Yesterday I talked a bit about the Aeroplan transfer to US Airways via points.com. I just want to let everyone know that I was able to transfer as points have posted in my US Airways account. You can do the Aeroplan Transfer to US Airways at Points.com.
So this means the transfer IS working and it’ll take around 3-5 days, which is great.
Today I want to talk a bit more about when you should be using this transfer.
First of all, because you’re only permitted a maximum of 100,000 points moved out of Aeroplan per calendar year, the Aeroplan transfer to US Airways should serve more as a top-up option for your US Airways accounts.
When should you do the Aeroplan transfer to US Airways? There are several considerations.
Let’s take a look first at the award charts:
Award Chart Comparison with Aeroplan Transfer to US Airways (Winner: Mixed)
There are three columns in this. The first column with numbers is the Aeroplan required for a certain region. The middle column is the amount of Aeroplan required to be transferred to get the amount of US Dividend Miles for the same award, which is in the last column. Remember, Aeroplan and US Airways transfer at a ratio of 1:0.84, so basically you can multiply the US Award by 1.19x to get the amount of Aeroplan miles required to be transferred.
As you are only permitted only 100,000 points moved per year, it’s just a purely theoretical chart, but it should illustrate that in some cases that US Airways requires a lower amount of miles required you do require a lower amount of miles to transfer to, even with at the Aeroplan transfer to US Airways ratio.
I’ve left a few regions which are not so feasible or relevant when redeeming Aeroplan or US Airways (such as first class to the middle east). There are also asterisks with Asia because Aeroplan and US Airways subdivide the Asia regions differently, although there is overlap. North Asia is the cheaper region with both programs. With Aeroplan, that’s the Asia 1 region, which includes China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. North Asia for US Airways includes China, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. South Asia/Asia 2 is most of the other countries in North/South Asia.
However, remember that the award charts are not the only difference between Aeroplan and US Dividend Miles and only one issue you should consider with the Aeroplan transfer to US Airways.
Fuel Surcharges: US Airways
Dividend miles is clearly superior here, as they do not charge fuel surcharges on any airlines, while Aeroplan has fuel surcharges on select airlines which I detail in this post.
Routing Rules: Aeroplan
Aeroplan allows routings that are within 5% of the MPM (5M) which is a number between two cities the total flight mileage of the routing cannot exceed. For example, this number is 5941 for YVR-LHR. You can find this with a paid subscription to Expertflyer or KVS Tool. Alternatively, the routing has to be a published one.
Furthermore, Aeroplan also allows two stopovers OR one stopover + open jaw with itineraries. US Airways only allows a stopover OR openjaw (at a star alliance gateway city/hub – although that’s easily circumvented).
Thus, Aeroplan is generally superior although it may depend on your booking style.
Booking Convenience: Aeroplan
Aeroplan allows itineraries to be booked online on Aeroplan.com, where all miles and taxes/fees required are clearly displayed. US Airways requires calling in to book, although with both I always use KVS, ExpertFlyer, ANA, and UA.com to construct my award segment by segment.
US Airways will sometimes have issue displaying Lufthansa business class, Air Japan (All Nippon Intra-Asia) business class, and All Nippon TPAC award space. Dividend miles also does not allow Sinagapore Airlines 77W and A380 space to be booked (in the rare cases it shows up on non-long haul routes such as SIN-PEK), as well as Lufthansa First Class, while Aeroplan has no issues with either of those.
Other Issues: Mixed
US Airways is well known for having a very poor call center in that agents will sometimes not allow perfectly permissible routings and sometimes allow crazy routings, depending on the agent you get. This also means if you call enough times and can charm the Dividend Miles agents well enough, all the one stopover or open jaw, routing, and star alliance hub rules can be thrown out the window. They also seem to price awards with an abacus, so sometimes they’ll make errors to your benefit.
Basically the simplest rule whether to transfer to USDM is if you don’t require two stopovers, don’t mind calling in to book, know how to search award space, don’t need to book LH J/F or NH J but do need to book on airlines with YQ such as AC, OS, NH, among others, and the US Airways chart requires a lower amount of miles, then transfer the miles if you can combine them with US miles you already have to book an award.
For me, I really like the USDM “routing” rules and their lack of fuel surcharges, which is why I think the transfer opening again is a really valuable option.
If you have any questions, comment below and I’ll try to address them.