Post-Miles&Smiles devaluation: Why I’m using Aeroplan for Star Alliance redemptions

The world of points and miles is an enticing one, offering the opportunity to travel for “free” using rewards earned from credit card spending. However, the true allure for many savvy travelers lies in the ability to secure premium airline seats in business and first class for a fraction of the cash price. This is where the real value of points and miles shines through, allowing travelers to experience luxury travel experiences without breaking the bank.

One of the biggest concerns for points and miles enthusiasts is the risk of devaluation. When a loyalty program devalues its points or miles, it means that the rewards you have worked hard to earn become less valuable, requiring more points or miles to book the same flight or hotel stay. This can be frustrating for travelers who have meticulously saved up their rewards for a specific redemption.

In February 2024, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles devalued its award charts, impacting many loyal users of the program who relied on its sweet spots and competitive premium cabin redemption rates. As a frequent Miles&Smiles redemption user myself, I was disappointed by this devaluation and began to explore alternative programs to maximize my hard-earned miles.

One program that has caught my attention post-Turkish Airlines devaluation is Air Canada’s Aeroplan. Aeroplan, as a Star Alliance carrier, boasts an impressive list of airline partners, including both Star Alliance members and non-alliance partners. With a total of 47 partners, Aeroplan offers a wide range of options for earning and redeeming miles, making it a versatile and valuable program for frequent travelers.

One of the key advantages of Aeroplan over Miles&Smiles is its partnership with major transferable currencies, including American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One miles, Bilt Rewards, and Chase Ultimate Rewards. This allows cardholders to transfer points from multiple sources to Aeroplan, making it easier to accumulate miles for award bookings.

Another significant benefit of Aeroplan is its policy of not passing on carrier-imposed surcharges on award bookings. This means that travelers can avoid hefty cash fees when booking flights with partner airlines, making Aeroplan a more cost-effective option for award travel.

Aeroplan also stands out for its generous stopover program, allowing travelers to add a stopover for just 5,000 miles on one-way award tickets. This feature is particularly valuable for those looking to visit multiple destinations on a single trip, maximizing the value of their points and miles.

Additionally, Aeroplan frequently offers transfer bonus promotions with major credit card issuers, such as American Express and Chase, allowing cardholders to receive bonus miles when transferring rewards to Aeroplan. These promotions can significantly reduce the number of miles required for a redemption, saving travelers money in the long run.

In conclusion, while the devaluation of Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles was a disappointment for many loyal users, it has also opened the door to new opportunities for maximizing rewards through alternative programs such as Air Canada’s Aeroplan. With its impressive list of partners, diverse transferable currency options, lack of carrier-imposed surcharges, generous stopover program, and frequent transfer bonus promotions, Aeroplan offers a compelling value proposition for travelers seeking to make the most of their points and miles. By diversifying their credit card portfolio and exploring new loyalty programs, travelers can adapt to changes in the points and miles landscape and continue to enjoy luxury travel experiences at a fraction of the cost.

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