Thursday, May 3, 2012

Aeroplan Star Challenge: 16,500 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for as little as $35

On May 1st Aeroplan launched a new promotion called the Aeroplan Star Challenge. Perhaps you saw our tweets about it on the 1st and how it is similar the U.S. Airways Grand Slam promotion seen south of the border although I did state it wasn't as Grand. While the U.S. Airways promo is grander in terms of the amount of bonus miles you could earn (100K) it also required a bit more spending and partner use than this Aeroplan offer.

What is the Aeroplan Star Challenge?
The challenge is a bonus miles promotions that rewards Aeroplan members for using participating Aeroplan partners. Partners range from financial and shopping to flights and travel. Not all Aeroplan partners are participating but a good proportion of them are. The premise of the promotion is that you earn 'Stars' for each qualifying Aeroplan transaction, that is a transaction that earns at least 1 Aeroplan mile. The stars are awarded as follows:
- 5 Instant Stars for financial card holders (CIBC Aerogold, American Express AeroplanPlus)
- 2 Stars for each shopping transaction at participating retailers and the Aeroplan eStore
- 3 Stars for travel transactions such as hotel stays and car rentals as well as American Express Membership Rewards trasnfers
- 5 Stars per flight segment flown with Air Canada or any Air Canada airline partner including the Star Alliance.

Bonus miles are awarded as follows:
Reach 35 Stars during the promotion and receive 1,500 Aeroplan miles
Reach 70 Stars during the promotion and receive 16,500 Aeroplan (15,000 plus the 1,500 at 35 Stars)

The promotion runs from May 1st to May 28th. Complete details of the promo can be found here

So how can you get the 16,500 bonus miles for only $35? Easy, find an Aeroplan partner that offers 1 Aeroplan Mile per dollar and complete 35 separate transactions at $1 each with each transaction earning 2 stars for a total of 70. For me, being out West the easiest place is Rexall. My plan is to complete as many separate $1 transactions for my wife, my kids and myself so that we all come out with the 16,500 mile bonus. Overall I will probably spend more than $35 as I will have other transactions that count (Club Sobeys, Esso etc) but I would be doing those transactions anyways. If you do take the lowest route possible at $35+tax or even a bit less as apparently $0.99 Kobo e-book purchases made via the Aeroplan E-Store count, you can enjoy a short haul flight that could be worth $150-$250 before taxes.

I have confirmed with Aeroplan that multiple transaction at the same retailer do count as long as each transaction posts separately (so multiple Sobeys purchases in one day would only count as 1)  and that they earn at least 1 Aeroplan mile.

I would love to hear all of our readers strategies for earning Stars during this promotion and updates as to how many Stars you are at! I will also keep all of you updated on my family's trek to earning 70 Stars each (280 in total)

--

46 comments:

  1. So I could shop the Kobo store via the Aeroplan eStore, buy a $0.99 book and it would count as 2 stars?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to a tweet from Aeroplan it will count

      Delete
  2. Look what terms saying. Wondering if this applies to $0.99 books as it now offer x5 miles, so transaction is not counted at all?
    "Stars will not be awarded on refunds of earlier transactions. Bonus transactions, where members earn both base miles & bonus miles from the same activity, are not qualifying transactions"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was my plan too, but I'm worried about that condition.

      Delete
    2. I will send an email to my contact at Aeroplan to confirm but the way I read is that the base mile posting will count but the bonus mile posting does not. For example when I shop at Sobeys the base miles post as "SOBEYS POINTS CONVERSION - SOBEYS" whereas any bonus miles post as "SOBEYS BONUS MILES - SOBEYS" so the latter would not count as a transaction.

      Delete
    3. Any update on whether Kobo $0.99 purchases will count? I am also worried about the 5x miles bonus going on with that... And with Chapters/Indigo bonus miles on Estore...

      Delete
    4. I have not heard anything... can anyone who has done Kobo purchases elaborate if they have posted as regular miles in your account?

      Delete
  3. Well I am sure that there is something at home hardware that you can buy. I think they give one point for ever 2 dollars.
    I will try to do that or go to sobey's for multiple transactions, but I dont have a sobey's card yet. Rexall in ON doesn't get points...which is SOO DUMB!

    Anyone find cheap products on the estore?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't normally gas up until I'm nearing empty. But filling up when the needle drops below half means an extra 14-16 stars. Having a Speedpass makes this strategy fairly painless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I gas up multiple times in the day and get 9 or 10 dollars at a time any less looks really stupid.

      Delete
  5. Hi guys. Let me get this straight, if I was to go to Esso for example and fill up my car with 35 transactions of $2 each, I would get my 70 stars and 16,500 points just like that? It can't be that simple, can it? And if it is, is this promotion limited to 70 Stars?

    Don't worry, I would go at night not to bother anyone (and mostly because I would not want to be recognized...;-)

    Thanks.

    John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just make sure you spend $3 in each transaction as Esso is 1 Aeroplan mile for every $3 (not $2)

      Delete
  6. How long before they post? I hope everyone shares their experiences on here!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi everyone,

    Based on this quote "I have confirmed with Aeroplan that multiple transaction at the same retailer do count as long as each transaction posts separately (so multiple Sobeys purchases in one day would only count as 1) and that they earn at least 1 Aeroplan mile.", does this mean that each transaction at the same retailer must be done on different days to count as separate transactions. For if I go to Esso 5x in one day each at separate times and fill up $3 each time that this will only post as one transaction (2 stars) instead of 5 transactions (10 stars)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. each transaction at esso posts separate so each should count.

      Delete
  8. Actually Esso transactions post separately, AFAIK it is only Sobeys that posts multiple transactions within 1 day as one lump sum transaction. So you should be fine going to Esso 5x in one day!

    ReplyDelete
  9. do I have to show my aeroplan card with each txn if i pay with cash ( eg $1 txn) OR do i have to use my aeroplan credit card in order to get the bonuses?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to show your Aeroplan card (not your Aeroplan co-brand credit card)

      Delete
  10. If u have the american express rewards cards such as the starwood and gold card that can transfer to aeroplan miles cant you just transfer the minimum points everytime? Therefore if you have the gold card, transfer 1000 points X 24 times (if you have 24,000 points) then you get 24 X 3 times stars so (72 stars). Then you would get the miles free!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ultimately this is true but some people may not want all those extra Aeroplan miles from the actual conversion (SPG's Starpoints are worth a lot on their own) and Gold Card holders may want to keep points for other transfers (ie the current 50% bonus to Avios or for the flexibility of TripFlex). That being I will probably do some Amex Membership Rewards transfers to Aeroplan should my family not reach the 70 Stars towards the end of the promo period

      Delete
    2. How does that comply? Transferring points to miles gets stars?

      Delete
    3. American Express Membership Rewards counts as a travel partner for 3 stars per transaction.

      Delete
  11. I think that I just found out that eBay (yes, THE eBay) is a member of the aeroplan eStore:

    http://www1.aeroplan.com/estore/general-merchandise/auctions/ebay-store-canada/prodebayca.html?omni=sbr#

    So, why don't we just use eBay 35 times? Does eBay lump all transactions per day into one?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scratch that.

      http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-canada-aeroplan/1341669-aeroplan-star-challenge.html#post18493070

      Delete
  12. Here is my family's star count after 1 week:
    16, 16, 12 & 12
    The four of us are a little behind the pace but we really didn't start going after the stars until late Thursday. I figure that by the end of week 2 we will all be ahead of the pace with each of us over 35 stars

    ReplyDelete
  13. how come there is no mention that this deal is for CANADA CITIZENS ONLY???

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anyone find any item at rexall for $1?
    I can't find any.
    i went to 2 locations already.
    Please advise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 35 count of Rexall cotton pads (makeup remover) pads for 1.03 after a discount of 20% is the closest I found

      Delete
    2. How did you get a discount of 20%?

      Delete
    3. The 20% on the cotton pads is over but right now rexall has 20% off their own brand of bandages (10 pack) so they are only 1.03 before tax

      Delete
    4. Ok, I will go there tomorrow. I almost gave up. How did you know they are 20% off on rexall brands? Thanks!!!

      Delete
  15. How many stars for posting nestle candy?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Do multiple home hardware in one day count seperately?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Will the transactions show up on our aeroplan account information, as such? Showing the stars accumulated? I just checked, and I have three transactions for Home Hardware, but no mention of stars of any kind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately there is no star tracking system, you have to count your transactions yourself. Apparently an email should be coming in a day or two with your total stars however up to the half way point of the the promotion

      Delete
  18. how can I use Nestle products??? Do I enter the bar code of my kitkat somewhere???
    help please

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can enter them at
      http://www.nestle-aeroplan.ca/en/Default.aspx

      Delete
  19. Here is my family's star count after 2 weeks (half way:
    42, 38, 34 & 34

    Some Amex transfers will happen this week plus more Rexall and Esso stops then regular Sobey's shopping. All four of us should definitely hit 70 before the end.

    ReplyDelete
  20. do converted thriftys to aeromiles count?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe they do as they are the same as the Club Sobeys program

      Delete
  21. Just got a congratulatory announcement about getting 1500 bonus miles and now I can't find this program mentioned anywhere on Aeroplan website. Did they close it early? I was close to 70 stars and going to get there right on schedule...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's still up on the Aeroplan site:
      http://www1.aeroplan.com/aeroplanstarchallenge.do?currentLanguage=en&icid=ban5367

      Delete
    2. Thank you for confirming this. I was searching the promotions page and couldn't find the link again - not sure what my problem was. At any rate, my wife did a two part fill-up at the Esso Saturday morning to get minimum purchases 34 and 35 (thus stars 67-70). I actually tackled this promotion by doing a couple of multipart fill-ups at my local Esso, just over $3 each time. I maxed out my patience at about 10 in a row, but it the return on the time investment was still hard to beat (certainly better than my usual hourly wage). And I did always make sure that there were multiple empty spots around me...

      Delete
  22. I missed this one, I'm going to add RewardsCanada to my RSS feed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for subscribing! It won't be long until your hooked on earning tons of miles (unless you already are!)

      Delete