With unknown changes to Aeroplan on the way thanks to Air Canada leaving the program, nervous collectors are looking to cash in their points to ensure they are not left out in the cold. Even though Aeroplan is (vaguely) guaranteeing that points will be better than ever, there has been little info to back this up. This, undoubtedly, is leading some people to cash in their points in ways that cost them more than it should.
This got me thinking of the Aeroplan mistakes I have made when cashing in points and that now, more than ever, would be a great time to share these tips with my readers.
With that in mind here are 5 Aeroplan mistakes to avoid when cashing in your points.
1) Booking on Air Canada
First up on this list of Aeroplan mistakes to avoid is an ironic one – flying on Air Canada. It is funny in that Aeroplan was started by Air Canada and is now at the source of the uncertainness around the program. The real mistake is flying with them in the first place as they charge some of the highest taxes and fees when it comes to booking Aeroplan reward tickets. They should be avoided at all costs, which as a Canadian flying on a Canadian reward program with only one Canadian airline option connecting most Canadian destinations, is a tough ask.
2) Not Checking The Price First
After missing a charter flight out of Toronto to a friends wedding in the Caribbean, I was able to talk myself onto the next available flight which happened to be out of Montreal the next day. Without looking at the airfare costs I opted to cash in some Aeroplan points simply because I did not want to pay more for an already pricey trip. This was a mistake. Had I looked at the price of the flight I would have found that after the taxes and fees Air Canada charged me on the reward ticket, the savings were not there.
I would later find that there are much better ways to use those hard-earned points. The next point is not one of them…
3) Buying a Toaster
Next up on this list of Aeroplan mistakes to avoid is using the points for anything other than travel. Buying a toaster or other item from the e-store is exactly what reward programs want you to do. Many people that were left blindsided by Air Miles expiry dates on their points struggled to cash in and were using their points on anything they could. I do not recommend this option for Aeroplan points as the value is just not there. Instead, use those well-earned points to book a dream trip. If you get scared off by the high taxes and fees and are contemplating that overpriced (points-wise) flat-screen TV instead, let me know! I help people avoid just that!
4) Not Adding Stops
As noted in my post on how to maximize your points, Aeroplan offers some of the best value when it comes to booking reward tickets…if you know how to use them. They don’t make it super clear through their site but, depending on routing, you can add 2-3 additional stops on return tickets at no additional points. So for the same amount of points on a trip from Vancouver to Sydney, Australia you can add in a stop in Bangkok and Honolulu on the same ticket. If you have the time and desire to see the world, why wouldn’t you add these stops in?
5) Not Using Them
Last up on this list of Aeroplan mistakes to avoid is, simply, not using them. Although the points do not expire as long as you continue to collect them, it amazes me how many people simply do not cash them in. This is often due to the shock on the high taxes and fees (see point #1) or not wanting to use them to buy a toaster (see point #3). Either way, there is an incredible value with Aeroplan points (see point #4!) and I recommend people make the most of them! With the uncertainty of Aeroplan points value come 2020, cashing in now makes sense more than ever!
So there you have it. 5 Aeroplan mistakes to avoid and how to avoid them. If you are struggling to avoid Aeroplan’s high taxes and fees or need a hand booking a dream trip and stretching those miles as far as possible, I can help! I have added booking Aeroplan reward tickets as a service and have saved people thousands of dollars over the last couple of years!
Don’t end up with a toaster! Give me a shout!
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