Air Miles Vs Aeroplan!
Article can be found at http://scwpg.com/?p=62 but I'll copy paste as much of it here as I can.
First I compared the quality of sponsors:
Air Miles has a slight lead as it has a Department store sponsor, an Auto Maintenance sponsor, and a Restaurant sponsor (not really a big deal, but it helps). They also have a better Electronics store sponsor as Visions has a lot more locations across Canada.
Some notes: I know KFC is an Aeroplan sponsor in Ontario, but my article was basing the information for Winnipeg so I didn't mention that.
After that, I compared how people spend their money. Below is the average household expenditures for Winnipeg... It should be fairly similar for the rest of Canada. Beside each major expenditure I wrote a tip for collecting miles with your purchases.
Then I made a quick comment about how you can double-dip with sponsor credit cards... Each program has many, many different credit cards you can apply for and each of those has a different earning rate (for every dollar you spend). Air Miles credit cards start at a yearly fee of $0 and go up to $99, Aeroplan credit cards start at $29/year and go all the way to a yearly fee of $499.
Then I did a little comparison which I'm sure will be the topic of most debate. Assuming you made 3000 Air Miles over the year or 30000 Aeroplan miles over the year (which I believe is a fair assumption if things were relatively equal. Lets see what you could redeem these miles for…
Here are four different products/flights and how many miles they require for each program:
1. Flight from Winnipeg to Vancouver & Back
Air Miles – 2150 out of season, 2850 in season
Aeroplan – 25000 out of season, 25000 in season
If you’re flying out of season, Air Miles has a slight advantage and it would take 8-9 months to get the flight. In season, you’re a little less lucky. It would take a whole 11-12 months to get the flight. With Aeroplan it would take 10 months to get your flight, regardless of the flying season.
2. Flight from Winnipeg to Hong Kong & Back
Air Miles – 8975 out of season, 12000 in season
Aeroplan -75000 out of season, 75000 in season
It would take 3 years to collect for an out of season flight and 4 years to collect for an in season flight with Air Miles. Conversely, it would only take 2.5 years to redeem the flight with Aeroplan, regardless of flying season.
3. An 8GB iPod Touch.
Air Miles – 2300
Aeroplan – 30500
Winner: Air Miles.
The Air Miles collector would have their iPod Touch after 9 months, while the Aeroplan collector would need just over a year before they had enough.
4. $50 Gap giftcard.
Air Miles – 365
Aeroplan – 6000
Winner: Air Miles.
It would only take 45 days for the Air Miles collector to get enough for the gift card, while the Aeroplan collector would need about 73 days.
Air Miles wins for quantity and quality of sponsors and for redeeming smaller products with miles. Aeroplan wins for redeeming for longer trips and is probably more appropriate for bigger spenders, as their more expensive American Express credit cards probably come with a lot of benefits at $399 or $499 per year.
CORRECTIONS AND OTHER INFO:
- Smaller spender? Go with Air Miles.
- Bigger spender who wants actual travel bonuses? Go with Aeroplan.
- Aeroplan imposes a 7 year time limit on miles, after that they expire. Additionally, if you have absolutely no activity in your Aeroplan account for 1 full year you will lose all your miles.
- Neither Aeroplan nor Air Miles covers the costs of Taxes, Airport Fees, Fuel Surcharge, Baggage Surcharges, etc.
- Making donations using miles is a bad idea, because you can get a tax deduction if these are done with cash, through conventional charitable organizations
- Aeroplan allows for business class and first class travel redemption while Air Miles does not.
- CIBC ADVANTEX program features Bonus Aeroplan Miles with the CIBC Aerogold VISA credit card. Bonus Aeroplan Miles are earned automatically when CIBC Aerogold cardholders visit participating CIBC ADVANTEX Benefit establishments (like restaurants, resorts, etc)
- If redeemed for travel, there's a chance an Air Miles ticket issued may accrue frequent flyer points (like Aeroplan). An Aeroplan award does not.
- If you book a 75000 point flight that makes one or more stop overs (not layovers) to cities along the way you can stay at those locations for extended periods of time to enjoy a more diverse vacation. Again Aeroplan wins for actual travel redemption here.