Like many aspects of Mexico’s tourist industry, Aeromexico and its frequent flyer program meet some, but not all North American travel expectations. For example, Aeromexico offers feeder co-branded credit cards with exceptional value, but it also requires you to call its frequent flyer program for things you’d expect to be able to do quickly and simply online.
One of the programs most interesting quirks is that awards are redeemed in kilometers. The rewards earned on co-branded credit cards and points transferred from credit card program partner American Express Membership Rewards come in miles. They are then changed over to kilometers for the Aeromexico program at a rate of 1 mile to 1.6 kilometers.
If you are looking to fly on Aeromexico itself, and don’t mind dealing with their call center, there are some great values on Aeromexico’s award chart that you can easily take advantage of with its easy-to-earn miles.
- Mexico City International Airport
Aeromexico offers two types of awards on its own flights: Aeromexico Award Tickets and Always Flight Awards. Award Tickets correspond to a fixed, zone-based award chart, while Always Flight Award prices depend on demand and are calculated at the time of booking.
Partner awards are also redeemed according to a separate, zone-based award chart, with some specifications as to routing that can make awards difficult to find given the limited members of the SkyTeam alliance.
Kilometers may also be redeemed for a Go Round the World Award Ticket, which comes in one of two flavors: economy or clase premier/business class. These awards must take place in one direction of travel, begin and end in the same country, and contain 3 to 15 stopovers.
- Minimum of 625 kilometers earned on short flights
- Some booking classes earn 125%, 150% or 200% of kilometers per flight
- Bonuses for purchasing tickets online
- Ability to redeem kilometers for lounge passes and excess baggage
- One-way awards available
- Round-the-world awards available
- No kilometers awarded for discount fares
- Kilometers expire if there is no activity within 24 months
- High fees and surcharges
- Partner awards are only available by phone
The best way to use your Aeromexico kilometers is probably also the last way you would expect to use them: business class flights to Europe. Aeromexico’s awards to Europe are the single lowest in the industry, saving nearly 30,000 miles roundtrip compared to the next closest award chart, that of Air Canada. Since you’ll actually be using the award to fly Air France or KLM, it’s an even better value.
Aeromexico’s worst awards are both the costliest and least convenient. When the award chart gets to the zones of Australia, the South Pacific, and Southeast Asia, it takes a sudden jump, and for good reason. The small SkyTeam alliance doesn’t have good routing to this area, so even if you did score an award flight, it would be a long ride.
Use of kilometers for upgrades depends on a members status with Aeromexico. Classic members can only use mileage upgrades on Y, B or M fares on flights within Mexico or between Mexico and the U.S., Canada, Central American, the Caribbean and South American. Titanium-level elite members have access to mileage upgrade awards on paid Y, B, M, S, K and Q fares up to 11 months before departure on all routes.
Aeromexico Club Premier Elite Levels and Perks
Each subsequent level includes the perks of the previous level unless stated otherwise.
- Gold: Free upgrades for member and a companion to Clase Premier on Aeromexico-operated flights upon check-in as available, 25% bonus kilometers on flights operated by Aeromexico or SkyTeam partners, use of Clase Premier check-in counters, access to award inventory up to 11 months before departure, priority boarding on Aeromexico and SkyTeam flights
- Platinum: Upgrades for member and a companion up to 72 hours before departure, 50% bonus kilometers, SkyTeam lounge access
- Titanio: Access to exclusive Titanio check-in counters, access to Salon Premier VIP lounges, priority baggage handling, upgrades for member and a companion available 96 hours before departure, 100% bonus miles, access for member and companion to Skyteam lounges, one addition checked bag weighing up to 25kg for member, guaranteed availability for one award ticket each year
Aeromexico offers three types of co-branded credit cards in the U.S.: the Aeromexico Visa Signature Card , the Aeromexico Visa Card and the Aeromexico Visa Secured Card. The annual fees are $80, $45 and $25 respectively.
Unlike many co-branded cards with different levels, all three cards offer complimentary checked baggage, a free companion ticket, a $99 companion ticket, and double miles on gas, groceries, and AeroM©xico ticket and vacation purchases. The key difference between the cards is in the additional perks.
The initial sign-up bonuses awarded after the first use of the card differ among the three cards (20,000, 15,000 or 5,000 miles respectively), as do the renewal bonuses (4,000, 2,000 or no miles). The Visa and Visa Signature cards also offer a fourth ticket free when you buy three, and a day pass to the Salon Premier lounge.
Only the Visa Signature Card offers Visa Signature perks like concierge services and benefits at the luxury hotel collection, but all three offer zero fraud liability.
Though the credit cards offer awards in miles, they are translated to Premier Kilometers at a rate of 1.6 kilometers per mile.