Your Aeroplan Points Guide
Do you collect Aeroplan points/miles? If not, you may want to start. Aeroplan Miles are easy to amass, easy to redeem, and as long as you stay active, your points will never expire. Of course, Aeroplan isn’t perfect (nor is any loyalty ecosystem), but if you take the time to learn the basics of the program you can really make your points work for you.
With the recent purchase of Aeroplan by Air Canada to come into full effect in 2020, we’re hoping and expecting to see some changes on the horizon. But, for now, let this 2019 Aeroplan Bible be your guide for everything that you need to know about Aeroplan points.
How to Get Aeroplan Points
It’s quite easy to collect Aeroplan Miles, which is partly why it’s such a popular program for Canadians. Aeroplan Miles can be earned in two primary ways:
- Shopping with Aeroplan partner merchants
- Using an Aeroplan credit card
Aeroplan Partner Merchants
Aeroplan has no shortage of partner merchants, many of which you probably use and shop with on a regular basis. Remember that you can ‘double dip’ the points you earn when shopping with Aeroplan Partners or travelling with a Star Alliance member by showing your loyalty card and then paying with an Aeroplan credit card. Some of the most popular partners include the following:
- Air Canada
- Star Alliance Members
- Budget Car Rental
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Fairmont Hotel and Resorts
- The Apple Store Canada
- Hudson’s Bay Company
- The UPS Store
Keep in mind that some of these merchants only allow you to earn Aeroplan points when shopping online. For example, you can earn Aeroplan points when making online purchases at Costco, but you won’t earn any Aeroplan points for anything bought in store.
The Aeroplan eStore is a great resource if you shop a lot online, as it showcases more than 170 retailers who partner with Aeroplan. Each retailer has its own earning rate and some merchants may occasionally have extra mile promotions as well. Popular brands you can find on the Aeroplan eStore include amazon.ca, chapters.indigo.ca, Bed Bath & Beyond, Etsy, Dyson, and more.
Earning Aeroplan Points with Cards
– Credit score required: Good-Excellent
– Min personal income required: $60000
– Annual fees: $120
This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.
As mentioned above, one way to get extra Aeroplan points is by using Aeroplan credit cards, and one of our favourite cards on the market right now is the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* card.
Those who apply for the card by March 2, 2020 can get 30000 Aeroplan Miles —New cardholders get 15,000 miles after a first purchase and an additional 5 points per $1 spent for the first three months; up to an extra 5,000 miles per month. 30,000 potential bonus points total. The card’s value proposition is strengthened with an annual fee rebate for its first year.
The card earns 1.5 miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases, as well as any purchases from aircanada.com. All other purchases earn 1 mile per $1 spent.
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card cardholders will also be able to take advantage of other travel benefits. When booking an award flight via Aeroplan, cardholders get their first bag checked free, priority check-in and boarding, and an annual one-time lounge access to an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge (for flights that were redeemed with Aeroplan miles).
– Credit score required: Good-Excellent
– Min personal income required: $0
– Annual fees: $150
While not officially an Aeroplan credit card, points earned with the Amex Gold Rewards card can be transferred to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio. This makes the card’s earn rate outstanding compared to competing Aeroplan cards, because it generates 2 points per dollar spent on eligible travel, gas, grocery, and drugstores purchases in Canada, with all other purchases earning 1 point for every $1 spent
New cardholders will receive a sign-up bonus of 25000 points after spending $1,500 with the card in the first 3 months. Other benefits include comprehensive travel insurance and travel perks with The Hotel Collection from American Express and Hertz Car Rentals.
What Is the Aeroplan Points Chart?
Aeroplan miles are popular among travellers, who might ponder their vacation plans and wonder: how many Aeroplan points does it take to fly? A quick look at this Aeroplan points chart should clear that question up, but there are a few important considerations to note first.
When booking flights with your Aeroplan miles, you’ll have two options. The first is to book with the fixed mileage option. This is the most common way to book flights with Aeroplan miles and is available for all flights run by Star Alliance members. The number of miles required per route do not change during the season (a definite benefit), however, these flights aren’t always ideal. Not every seat is available, and those that are tend to be limited, meaning you often need to book well in advance. Furthermore, these routes may be longer and might involve layovers.
Alternatively, you can book with market fare rewards. This option offers you much more choice and flexibility, however, it is limited to Air Canada flights only and therefore is not as popular as the fixed mile option. There are occasional market fare reward sales where you might get a better price, but this is rare. Quite often, a market fare flight will cost you 2-3 times more in points than a fixed mileage flight.
How Many Aeroplan Points Does It Take to Fly?
To give you an idea of how many Aeroplan points it takes to fly, we’ve broken down some of the most popular routes available with the fixed mile option. These flights are all based on a round-trip economy class ticket. We should also mention that you still have to pay fees, taxes, and surcharges when making an Aeroplan redemption.
|Departure City||Destination||Aeroplan Miles Required|
“Generally speaking, you’ll receive the highest value for your Aeroplan Miles if you use them toward flights and the lowest value if you use them toward car rentals.”
As you can see, flights are based on zones. A flight within the continental U.S. or Canada will cost 25,000 Aeroplan points for a return flight regardless of where you’re departing from. Flights to Europe are 60,000 miles and if you want to fly to Asia, you’re looking at a redemption of 75,000 miles. Those looking to fly premium economy or business will of course dole out more miles.
How Do Travellers Redeem Aeroplan Points?
Wondering how to redeem Aeroplan points? You can easily redeem your Miles online for several types of products including travel and merchandise.
Travel redemptions include flights with any Star Alliance member (including Air Canada), as well as other travel-related purchases such as hotels, car rentals, or vacation packages. As for merchandise options, there’s a large selection of items to choose from ranging from fashion accessories to cookware. Alternatively, you can also use your Miles for gift cards rather than actual products.
What Is an Aeroplan Point’s Value?
An Aeroplan point’s value is not concrete, and varies depending on what the points are redeemed for and the time of year they’re redeemed. Generally speaking, you’ll receive the highest value for your Aeroplan Miles if you use them toward flights and the lowest value if you use them toward car rentals.
Outside that broad rule of thumb there are several other redemption factors that affect the value of miles. For example, you’ll get better value for your miles if you use them for a domestic flight in Canada (or even a flight to the USA) than you would for booking big international flights on an economy ticket. However, if you choose a carrier with low fees and taxes, then the CPM of your Aeroplan redemption may go up quite a bit for international destinations.
Alternatively, if you understand Aeroplan’s rules, you could build a mini round-the-world flight. For example, let’s say you want to book a business class flight to Asia, Aeroplan allows you to fly to one destination with two stopovers (24 hours+) and up to 13 layovers (less than 24 hours). The destination refers to the furthest city, so if you can find the seat availability, you could get $10,000+ in value for just 150K Aeroplan points. For example, you could do one week each in Japan, Korea, and Thailand as well as a few other destinations on the same redemption ticket.
When redeeming your Aeroplan miles, you’ll want to make sure you get the best CPM (cost per mile). Take a look at the Aeroplan points chart below to get a better idea of the value of your Aeroplan points and how you can make them stretch farther.
|Departure City||Destination||Price if Paying Cash||Aeroplan Miles Required||Taxes, Fees, & Surcharges||Amount Saved||Cost Per Mile|
As you can see, there’s some incredible value for that flight from Vancouver to Orlando. That being said, it’s not a direct flight, so it may not be ideal for everyone. We calculated our CPM above based on flights in April, whereas prices in other months could vary quite a bit.
Generally speaking, we value 1 average Aeroplan point at 1.4 cents. If you can get equal or greater value than that when making a redemption, you’re getting a good return.
Can Aeroplan Points Be Transferred?
Aeroplan points can be transferred to another Aeroplan member, however, there is an associated fee; 2 cents per mile transferred. As for the question of how to transfer Aeroplan points to another member, you can do it instantly online. But since this transfer fee is quite high, you’re almost better off just collecting Aeroplan points for each individual family member instead of trying to pool them together into one account.
Aeroplan points cannot be transferred to other loyalty programs, but there are several programs that will allow you to transfer your points into Aeroplan miles, including American Express and Marriott Bonvoy.
One of the most common Aeroplan-related questions we get on GreedyRates is: What happens when Aeroplan points expire?
Prior to 2013, Aeroplan members had seven years to use their points before they expired. This is no longer the case today; your points will not expire so long as you actively collect and use them. But your points will expire if your Aeroplan account goes unused for a period of 12 months. It’s worth noting that this is a relatively short expiry period compared to competing travel rewards programs, like Air Miles.
The best way to avoid losing miles to expiration is to ensure that you keep collecting miles. With so many Aeroplan credit cards and partners across Canada, it should be relatively easy to do that.
*This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.