Air Canada’s Aeroplan loyalty program is undoubtedly one of the best in the industry and a favorite among award travelers — for good reason.
Between its commitment to having an award chart, lack of fuel surcharges, laundry list of partners, ability to add stopovers and ease of earning points, it’s easy to see why frequent flyers love the Aeroplan program, even if they don’t live in Canada.
Currently, the Aeroplan® Credit Card has a welcome bonus of 70,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases with the card in the first three months of account opening, making now a great opportunity to start participating in the Aeroplan program if you aren’t already doing so. After all, with this latest sign-up offer, you’ll have the chance to accrue at least 73,000 Aeroplan points once you meet the spending requirement and earn your welcome bonus.
And even if you don’t want to open an Aeroplan cobranded card, you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One and Chase Ultimate Rewards to Aeroplan, all at a 1:1 ratio.
But what can you do with thousands of Aeroplan points? For simplicity’s sake, we’ll look at some of the best ways to use 75,000 Aeroplan points so you can put the Aeroplan Credit Card’s bonus to good use.
Before diving into Aeroplan’s best redemptions for 75,000 points (or less), let’s first take a look at what makes this Air Canada program so valuable.
Offering partnerships with both Star Alliance and non-Star Alliance carriers, Aeroplan gives members several ways to redeem points thanks to its extensive network of partners. An added bonus is that you’ll pay no fuel surcharges on partner award tickets booked through Aeroplan. However, there are some slight differences between Air Canada flights and its partner-operated flights to be mindful of.
Air Canada’s own flights have variable pricing to make every one of its seats available for award booking, but unlike fully dynamic programs, there are caps on award costs. Aeroplan uses award charts to determine redemption rates between and within its travel zones for partner awards. This is primarily where Aeroplan points show their true value.
The program breaks up the world into four regions: North America, the Atlantic, the Pacific and South America. To know exactly how many points your award ticket will cost, it’s important to know what zone you’re flying to and from.
For travel within and between regions, there are distance-based award charts. The farther you fly, the more expensive your award redemption will be. You can get creative with your routing, but you will pay more points for longer itineraries.
To help you easily calculate the miles needed to fly between your starting and ending points, you can use sites like Great Circle Mapper. Aeroplan also has a Points Predictor tool to show you exactly how many points your award flight will cost based on the zones and distance flown.
It’s also worth noting that you can add a stopover to your Aeroplan award ticket for just 5,000 points. The ticket cost will be calculated based on the total mileage based on the award chart, plus an additional 5,000 points. This is a fun way to maximize your Aeroplan points and see two destinations for slightly more than the price of one.
With that out of the way, let’s get started on some Aeroplan redemptions.
Fly to Europe one-way in business class
No matter what time of year it is, there is always a great reason to travel to Europe. Whether you want to see gaze at the northern lights in Norway, drink a beer in the Czech Republic or eat paella in Spain, the region has a ton to offer.
If you’re eager to head to Europe soon, what better way to fly there than in a premium cabin? Aeroplan’s award chart is valuable for international premium-cabin seats, particularly on partner airlines.
With Aeroplan’s award chart, all of Europe is within the Atlantic zone. However, redemption rates vary by flight distance, so you will need to calculate the physical mileage between your origin and destination airports.
Based on our search, here are a few solid options that you can book for 75,000 points or less.
Turkish Airlines business class
You can fly nonstop from many cities on the East Coast and in the Midwest to Istanbul Airport (IST) via Turkish Airlines for 70,000 Aeroplan points, as these routes fall in the award chart’s 4,001- to 6,000-mile distance band.
U.S. airports with flights to Istanbul include Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR); New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK); Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport (IAD); Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD); Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL); and Miami International Airport (MIA).
Turkish flies a variety of aircraft to and from the U.S., but if you’re hoping to score a seat in the airline’s more modern business class, know that you’ll only find it on the airline’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350. On those aircraft, seats are in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, allowing for significantly more comfort and privacy.
The 787 Dreamliner is most commonly found on routes to and from ATL, but you might also find it from ORD and IAD.
Lufthansa business class
With both Frankfurt Airport (FRA) and Munich Airport (MUC) in Germany being considerably closer to the U.S. than Istanbul, there are many more viable business-class options available, especially from the West Coast and Texas.
Flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Fransisco International Airport (SFO), Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to either Munich or Frankfurt all fall in the same 4,001- to 6,000-mile distance band. Each of these city pairs can be booked for 70,000 points one-way on Lufthansa.
In my experience, Lufthansa’s transatlantic business-class product offers a great dining experience and attentive service.
United Airlines business class
Another option to get to Europe in business class with Aeroplan points is with United Airlines.
United’s long-haul fleet consists of many different types of planes. However, most have been retrofitted with the Polaris business-class seat. This product offers premium, lie-flat seats, bedding and a multi-course inflight meal.
The easiest way to see if your flight will offer Polaris seats is by checking the seat map for your flight. Polaris cabins will always have either have a 1-2-1 or 1-1-1 configuration.
Australia or New Zealand in business class one-way
Flying in business class to Oceania is often difficult due to the lack of award space. Fortunately, there are occasionally times when you can find award space.
Aeroplan charges 75,000 points for flights between North America and the Pacific zones as long as flights fall in the 5,001- to 7,500-mile distance band. There are some sweet spots from the West Coast, primarily from LAX and SFO.
For example, you can fly nonstop from LAX or SFO to Sydney Airport (SYD) on United. Or, if you’d rather go to New Zealand instead of Australia, you could fly nonstop from SFO to Auckland Airport (AKL) on United or from LAX to AKL on Air New Zealand. You may also be able to find flights on Air Canada and United.
Since finding award space to Oceania can be difficult, you’ll want to jump on these flights when they’re available, as these award redemptions are a steal given the lengthy flight time lasting 13-plus hours. Just note that only flights from the West Coast will price at 75,000 miles, as longer flights fall into a higher pricing band.
Business class to East Asia
Flying to Asia in business class is arguably the best way to redeem points for maximum value. This is because cash fares on partner airlines, including All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines and EVA Air, to name a few, can be ridiculously high.
With the distance band restrictions, most of Aeroplan’s sweet spots to Asia come from the West Coast. From LAX and SFO, you can fly nonstop to many Asian destinations like Tokyo, Taipei and Seoul, South Korea, for just 75,000 points one-way.
ANA business class
ANA’s business class is widely considered one of the best business-class products in the world thanks to its unparalleled service and fantastic menus.
However, cash prices for these tickets typically cost upward of $4,000 per person. Since dropping thousands of dollars on a seat is rarely an option for many travelers, using 75,000 Aeroplan points is often the much more feasible way to go.
By using Aeroplan points to book this airline’s business-class cabin, you’ll enjoy a top-notch product on a long-haul route while netting more than 5 cents per point in value.
If you are based in Seattle, you may even score a better deal, as flying from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to Tokyo in ANA’s business class is possible for just 55,000 points one-way due to the route falling into the shorter distance band for flights less than 5,000 miles.
EVA Air business class
Taipei is often overlooked for more glamorous Asian cities like Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong but it shouldn’t be, as the city is home to some of Asia’s finest cuisine, bubble tea and bustling night markets.
If you decide Taiwan is the place to visit next, consider using your Aeroplan points to book a business-class seat on EVA Air, a carrier generally regarded as one of the best in the world due to its great service and tasty food. You can fly with EVA Air from LAX or SFO for 75,000 points.
Short-haul flights within North America
Now that we’ve looked at some options for using your Aeroplan points abroad, let’s consider some within North America, since an incredible sweet spot with Aeroplan’s program just happens to be right here at home.
Flights within North America with a physical distance of 500 miles or less can be booked for only 6,000 points one-way or 12,000 points round trip on United. This opens up so many options for flights where cash prices can vary significantly.
For example, you can fly to Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ) from New York, Boston or Chicago for just 6,000 points one-way if your flight is operated by United. If you are based in San Francisco, you can fly to Los Angeles, San Diego or Las Vegas for the same one-way rate of 6,000 points.
If you’re flying to/from Canada, keep an eye out for Air Canada awards. These can sometimes price lower than the award chart’s pricing bands. For example, this flight from New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL) costs just 5,800 points in February.
You can also leverage Air Canada’s dynamic pricing to get a discount on domestic flights within Canada. It’s not uncommon to find these flights for under 5,000 points.
These awards can be very useful for those based in cities that typically have expensive cash fares, especially around the holidays. For instance, instead of spending around $240 for a nonstop, one-way ticket from Chicago to Toronto, you can redeem 6,000 Aeroplan points. This would give you 4 cents per point, which is significantly higher than TPG’s Aeroplan valuation of 1.5 cents per point.
Round trip for 3 in economy to Hawaii from the West Coast
Another great perk of Aeroplan’s program is that it doesn’t consider Hawaii part of a different region than the contiguous U.S. However, award pricing depends on where you are coming from in the mainland U.S. due to the distance bands in the award chart.
Flights between 1,501 and 2,750 miles can be booked for 12,500 points one-way in economy. Round-trip flights are priced at 25,000 points.
Options within this distance band include flying nonstop from SFO or LAX to Hawaiian airports like Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Kauai’s Lihue Airport (LIH) and Maui’s Kahului Airport (OGG). Instead of spending twice as much per business-class seat — those go for 25,000 points one-way or 50,000 points round trip — you can use 75,000 points to buy three round-trip tickets in coach.
Other ways to earn Aeroplan points
If you want to top off your Aeroplan points for a redemption requiring more points, you can easily transfer points at a 1:1 ratio from American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One and Chase Ultimate Rewards. Additionally, Marriott Bonvoy makes it possible to transfer points at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000-point bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points you transfer.
Adding a new credit card to your wallet could be another way to increase your Aeroplan balance. Here are some options with particularly appealing welcome bonuses:
- American Express® Gold Card: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases with your new card within the first six months of card membership.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 80,000 points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the card in the first six months of card membership.
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
There are plenty of ways to get terrific value from the Aeroplan points you’ll receive after qualifying for the Aeroplan Credit Card’s welcome bonus, whether you want to fly a short, domestic route in economy or book long-haul international flights in a premium cabin.
While premium cabin award redemptions to international destinations will usually offer the best value, that’s not to say that redemptions in economy class aren’t a good value. Because of this variety of options, Aeroplan points can be a great way to get from point A to point B.