Thursday, December 23, 2010

Aeroplan Expiry Rules

As a follow up to our recent appearances in the Globe and Mail and on Global Vancouver we want to give our readers some insight on the Aeroplan expiry rules that are making waves in the news right now:

The news revolves around the 7 year shelf life of Aeroplan miles that the company announced in late 2006 and became effective January 1, 2007. Basically what this means is that any miles earned prior to January 1, 2007 will expire on January 1, 2014. Miles earned after January 1, 2007 will expire  at the end of the month they were earned in seven years later. So if you are still collecting and redeeming miles with Aeroplan then you still have some time to start worrying about losing those miles prior to 2007.  The reason this news is surfacing now is that Aeroplan is slowly getting to work on systems to notify members on when their miles will expire starting in 2014 on a monthly basis and word is it that it will be started sometime in 2011.

This is a separate rule then the one that has made the news the past few years and that is the inactivity rule whereby if you do not earn or redeem at least 1 Aeroplan mile every 12 months then you lose all your miles regardless of how long you have had them. Many members have complained about this rule and not being notified about it. Aeroplan states they make all attempts to notify its members but the communications may get lost in all the emails received from Aeroplan.

One question posed to me is when you redeem miles which go first? Aeroplan runs on a first in first out basis which means your oldest miles are redeemed first on any Aeroplan redemption.

Other criticisms I have seen and been noted of is why is Aeroplan doing this but truth be told they were not the first frequent flyer program to do this and in fact their Canadian competitor, WestJet, has a 5 year shelf life for their WestJet dolllars earned in the WestJet Frequent Guest Program.

Please feel free to pose any questions, comments or concerns below.


  1. It is cheaper to cross the boarder to the US and forget about miles altogether. As far as miles are concerned, once you earn them, they should never expire - this is just a cash grab by aero plan! Why do they not buy them back from inactive accounts????????

  2. Agree... It is cheaper to cross the boarder to the US and forget about miles altogether. Bottomline if you can save $$ up front who cares about points

    When programs like this devalue their product by any means they will lose followers.

  3. Aeroplan has announced it's greatly increasing Star Alliance seats. Well they have done that, but try and get a seat to Hawaii at less than 4 times the Classic value on Air Canada.

    What a rip, Westjet here we come...

  4. Westjet here you come? Yeah, 'cause Westjet's FF program is so awesome... not!

    I really think these rules are pretty standard, generous even. If someone signs up for a rewards program, the onus is on you to understand the basics, and these rules are certaily basic.

    You have seven years to use miles!? If you haven't collected enough miles to fly anywhere in seven years, then maybe a "FREQUENT FLYER" program is not for you. Likewise, if you can't, just once a year, buy a container of ice cream or juice or purchase something online or one of dozens of other ways to earn a single Aeroplan mile each 365 days, then again, maybe a point/mile accumulation program is not for you.

  5. In 2009, I redeemed 150,000 aeroplan points and stiil had 83,000 left. How do I find out the date of the oldest point? The list of all of my transactions doesn't go back far enough, as I am still accumulating.

  6. Great options exist for expiring miles. Donate to Aeroplan Beyond Miles participating charities, like Rotary Athabasca Youth Development Association's charitable pooling account. Donations can be made anytime at