Aeroplan has some exciting changes coming in 2014
Loyalty programs are more popular than ever. It really doesn’t matter if it’s coffee, grocery, gas or department stores, every company seems to have one – and some are better than others. We try to use our loyalty cards whenever we can because traveling can be expensive, and it pays to be loyal these days.
Aeroplan, our most often used travel loyalty program, has some big news to share. It has just announced that it’s transforming the program in 2014, and apparently these changes are just the beginning as it reinvents the core parts of its program for its 30th anniversary next year.
The first three changes are the addition of (1) a launch of Distinction, (2) a New Market Fare Flight Rewards, and (3) cancellation of the 7 year mileage redemption policy.
As longtime active users of the Aeroplan program, these changes are welcomed and appreciated.
1. The launch of Distinction
What is it? It’s a three tiered recognition program for members that rewards them for accumulation activity. Not to be confused with Air Canada’s Altitude program, Distinction levels are calculated on miles earned across partners like airline, travel, retail and financial partners.
Distinction accumulation will begin each year on January 1st and end on December 31st of the same year and will last until the end of the following calendar year.
Specific benefits of the program include: special flights to popular destinations during peak periods with 100% of the seats reserved for Distinction members and preferential treatment, privileges and limited-time offers, special partner and reward offers and invitations to exclusive events. For more details, visit here.
What we like about the Distinction
The levels are very attainable. Based on our current spending and accumulation, we will easily be able to gain the dSilver level at 25,000 miles. Until the program is launched in January 2014, we won’t be able to gage all the benefits for each level, but we are hoping flight upgrades and lounge access are some of the preferential treatment mentioned.
2. New Market Fare Flight Rewards
New Market Fare Flight Rewards has been announced to replace ClassicPlus Flight Rewards. This will benefit members by having access to mileage levels reduced by up to 20%, and Distinction members enjoying reductions of up to 50%.
But, don’t get this confused with Aeroplan’s ClassicFlight Rewards, which will remain the most competitive in Canada by offering low mileage levels on Air Canada and any of the 27 Star Alliance member airlines.
Members will have access to every available seat on flights operated by Air Canada, at variable mileage levels derived from fares at time of booking.
Plus, 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. For example, 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.
For more information, visit here.
What we like about the Market Fare Flight Rewards
We like the ability to access every seat on the plane. It really is the best of both worlds. Aeroplan will still have the low fixed mile levels with ClassicFlight Rewards, but members will also have the ability to select any seat on the plane, based on fares at the time of booking. Love it!
We’ve wanted to use miles for a one-way ticket many times, but it didn’t make sense to redeem so many miles for a one way. We’re happy to learn that the mileage levels will be dropped by only using half the miles of a round-trip flight – redeeming fewer points to achieve the same the goal is always a bonus.
3. Cancellation of the 7 year redemption policy
Aeroplan Miles will no longer expire for members active in the program each year. All members have to do is stay active in the program by having at least one accumulation or redemption activity every 12 months, which is very easy to do. For example, fill up with gas at Esso, take a flight with Air Canada, or buy something at the Aeroplan e-store.
Here’s the link to learn more about cancelling the 7 year redemption policy.
What we like about cancelling the 7 year redemption policy
Since we are active users of the program, we haven’t had this as a problem. We accumulate and redeem miles multiple times each year. But we can definitely see the need to cancel the 7 year mileage redemption policy for people who don’t use the program often.
Disclosure – Aeroplan is one of our travel partners, however expressed opinions are entirely our own. We are long-time supporters and users of the Aeroplan rewards program.