Aeroplan Hacking – Swapping Out of Aeroplan for RBC Avion cardholders

Tuesday 12th, February 2013 / 21:08 Written by
Aeroplan Hacking – Swapping Out of Aeroplan for RBC Avion cardholders

This is an article in a series on using Aeroplan miles creatively to extract more value from them. My series on Aeroplan basics can be seen here.

Related Posts:

The Skinny

  • Aeroplan miles convert to US Airways miles and Esso Extra points through
  • RBC Avion cardholders can convert
    Esso Extra points can convert to American Airlines miles, British Airways Avios, Cathay Asia miles or Westjet Dollars for RBC Avion cardholders


Many people that I speak with tell me that they are so frustrated with the Aeroplan program. They find it so difficult to get any value out of their miles. Either there is no availability for the flights that they want or the fees are so outrageous that it is a major turn off. If you are interested in using your miles for YYZ-YVR at Christmas, you are going to have these same feelings towards the program. This will also come in handy to those who are noticing that their Aeroplan miles are about to expire and want to transfer them into something that can buy more time to get value out of them.

If you are thoroughly frustrated with the Aeroplan program, and would like to turn your hard earned miles into something that might be more valuable to you, there is a method to do this. Aeroplan will happily suggest that you use your miles at bad redemptions, but we want to make sure to maintain most of the value of your asset (miles).

Transfer Options

There are a few ways to trade your miles without losing too much value. In the previous article in this series, I talk about how to transfer Aeroplan miles to US Airways miles and exploit that. In this article, I’ll talk about how you can transfer your Aeroplan miles to American Aadvantage miles or others if you have the RBC Avion credit card (for Canadian residents only).

*Note the requirements of $250 in eligible Esso purchases on your Esso Extra account that commenter Robsaw noted on May 26.

Your options include:

  • US Airways (see this article)
  • Esso Extra
  • RBC Avion Points
  • AAdvantage Miles
  • British Airways Avios
  • Cathay Asia Miles
  • Westjet Dollars

Exploit Transfer Bonus

In this example, we are taking advantage of a 25% bonus that RBC is currently giving on transfers to American Airlines AAdvantage miles. Transfer bonuses come around periodically for transfers to other programs and 50% bonus on transfers to British Airways Avios are common. Without the transfer bonuses, this method will yield a poor final transfer ratio.


What you will need for this:

  • Aeroplan account
  • Esso Extra account
  • account which has the Aeroplan and Esso accounts registered
  • RBC Avion card
  • American Airlines AAdvantage account
    • Can transfer to British Airways Avios or Cathay Pacific Asia Miles or Westjet Dollars if desired

With this method, you will be doing the following:

Conversion Conversion Method Ratio Minimum to Transfer Value of Asset
50,000 Aeroplan
Step 1 Aeroplan >> Esso Extra 1 Aeroplan = 1.16532 Esso 15K Aeroplan 58,266 Esso Extra
Step 2 Esso Extra >> RBC Avion 500 Esso = 300 RBC 2500 Esso Extra 34,800 RBC
+266 Esso Extra
Step 3 RBC Avion >> AAdvantage 100 RBC = 1.25 AAdvantage* 100 RBC 43,500 AAdvantage
+266 Esso Extra

Step 1: Convert Aeroplan Miles to Esso Extra Points

Here are the steps to convert your Aeroplan miles to Esso Extra points.

  • Login in to your account
  • Choose “Trade, exchange & Buy”
  • Select “Move out of a program”
  • Choose “Aeroplan” as the program you want to move miles out of
  • Tell it how many you want
  • Click on “search now”
  • Ignore everything in the “Trade” section
  • These will be very costly and are never a good value
  • Choose the Esso Extra exchange in the section called “exchange – swap between your own programs”
  • Confirm your exchange

Step 2: Convert Esso Extra Points to RBC Avion points

Here are the steps to convert your Esso Extra points to RBC Avion points.

Step 3: Convert RBC Avion to AAdvantage or other program

Here are the steps to convert your RBC Avion points to Aadvantage miles. You can also transfer to other points programs. I’ll focus on Aadvantage miles.


Aeroplan miles can be converted to Aadvantage miles for a relatively small loss in value for holders of the RBC Avion card. The process works as follows:

  • transfer Aeroplan miles to Esso Extra
  • transfer Esso Extra to RBC Avion
  • transfer RBC Avion to AAdvantage

The transfer from RBC Avion to AAdvantage is best to be done when there is a transfer bonus, which comes around quite regularly.

This is a great way to transfer your Aeroplan miles out of Aeroplan if they are going to expire.

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44 comments on “Aeroplan Hacking – Swapping Out of Aeroplan for RBC Avion cardholders”

  1. Cathy Camp says:

    So, i went ahead a got an Esso Extra card to transfer those annoying aeroplan points to my rbc avion points.
    Transferred points to the esso card was very easy with….however, when i tried to tranfer the points over to rbc, Esso will not allow me to do this. Says something to the effect that i do not have enough purchase points on my esso extra card. Do you know if they referring to actual store and/or gas purchases on the Esso extra card? Because if that is the case, i am in a bit of a pickle, I live in an extremely remote part of Canada, on Haida Gwaii (google, if you are not familiar) and we have independent gas stations (2 of them). How they heck am I going to acquire purchase points????? Any suggestions?


    • thepointster says:


      That one is new to me. I am going to have to spend some time doing research on what exactly that means. According to the information at nothing has changed since this article was posted. If I were you, I would get on the phone with RBC and see if they can figure it out. I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t be able to help you out, unless you have something very specific in your account that is preventing this from happening.

      Give them a call and let us know what they say.

      Thanks for the support and for reading.

  2. Andrew says:

    Esso is telling me the same thing as well. I transferred my Aeroplan to EssoExtra and have 17,000 EssoExtra points. I went to transfer them online and got this error

    “You do not have enough eligible purchase points to complete this transfer. For more information please see program rules or contact customer service at 1-800-567-3776”

    I called them and the lady said I need to spend $250 at Esso to earn 2500 EssoExtra points, then I could transfer the 17,000 (19500 total).

    Kinda sucks because I probably won’t spend $250 on gas before the 20% RBC -> Aadvantage bonus ends at the end of June. You also don’t earn EssoExtra on giftcards.

  3. Andrew says:

    Not sure of my math now. I’m pretty sure she said you need to spend $250 first. Hopefully not $2500

  4. robsaw says:

    From the essoextra website “Program Rules” at the bottom of the page:

    “These are as of September 2010”

    “4.2 A Member, Master Member or “Authorized Redeemer” (as defined in 4.4) may visit the website and exchange Points for other loyalty program Points. They may also exchange their Points for “Hudson’s Bay Rewards Points”, or “RBC Reward Points”. In order to begin exchanging Esso Extra Points with Hudson’s Bay Rewards points or RBC Reward points, Esso Extra members must first earn a minimum of 250 Esso Extra Points from eligible purchases made at Esso stations.”

    So, first EARN 250 by purchases – a one-time requirement. I may have joined before this requirement was in place but I had some bonus earning via the speedpass too that may have qualified me so that I never encountered this issue.

    There is a 2500 point minimum TRANSFER amount from Esso to RBC.

  5. marcus says:

    only convert a maximum of 100,000 points from Aeroplan to Esso on I have almost 200,000 by converting half I’ll be half in and half out which is just another mess. Any ideas?

    • thepointster says:


      I actually experienced this when doing a US Airways transfer. The limit is 50K there but you can do that transfer multiple times in any given period. It appears that the limit is only per transaction on the US Airways transfer. I wonder if that is the same for Esso as well.

      Also, something of note is that people are experiencing issues transfering out of Esso to RBC if they dont have enough purchase points with Esso. Be sure that you are not trapping your Esso Extra points when you are looking to do an RBC Avion transfer.

  6. madster says:

    Have we cleared the $250 required esso points?

  7. David says:

    Hello and thanks for the the info, i would like to move my Aeroplan miles to AAadvantage ive applied for a RBC Avion card , what is the process regarding spending $250 with Esso ,is that in one visit or within a certain time line.??

    • thepointster says:


      I don’t have a definite answer on this issue, although the conventional wisdom at Flyertalk says that you would need to have that spending in the year. If I were you, I would follow this discussion at Flyertalk as the wealth of knowledge there is quite impressive.

  8. David says:

    Im still trying to move out of Aeroplan and convert to AAdvantage how hard can it be?? Now that TD has a Aeroplan card can you imagine how many more people are looking for seats in business class ? what a farce where are all the seats /

    • thepointster says:

      I think if you are not desperate for the AA miles, now is not a great time to make the transfer. You should wait until there is a transfer promotion of 25% or 50% as we have seen regularly in the past.

      Also, be aware of the spending requirement at Esso that others have noted.

      I feel you on the Aeroplan getting less valuable these days.

  9. Don says:

    I have 150,000+ Aeroplan points. I have a account. I have applied for an Esso card and will buy the required $250 worth of gas. I also have RBC Avion and that will be the final destination for the points. Question is…. Does Aeroplan charge me $$ to transfer points out to Esso? If so, what is the charge? Thank you.

    • thepointster says: will not charge you to do the transfer (at least they shouldn’t). Just be aware of a few things.

      First that you are limited to moving out 100K miles / year from Aeroplan.

      Second that you should make sure that this works for a small number of miles before you do it for a large amount of miles. That is just good planning and since there is no cost to breaking it up vs 1 big deposit it is better to do it in a small increment first, I would imagine. This way, in case it doesnt work out for you you are in good shape.

      Something to bear in mind though is that you can now transfer the Aeroplan miles to US Airways at about the same rate. US Airways miles are almost hte same as American Airlines miles now that the merger has gone through. Each have their positives and negatives. US Airways prices in miles are generally less than everyone elses. American miles tend to have better routing freedoms and gives you lots of opportunity to exploit free flights (for example) and price things on a one-way basis. They both give you access to the same flights. Pick your poison, but I do like the tranfser from Aeroplan directly to US Airwyas through (as mentioned in the other article in this series).

      What are you trying to do? Book a specific itinerary or just get miles out of Aeroplan?

  10. Don says:

    Thanks for your help and suggestion.
    I was just looking to get my miles out of Aeroplan as I am finding it more and more difficult to get an Air Canada flight that is convenient without paying extra miles to get a seat. I understand that the Avion system is more flexible in getting flights.

  11. Norm V says:

    Esso still has the requirement to accumulate 250 points in in-store purchases, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend $250. If you use the Esso Extra card and purchase the highest grade gasoline (Super) you get 3x the Esso Extra points. So I only spent $84 in Super unleaded gas and got 252 Esso Extra points. I was able to transfer my Aeroplan miles to Esso Extra points to RBC rewards points by using this method.

  12. Greg says:

    Do you know of any way to transfer Aeroplan to Aventura?

  13. sherri says:

    My husband and I each have an aeroplan account and an esso account. BUT ONLY one Avion (joint) card! Will We be able to pool all the points into one avion account? Does anyone have experience with this?

    • thepointster says:

      I personally dont have experience with doing multiple Aeroplan accounts into a single Avion.

      My thoughts are that it is likely not going to work. is very strict about things being transfered between 2 accounts of the exact same name only. Since they are integral to this< i don't think you will be able to transfer 2 Aeroplan into the same RBC account. You MIGHT be able to set up a second RBC account, to transfer into, but it wont be connected to an Avion acco0unt to make this happen. At that point to make these valuable you will need to get a new Avion card in the new RBC account's name.

    • nabeelj says:

      Join your individual Esso accounts together and it’ll work as you want.

      • nabeelj says:

        For clarity, this is what I meant:

        Aeroplan #1 -> Esso #1 using

        Aeroplan #2 -> Esso #2 using

        On, link Esso #2 to Esso #1.

        From Esso #1, transfer the combined points to Avion, then to BA or AA.

        • Lorne says:

          This works. I have done this. 100,000 Aeroplan points from my Aeroplan, and 100,000 from my wife’s Aeroplan, both using, and going into each of our OWN Esso Extra accounts. THEN, transferring from EACH Esso Extra account into ONE RBC Avion card.

          It works!

  14. noni says:

    Hi there!

    Thanks for taking the time to do this. Aeroplan sucks. period.

    Anyhow can you tell me if the required esso points purchase ($250) is required to accomplish the transfer from esso to avion? If so i might bite the bullet and do it, only problem is there is no esso in the town I live in. Any options??


    • thepointster says:


      I believe that the $250 requirement is still there. According to the responses I have heard, there is a requirement to spend $250 before you can make the transfer.

      I really dont know what options there are to spend $250 at Esso if there isnt one around you.

      I agree with you that using Aeroplan can be very frustrating if the flight you are saving for all of a sudden gets more expensive or there is a fuel surcharge and your “free” flight is now $500. There is definitely value in Aeroplan miles. I just think that the marketing of it sets an unrealistic expectation of their value, and the gotchas! really add up with Aeroplan.

  15. sherri says:

    Can anyone direct me to a website that tells the best way to move AAdvantage (American airlines) points to RBC Avion? I’ve got about 10,000 in each of 4 accounts stranded there and just want them OUT or used up….My research is coming up fruitless so far and I’ve tried a few routes, Diners club (no longer issuing memberships), (doesn’t allow transfers out of AA to anything), West Jet points (no transfers between programs) I think I can donate them if nothing else, but I’m my own favorite charity at the moment, so I’d rather use them if possible 😉

  16. Wenonah says:

    This site will be a huge help in converting from Aeroplane to EssoExtra to RBC Avion except that the info in steps 2 and 3 for transferring are missing. Thank you

    • thepointster says:

      Thanks. Ill look into getting those screenshots where I can. Unfortunately, I dont have a RBC Avion card, so I cant do it. I’ll have to find someone who has an RBC Avion card to let me transfer some points in.


  17. Saad says:


    I came across this website and I am trying to convert Aeroplan to RBC Rewards using EssoExtra. Now, after setting everything and sending points to Esso, I am stuck with this EssoExtra minimum requirement. I don’t have a car so earning points on Gas is useless. I was looking to get AirCanada deal with RBC Rewards, a good deal that would have given me additional $200 off with Aeroplan miles.

    Now here’s question, I need about 250 minimum Esso Extra points to transfer, can I get gift cards? I have purchased a $100 visa card and few other things and my bill was $123, and I can see that receipt says “Points : 123”, are they EssoExtra points? Can someone please help me out fast? If its a Yes, I’d probably get another $100 visa card to qualify for it.


    • thepointster says:


      That is correct, the points that you have earned should be Esso Extra points. To be sure, I would check your Esso Extra statement.

      It seems that the buying of VISA gift cards does earn the Esso Extra points so you should be good if you have a minimum spend requirement.

      I hope that helps.

      • Saad says:

        Yes, it did. You don’t earn on ESSO’s own gift cards, but turns out, you earn on all other gift cards. You are paying activation costs and taxes and that’s it. All cash is back in the pocket.

        Phew, I just today got my points in RBC Rewards from Esso. Took about 48 hrs+.

  18. Jeffrey says:


    I have two RBC credit cards that collect RBC Rewards points. It turns out that the points on credit card A cannot be converted into AA miles or Avios, contrary to those on the other card B (Avion).
    Do you know if it’s possible to convert A’s RBC points into Esso points, and then convert those Esso points back into RBC points but linked to B rather than A, so that all of A’s and B’s points can be eventually converted into AA or Avios?


    • thepointster says:


      My understanding is that all of your RBC poitns can be pooled into a single pool and then you get the benefit of the best card that is associated with that pool.

      Ie, all your RBC points are in a bucket, regardless of source. If you have an RBC Avion card, then all those points are considered RBC Avion points. IF you have just a RBC Rewards card then they are all considered the benefits of that card.

      I do not believe that you can move RBC points from one account to another.

  19. Steve says:

    What are the exchange rates from
    Aeroplan to westjet

    • thepointster says:

      You are unable to exchange Aeroplan to Westjet unless you go through the entire process as mentioned.

      100 RBC points = $1 at Westjet. So the math would work out to 50K Aeroplan = $348 in Westjet + 266 Esso Extra.

  20. Howard says:

    Hi. I transferred some Aeroplan to and I am trying to add my RBC Avion program to my Points Loyalty Wallet but it does not appear in the dropdown box to select. Aeroplan is there and Alaska and Diners but no Avion. Am I missing something? Thanks.

  21. Howard says:

    Very disappointed. 3 year old thread. does not work with RBC Avion! Here’s what they say:

    “We appreciate your interest in using the Points Loyalty Wallet, however, RBC Avion does not participate on the Points Loyalty Wallet. ”

    I guess transfer Aeroplan to WestJet if my only alternative.

  22. Wonkyt says:

    So did I miss something? Where are the detailed instructions to change from Esso Extra to RBC Avion points?

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