Picking the right Airline Program!


There are obviously more than 2 airline programs, these are the 2 we focus on at borderfreetravel.com.

Today, I helped 2 different co-workers find flights for 2 different destinations using their points and I learned a couple of new things.
I learned Avios is still my preferred program for flying and here is why.
One person wanted to fly 2 people to Las Vegas from our area, which is Detroit or Toronto.
Using her Avios from Detroit, it ended up costing 60,000 Avios and $20.00
Using Avios from Toronto is a few more Avios, and higher taxes.
Using Aeroplan from Detroit it costs 50,000 Aeroplan and $61.00
Using Aeroplan from Toronto is costs 50,000 Aeroplan and $303.00

So, her best plan would have been the Aeroplan from Detroit which uses 50,000 total points and $61.00.

The thing I don’t like about using your points here are the taxes Aeroplan charges, specifically from Toronto – that’s way too much.
Aeroplan is straightforward in their redemptions for miles in that a flight within Canada and US is 25,000 points plus taxes.(not including short hauls – 15000 points)
Avios is distance based and that is why I like them more.
The flights I prefer (to Florida) are 20,000 from Detroit and 15,000 Avios points per flight from Cleveland which saves us 5000-10000 points per flight.

Also, there are bonus redemptions with AMEX MR points where they sometimes give you up to 50% more Avios when you redeem them online. Last Canadian redemption was for 50% more in March, 2013.



The second scenario involved flying  1 person from our area to Paris, France.
Using his Avios from Detroit, it ended up costing 49000 Avios and $719

Using his Avios from Toronto it ended up costing 49000 Avios and $405

Using Aeroplan from Detroit it was 60000 Aeroplan and $805

Using Aeroplan from Toronto it was 59500 Aeroplan and $615.

So, his best plan would be the Avios from Toronto which uses 49000 Avios and $405.

So, you can see there are differet scenarios depending on where you want to go – and different tax charges for sure.

When I checked Australia for someone, it ended up being through American Airlines from our area (75,000 points), but you need to get those points – there are ways through the Amex cards.

So, now I’ll do some math to see if using these points is worth it rather than paying cash.


Las Vegas scenario – 2 people – 50,000 Aeroplan + 61.00

I have looked for Las Vegas flights in the summer before, and I’m going to give this flight a ballpark $350 figure and checking Expedia as I write this, that is about correct.

So: the 2 flights would be $700.00 total or 50,000 Aeroplan + 61.00

You are getting $639/50000 or 1.3 cents per Aeroplan – not great, but hey you are using them up and getting pretty close to free flights.

Paris, France scenario – 1 person – 49000 Avios + 405.00

He told me he couldn’t find anything under $1400, I looked and found about $1200, so let’s split the difference and call this a $1300 flight.

So: the flight would be $1300.00 total or 49000 Avios + 405.00

You are getting $895/49000 or 1.8 cents per Avios – better!

In conclusion, perhaps open both accounts and gather points in both so when a scenario comes up where using one over the other is advantageous, you have the points ready!

If you do a little math when you book your flights, you can save alot of money!

These are the 2 cards that get you there!

Amex Gold Rewards Card  – 25,000 MR points on sign up – fee waived first year.

Amex AeroGold Card – 30,000 Aeroplan (when referred) – fee waived first year.

See our Amex page for details on those – essentially 2 free flights for you there!




Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Question – from here to Rome | Borderfreetravel - January 9, 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: