20 Best Ways To Earn Lots of Air Canada Aeroplan Miles

How to Earn Air Canada Aeroplan Miles

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With 220 destinations across 6 continents, Air Canada is the largest airline in Canada. Most recently, the airline carried nearly 51 million passengers in a single year.

Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, which includes Lufthansa, Asiana Airlines, United Airlines, and many more carriers.

Its 4 hubs are Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ), Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Calgary International Airport (YYC), and Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL).

Aeroplan is the airline mileage program of Air Canada, while Air Canada Altitude is the elite status program. Aeroplan miles are redeemable for travel rewards, gift cards, and merchandise.

Of course, the more Aeroplan miles you earn, the more valuable the redemptions are. Here’s how to build up your Aeroplan miles quickly so you can qualify for the best Aeroplan redemptions!

Air Canada Aeroplan Loyalty Program

Aeroplan Homepage
Sign up for Air Canada Aeroplan and earn miles you can redeem for travel rewards! Image Credit: Aeroplan

1. Join Air Canada Aeroplan

You can’t begin earning Aeroplan miles until you enroll in Aeroplan, so that’s the first step. After you register, you’ll be able to access your Aeroplan Dashboard where you can see transactions, current status, and manage your rewards.

If you need to request Missing Mileage Credit, you can do that from your dashboard, too.

2. Fly Air Canada

You’ll begin accruing miles in no time by flying Air Canada, Air Canada Express, and Air Canada Rouge. All you need is your Aeroplan Number, which you’ll receive during enrollment.

Whether you book online, through Air Canada Reservations, or even through a travel agent, you’ll want to ensure that your Aeroplan number is associated with your plane ticket. Otherwise, you may not earn Aeroplan miles.

The table below shows the miles you can earn for Air Canada flights within Canada, as well as between Canada and the U.S. Find charts for other destinations here.

Booking ClassesFlights Within CanadaBetween Canada and the U.S.
Business150%150%
Premium Economy125%125%
Latitude125%125%
Comfort115%115%
Flex100%100%
Standard25%50%
Economy Basic0%0%

Here’s an example calculation: if you book a one-way ticket in business class from Los Angeles International (LAX) to Toronto Pearson (YYZ), you’d fly a distance of 2,175 miles. Because the multiplier earning rate is 150%, you would earn around 3,263 Aeroplan miles for this flight.

Hot Tip: If you prefer to fly in business class, check out our guide to upgrading to business class on Air Canada.

3. Book With Star Alliance Carriers

Star Alliance Members
Image Credit: Star Alliance

Another way to earn Aeroplan miles is by booking travel with one of the other Star Alliance carriers.

Depending on the airline and the fare purchased, you can earn up to 200% of miles flown with Star Alliance members as well as smaller regional carriers that partner with Air Canada. To ensure you’re getting the most miles, see where to credit your miles for maximum value.

4. Book with Non-Alliance Partners

In addition to Star Alliance carriers, Air Canada is partners with a number of airlines that aren’t in Star Alliance. While some of these are boutique carriers in Canada, there are still other major airlines like Cathay Pacific that you should keep at the back of your mind.

Aeroplan Non-Alliance Partners
Air Creebec
Avianca Brasil
Bearskin Airlines
Canadian North
Cathay Dragon
Cathay Pacific
Eurowings
First Air
Gol Transportes Aereos (GOL)
Juneyao Airlines

To find out more about the earning structure, follow this link and click on the appropriate partner.

5. Qualify for Elite Status

You have between January 1-December 31 each calendar year to accumulate Aeroplan Status Miles with Air Canada or program partners and qualify for elite status.

The 3 tiers in the Aeroplan program are:

  • Silver (25,000 miles)
  • Black (50,000 miles)
  • Diamond (100,000 miles)

With elite status, you will get up to 35% off and need fewer miles for market fare flight awards. Elite status also gives you up to 5x miles when shopping at the Aeroplan eStore.

Unfortunately, some miles are not eligible for Aeroplan status, like miles transferred from other loyalty programs and miles transferred between member accounts.

6. Air Canada Altitude Program

While the Air Canada Altitude program is similar to Aeroplan status, it actually gives you more perks for earning miles.

Achieve Prestige, Elite, and Super Elite status in Air Canada Altitude by accumulating Altitude Qualifying Miles (AQM), Altitude Qualifying Segments (AQS), and Altitude Qualifying Dollars (AQD).

Air Canada Altitude Qualification Requirements
Qualification thresholds for Air Canada Altitude status. Image Credit: Air Canada

Earn AQMs, AQS, and AQDs by flying Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Canada Rouge, or eligible codeshare flights marketed by Air Canada and operated by other Star Alliance member airlines.

This table shows what you can earn for flights within Canada. Other status mile charts are on the Aeroplan website.

Booking ClassesAltitude Qualifying Miles (AQM)Altitude Qualifying Segments (AQS)
Business150%1
Premium Economy125%1
Latitude125%1
Comfort115%1
Flex100%1
Standard25%1
Economy Basic0%0

Altitude Privileges include seat discounts, priority upgrades, lounge access, and so much more.

With Altitude status, you also earn a minimum of 250 miles for eligible fares on flights operated by Air Canada, its regional carriers, and Star Alliance member airlines, no matter how far you travel! Plus you get Star Alliance Recognition, which can help with getting reciprocal benefits from other airlines.

Just a note, because this can get a little confusing: Air Canada Altitude is completely separate from Aeroplan Status. As long as you qualify for Aeroplan Status, you will receive those benefits, even if you also qualify for Air Canada Altitude. You can check your Altitude Qualifying Dollars from the tracker located on your Aeroplan Dashboard.

Earn Aeroplan Miles With Credit Cards

Air Canada Aeroplan Credit Cards
Accrue Aeroplan Miles by using a variety of credit cards. Image Credit: Yulia Grigoryeva via Shutterstock

7. Co-Branded Aeroplan Credit Cards

In the U.S., you can earn Aeroplan miles with the TD Aeroplan™ Visa Signature® Credit Card. This card comes with a sign-up bonus and earns 2x Aeroplan miles on Air Canada purchases and 1x on everything else.

Several co-branded Aeroplan credit cards are available to Canadian citizens only. You can earn Aeroplan miles on these non-U.S. credit cards:

Credit Card NameIssuing Country

American Express® AeroplanPlus® Corporate Card

Canada

American Express® AeroplanPlus® Corporate Platinum Card

Canada
American Express® AeroplanPlus® Gold CardCanada
American Express® AeroplanPlus® Platinum CardCanada
American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve CardCanada
CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for BusinessCanada
CIBC Aerogold® Visa Infinite CardCanada
CIBC Aerogold® Visa Infinite Privilege CardCanada
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Business CardCanada
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite CardCanada
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege CardCanada
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Platinum CardCanada

8. American Express Membership Rewards Credit Cards

Transfer your Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan miles in increments of 1,000 online or by phone. The transfer ratio is 1:1 and it usually takes 24 hours or less for transactions to be completed.

Best of all, you can earn Membership Rewards points with the following credit cards and then transfer them over to Aeroplan miles.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $2,700+ in value from the card every year.

Plus, get up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage fees). For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a HUGE welcome bonus of up to 100,000 points. Earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 after you spend an additional $15,000, on purchases within the first 3 months.

We get ~$5,525+ in value per year by leveraging many of the benefits & perks.

This is the best business card for lounge access as you'll get into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide. For rates and fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. This means you'll max out at a (whopping) 600,000 points per year. After that, you earn 1x. For rates and fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - This is a simple card that earns you 2x points on any business purchase, up to $50,000 annually (then 1x). That makes for an easy 100,000 points per year! The card has no annual fee. For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

9. Capital One Miles

Capital One miles transfer to Aeroplan at a 2:1.5 ratio. Instead of redeeming Capital One miles in the Capital One Travel Portal for cash tickets, you now have the option to transfer them to your Aeroplan account.

Using Aeroplan miles can potentially save a ton of miles when looking to book first or business class tickets by using the Aeroplan award chart compared to 1 cent per point of the cash ticket price using the Capital One Travel Portal.

Make sure you have a Capital One card that has the transferable miles feature. Here are our picks:

Recommended Capital One Cards That Earn Miles (Personal)

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card - This card is packed with a lot more benefits and perks. Earn a 50,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $500 toward travel) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. We recommend this as a no-brainer card if you even semi regularly stay at hotels.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card - This is an excellent card for those looking to earn 1.25x miles per $1 on every purchase. With a 20,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $200 toward travel) after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months and no annual fee, it's a strong choice.

10. Transfer From Hotel Loyalty Programs

Air Canada Aeroplan miles Hotel Transfer Program
Convert points from several hotel loyalty programs to Air Canada Aeroplan miles. Image Credit: Svet_Feo via Shutterstock

If you’re a member of one or more of the big hotel loyalty programs like Hilton Honors or Marriott Bonvoy, don’t miss an opportunity to increase your Aeroplan miles balance.

You can transfer points from these programs to Aeroplan miles:

  • 10,000 Honors points = 1,000 Aeroplan miles
  • 3,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 1,000 Aeroplan miles with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred to Aeroplan

Transfer more points when you earn them with the hotel credit cards in the table below:

Loyalty ProgramCredit Card Review
Hilton Honors Loyalty ProgramHilton Honors American Express Card
Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
Marriott Bonvoy Loyalty ProgramMarriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Earn With Travel Partners

11. Aeroplan Car Rental Partners

Air Canada Aeroplan Car Rental Partners
Book a rental with Air Canada partners Avis or Hertz to earn more Aeroplan miles! Image Credit: Dima Sidelnikov via Shutterstock

Earn 500 Aeroplan miles for each qualifying car rental at participating airport locations (250 miles for participating off-airport locations) at Avis.

You can also earn 250 miles per rental at Budget and 50 miles per rental at Payless. Just be sure to enter the appropriate promo or code when booking, which can be found at the Aeroplan partner website.

12. Aeroplan Partner Hotels

There are over 100 Aeroplan hotel partners offering miles per $1 spent or miles per stay.

For instance, earn 2 Aeroplan miles per $1 at Marriott hotels including Delta Hotels. Note that even within a hotel chain, different hotel brands can earn fewer or more miles.

For example, AC Hotels earns 1 mile/$1 whereas JW Marriott earns 2 miles/$1, despite both being owned by Marriott.

13. Join Points.com

Air Canada Aeroplan Points.com
As a Points.com member, you can transfer points from other loyalty programs into your Air Canada Aeroplan account. Image Credit: Points.com

By joining Points.com, you can even convert Asia Miles and Icelandair Miles to Aeroplan miles!

Just sign up for free and enter the account numbers for your airline loyalty program memberships to get started. Here are the major rewards programs you can exchange for Aeroplan miles:

Points.com Exchange PartnerTransfer Ratio (approximate)
Amtrak Guest Rewards2.4:1
Frontier Miles5.0:1
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles5.9:1
Icelandair3.9:1
IHG Rewards Club8.1:1
JetBlue TrueBlue2.4:1
KickBack Rewards Systems1.8:1
Melia Rewards3.5:1
Speedy Rewards25.2:1
Trident Privilege3.5:1

The transfer ratios are a bit wonky, but they are set by Points.com.

If you have extra points/miles in these currencies, it might be wise to get a small chunk of Aeroplan miles for them. Unfortunately, the transfer ratios generally aren’t favorable, so be cautious of that.

Aeroplan Transfer Partners

14. Diners Club — Club Rewards

Convert Club Rewards from your Diners Club account to Aeroplan miles at clubrewardsus.com or by phone at 800-234-4034.

There’s a minimum of 1,000 points per redemption, which must also be made in increments of 1,000 points. The transfer ratio is 1,000:1,000.

15. Hotel Transfer Points

Air Canada Aeroplan Transfer Hotel Points
When it comes to transferring loyalty points to Aeroplan miles, you have tons of hotel options! Image Credit: Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock

While we’ve already discussed how to transfer points from Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy. You can also transfer points from the following hotel loyalty programs:

Hotel Loyalty ProgramHotel PointsAeroplan MilesMinimum Transfer Amount
Best Western Rewards5 points1 mileNone
Choice Privileges5 points1 mileNone
Coast Rewards1 point1 mile1,000:1,000
Gold Circle Award1 point1 mile2,500:2,500
IHG Rewards5 points1 mile10,000:2,000
Le Club AccorHotels2 points1 mile4,000:2,000
Radisson Rewards10 points1 mileManual conversion: 2,000:200

Automatic conversion: None

Wyndham Rewards5 points1 mile6,000:1,200

16. Air Canada Vacations

Planning a trip? Book through Air Canada Vacations and earn Aeroplan miles on flight-inclusive packages when travel is on a flight operated by Air Canada. You can also earn status miles.

Provide your Aeroplan number when you book your trip at aircanadavacations.com.

Other Ways to Earn Miles

17. Air Canada Aeroplan Promotions

Find limited time offers for extra Aeroplan miles, such as bonus miles when renting from Avis, by checking the Air Canada Aeroplan’s promotion website on a regular basis.

18. Air Canada Bistro

Air Canada Bistro
Purchase food on flights with an Air Canada Bistro and earn Aeroplan Miles. Image Credit: Barbara Dudzinska via Shutterstock

Get a bite to eat on your flight at the Air Canada Bistro and earn Aeroplan miles at the same time. Earn 25 Aeroplan miles on purchases of $10-$19.99 before tax and 50 Aeroplan miles when you spend $20+!

19. Air Canada Aeroplan Shopping Partners and e-Store

Air Canada Aeroplan members in Canada have loads of opportunities to earn miles from local partners like Costco.ca, Home Hardware, Toyota Canada, and online retailers.

But if you live in the U.S., you’re not out of luck!

Find participating Aeroplan partners near you no matter where you live by using the handy Partner Locator.

Additionally, you can shop through Air Canada’s Aeroplan e-Store and earn bonus points on online purchases you’re likely already making anyway.

20. Buy or Transfer Miles

If you don’t have quite enough Aeroplan miles for an award, don’t worry.

You can buy them or transfer miles from one Aeroplan account to another online instantly. There is a fee of $0.02 per mile, so this should only be a solution when you find yourself in a bind.

You are limited to 5 transactions transferring miles either from or to your account per year. The minimum amount is 1,000 Aeroplan miles, and the maximum amount is 999,999 Aeroplan miles in a single transaction.

Final Thoughts

There are so many terrific ways to earn Air Canada Aeroplan miles! You’re not able to get out there and start earning so you can reap the benefits.

Remember, one of the best ways to earn Aeroplan miles is by using credit cards associated with Air Canada transfer partners.


FAQ

What are Air Canada Aeroplan miles?

Aeroplan is the airline loyalty program of Air Canada. The miles you earn in Aeroplan can be redeemed through Air Canada and its redemption partners.

Can I transfer my Air Canada Aeroplan miles to other members?

Yes, Air Canada Aeroplan miles can be transferred to another account member for a fee of $0.02 per mile. The transfer will occur instantly.

You can transfer miles or receive a mile transfer up to 5 times per year.

Are Air Canada Aeroplan miles refundable?

Yes, Air Canada makes it easy to cancel and refund unexpired, unused flight rewards up to 22 days before departure.

Go to “Your Aeroplan – Manage Your Bookings” at aeroplan.com to handle it all online. There is a refund fee of CA$125 ($95) per ticket for members, CA$30 ($23) per ticket for Aeroplan Diamond members, and CA$0 for Super Elite 100K members.

Which credit cards earn Air Canada Aeroplan miles?

In addition to the co-branded Air Canada Aeroplan card, you can earn miles by using credit cards associated with loyalty transfer partners such as American Express Membership Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and more.

Who are Air Canada Aeroplan partners?

Air Canada is a member of the Star Alliance, meaning it partners with the 27 Star Alliance carriers including Lufthansa, United Airlines, and EVA Airlines.

When do Air Canada Aeroplan miles expire?

Miles will expire if you have no qualifying activity for the previous 12 months. To prevent miles from expiring, earn or redeem at least 1 mile in a 12-month period. Check out our guide to when frequent flyer miles expire for more information.

Are Air Canada Aeroplan Status and Air Canada Altitude separate programs?

Yes, Aeroplan and Air Canada Altitude are 2 separate programs.

Earn Aeroplan Status by collecting miles for flights and qualifying for Silver, Black, or Diamond status. Then, earn perks including bonus miles for hotel stays, among other things.

Earn Prestige, Elite, and Super Elite status in Air Canada Altitude by accruing Altitude Qualifying Miles (AQM), Altitude Qualifying Segments (AQS), and Altitude Qualifying Dollars (AQD) while flying Air Canada, regional partners, and eligible codeshare flights marketed by Air Canada.

Then, enjoy perks like a minimum of 250 miles for eligible fares, seat discounts, lounge access, and a lot more.

You can participate in both Aeroplan Status and Air Canada Altitude at the same time.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

5 comments

  1. Uptowngirl · June 20, 2019 · Reply

    Your article is about Aeroplan so I assume you are speaking to a Canadian audience but the details of the Amex Plat/Gold cards you listed are for US customers not Canadian customers…

    • Hi Uptowngirl! We’re actually a U.S. based website and as such, publish content with suggestions for a U.S. audience. As you can see from many of the other articles on our site, just because we’re U.S. based that doesn’t limit us to reviewing only U.S. airlines and loyalty programs. We post earning/redeeming/booking guides for most of the popular international airlines as well as general travel-related content.

      We hope one day to be able to branch out to credit card suggestions for those living outside of the U.S. but while we’re still small, the U.S. is where our focus will lie for the time being! Thanks for writing in!

    • Hi Uptowngirl,

      While our website is based out of the US, the audience for this article is anyone that can benefit from the use of Aeroplan miles. Air Canada services customers in over 50 countries worldwide. Additionally, Aeroplan miles can also be used to purchase award flights with a large number of their airline partners around the world.

  2. david friedman · July 15, 2019 · Reply

    We opened two accounts at Air Canada on that date and asked to add the miles of those flights to our accounts. Now we are flying again and thought to use them but found out that we do not have any miles in our accounts, but we do not know why.
    Can you add those miles into our accounts and explain us how to use them? Thank you.

    • Hi David,

      Please be advised that we are not, and have no affiliation with, Air Canada. We are Upgraded Points, a website that provides educational resources to help people travel with points and miles.

      In order to receive assistance with your Aeroplan account, you’ll need to contact the Air Canada customer service line at 1-(800) 361-5373. I hope you’re able to get the matter resolved!

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