Aeroplan versus Air Miles Reward Programs

  • 2 min read

Aeroplan was created by Air Canada in 1984 and currently has about 4.6 million members.  Aeroplan Miles can be earned in a number of ways and redeemed for flights or a range of other merchandise, gift cards and experiences. A major way to earn miles is by flying via Air Canada or affiliated carriers – the longer the trip, the more Miles are earned.  Frequent flyers also attain various prestige levels which attract a number of travel-related perks such as priority check-in and lounge access.

Aeroplan Miles can be earned by making purchases at a number of retail partners, including Esso, Home Hardware, Rona, Birks, Sobeys, Thrifty Foods, Nestle Canada as well as many others.

Many Aeroplan members also collect miles via credit cards; historically this was primarily with CIBC cards although this has recently switched to Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Aeroplan points do not expire as long as at least one qualifying transaction is made before one full year has elapsed. View more information about Aeroplan.

Air Miles

The Air Miles concept was created by Sir Keith Mills in the UK in 1988 and currently has about 10 million members in Canada.  Air Miles can be redeemed for flights or a range of other merchandise, gift cards and experiences.  In fact, there are currently over 1,200 choices for redeeming Miles.

Air Miles can be earned by making purchases at a number of retail partners in store.  Air Miles Canada has more than 100 partners including Bank of Montreal, American Express, Rona, Inc. and Shell Canada.

Many Air Miles members also collect miles via credit cards, mainly through BMO but also using American Express Cards.

Air Miles now has an online portal where points can be earned at over 100 retailers including Amazon.ca, Sears and ToysRus.  Typically 1 Mile is earned for every $20 spent.

It is worth noting that Air Miles will expire if they are not used within five years of being earned. View more information about Airmiles.

Christopher - BSc, MBA

With over two decades of combined Big 5 Banking and Agency experience, Christopher launched Underbanked® to cut through the noise and complexity of financial information. Christopher has an MBA degree from McMaster University and BSc. from Western University in Canada.