Getting Aeroplan Miles – Easier Than You Think

Getting Aeroplan Miles – Easier Than You Think

There are a number of ways to get Aeroplan Points beyond just flying and some are more lucrative than others. Some points are free with a sign up, some are per purchase and some are per $/€ spent. Be careful because there are times where collecting points will cost you (e.g. car rentals).

Before looking at the point list consider how you could gain the 60K points needed for an economy rewards ticket to Europe:

  • 16 return Toronto-Frankfurt flights in Tango class
  • spend $40 000 in grocery, gas and pharmacy on a TD/CIBC Infinite card
  • stay 240 times at an economy hotel
  • apply for three credit cards and make $1500 required spending

You can of course do all the above. If you have good credit you will find signing up for credit cards the best way for getting Aeroplan miles. If not, you may find the other means of getting Aeroplan miles to be a bit more challenging as well. Keep the effort needed for points in mind.

I’ll be adding to this list over time so please check back.

Car Rentals

Aeroplan Costs You with Car Rentals

You will pay for your points when you rent cars as there are surcharges of $0.75/day to a maximum of $5.25 that are levied only on those collecting partner points. The column you will care most about here is the price per point you are paying. Remember that if you cash out Aeroplan miles for gift cards (a bad choice financially) you can get around 0.7-0.8 cents per point. For flight rewards you should be redeeming at 1.5c per mile or more. In some cases it does not make sense to collect Aeroplan miles when renting a car.

Current Aeroplan POINTs

Cost in cents per point Points award Company/rental type
0.105 cpp 5000 Hertz daily monthly rental (per rental)
0.3 cpp 250  Hertz daily weekend rental (per day)
0.42 cpp 1250 Hertz daily weekly rental (per rental)
1.05 cpp 500 Avis Airport rental (within 24 hours of your AC/Star Alliance flight)
1.5 cpp 50 Hertz daily rental (per day <=4 days)
2.1 cpp 250 Avis non-Airport rental

Credit Card Sign-Up – Free First Year Cards

The Main Aeroplan MILE Source

Credit card sign-ups are the best way of getting Aeroplan Miles. The cards listed here are all free for the first year and can be cancelled before the first year is up to avoid fees, or can be retained for their bonuses (see the Credit Card Purchase section). The cards require a minimum of spending, from $1 to $3000, to gain the bonus, but the rewards/$ are vastly better than any other purchase (and you get points for the minimum spend on top of the sign-up bonus). The only “cost” is a credit check which is a “cost” that only lasts 6-24 months. The 30K Amex Aeroplan Gold bonus is particularly good as it’s the highest Aeroplan bonus for a first year free card. Normally this card provides a signup bonus of 20K but the referrals below will get you 10K extra (note, I receive 10K for any Amex referral – there are no referral bonuses for other cards).

Current Aeroplan Points

Points/$ Points Card
 60 AP/$ 30000  Amex Aeroplan Gold signup – requires $500 spending in 3 months
  50 AP/$ 25000  Amex Gold Rewards signup– requires $500 spending in 3 months – points convertible to Aeroplan 1:1
8.33 AP/$ 25000  Amex Gold Rewards Business signup– requires $3000 spending in 3 months – points convertible to Aeroplan 1:1
40 AP/$ 20000 CIBC AeroGold Infinite – requires 1 purchase for 15000 points $500 spending in 3 months for 5000 points
40 AP/$ 20000 CIBC AeroGold Platinum- requires 1 purchase for 15000 points $500 spending in 3 months for 5000 points
15000 AP/$ 15000  TD Aeroplan Infinite- requires one purchase
10000 AP/$ 10000 TD Aeroplan Platinum- requires one purchase
5000 AP/$ 5000 Amex Aeroplan Plus signup – requires one purchase

Credit Card Spending

After credit card sign-ups, credit card spending can a top means of getting Aeroplan miles (frequent fliers with status being the exception). Keep in mind that these points are only free if you got your card free for the year – otherwise those points are “bought points”. Other credit cards may offer better value if you need to pay a fee for an Aeroplan card. Sign-up bonuses and credit card benefits also need to be factored into the equation so think carefully about your options.

Points per $CDN  Card
0.75/$
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum (except gas/grocery/pharmacy)
1 pp$
  •  Amex Aeroplan Gold (first $10K/year)
  • Amex Aeroplan Plus
  • Amex Gold Rewards (except gas/grocery/pharmacy/travel) (via transfer)
  • CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite/Aerogold Visa (except gas/grocery/pharmacy)
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite (except gas/grocery/pharmacy)
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum (gas/grocery/pharmacy)
1.25/$
1.5/$
  • Amex Aeroplan Platinum (spending over $25K/year)
  • CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite/Aerogold Visa (gas/grocery/pharmacy)
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite/Infinite Privilege (gas/grocery/pharmacy)
2.0/$
  • Amex Gold Rewards (gas/grocery/pharmacy/travel) (via transfer)

Flights

Status can provide you with larger bonuses than those listed here. For a non-frequent flier who flies on low fare flights then getting Aeroplan miles from flights can be a long process.

Current Aeroplan Points

AP/mile min AP/mile airline/class
0.25 AP/mile min 63 AP/mile Air Canada Tango inside Canada
0.5 AP/mile min 125 AP/mile Air Canada Tango outside Canada
1.0 AP/mile min 250 AP/mile Air Canada Flex
1.25 AP/mile min 313 AP/mile Air Canada Latitude/Premium Economy
1.5 AP/mile min 375 AP/mile(min 700 AP/mile Altitude members on *A)
  • Air Canada Business Class
  • Star Alliance partners First Class
1.6 AP/mile min 400 AP/mile APmin 800 AP/mile Altitude Singapore Airlines Suites
0.1-1.5 p/mile min 50-375 pp/mile APmin 100-750 AP/mile Altitude Star Alliance partners Economy class
1.0-1.5 AP/mile min 250-375 AP/mile APmin 500-750 AP/mile Altitude Star Alliance partners Business class (except Lufthansa class P within Europe @ 0.4 pp/mile and TAP @ 2.0 pp/mile)

Hotels with Points per stay

Points per stay hotels can be more lucrative for short stays than points per dollar/euro hotels. Lucrative is not the best word however, considering one would need to spend $20 000 at a top hotel or a Platinum Fairmont member would need 60 stays for getting Aeroplan miles sufficient for a 60K reward ticket. Consider the value of the points earned in the hotel chain loyalty program before choosing Aeroplan as your earning method, For someone who would never get enough points to earn a reward at a hotel chain then getting Aeroplan miles is an okay way to top off points earned elsewhere.

Most hotels, apart from the Hilton Chain, give you a choice between collecting their points or associate partner points (such as Aeroplan). Hilton gives you a choice between collecting both or extra Hilton points. Furthermore, most hotels won’t give points for certain discounted rates or if you book through certain third parties. You would usually save more through Hotwire (with a bit less certainty in where you are going) than you would get from points. More bonus points can be gained in many chains by organizing an event with a certain minimum value.

Current Aeroplan Points

Points Per Stay Hotel
250 AP/stay
  • Best Western
  • Coast Hotels (Sports/AAA/CAA/Travel 55/Stopover/Websaver rates)
  • Carlson Hotels (Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn)
  • Choice Hotels (Ascend, Cambria, Clarion, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Econo Lodge, Mainstay Suites, Quality,Rodeway Inn, Sleep Inn, Suburban Extended Stay)
  • Delta Hotels & Resorts (rates: hotel sell, prov/fed govt, corporate, CPSA, Canadian Bar Assn, Corporate assn with special arrangements, travel agent consortia, deltahotels.com rate of the day, corporate group, govt group, aeroplan.com reservation)
  • Eaton Hotels 250 PER NIGHT – MAX 750
500 AP/stay
  • Coast Hotels (NOT Sports/AAA/CAA/Travel 55/Stopover/Websaver rates)
  • Carlson Hotels (Park Plaza, Radisson)
  • Delta Hotels & Resorts (rates: stopover, AAA,CAA, Entertainment, AARP, seniors, deltahotels.com specials & packages, sports team, national & international group, partnership promotion, web saver, advance purchace)
  • Fairmont Hotels
  • Gouverneur Hotels
  • IHG Chain (Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn, Indigo, Staybridge Suites)
  • Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts
  • Langham Chain (The Langham, Langham Place, 99 Xintiandi) 500 PER NIGHT – MAX 1500
  • Pan Pacific Hotels
  • Parkroyal Hotels

  • Shargra-La (Kerry, Shargra La, Traders)
  • Wyndham Chain (Hawthorn Suites, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts)
750 AP/stay
  • Fairmont Hotels Premier member
1000 AP/stay
  • Fairmont Hotels Platinum member

Hotels with Points per $/€ spent

Points per $/€ hotels are more lucrative for longer stays (except if they are capped). The conversion to $CDN is based on example exchange rates and are subject to change, but should give a good approximate value.

Most hotels, apart from the Hilton Chain, give you a choice between collecting their points or associate partner points (such as Aeroplan). Hilton gives you a choice between collecting both or extra Hilton points. Furthermore, most hotels won’t give points for certain discounted rates or if you book through certain third parties. More bonus points can be gained in many chains by organizing an event with a certain minimum value.

Current Aeroplan Points

points per $CDN points per $US/€ Hotel
0.67 AP/$ 1AP/€
  • Accor Chain (Ibis, Thalassa sea & spa, Novotel, Sofitel)
0.91 AP/$ 1AP/$US
  • Hilton Chain (Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Embassy Suites, Hilton, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewod Suites, Waldorf Astoria) & get Hilton Points
  • Hilton Chain (Home 2 Suites) – Maximum 100 points & get Hilton Points
  • Hilton Chain (Hampton Inn) – Minimum 100 points & get Hilton Points
  • Hilton Chain (Double Tree, Hilton Garden Inn) – Minimum 500 points & get Hilton Points
  • Marriott Chain (AC, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Marriott Executive Apartments, Residence Inn, Springhill Suites)
1.33 AP/$ 2AP/€
  • Accor Chain (NOT Ibis, Thalassa sea & spa, Novotel, Sofitel)
1.82 AP/$ 2AP/$US
  • Marriott Chain (Gaylord, JW Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Marriott Vacation Club, Renaissance)
  • Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts
  • Hotel Sheraton (Four Points, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts)
  • Starwood Chain (Hotel Aloft, Le Meridien, St Regis, The Luxury Collection, Westin Hotels and Resorts,W Hotels)
  • Westin Chain (Element)
  • Hotel Wyndham (Baymont Inn & Suites, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Microtel, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge US/Canada, Wingate) – Minimum 250 points
2.73 AP/$ 3AP/$US
  • Hotel Sheraton Gold/Platinum Preferred Guests (Four Points, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts)
  • Starwood Chain SPG Gold/Platinum preferred guest (Hotel Aloft, Le Meridien, St Regis, the Luxury Collection, Westin Hotels and Resorts, W Hotels)
  • Westin Chain Gold/Platinum Preferred Guest (Element)

Sign ups (free points)

Signing up for free points is a means of getting a few extra points but will never be a top way of getting Aeroplan miles. You will need to consider the value of those points in respect to the effort and privacy loss in getting them.

Current Aeroplan Points

Offer Points
Home Hardware email signup 100 (counts for Distinction)
Esso Speedpass signup (bonus points until April 7 2014) 400
Asking Canadians various
Direct Energy email update signup 500

Sign ups (bonus points)

Signing up for bonus points can be a reasonable way of getting Aeroplan miles from time to time, though not consistently. If the bonuses are for services you are getting anyway then there’s no real privacy loss. The level of effort vs the reward given should always be considered – 100 points could be worth $1.5 while 10 000 points could be worth $150 and well worth a few minutes to sign up for something.

Current Aeroplan Points

Offer Points
Air Canada – Goodbye Canada Hello Europe – book by April 1st, 2014 5000/10000
 Air Canada – Pot of Gold – book by March 17th 2014 for travel until June 1, 2014 variable – min 700

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