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What is the annual fee on that?

I have the Westjet World Elite Mastercard. $120 annual fee but offers that come with it on a yearly basis are quite good.

CIBC Aventura card is decent as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What is the annual fee on that?

I have the Westjet World Elite Mastercard. $120 annual fee but offers that come with it on a yearly basis are quite good.

CIBC Aventura card is decent as well.
The Avion Infinite has $120 annual fee as well but that's why I want to get the $150 from rates.ca to offset the cost. From what I understand, the World Elite only allows you to redeem with WestJet which is limiting. I'll look into CIBC Aventura, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The Avion Infinite has $120 annual fee as well but that's why I want to get the $150 from rates.ca to offset the cost. From what I understand, the World Elite only allows you to redeem with WestJet which is limiting. I'll look into CIBC Aventura, thanks!
Just looked into it, CIBC Aventura is only offering 2,500 welcome points right now. Super low.
 

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I had RBC avion. I found it harder to gain trips with it for an equivalent spend as other cards. I know of others that had both the WJ card and the RBC avion. The WJ card got more flights faster. A good card for those with WJ hubs but not be ideal for those living east of Winnipeg. I still find my best return is a cashback card. I can use the money for travel, toys or money to invest.
 

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I had RBC avion. I found it harder to gain trips with it for an equivalent spend as other cards. I know of others that had both the WJ card and the RBC avion. The WJ card got more flights faster. A good card for those with WJ hubs but not be ideal for those living east of Winnipeg. I still find my best return is a cashback card. I can use the money for travel, toys or money to invest.
This has been our experience. After years of Aeroplan for business and personal travel our combined balance is now less than 1000 points. We dropped their premium credit cards years ago. We perceived them to be poor value for us.

We switched to a premium cash back travel card. Better for us. Most of our flights are not AC or Westjet. Spouse booked on Monday to go to Toronto this past Thursday.
$700 on AC or Westjet. $345 on Transat...and better flight time for her. Guess which one she selected???

The one other card we have is a Marriott Bonvoy Amex card. This has saved us a fair amount over the years. We pay a fee, but we get one free night per year. We save that night, and any points, for more hotels that would otherwise be more expensive.

We still accumulate airline points but not with AC. We still belong to the United and Delta programs. The Delta program makes Aeroplan look like a bunch of pikers.
 

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This has been our experience. After years of Aeroplan our combined balance is less than 1000 points. We dropped their premium credit cards years ago. We perceived them to be poor value.

We switched to a premium cash back travel card. Better of us. Most of our flights are not AC or Westjet. The one other card we have is a Marriott Bonvoy Amex card. This has saved us a fair amount over the years. We pay a fee, but we get one free night per year. We save that night, and any points, for more hotels that would otherwise be more expensive.

We still accumulate airline points but not with AC. We still belong to the United and Delta programs. The Delta program makes AC look like a bunch of pikers.
Same

I ended up donated airmiles during pandemic because there was nothing worth spending them on. Still hold a pile of aeroplan but not interested in accumulating them

They're basically what the kids call shitcoins
 

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It depends on what you're trying to achieve with your points, how you value the rewards, and how much effort you want to put into it. Most of the big gains are from welcome bonuses. After year 1 (you should be able to get your year 2 annual fee reimbursed if you cancel before the end of month 13), you need to determine if you are still getting net positive value from that card even if you are paying the annual fee.

For example, I hold the Amex Bonvoy card too. It has an annual fee of $120CDN/yr but you get a free stay worth up to 35000 bonvoy points annually. We use it to stay at hotels that normally would cost us over $200CDN/night (and there's no tax when staying on a redemption) so we're getting postive value of about $80. We could try to find a hotel for under $120CDN/night but for the situations we're using the redemption, the options for under $120CDN (including taxes) haven't been appealing to us because of location, sketchiness, reviews, etc. We don't use the card as our daily use card and just sock drawer it.

For cards where we cannot get positive value in year 2 compared to the annual fee, we cancel it and just pocket the year 1 welcome bonus. (As an alternative, you might be able to ask to downgrade it to a no-fee version/level of the card.) It's more difficult to get positive value from premium cards with higher annual fees but it also depends on stuff like your spending pattern, points multipliers by category, etc.

We collect Aeroplan and AMEX MR points for aspirational type trips; specifically mini-round the world trips in business class. We also collect Bonvoy points for reasons decribed above. There are specific sweet spots for Aeroplan redemptions so if you don't want to put in the effort to figuring it out, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it accumuating Aeroplan points for your redemption goals. Ex: Are you willing to book a year in advance, map out max mileages distances, learn routing rules, search for seat availability on multiple platforms, etc? If all this makes you roll your eyes, by all means, use a more simple rewards program.

IMO, Avion points are fine for basic economy flights. And Westjet has a very simple redemption procedure too for those with WS cards.
Cashback cards are fine too if you don't want to put a lot of effort into the game.
 

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We used points to go to Bangkok pre covid. Aeroplan AC/ANA was 3X the points requirement of a Delta/KAL flight and 4X the admin cost. Exact same when we flew on reward tickets to SA. We selected United reward tickets instead of AC because of the huge admin cost difference...5X. Points cost was the same.

It became almost impossible for us to get a business class reward ticket to Europe. When we did the admin cost was 2-3X the admin cost on an economy class reward ticket.

At one point the admin cost on an economy reward ticket to London was about $100 less than the actual fare cost of a ticket on a competitor airline. The flip side for us is that we do not think that AC is all that wonderful. Very mediocre these days in fact.

At one point in the past our points were worth up to 3 percent, sometimes 4 percent. Over the past few years, with minor exceptions, the points have been worth less than one percent to us.

We used up our last Aeroplan points six weeks ago. My spouse flew one way Calgary-Ft. Mac. 23,500 points. That was the end of it for us. I was happy to get to the end with a final balance of 700 points. In past working years I had balances in the low-mid six figures at any one time. Not worth our bother any more.
 

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Sorry to hear about your poor Aeroplan experiences ian. I'm not sure you are familiar but some of the tricks are to avoid flying on AC metal to limit the fees and look for other Star Alliance carriers for biz class availaility. However, I agree, to get easier access, you generally need to book a year in advance. I also prefer flying on many other airlines like ANA, EVA, Singapore, etc than AC on routes to asia for a better overall experience for example. In the past before I learned where and how to get the best redemption value from my Aeroplan points, I booked YVR to Florida in biz class for the odd cruise and it was pretty horrible looking back: no lounge access when flying on a partner, poor redemption value, booking engine not showing seat availability, etc.

The Aeroplan flights I'm now looking to redeem are similar to what I booked just prior to covid. We booked 2 seats in biz class (with the exception of SFO-LAX) from YVR-SFO-LAX-NRT/HND-GMP/ICN-TPE-BKK-SIN-IST-CDG-BRU-LHR-YYZ-YVR on AC, United, ANA x2, Asiana, EVA, Singapore x2, Turkish, Brussels x2, and ACx2. Many of these were intentional layovers of 23hrs but we were able to easily enjoy them because we were familiar with the cities. Trying and comparing all these different airlines' biz class products and their lounges was also part of the fun. It took a lot of effort to spec out this itinerary but that's my jam.

The mini-RTW trip cost us something like 325000 aeroplan points and about $1000 in fees. At minimum, I feel we got 2.5 cents points redemption value from them depending on how much you value the flights, which I think is reasonable particularly when you can get the points on the strength of welcome bonuses at under 1 cent per point. At best, based on me costing out close to the exact same itinerary via a booking engine, it's over 7 cents.
Unfortunately, with the program changes in recent years, a somewhat similiar itinerary is going to cost closer to 400000 points but likely less fees. We've already worked our way back up to over 500000 in combined Aeroplan and MR points in large part from more welcome bonuses. And we are starting to looking at booking another one of these mini-RTW trips but are holding off to ensure places are fully open and normalized, especially asia and particularly Japan.
 

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Sorry to hear about your poor Aeroplan experiences ian. I'm not sure you are familiar but some of the tricks are to avoid flying on AC metal to limit the fees and look for other Star Alliance carriers for biz class availaility. However, I agree, to get easier access, you generally need to book a year in advance. I also prefer flying on many other airlines like ANA, EVA, Singapore, etc than AC on routes to asia for a better overall experience for example. In the past before I learned where and how to get the best redemption value from my Aeroplan points, I booked YVR to Florida in biz class for the odd cruise and it was pretty horrible looking back: no lounge access when flying on a partner, poor redemption value, booking engine not showing seat availability, etc.

The Aeroplan flights I'm now looking to redeem are similar to what I booked just prior to covid. We booked 2 seats in biz class (with the exception of SFO-LAX) from YVR-SFO-LAX-NRT/HND-GMP/ICN-TPE-BKK-SIN-IST-CDG-BRU-LHR-YYZ-YVR on AC, United, ANA x2, Asiana, EVA, Singapore x2, Turkish, Brussels x2, and ACx2. Many of these were intentional layovers of 23hrs but we were able to easily enjoy them because we were familiar with the cities. Trying and comparing all these different airlines' biz class products and their lounges was also part of the fun. It took a lot of effort to spec out this itinerary but that's my jam.

The mini-RTW trip cost us something like 325000 aeroplan points and about $1000 in fees. At minimum, I feel we got 2.5 cents points redemption value from them depending on how much you value the flights, which I think is reasonable particularly when you can get the points on the strength of welcome bonuses at under 1 cent per point. At best, based on me costing out close to the exact same itinerary via a booking engine, it's over 7 cents.
Unfortunately, with the program changes in recent years, a somewhat similiar itinerary is going to cost closer to 400000 points but likely less fees. We've already worked our way back up to over 500000 in combined Aeroplan and MR points in large part from more welcome bonuses. And we are starting to looking at booking another one of these mini-RTW trips but are holding off to ensure places are fully open and normalized, especially asia and particularly Japan.
VERY familiar with the tricks. We would always fly Lufthansa to Europe on Aeroplan each year until they closed that loophole. Same with United. We used Aeroplan to fly Calgary-Santiago, BA-Panama, Panama- Calgary on one reward claim. The cost in points was about the same as AC, the Aeroplan AC admin fee was 5X, $725-750 as I recall. Aeroplan was good for a stop. Toronto for us often included a stopover in Charlotte so we could spend time in Hilton Head. More than once we went to Europe via United through ORD or ATL to avoid the fees and actually use the points that we had. We thought that the new improved Aeroplan would be better. And it is, but not by much for the air travel that we typically do.

We are shopping for our snowbird trip to Thailand. Prices are high at the moment but this has followed the pre covid pattern. Hopefully they will come down as they have in the past as we hit November/December. One promising sign is that air to Singapore has come down to as low as $850. During pre covid BKK base fares were usually in the $750-1050. range.

Since retiring 11 years ago we do two longer international trips per year. Plus a few in between to Mexico from time to time. Only one of them have been on AC and that was a direct Calgary-Narita leg of a longer flight.

For domestic we no longer get many points because of the fare structure. Last week my spouse booked on Monday for a Thursday Toronto trip. Carry on only. Lowest AC was $700 with NO point accumulation. Transat was $347. After all, it is only a 3.5 hour bus ride. We were pre-disposed to Transat because of cost and because we recently made a 600euro claim for a delayed flight from Faro. Our submission was acknowledged within 24 hours. Four or five weeks later we were advised that a cheque for the equiv. of 600e each was in the mail to us.
 

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VERY familiar with the tricks.
+1. As long as it's an informed opinion!
It's just disappointing when people poopoo a program when they don't fully understand how to best utilize it. But I would agree that Aeroplan isn't going to meet everyone's reward goals.

We thought that the new improved Aeroplan would be better. And it is, but not by much for the air travel that we typically do.
I think the fear was it was going to be a lot worse with significant devaluation. I thought keeping the reward table was great but it created sweet spots and subpar redemptions. And there seems to be a lot more emphasis on dynamic rewards on AC flights but I can understand what they're trying to do there by offering up more seats but also giving discounts their customers that earn AC status.

We were pre-disposed to Transat because of cost and because we recently made a 600euro claim for a delayed flight from Faro.
I haven't flown Air Transat in years. We used to fly them for cheap flights to Europe but I developed a perception of a very cramped and uncomfortable flight so we've avoided them. We also had a bad experience where I think they codeshared with Thomas Cook and had to endure some crazy delay that wasn't compensated. Again this was years ago so the experience may have improved but my perceptions have stuck with me. I would consider flying them now but likely only in premium economy/club seats.
 

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+1. As long as it's an informed opinion!
It's just disappointing when people poopoo a program when they don't fully understand how to best utilize it. But I would agree that Aeroplan isn't going to meet everyone's reward goals.


I think the fear was it was going to be a lot worse with significant devaluation. I thought keeping the reward table was great but it created sweet spots and subpar redemptions. And there seems to be a lot more emphasis on dynamic rewards on AC flights but I can understand what they're trying to do there by offering up more seats but also giving discounts their customers that earn AC status.


I haven't flown Air Transat in years. We used to fly them for cheap flights to Europe but I developed a perception of a very cramped and uncomfortable flight so we've avoided them. We also had a bad experience where I think they codeshared with Thomas Cook and had to endure some crazy delay that wasn't compensated. Again this was years ago so the experience may have improved but my perceptions have stuck with me. I would consider flying them now but likely only in premium economy/club seats.
Seats are the same as AC basic. Service is better than Rouge...Well it would have to be.

What we do is buy a basic fare. Then we buy the exit row 2X2 seats where were have about 10 feet of clear space in front of us. This past June the upcharge on those seats was $148 each. We prefer this to opting for Club class on Transat.

More often than not the base fare plus the seat premium is as or more competitive than AC's basic fare with no seat selection, no points, no nothing. The base fare from Faro in June was $300. plus 148 for the exit row seat. Direct flight to Toronto. Slightly less than we paid for one way premium economy seats Toronto-Madeira on TAP five weeks earlier.

The other benefit to Transat for us is we seldom do a return...most often a multi. More often than not we will either fly to Europe one way or we will fly from Toronto to say Athens and then fly home to Calgary from somewhere like Paris or London.

On some extended trips we do not really know ahead of booking or even ahead of our departure what city/airport we may end up at. In that case we select an airport like London that is serviced by so many low cost European regional carriers. At the end of our last trip we were in Cyprus for two totally unplanned weeks. When we left home we thought those last two weeks would be either Israel or Turkey. Took an inexpensive flight to London to get catch our pre-booked Transat the flight home to Calgary.

Over the years we have found Transat's pricing on these types of itineraries, one way or multi, much more attractive, even with paying for seat upgrades than AC or other carriers.
 
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