Got Aeroplan miles? Looking for a way to use them up before they expire? If so, you’ll be happy to know that Aeroplan has just launched a new on-line Digital Media Store, where you can use your accumulated miles to download digital content in the form of music, audio books, eBooks, apps and more and even Facebook credits.
According to their site, here’s what they offer:
- eBooks –150,000+ eBook titles that will be compatible with most eBook readers, tablets and smart phones.
- Music – More than 3 million MP3s to choose from.
- Mobile Games / Apps – Members can select from thousands of the more popular gaming titles & apps (not for iOS users) as well as ring tones, wallpapers and more.
- Facebook Credits – Media Store credits can be converted directly in Facebook Credits loaded directly into members’ Facebook accounts in real time
While not overly complex, the redemption process is not as seamless as it could be. You don’t purchase items with your miles directly. You need to sign on to your Aeroplan account and redeem miles for credits, which is what you use to purchase your digital content.
You can redeem Aeroplan miles for bundles of 25, 50 or 100 credits at a time through a shopping cart process, which will cost you 3,000, 5,500 & 11,000 miles respectively. You’ll then get an email with a PIN code. The site says that you may need to allow up to 24 hours to get your PIN. You then need to sign on to the Aeroplan Media Store. The first time there, you’ll need to register and set up and account. From there, you can then enter your PIN code and the credits will then be transferred to your Media Store account. Then you can go along your merry way. When your credits are exhausted you’ll need to reload your account again.
There are some restrictions to consider. Codes are valid for 12 months after which, they expire and you can only redeem a maximum of 8 codes in a single redemption transaction. Furthermore, you have to download your purchases from within Canada, so that means for residents from other countries who are not in Canada or Canadians when traveling abroad, are out of luck.
Costs & Selections
It might be difficult to determine what the actual value of 1 credit. However. if you consider that it costs 11,500-12,000 Aeroplan miles for the average $100 gift card and it takes 11,000 miles to buy 100 credits, then you could reason that a credit is worth in and around $1, given the tiered exchange rate.
So taking a quick peek at the offerings, music singles cost 1 credit. Albums like Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto will set you back 9 credits and Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits will run you 15. Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs will run 18 credits for the abridged version (or the Audio Book) and 30 for the unabridged – not unreasonable.
Another way to use your miles
While it seems at first a little tedious to convert miles to credits, once you have mastered the process, the digital media store certainly offers added value to Aeroplan mileage holders as long as they are in the country. And with the large amount of content available, it offers you almost unlimited ways to consume your miles, which is great considering you sometimes have challenges using your miles to get the flights you want when you actually need them.
Greg Gazin is the Real Canadian Gadget Guy.
Follow me on Twitter @gadgetgreg.