Aeroplan increases redemption rates for many awards


Just in time to make one of my 3 Cards 3 Continents awards out of date before we set off on our trip (grrr), Air Canada Aeroplan has announced some award chart changes that will take effect on September 1, 2022.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.

a hand holding playing cards

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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