Why I think an Aeroplan mile/point is worth 1.6 cents and if you should collect them with a credit card.
Aeroplan points, Air miles, HBC points, PetroPoints, etc, etc, all the way back to Club Z Points at Zellers. They seem like such a gimmick and just a way to influence your spending. The thing is, they are everywhere now and you can’t really avoid it, so you might as well take advantage of it. I have calculated how much I think they are worth so read on.
Note: I interchange the word points and miles throughout this article. They mean the same thing. An Aeroplan Point and an Aeroplan Mile are the same.
To calculate the value of an Aeroplan point I priced out a flight on their website using points and then priced out a similar flight the same day using Air Canada’s website. From that, I determined an Aeroplan point is worth 1.6 cents/point. I will explain later how I came to this.
I personally collect Air Miles and Aeroplan Points so I just talk about those. This posting is about Aeroplan Points specifically, but the same techniques can be used to figure out Air Miles. You can read these related articles by using the links at the bottom of this post.How to Collect Aeroplan Points
Aeroplan, first of all, is free and there are three different ways to collect.
- You can apply for an Aeroplan card and just keep it on you. If you shop at stores that are affiliated with them (Future Shop, Esso, etc) then you just hand them your card and you collect some points whenever you purchase something.
- You use it whenever you fly with Air Canada or some other Star Alliance member airline. You will receive a certain number of Aeroplan points whenever you fly somewhere. This is free as well. You apply for a CIBC Aeroplan VISA card. There is a fee for these cards. $29/year will give you the CIBC AeroClassic VISA card that will give you 1 point for every $2 you put on the card. $120/year will give you a CIBC AeroGold VISA card that will give you 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on it. So you may get aeroplan miles on any purchase if you use your Visa and at Aeroplan affiliates you can “double dip” by collecting Aeroplan miles using your Aeropan card that they give you and paying for your actual purchase with your credit card and getting aeroplan miles from CIBC.
These points can later be used to buy flights, car rentals, hotels rooms, and a few other products. With flights and car rentals you will still have to pay the taxes, but the base fees are covered by the Aeroplan points.
So this is the basics of the system. Now I will discuss what they are actually worth. You can read about how I calculated the value and whether to upgrade your card in the main article.