I have a problem with Aeroplan. Actually, several problems. My experience with this rewards program is only as a customer, and let me tell you, I’m not a happy camper. How so?
- Aeroplan seems to make it fairly easy to collect points, but difficult to redeem them. Tangible evidence, I have none, but it’s just a feeling I get when using the Aeroplan website.
- If there’s no activity in your Aeroplan account for one year, then Poof! all your points disappear. This has happened to many people, and it’s just very customer unfriendly. Perhaps there’s a good reason for this, but no matter, it’s just not very nice.
- Aeroplan points seem to be worth quite a bit. A while ago, I calculated the reward percentage to be about 7-8% on airplane tickets. However, you never really know how much your points are worth. It’s an ill-defined pseudo-currency which has fluctuating value. Very annoying.
- The only thing I could find in the ENTIRE Aeroplan rewards catalogue which was worth buying was an ESSO gift card, which is not a bad approximation to cash. A $100 card could be purchased for 12,500 points. That puts the conversion rate at: 1 point = 0.8 cents. Using that valuation, you will quickly discover that all the other rewards offered by Aeroplan are grossly overpriced. There’s no point buying any of these items, since you could buy them for MUCH cheaper by yourself. Some reward!
- If you are a few points short of a reward, then there are a few options available. You can purchase more points at an exorbitant conversion rate. It’s a really bad rate, I did the math but I don’t remember the exact figure.
- Alternatively, you could have someone transfer their points to you. But to do that, you have to pay some other exorbitant amount for the privilege, and it turns out that it costs more to share points than the points themselves are worth. How’s that for treating your customer fairly?
I haven’t actually redeemed the points towards airline tickets, which for many people is probably why they joined Aeroplan. But I’ve had such a bad experience with Aeroplan that I’m pretty reluctant to do much else with it. In my opinion, Aeroplan is a great example of how to treat your customers poorly. Gaaaa, we hates them!
What do you think?