How I finally used my Aeroplan points



We gave up our CIBC Aeroplan VISA over a year ago in favour of a Capital One MasterCard. As I discussed in Why using Aeroplan points didn’t add up, we were tired of planning trips and then finding out that it was virtually impossible to book convenient flights for a reasonable number of points. High additional fees that can’t be paid for using Aeroplan points were also a disincentive to sticking with this loyalty program.

However, as of last month we had a nest egg of over 170,000 points and I was determined to use them as effectively as possible. So we tentatively planned a cruise from Buenos Aries, Argentina to Valparaiso, Chile in January 2016.

When I checked the flights, two tickets from Toronto to Buenos Aries and Valparaiso to Toronto including the base fare, surcharges, taxes, fees and other chargers were $3008.82.

I was able to get 2 tickets on the same flight for the market fare of 160,000 points and additional fees of $981.52 for the two tickets. So we were actually “out of pocket” by one-third of the value of the price of the tickets.

Of course we also forked out another $360 ($90×4) to get bulkhead seats on all four legs of the trip, which means that we have a bit more leg room even though we are still in economy. Fortunately I will be able to “erase” some of the additional out of pocket expenses with my Capital One Master Card points.

I’m glad we finally got something back for all the points we had been saving, but I certainly miss the old days when Aeroplan points were easier to use and a much better return on our investment!




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