Back in August, I applied for the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card. I met my minimum spend of $1k for a 75k Membership Rewards point bonus and was temporarily foiled in September with the pullback by Amex on the “bump the bonus” practice frequently discussed on FlyerTalk. After a few exchanges with Amex via secure message, they credited the points I was promised in August.
With the devaluation of British Airways award chart into Avios and a salvo of Aeroplan devaluations (award chart increases, no domestic first class access on international business class awards, and suddenly imposed fuel surcharges on most Star Alliance carriers), I was left wondering what I’d do with all of these points, particularly as I was eyeing the 50k signup bonus for the Amex Platinum card.
Amidst this gloom came a discovery on Friday afternoon that Aeroplan was charging economy miles for business class awards (similarly business class prices for first class awards). Over the weekend, I managed to piece together a comparatively simple Aeroplan award from Christmas through New Year’s in business class for 80k Aeroplan miles (acquired by transferring 76k Membership Rewards points and purchasing 4k Aeroplan miles for $120) and paying $222.77 in taxes and fees: EWR-SFO-SYD (turn) – AKL (stop) – YVR – LAX (stop) – EWR.
Thanks to the summertime devaluation of blocking access to domestic first class seats on business class awards and scarce p.s. business class availability from New York, I booked my transcontinental segments on Continental which codes its domestic “first class” cabin as business class for ticketing purposes.