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New Aeroplan Redemption Rates Compared to Other Programs

Air Canada’s frequent flyer program, Aeroplan, has announced some changes to their award chart that will take effect on December 15, 2015. Some award redemptions originating outside of the U.S. and Canada are decreasing. In addition, one-way redemptions on award originating outside of the U.S. and Canada will be allowed in these regions once the changes set in. In other words, it’s not all bad. However, what affects most of us are awards  originating in the U.S. and Canada, so I’m going to focus on that region. A total of eight award types are increasing in the number of miles required:

Economy Class

  • To Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific: From 80,000 to 90,000 Aeroplan miles

Business Class

  • US & Canada Short Haul: 25,000 to 30,000 miles
  • To Europe 1: 90,000 to 110,000 miles
  • To Europe 2: 105,000 to 115,000 miles
  • To Southern South America: 95,000 to 110,000 miles

First Class

  • To Europe 1: 125,000 to 140,000 miles
  • To Europe 2:  145,000 to 160,000 miles
  • To Southern South America: 135,000 to 140,000 miles

So how do these new redemption rates stack up against other frequent flyer programs? Below is a table comparing round-trip redemption requirements between the major reward programs. It’s especially useful to compare Aeroplan rates with Lifemiles, MileagePlus, and Krisflyer since these programs are members of the Star Alliance.

 Air Canada AeroplanAmerican AAdvantageAvianca LifemilesSingapore KrisflyerUnited MileagePlus
Economy Class
Australia, New Zealand, & South Pacific90,00075,00080,000110,00080,000

70,000 out of Hawaii
Business Class
US & Canada (short-haul)30,00050,00050,00040,000

60,000 out of Hawaii
50,000

80,000 - 100,000 out of Hawaii
Europe 1110,000100,000126,000130,000

140,000 out of Hawaii
115,000 - 140,000

130,000 - 150,000 out of Hawaii
Europe 2115,000100,000126,000130,000

140,000 out of Hawaii
115,000 - 140,000

130,000 - 150,000 out of Hawaii
Southern South America110,000100,000120,000100,000

80,000 out of Hawaii
110,000

120,000 out of Hawaii
First Class
Europe 1140,000125,000174,000160,000

165,000 out of Hawaii
160,000 - 220,000

170,000 - 240,000 out of Hawaii
Europe 2160,000125,000174,000160,000

165,000 out of Hawaii
160,000 - 220,000

170,000 - 240,000 out of Hawaii
Southern South America140,000125,000140,000140,000

110,000 out of Hawaii
140,000

150,000 out of Hawaii

When it comes to economy class award redemptions to Australia, American Airlines’ AAdvantage has the lowest rates at 75,000 miles round-trip. However, keep in mind that award space is much more sparse on American than it is within the Star Alliance. On the same note, AAdvantage offers the lowest business class award redemption rates to Europe, but with limited partnerships it’s more difficult to get to Europe on an AAdvantage saver award or without incurring fuel surcharges.

Overall, the new Aeroplan redemption rates are pretty much on par with those of United MileagePlus. The down side is that Aeroplan awards carry higher taxes and fees on certain Star Alliance partners than United MileagePlus. This used to balance out with lower award redemption rates, but now Aeroplan has mostly the same rates as MileagePlus on the routes listed above. Unless American Express runs an especially generous promotion on Membership Rewards to Aeroplan transfers or you get in on a massive credit card sign-up bonus, Aeroplan redemptions for Star Alliance awards between the U.S. and most of the above listed destinations aren’t going to be such a good value anymore.

While devaluations are never good, at least the United MileagePlus devaluation of 2014 has softened the blow for this one (it also may have caused it, but that’s a whole other blog post). It helps that over 70 different award redemptions are decreasing. These changes apply to award redemption rates outside of the U.S. and Canada, but they may still provide good value for connecting flights if you’re traveling to multiple regions.

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Ariana Arghandewal

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