Aeroplan is arguably the most popular rewards program in Canada and members can earn points at more than 75 travel, retail and financial industry sponsors.

But it can be difficult to determine the cash value when it comes to redeeming points.  There are two main ways to redeem Aeroplan points – you can redeem for flight rewards, or for activities and merchandise.

Related: How To Earn Aeroplan Miles

Redeeming Aeroplan Points for Flights

You can use your Aeroplan points to access more than 170 destinations every year on Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz flights.  Here’s how many points you’ll need for a round-trip.

Flights leaving from Canada:

  • short-haul flight within Canada & Continental U.S. – 15,000 Aeroplan points
  • long-haul flight within Canada & Continental U.S. – 25,000 Aeroplan points
  • to Mexico/Caribbean/Central America – 40,000 Aeroplan points
  • to Hawaii – 45,000 Aeroplan points
  • to Northern South America – 50,000 Aeroplan points
  • to Southern South America – 60,000 Aeroplan points
  • to Europe – 60,000 Aeroplan points
  • to Greece – 75,000 Aeroplan points
  • to Asia – 75,000 Aeroplan points
  • to Middle East – 80,000 Aeroplan points
  • to Australia – 80,000 Aeroplan points

You’ll need 15,000 Aeroplan points for a short-haul flight from Calgary to Vancouver.  I looked up the same flight on Air Canada’s website, which costs $99 each way for a total of $198.  With this short-haul flight, your points are worth about 1.3 cents per mile.

You’ll need 45,000 Aeroplan points for a flight from Calgary to Hawaii.  I looked up the same flight on Air Canada’s website, which costs $525 each way for a total of $1,050.  With this long-haul flight, your Aeroplan points are worth about 2.3 cents per mile.

Related: How Many Air Miles Do You Need For A Free Flight

Booking an executive class seat offers the most value.  It takes 80,000 Aeroplan points for an executive class seat from Calgary to Hawaii.  The flight on Air Canada’s website costs a minimum of $2,600 round-trip.  In this case, your Aeroplan points are worth about 3.3 cents per mile.

It’s important to note that you’re responsible for paying the fees, taxes and surcharges when you redeem Aeroplan points for flights.  There is also a $30 Aeroplan administration fee per redemption.

Redeeming Aeroplan Points for Activities and Merchandise

You can redeem your points for a host of other items under the Activities and Merchandise categories:

  • Activities & Entertainment – dining, spa, theatre, parks and attractions
  • Fashion & Accessories – jewelry, handbags, watches and sunglasses
  • Electronics – TV, camera, computers, music players and gaming
  • Gift Cards – groceries, pharmacy, movies, gas and clothing
  • Home & Garden – kitchen appliances, bed & bath, baby & toys, home furnishings
  • Media – books, magazines and digital media
  • Sports & Outdoor – golf, fitness & sport, recreation & hobbies, memorabilia
  • Travel & Getaways – cruises & travel gift cards, travel accessories

Redemptions vary widely by product.  The easiest way to determine the value of one Aeroplan point is to look at the gift cards available.  Here are a few examples, along with the corresponding value:

  • Esso Gift Card: $50 cash value – 6,500 Aeroplan rewards (0.7 cents per mile)
  • Costco membership: $55 cash value – 6,500 Aeroplan rewards (0.8 cents per mile)
  • Home Hardware Gift Card: $100 cash value – 12,500 Aeroplan rewards (0.8 cents per mile)

Related: Redeem Air Miles For Gift Cards

You’ll need to remain active in the Aeroplan program by making at least one transaction every 12 months.  You’ll have seven years to redeem your Aeroplan points before they expire.

This policy has caused some confusion and anger for members who no longer actively collect points but have accumulated a significant amount.

Final Thoughts

Aeroplan continues to diminish the value for its members by increasing the number of points needed for flights and gift cards while punishing less active members by de-activating accounts and introducing an expiry policy.

Related: New Air Miles Expiry Policy

Still, because of the partnership with Air Canada and the Star Alliance, Aeroplan members who travel frequently can still do well with this travel program, particularly when paired with an Aeroplan travel rewards credit card.

The best way to redeem your Aeroplan points is to book an executive class seat.  The gift cards, activities and merchandise just don’t offer enough value.

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