Airmiles and Aeroplan for Business Travelers: Maximizing Your Corporate Trips

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Key Takeaway Box:

  • Business travel can be a great opportunity to earn Airmiles and Aeroplan points for your personal travel goals.
  • You can maximize your points by choosing the right flights, credit cards, and travel expenses that align with your preferred loyalty program.
  • Airmiles and Aeroplan have different advantages and disadvantages depending on your travel needs and preferences.
  • You can compare the value, earning potential, and redemption options of Airmiles and Aeroplan to decide which one is best for you.
Business travel essentials with Airmiles and Aeroplan rewards on a luxury office desk.
Optimizing Business Travel: Leverage Airmiles & Aeroplan for Corporate Success.

Introduction

If you travel frequently for business, you might be wondering how you can make the most of your trips and benefit your personal travel plans. One way to do that is to collect Airmiles and Aeroplan points, two of the most popular travel loyalty programs in Canada.

Airmiles and Aeroplan allow you to earn points for every dollar you spend on flights, hotels, car rentals, and other travel-related purchases. You can then redeem your points for free or discounted travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more.

But which program is better for business travelers? How can you earn and redeem points effectively? And what are the best strategies to optimize your travel expenses and rewards? In this article, we will answer these questions and help you choose the best program for your needs.

Airmiles vs Aeroplan: What’s the difference?

Airmiles and Aeroplan are both travel loyalty programs, but they have some key differences that you should know before you sign up. Here are some of the main features of each program:

Airmiles

  • Airmiles is a general loyalty program that has many retail partners across Canada. You can earn miles for shopping at participating stores, online, or with a co-branded credit card.
  • Airmiles offers two types of rewards: Cash Rewards and Dream Rewards. Cash Rewards allow you to redeem 95 miles for a $10 credit at select retailers, while Dream Rewards let you use your miles for travel, merchandise, events, and more.
  • Airmiles has a high average value per mile of $0.105¹, but it also takes longer to earn miles compared to Aeroplan. You also have to pay taxes and fees when you redeem your miles for flights, and fuel surcharges are only covered within North America².
  • Airmiles is best for infrequent travelers who want flexible redemption options and don’t mind paying extra fees. You can also use your miles to pay for your business expenses directly at some partner retailers³.

Aeroplan

  • Aeroplan is Air Canada’s loyalty program, but you can also earn and redeem points with 45+ partner airlines. You can earn points for flying with Air Canada or its partners, shopping online, or using a co-branded credit card.
  • Aeroplan has a lower average value per point of $0.0109⁴, but it also has more ways to earn points and more flight options. You can also pool your points with friends and family, combine points and cash for flights, and avoid blackout dates and surcharges⁵.
  • Aeroplan is best for frequent flyers who want to use their points for Air Canada or partner flights, especially international or premium ones. You can also use your points for vacation packages, hotels, car rentals, gift cards, and merchandise⁶.

IMPORTANT LINKS:

How to earn Airmiles and Aeroplan points for business travel

Now that you know the basics of Airmiles and Aeroplan, how can you earn points for your business travel? Here are some tips to maximize your earning potential:

  • Sign up for both programs. It doesn’t cost anything to join Airmiles and Aeroplan, and you can earn points for different purchases. You can also choose which program to use depending on the best value and availability for your travel needs.
  • Use a rewards-earning credit card. One of the easiest ways to earn points is to use a credit card that gives you rewards for your spending. You can use a co-branded card that earns Airmiles or Aeroplan points, or a general travel card that lets you transfer points to either program.
Credit CardRewards RateAnnual FeeWelcome Bonus
American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card3 points per $1 on Air Canada purchases, 2 points per $1 on dining and food delivery, 1 point per $1 on everything else$599Earn up to 90,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan points
BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite® Mastercard®1 mile per $10 on all purchases$120 (waived for the first year)Get up to 3,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles and we’ll waive the $120 annual fee for the first year
Capital One Spark Miles for Business2 miles per $1 on all purchases$0 for the first year, then $95Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
Table shows examples of credit cards that can help earn points are
  • Choose the right flights. When booking your flights, check the prices and availability of Air Canada and its partner airlines, as well as other airlines that offer Airmiles. You can compare the value, earning rate, and redemption options of each program to decide which one is best for you. For example, if you are flying to Europe, you might get a better deal with Aeroplan than Airmiles, since Aeroplan covers fuel surcharges and has more partner airlines in that region.
  • Optimize your travel expenses. Besides flights, you can also earn points for your other travel expenses, such as hotels, car rentals, dining, and entertainment. You can use the same credit card that earns you points, or use a different one that offers more rewards for specific categories. You can also book your hotels and car rentals through Airmiles or Aeroplan’s websites, or use their partner brands to earn more points. For example, you can earn 500 Aeroplan points per stay at Marriott hotels, or 1 mile per $20 spent at Budget car rentals .

How to redeem Airmiles and Aeroplan points for personal travel

Once you have earned enough points for your business travel, you can use them for your personal travel goals. Here are some tips to make the most of your points:

  • Plan ahead. The best way to get the most value out of your points is to plan your travel in advance and be flexible with your dates and destinations. You can use the Airmiles and Aeroplan websites to search for flights, hotels, car rentals, and other rewards, and compare the prices and availability. You can also use tools like AwardHacker and AwardMapper to find the best deals and options for your points .
  • Use your points wisely. Depending on your travel needs and preferences, you might want to use your points for different things. For example, if you want to fly in business or first class, you might get a better value with Aeroplan than Airmiles, since Aeroplan has more premium flight options and lower fees. On the other hand, if you want to use your points for non-flight rewards, such as merchandise, gift cards, or events, you might get a better value with Airmiles than Aeroplan, since Airmiles has more variety and flexibility. You can also use your points to pay for taxes and fees, or combine them with cash, to save money and stretch your points further .
  • Transfer your points if needed. If you don’t have enough points in one program, or you want to use a different program, you can transfer your points between Airmiles and Aeroplan, or to other loyalty programs. However, this usually comes with a cost and a loss of value, so you should only do it if it makes sense for your travel goals. Some of the ways you can transfer your points are:
FromToHowCost
AirmilesAeroplanUse Points.com to exchange your milesVaries depending on the exchange rate, usually not favorable
AeroplanAirmilesUse Points.com to exchange your pointsVaries depending on the exchange rate, usually not favorable
AirmilesOther programsUse a co-branded credit card that lets you transfer your miles, such as the BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite® Mastercard® or the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit CardVaries depending on the card and the program, usually 1:1 or 1:0.5
AeroplanOther programsUse a co-branded credit card that lets you transfer your points, such as the American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card or the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite CardVaries depending on the card and the program, usually 1:1 or 1:0.5
Table shows ways to transfer the travel points points

Conclusion

Business travel can be a great opportunity to earn Airmiles and Aeroplan points for your personal travel goals. You can maximize your points by choosing the right flights, credit cards, and travel expenses that align with your preferred loyalty program. Airmiles and Aeroplan have different advantages and disadvantages depending on your travel needs and preferences. You can compare the value, earning potential, and redemption options of Airmiles and Aeroplan to decide which one is best for you. You can also transfer your points between programs if needed, but be aware of the costs and trade-offs. By following these tips, you can make your business travel more rewarding and enjoyable.

Source: (1) Compare Travel Loyalty Programs: Aeroplan vs. Air Miles vs. Avion …. https://money.ca/credit-cards/reviews/compare-travel-loyalty-programs-aeroplan-vs-air-miles-vs-avion. (2) Aeroplan vs. Air Miles: Differences and Alternatives – NerdWallet. https://www.nerdwallet.com/ca/credit-cards/aeroplan-vs-air-miles. (3) Difference Between Avios and Airmiles – What to Collect?. https://thepointsinsider.com/difference-between-avios-and-airmiles/. (4) 6 Ways to Maximize Benefits of Business Travel – NerdWallet. https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/travel/ways-to-maximize-benefits-of-business-travel.

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