The new HotelSavers program from Air Canada Aeroplan might be the best hotel redemption program we have ever seen. I do not think most savvy consumers will use it.

Aeroplan offering better value on hotel redemptions

Most airline loyalty programs give members the chance to redeem their points for things other than flights, but it's usually not a good value. Aeroplan has introduced a new program called HotelSavers.

  • Aeroplan will have a simple rewards grid that makes it easy to know how many points you need for a stay at a hotel, as there will be eight categories
  • Aeroplan is partnering directly with 39 hotel brands across 11 chains, and as a result is able to offer savings (in points) of up to 30% vs. non-HotelSavers hotels available on the Aeroplan reservation platform (these will still be available)
  • Free night rewards start at 10,000 points for a standard room, with no restrictions on room availability; you can also redeem part cash and part points toward these redemptions
  • Taxes are always included with these redemptions, and all properties offer an opportunity to book a refundable rate
  • Unfortunately you generally won’t earn points or receive all elite perks with your hotel loyalty program when booking this way, though I’m told this is something that Aeroplan is working on

Aeroplan Hotel Savers will feature 39 brands.

  • Luxury: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Taj Hotels, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels, and others
  • Premium: Le Germain Hotels, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts, Pullman, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, and others
  • Midscale & Economy: Coast Hotels, Holiday Inn Hotels, Novotel Hotels & Resorts, Alt Hotels, Ibis, and Ibis Styles

Aeroplan claims that HotelSavers offers the best member value for Aeroplan points outside of flights, and that there will be aspirational "sweet spots" to uncover, where value of hotel redemptions is even better than the typical value per point when redeemed for flights.

The examples are rounded to the nearest 1000 points.

  • InterContinental Bora Bora Resort (Category 8) – 71,000 pts/night
  • Fairmont Mayakoba Resort, Playa Del Carmen (Category 7) – 60,000 pts/night 
  • Shangri-La Vancouver (Category 6) – 45,000 points/night
  • Shangri-La Toronto (Category 6) – 45,000 pts/night
  • Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort (Category 6) – 43,000 pts/night
  • Taj Exotica Hotel and Spa, Goa (Category 5) – 39,000 pts/night
  • Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile (Category 5) – 36,000 pts/night
  • Le Germain Charlevoix Hotel & Spa, Baie-Saint-Paul (Category 4) – 33,000 pts/night
  • Claris Hotel and Spa (SLH), Barcelona (Category 3) – 24,000 pts/night
  • Lorenzo Hotel (Preferred Hotels & Resorts), Dallas (Category 2) – 12,000 pts/night

Air Canada has a VP of Loyalty and Product.

“When Canadians want to fly on points, they can already count on Aeroplan as Aeroplan credit card holders can redeem for Air Canada flight rewards for an average of 30% fewer points than if they used points for non-Aeroplan Canadian bank-based travel programs. However, no one has focused on delivering Canadians a great hotel rewards program – that changes today. With HotelSavers, we’re now offering Aeroplan members great options to book hotels using their points – without compromising the excellent value they’ve come to expect. HotelSavers is yet another way we’re investing to solidify Aeroplan as the go-to rewards choice for all Canadians who travel.”

The InterContinental Bora Bora is part of HotelSavers

This is an excellent effort on Aeroplan’s part

Aeroplan is my favorite frequent flyer program due to the fact that it is designed by people who are into miles. They see the value in giving members first and business class redemptions.

That is not how most people want to redeem their points, and the reality is that there are a lot of people who use their points for things other than hotels. Aeroplan is trying to make these types of redemptions a better value.

The same philosophy that Aeroplan has with flights for hotel redemptions is used by Aeroplan Hotel Savers. Aeroplan is different from other programs in that it has a simplified redemption award chart for hotels.

There will be some "sweet spots" according to Aeroplan. Aeroplan claims to be working on a way to give hotel elite benefits and points on these stays.

This new program should offer improved value for many Aeroplan members.

The Shangri-La Toronto is part of HotelSavers

Bottom line

Air Canada Aeroplan's Hotel Savers program offers better value when you redeem airline points at hotels. Aeroplan has made a significant effort to improve the value of these types of redemptions, so it is nice to see that they are doing this.

What do you think about Aeroplan Hotel Savers?

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