Background on the big coalition programs

Aeroplan (TSX: AER.UN) is the Montreal, Quebec based loyalty marketing arm of ACE Aviation Holdings, the parent company of Air Canada. It started out solely as Air Canada's frequent flyer reward system, allowing travelers to collect points from flight purchases that can be used to obtain tickets for future flights. In recent years, Aeroplan has evolved into a loyalty marketing company with a coalition of partners . Aeroplan is also used by Air Creebec, Canadian North, Calm Air, and First Air.

Air Miles Reward Program is Canada's largest loyalty program- Air Miles reward miles can be earned at more than 100 participating sponsor companies in Canada. According to Alliance Data (TSX: ADS) (the US parent of the Canadian company that launched the program in 1992 and continues to operate it), approximately two-thirds of Canadian households actively participate in the Program.

What do they send you?

When you sign up for Aeroplan, the company mails you a large envelope with offers ranging from ways to earn points, partners to visit, as well as a letter from a senior marketing person which has the card attached. This is the card that you'll use at partners, swipe at the gas station, and show when flying to earn Aeroplan miles. It also shows your Aeroplan member number, which is important to have available when you need to sign in to their website, or if you're booking a flight and what to earm miles.

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Partners involved in the program

Aeroplan has many partners ranging from Financial Service providers like CIBC, ING Insurance, and Belair Direct, to travel and vacation related brands like Avis, Hertz, and National Car rental. Gas from Esso, phone service from Primus, and home improvement supplies from Home Hardware, are some of the bigger retail partners. Their title sponsor and the origin of the program prior to a spin-off, is Air Canada, however the single biggest issuer of points is CIBC through their premium credit card, the AeroGold Visa. View the Entire list of Aeroplan Earn Partners.

Airmiles is the largest loyalty program in Canada, and this is largely due to the depth and breadth of partners that issue the points to their customers. The single largest points issuer is BMO Financial Group, the Bank of Montreal, and specifically through their Mosaik Mastercard. In addition to the Bank of Montreal, Air Miles Reward Miles can also be earned at various retail locations like Dominion and A&P, Budget Rent-a-car, Rona, as well as many others. View the Entire list of Air Miles Reward Miles Earn Partners.

What kinds of rewards are available

Even though both Aeroplan and Air Miles have rewards that extend beyond just flights and travel, by their own admission, the vast number of points that are redeemed are for those very things. Because Aeroplan started as the Frequent Flyer Program for Air Canada, Canadians have long associated the program with 'collect miles, fly for free'. Aeroplan offers three main ways to relinquish your points: Flights and Travel, Merchandise and Gift Cards, and donations to Charity. Categories for Merchandise available from Aeroplan are as follows:

  • Business
  • Dining & Experiences
  • Disney
  • Eco-Friendly Rewards
  • Electronics
  • Fashion & Accessories
  • Flowers, Treats, & Gift Baskets
  • Gift Cards
  • Health & Beauty
  • House & Home
  • Music, Media & More
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Tools
  • Toys & Children's Items

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If I want to buy points-- how much are they?

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aliquam vestibulum, ante dictum ultricies imperdiet, ante orci sollicitudin arcu, vel auctor lectus sapien sed sem. Donec faucibus pulvinar mi. Suspendisse odio dolor, sollicitudin et, mattis id, blandit vel, justo. Vivamus ut ipsum. Praesent sed nisi. Fusce iaculis. Mauris nulla dui, porttitor vel, cursus at, feugiat sed, libero. Donec fringilla dui ac elit. Suspendisse et dolor. Pellentesque vestibulum.