Aeroplan increases redemption rates for many awards

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Just in time to make one of my 3 Cards 3 Continents awards out of date before we set off on our trip (grrr), Air Canada Aeroplan has announced some award chart changes that will take effect on September 1, 2022. The vast majority of changes are award price increases, though as these things go the increases are relatively mild. Still, it’s a bummer to see these awards increase in price just as travel is really roaring back and so soon after I’d written about reasons to love Aeroplan and the future plans I was already dreaming about booking.

The changes

There are a lot of changes here. Most awards that increase in price are increasing either 5,000 miles or 10,000 miles (none increase more than 10,000 miles). Additionally, some new short-distance bands have been created that will make some cheaper redemptions possible if you’ll be covering relatively short distances.

One small bright spot is the addition of premium economy awards in some markets. Those awards may be easier to snag and a way to get a semi-premium experience at a slightly reduced cost.

In terms of the greatest increase from a percentage standpoint, economy class awards of 1,601+ miles wholly within South America increase from 15,000 miles to 20,000 miles. That’s an increase of 33%. Most increases are more like 10% or less.

The smallest increase is between North America and the Pacific in the 7,501 – 11,000 mile band. A business class award with those parameters increases in price from 85,000 miles to 87,500 miles. That’s kind of annoying since most programs require transferring in even increments of 1,000 points, though I think you can transfer an amount ending in 500 miles from Capital One (but note that the minimum transfer is 1,000 miles as I recall).

Here is the full list of changes:

Between North America and Atlantic

  • 6,001 – 8,000 mile distance band
    • Business (Partner): Increases from 85,000 to 90,000
    • First (Partner): Increases from 120,000 to 130,000
  • 8,001+ mile distance band
    • Business (Partner): Increases from 100,000 to 110,000
    • First (Partner): Increases from 130,000 to 140,000

Between North America and Pacific

  • 7,501 – 11,000 mile distance band
    • Business (Partner): Increases from 85,000 to 87,500 pts
  • 11,001+ mile distance mile band
    • Business (Partner): Increases from 105,000 to 115,000 pts
    • First (Partner): Increases from 140,000 to 150,000 pts

Between North America and South America

  • 0 – 2,500 mile distance band (new band with reduced pricing)
    • Economy (Air Canada): 20,000-45,000 pts
    • Economy (Partner):  20,000 pts
    • Premium Economy (Air Canada): 35,000-100,000 pts
    • Business (Air Canada): 40,000-150,000 pts
    • Business (Partner): 40,000 pts
    • First (Air Canada): 60,000-175,000 pts
    • First (Partner): 60,000 pts
  • 2,501-4,500 mile distance band (no change vs. original 0-4,500 distance band)

Between Atlantic and Pacific

  • New 0-2,500 mile distance band (new band with reduced pricing)
    • Economy (Air Canada): 25,000-50,000 pts
    • Economy (Partner):  25,000 pts
    • Premium Economy (Air Canada): 30,000-65,000 pts
    • Business (Air Canada): 40,000-75,000 pts
    • Business (Partner): 40,000 pts
    • First (Air Canada): 50,000-100,000 pts
    • First (Partner): 50,000 pts
  • 2,501-5,000 mile distance band (updated from 0-5,000 miles)
    • Premium Economy (Air Canada): 50,000-75,000 (new; not currently offered)
  • 5,001-7,000 mile distance band
    • Premium Economy (Air Canada): 65,000-80,000 (new; not currently offered)
  • 7,001+ mile distance band
    • Economy (Partner): Increases from 60,000 to 65,000 pts
    • Premium Economy (Air Canada): 80,000-110,000 pts (new; not currently offered)
    • Business (Partner): Increases from 100,000 to 110,000 pts
    • First (Partner): Increases from 130,000 to 140,000 pts

Within South America

  • New 0-1,600 mile distance band (new band with reduced pricing)
    • Economy (Partner):  10,000 pts
    • Business (Partner): 20,000 pts
    • First (Partner): 30,000 pts
  • 1,601+ mile distance band (updated band with increases in partner pricing)
    • Economy (Partner): Increases from 15,000 to 20,000 pts
    • Business (Partner): Increases from 30,000 to 35,000 pts
    • First (Partner): 50,000 pts (no change)

Overall, I don’t find these changes too bad, though I have obviously been very enthusiastic about their current award chart, so I’m disappointed to see it change so relatively soon after the new program launched. The new program only launched less than two years ago, and realistically most people have only been getting back into the swing of international travel over the second of those two years. Still, excellent values remain, particularly if you maximize Aeroplan’s flexible routing rules and a stopover on a one-way award for 5,000 miles. On the other hand, those looking to book a simple there-and-back round trip award will likely continue to be turned off by Aeroplan’s award pricing since most awards become even more expensive.

Keep in mind that these changes will take effect on September 1, 2022. New awards booked after that date or existing awards that get rebooked after that date will be subject to the new pricing. Here’s hoping nothing gets messed up with my 3 Carss 3 Continents plans in the days before we set off for the trip  . .

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[…] Devaluations never stop…Aeroplan increases redemption rates for many awards. […]

RRR

Where are these 105k business class awards to Pacific? I can only find things priced at 230k or above for a 1 way. What am I missing? In particular searching from IAD to Phnom Pehn.

RRR

Thank you. Is there a guide anywhere explaining how to find and piece together these segments? I feel I’m in the dark on this process.

RRR

Thanks so much!

TimR

BR released a lot of saver business class inventory a couple dates ago. They don’t fly to IAD so you would need to position to ORD/JFK

David

Nick your reply was a blog post in itself. Lots of value there, thanks.

Andrew

Thanks a lot Nick… Just kidding, but in all seriousness, very frustrating. I just spent all my aeroplan points on two F 11,000+ flights with a stopover to the pacific for 145k. It would now be 155k. There is still “a little” value in the program, but you have to use the stopover and loose routing rules. There’s almost no point to use the program for a direct flight anymore.

Sam

I would rather them tighten the rules on the outlier RTW type routings & bring more value to the typical biz redemption. For most AA & AS brings more value & may lead more folks to their cards. Especially with the relative ease of mid-tier status qualification. The only other upside to Aeroplan – besides said routing how you want – is the availability of transferrable miles.
With Aeropla’s increases & change / cancel fee’s, Lifemiles shines a bit brighter for *A redemptions on anything with one or two segments on a one way award.

Matthew

With how much focus Air Canada has had on Areoplan since buying it back this isn’t too surprising. They are paying a lot more attention to their program now. I would speculate that adjusting the redemption rates will be the new normal for the program.

Christian

I have to admit that this is a major letdown. Not the increases, which are comparatively mild, but the fact that Aeroplan is doing it now.

They have prices that are already on the higher end of the spectrum. This only makes that worse.

They basically bragged about how their new program was one where they want customers to find value and if they got taken to the cleaners by a few they wouldn’t stop offering that bargain for the rest as a result.

Travel bloggers largely crowed about the new program despite the substantially higher prices in many cases by saying something along the line of “These people genuinely understand our points and miles mentality and set up the new system for us.”.

Now that the new car smell has faded, I’m less disappointed with the substantial devaluations of the new program from the old but sure didn’t expect enhancements so soon. It just bodes ill when this is happening so soon after the rollout.

Brian

Really well said. Travel bloggers, including FM, crowed about the new Aeroplan due to the possibility of fancy huge trips with stopovers, when for most people who just wanted a biz class flight to Europe, it was a major devaluation. And now they’re chipping away at the value of the fancy huge trips. Nick is letting them off easy in this post IMO.

Brian

These are fair points. I guess with Amex points being so easy to get these days, ANA should be the dominant routing choice for roundtrip to Europe if avoiding high surcharge airlines, which you used to have to worry about with Aeroplan before the change. Though it seems the airlines that are high surcharge have changed….I seem to remember you used to have to avoid flying Air Canada on Aeroplan awards but now they are a low surcharge airline for ANA.

Christian

Doesn’t ANA require that anyone flying be specifically related to the account holder?

LarryInNYC

We know it was you, Freddo! I can imagine the conversation:

“Hey, did you know that under our rules is technically possible to fly from Singapore to Ulan Bator his Istanbul on one award? I had a guy today trying to book it.”

“Yeah, I had a guy book an award from Vienna to Singapore but routed through Bali. . ”

“Oh, what was your guy’s name? Reyes? You’re kidding!”

Greg The Frequent Miler

LOL, that’s gotta be it

Brian

Incredibly disappointing after just 2 years. Remember, you used to be able to fly biz class to Europe for 55k. So now 2 devals in close succession. Lame.