Up to 40,000 Aeroplan Points + Air Canada Buddy Pass

The major points transfer partners in Canada

There is a recurring question in the milesopedia facebook group: is it interesting to convert points to another program? Am I losing anything? Should I give in to the sirens of this or that conversion promotion? I will try to answer that.

Foreword

Not all points & miles are transferable.

Generally speaking, you should know that airline miles (Aeroplan, British Avios Executive Club miles, Delta Skymiles, Flying Blue miles…) are not transferable. Once credited to your loyalty account, it’s a dead end for those miles. So think twice before transferring your American Express Membership Rewards points or Marriott Bonvoy points.

Note: There are third party services such as Points.com that allow you to redeem miles & points for currency from other programs. However, the redemption rate is often not very advantageous, like here: 50,000 Aeroplan miles for 35,806 IHG points… no thanks!

aeroplan ihg points exchange
Redeeming miles for points at Points.com

On the other hand, there are many other programs that we call “hybrid” programs: these are programs whose points can be used in the same program… or be transferred to another loyalty program. The best known in Canada are:

Points & Miles transfer partners in Canada

Below are the main transfer partners by program.

amex logo

points privileges

American Express Membership Rewards

In Canada, American Express Membership Rewards partners with various airline and hotel loyalty programs. This allows you to transfer your Membership Rewards into points or miles.

For Aeroplan and Delta Skymiles, the transfer is immediate. For the others, it usually takes between 5 and 7 days.

Partner Ratio
Air Canada – Aeroplan 1:1
Air France KLM – Flying Blue 1:0.75
British Airways Executive Club 1:1
Delta Skymiles 1:0.75
Alitalia MilleMiglia 1:0.75
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 1:0.75
Etihad Guest 1:0.75
Marriott Bonvoy 1:1.2
Hilton Honors 1:1

A few words on these partners

American Express Membership Rewards are considered THE most valuable points currency in Canada, thanks in part to their ability to be converted into many great programs.

However, not every conversion is worthwhile:

  • British Airways Executive Club: the regular conversion rate is identical to that of Aeroplan. However, several times a year, there is a conversion bonus of 20-35%. I suggest you wait until then to transfer your Membership Rewards
  • Hilton Honors: the conversion rate is really not interesting. I strongly advise against transferring your Membership Rewards to Hilton Honors points…. except to complete a points balance in order to get a free room.
  • Marriott Bonvoy: while the conversion rate is still generally good, I would advise using only the Select Membership Rewards points on your American Express Cobalt™ Card to get these points, rather than the Membership Rewards on other American Express cards.

Credit cards that offer Membership Rewards

There are 3 cards for consumers:

and 3 cards for self-employed workers/SMEs:

 

Attention: the American Express Cobalt™ Card and the American Express Business Edge™ Card issue Select Membership Rewards: these points can ONLY be transferred to the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors hotel programs. It is not possible to transfer them directly into air programs.

 

 

marriott bonvoy logo

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy offers the possibility of transferring points into miles from various airline programs.

The transfer rate is generally 3:1 (30,000 Marriott points = 10,000 miles). And for every 60,000 points transferred, Marriott adds a bonus of 15,000 points (equivalent to 5,000 miles). So 60,000 points = 25,000 miles (bringing the transfer rate to 2.4:1).

Note that Marriott Bonvoy and United have a special relationship: points transfers to United have a 10% bonus.

Partner Ratio Bonus miles / 60,000 points Time in days
Aegean Airlines Miles 3:1 5,000 10
Aeroflot Bonus 3:1 5,000 14
AeroMexico Club Premier 3:1 5,000 2
Air Canada Aeroplan 3:1 5,000 5
Air China Phoenix Miles 3:1 5,000 5
Air France/KLM Flying Blue 3:1 5,000 1
Air New Zealand Airpoints 200:1 25 2
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 3:1 5,000 2
Alitalia MilleMiglia 3:1 5,000 7
ANA Mileage Club 3:1 5,000 7
American Airlines AAdvantage 3:1 5,000 2
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club 3:1 5,000 10
Avianca Airlines Lifemiles 3:1 5,000 14
British Airways Executive Club 3:1 5,000 1
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 3:1 5,000 10
China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles 3:1 5,000 14
China Southern Airlines 3:1 5,000 3
Copa Airlines ConnectMiles 3:1 5,000 14
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 3:1 5,000 2
Emirates Skywards 3:1 5,000 6
Etihad Guest 3:1 5,000 5
Frontier Airlines MyFrontier 3:1 5,000 14
Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings 3:1 5,000 14
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 3:1 5,000 2
Iberia Plus 3:1 5,000 6
Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank 3:1 5,000 7
JetBlue TrueBlue 6:1 2,500 1
Korean Air SKYPASS 3:1 5,000 7
Latam Airlines Latam Pass 3:1 5,000 2
Lufthansa Miles and More 3:1 5,000 6
Qantas Frequent Flyer 3:1 5,000 6
Qatar Airways Privilege Club 3:1 5,000 6
Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan 3:1 5,000 14
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 3:1 5,000 6
South African Airways Voyager 3:1 5,000 14
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 3:1 5,000 2
TAP Air Portugal 3:1 5,000 14
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 3:1 5,000 10
Turkish Airlines Miles 3:1 5,000 14
United MileagePlus 3:1.1 5,500 2
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 3:1 5,000 1
Virgin Australia Velocity 3:1 5,000 2

A few words on these partners

I often advise you to use loyalty program points ONLY for what they were originally intended for:

  • hotel points for free hotel nights
  • airline miles for airline tickets

However, it can be interesting to deal with Marriott Bonvoy to get miles, especially at certain times of the year by taking advantage of conversion bonuses! Aeroplan and British Airways Executive Club run 3-4 annual promotions in which you can earn 25-30% more miles by converting your hotel points.

It’s also a good way to earn miles from foreign airline programs like United MileagePlus, Flying Blue, Asiana…

 

Credit cards offering Marriott Bonvoy points

American Express offers two credit cards linked to the Marriott Bonvoy program, each of which offers an attractive points bonus:

In a couple where each spouse takes both cards, that’s over 200,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, easy to earn over the course of a year, for a total of $540 in contributions. Enough to ensure you can spend at least 2 weeks in hotels during the year!

American Express Membership Rewards can also be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy points at a 1:1.2 (or 5:6) rate.

So 50,000 Membership Rewards = 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

If your goal is to go through the Marriott Bonvoy program to earn airline miles, as explained above, the best credit card would be the American Express Cobalt™ Card.

This card allows you to earn 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent in certain categories of stores: grocery stores, convenience stores and restaurants. And in grocery and convenience stores, you can buy gift cards for many other businesses (SAQ, Amazon …) to earn 5 points / dollar.

Since 5 Membership Rewards points = 6 Marriott Bonvoy points = 2 airline miles… that means that in these stores, you earn 2 miles / dollar of purchase! Which is incredible!

And so we add to the list of cards that earn – indirectly – Marriott Bonvoy points… the American Express Cobalt™ Card.

 

 

Best Western Rewards

The Best Western Rewards program allows you to redeem your points for airline partner miles. Let me warn you right away: the exchange rate is far from being the best.

However, if you have Best Western Rewards points that you don’t need, you might as well put them to use!

A minimum of 5,000 Best Western Rewards points is required to make a transfer.

Partner Ratio
AER LINGUS AERCLUB 5:1
Air Canada Aeroplan 5:1
Alaska Mileage Plan 5:1
American AAdvantage 5:1
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 5:1
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club 5:1
British Airways Executive Club 5:1
Air France/KLM Flying Blue 6:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia 6:1
Iberia Plus 5:1
Avianca Airlines Lifemiles 5:1
Meridiana Club 5:1
Lufthansa Miles and More 5:1
Vueling Club 5:1
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 4.17:1
AeroMexico Club Premier 3.125:1
AIR MILES 62.5:1

Want to learn more about the program? Visit this page about the Best Western Rewards program.

The Best Western Rewards points credit card

There is only one credit card in Canada that offers Best Western Rewards points and has the advantage of no annual fee. And it only takes one purchase to unlock your welcome bonus!

So if your goal is to earn Aeroplan miles, this no annual fee card will earn you 4,000 Aeroplan miles (5:1 ratio).

 

 

rbc rewards

RBC Rewards

RBC Rewards offers hybrid points that can be used within the RBC Rewards program… or transferred to different partners.

Here are the main transfer partners:

Partner Ratio
WestJet Rewards 100:1
British Airways Executive Club 1:1
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 1:1
American AAdvantage 1.43:1
Hudson’s Bay Rewards 1:2

 

A few words on these partners

RBC Rewards travel points can be used to earn WestJet Dollars, British Airways Executive Club Avios and even Asia Miles.

However, not every conversion is worthwhile:

  • British Airways Executive Club: several times a year, there is a conversion bonus of 20 to 35%. I suggest you wait until then to transfer your RBC points to Avios miles
  • American AAdvantage: the conversion rate is not interesting. This transfer should only be done to supplement an existing mileage balance.
  • Hudson’s Bay Rewards: If you want to travel, Hudson’s Bay Rewards won’t take you far! I do not recommend this transfer.

 

HSBC Rewards

HSBC Points can also be converted into miles from 3 airline programs.

The conversion will be done in fixed increments (25,000 – 35,000 – 45,000 HSBC Rewards points):

Partner Ratio
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 3.125:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 2.78:1
British Airways Executive Club 2.5:1

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard offers HSBC Rewards points that are transferable. In addition, this card is one of the only ones that does not charge conversion fees for foreign currency transactions. Discover it in this detailed presentation.

A few words on these partners

Here we find two partners also available through American Express and RBC Rewards Membership Rewards, namely Asia Miles and British Airways Executive Club.

If you already have American Express or RBC cards, the best partner for you is Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer! But it can also be useful to transfer HSBC points into British Airways Executive Club Avios miles, especially during conversion promotions.

Conclusion

This is a list of major transfer partners for Canadian programs. There may be others (from Esso Extra, Petro Canada…), but these are not the most interesting / used.

Suggested Reading