The focus of this site is mostly on learning repeatable strategies that can save you tons of money in the long term. It isn’t about the latest deal that crops up and goes away just as quickly, as there are lot of other sites that cover those deals. However, when a deal comes along that essentially gives you hundreds of dollars in free money, it’s hard to ignore and I just have to write a post about it. This is one of those deals.
Aeroplan has launched a new promotion for the month of May (May 1st to May 28th 2012) called “The Aeroplan Star Challenge” where they are giving you a chance to earn up to 16,500 miles for shopping at their partners. Normally there are big catches with these types of promotions in that you need to shop at 5-10 different partners, only get 1 credit for shopping at the same partner multiple times, have to spend a minimum of $20 at each partner to qualify, and the list of terms and conditions goes on and on.
Not the case for this promotion! I have read through the entire terms and conditions myself and it has been confirmed by an Aeroplan employee as well that you can shop at the same partner as many times as you want and still get credit and there is no minimum purchase other than you have to buy enough to earn 1 aeroplan mile in a transaction to qualify.
How The Promotion Works
You earn “stars” for every qualifying transaction you make at a partner. The number of stars you earn per transaction ranges depending on which partner you shop at, but the minimum you can earn per transaction is 2 stars. To qualify for the maximum bonus of 16,500 aeroplan miles you need to earn 70 stars. That means you need to do 35 transactions at the lowest star rate to reach this goal and get the bonus.
Here’s the good news: one of the qualifying partners is Esso and everybody needs gas! To earn 1 aeroplan mile at Esso you need to spend $3 on gas, which makes it a qualifying transaction. Therefore you can stand at the pump and repeatedly swipe your credit cards and debit cards along with your aeroplan card and fill up on $60 worth of gas $3 at a time. In just one fill up you would already have done 20 transactions, which is 40 stars. Fill up twice in a month and you have met your quota!
So that only leaves the question of how much are 16,500 Aeroplan miles worth? Well, if you were to buy them from Aeroplan directly they would cost you 3 cents each meaning that 16,500 miles would cost $495. Alternately, consider that 25,000 miles buys you a ticket anywhere in North America. I value such a ticket at roughly $700 before taxes if you choose an expensive route so that translates into $462 of value doing some simple math.
So basically, spend $95 on something you need anyway and earn $462 worth of something you may or may not need – travel. Most people need to fly eventually though so you might as well take advantage of it!