New Aeroplan Distinction Program may be a game changer

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Aeroplan program.

I’ve been known to find reasons to use my credit card to collect miles and it’s not uncommon to see me pouring over my statements to make sure I haven’t neglected to claim miles for travel or gas purchases.

So I was intrigued to learn  that Aeroplan is changing things up this year ahead of its 30th anniversary in 2014. After reviewing the changes, I’m pretty happy with where the program is headed but you should review the program changes for yourself to make sure you understand how it affects you and your future collection plans.

Here’s what you need to know:

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1.     The new Distinction Recognition Program:

The goal of the new plan is to recognize and reward top collecting members with preferential mileage levels for redemption, bonus mile offers and exclusive privileges. You’ll now be listed as either a dSilver, dBlack or dDiamond Distinction member based on the amount of miles you’ve collected (25k, 50K and 100K respectively) in a calendar year. Distinction levels are achieved based on miles earned across all coalition partners including airline, travel, retail and financial card partners. The benefits of the program begin January 1, 2014 and include new exclusive flight reward benefits, better travel redemption opportunities, new bonus mile offers and more.

Where to learn more: www.aeroplan.com/distinction

2.     New Market Fare Flight Rewards:

Used to looking for flight reward options under the ClassicPlus tab at aeroplan.com ? Watch for the switch to “Market Fare Rewards” effective January 1, 2014.  Along with the name change you’ll find reduced requirements for the number of miles it will take you to book a flight. All members will be able to see mileage requirements reduced by up to 20%, and Distinction members will be enjoying reductions of up to 50%!  Market Fare Flight Rewards give eligible members  access to every available seat on flights operated by Air Canada, at variable mileage levels.

3.     Cancellation of the Seven Year Redemption Policy:

The “use ‘em or lose ‘em” policy with respect to miles is history.  Under the previous plan, miles that went unredeemed for seven years after they were accumulated were declared null and void and removed from your account – this was supposed to start in 2014. It meant keeping track of dates and risking losing some of your travel currency. No longer. Under the new program, miles won’t expire as long as you stay active each calendar year in the program. To find out more, please visit: www.aeroplan.com/7year

And there’s more:

* As of January 1, 2014, mileage levels for one-way flight rewards will decrease and require only 50% of the miles needed for a round-trip flight. North American one way long haul fares in economy will be reduced from 17,000 miles to 12,500 miles and European one way fares will go from 40,000 miles to 30,000 miles starting January 1st.

* The downside: Mileage levels for certain international routes (to/from North America to Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific; Middle East and North Africa; and Asia) for business and first class ClassicFlight Rewards will increase as of January 1, 2014.  So keep that in mind as you book travel this year.  For more information, visit: www.aeroplan.com/changes

 

This post was sponsored by Aeroplan Canada. As usual, all opinions are my own.

 

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{ 8 comments… add one }

Dave Chatman November 10, 2013, 10:23 PM

I think that the new program is going to be great for freg.flyers etc.I was wondering if I can book flights in Nov.or Dec.2013 for Feb.2014 and get the discount that is offered as of Jan.1st 2014?

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John February 26, 2014, 11:20 PM

Aeroplan is a laugh. Could this program be any more confusing? As a frequent flyer I need seats with leg room , and good service. It’s all about the flying experience!

Not interested in double points offers and other superficialities. Oh yeah , if you can actually book a trip using points, you’ll pay serious taxes and fees!! Much more than if you paid cash! What’s with that Aeroplan!

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ck June 8, 2014, 4:57 AM

Yeah those taxes and fees are insane! Like if I wanted to fly to Bangkok my fees total over $600 and the available itineraries are insane with long stopovers etc. If I pay $300-$400 more I can just get a direct flight so why bother? Badly disappointed I must say.

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Tim Lee November 14, 2014, 10:18 PM

I hear a lot about high fees on aeroplan tickets which is strange, as my wife and I booked return business class tickets from Toronto to Milan earlier this year and the total fees that we paid were $714, not bad considering the same tickets would have cost us $7,920 if we had to pay cash for them (source Expedia.ca)

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Manuel Ortega December 16, 2014, 12:47 PM

Aeroplan has become a legal fraud. I have cancelled my $120 pa credit card given the very low value of aeroplan miles. For example, tried to book two seats to London four months ahead, dates flexible: Result = 120,000 aeroplan miles plus $1440. I can almost buy the same flights for that cash element of the Aeroplan “reward”. No more AEROPLAN for me!

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A.Kirk January 20, 2016, 3:06 PM

I agree that it is a mammoth effort to try and book ANYTHING with Aeroplan. Cumbersome,expensive, frustrating and ineffective to actually USE. My husband has been a member since 1986! High time to re-evaluate this programme. We usually end up buying tickets and therefore have too many miles stored for what purpose?

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