Aeroplan is the loyalty program for Air Canada, so many people naturally use their points for flights. However, if you’re looking for accommodations, using your points on Aeroplan hotels can be worth your while. Thanks to the new Aeroplan HotelSavers program, you can save up to 30% in points on Aeroplan hotel bookings.
Admittedly, in the past, using your Aeroplan points for hotels may not have been the best value. Under the new program, where Aeroplan has partnered with various hotel chains, the value per point with partner hotels has increased. This is just another step in the evolution of Aeroplan, which was relaunched in 2020.
With the introduction of Aeroplan HotelSavers, Aeroplan is arguably the best all-in-one loyalty program for casual travellers. Here’s how Aeroplan HotelSavers works.
What is Aeroplan HotelSavers?
Aeroplan HotelSavers is the next phase in the latest expansion of travel partnerships to help make Aeroplan the best all-in-one rewards program. In the past, Aeroplan hotel bookings were of low value, so most people focused on flight redemptions.
Since Aeroplan wants to be the go-to travel rewards program for its members, they’ve negotiated exclusive deals with some of the most popular hotel properties in the world. Essentially, Aeroplan members can save up to 30% in points with HotelSavers properties, compared to what they would otherwise pay for non-HotelSavers redemptions.
To be realistic, the cost of accommodations will usually be more than flights, so having more options when it comes to using points for hotels is a great thing.
When booking with Aeroplan HotelSavers, taxes are always included (however, resort fees may apply separately). In addition, you can choose to book fully cancellable and refundable rooms. What’s interesting is that fully cancellable rooms sometimes don’t cost you any additional points, whereas there’s usually a surcharge when paying cash. Finally, there are never any restrictions on room availability.
Similar to Aeroplan flights, HotelSavers members get flexibility when it comes to redemptions. You can pay for your hotels using points, cash or a 50/50 (points + cash). If you don’t have enough points, you can always pay to top up your account. Of course, you should only buy points if you’re only a few short for a redemption.
Who are the Aeroplan HotelSavers partners?
At launch, HotelSavers has selected 11 hotel chains to partner with for redemptions. This partnership spans 39 worldwide hotel brands with different price points.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a budget traveller, or if you prefer special and unique properties, HotelSavers has something for you. A quick breakdown of some of the partnered hotel chains include:
- Luxury – Fairmont, Kimpton, Shangri-La, Taj, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, InterContinental, Preferred Hotels & Resorts and others.
- Premium – Le Germain, Omni, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Swissotel, Pullman, Crowne Plaza and others.
- Midscale & Economy – Coast Hotels, Holiday Inn, Novotel, Alt Hotels, Ibis and others.
You’ll notice that some of these partners have their own loyalty programs. If you happen to have status, your benefits would only be recognized based on the terms and conditions of the program. For example, some programs specifically state that you must book your stay through their website.
Having 39 hotel brands, with hundreds of properties is impressive for the launch. It would not be a surprise if Aeroplan added more hotel partners in the future, as they did with their airline partners.
Is Aeroplan HotelSavers worth it?
Aeroplan HotelSavers claims that members can save up to 30% in points with partnered properties. Instead of thinking about how many points you can save, you’ll want to calculate your cents per point (CPP).
The formula for CPP (when it comes to Aeroplan HotelSavers) is as follows:
The actual cost of the hotel room X 100 / Number of points required for a redemption
Now let’s use a real example of a three-night stay at the Claris Hotel and Spa in Barcelona.
With this property, my formula would be as follows:
$1,623 X 100 / 73,500 = 2.21CPP
A value of 2.21 cents per point is incredibly high. Most points enthusiasts value 1 Aeroplan point at 2 cents each, so Aeroplan HotelSavers can be worth even more.
Of course, I purposely chose the highest redemption, I found, so let’s look at some other properties I randomly selected.
Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver = 1.32 CPP
Holiday Inn Orlando-Disney Springs Area = 1.20 CPP
Omni King Edward Hotel Toronto = 1.53 CPP
The Tokyo Station Hotel = 1.45 CPP
Is Aeroplan HotelSavers worth it?
This is a bit of a loaded question as the value depends on your perspective. Those who are looking to maximize the value of their Aeroplan points or want to fly in premium cabins may not like the idea of a redemption of less than 2 cents per point for one Aeroplan point.
Overall, I’ve been able to find a good range of hotels with a value of 1.2 to 1.6 CPP. That’s not bad. More importantly, Aeroplan HotelSavers allows you to use your points on properties that don’t have the best loyalty program. You can essentially try out different properties on points that you never had access to before.
You obviously want to maximize your value with any kind of redemption but think of it this way. Using your Aeroplan points for a hotel redemption with a value of 1 CPP or higher is arguably an excellent use of your points. For example, most bank travel loyalty programs have a value of 1 CPP, so if you focus on Aeroplan, you can easily get a higher value for both flights and accommodations.
Due to the pandemic, many people have been sitting on their points. Aeroplan HotelSavers presents an interesting value proposition for those who may have a lot of points and want to offset their travel costs beyond flights.
The obvious downside is that HotelSavers only applies to Aeroplan’s hotel partners. If you’re searching in a city with no HotelSavers partners, your redemption value will likely be low. In this case, it would be better to pay cash or use any other points you may have.
Aeroplan HotelSavers vs. hotel loyalty programs
Let’s be clear, you shouldn’t compare Aeroplan HotelSavers to hotel loyalty programs. You should always join hotel loyalty programs since you can get immediate benefits such as early check-in, free Wi-Fi, and member rates. However, let’s recognize that you typically won’t get any really good benefits until you have status with hotel loyalty programs.
Frequent travellers will want to maximize their hotel stays with one chain, but casual travellers may be better off treating Aeroplan as a go-to travel program with multiple redemption options.
Even if you do actively collect hotel loyalty points, you may want to reconsider your strategy. For example, most point experts give one Marriott Bonvoy point a value of .9 – 1CPP. That’s below what you can get with Aeroplan HotelSavers. When you look at other programs such as Hilton Honors and World of Hyatt, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say HotelSavers is better.
You won’t get free breakfast or suite upgrades with Aeroplan HotelSavers (although some hotels do include breakfast as part of the rate), but you will get another opportunity to use your points when travelling. For some people, the convenience of collecting points with a single loyalty program is worth it.
Aeroplan HotelSavers is the next evolution of Aeroplan. It’s an interesting opportunity to use your points on properties that you may not have considered before or if you’re looking to save spending money on your hotel stay. Those looking to maximize the value out of their Aeroplan points may not be interested in HotelSavers, but there’s no denying that the program presents good value for casual travellers. If Aeroplan continues to add more partners to the program, as it did with its airline partners, then HotelSavers will be even more appealing.