a seat for award booking. Alternately, check every day, more than once, through the year.

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