Cards from CIBC, TD Bank and Aeroplan as shown Thursday, June 27, 2013 in Montreal. Aimia Inc.,the company that runs the Aeroplan customer loyalty program, wants to make its travel rewards easier to accumulate and to redeem and is prepared to replace CIBC as its bank credit card partner. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Loyalty lacking with Aeroplan’s reward program

Spend your Air Canada miles now before another deal steals your points

There’s a lot of baggage that comes with a ‘loyalty’ card, or in my case, missing baggage.

I don’t have a lot of rewards cards but I chose to sign on with Aeroplan after I moved to Japan and knew I’d rack up miles whenever I flew back to Canada.

After three-and-a-half years of collecting points I flew back to Ontario, this time for university, and I remember having enough points to redeem for a flight to Vancouver. I was stoked. I planned to wait for the right time to redeem my years’ worth of points.

That was in December 2012. But something happened. TD Bank became Aeroplan’s main financial partner. Then Aeroplan announced to members their miles would expire on Jan. 2014, but after some customer rage they then backtracked and said their points would never expire.

My points expired. I didn’t fight it at the time, shame on me. My head was buried in books while I worked on my Master’s degree.

I was angry, and annoyed at Aeroplan, but then again I never really trusted these ‘loyalty’ programs.

When I moved to Prince Rupert, my bank convinced me to sign back on, this time with a Visa Aeroplan.

Living on Kaien Island, with Air Canada as your only hyper-local option, going with Aeroplan made sense.

READ MORE: Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program

But lately, we’ve been thrown back on that roller coaster. Deals falling through with Air Canada and its loyalty card, then new deals with airlines that don’t service the North Coast, and now a pending agreement with Air Canada.

I’m paying attention now. We have until June 2020 to redeem miles with Air Canada. If the agreement goes through in the fall, then a new Air Canada loyalty program is being launched in 2020.

If not, spend those miles before its too late.

RELATED: Air Canada, WestJet raising baggage fee

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