There are a few key differences between these popular reward programs. If you want to keep your points and not have them taken away, choose Air Miles. It won’t zap your miles after three years of inactivity, as Aeroplan does. And if you have Aeroplan points, fill up your car with Esso gas every so often. That will be enough to keep you active.
Suppose your spouse dies. He or she has a lot of points saved up, which you want to transfer to your account. Aeroplan makes you pay a big fee to do so. Air Miles does not charge a fee.
Aeroplan charges a $30 fee for telephone bookings, but its website is far from reliable. Check this discussion forum for frequent flyers, where you’ll find many complaints about Aeroplan’s technical issues.
Air Miles gives you a wider choice of airlines for reward flights. Aeroplan has Air Canada (and the Star Alliance), whose customer service may leave you feeling frustrated. That’s a topic for another day.