Guest author Anne Betts is back to share even more ways to earn Aeroplan miles fast. From shopping to simply getting your steps in, it’s covered here. Read on for these 5 more ways to earn Aeroplan miles.
1) Shop at Aeroplan partners
First up on this list of more ways to earn Aeroplan miles is to be conscious of where you shop. Aeroplan members have lots of miles-earning opportunities with over 200 brick-and-mortar and online merchants.
From eye care to electronics, fashion to finance, or luggage to lawn care, merchants can be found by location or category.
Need a car? Check out the 1,000-3,000-point-bonus seasonal promotions at Avis at decent rates. Always check the terms and conditions in case the promotional costs outweigh the benefits.
In fact, sign up for emails advertising promotions. Aeroplan, Rewards Canada, and individual merchants such as Costco.ca and Home Hardware will keep you updated.
2) Earn Aeroplan miles on accommodation bookings
Aeroplan has a long list of over 90 hotel partners. Unless there’s a promotion, you’ll earn in the range of one mile per $ spent, or perhaps 250 miles per night or per stay. When it comes to earning Aeroplan miles, you can do better.
(i) Aeroplan hotel-booking platform
The prices are competitive when booking through Aeroplan Travel Services. Sign in to your Aeroplan account and click the “Hotels” tab. The total cost including taxes is displayed upfront so you don’t need to wait until the end of the process to see if there are hidden booking fees. Points are earned per night and include the status bonus associated with your Silver, Black or Diamond Aeroplan status. In the example below, a hotel with a rate in the range of $150 (taxes included) earns close to 1,000 Aeroplan miles per night (for someone with Silver or Black Aeroplan status).
Rocketmiles has regular promotions such as 3,000 Aeroplan bonus miles for first-time bookings, or bonus miles for two-night stays. Compare the rates with other sites, and check that taxes and fees aren’t inflated to cover the promotional costs. For Rocketmiles in particular, do the math to make sure you’re getting a deal.
If you’re looking for a holiday apartment, Airbnb isn’t the only game in town. In fact, in some countries, VRBO/HomeAway has more listings than Airbnb. That was my experience in booking an apartment in Italy’s Cinque Terre last year. Book with HomeAway through the Aeroplan eStore portal for great points earning.
On accommodation bookings, most credit cards will earn an additional one point per dollar. For extra points, use a credit card with a points multiplier for travel. Here are a few examples of cards earning Aeroplan miles (or points that convert to Aeroplan):
- AMEX Gold Rewards Card earns x2 on travel
- CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for Business earns x1.5 at airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, and travel agencies
- AMEX Marriott Bonvoy credit cards earn x6 at Marriott properties and 4x points on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers & on U.S. purchases for shipping as well as 2x points on all other eligible purchases
3) Book and fly on Air Canada and its airline partners
There are times when the best way to earn (and burn) Aeroplan miles is to pay cash for a flight (and save Aeroplan for where it counts). All too often I encounter travellers with plans for ambitious trips on points but not enough time to comfortably earn them. Award travel requires two timelines – one for earning and one for burning. When you’re in earning mode, you’ll likely be paying “cash” for air travel. Therefore,
- use a credit card with a points multiplier for travel (or for purchases at aircanada.com); and
- fly with Air Canada or one of its partners both within and outside the Star Alliance.
You’ll earn “flying miles” based on distance and fare class. For example, on a flight from Halifax to Montreal, a distance of 500 miles, you’ll earn between 25% and 150%. A Tango fare earns 125 miles, and an Executive fare earns 750 miles. These can be boosted with promotions.
When flying internationally, you’ll earn flying miles on Star Alliance partners. When researching your options, check out what “flying miles” you’d earn. After all, it’s an important consideration when calculating the cost of travel.
4) Transfer points from other programs
Next up on this list of more ways to earn Aeroplan miles is to tap into other reward progams you may not be utilizing. Those “orphan” hotel loyalty points that aren’t enough to redeem for a hotel night might serve you better in your Aeroplan account.
Marriott Rewards convert to Aeroplan at 3:1. Transferring batches of 60,000 earns you a bonus of 5,000 Aeroplan miles (60,000 Marriott points convert to 25,000 Aeroplan miles).
The best time to convert hotel loyalty points is during a 25% promotion (or the occasional promotion at 35%).
Or, perhaps you can achieve better value from points earned in another program if you transferred them over to Aeroplan.
- AMEX Membership Rewards (MR) transfer to Aeroplan at 1:1.
- AMEX Membership Rewards Select (MR-S) convert indirectly. They can be transferred to Marriott at 1:1.2, and then from Marriott to Aeroplan at 3:1. MR-S are earned on the AMEX Cobalt Card with its attractive x5 points multiplier on eats and drinks.
5) Looking for even more ways to earn Aeroplan miles?
Looking for even more ways to earn Aeroplan point?
Asking Canadians will reward you with Aeroplan miles for completing surveys. A few years ago, I tracked my earnings: 1500 miles in a 12-month period. The surveys were interesting, and it was something I did while watching TV or waiting for an appointment.
(ii) Carrot Rewards
Carrot Rewards has a free wellness app, and the program rewards you for signing up, referring friends, completing health quizzes, and meeting step goals. The trickle of points flowing into your Aeroplan account helps keep you and your account active.
(iii) Bill payment services
It’s uncommon, if not impossible, to be able to pay taxes, tuition, rent and utilities by credit card. But, your chances improve by using a bill payment service such as PayTM or Plastiq. How it works is that the bill payment service sends a cheque or bank transfer on your behalf, and charges a service fee for doing so. The fee is either 2.5% or 3% (except that PayTM doesn’t charge for payments by MasterCard).
If using the service allows you to meet a Minimum Spend Requirement resulting in a significant sign-up bonus, the value of the points might far outweigh the cost of the fee. If Plastiq is named as one of the three preferred merchants on your AMEX Business Gold Card, the earning rate increases to 2 points per dollar. That was my experience when I used Plastiq to pay my property taxes. The fee was small compared to the value I achieved redeeming them for business class travel.
In addition, both PayTM and Plastiq offer referral bonuses and in-house points for using their services.
(iv) Credit card referral bonuses
American Express offers bonuses to existing cardholders to refer family, friends and business acquaintances for various credit card products. It often results in a higher sign-up bonus for the person being referred, but a higher MSR. It works best when you can self-refer between two eligible cards, or between two people in the same household. The referral program can be very lucrative if the MSRs can be met.
Follow my original 5 ways and these 5 MORE ways to earn Aeroplan miles and watch your account grow. If you need help redeeming your miles, Shaun offers an award booking service. For an idea of what’s possible, check out some of his amazing trips in This Life in Trips – Mini RTW Examples and How I Booked 9 Business Class Flights for $325.
About the Author
Anne Betts blogs at Packing Light Travel. She is as passionate about carry-on travel as she is about travelling on miles and points. Aeroplan is one of her favourite reward programs. Check out some of her posts: 25 Tips on earning Aeroplan miles, Minimizing Aeroplan taxes, fees and surcharges, and Finding Aeroplan flights: A step-by-step guide.
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