1. Enjoy Aeroplan’s stopover policy

One of the biggest perks of the new Aeroplan program is that they have changed up their stopover policy for the better. Previously, you could only have one stopover (more than 24 hours) and up to 15 layovers (under 24 hours). However, you couldn’t exceed the maximum permitted mileage (MPM) which prevented you from coming up with some creative routes.

Under the new program, you can add in two stopovers, one in each direction (although you are no longer allowed a stopover in Canada or the USA when departing from North America). There is an added cost of 5,000 miles for each stopover but the layover rules are still the same (up to 15). However, the big perk here is that MPM is no longer in place. Which means you can truly create a proper round-the-world ticket. For example, Toronto-London-Dubai-Singapore-Sydney-Toronto.

As long as you continue to go in the right direction, you shouldn’t have a problem. Now, it may end up being quite expensive as you are essentially building your itinerary with one-way flights. However, if this is what you have been saving for- you can make it happen. Even if you don’t plan on doing a RTW, it’s still worth taking advantage of those layovers and/or stopover opportunities to explore somewhere new. Toronto to Bangkok via Hong Kong? Yes, please!

2. Earn miles quicker with an Aeroplan credit card

How do you earn miles faster? Well, the easiest way is to get an Aeroplan credit card. Aeroplan credit cards will earn you points on all purchases, but also allow you to double dip with Aeroplan partners.

One of the reasons why we love the Aeroplan program is because there are so many associated credit card options available which make it a very accessible loyalty program for Canadians. TD Bank, CIBC, and American Express are all Aeroplan credit card providers. Here are a couple of our favourite options.

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card*

Eligibility criteria:

– Standard purchase APR: 20.99%

– Balance transfer APR: 22.99%

– Cash advance APR: 22.99%

– Credit score required: Good-Excellent

– Min personal income required: $60,000

– Age: Must be age of majority in province/territory

– Residency: Must be a Canadian resident

Best Offer yet for the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card:* Earn up to $1,600 in value† including up to 70,000 Aeroplan points†. Conditions Apply. Must apply by September 5, 2023.

The earn rate with the card is 1.5 Aeroplan points† for every eligible dollar spent on grocery, gas, and direct through Air Canada® purchases made with your card. All other purchases get 1 point† per dollar spent. The card has a $139 annual fee.

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card review.

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.

†Terms and conditions apply.

American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card*

Eligibility criteria:

– Credit score required: Good-Excellent

– Min personal income required: N/A

– Annual fees: $599

The American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card is new to the market but already proving to be a lucrative card for Canadian travellers. Cardholders will earn the highest Air Canada earn rate on an Aeroplan payment card in Canada: Earn 3X the points on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada®* and Air Canada Vacations®* , Standard Earn Rate 2x the points on eligible Dining and Food Delivery purchases in Canada and earn 1.25X the points on everything else.

The American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card does have a pretty hefty annual fee of $599, however, it does come packed with perks, including: lounge access, free first checked bag, comprehensive travel insurance, an annual worldwide companion pass when you spend $25,000/year, and more!

For a limited time, New American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Cardmembers can earn up to 85,000 Aeroplan points:

  • Earn 60,000 Aeroplan points after spending $7,500 in purchases on your Card within the first 3 months
  • Plus, earn an additional 25,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $2,500 in purchases in month 13
  • That’s up to $2,600 or more in value when you combine your welcome bonus points and card benefits
  • New Offer: Cardmembers can now get an extra night free for every 3 consecutive hotel nights redeemed with Aeroplan points. Offer ends December 31, 2024

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card review.

3. Take advantage of family sharing

Under the old program, you could share points by paying a fee but, thankfully, that isn’t the case any longer thanks to Family Sharing. This feature allows up to 8 people to merge their points into one big pool so you can redeem your points faster.

Say you and your partner are planning a trip to Europe. You have enough points to cover your flight and then some. They don’t have quite enough points. You can create a pool with family sharing so that, together, there are enough points to book flights for each of you. No more waiting, no paying to transfer points. It’s fast, efficient, and easy which means you can travel faster.

Another big perk to family sharing; you can share benefits with those you are travelling with. So, if you have status or preferred rates and your partner doesn’t, he/she will be able to take advantage of those benefits as well.

Key points to keep in mind.

  • The term ‘family’ is loose. You can choose to pool your points with whoever you want (up to a maximum of 8 people).
  • Points redeemed are taken from everyone, not just the individual. This is done on a percentage basis depending on how many points each person brings into the pool.
  • You must be part of a group for at least 3 months and if you leave, you can’t join another for at least 6 months.
  • When you leave, you take any points you brought and earned with you, minus any that have been redeemed.

4. Don’t forget about partner airlines

With the old Aeroplan program, fuel surcharges (also known as carrier surcharges) were a nightmare. Air Canada especially was known for its horrifically high fuel surcharges which often added hundreds of dollars to the cost of the ticket. In order to avoid this, travel experts would suggest avoiding Air Canada and instead recommended choosing various partner airlines such as Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, and Brussels Airlines to avoid those fees.

While the fuel surcharges have now been eliminated for all airlines under Aeroplan bookings, there is a $39 partner booking fee. Now, while this fee isn’t necessarily large, it could be enough to convince some buyers to stick with Air Canada flights. But, hold on.

Unlike Air Canada flights which now have dynamic pricing, partner airlines still have fixed pricing. Often, these fixed prices are on the lower end of the points range. Now, there is the downside to being limited with seats when redeeming with partner airlines, however, even with that added $39 fee, partner airlines may come in at a better value in the end.

5. Shop online with Aeroplan partners

Aeroplan has more than 170 online retail partners that make collecting Aeroplan points while doing your regular shopping a breeze. Partners include businesses such as Hudson’s Bay, Indigo, Sephora, GAP, and more. These are everyday businesses that many Canadians shop from fairly regularly, plus many of us prefer to shop online so it’s worth your time to go through the Aeroplan portal to ensure you can earn the Aeroplan points.

Make sure to keep an eye out for special promotions and sales too as you can find some pretty great deals. For example, for Black Friday 2020 online purchases from Sephora earned Aeroplan members 10x the points and online orders from Indigo earned members 7x the points.

To see what brands are Aeroplan online partners, log into your Aeroplan account at Aircanada.ca or via the app and sign in to Aeroplan. From there you can browse by category, brand, or even current promotions.

Final word

This loyalty program may seem a bit daunting, but as per the new Aeroplan changes, these hacks are sure to help you stretch those miles further. Whether you’re planning on traveling anytime soon or holding on to your points for future use, there is nothing holding you back from maximizing the power of your points.

This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information, click the Apply Now link. If you apply and get approved for an American Express Card, (I/we) may receive compensation from American Express, which can be in the form of monetary payment

Hannah Logan Freelance Contributor

Hannah Logan is a Canadian freelancer writer and blogger who specializes in personal finance and travel. You can follow her adventures on her travel blog EatSleepBreatheTravel.com or find her on Instagram @hannahlogan21.

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