Aeroplan Changes: Status Program “Distinction”, Award Chart Changes, Oneway Awards & 7-year Expiry Gone

Aeroplan is making some significant changes to its program starting in 2014. Aeroplan was originally founded by Air Canada in 1984 and partly spun off in 2005 by initial public offering. Air Canada’s parent sold rest of the Aeroplan in 2008. The company behind Aeroplan is called Aimia.

aeroplan-distinction

Aeroplan has information about this change up on it’s website here. There is also press release from Aimia that has more detailed and financial information about this change that you can access here and shorter not as complete wire release here.

Aimia is  changing the provider of its affiliated credit card provider from CBIC to TD (unless CIBC matches TD’s offer) and is in the process of negotiating with American Express as well.

If you read the Aimia’s release of this info, there is an interesting tidbit. They are changing the breakage assumption of 18% of all the miles issued to just 11% and this will lead to a one time non-cash charge of $520 million after tax. As you can see, relatively minor tweaking to the program can lead to a significant non-cash gains or losses.

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Changes to its Aeroplan program in 2014:

– Launching of four “Distinction” levels within Aeroplan members

Aeroplan is launching four membership tiers within the Aeroplan and these are based on the number of miles that you earn from partner transactions (some are excluded).

DSilver – 25,000 miles accumulated during the calendar year;

dBlack – 50,000 miles accumulated during the calendar year;

dDiamond – 100,000 miles accumulated during the calendar year.

There are some award flights discounts, award seats reserved for Distinction members entirely, bonus miles for Air Canada flights, and other bonuses for partner transactions.

– 7-year mileage expiration policy abolished

Aeroplan has had 7-year mileage expiry policy in addition to having requirement to earn miles yearly to keep the miles alive. Now this 7-year policy is abolished.

– One-way awards at half the return price

It was about the time for Aeroplan to introduce one-way award at half of the cost of the return award. Currently the one-way flight award cost 67% of the return one.

– Increase in some business/first class award prices

The number of miles required for business and first class awards between North America and Asia 1, Asia 2, Middle East/North America and Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific goes up by 25,000 to 40,000 miles.

aeroplan-award-chart-changes

Conclusion

This partnership between Air Canada is becoming messy; Air Canada now has its own recognition program called Altitude outside of Aeroplan and now Aeroplan is launching its own member tier program Distinction.

Maybe Aeroplan is taking the rewards program back in house and Aimia (Aeroplan) is preparing for this by launching its own tiers. If Aimia’s (Aeroplan’s) partnership with Air Canada comes to an end, you can say bye bye for those Star Alliance reward flights using Aeroplan miles.

 

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