Travel

Is this a good deal? [Aeroplan]

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  • Apr 27th, 2016 11:42 am
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 10, 2014
2977 posts
1250 upvotes
Ottawa, ON

Is this a good deal? [Aeroplan]

Ottawa>Chicago>LA>Ottawa for 25k miles + $160 (or an extra 19k points). I'm just looking to travel and have been meaning to go to LA and Chicago. How many cities will they let you stack?

What are the best deals for Aeroplan points other than first class?

Is it usually worth it to pay the fuel charges with cash or points?
7 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 12, 2007
2101 posts
1125 upvotes
Ottawa
Never worth using points to pay for fuel surcharges.
Best deals for Aeroplan are business/first class flights overseas...
Also I believe you get great value if you book flights to Nunavut or something (i think you have to call in though)...

In terms of this being a good deal that depends on what the full cash price would be...it is probably not terrible value, but you could do better...
Deal Addict
Apr 12, 2007
2101 posts
1125 upvotes
Ottawa
Also I think you are limited to a single stopover or open jaw on short haul awards.
For long haul awards, in addition to your destination, Aeroplan allows two stopovers (one in each direction) OR one stopover and one open jaw
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 10, 2014
2977 posts
1250 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Ya, I guess I shouldn't be too hung up on getting a good deal because I don't have enough for business/first class and I don't really want to go to Nunavut lol
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2007
1330 posts
791 upvotes
Ottawa
Agree with the above.
As an (over)general rule of thumb, redeeming Aeroplan miles for more than 2c/mile is generally a good deal, and below 1c/mile is generally a bad deal. In between, depends on what your other options are, and how much you're into delayed gratification and optimizing stuff versus grab'n'go.

Generally speaking, 25k economy awards in North America are not worth it if your alternative would be to buy a rock-bottom discount fare far in ahead of time (e.g. Tango on Air Canada) or if you would otherwise fly a low-cost carrier (e.g. Southwest, Spirit inside the U.S.). They are more likely to be worth it if you're flying multiple stops (as you plan), cross-border, at premium times. Basically, I'd ballpark price out the itinerary you want to fly and if it would price out to more than $700 or so (25000 @ 0.02 + $160) would feel I'm getting good value.

On the other hand, the fees for 19k pts is less than 1c/point so not worth it. You could later redeem for a 15k short haul award (+ fees) and have an extra trip instead!

Also consider your Aeroplan earning plans going forward. If it's taken you a long time to accumulate just enough to pay for ticket and fees, and you don't expect to up your earnings rate going forward, it might make sense to pay for the fees with points rather than orphan them. If signing up for one of the credit card bonuses to get another 20,30,40k points in the coming year is possible, you might think about saving all the points instead, since you'd be within reach of a business class ticket to Europe or a sunny vacation next winter pretty quickly.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 10, 2014
2977 posts
1250 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
houska wrote: Agree with the above.
As an (over)general rule of thumb, redeeming Aeroplan miles for more than 2c/mile is generally a good deal, and below 1c/mile is generally a bad deal. In between, depends on what your other options are, and how much you're into delayed gratification and optimizing stuff versus grab'n'go.

Generally speaking, 25k economy awards in North America are not worth it if your alternative would be to buy a rock-bottom discount fare far in ahead of time (e.g. Tango on Air Canada) or if you would otherwise fly a low-cost carrier (e.g. Southwest, Spirit inside the U.S.). They are more likely to be worth it if you're flying multiple stops (as you plan), cross-border, at premium times. Basically, I'd ballpark price out the itinerary you want to fly and if it would price out to more than $700 or so (25000 @ 0.02 + $160) would feel I'm getting good value.

On the other hand, the fees for 19k pts is less than 1c/point so not worth it. You could later redeem for a 15k short haul award (+ fees) and have an extra trip instead!

Also consider your Aeroplan earning plans going forward. If it's taken you a long time to accumulate just enough to pay for ticket and fees, and you don't expect to up your earnings rate going forward, it might make sense to pay for the fees with points rather than orphan them. If signing up for one of the credit card bonuses to get another 20,30,40k points in the coming year is possible, you might think about saving all the points instead, since you'd be within reach of a business class ticket to Europe or a sunny vacation next winter pretty quickly.
Awesome info, thanks!

People really love business class eh? Is it really all that good? I mean I do drink a lot but most international flights still give free booze anyways.
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2007
1330 posts
791 upvotes
Ottawa
djdestroyer wrote: People really love business class eh? Is it really all that good? I mean I do drink a lot but most international flights still give free booze anyways.
Some people like holding back to redeem business class/first class for the "score/splurge" factor; you do get treated better (comfort, booze, food, priority boarding/lounge access), and there's a bit of a "living a dream" element to it too, like going to the prom in a limo.

I fly a lot for work (multiple years of several hundred thousand miles per year). I insist on (paid) business class for long-haul flights, primarily for the lie-flat pods. You can actually have a normal night's sleep. And during the "day", you have enough space to work fully productively. Of course, I could (and did, esp. as a student) survive plenty of red-eyes in economy, but you are a bit of zombie the day after. Fine when adrenaline is driving you on your 1x year vacation, but not good if you go straight into a full day of meetings, and quite possibly actively lifespan-shortening if you do it on a weekly or biweekly basis (I've flown 11 >10 hour long redeyes so far in 2016). Since I insist on business class for work travel, I get spoiled and of course *want* it for leisure travel as well. But I don't find value in First versus Business class - what matters is the flat bed, not how many times they (mis)pronounce your name and whether they serve you plonk or real champagne. To each his own.

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