Easiest Way To Prevent Aeroplan Miles From Expiring

Filed Under: Air Canada
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Like many of you, I manage the miles & points accounts for my entire family. I rely on them to use the right credit cards for their spend, but the rest is on me, including making sure that their points don’t expire, helping them redeem their points, etc.

Fortunately AwardWallet helps me keep track of the expiration dates of the points in all those accounts, and they even send me emails when points are close to expiring.

A few days ago while updating the balance of all accounts I noticed that a family member’s Aeroplan miles were set to expire in a couple of weeks. There were 329,000 miles in the account, so that’s a significant number of miles that I wanted to make sure didn’t expire.

In this post I wanted to talk about what I did, for anyone who might be in a similar situation.

What is Aeroplan’s mileage expiration policy?

Aeroplan miles expire after 18 months of inactivity. Virtually any kind of mileage activity would qualify for extending the expiration, which includes earning, redeeming, donating, or transferring Aeroplan miles.

What’s the easiest way to extend the expiration of Aeroplan miles?

While there are lots of ways to extend the expiration of Aeroplan miles, which is easiest and quickest?

Generally speaking I tend to think there are a few most common ways to extend the expiration:

  • Redeem miles for an award ticket
  • Redeem miles for merchandise
  • Donate miles to charity
  • Transfer over points from another program, like Amex Membership Rewards, Marriott Rewards, etc.
  • Transfer miles to another member at the cost of two cents per mile, with a minimum of 1,000 miles per transaction

So while all of those are potentially worth considering, this post is about the easiest and quickest ways. Which would I recommend?

Personally my go-to option would be to transfer 1,000 Amex Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan. They typically transfer instantly, and even just a small transfer would reset the expiration.

Earn Amex points with the following cards:

The other good option (which will also make you feel good) is to just donate 1,000 miles to charity. Aeroplan works with a variety of charities, and this also resets the expiration instantly.

To get started doing this, just go to the “donate miles” page on aeroplan.com. There you’ll see that they partner with a variety of charities.

In my case I selected Doctors Without Borders, and donated 1,000 miles.

Then there was a confirmation page.

After logging out of the Aeroplan account and back in, I saw that the expiration date had been extended by a year.

Now, before someone says “you’re cheap, you should donate more miles,” that’s an interesting point to address.

While I’m all for charity, I think it’s worth keeping in mind that generally redeeming miles for charity isn’t a way to maximize value for everyone. Typically the way it works is that the airlines are just making some cash contribution based on how they’re accounting for the value of miles, and that amount is almost always going to be lower than what I value the miles at, since I’m good at redeeming them. When it comes to being charitable, you’re almost always better off donating cash than miles.

Bottom line

Generally speaking I think the easiest and quickest way to extend the expiration of Aeroplan miles is to just transfer over 1,000 points from Amex Membership Rewards.

However, in those instances where someone doesn’t have that ability, or where that’s too complicated, donating 1,000 miles is the quickest and cheapest way to extend the expiration of Aeroplan miles.

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  1. There’s an easier way for (most) Canadians: the Carrot app. I think it’s 2 aeroplan miles for every day you complete your step target. Look it up.

  2. I have every member of my family using
    the carrot app and while some days are missed, I know that about once a week each person achieves a step goal and therefore gets 1 or 2 Aeroplan miles deposited into their account.

  3. With regard to transferring Amex Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan: can I transfer my points to someone else’s Aeroplan account? Does Aeroplan and/or Amex allow this?

  4. My Aeroplan miles were about to expire recently and I found I could simply use their Aeroplan portal to order from Amazon.ca – something I do pretty regularly anyway. It was easy and it worked just fine – got a few extra points but most importantly I kept my current points alive for another year. I’ll do it again around this time next year if necessary.

  5. Ever tried to check the expiry date of your Avianca LM ? Practically a state secret on their crappy user-unfriendly site.

  6. For all Canucks: aeroplan VISA Preferred is $120 per year and even minimum spend keeps miles current.
    BEWARE the expiration of Amex partnership is coming! Should you not have a card I wouldnt bother as once AC repurchases Aeroplan the AMEX partnership is gone compliments of VISA!

  7. For Canadians, spend $15 (I think) at Home Hardware, buy gas at Esso, sign up for the Aeroplan research panel etc. Lots of easy and cheap ways to keep your Aeroplan account active.

  8. @Canadian Platinum

    I am surprised you do not know Esso has stopped partnering with Aeroplan since May of 2018. Enen this American knows thie Esso route stopped working for 6 months already.
    It used to be the easiest way for the Americans to renew Aeroplan because many good hearted Canadians on FT were willing to do this as one time courtesy for fellow FTers. Unfortunately this is no longer possible.

  9. Another option is to sign into Aeroplan and use their shopping portal to a retailer and make a purchase that way to earn a few points and extend the expiry date.

  10. Is Air Canada about to open up the Signature Suite lounge in Toronto to award ticket holders? My fixed mileage award ticket to Vienna on Austrian for July 2019 was changed to an AC flight when Austrian bailed on the route and AC took over. Now the AC iPhone app tells me I have Signature Suite (and Maple Leaf Lounge) access before that flight, and my flight booking class is shown as Z which indeed is eligible. Maybe AC is planning on changing the access rules effective 2019 and that’s why I’ve got this?

  11. I use The Carrot app and incur no charge, BUT I have never used it to accrue Aeroplan points.

    The easist way I know to accrue Arroplan points is to sign up with the “Asking Canadians” online survey organization. Answering the screening questions on a survey normally takes just a couple of minutes, and even if the screener questions disqualify you from the survey, you still get 5 Aeroplan points for doing the screener, and one survey screener is enough to qualify as a transaction.


  12. The Aeroplan point collecting organization is a company OUT to get your points. Unlike the other point collecting companies, Aeroplan has a sneaky way to steal your points from you. They have an EXPIRY!!! If you do not collect any points over a one-year period you will forfeit all the points you have ever collected. They stole over 120,000 points from me last year. If you are wondering how I missed their reminders, they conveniently only send one three months before (which will probably end up in your junk mail if you are a busy person). My mistrust with this company is deeper. I was in communication with one of their employees who offered to help me. I stayed at a hotel within the year but the hotel did not input my points correctly. I provided proof to Aeroplan (receipt of my stay) but they said it was the hotel’s fault because the new input date they sent me was outside the expiry date range; so Aeroplan wiped their hands clean and stole my all my points. If you collect you might be waiting for your young children to grow old enough to visit somewhere. Well Aeroplan stole a Disneyland trip from my family with three young girls. Yes, my family will not be going for a few more years thanks to Aeroplan’s pathetic customer service. Beware of Aeroplan, they obviously do not care about your family.

  13. Lucky – thank you for this info, I was desperately trying to figure out how to update my daughter’s account! You saved her life (miles)!

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