Canada Kicks Ass
Aeroplan, Air Miles, Avion, etc...thoughts?

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BeaverFever @ Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:46 pm

So for years I've heard from my aunt about how she racks up miles through one of these points programs and flies for free every year. I never really looked into it and always dismissed these programs as a ploy to get people to spend money they don't have on things they wouldn't otherwise buy, accumulating more debt than they intend to.

Long story short, about a year ago, a merchant convinced me to sign up for Aeroplan during a purchase. I resisted at first but since it cost me nothing and a bunch of points came with the purchase, I relented simply due to their insistence and lack of any real counterargument. A year later, I now have enough for a free round-trip flight anywhere in North America and the points continue to grow almost daily. All without having gone out of my way to buy anything I wouldn't have otherwise bought or shop anywhere I wouldn't have otherwise shopped. In fact, for the first several months I wasn't in the habit of collecting points at all.

I don't mean for the above to read like an ad - it's definitely not meant to be one. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with any of these plans and which, if any, they think is best. I'm told that if I really want to consistently rack up points long-term, then I need to switch to a credit card that's affiliated with one of the plans....but which one? I have a few travel expenses coming up and of course xmas is around the corner so would be nice to take advantage.

   



Jabberwalker @ Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:51 pm

It's a great way to give data about yourself to strangers for free.

Do you get asked if you want Airmiles every time you buy something at the liquor store? What would you think if Airmiles sold that usage data to your insurance company?

They have to make buck, after all.

   



BeaverFever @ Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:59 pm

$1:
It's a great way to give data about yourself to strangers for free.


Yeah, that was always my other concern. That's why I'm not on facebook, twitter, etc. and always worry about what Google is harvesting from my Android.

But if I'm getting airfare in return, I'm not really giving it for free.

   



Regina @ Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:17 pm

I've collected aeroplan for years up until about two years ago. I've used them for trips to Europe first class a few times for myself and wife. It was somewhat hard to book them but got it done. But for the last six or seven years it was impossible to book anything significant. I was looking to book something to Asia or Australia round trip for two first class. I had more than enough to cover it but nothing was ever available for months at a time. Then Air Canada totally fucked a booking I was trying to make to Asia and wanted an extra $4,000 for doing it. Called Westjet and booked a trip to Hawaii using my Avion card.
Collecting points is great..........as long as you don't want to use them. I still have enough for two first class anywhere in the world but I doubt I'll ever be able to use them.

   



Thanos @ Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:35 am

You can do the cash-in of points for merchandise but you have to be really careful. Not sure about Aeroplan but AirMiles really screwed me once on a digital camera I cashed my points in for. The thing was a POS (an HP, or course) that went through fully-charged high-amperage batteries after less than ten pictures. I phoned in to ask how to return it and AirMiles said they wouldn't take it back or exchange it and there was no warranty offered on it. Basically the sons of bitches give out the merchandise like a discount or outlet store selling surplus items does, which amounts to no returns and no exchanges, period. They then said I'd have to take it to an authorized HP dealer to have it repaired at my cost. I blew up on them, told the cocksuckers to shut my account entirely, and haven't had anything to do with them since.

   



bootlegga @ Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:44 am

Forget getting a credit card that gets you Aeroplan or Air Miles unless you can get one without an annual fee - most of them come with annual fees in the $100 range which negate most of the benefit of 'free' air miles unless you rack up a few hundred thousand a year.

Get a dividend credit card instead and use the cash back to buy whatever you want, not just flights or hotel stays. I have one of each (VISA, MC and AMEX) and earn close to $1000 annually for gas, groceries, bills (cable, utility, phone, etc) and almost everything else I buy. about the only thing I don't get cash back for is my mortgage.

The only trick is to make sure you pay them off every month, which I do my using them for close to 100% of my purchases and using my cash to pay off my credit cards.

   



Regina @ Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:14 am

bootlegga bootlegga:
Forget getting a credit card that gets you Aeroplan or Air Miles unless you can get one without an annual fee - most of them come with annual fees in the $100 range which negate most of the benefit of 'free' air miles unless you rack up a few hundred thousand a year.

Get a dividend credit card instead and use the cash back to buy whatever you want, not just flights or hotel stays. I have one of each (VISA, MC and AMEX) and earn close to $1000 annually for gas, groceries, bills (cable, utility, phone, etc) and almost everything else I buy. about the only thing I don't get cash back for is my mortgage.

The only trick is to make sure you pay them off every month, which I do my using them for close to 100% of my purchases and using my cash to pay off my credit cards.

Great advice!

   



jj2424 @ Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:23 am

bootlegga bootlegga:
Forget getting a credit card that gets you Aeroplan or Air Miles unless you can get one without an annual fee - most of them come with annual fees in the $100 range which negate most of the benefit of 'free' air miles unless you rack up a few hundred thousand a year.

Get a dividend credit card instead and use the cash back to buy whatever you want, not just flights or hotel stays. I have one of each (VISA, MC and AMEX) and earn close to $1000 annually for gas, groceries, bills (cable, utility, phone, etc) and almost everything else I buy. about the only thing I don't get cash back for is my mortgage.

The only trick is to make sure you pay them off every month, which I do my using them for close to 100% of my purchases and using my cash to pay off my credit cards.


I use one CC for almost everything other than business related accounts. I get well over 140 bucks a month in free groceries just from the points off that card. I did use Aeromiles years ago but it was always a pain in the arse trying to plan a trip. I fly US Airways or Westjet to AZ and have gotten three "free" round trips in the last 4 years just from Dividend Miles and WestJet Rewards.

   



PluggyRug @ Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:21 am

Regina Regina:
bootlegga bootlegga:
Forget getting a credit card that gets you Aeroplan or Air Miles unless you can get one without an annual fee - most of them come with annual fees in the $100 range which negate most of the benefit of 'free' air miles unless you rack up a few hundred thousand a year.

Get a dividend credit card instead and use the cash back to buy whatever you want, not just flights or hotel stays. I have one of each (VISA, MC and AMEX) and earn close to $1000 annually for gas, groceries, bills (cable, utility, phone, etc) and almost everything else I buy. about the only thing I don't get cash back for is my mortgage.

The only trick is to make sure you pay them off every month, which I do my using them for close to 100% of my purchases and using my cash to pay off my credit cards.

Great advice!



Yes it is. We have used dividend cards for years. It pays for my annual golfing trip to Myrtle Beach.

   



chrishenry @ Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:04 pm

Regina, is right....Image

   



Hyack @ Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:30 pm

chrishenry chrishenry:
Regina, is right....Image



Thanks for your input..... :wink:

   



Regina @ Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:40 pm

chrishenry chrishenry:
Regina, is right....Image

:lol:

   



Sunnyways @ Fri May 12, 2017 4:34 pm

Apologies for the bump but I think this is newsworthy:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/air-can ... -1.4109868

Seems like you air miles skeptics were correct all along.

As somebody with way too many so-called 'miles' (hate that term) in my account, I'm none too happy with Air Canada cutting Aeroplan loose. I guess once they sold the company it was always a possibility but this leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. It's difficult enough to book flights on miles from where I live already; Lord knows what the next three years will bring as everybody rushes to book while they can. I feel like I've been scammed by a company (Air Canada) I am not very fond of at the best of times.

   



BeaverFever @ Fri May 12, 2017 7:20 pm

I have like 160,000 miles to usr. I'm hoping that if I don't use them by 2020 then at least by then Aeroplan will have brought other airlines or travel package providers. I've had this feeling Aeroplan has been tanking; no more grocery providers since sobeys switched to Air Miles and the LCBO does Air Miles do that's all I rack up every week now. I'm also at the Shell (Air Miles) as often as Im at Aeroplan's Esso. Plus you download the airmiles Ap and a lot of places can just scan it from your phone. Not that Ithink I'll accumulate any meaningful points just by weekly shopping. Without using the affiliated credit card for all your expenses, frequent travel, or making huge purchases it takes a lifetime to get any value

   



Coach85 @ Fri May 12, 2017 8:53 pm

Those points come with a price. Companies like Aeroplan sell their customer data along with stores paying a fee to have their program.

   



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