There Are Lots Of Discounted Miles For Sale, But Only The Air Canada Aeroplan Offer Is Worth Considering For Buying Dirt Cheap Miles, With Elite Status To Boot!

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Update: Air Canada Aeroplan will give everyone who bought miles before noon at least a 90% bonus, even if they purchased the 65% bonus offer.


Airlines and hotels are all trying to sell their miles and points right now. I haven’t covered any of them because it seems silly to buy miles these days and the sales are hardly doorbusters. Even in normal times it won’t make sense unless you have a good redemption in mind or need a few more points to get to a redemption.

Here are some of the current offers out there:

  • Alaska (50% bonus=1.83 cents/mile. I’d value these at about 1.5-1.7 cents/mile unless there’s a specific use in mind).
  • American (66.7% bonus=1.86 cents/mile. I’d value these at about 1.3-1.5 cents/mile unless there’s a specific use in mind).
  • Southwest (45% discount=1.51 cents/mile. I’d value these at about 1.3-1.5 cents/point unless there’s a specific use in mind).
  • United (100% bonus=1.75 cents/mile. I’d value these at about 1.4-1.6 cents/mile unless there’s a specific use in mind).
  • Hilton (100% bonus, 0.5 cents/point. I’d value these at about 0.35-0.45 cents/mile unless there’s a specific use in mind).
  • Hyatt (30% bonus, 1.85 cents/point. I’d value these at about 1.4-1.6 cents/mile unless there’s a specific use in mind).
  • IHG (100% bonus, 0.5 cents/point. I’d value these at about 0.35-0.45 cents/mile unless there’s a specific use in mind).

But tomorrow at 10am EDT, Air Canada Aeroplan will have some pretty sweet mileage offers. You can buy up to 250K miles per transaction and up to 500K miles per year, per account. Those numbers are before bonus miles are added, so you can buy up to 1,075,000 miles with the max bonus.

  • The first 10MM miles that they sell during the promo will get a 115% bonus. 50K miles normally cost $1,500 CAD (about $1,058 USD), but with this promo you’ll get 107.5K miles. That’s a cost of just 0.98 cents per mile!
  • The next 100MM miles that they sell during the promo will get a 90% bonus. 50K miles normally cost $1,500 CAD (about $1,058 USD), but with this promo you’ll get 95K miles. That’s a cost of just 1.11 cents per mile!
  • After that during the promo you will get a 65% bonus. 50K miles normally cost $1,500 CAD (about $1,058 USD), but with this promo you’ll get 82.5K miles. That’s a cost of just 1.28 cents per mile!

I’d probably value Aeroplan miles at 1.3-1.5 cents each, so buying miles at 0.98 cents each is an incredible deal. 1.11 cents per mile is also a good deal. You’ll need to be quick to be among the first people to buy miles at those rates.

If you do want to buy miles, make sure that you make an account beforehand.

You can view their Star Alliance partner award chart here.

But also intriguingly, the miles that you buy and the miles you get as a bonus will count at 50% of the rate needed to earn elite status with Aeroplan’s Travel at Home promo that is valid through 5/31. Click on “Learn more” to register for that promo.

If you don’t have Air Canada elite status and you earn 50K miles at home from select sources by 5/31, such as transferring 50K AMEX or Capital One points to Aeroplan, you’ll earn Air Canada Altitude Prestige 25K status/Star Alliance Silver status good through 2/28/22.

When you buy miles from Air Canada there’s a 50% cutback. In other words if you buy 50K miles during the 115% promo and get 107.5K miles total, you’ll divide the total miles (including the bonus) by 50%. That would be more than the 50K miles needed to earn Altitude Prestige 25K status/Star Alliance Silver status. That will set you back about $1,060 USD, but you’ll get 107.5K miles. A business class ticket between North America and Europe is 55K miles each way, so that’s just 2.5K miles short of what you would need for a round-trip business class tickets to Europe, and you’ll get elite status to boot. Not a bad deal for $1,060! (You can buy more miles or transfer points from AMEX, Capital One, or Marriott if that’s what you want).

A business class ticket between North America and Israel is 82.5K miles each way and availability on United is incredible! If you buy 80K miles with a 115% bonus you’ll have 172K miles at a cost of $2,400 CAD, or about $1,694 USD. Not a bad price at all for a round-trip business class ticket to Tel Aviv, and you’ll also get elite status!

Sadly, if you don’t have status currently, you can’t earn a higher status than the 25K level.

Here is a chart of Air Canada elite status benefits.

Star Alliance Silver status doesn’t get you much of anything on partner airlines, but Prestige 25K status will get you priority checkin, 2 free bags, and priority boarding on Air Canada. You’ll also get 2 Air Canada lounge passes, 20 eUpgrade credits, and a waiver of fuel surcharges on travel in Canada and the US.

Perhaps more usefully, you’ll also have the opportunity to match or challenge the status to other airlines.

If you do currently have Air Canada elite status and you earn 250K miles at home by 5/31, such as transferring 250K AMEX or Capital One points to Aeroplan, you’ll gain a level of status, up to Altitude Elite 75K. Elite 75K and Super Elite 100K members who cross the 250,000 threshold won’t gain a level, but they will receive 25,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles that will count towards Million Miler lifetime status.

When you buy miles from Air Canada there’s a 50% cutback, so you’ll have to buy some 233K miles (before the 115% bonus) to get 500K miles and gain a level of Air Canada status if you currently have elite status.

Note that Air Canada is bringing Aeroplan back in house on June 30, 2020 and there may be changes to the program. However they have promised to not pull a Delta or United and delete their award charts.

That being said, selling miles at such a low rate does make me wary of a devaluation, so go into the mileage purchase with your eyes wide open.

You may want to use those miles sooner rather than later, though they should give advance notice before changes are made. But even with a devaluation, you should still be able to get value from these miles.

A breakdown of Aeroplan policies:

The good:

  • Air Canada has one of the better lap child policies out there. You pay a flat fee of just $50 in coach, $75 in premium economy, $100 in business, or $125 in first for a lap child. Compare that to 10% of the paid fare with other airlines and you can save a small fortune, especially if you are flying in business or first class.
  • Aeroplan’s Star Alliance award chart has some bright spots, though not as many as it used to. A business class flight from North America to Europe or South America is 55K miles each way while first class is 70K miles each way.
  • Air Canada still allows for a free stopover when flying to another continent, though that is down from the previous 2 free stopovers.
  • There are no expedite/close-in fees.
  • Aeroplan now offers free refunds within 24 hours of award bookings.
  • Aeroplan now allow award cancellations up until 2 hours of departure. Previously they required 21 days advance cancellation.

The bad:

  • There is a C$125 charge to change or cancel an award ticket.
  • Awards can’t be held.
  • Stopovers are no longer allowed within North America.
  • Premium class travel to Israel and the Middle East is pricey at 165K for business and 230K round-trip for first class. That’s higher than every other region in the world. Some agents may allow you to stopover in Israel on the way to another region for the lower cost of flying to the other region.

The ugly:

  • Air Canada charges a fuel surcharge if you redeem their miles for travel on the following carriers: Adria, Air Canada, ANA, Asiana, Austrian, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, TAP Portugal, and THAI. (There is no fuel surcharge if you redeem their miles for travel on the following carriers: Aegean, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, Avianca/TACA, Brussels, Copa, Croatia, EVA, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, SAS, Shenzhen, Singapore, South African, Swiss, Turkish, and United)
  • Air Canada miles require activity every 12 months to keep them active.

Will you try to buy miles with this promotion?

HT: Gary

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59 Comments On "There Are Lots Of Discounted Miles For Sale, But Only The Air Canada Aeroplan Offer Is Worth Considering For Buying Dirt Cheap Miles, With Elite Status To Boot!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Ephraim

If United is refusing to cancel and refund my 5 EWR-IAH tickets that I paid $2,600 for, can I ask them to give me points instead?

Max

Transfering Marriott points into aeroplan will bring me to the 50k requirement?

Chaim

Should we expect their site to crash like the US mint’s site did?

https://www.dansdeals.com/advertisement/purchase-coin-86-90-mint-get-200-back/

Nunu

Well overall their website sucks

Ben

Will I be able to purchase the Miles on the Aeroplan app?

ds

can I purchase the points using my amex platinum to earn 5 points per dollar?

united

Does aeroplan silver status get you extra legroom seats on United?

Brabd

If I currently have Altitude 25K status, then do I gain with the promo to the 35k or 50K star gold elite level?

Thingy

In normal times, I book about 5 round trip domestic tickets a year, often with United or other Star Alliance partners. I have sizable Amex point balance (over 200k). Is transferring 50k to Aeroplan a no-brainer? Am I missing something?

yy

If you want to fly business class from North America to Israel on United, wouldn’t Turkish miles make more sense than Aeroplan miles?

Alexander

I find Turkish hard to book!

AJ

Can you transfer miles between United and Air Canada?

Joel

Thanks for the info Dan.
Question. I have a credit with united for $1600 it expires in June but there is pretty much 0 chance of me having any travelling plans for the near future. Is there a way to get it valid for any person rather than just the named person on the ticket. have tried calling United and they say no to any name change even close family. do you have any ideas. any help appreciated.

GK

The last few times when aeroplan had a transfer bonus Marriott is excluded.

CtownBin

If I have a sizable AMEX balance (1.2 mil. points) and so can transfer to Aeroplan at 1:1 anytime I might need them (sometimes at better rates due to bonus), is there really any reason to go ahead and buy points at 1 cent each under this deal? Or transfer in 50k? I currently have no status with Aeroplan.
My father on the other hand has 50k status. Does it make more sense for him?

Gabbai

Re: Air Canada charges a fuel surcharge if you redeem their miles for travel on the following carriers: Austrian, Lufthansa. (There is no fuel surcharge if you redeem their miles for travel on the following carriers: Brussels, Swiss). Are you sure that there is a different policy for airlines within the same group? Most of their charges are the same. Any idea how much the surcharges are TLV-NYC-TLV? I have not found a date currently bookable.

Kosher without borders

Do these count towards the aa million miles balance?

Yehuda

Site crashed.

Dk

Same

Moshe

I have 250k Chase Ink points. I can apply against my bill for $2000 but I usually sell them for more. Are they worth anything these days or is it better just to redeem it by chase 1c each ?

Dave Black

It is never worth it to do that , unless you urgently need cash for a cc bill and the interest charge will be higher than the value difference.
You can redeem directly towards travel @.0125 (unless it’s a ink unlimited) and if you have the Sapphire Reserve you can redeem for .015. And there are partner programs you can transfer to for a much higher redemption rate than that.

Steve

Any one else having trouble with the site? Seems like it’s crashing

Gabbai

As could be imagined the site could not take the pressure and I got 20 error messages before I was able to input my details being offered the 115% bonus but then I got another error message after I had input my CC, but don’t worry they told your CC has not been charged!

dio

10:08 im in. only 90% left.
scam

Sam

Got the 115% bonus!

Chana

You didn’t get the error message?

jew

nice! good for you!
Crashing for most of us

Avi

Darn lucky!!

yehuda

what time cuz I tried at 10:03 and got no bonus

yehuda

10:03 cc charged bought 40000 got no bonus

AJ

Entered a security code to “make sure it’s really me” and….nothing.

Dk

Tried buying at 115 bonus and got error message . Tried again and went thru at 90 bonus. Then got emails confirming both purchases and then i checked my credit card and i see 3 pending charges. Lol

AJ

“Please try again in a few minutes”

jew

Btw the cad went up since yesterday.

AJ

Error 525. Again. I give up.

Leslie Sokolow

I was never able to get to the purchase page while the 115% bonus was available. Darn bad luck

Tully W

Bought 250K twice at the 90% twice. Plus I registered for the altitude status. Spent over 40 minutes refreshing but finally got it. Did have to get up at 645 here in CA but worth it I guess

Dk

How long does it take for my status to show on ac ? I bought 102k

me

Got the 115% and 90% i just sat and kept hitting refresh from 9:50am

Ferdinand Magellan

TAP has been offering some eye-opening miles purchase offers lately, some of which have been for less than a penny per mile. TAP also is a Star Alliance carrier, although Air Canada’s award chart is better.

moe

what airlines do aeroplans status match to?

BubbyK

Got the 115%. Thanks Dan!

Dave

Dan, I only noticed after transfering 50k from Amex that I need to register for the promo first… Any way to fix this? Thanks!

Tk

Can you elaborate a bit on status match opportunities ?
Also on how these eupgrades work

wpDiscuz