Air Canada’s frequent flyer programme, Aeroplan, is usually my top choice when redeeming AMEX Membership Rewards points to make a flight booking on Star Alliance. Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer is probably my second choice.

Before the Aeroplan changes in December 2015, I would say it was my favourite frequent flyer programme for booking Lufthansa First Class awards – at just 62.5k miles between Europe and North America. That price has now jumped to 70-80k, depending on where in Europe you want to fly to.

Redeeming Aeroplan miles for Star Alliance premium cabin travel is a good value some of the time.. other times United MileagePlus is a better option (for example: United charges just 40k miles for First Class from Bangkok to Sydney, while Aeroplan charges much more than that).

Aeroplan imposes fuel surcharges on most Star Alliance member airlines, except the following:

  • Air China
  • Brussels Airlines
  • EgyptAir
  • Ethiopian
  • EVA Air
  • SAS Scandinavian Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Turkish
  • United Airlines

The fuel surcharges on LOT Polish Airlines are imposed, but they’re low – so LOT is another great option (especially Business Class on their B787).

So if you want to avoid fuel surcharges with Aeroplan and fly a great premium cabin to Europe (for example), I would recommend Brussels Airlines, SAS, SWISS, or Turkish. Those would be my top picks for redeeming miles for Business Class without fuel surcharges to Europe.

AMEX Membership Rewards points transfer instantly to Aeroplan, so you should have no trouble booking your award as seats become available.