The lastest Aeroplan announcement must be very discouraging to their members.
As at the end of December of 2013 any points that have been sitting in an account over 7 years, even if the account is active, will be erased. Stolen, evaporated, lost, gonzo!
Now certainly 7 years is a long time for someone not to use the points they have accumulated. But think about how difficult it is to raise points if you are not a big spender.
I went to Sobeys today and got a couple of points for the groceries I bought. The points I received wouldn’t get me outside Winnipeg’s perimeter highway.
And many people don’t save points for that trip to Toronto using just 15,000 points. They are saving them for their trip of a lifetime which could in fact take half a lifetime to collect, especially now that Aeroplan will charge more points for many of the popular overseas flights.
And as they are collecting they better not drop dead or the hard earned points could disappear if they aren’t used within a year after the member’s death by the rightful heirs.
And remember Aeroplan has actually improved this area of points transfer. Up until a short time ago the heirs couldn’t even use them without paying a hefty transfer fee which still is the case if the points are not used in that first year.
Don’t get me wrong. Aeroplan is a good program for many.
As a collector I have used the points many times even though I have been frustrated with the lack of flight options on many other occasions.
The other irritant is they seem to want to put few low point seats on flights but are quick to offer loads of flights for rediculously high point values.
I do know many who have travelled around the world on points. And by a careful planning strategy involving booking point trips virtually one year in advance, they have been able to grab the available seats early. The early bird worms the trips it seems.
The rest of us pay the price, accumulate more points, and then hope like heck the policy police of Aeroplan to find yet another way to swoop down and steal them from our nest egg.
Please post your comments and experiences. I will be happy to talk about them on my radio show and perhaps even in my column in the Winnipeg Free Press.
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