Once you get in the habit of earning and redeeming regularly, points expiring due to inactivity is something that barely ever crosses your mind. However, the possibility of losing points to expiry tends to be one of the most pressing concerns amongst newcomers who may not touch their accounts quite as much.
Today, Aeroplan has announced an extension to its pandemic-related pause on points expiration. Let’s take a look at the details.
Aeroplan’s No-Expiry Policy Through September 2024
In an effort to keep members engaged, many loyalty programs put a pause on their regular expiration policies as travellers changed their earning and redeeming habits during the pandemic.
Aeroplan was no exception to this, and for the past three years, points that would have otherwise expired have remained valid indefinitely.
This means that its regular policy, where you’d have to do some sort of earning or redeeming activity within a rolling 18-month period, has been put on hold. Account holders didn’t have to do any sort of earning or redeeming to keep their points active.
Aeroplan has now announced that this non-expiry policy will be extended through September 30, 2024. Before that date, any Aeroplan points which should have expired will not expire.
Aeroplan’s Regular Expiration Policy
As of September 30, 2024, the regular expiration policy resumes.
The policy is quite simple: if there has not been any eligible earning or redeeming activity in an account for 18 months, your points will expire.
To keep track of your account’s expiration date, simply log-in to your Aeroplan account, click on “My Aeroplan”, and then head over to the “Activity” tab. Your account’s expiration date, if any, will be listed on this page.
How to Prevent Aeroplan Points from Expiring
Fortunately, keeping your account active with earning or redeeming activity is quite asy.
There are a host of ways to prevent your account from expiring through earning, including:
- Taking a paid flight with Air Canada or a Star Alliance airline and crediting the points to your Aeroplan number
- Booking a hotel or car rental through Aeroplan’s portal
- Earning Aeroplan points from a partner hotel, such as Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
- Buying Aeroplan points
- Shopping online through the Aeroplan eStore
- Showing your Aeroplan card in-store at participating partners
- Linking your Uber and Aeroplan accounts, and then completing a ride
- Linking your Starbucks and Aeroplan accounts, and then buying coffee
- Transferring points from another program, such as American Express Membership Rewards, to Aeroplan
You can also get qualifying Aeroplan activity through a number of redemption options, including:
- Making a flight booking using your Aeroplan points
- Transferring your points to another Aeroplan member (at a cost)
- Donating your points to a charity through Aeroplan
- Redeeming your points for a car rental, hotel, or merchandise
- Buying Wi-Fi on board a flight with Air Canada using your Aeroplan points
- Using your points to bid for an upgrade
Furthermore, if you belong to a Family Sharing group and someone in the group makes a redemption, it counts as a qualifying activity for all members in the group. As long as someone in your Family Sharing group makes a booking every 18 months, everybody’s accounts will remain active.
If you have Aeroplan Elite Status, or if you are less than 18 years old, your Aeroplan points will not expire under any circumstances.
Perhaps the easiest way to keep your Aeroplan points active is to simply hold any of the Aeroplan co-branded credit cards. As long as you hold one of these credit cards, your points won’t expire.
Note that you must be the primary cardholder to be exempted from points expiration. Any supplementary cardholders will not benefit from this policy in their individual accounts.
115,000 Aeroplan points
Up to 125,000 Aeroplan points
120,000 Aeroplan points
Up to 50,000 Aeroplan points
55,000 Aeroplan points
Up to 70,000 Aeroplan points
45,000 Aeroplan points
90,000 Aeroplan points
60,000 Aeroplan points
10,000 Aeroplan points
How Does Aeroplan’s Expiry Policy Compare?
Most of the world’s loyalty programs also operate on a similar expiration policy to Aeroplan’s. Among the major programs we frequently discuss, the expiration policies are as follows:
Alaska Mileage Plan: Miles will be deactivated after 24 months of inactivity, and can be reactivated at no cost within one year of their expiration.
British Airways Avios: Miles will expire after 36 months of inactivity.
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: Miles will expire after 18 months of inactivity.
Marriott Bonvoy: Points will expire after 24 months of inactivity.
Hilton Honors: Points will expire after 12 months of inactivity.
WestJet Rewards: WestJet Dollars will not expire.
Meanwhile, bank rewards or transferrable rewards (like Amex MR, RBC Avion, CIBC Aventura, or Scene+) are generally kept alive as long as you continue to hold the associated credit card, or apply for a different credit card within the same family to keep the points alive before cancelling your current one.
Aeroplan has announced the extension of its non-expiry policy through September 30, 2024. As of that date, the regular expiration policy resumes, in which points will expire if there has been no activity on the account for a rolling 18-month period.
The extension comes as good news to Aeroplan members with fairly inactive accounts; however, it’s quite easy to prevent your points from expiring in the first place through one of the many simple ways to generate activity on your account – or better yet, by regularly earning and redeeming Aeroplan points for travel.
Do Alaska Miles, British Airways Avios, Asia Miles, Marriott Bonvoy also go off the same structure as long as some activity they will be extended?
What about just buying some alcohol at the LCBO? Believe they are an Aeroplan partner now.
Does my $120 annual CIBC Aeroplan credit card fee count as an annual purchase?
As I recall, Winnie eventually claimed a Home Hardware receipt and got her miles back, so all’s well that ends well.
Would buying Aeroplan miles keep you account active? If so, is there a minimum you have to buy to keep your account active?
Yes, and there is no minimum.
Here’s a tip for infrequent Aeroplan users: Set a reminder in your Calendar app for 11 months from today. When you get the reminder, check your Aeroplan account, make a transaction if necessary, then update the date again by 11 months.
I’ll 2nd the comment RE Asking Canadians Surveys. Doing a couple of surveys occasionally (or even getting the consolation Aeroplan points for not qualifying for a survey) advances your 12 month expiry date…
Asking Canadians surveys work too.