Air Canada only just started selling miles for the first time six weeks ago. They’ve also been been among the most creative engaging loyalty program members while they aren’t traveling.
Now they’re launching something really special – what may be the best mileage purchase sale ever. Between May 7 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern through May 13 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, they will sell miles for as little as 1 cent apiece.
- 1 cent tranche: The first 10 million miles sold receive a 115% bonus ($0.014 CAD/mile + sales tax or $0.01 USD/mile without tax)
- 1.1 cent tranche: The next 100 million miles sold receive a 90% bonus ($0.016 CAD/mile + sales tax or $0.011 USD/mile without tax)
- 1.3 cent tranche: After the first 110 million miles sold they’ll offer a 65% bonus ($0.018 CAD/mile + sales tax or $0.013 USD/mile without tax)
Air Canada Aeroplan is a Star Alliance frequent flyer program. They offer access to Star partner awards across the alliance, and far greater functionality and better customer service (telephone hold times back in winter notwithstanding) than LifeMiles which offers incredible deals when selling miles for around 1.35 cents apiece (and there’s currently consternation because of the precarious position of Avianca).
While Aeroplan adds fuel surcharges to redemptions on some carriers, you’ll primarily just want to avoid Asiana, Austrian, Lufthansa and Thai.
As long as you’re betting on Air Canada’s survival through the pandemic, this is a fantastic offer and not just in the ‘first tranche’ of 10 million miles at 1 cent apiece. I’m a buyer at 1.1 cents as well.
One you hit 1.3 cents I think you want to have a clear near-term use for the miles. Aeroplan hasn’t yet revealed what its new program is going to look like, though we have some information like that international partner awards will still be based on an award chart. My primary reluctance to load up at 1.3 cents apiece is that I already have several hundred thousand Aeroplan miles, so wouldn’t use these right away, and of course I can top off transferring from American Express Membership Rewards if I need to.
Key things to know:
- No taxes on mileage sales for “transactions made with US based cards with a US billing address”
- They allow you to buy 250,000 miles per transaction and 500,000 miles per year – but that limit is on the base purchase, excluding the bonus. If you were able to make two transactions in the first tranche you could buy up to 1,075,000 miles at 1 cent each.
- If you don’t already have an Aeroplan account, enroll now to be ready to take advantage of the purchase offer. There’s apparently no waiting period on new accounts to be able to jump on this – which is unusual. A waiting period for new accounts is often an anti-fraud measure (but also a cost reduction measure as new accounts under normal circumstances are also most likely to redeem miles right away).
- Aeroplan and Points.com will make a donation to The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation for each miles purchase
- Transactions are processed by Points.com so do not earn air travel category credit card bonuses
- This offer overlaps with Air Canada’s offer to let you earn elite status by earning miles from home so you can earn elite status buying miles and existing elites can upgrade their status or earn other benefits as well. Fifty per cent of the total miles purchased through this Buy Miles promotion will count towards our Travel at Home status offers.
Business class to Europe is 55,000 to 57,500 miles each way; Asia 75k or 77.5k each way. The elite status double dip makes 1 cent, or 1.1 cent, mileage purchases even more exceptionally rewarding.
Set your alarms or Outlook calendar reminders for 10 a.m. Thursday. I plan to.