The Air Canada Aeroplan miles sale offered Aeroplan miles for $0.01 each. It looks incredible for 2 reasons:
- Air Canada had never sold miles before, other than via targeted offers (to the best of my knowledge).
- Air Canada has never sold miles for so little.
So what’s up with that?
COVID-19, that’s what.
Airlines are hurting. They are mostly grounded, so they need to raise cash somehow.
Aeroplan started out with 1 penny each for the first 10 million miles, then proceeded to sell another 100 million miles for $0.011. Both options are now gone. Currently they’re selling miles for $.013.
If you’ve missed out on the Aeroplan miles sale, you should be happy, not upset
One penny for an Aeroplan mile sounds like a good deal. It would be a great deal for anyone who doesn’t mind paying for miles or points. I do mind, so I wouldn’t touch this deal even at a better time, but not everyone is like me. So I’ll admit that one Aeroplan mile for a penny would be a great deal for many people.
Would be. May be. At a different time in history. Not now. When we don’t know shit about what does and doesn’t happen and when!
What do Aeroplan miles buy you?
To begin with, there are no bargains in the Aeroplan chart. Whatever sweet spots there used to be, Aeroplan has taken great care to plug the holes. In addition, there are enormous fuel surcharges for both Air Canada and roughly half of the Star partners. While there is no shortage of bloggers who love the program, I’ve never used Aeroplan miles in my traveling “career.” Why are they so popular?
Because Air Canada allows 2 free stopovers on a round trip award ticket. You can even build your own mini-RTW trip. A truly great deal for those of us who have the time, I’ll admit.
So can this penny-per-mile deal be attractive? Of course! It can ideally get you a mini-RTW flight in Business with 2 free stopovers for $1,100 to southern South America and Europe 1; $1,150 to Europe 2, $1,500 to Asia 1, India, and Africa (except North Africa); and $1,600 to Australia and the South Pacific.
Plus, you know, taxes and some enormous fees. Or, if you manage to find the award space with the right partners and if the stars align exactly right – just taxes.
You probably know that the only way the Aeroplan miles sale was even worth mulling over is if you want to fly in international business class. It’s not worth a second of your time if you’re simply interested in Coach.
Would you buy anything else on similar terms?
Just think a moment about what it is you wanted to buy so badly. We don’t know:
When international borders will open up for leisure air travel.
If the borders will open up simultaneously (probably not).
If and when Air Canada will have sufficient Business Class award availability.
But there is something we do know:
That there used to be incredibly cheap international Business Class fare deals in 2018-2019.
That after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, airlines will be starving for cash – meaning cash deals, not necessarily award deals.
That the next wave of devaluations across most if not all airlines’ FFPs is inevitable.
So, let me ask once again: would you tie up thousands of dollars for any other product or service that you probably won’t be able to use for at least another year – and without any clear understanding of what you’re going to get out of it?
Seriously, don’t buy miles. It’s ridiculous.
I’m almost 100% sure that most airlines will soon come out with their own “extraordinary” mile sales. And you can still buy Aeroplan miles for 1.3 cents each.
Just say no.
Not for 1.5 cents, not for $0.013, not for $0.01. Not for anything, unless a few thousand dollars is just small change for you.
There will be time for spectacular deals.
But the time is not here just yet, and this deal is simply over-hyped – not spectacular.
HT: Buy Aeroplan miles from $0.01 each….if you dare
Finally, I always give HTs or at least try to, but in this case, every blogger and their grandmother has posted this deal, and I don’t remember where I saw it first. But I do know which post I actually like. As Nick says:
Air Canada’s Aeroplan is offering miles on sale for a song later this week — from just $0.01 each. That could be a fantastic deal (it amounts to Star Alliance business class to/from Europe for $550 each way as just one example) — though with the uncertainty of when travel will resume and what schedules would look like, I wouldn’t be a buyer right now.
Yup! My thoughts exactly.
Well Andy, I have to say I disagree with you here. I have used Aeroplan miles many times especially since I earned a ton of them with TD Connect Card and numerous buxx cards when a you could load with TD CC. I stay away from airlines charging fees and have found great deals with stopovers etc. many time United website did not show the same flights, As for buying a 1¢ a mile, you take 1 business class flight and you more than made up for the cost. You mentioned the deals with stopovers, I speculated because I need… Read more »
Hi John, thanks for your comment! And look, disagreeing is good! Nothing wrong about it and I’m glad the deal worked for you. I still stand by my advice not to buy miles/points, especially in our uncertain time, but hey, I might be wrong (I’ve certainly been wrong before). For what it’s worth, my blog is just an opinion column. 🙂
Love the Meyer Lansky quote. Well, Hyman Roth, but it was transparent enough that the real Lansky called up the actor portraying Roth to complain about the performance, saying “you could have made me more sympathetic”.
Anecdotes aside, I agree that there are some situations where it’s worthwhile. If I could have gotten in at the 1.1 cent level, EVA to Asia is a great experience for the price.
cash is king!!!