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: