If you care about getting the most bang for your buck and you like using airline miles to book flights, Air Canada’s Aeroplan program should be on your radar. Thanks to competitive rates, some great airline partnerships and the ability to include a stopover on your trip, Aeroplan can help you get some huge value out of the points you earn.
Let’s check out some of the amazing ways you can use your Aeroplan miles to book some amazing trips to Europe, Asia, Australia and more!
Best Ways To Earn Aeroplan Miles
If you need to earn some Aeroplan miles to take advantage of some of the opportunities below, you have several great options. You can transfer both Amex Membership Rewards points and Capital One miles to Aeroplan at 1:1 and 2:1.5 ratios, respectively. Both of these options provide some easy ways to get your hands on Aeroplan miles. Here are a few cards that can help:
- American Express Gold Card
- The Platinum Card from American Express
- American Express Business Gold Card
- Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
- Capital One Venture
- Capital One Spark Miles
TD Bank also issues a co-branded card which earns Aeroplan miles. However, it earns 1X mile on most purchases while Amex cards come with lucrative bonus categories that can help you earn 2X to 5X points. On top of that, the Capital One Venture and Spark Miles each earn 2X Capital One miles which equals 1.5X Aeroplan miles.
Here are some other great ways to use Amex Membership Rewards points and Capital One miles.
Avoid Surcharges With Select Partners
Ever see a redemption you think will be awesome then get a look at the surcharges required on the last page before booking? Yeah, that’s never a fun moment. With Aeroplan you can avoid surcharges when booking award flights on specific partners. Being smart about which partner you fly can be the difference in paying $50 and $800 in taxes/fees — looking at you, Lufthansa!
You can avoid paying surcharges when using Aeroplan miles by flying one of the following partners.
|Use Aeroplan With No Surcharges On:|
|Aegean Airlines||EVA Air|
|Air India||Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)|
|Air New Zealand||Singapore Airlines|
|Brussels Airlines||South African Airways|
|Croatia Airlines||TAP Air Portugal|
|Ethiopian Airlines||United Airlines|
You can also book LOT Polish Airlines with very reasonable surcharges. However, booking Lufthansa or Austrian Airlines with Aeroplan miles will leave you on the hook for some very steep surcharges. Oddly enough, even award tickets booked on Air Canada will have surcharges included in the total taxes/fees. Still, you have some great options if you want to avoid surcharges entirely.
SWISS Business Class To Western Europe
The tarmac view from the lounge in Zurich is enough to make me want to fly SWISS business class. Beyond the view, the business class lounge has some great food and drink options plus plenty of seating so you can relax before your flight. Of course, the flight itself is quite nice and even better if you can land a “throne seat” which gives you a massive amount of space.
To book SWISS business class between the USA and Western Europe, you can use 55,000 Aeroplan miles and avoid surcharges. For comparison, you’d need 70,000 United miles for the same flight. I’m not sure about you, but I’ll take a savings of 15,000 points!
EVA Air Business Class To North Asia
When it comes to flying business class to Asia, it seems Cathay Pacific, ANA and Japan Airlines get all the media attention. Don’t get me wrong, it’s well-deserved attention. However, EVA Air is so often missing from that discussion and that’s a shame. You might even say EVA Air business class is like flying first class light.
As a business class passenger, you’ll receive some rather stylish pajamas and, if you’re flying out of Taipei, a Rimowa amenity kit. You can also expect a great cabin crew who will be happy to make your day by serving you some excellent first class quality champagne.
With Aeroplan, you can use 75,000 miles to fly one-way between Asia 1 (basically, North Asia) and the USA. Aeroplan classifies Asia 1 as China, Eastern Russia, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan.
Cheap Infant Award Tickets
Many airline programs will charge you 10% of a cash ticket if you want to book a lap-infant on a long-haul flight. Fortunately, Aeroplan does not. If you book an award ticket for yourself with Aeroplan miles, you can add an infant to the ticket for the following rates:
- Economy: $50 or 5,000 Aeroplan miles
- Premium economy: $75 or 7,500 Aeroplan miles
- Business class: $100 or 10,000 Aeroplan miles
- First class: $125 or 12,500 Aeroplan miles
Once you’ve booked your ticket, you can call Aeroplan at 1-800-361-5373 to add your infant to your booking. For your child to be eligible, he or she must be under 2 years of age when you travel.
Mini Round The World – Ending Soon!
Aeroplan announced that its making changes to the program beginning September 1, 2019. Unfortunately, this will remove the mini round the world (RTW) option but I wanted to share it just in case you can book before then. So, what is this mini-RTW?
Put simply, you can book a round-trip award ticket with two stopovers or one stopover and one open jaw. With two stopovers, you could see 3 cities with just one award ticket. You could keep this simple and see a few places in Europe or you could have some fun with it and book a mini-RTW ticket.
For 155,000 Aeroplan miles, you could book a business class ticket from the USA to Europe then continue to Asia before returning to the USA. While in Europe and Asia, you could take trains and short flights to see even more of these regions.
As of September 1, 2019, you will only be able to include one stopover on a round-trip award.
Business Class To Australia Or New Zealand
It can be tough to find award space to Australia or New Zealand from North America, but Aeroplan provides a great way to do it. For 80,000 Aeroplan miles, you can book a one-way business class ticket. However, since it’s tough to get non-stop award from North America to Australia on United or Air Canada or to New Zealand on Air New Zealand, you’ll often have the connect in Asia.
That’s okay, though. If you book a round-trip ticket for 160,000 Aeroplan miles, you can include a stopover along the way and see even more of the world.
Turkish Airlines Business Class To Southeast Asia
Turkish Airlines has built a great reputation for its business class lounges in Istanbul as well as its inflight catering. Now, its in the process of rolling out a new business class seat on its Dreamliners. This new cabin layout will only make flying Turkish even more enjoyable.
Now, the reason I mention flying Turkish to Southeast Asia, specifically, is that award space directly from the USA to Asia doesn’t always work out. I’ve been able to book Turkish as a workaround several times. While this isn’t the quickest way to get to Southeast Asia, it’s the perfect opportunity to include a stopover in Istanbul.
To include the round-trip, you’ll need to book a round-trip ticket — business class is 155,000 Aeroplan miles round-trip. If you don’t need the stopover and only want to book a one-way ticket, you can use 77,500 miles to book.
Business Class To South Africa
There’s no way around it, flying to South Africa from the USA is going to take awhile. It might even require a couple of stops on multiple airlines. If you’re going to make the journey — and it’s absolutely worth it, Aeroplan provides a great way to book business class. You can use 75,000 Aeroplan to book a one-way ticket or 150,000 miles to book round-trip.
One of the things I love about using Aeroplan for this trip is that you can potentially do a little customizing. Flying Ethiopian Airlines or South African Airways might be the quickest path, but you might want a stopover in Europe or even Brazil. Thanks to its Star Alliance partners, you could book a round-trip award ticket and enjoy a stopover in Ethiopia, Brazil or Europe. Not only will that break up the travel in one direction, but it will let you see another fun destination.
Until September 1, 2019, you can actually include two stopovers.
Short Economy Flights In The USA
It’s not as glamorous as flying business and first class across the world but sometimes you just need a short flight in the USA and prices are steep. In this case, 7,500 Aeroplan miles for a one-way economy ticket on United. As I said off the bat, it’s not a fancy flight but it might be a necessary flight. Either way, you might as well get a good deal!
Book ANA First Class One-Way
If you’re booking a round-trip ANA first class ticket, using Virgin Atlantic miles is the way go. However, since Virgin — and ANA for that matter — require a round-trip booking, that leaves us with Aeroplan as the best option for a one-way award ticket.
If you like expensive Japanese whiskey, Krug Champagne and amazing service, 105,000 Aeroplan miles is more than worth a 14-hour flight from the east coast to Japan. If you’re flying from Japan to the USA, you’ll absolutely love the exclusive first class check-in and being greeted at the lounge. Who doesn’t like feeling special every once in a while?
When it comes to business class flights to Asia or Europe on Star Alliance carriers, you really can’t go wrong with Aeroplan if you can find award space on a partner that won’t stick you with surcharges. Throw in the ability to utilize a stopover and you can really build some great itineraries to see some amazing places around the world.
How can anyone make a list like this and not include the air canada awards to the arctic which provide more value that literally any other option on this list.
Hey B – Flights to the Arctic are certainly a fascinating option. The list was not meant to be a list of all possible ways. Rather, it was meant to paint a picture for folks who haven’t thought much about Aeroplan. I’d be willing to wager that far more people are trying to go to Asia, Europe, South Africa, etc. than the Arctic but I’m open to being shown otherwise.
Perhaps, next time you can make a friendly suggestion rather than taking a little shot. I’m always happy to add options to posts I write. 🙂
Thanks for reading. Have a great day!
Aeroplan collects fuel surcharges on air China now
Oh man, I totally missed that. Blah, that sucks. Time to change out that option. Thanks for flagging!
Aeroplan is a thug along with Air Canada
Tell us how you really feel! 🙂
As a Canadian living in Asia I frequently look at the Aeroplan site for business class bookings back to north America. All I can say is good luck. Most of the time your only business class seat is from one north American city to another. From there you sit economy to Asia. Very rarely do I see business on the long haul. If you do it usually includes a long lay over somewhere, but not long enough to leave the airport. You’ll spend a lot of time searching their site for a flight you want
Sorry to hear this has been your experience. Super frustrating. I’ve actually done really well with finding business class on the long-haul to/from the US. I flew EVA biz class coming back to the US last December on an Aeroplan award and have booked similar for clients.
I recently tried to book a ticket with EVA from Toronto to Taipei and intended to upgrade to business class. Unfortunately, the travel agent couldn’t find any available seat even though my dates are flexible. The agent think EVA has blocked aeroplanes.
I’ve found it really depends on the day you search. The last time I searched for Taipei to Toronto award space, it showed a bunch of space one day and zero space the following day. I can currently see EVA biz class space on Aeroplan so it was probably just a day without space. Do you know if the economy ticket you were booking was in Y or B fare class?
Is it possible that I’m already itching for my next trip now?
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