Travel

Aeroplan launches HotelSavers as a new redemption option: What you should know

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I’ve only twice considered using airline rewards for hotels: when I redeemed 100,000 Southwest points for an all-inclusive vacation and when I thought my Malaysia Enrich miles would expire before I could travel to Malaysia again.

You’ll typically get the best value from your airline rewards when you redeem for flights. However, many travelers look for other ways to redeem their airline rewards.

Today, Air Canada Aeroplan launched a new option for hotel redemptions that it says requires “up to 30% fewer points” than the previous option. Aeroplan’s press release goes on to note:

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“HotelSavers offers the best member value for Aeroplan points outside of flights. In addition, borrowing from the best of Aeroplan flight redemptions, there are aspirational “sweet spots” to uncover where value on hotels is even better than the typical value per point when purchasing flights.”

The idea of aspirational sweet spots to uncover is enough to pique my interest. So, here’s what you should know about Aeroplan’s new HotelSavers redemption option.

Aeroplan HotelSavers

You can book the InterContinental Phuket through Aeroplan HotelSavers and have this view at dinner. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

Aeroplan has partnered with select hotel brands to offer its HotelSavers redemptions. Currently, you can book stays at the following 39 brands through Aeroplan HotelSavers:

  • Luxury: Fairmont, Shangri-La, Taj, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, InterContinental, Preferred, Kimpton, Sofitel, Six Senses, Regent, Faena and SLS.
  • Premium: Le Germain, Omni, Noble House, Swissôtel Pullman, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, Outrigger, MGallery, Escad Hotel, voco, 21c Museum Hotels, HUALUXE and EVEN.
  • Mid-scale and economy: Coast Hotels, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Atwell Suites, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Avid, Novotel, Mama Shelter, Alt Hotels, Ibis and Ibis Styles.

As you can see, you can book many Accor Live Limitless and IHG One Rewards brands through Aeroplan HotelSavers.

The following table shows the eight HotelSavers categories and the number of Aeroplan points required per night for hotels in each category:

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However, before getting too excited, note that some HotelSavers redemptions price way outside their stated category. For example, consider this Category 3 hotel in Miami that should cost 20,000 to 30,000 points per night:

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Aeroplan’s press release notes that all HotelSavers redemptions include taxes. You can book a refundable rate with all Aeroplan HotelSavers properties, but some also offer nonrefundable options for even fewer points. And you can also redeem using a points plus cash rate to pay with half points and half cash for HotelSavers stays.

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You can even redeem more points to book an upgraded room or a rate that includes breakfast. Check out this option for the InterContinental Bora Bora Thalasso.

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When you initially search for a HotelSavers redemption, you may not see your desired hotel even if it belongs to one of the 39 participating brands. For example, the InterContinential Phuket and Keemala didn’t appear in a search for Phuket, Thailand, but did appear when I searched more specifically for Kalama, Thailand.

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But despite searching several ways, I couldn’t get Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives or Six Senses Yao Noi in Thailand to appear in search results.

Finally, you can still book hotels in other brands using Aeroplan points. HotelSavers redemptions are denoted on the results page with a red HotelSavers banner. And HotelSavers results seem to be listed first if you sort the results using the Recommended option.

Related: The best ways to maximize Air Canada’s Aeroplan program

Bottom line

It’s always good to see a loyalty program offer a new redemption option, especially one with the potential to provide good value.

I’ll need to dig deeper into the HotelSavers options by doing more searches before declaring how much value is here. But, one redemption that immediately jumps out to me is for one of the most aspirational IHG One Rewards properties: the InterContinental Bora Bora Thalasso in French Polynesia.

HotelSavers prices the base villa — which is still overwater — within the Category 8 band for the dates I checked. It’s usually very difficult to find award availability using IHG points at this resort, especially if you want to stay longer than just a night or two. Redeeming Aeroplan points for a stay may provide good value on some dates if you don’t want to book a paid rate.

Especially if you would consider transferring Chase points to IHG to book a high-value redemption, now you may want to consider transferring to Aeroplan if the award rate or availability is better. However, you likely won’t get elite perks and earnings with the hotel loyalty program when you book stays through Aeroplan. And in the case of redemptions of IHG hotels, you’ll miss out on a fourth-night reward if you have an eligible IHG Rewards credit card and opt to redeem Aeroplan points instead of IHG points.

So, check award rates with both and carefully compare your options before booking. As a reminder, TPG values Aeroplan points at 1.5 cents each, so you’ll typically want to get at least 1.5 cents per point when redeeming.

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