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Air Miles vs Aeroplan
Dreaming of your next vacation? Learn how to compare frequent flyer programs to figure out which one is the best fit for you.
As two of Canada’s most popular frequent flyer programs, Air Miles and Aeroplan both offer a nice mix of rewards and benefits. This can make choosing between them a daunting task if you don’t know what to look for.
To make things a bit easier for you, we’ve compared some of the key features on offer from each program. This should help you make an informed decision about which one is the best fit for your unique set of needs.
What's in this guide?
How to compare Air Miles vs Aeroplan
There are a number of features that you should compare before settling on a membership with Air Miles or Aeroplan. These include the following:
- Earn rate. Think about how many points or miles you’ll earn for every dollar you spend with partner organizations.
- Value of points. Find out how much each point is worth and calculate the value in relation to your earn rate.
- Partner companies. Search for the program that offers the largest network of partner companies where you shop most frequently.
- Types of rewards. Look at each program’s “rewards store” to find out what you can use your points to purchase.
- Available credit cards. Compare the earn rates and benefits of credit cards affiliated with each program.
- Customer service. Consider customer reviews for each program to figure out which one offers the highest level of customer service.
How many points can I earn with Air Miles vs Aeroplan?
The number of points you can earn with Air Miles vs Aeroplan depends on how often you shop with partners of each program. It will also depend on whether you take advantage of special promotions or have a program-affiliated credit card that lets you earn extra points on everyday purchases.
- Air Miles: The base rate of Air Miles fluctuates based on the partner you’re shopping with. Some partners will give you a return of one point for every $20 you spend while others will give you one point for every $5 you spend. You’ll also get a different earn rate depending on your credit card.
- Aeroplan: Aeroplan typically offers a base rate of one point for every dollar you spend with partners. You’ll also earn twice the points when you spend money on your Aeroplan credit card. If you want to earn even more points, you can also take advantage of special promotions with partners and earn up to 10x the points when you shop in Aeroplan’s eStore.
What’s the value of each Air Miles vs Aeroplan point?
The value of Air Miles and Aeroplan points will fluctuate according to what rewards you’re redeeming them for. This makes any guesswork about the average value of each point somewhat unreliable for both programs. That said, many sites agree that each individual Aeroplan Point is worth between 0.5 and 2.5 cents. The value of each individual Air Mile, on the other hand, is said to range between 10 and 15 cents.
This means that your Air Miles are worth more in general terms, though it’s important to remember that the value of each Air Mile is offset by the fact that you earn less of them for every dollar you spend. If you consider the number of rewards you earn for each purchase and do some basic math, you might find that Aeroplan points are actually more lucrative in the long run.
Calculating the worth of each Air Mile and Aeroplan point
Let’s say you spend $20 at a partner store with both Air Miles and Aeroplan. Depending on the store, you might earn 1 Air Mile (worth 10 cents) or 20 Aeroplan points (worth 20 cents) for your purchase. In this case, Aeroplan points are actually worth more despite Air Miles having a higher value per point.
That said, if you get a return of one Air Mile for every five dollars you spend, then you’ll earn one Air Mile (worth 10 cents) and 5 Aeroplan points (worth 5 cents) for the same type of transaction. As you can see, the return you can get on each point depends on how many Air Miles you earn for each dollar you spend.
With this in mind, you should try to figure out the earn rate you’ll get on points at the places you shop most frequently to decide which program is the best fit for you.
Which partner companies can I expect to earn points with?
Aeroplan and Air Miles both have an impressive network of partners that they work with to help you earn points. Some partners overlap between both programs and some are unique to each program. The best way to figure out which program is the best fit for you is to find the one that works with the retailers or partners you shop with most frequently.
- Air Miles: Air Miles lets you earn points for more everyday purchases like gas, groceries and pharmacy purchases. It partners with big retailers like Rona, Staples, Shell, Safeway, Sobeys, Thrifty Foods, Lawtons, Rexall and LCBO. It also works with 100+ retailers in its online store.
- Aeroplan: Aeroplan tends to have more travel partners. It partners exclusively with Air Canada and Star Alliance Airlines. You can also earn points with around a dozen hotels, and car rental agencies such as Budget and Avis. Aeroplan also offers plenty of opportunities for members to earn points with popular retailers in its online eStore.
What types of rewards will I get with each program?
Since Air Miles and Aeroplan are both frequent flyer programs, members tend to redeem their points for flights and other travel-related rewards.
- Travel. If you want to redeem your points for travel, Aeroplan is probably a better fit. This is because it works with many travel partners to offer you special discounts and you can often earn extra Aeroplan points when you redeem your points for travel.
- Merchandise. Aeroplan and Air Miles offer similar product catalogues and rewards. If you’re after a specific product, you might like to check out the online catalogues for both programs to see what rewards you can redeem your points for before you sign up.
- Gift cards. Both Aeroplan and Air Miles offer gift cards that you can use to shop with several stores. Air Miles also gives you the chance to earn Cash Miles, which can be redeemed for discounts at partner stores when you check out.
- Charitable donations. Both programs will let you transfer your points into a cash donation for the charity of your choice. The only difference between Air Miles and Aeroplan for this type of redemption is which charities you can choose.
Which credit card does each program offer?
Air Miles and Aeroplan work with affiliated credit cards to help you earn points. The number of points you can earn will typically vary based on whether you have a basic or premium card.
- Air Miles. Air Miles partners exclusively with BMO (Bank of Montreal) and American Express to offer its range of credit cards. Most basic Air Miles credit cards will give you an earn rate of one point for every $20 you spend. Premium cards offer one point for every $10. Welcome offers range between 800 and 4,000 Air Miles.
- Aeroplan. Aeroplan works with American Express, TD Bank and CIBC to offer an extensive line of credit cards. Depending on which card you pick, you’ll usually earn between 0.5 and 1.5 Aeroplan points for every dollar you spend on daily purchases. Welcome offers range from 10,000 to 50,000 points.
Compare Air Miles credit cards
Compare Aeroplan credit cards
It can be difficult to say whether you’ll benefit more from an Air Miles or Aeroplan membership since it depends on your unique set of needs. That said, you can compare a number of features to find the best fit for you. These include the number of points you can earn with each program, how much each point is worth and what rewards you can redeem your points for when you’ve collected enough.
Frequently asked questions
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