More Info about Aeroplan Transfer to US Airways

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.

Aeroplan Transfer to US Airways Points in US Airways

Points in US Airways

Aeroplan Transfer to US Airways Points taken out of Aeroplan

Points taken out of Aeroplan

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)

Aeroplan transfer to US Airways Comparison of Award Charts

Comparison of Award Charts

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.

Availability: Aeroplan

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.

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Pingbacks

  1. […] Via points.com, you can transfer your Aeroplan miles into other airline miles. The best ratio on that site is for US Airways, at a 1:0.84 ratio. This isn’t technically redeeming your miles for Aeroplan flights, but I consider this a great value of Aeroplan miles when redeeming for international first class. This is because US Airways has a much cheaper award chart. Take Australia; US Airways charges 140,000 miles in First Class for that award. Aeroplan charges 150% more, requiring 220,000 miles in First Class for that award. For more details, see my post on transferring Aeroplan miles to US Airways. […]

Comments

  1. USDM is also continuing partnership with some of the *A after March 31st! That means you can still earn and burn on SQ, A3 and some others with UDSM.

  2. After US leaves *A to join OW will the previous award chart be used?

    Can I go: LAX-LHR (BA) LHR-NRT (JL) return in business class for 90K ? What about fuel surcharges on BA?

    • At this point we have no idea about what’s going to happen about mixing oneworld carriers on their current award chart. I think that would be really cool if it was possible!!

  3. I guess we will know around March 31. Here is what the US site says:

    “On March 30, 2014, we’ll exit the Star Alliance network. You can continue to earn and redeem miles on Star Alliance partner airlines until that date. We’ll join the oneworld® alliance on March 31, 2014, which offers new opportunities to access the best destinations around the globe.”

    I think it will still be some time before the USDM program is folded into the AAadvantage – in the meantime, post March 31, I hope they keep their existing award chart.

  4. Routing for awards on US Air is usually the best of all *A programs in my opinion. Simply because their system doesn’t do any checks. The hard part is to convince the agent that what you want to route is legal and justified, that will take several calls, but it is worth it.

    I had a routing from Seattle to Europe to Aisa to Australia and back…

    It is going to be sad, once they merge with AA as they have one of the most idiotic routing rules on the system.

  5. I have a very disappointing news to share. I was very excited to hear about this opportunity as I had some 90k membership rewards points eating dust in my wife and my accounts. I opened a points.com account for myself and hers and then tried to make the transfer from Aeroplan to USairways. The transaction was declined for both of us and our accounts frozen with this explanation. “Thank you for performing an exchange transaction on Points.com. Unfortunately, your exchange has been cancelled as we were unable to process it. If you would like to try again, please visit Points.com”.

    Soon I realized that I cannot log in into points.com and found out that the account is frozen as a precautionary measure. I asked to unfreeze it and this is the reply I got today. “We regret to inform you that at this time we are unable to reset your password request as our auditing team has determined that your account cannot be reinstated. Unfortunately, your Points.com exchange has been cancelled. Please note that your miles have not been debited”.

    What a waste. Now I am stuck with Aeroplan miles.

    • Yikes, perhaps you should contact them to see why your account was frozen. If you’re miles were acquired legitimately, the transfer should go through, although points.com does hold rights in refusing to transfer your points. Best of luck.

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