Aeroplan & Starbucks Partnership: What You Need to Know

Aeroplan operates a series of partnerships with leading brands across a variety of different industries in Canada.

One of the program’s key partnerships is with starbuckscanada, allowing members to earn and redeem Aeroplan points on their favorite Starbucks beverages and earn further rewards when engaging with both brands.

As of this week, Aeroplan and Starbucks have introduced a new ability to convert Aeroplan points into Starbucks Stars, so let’s take an updated look at what the full partnership offers.

To take full advantage of the new Aeroplan and Starbucks partnership, you must first link your Aeroplan and Starbucks Rewards accounts.

You can visit aircanada.com/starbucks to link your accounts, which should take just a few moments to complete.

Once your accounts are linked, you’ll start earning Aeroplan points on all of your Starbucks Rewards activity (in addition to the Starbucks Stars that you usually earn).

Earn Aeroplan Points for Loading Your Starbucks Card

Aeroplan members who have linked their Starbucks Rewards accounts will earn Aeroplan points for loading their Starbucks Cards as follows:

  • 75 airplane points every time you load or reload an amount between $50 and $74.99 to your Starbucks Card.
  • 150 airplane points every time you load or reload an amount of $75 or more to your Starbucks Card.

We can think about the effective earning rate for Aeroplan points on your Starbucks activity:

  • If you load or reload an amount between $50 and $74.99, you’ll be earning 1–1.5 Aeroplan points per dollar spent at Starbucks
  • If you load or reload an amount of $75 or more, you’ll be earning up to 2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent at Starbucks

Indeed, the maximum value is attained by loading an exact amount of $75 to your Starbucks Card, which will earn you 150 Aeroplan points and an effective earning rate of 2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent.

Therefore, if you drink Starbucks with any regularity at all, it makes sense to load your Starbucks Card in exact chunks of $75 every time.

(You’ll also notice that you don’t earn any Aeroplan points for loading or reloading amounts below $50. If you were previously in the habit of loading in chunks of, say, $25 at a time, it would now make sense to go ahead and load $50, or ideally $75, if you can.)

These Aeroplan points are in addition to the points that you’d normally earn by loading your Starbucks Card using an Aeroplan co-branded credit card.

The TD-issued Aeroplan co-branded cards are the most powerful earning option for Starbucks purchases. That’s because TD and Starbucks also have a robust partnership in place, allowing cardholders to earn 50% extra Aeroplan points at Starbucks.

Thus, the effective earning rates on the TD Aeroplan credit cards on Starbucks purchases are as follows:

Factoring in the Aeroplan and Starbucks bonus, then, upon using a TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege or TD Aeroplan Visa Business to load or reload your Starbucks Card in increments of at least $75, you could earn up to 4.25 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on Starbucks.

Since we value Aeroplan points at 2.1 cents/point, that’s like getting an 8.93% return at Starbucks. Dare I say that Starbucks’s prices might actually seem reasonable now?!

New: Convert Aeroplan Points into Starbucks Stars

As of April 2022, Aeroplan members are now able to convert points into Starbucks Stars at a ratio of 1,000 Aeroplan points = 200 Starbucks Stars.

Members can access this functionality directly from their online dashboard or the Air Canada app.

Starbucks Stars can be redeemed for free Starbucks food and drink as follows:

  • 25 stars for beverage modifications
  • 50 stars for any hot brewed coffee, hot steeped tea, or bakery item
  • 150 stars for any handcrafted beverage (such as a latte or blended beverage), hot breakfast item, or packaged snack item
  • 200 stars for any packaged salad, lunch sandwich, or packaged protein box
  • 400 stars for select merchandise or at-home coffee

The optimal redemption is generally at the 50 stars level, for a hot coffee, tea, or bakery item. If you were to convert 1,000 Aeroplan points into 200 Starbucks Stars, that could get you four redemptions at this level.

Brewed coffee costs ~$2.35, while bakery items can be as high as ~$3.50. Four items would otherwise cost ~$10–14, so your 1,000 Aeroplan points would’ve fetched a redemption value of 1–1.4 cents per point (cpi).

While that’s not necessarily a poor redemption value, it definitely pales in comparison to the much higher value you could attain for your Aeroplan points by redeeming them for flights and travel instead.

Indeed, we recommend at least 2.1cpp as a benchmark, and it’s easy to exceed 2.1cpp when redeeming for business class and First Class flights.

Bottom line, 1,000 Aeroplan points are worth far more than $10–14 towards coffee or tea – so while it’s nice to have this option on paper, it won’t be particularly relevant for Aeroplan members who are looking to get the best value for their hard-earned points.

Redeem Aeroplan Points for Starbucks Cards

Aeroplan members also have the ability to redeem Aeroplan points for Starbucks Cards – starting at 1,000 Aeroplan points for a $10 Starbucks Card, for an effective redemption rate of 1 cent per point (cpp).

Just like above, the rate of 1cpp is a fairly unattractive use of Aeroplan points compared to the much better value proposition of using Aeroplan points for flights.

Thus, if you’re in the mood to exchange your Aeroplan points for coffee, it’d be a much better idea to put those points towards a business class flight redemption and savor the onboard complimentary coffee instead. 😉

One-Time Bonus for New Starbucks Rewards Members

If you’re new to Starbucks Rewards, you can earn a one-time bonus of 400 Aeroplan points simply for opening a new Starbucks Rewards account, linking your Aeroplan profile, and then making a purchase using the Starbucks app within one month of opening the account.

This is a very easy 400 Aeroplan points for those of you who haven’t yet participated in Starbucks Rewards, or who might’ve forgotten the password to your existing account.

Ongoing Promotions by Aeroplan & Starbucks

As part of the partnership, Aeroplan and Starbucks will also collaborate to offer occasional limited-time promotions for earning extra Aeroplan points or Starbucks Stars through certain forms of engagement with the programs.

Past promotions have taken many forms, including:

  • Earn bonus Aeroplan points when you make a certain number of Starbucks transactions in a given period.
  • Earn bonus Aeroplan points when you redeem Starbucks Stars for a reward a certain number of times in a given period.
  • Earn bonus Aeroplan points when making a purchase at a Starbucks location in a Canadian airport using a linked Starbucks Rewards account.

These promotions are unlikely to result in huge windfalls, but represent an easy way to earn extra points and pad your Aeroplan balance with your day-to-day coffee habits.

Conclusion

If you’re addicted to caffeine and travel in equal parts like me, then the partnership between Aeroplan and Starbucks represents a perfect blend of rewards.

After linking their accounts, Aeroplan members will be able to earn up to 2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent at Starbucks, plus up to 2.25 Aeroplan points per dollar spent by using a TD Aeroplan co-branded credit card.

On the redemption side, there’s also the ability to convert Aeroplan points into Starbucks Stars at a ratio of 1,000 points = 200 Stars, as well as redeem Aeroplan points for Starbucks Cards if you so choose.

Starbucks was the first of many lifestyle partnerships launched by Aeroplan, with LCBO and Uber Canada also among Aeroplan’s key partnerships for more wide-ranging earning and redeeming opportunities throughout our daily lives.

Leave a Comment