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Keeping Aeroplan Points Alive

With one exception, all airline points programs have a nasty policy which could be summed up as "use 'em or lose 'em!"  Delta Skymiles is the one exception: Delta points never expire.  

Perhaps the most draconian program of all is Aeroplan, which only gives you 12 months to show "activity" or your points will be allowed to expire.  To give them credit, they normally will send you a warning email before this happens. 

"Activity" is defined in our industry as "earning or burning."  I think that's self-explanatory, but "burning" means redeeming some points.  So, how do you keep your Aeroplan points alive?

Obviously, if you have a TD Aerogold Visa and use it regularly, there's no problem.  Or if you actually fly Air Canada or one of its partners (eg. United, Lufthansa, etc.) regularly, you're set.  But, what about your son or daughter who you signed up last year for the Disneyland trip?  What if they don't fly like a "road warrior" all the time?  Well, it isn't hopeless.  There are a few ways to keep those Aeroplan accounts alive too.

1) Home Hardware: A long-time Aeroplan partner, just buy a light bulb or some detergent and show your card.

2) Shop online.  Go to Aeroplan's "eShop" where there's a vast number of options, including GAP, Amazon.ca, and Hudson's Bay.  Just make sure you buy through Aeroplan's portal.

3) Transfer from Amex Rewards.  If you use an Amex card, chances are you've built up a stash of points in Amex Rewards.  Aeroplan is a partner of Amex Rewards.  You can transfer points over to Aeroplan on a 1:1 basis any time, and that counts as "activity" on your Aeroplan account.

4) Buy some points.  If you have a reasonable number of points (even if it is close to the 7,500 level for a one-way "short-haul" flight), consider buying the minimum number of points needed to show some "activity" on the account.  Usually the airline program lets you buy a minimum of 1,000 points for about $30.  I don't recommend buying unless it is the last resort, however.  At 3 cents a point, you're paying more than the average redemption value (these days about 1 cent per point value unless you are lucky enough to score a business class ticket.)

Finally, some of you might be wondering this: "I've heard that as of 2020, Air Canada will no longer be part of Aeroplan.  What's the good of my points then?"  You may wish to check out this article in our website which discusses that partiuclar issue.


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