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Maximize your Aeroplan points flight options for a trip to Europe

To the point Find out how to effectively use your Aeroplan points to book flights to Europe. Maximize the value of your points.

Have you earned Aeroplan points and would like to use them for a trip to Europe? In this article, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of booking your flights with your Aeroplan points. Whether you’re looking for direct flights or complex itineraries, we’ll show you how to make the most of your points to get the best value for your money and make your European travel dreams come true.

How Do I Get the Best Value For My Aeroplan Points?

Price Fluctuations

Prices for Aeroplan points flights to Europe with Air Canada are dynamic and will fluctuate according to the season. One advantage of booking with Air Canada is that all available seats can be purchased with Aeroplan points.

While it’s quite possible to find flights at a price considered “standard” for the trip, we can also see prices below and above. The latter scenario is more common when you’re targeting busy periods like the holiday season or spring break.

On the other hand, fares for travel between Canada and Europe on a partner airline are fixed, which makes it much easier to plan your points accumulation strategy. However, the number of seats available with points for partners is limited compared to cash tickets. So, if you don’t see any on the search results page, it’s because there are no points tickets (or award tickets) left for the date you’re looking for.

Charte Aeroplan Eu

Golden Rules for Finding Good Aeroplan Fares to Europe

To find less expensive flights to Europe with your Aeroplan points, you’ll need to either :

  • Plan ahead.
  • Be last-minute (about 7 to 14 days before departure).
  • Be flexible with dates and destinations.

In fact, the best time to buy your flight to Europe is when the partner airlines’ flights become available (i.e., up to a year before your travels) or in advance when Air Canada’s dynamic pricing is more likely to be in your favour.

Some partner airlines will be releasing last-minute award tickets; these will be at fixed fares, whereas cash tickets can be very expensive so close to departure.

Otherwise, remain flexible on your entry point into Europe. In fact, it is sometimes more economical for your Aeroplan points to choose the most affordable city to land in on the old continent, then take a low-cost airline to reach your final destination.

How to Decide When it's the Best Time to Use your Aeroplan Points?

Calculating the value of your Aeroplan points for redemption will help you determine whether you’re better off using them for your flight to Europe or paying in cash.

Aeroplan points have no fixed value when redeemed for flights. Their value is determined by the value of the flight you receive in exchange for your points.

Once you’ve found the flights you’d like to purchase with your Aeroplan points, go to Google Flights or the airline’s website, www.aircanada.com, to compare points versus cash prices by searching for the value of the same itinerary in cash.

This is the same flight, in the same fare class and class of service as we found to get to Paris.

Aeroplan point prices may vary depending on the date and time of search. The prices presented in this article represent the prices found at the time of writing.

Aeroplan YUL-CDG
YUL-CDG cash

To calculate the value your points will have if they are redeemed for this flight, you need to do the following calculation:

Total price: $1,462

Taxes and surcharges: $160.10

Aeroplan Points: 85,500 points

Valuation ($1,462 – $160.10) ÷ 85,500 × 100 = 1.52¢ per point

Taxes and surcharges must be subtracted from the total price since you would be paying for them either way, this way you isolate the portion of the airfare that will be covered solely by Aeroplan points.

You can do this with the same flight, or the cheapest flight if that’s what you would have chosen for your European trip if you were paying in cash. There’s no right or wrong value: it’s personal to each individual, but Milesopedia has established some value references here. Finally, the value of points is not the only factor that weighs in the balance when considering the use of points versus money. We recommend that you read this guide for full details.

Where to go in Europe with Aeroplan Points?

Sweet Spots and Affordable Aeroplan Points Flights to Europe

Secondary airports are preferable. For example, getting from Montreal to Europe via Toulouse, Lyon or Geneva is generally more affordable with points than aiming for Rome or Athens, which are much more popular cities. Secondly, it’s often possible to find affordable flights in points to London. However, taxes and fees for this destination are generally more expensive.

You should also bear in mind that flights with Air Canada are subject to dynamic pricing. So keep an eye out, as all Air Canada routes can be more affordable than a partner’s; these bargains are often seen on newly-launched routes like Madrid or Stockholm.

In business class, the flight between Montreal and Zurich on Swiss Air is one of the ” sweet spots ” for crossing the Atlantic in a lay-flat seat. The price of a round trip is set at 120,000 Aeroplan points (partner), and availability is relatively easy to find.

Aeroplan also offers a stopover of up to 45 days for an additional cost of just 5,000 Aeroplan points. So you can visit more than one place without breaking the bank.

Finally, this is one of the most cost-effective programs for families travelling with babies on their laps. The cost of their ticket will always be set at 2,500 Aeroplan points, regardless of the itinerary or class of service chosen.

Examples of Aeroplan Point Deals for Flights Between Montreal and Europe

For the summer period, more precisely during the construction vacations and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, you can find affordable flights to Europe compared to the cash price whereas this is not always the case in the low season.

For this flight between Montreal and Madrid in economy class, we managed to obtain a value of 2.23¢ per Aeroplan point redeemed.

YUL-MAD points
YUL-MAD cash

Whereas for this business class flight to Stockholm, your Aeroplan points will have a value of over 5.27¢ per point. In fact, the price of Aeroplan points can double when you go from economy to business class, whereas in cash, it can be triple or even quadruple! As a result, it’s easier to get more value for your points if you travel in business class.

YUL-ARN points
YUL-ARN cash

Similarly, when travelling during the holiday season, cash flights can be very expensive. In this London example, we still arrive at a value of 2.31¢ per point, even though the cost of taxes and fees is high.

YUL-LHR points
YUL-LHR cash

How Do I Use Aeroplan Points for a Flight to Europe?

First, go to the Air Canada website to log-in to your Aeroplan account (or register if you don’t already have one).

At the top right of the screen, you can see your Aeroplan points balance. Then, before launching your flight search with your departure and arrival airports, travel dates, and number of people, remember to check the “Book with Aeroplan Points” box.

Aeroplan Eu recherche

A results page appears with options for outbound flights to Europe; you can add any filters you like, such as the number of stopovers, airlines, connecting airports, eUpgrades, and other options, such as aircraft type. For some passengers, it’s important to choose their plane.

You can then sort the results by departure or arrival time, by journey time, and by price. If you click on the “economy class,” “premium economy,” or “business class” rectangle at the top of the results columns, you can display prices in ascending or descending order specifically for this category.

Also, a scrolling bar at the top of the results helps you quickly compare prices on nearby dates. All available Air Canada and partner flights will be displayed.

Aeroplan eu résultats

Once you’ve selected a flight and the desired class of service, a new table appears for choosing a fare class. A class of service refers to the cabin where you will sit on the plane, while a fare class will dictate the conditions of your ticket. Some economy class tickets offer free checked baggage, no-fee changes or cancellations, and same-day standby, while others do not.

This comprehensive guide on the subject provides more information about the different classes and how to choose.

Aeroplan eu options tarif

If you have chosen a round-trip itinerary, you will then repeat the exercise for the return flight before arriving at the flight details review page. If you’ve only opted for a one-way ticket, you’ll come across the same page where you can review the itinerary.

Under the details of your flight ticket, you will be asked to choose from several exchange options. The best redemption option is usually the third since you pay the actual price in Aeroplan points and taxes. For more information, please read this guide to Aeroplan redemption options.

Aeroplan Eu CDG points 2

Once everything seems in order for you, click on Continue to go to the payment page. Air Canada also offers free cancellation within 24 hours of booking, should you change your mind. You will be reimbursed in full, in points and taxes when applicable.

You will then enter your personal information. Also, if you have dietary restrictions or require accessibility services such as a wheelchair service, you can request it at this stage.

The cabin layout will then be loaded, and depending on the fare you have chosen, you can choose your seats for a fee or not. If you don’t want to pay for seats, you can do so free of charge 24 hours before departure.

Aeroplan Eu sélection siège paris

The last step is to review your itinerary and proceed to payment. Insurance coverage will be offered, but check to see if you already have it through your credit card.

For each booking, two methods of payment are possible: an Air Canada gift card, an eCoupon, or a voucher combined with a credit or debit card. Click on “I accept, purchase” to finalize the transaction.

How Do I Earn Aeroplan Points for Trips to Europe?

Aeroplan Credit Cards

In Canada, there are Aeroplan co-branded credit cards with which you can earn Aeroplan points on everyday purchases. These credit cards come with travel privileges such as :

Please note that these advantages do not apply to all cards. When you’re looking for the card that best suits your needs, you can refer to this comparison article to help you make your choice.

In addition, when you sign up for one of these credit cards, you can benefit from a generous welcome bonus. Somtimes this offer can be almost enough for a round trip to Europe, depending on what you’re able to build as an itinerary!

The American Express®* Aeroplan® Reserve Card allows you to earn a lot of points, both with the sign-up bonus and with every dollar you spend.
  • Earn 3 times the points on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada®* and Air Canada Vacations®*.
  • Earn 2 times the points on eligible purchases of meals and food delivery services in Canada
  • Earn 1.25 times the points on everything else
For other current Aeroplan credit card offers, please click here.

Transferable Points to Aeroplan

The Membership Rewards program is also a great way to accumulate Aeroplan points since they can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio.

As a result, you can maximize your accumulation with these credit cards, since they have generous multipliers for purchase categories such as groceries, restaurants, and gas. Since there are so many to choose from, check out our guide to finding the best Membership Rewards credit card for you.

Shopping Portals

You can earn points via the Aeroplan eStore in participating stores. Aeroplan also sometimes launches special promotions where you can earn extra points.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Log in to the Aeroplan eStore with your Aeroplan account.
  • Visit the page dedicated to participating businesses.
  • Then click the “Shop & Earn” button, which will take you to the merchant’s online store.

If you have Aeroplan Elite status, you can get even more with the Aeroplan eStore. You earn an additional 2 bonus points per dollar spent. You’ll see it when you log-in to your profile; your multiplier will be higher.

Flights with Air Canada and its Partners

To earn Aeroplan points on flights, follow these steps :

  1. Choose Aeroplan partner airlines: Aeroplan has partnerships with several airlines, including Air Canada (the founding carrier) and Star Alliance members such as Lufthansa, United Airlines, and Singapore Airlines. When you book a flight with one of these airlines, you have the opportunity to earn Aeroplan points.
  2. Use your Aeroplan membership number when booking: When booking a flight with an Aeroplan partner airline, be sure to include your Aeroplan membership number when booking or checking in. This will ensure that the points you earn are credited to your Aeroplan account.
  3. Check on your point accumulation rates: point accumulation rates may vary according to the airline, booking class, distance travelled, and other factors. Be sure to check the information provided by Aeroplan or the airline for specific point accumulation rates for your flight.
  4. Watch out for promotional offers: from time to time, Aeroplan has promotional offers that allow you to earn bonus points on certain flights or by meeting certain conditions. Be sure to keep an eye out for these offers and use them to your advantage to earn even more points.

By following these steps, you’ll earn Aeroplan Points every time you fly with a partner airline.

Bottom Line

Using your Aeroplan points to travel in Europe can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning. By following the tips and steps described in this article, you can maximize the value of your points and get the most out of your trip. Whether you’re planning a trip in economy or business class, redeeming your Aeroplan points for flights to Europe can give you a memorable travel experience without spending a fortune. Have a good trip!

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Aline
I'm Aline, an experienced traveller, a foodie at heart, an Avgeek, a photography enthusiast and an expert on credit card programs. I use Reward Points to travel on a budget and to save money on everyday life; writing about these topics allows me to share my passion and help you. ~ 7 continents and 75 countries ~

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