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On May 1st Aeroplan launched a new promotion for Canadians called the Aeroplan Star Challenge. Perhaps you saw our tweets about it on the 1st and how it is similar the U.S. Airways Grand Slam promotion seen south of the border although I did state it wasn’t as Grand. While the U.S. Airways promo is grander in terms of the amount of bonus miles you could earn (100K) it also required a bit more spending and partner use than this Aeroplan offer.

What is the Aeroplan Star Challenge?
The challenge is a bonus miles promotions that rewards Aeroplan members for using participating Aeroplan partners. Partners range from financial and shopping to flights and travel. Not all Aeroplan partners are participating but a good proportion of them are. The premise of the promotion is that you earn ‘Stars’ for each qualifying Aeroplan transaction, that is a transaction that earns at least 1 Aeroplan mile. The stars are awarded as follows:
– 5 Instant Stars for financial card holders (CIBC Aerogold, American Express AeroplanPlus)
– 2 Stars for each shopping transaction at participating retailers and the Aeroplan eStore
– 3 Stars for travel transactions such as hotel stays and car rentals as well as American Express Membership Rewards trasnfers
– 5 Stars per flight segment flown with Air Canada or any Air Canada airline partner including the Star Alliance.

Bonus miles are awarded as follows:
Reach 35 Stars during the promotion and receive 1,500 Aeroplan miles
Reach 70 Stars during the promotion and receive 16,500 Aeroplan (15,000 plus the 1,500 at 35 Stars)

The promotion runs from May 1st to May 28th. Complete details of the promo can be found here

So how can you get the 16,500 bonus miles for only $35? Easy, find an Aeroplan partner that offers 1 Aeroplan Mile per dollar and complete 35 separate transactions at $1 each with each transaction earning 2 stars for a total of 70. For me, being out West the easiest place is Rexall. My plan is to complete as many separate $1 transactions for my wife, my kids and myself so that we all come out with the 16,500 mile bonus. Overall I will probably spend more than $35 as I will have other transactions that count (Club Sobeys, Esso etc) but I would be doing those transactions anyways. If you do take the lowest route possible at $35+tax or even a bit less as apparently $0.99 Kobo e-book purchases made via the Aeroplan E-Store count, you can enjoy a short haul flight that could be worth $150-$250 before taxes.

I have confirmed with Aeroplan that multiple transaction at the same retailer do count as long as each transaction posts separately (so multiple Sobeys purchases in one day would only count as 1)  and that they earn at least 1 Aeroplan mile.

I would love to hear all of our readers strategies for earning Stars during this promotion and updates as to how many Stars you are at! I will also keep all of you updated on my family’s trek to earning 70 Stars each (280 in total)

For even more comments and reaction visit this post on our Canadian site

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