Differing from typical frequent flyer programs, Air Canada and Aeroplan operated as separate companies. This changed November of 2020, when Air Canada acquired Aeroplan and made some big changes.
Aeroplan points can be used to fly any Star Alliance airline (like United, Lufthansa, ANA and more) as well as non-alliance partners (notably, Etihad) without any carrier-imposed surcharges. To makes things even sweeter, you don’t need to fly Air Canada to earn Aeroplan points!
See our best credit card bonuses here.
Continue reading to see if this is the frequent flyer program for you!
Table of Contents
Aeroplan Quick Facts
|Hubs||Calgary, Montreal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver|
|Redemption Options||Award flights, extras & upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, vacation packages, activities & travel experiences, brand-name merchandise, gift cards|
|Average Value Per Point||$0.015|
Aeroplan Elite Status
Aeroplan has five elite status tiers: 25K, 35K, 50K, 75K and Super Elite. To earn status, you’ll need to rack up on enough Status Qualifying Miles (SQM) or Status Qualifying Segments (SQS) in addition to a set number of Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD) in one calendar year.
|STATUS||SQM/SQS REQUIREMENT||SQM/SQS REQUIREMENT|
|25K||25K SQM or 25 SQS||$3K SQD or $1.5K SQD for non-Canadian residents|
|35K||35K SQM or 35SQS||$4K SQD or $2K SQD for non-Canadian residents|
|50K||50K SQM or 50 SQS||$6K SQD or $3K SQD for non-Canadian residents|
|75K||75K SQM or 75 SQS||$9K SQD or $4.5K SQD for non-Canadian residents|
|Super Elite||100K SQM or 100 SQS||$20K SQD or $10K SQD for non-Canadian residents|
Once you qualify for Aeroplan elite status, you’ll enjoy the tier benefits below through to the end of the following calendar year:
|STATUS BENEFIT||25K||35k||50k||75k||Super Elite|
|Star Alliance level||Silver||Silver||Gold||Gold||Gold|
|Preferred seats (N. America travel)||50% off||50% off||Free||Free||Free|
|Preferred seats (International)||50% off||50% off||50% off||Free||Free|
|Priority standby (Air Canada & Star Alliance)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Free checked bags on Air Canada||2||3||3||3||3|
|Mable Leaf Lounge Guest Passes||2||2||3||3||4|
|Free Maple Leaf Lounge access
|Free Maple Leaf Lounge access
for member’s immediate family
|Free Star Alliance Gold Lounge access
|Free Star Alliance Gold Lounge access
for member’s guest
|Access to the Air Canada Cafe||Member||Member||Member|
|Award change & cancellation fees||Waived|
As an Aeroplan elite status member, your Select Benefits allow you customize your travel experience by choosing the perks that matter most to you:
|BUNDLE 1||Pick 1||Pick 1||Pick 2||Pick 2||Pick 2|
|Bonus w/Air Canada & select partners||25%||35%||50%||75%||100%|
|Lower SQM requalification||45K||70K||95K|
|Lower SQS requalification||45||70||90|
|Elite status for a friend||Aeroplan
|Aeroplan elite Wi-Fi plan||12 months||12 months|
|Status Pass (gift status)||2||3||4|
|BUNDLE 2||Pick 1||Pick 1||Pick 1||Pick 1||Pick 1|
|eUpgrade credits for eligible Flight Pass activities||4||5||8||10||12|
|SQM for eligible Flight Pass activities||750||1k||1.25k||1.5k||2.5k|
Having Aeroplan elite status allows you to earn vouchers for 50% off award flights, including partner awards. These are earned every time you reach a SQD threshold: 4K, 7K, 10K, 15K and each 5K thereafter, up to a maximum of 50K SQD. Vouchers are valid for one year from the date you earned them.
|Status||Voucher is limited to…|
|50K||North America up to Premium Economy|
|75K||Worldwide up to Premium Economy|
|Super Elite||Worldwide up to Signature/Business Class|
Once you’ve flown more than one million Lifetime Qualifying Miles on eligible flights operated by Air Canada, you’ll enjoy Air Canada Million Mile program benefits, including:
|LIFETIME QUALIFYING MILES||PROGRAM BENEFIT|
|1 million||Your elite status will always be at least Aeroplan 50K.|
|2 million||Your elite status will always be at least Aeroplan 75K.
The status of a friend will always be at least Aeroplan 50K.
|3 million||Your elite status will always be Super Elite.
The status of a friend will always be at least Aeroplan 50K.
|4 million||Your elite status will always be Super Elite.
The status of a friend will always be at least Aeroplan 75K.
*For up-to-date information, click here for our source.
Earning Aeroplan Points
Aeroplan currently awards points based on airline, flight distance, ticket booking class and destination. The company has announced that sometime in 2021, they will switch from a distance-based program to a spend-based method for awarding points.
Currently, Aeroplan members earn points by flying with Air Canada and the following partner airlines:
For more details, check out the Air Canada airline partners page.
There are a number of credit cards that earn Aeroplan points, but you have to be a Canadian resident to apply. They include:
- TD Aeroplan credit cards
- American Express Aeroplan credit cards
- CIBC Aeroplan credit cards
For more information, have a look at the Aeroplan credit cards page.
Aeroplan points cost as low as three Canadian cents each (or USD$0.023), but you can get them at a lower rate during a promotion. Members are limited to purchasing up to 250,000 points per transaction and up to 500,000 points per calendar year. For more information, click here.
Earn Aeoplan Points With AmEx Membership Rewards
As a United States citizen, the easiest way to earn Aeroplan points is by transferring your Amex Membership Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio. The process is quick and painless.
Credit cards that earn Amex Membership Rewards include:
|Personal Credit Cards||The Platinum Card from American Express
American Express Gold Card
American Express Green Card
|Business Credit Cards||The Business Platinum Card from American Express
American Express Business Gold Card
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
This card comes with an annual fee of $695 (See Rates & Fees), but you cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only. Terms Apply.
The American Express® Gold Card offers 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms apply.
You'll have the opportunity to earn:
• 4X Membership Rewards Points on Restaurants, including takeout and delivery
• 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
This card has an annual fee of $250 with no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees).
The The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has a welcome offer of 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Plus, 0% Intro APR for 12 months from the date of the account opening on purchases eligible for Pay Over Time. After that, your APR will be 14.24% to 22.24% based on your credit worthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.
• 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
• 1.5X Membership Rewards points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
• 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases
Get $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year toward baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
This card does come with a $695 annual fee. (See Rates & Fees)
The American Express® Business Gold Card offers 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
You'll earn more rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month** (**4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*). In addition, you'll get an airline bonus; 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
This card does carry a $295 annual fee, but no foreign transaction fees. (See Rates & Fees)
Other transfer partners include:
|REWARDS PROGRAM||TRANSFER RATIO|
|Capital One Rewards||4:3|
|Diners Club International||1:1|
|Barclays Arrival Premier World Mastercard||17:10|
*With a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred.
Redeeming Aeroplan Points
Aeroplan has adjusted their point expiration policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 20, 2020, Aeroplan points expire after 18 months of inactivity, instead of 12 months. To reset the expiration date, simply earn or burn your points at least every year and a half.
Aeroplan points can be redeemed for Air Canada, Star Alliance and non-alliance partner award flights to over 1,300 destinations. There is an endless amount of itinerary possibilities are endless with the ability to mix and match partners.
The new Aeroplan award chart does away with fuel surcharges, introduces stopovers on one-way awards (at a cost) and eliminates blackout dates on Air Canada flights. The redemption rates are the same for all airline partners, so there’s only one partner award chart to refer to. Aeroplan also provides a Predictable Pricing tool to estimate how much a flight will cost.
Award pricing varies from 6,000 points for one-way short hops within North America to as much as 200,000 points for one-way First Class awards to a destination 11,000+ miles away. You can also redeem for an award ticket in part points and part cash. Simply pay cash to reduce the number of points needed to redeem for an award, by up to 40%.
Use your Aeroplan points to make your travel experience even better, such as upgrades, in-flight WiFi and more.
You can use your Aeroplan points a variety of other ways, but we generally do not recommend them. You’ll end up getting far below $0.015 per point when you redeem for the following:
- Hotel stays
- Car rentals
- Vacation packages
- Travel experience
- Gift cards
*For more information on redeeming points, click here for our source.
Aeroplan Tips & Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks for you to use when redeeming your Aeroplan points:
With the new zone- and distance-based award chart, you’ll find the best sweet spots within a single region or short routes from one region to another.
A stopover can be added to a one-way award journey for an additional 5,000 Aeroplan points. On round-trip awards, you can have two stopovers for an additional 10,000 Aeroplan points. Layovers, connections of less than 24 hours, are also possible. For example:
- Toronto to Lisbon (layover)
- Lisbon to Rome (stopover)
- Rome to Istanbul (layover)
- Istanbul to Bangkok (destination)
- Bangkok to Seoul (stopover)
- Seoul to New York (layover)
- New York to Toronto
The itinerary above would cost a total of 180,000 Aeroplan points. Not bad for visiting six cities!
The new Aeroplan program features Family Sharing, which allows up to eight family members to pool points together. Each Family Sharing group has a household lead who can invite members to the pool and designate who has the ability to redeem the points in the pool.
Not only does Family Sharing make things more convenient for families who earn and burn points as a unit, but as long as one member of the group has elite status, then the whole family gets to enjoy that member’s preferred pricing benefits as well.
It’s important to note that Aeroplan requires members to stay in a Family Sharing pool for a minimum of thee months. Once you leave a points pool, you won’t be able to join another one until six months afterwards.
Book early. Everyone is looking for award space, especially in the high season and in the coveted long-haul business class cabin. To avoid disappointment, search for space as soon as possible.
Latitude Attitude. If you’re looking to fly Air Canada business class, we recommend booking Latitude fare in economy class instead. Then, use your eUpgrades to instantly confirm your upgrade to business class so you can save your Aeroplan points for other trips.
Schedule change. If the airline adjusts your itinerary due to a schedule change, you can request to get on alternative flights. This won’t incur any change fees or additional partner booking fees.
Lap infant. Aeroplan charges relatively low fees for traveling with an infant. Infant awards are free within Canada, only CAD$25 (USD$19) when traveling between Canada and the United States, and 2,500 Aeroplan points for all other itineraries.
You are able to rack up points for Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One or Marriott Bonvoy and transfer them. In addition, the new family points pooling program and elite discounts add value to the program that you typically do not see elsewhere.
However if you realize that this is not the reward program for you, feel free to check out our latest list of the best credit card bonuses.