Aeroplan Family Sharing is a feature available to Aeroplan members since 2021. The idea is that instead of earning and redeeming points individually, you can do so with family members under the Aeroplan program. The advantage of this perk is that you’ll be able to use points accumulated as a group much quicker.
While this is an excellent program, right now, it’s unavailable to Aeroplan account holders. That’s because there was some abuse, and Aeroplan is looking to correct this issue. Regardless of the current situation, here’s how Aeroplan family sharing works.
How Aeroplan family sharing works
Aeroplan Family Sharing allows you to create groups with up to eight members in total. Even though it’s called family sharing, you can add whoever you want. It can be a spouse, sibling, in-laws, friends, or caregiver. It doesn’t matter.
Each group has one lead person who would add the other members. All you need to enter is your relationship with the member and their Aeroplan number. The relationship status doesn’t matter. They give you different options so you can see how everyone ties together. It’s not like one relationship status would give you additional benefits.
When someone is added, an email will be sent to that member. They’ll need to accept the invitation to join the group. Once you join, any Aeroplan points that you have will be combined into an Aeroplan family sharing pool and can be used right away.
Why create an Aeroplan family sharing group?
If it isn’t obvious, joining an Aeroplan Family Sharing group is advantageous since you can pool your points. Simply put, Aeroplan is one of the world’s best loyalty programs for flight rewards. Every person who flies on Air Canada can get an Aeroplan number. Ticket purchases for Air Canada flights or any of their partners earn you points on the base fare.
Let’s say you’re a family of four flying from Toronto to Vancouver, and each ticket costs $450 (minus taxes and fees). Depending on the fare class, you would each earn points. Individually, the points aren’t worth much. However, with family sharing, you now have access to all of the points earned under a single account. This is ideal as you can now use the points from people who may not fly as much, such as children and grandparents.
Now let’s think big picture. Most people joining a group aren’t coming in with zero points, so you could easily have a group of six coming in with 120,000, 70,000, 55,000, 30,000, 20,000, and 15,000 points, respectively. That adds up to 310,000 bonus points under the family account, which is a fair amount and instantly allows you to get a sweet redemption.
Preferred pricing as a family
One unique benefit of Aeroplan family sharing account is that all members get preferred pricing on Aeroplan rewards as long as one member has an Aeroplan credit card (such as the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege card). Generally speaking, you’ll get about a 3% – 5% discount compared to those without an Aeroplan credit card.
I hold the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card. When I search for flights, I get preferred flights. Since my brother is in my family plan, he also gets preferred pricing when searching for an Aeroplan redemption flight.
It’s important to note that benefits that come with credit cards, such as free checked bags, lounge access, priority boarding, etc., only apply to the primary cardholder and any authorized users. No other benefits are shared, including any status benefits. If a member has Aeroplan Elite status, none of those benefits get carried over.
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
- $599 annual fee
- Earn 7,500 points per month when spending $2,000 each month for 6 months
- Earn 5,000 points each when adding additional users at the time of sign up (up to 10,000 points)
- Earn 35,000 points per month when spending $6,000 between months 13 and 16
- Earn 3 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on Air Canada, 2 points on dining and food delivery, and 1.25 points on all other purchases
- Unlimited free access to Maple Leaf Lounges in North America for you and a guest
- Free first checked bag, priority check-in and boarding on Air Canada
If you’re going to collect Aeroplan points and set up a family plan, having a member with the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card can be highly beneficial. Not only do you get a generous welcome bonus, but all members of the family plan can take advantage of the preferred Aeroplan pricing that this card grants.
How are points redeemed in an Aeroplan family sharing plan?
Once you join an Aeroplan Family Sharing group, your points are split evenly based on the percentage of points you have within the group. To better understand how points are used, I’ll use the above group of six example from above. This is how their points would break down.
|Group Member||Points in||Percentage|
Now say the group’s father wants to make a redemption of 100,000 Aeroplan points. The points withdrawn from each member would be as follows:
- Grandfather – 39,000
- Grandmother – 22,000
- Father – 18,000
- Mother – 10,000
- Son – 6,000
- Daughter – 5,000
To be clear, the percentage of points taken from individuals isn’t set on the amount they come in with. You can still technically earn more points individually, so your actual percentage would constantly change.
The ratio of points for withdrawal can’t be changed. That means you can’t tell Aeroplan to withdraw, say 80% of the points from one member and then 20% from someone else.
The group leader would set access levels for each person. This is a good thing, so your kids don’t use up your points for random things such as gift cards or merchandise.
When points are being used, all members of the group will be alerted by email. This includes redeemers and non-redeemers.
It’s also worth noting that your family sharing balance can be used on any flight available with Aeroplan. That includes business class flights, partner airlines, Air Canada Vacations. The destination doesn’t matter; you can also book a stopover with your redemption if you desire. The mileage of your flight, carrier, calendar year, round-trip or one-way also doesn’t matter.
How does the expiration date for Aeroplan points work?
As a quick refresher, Aeroplan points will expire after 18 months of account inactivity. This worries some people who don’t travel often, but earning and using some points is easy. You could shop through the Aeroplan e-store, get an Aeroplan credit card, shop at an Aeroplan partner, or donate some points.
Now let’s say you’re in an Aeroplan Family Sharing plan. Points are taken from every member’s account when one person makes a redemption. That counts as account activity for everyone, so your expiration date would instantly reset.
However, earning points is still made on an individual basis. Even though the points earned are shared within the group, it doesn’t count toward the expiration calendar.
What happens if I leave an Aeroplan family sharing group?
Due to the potential for fraud, there are a few rules in place if you’re going to join an Aeroplan Family Sharing Group.
- When joining a group, you must be in for at least 3 months
- When leaving a group, you can’t join a new one for at least 6 months
What many people wonder is, what happens to your points when you leave? Any points that you brought in and earned leave with you (minus any points that we’re used for redemptions).
For example, let’s say you brought in 100,000 points. While in the group, 15,000 of your points were used for redemptions, and you earned 30,000 points thanks to your spending on your Aeroplan credit card. If you were to leave, you’d exit with 115,000 points (100,000 + 30,000 – 15,000).
You would think the ability to pool your points would be a standard option for loyalty plans, but for whatever reason, it’s not. It’s good to see that Aeroplan has introduced this feature as a standard benefit, as everyone can take advantage of it.