What Happens to Your Aeroplan Miles?

Air Canada Buys Aeroplan

Air Canada created Aeroplan in 1984 to reward Air Canada and its alliance members. Then in 2008 Air Canada sold Aeroplan, but still maintained its partnership. Last year, Air Canada declared its intention to abandon Aeroplan in 2020 to create its own frequent flyer program and then this year (2018), Air Canada - along with its partners such as TD, CIBC, and VISA - have bought back Aeroplan for $450 million with its 1.9 billion miles liability.

If you are an Aeroplan member and not sure what to do with your miles after all these developments, I will shed some light today in simple terms so you can get the most out of your Aeroplan miles.

Aeroplan provides the best value when you redeem them for business class flights. However, make sure you don’t pay fuel and other surcharges levied by some airlines including Air Canada. Watch this video to learn more about it: How Not to Get Dinged by Air Canada on Aeroplan Rewards

So if you have a trip coming up before 2020, redeeming Aeroplan for business class will provide the most value. Although, Air Canada mentioned Aeroplan will be transferable to the new Air Canada loyalty program, I doubt that you will get better value than redeeming your miles now for business class flights.

However, if you are not taking a trip, don’t rush to redeem your miles. Rush decisions often make poorer judgements and lower redemption values.

In terms of Aeroplan credit cards, no one knows at this point whether these cards will continue as is or will have decreased rewards and benefits. As far as you are concerned, you can keep using these cards to earn miles. I don’t see any need to cancel and change these Aeroplan cobranded credit cards yet.

I do see more credit cards with hefty sign-up bonuses and a variety of benefits & rewards coming up in the future, once Air Canada is set to go with its new frequent flyer loyalty program in 2020 and beyond.  

There is a possibility that Air Canada will devalue Aeroplan at the time of the transfer or after that. This is because of the humongous amounts Air Canada and its partners are paying to absorb Aeroplan will have to come from somewhere and devaluing seems to be the easiest way to make that happen.

So, to summarize everything in brief:

- If you need to redeem Aeroplan, redeeming for business class flight will provide the best value and I doubt you will getter better value than now even after the transfer to the new program.

- Keep using your Aeroplan credit cards as usual.

- Keep an eye out for more credit cards with mega bonuses and possibly better reward structure and benefits in the future.

If you are interested to learn more about Aeroplan, watch my Aeroplan videos here:

Aeroplan 101 - Tips, Tricks, & the Basics

Companion Flies to Hawaii only for $121 |Cheap Flight to Hawaii

Alaska Airlines MBNA World Elite MasterCard Annual Fee Goes Up

Alaska Airlines recently increased its World Elite MasterCard and Platinum Plus MasterCard annual fees to $75 and $99. However, these cards still provide a lot more value than their annual fees.

These cards come with a bonus 20,000 and 30,000 Mileage Plan miles after spending $1,000 within the first three months. 30,000 miles are good enough to fly one-way business class (for example, Vancouver to New York) short distance or one-way economy class long distance (for example, Toronto to Iceland) on Alaska Airlines partner members.

And then Alaska Airlines MBNA World Elite and Platinum Plus MasterCard let your companion fly for $121 US only when you pay full fare for yourself.

You can fly anywhere Alaska Airlines flies and one popular destination is Hawaii, which could cost around $1000 to $1200 for your companion. The only drawback is that companion fare can be used only on Alaska Airlines and they serve only Western Canadian cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Vancouver, and Victoria.

Fly Companion to Hawaii for $121 | Alaska Airlines

Companion fare can easily pay off the cost of the annual fees for these cards: $75 and $99 for Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus & World Elite Mastercard every year.

In the first year, you will have to meet the minimum $1000 spent requirement within the first three months and then the companion fare will be awarded to the primary account holder’s Mileage Plan account after two billing cycles.

Starting the 2nd year, companion fare will be awarded after the anniversary date + within 2 billing cycles.

The anniversary date is not the date when you opened your account, but when you opened the account + an additional 6 to 8 weeks.

As you can see, these two Alaska Airlines cards still provide value if you use them tactically.

Redeem Aeroplan or Hold On It To As Aeroplan & Porter Form Partnership

Aeroplan, Air Canada, Oneworld, & Porter Airlines

Loyalty Program Aeroplan had a few runs in the news again for some recent developments. We heard about the failed unsolicited $250 million hostile bid where Air Canada partnered with 3 other financial institutions—TD Bank, CIBC Bank, and Visa —and attempted to purchase Aeroplan.

Also, more news broke out that Aeroplan and Toronto-based airline Porter formed a partnership that will make Porter Airlines a preferred Canadian partner for the Aeroplan loyalty points program and let Aeroplan members earn and redeem miles on Porter flights starting July 2020.

July 2020 is also the deadline when Air Canada splits from Aeroplan.

And then there was the news that Aeroplan is in talks with another alliance, Oneworld, to form a partnership. Oneworld is an alliance of 13 of the world's leading airlines (+ other affiliate partners) and has partners such as American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Canadian Airlines, etc.

Currently, Aeroplan is a part of Star Alliance through Air Canada, which will end in 2020.

After absorbing all these developments, readers may naturally ask whether they should redeem Aeroplan now or hold on to it to redeem later? I will answer these questions in a video I just published.

Aeroplan Partners with Porter Airlines | Redeem Aeroplan Now or Wait?

The Best Android Flight and Trip Tracking Travel Apps

My Top Favourite Free Android Flight and Trip Tracking Travel Apps

 

First Published: Mar 18, 2012 EntrepreneurJourney.com

Travelling will never be the like the old days due to what technology brought us on our smart phones or tablets via hi-tech apps. Just 3 years ago, I could not have possibly imagined that just forwarding my trip confirmation email to these app email addresses can perform magic instantaneously on my android devices and all the travel itinerary and detailed hotel information will be organized day by day. Today, I will discuss my top 5 favourite travel apps you should try to make your next travel smooth and hassle free. 

WorldMate by WorldMate - A very popular mobile travel app. Free version has lots of features which can not be found on some other paid version apps. Among all other app websites, only on WorldMate’s website did I find the Check-In button that lets you check in from home and receive a boarding pass before leaving home. WorldMate does have a paid version for other platforms, but not for Android. However, I would not buy a paid version for a $10 annual fee when I can buy other paid apps for a one time $5 or $10 only. 

TripIt by TripIt Inc. - Tripit is another travel organizer app that shows all your trip details in one place, including flights, hotels, cruises, restaurants, concerts, etc. Many other travel apps uses TripIt or have the ability to sync with TripIt. So having a TripIt account gives you the advantage of sending your travel details to other apps without sending a confirmation email to each of them again. 

Kayak Flight Hotel Car Search by Kayak - Kayak is an all-in-one app that lets you search hotels, flights, setup price alerts, etc. and at the same time you can track your flights. The only thing I can complain about with Kayak is that it takes up more space on your device as it is more than just a flight tracker. 

FlightTrack by Mobiata - When it comes to flight tracking, FlightTrack does the job very well. However, there is no free version. The basic version costs $4.99 and it does not offer to sync with Tripit or anything else - you need to enter your flight information manually. The pro version costs $9.99 and has the ability to sync with TripIt. Its major disadvantage is that it can only track flights - nothing else. 

SPG American Express Offers Free Marriott Night

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express Will Give Anniversary Free Hotel Night

When the Chase Marriott Premier Visa Credit Card closed its doors in Canada, I was devastated because I lost my free anniversary night at Marriott properties across the globe. This was one of my reasons to keep paying $120 on this card each year.

However, due to the Marriott and SPG merger, I was hoping the SPG Amex credit card will offer the free night once the merger completes. And it looks like that’s what is going to happen starting August, 2018.

I received a letter from American Express Canada mentioning that once the SPG and Marriott rewards program combine in August, there are some changes coming to the SPG Amex Card. Here are some of them:

- Earn rate will be 5 points per dollar spent at eligible Marriott + SPG properties

- 2 points per dollar on everything else

- Free annual night every year (Cannot exceed 35,000 points redemption value)

-  Silver Elite Status

And some more benefits. To earn Silver Elite Status, you would generally be required to stay 10 nights per year. But you will be given this elite status just for having the SPG Amex card.

I made up my mind before that I would cancel the Starwood Amex card if it does not provide free nights after the merger. But I don’t need to cancel it anymore, as I got what I wanted.

It makes sense for me to keep this card, paying $120 per year, just for the free night. Depending on where I redeem the free night, I can easily extract $150 to $400 per night or possibly more based on the Marriott/Sheraton property location and time.

The SPG Amex card does not provide any other mentionable benefits, such as travel insurances, no foreign currency fee, or concierge services. But only the free night and Silver Elite Status are enough for me to hold on to this card.

SPG Amex Free Marriott Night