Air Canada Aeroplan and Starbucks Rewards took their partnership one step further today with the option to now convert Aeroplan Points to Starbucks Stars. Aeroplan points can be redeemed at a rate of 1,000 points for 200 Starbucks Rewards Stars, up to a maximum of 10,000 Aeroplan points in one transaction. I know many of you will be asking is this good deal? So let’s take a look to see if it is worth it to convert your points.
Starbucks Rewards has five redemption levels in the program ranging from 25 Stars all the way to 400 Stars. This current redemption model has been in place since 2019 and back then we pointed out that the best value to be had was the 50 point level for bakery items. We here at Rewards Canada are pretty steady users of Starbucks and after three years of this current model the bakery items still tend to be best redemption option but there are also some coffee and teas (not specialty versions) that provide good value at that 50 Star level.
For example, here in Calgary a Chocolate Croissant is $3.75 plus tax ($3.94 total) and you can redeem 50 Stars for it. That provides a value of 7.8 cents per Star. So if we take the Aeroplan Points to Starbucks Start redemption rate of 1,000 Points to 200 Stars you could redeem those four chocolate croissants. That’s $15.76 in value for the 1,000 Aeroplan Points or 1.576 cents per point. That’s actually a very attractive rate. We value Aeroplan points at 1.5 cents as a minimum when redeeming for economy class flights but as we always stress that is a minimum. More often than not we find economy class redemption options at 2 cents a piece or more and of course business or first class ranging from 2 to 6 or more cents a piece. Once you take those numbers into consideration it makes the conversion to Starbucks Stars less attractive.
What if you don’t buy bakery items at Starbucks and only go for the fancy drinks? Well then your value per point will go down. The fancy drinks like lattes, refreshers, etc. all run 150 Stars (so three times the bakery, coffee, tea rate) but those drinks don’t cost three times more. A Chai Tea Latte is $5.45 ($5.72 with tax here in Calgary) and by redeeming 150 Stars for it you are looking at 3.8 cents per Star or 0.76 cents per Aeroplan Point – only half of our minimum value for flights.
Points to Stars conversion can be done directly in an Aeroplan member’s account dashboard on web or in the Air Canada mobile app once accounts are linked.
Wrapping it up
I am actually surprised at how the good the potential value in this latest update to the Aeroplan Starbucks partnership – that is for that 50 Star level only. To be able to get 1.57 cents of value per Aeroplan Point is no laughing matter. Sure you can get more value for flights but that has to be one of the highest values for an Aeroplan Points when used for non-travel and I honestly would not feel bad redeeming the points to get that rate. I mean think about it – if you use the American Express Cobalt® Card at Starbucks you earn 5 points per dollar (equals 5 Aeroplan Points) and if you then convert those points to Aeroplan and then to Starbucks and use them for a Chocolate Croissant you have a 7.85% return! Not too shabby.
For the other Starbucks redemption options however it is definitely not something you would want to use Aeroplan points for unless
your have more points than you know what to do with or if you are
someone who rarely uses Aeroplan and perhaps only has 1,000 or 2,000
points in your account and now you can actually get something for them
instead of nothing.
Overall I would say this next move for the Aeroplan Starbucks partnership is a good one! Kudos to them for creating this opportunity.
Image via Air Canada