Three years ago, I could fly from Ottawa to Vancouver non-stop on Air Canada using 25,000 Aeroplan frequent flyer points. Today it costs 80,000 points.
It takes about a year to save that kind of mileage. I got an Aeroplan Visa credit card with my bank to help accumulate points as I was only traveling about 50,000 miles a year. Yesterday, I paid off that card and have shelved it. I will keep it until it is time for the annual $120 renewal fee, and then I will cancel it.
Why this action? Because it is my understanding that Air Canada sold off Aeroplan to private industry who have ruined the program. Today, Aeroplan will give you points for any kind of purchase, it does not matter what, and double-dipping is common. The result is there are a lot more people trying to use the free miles on Air Canada. AC has only so many free seats on their regular flights so they have now setup a structured program such that you pay 3 times as many points for regular flights, but you can still get a flight for 25,000 points providing you don't mind using their "cast off" flights: they include "red eyes", huge layover times, and other flights people would not take if they did not have to.
AC also offers Business Class flights for "only" 50,000 points, but they are in the "cast off" category, too.
I am very disappointed with Aeroplan. Aeroplan as a service, sucks.
I still think Air Canada is a good airline and I use them for most of Canada, the states, and Europe.
Two years ago I changed my credit card for one with a reward program that allows me to select any airline to apply the points against. I have made that recommendation to friends, family, and colleagues that travel often. Going forward, I will get one for personal use in addition to the one I use for business, but I will never use the Aeroplan specific one again.
Good luck with your choice.