Well, this is not pleasant news to wake up to.
As of December 15, 2015, Aeroplan will be negatively adjusting their award charts. This is a significant devaluation in my eyes, as the majority of sweet spots are eliminated. The only positive is that all regions can be utilized with one-way awards at 50% of the round-trip cost – and as well, most economy class redemptions and intra-North America redemptions remain the same, which is as Aeroplan tells me the majority of redemptions with most cardmembers.
Some highlights of the changes:
- Short-Haul North America business class rises 2,500 miles each way (20% increase) from 25,000 to 30,000 miles roundtrip
- North America – Europe 1 business class rises 10,000 miles each way (22% increase) from 90,000 to 110,000 miles roundtrip
- North America – Europe 2 business class rises 5,000 miles each way (10% increase) from 105,000 to 115,000 miles roundtrip
- North America – Europe 1 first class rises 7,500 miles each way (12% increase) from 125,000 to 140,000 miles roundtrip
- North America – Europe 2 first class rises 7,500 miles each way (10% increase) from 145,000 to 160,000 miles roundtrip
- North America – Southern South America business class rises 7,500 miles each way (18% increase) from 95,000 to 110,000 miles roundtrip
The regions that remain unaffected in premium classes from North America are Asia 1 and Asia 2, India, Middle East, Australia/Oceania, and Latin American aside from Southern South America.
The increases aren’t incredibly unreasonable, but nonetheless it’s still disappointing for many travellers. In my post where I outlined the three best value Aeroplan redemptions, those are wiped out with these award chart changes. As mentioned, Europe 1 rises 20%+ in business and first class. Intra-Asia 1 has the most shocking price increase, from 30,000 to 80,000 miles roundtrip! That’s a 167% increase! Hawaii – South America rises from 80,000 to 140,000 miles roundtrip, another 75% increase.
Aeroplan has listed a comparison table of the old and new award price levels. The black dots indicate price increases, while orange dots indicate decreases. For reference, here’s the award chart to/from North America.
It’s unsurprising that they’re adjusting most of the values not from North America, as previously those values were misaligned. For example, you can see that Europe sees all of their regions get devalued.
The Aeroplan comparison table can be accessed at this link.
What to Do?
The chart changes December 15, meaning that everyone has roughly 50 days to get redemptions in for awards that will be increasing in price. This also means that if you need to get a few credit cards to top up your account for an award, an opportune time would be to do so now, as with most co-branded cards, they’d take at least 1 billing cycle (30 days) to post.
The list of Canadian credit cards which get you Aeroplan miles I’d consider getting are as follows:
- American Express Gold Rewards Card (25,000 Aeroplan Miles)
- American Express Platinum Card (60,000 Aeroplan Miles)
- American Express Business Gold Rewards Card (45,000 Aeroplan Miles)
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite (25,000 Aeroplan Miles)
- TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum (15,000 Aeroplan Miles)
The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express has a signup bonus, but I would not recommend transferring them to Aeroplan as there are other better values.
While Aeroplan believes they can make these changes because they have a monopoly on the market, I’d advise looking into alternate programs, depending on your travel and spending habits. For example, Alaska Airlines has fantastic airline partners, as well as a co-branded credit card offering 25,000 miles as a signup bonus.
This is not great news, but the miles and points game must go on!