Air Canada Aeroplan Loyalty Program Review

Air Canada Aeroplan Loyalty Program Review
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Air Canada Aeroplan Summary Table

Branded and Partnered Credit Cards

The Air Canada Aeroplan program makes it easy to earn points by partnering with 3 out of the 4 flexible point programs.

Air Canada Aeroplan Credit Cards

Air Canada and TD Bank have partnered to offer 3 separate credit card products. The TD® Aeroplan® Visa Platinum Card that earns 1x point per $1 spent on Air Canada flights, the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card that earns 1.5x points per $1 spent on Air Canada flights, and the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege Card that earns 2x points per $1 spent on Air Canada flights.

American Express Credit Cards

American Express credit cards are a great way to earn Amex points that can be transferred directly to Aeroplan.

Amex has an impressive selection of personal and business credit cards, so you’ll have more than enough ways to earn points for your next redemption.

Amex also has regular bonuses with some of its airline partners when you transfer your points into airline points, making this a valuable program to earn points in.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a new welcome bonus offer of 60,000 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $6,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.

This is our #1 card for accessing 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide, including Priority Pass (enrollment required). We leverage ~$4,900+ in benefits and perks from the card every year. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - This card has a new welcome bonus of 35,000 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

We love using this card as it earns 4X Membership Rewards Points at restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earns 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).

There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly; and you'll have access to many benefits and perks. Terms apply and for rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a new welcome bonus of 85,000 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

See how we get $4,000+ in value per year by leveraging many of the benefits & perks, including access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide. For rates & fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
American Express® Business Gold Card - one of our favorite Amex business cards because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month, such as Facebook or Google ads. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. After that, you earn 1x. Terms Apply.

The current welcome bonus is 70,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. For rates and fees of the Business Gold, click here.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - A super simple, no-annual-fee card that earns you 2x points on everyday business purchases, up to $50,000 in purchases per year. After that, earn 1x. Right now, you can earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

Marriott Bonvoy credit cards provide another way to earn flexible Marriott Bonvoy points that can be transferred directly to Aeroplan.

What makes this transfer even better is the fact that you’ll receive a 5,000-point bonus for every 60,000 points that you convert into Aeroplan points.

Marriott Bonvoy points convert into airline points at a 3:1 ratio, so 60,000 points become 25,000 Aeroplan points with the 5,000-point bonus.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases, plus 10x total points on eligible purchases in select categories. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary. Plus, earn up to 17X points per $1 at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and 2X points per $1 on all other purchases. Annual Fee is $95.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card - Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Earn up to 14X points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, earn 2X on other travel purchases, then 1x on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalists looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Earn 6x per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels plus 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines. Annual Fee is $450. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 of eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

This is a solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

Capital One Credit Cards

Capital One credit cards are another great way to add points to your Air Canada Aeroplan account thanks to its 2:1.5 transfer rate.

You have multiple card options when it comes to selecting a great Capital One Miles credit card.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card - This card is packed with lots of benefits and perks. Earn 60,000 mile sign up bonus 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 since this card earns unlimited 2x miles on every purchase.
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 $500 within the first 3 months and no annual fee, it's a strong choice.

Other Hotel Partner Credit Cards

Transferring other hotel points to Aeroplan, like via Hilton or IHG, will result in less than a 1:1 transfer ratio, with Hilton transferring at 10:1 and IHG transferring at 5:1, so we highly recommend avoiding this option.

However, if you are merely topping off your Aeroplan account, or are in a bind, transferring hotel points to Aeroplan can be a good option.

Air Canada Aeroplan Program Overview

The Air Canada frequent flyer program that you redeem points in is called Aeroplan.

You can use the program for Star Alliance and partner redemptions, like flights on United Airlines.

Members earn Status Qualifying Miles (SQM), Status Qualifying Segments (SQS), and Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD) when flying Air Canada and Star Alliance partners.

Aeroplan points allow you to qualify for the program’s elite status and redeem for award flights. They can be earned in many ways — here are the 4 most common:

  • Flying Air Canada or its partner airline flights
  • Spending on flexible points program credit cards
  • Spending at car rental, hotel, or retail partners
  • Shopping through the Aeroplan eStore shopping portal

Bottom Line: Aeroplan is the rewards program in which members earn points to use toward travel and lifestyle awards.

Joining Aeroplan

Air Canada Aeroplan sign up page
Aeroplan sign-up page. Image Credit: Air Canada

The Aeroplan program is free to join by simply completing this application.

When your application is complete, you’ll have the ability to earn points by flying with Air Canada or its partner airlines, earn elite status, and redeem points for award flights.

How To Sign in to Your Aeroplan Account

Air Canada Aeroplan login page
Aeroplan login page. Image Credit: Air Canada

Head to the Aeroplan login page and enter your membership number or email and password.

Hot Tip: The Aeroplan website requires you to log in using your Aeroplan account number to search for award flights. 

Viewing Your Account Activity

The easiest way to check your Aeroplan mileage balance is to:

  1. Log in to your account
  2. Hover over Your Account on the left and click Account Overview

Aeroplan states that it may take up to 8 days for qualifying activity to appear in your account.

Points Expiration

Aeroplan points will expire if you haven’t accumulated or redeemed points for a period of 18 consecutive months.

The program does allow you to buy back your expired points at a cost of 1¢ per point, a $30 administration fee, and applicable taxes.

Aeroplan Mileage Program

Air Canada Aeroplan Elite Status

Air Canada Aeroplan
Aeroplan elite status tiers. Image Credit: Air Canada

The Air Canada Aeroplan program has 5 elite tiers:

  • 25K
  • 35K
  • 50K
  • 75K
  • Super Elite 100K

The Aeroplan status qualification period begins January 1 and ends December 31 of the same calendar year. Members who qualify for a new status level during the qualification year prior to October 15 may be eligible for early recognition to a higher level of Aeroplan status.

25K: The lowest elite tier offered by Aeroplan comes with the following benefits:

  • Priority check-in
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority seat selection
  • 2 Maple Leaf Lounge 1-time guest passes
  • 25% Aeroplan mile bonus with Air Canada and select airline partners
  • Carrier surcharge waived on award flights between Canada and the U.S.
  • 20 eUpgrade credits
  • Star Alliance Silver

35K: After earning this status level, you’ll have all of the benefits of 25K, plus access to additional benefits, including:

  • Complimentary access to select Maple Leaf Lounges
  • Access to unsold economy class award seats on Air Canada flights
  • 50% discount on Maple Leaf Club Lounge membership
  • 35% Aeroplan mile bonus with Air Canada and select airline partners
  • 30 eUpgrade credits

50K: The middle elite tier that you can earn comes with all of the benefits of 35K, plus the following benefits:

  • 3 Maple Leaf Lounge 1-time guest passes
  • Complimentary access to Maple Leaf Lounges
  • 50% Aeroplan mile bonus with Air Canada and select airline partners
  • Lower requalification level of 45K SQM or 45 SQS
  • 40 eUpgrade credits
  • 2 Status Passes
  • Star Alliance Gold

75K: The second highest elite tier that you can earn comes with all of the benefits of Elite 50K, plus the following benefits:

  • Guaranteed reservations for economy revenue tickets
  • 75% Aeroplan bonus with Air Canada and select airline partners
  • Lower requalification level of 70K AQM or 70 AQS
  • Gift of Aeroplan 35K status for a friend
  • 55 eUpgrade credits
  • 3 Status Passes

Super Elite 100K: The highest elite tier that you can earn comes with all of the benefits of 75K, plus the following benefits:

  • Air Canada concierge service
  • 4 Maple Leaf Lounge 1-time guest passes
  • Access to London Heathrow Arrivals Lounge
  • 1 upgrade for a designated eUpgrade nominee
  • 100% Aeroplan bonus with Air Canada and select airline partners
  • Access to any unsold economy class seat, and additional business class seats on Air Canada flights
  • Lower requalification level of 90K SQM or 90 SQS
  • Aeroplan Elite 50K status for a friend
  • Carrier surcharge waived on international award flights
  • 70 eUpgrade credits
  • 4 Status Passes

Learn more details about the Aeroplan elite benefits at each tier.

Value of Aeroplan Elite Status

Earning elite status with Air Canada Aeroplan makes the most sense if you fly Air Canada regularly or you are looking for elite benefits when flying a Star Alliance partner like United Airlines.

If you meet one of these criteria, access to premium airport lounges and mileage earning bonuses are reasons to earn elite status.

Earning Air Canada Aeroplan Elite Status

The Aeroplan program is similar to major U.S. airline programs in that elite status requires Status Qualifying Miles (SQM) or Status Qualifying Segments (SQS) and Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD).

The best way to determine the number of Aeroplan points that you’ll earn is to review the charts of each airline.

Hot Tip: The Air Canada Aeroplan program mirrors the major U.S. airline programs by having a revenue (dollar) requirement to earn elite status. 

All eligible flights on Air Canada and partner airline flights earn Aeroplan points.

Once you qualify for Aeroplan elite status, the benefits begin immediately and continue through the following calendar year.

If you qualify for a new elite tier level during the Aeroplan qualification year prior to October 15, you may be eligible to move up to the next tier in that year.

Elite tiers work as follows:

  • 25K: 25,000 SQM or 25 SQS + $3,000 SQD
  • 35K: 35,000 SQM or 35 SQS + $4,000 SQD
  • 50K: 50,000 SQM or 50 SQS + $6,000 SQD
  • 75K: 75,000 SQM or 75 SQS + $9,000 SQD
  • Super Elite 100K: 100,000 SQM or 100 SQS + $20,000

Find more details about the Aeroplan requirements for each elite tier level.

How To Earn Aeroplan Points

The Aeroplan program offers 3 primary ways to earn airline points:

  1. Earn points from spending on an Aeroplan credit card
  2. Transfer points earned from flexible point credit cards (Amex, Capital One, Marriott Bonvoy)
  3. Use the Aeroplan eStore shopping portal

When you use all of the options in tandem, you’ll have more than enough ways to earn Aeroplan points.

Earning Points Through Flying

The number of Aeroplan points you earn on flights marketed by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Canada Rouge, or a Star Alliance partner is based on the actual distance flown and the booking class purchased.

For example, if you fly an Air Canada business class fare (J, C, D) flight from Newark (EWR) to Vancouver (YVR), you’ll earn 150% of the miles traveled.

If you fly a partner, the mileage is also based on the distance flown and booking class purchased.

For example, if you fly ANA first class (F, A) from Washington (IAD) to Tokyo (NRT), you’ll earn 150% miles of the distance traveled.

Class of ServiceEligible Booking ClassesAeroplan Points & SQM
(% of Miles Flown)
FirstF, A150%
BusinessJ150%
C, D, Z125%
P100%
Premium EconomyG, E100%
N70%
EconomyY, B, M100%
U, H, Q70%
V, W, S, T50%
L, K30%

The best way to see how many points you’ll earn is to reference the Aeroplan airline partners.

Aeroplan also offers bonus points for certain airlines as an incentive to fly a particular route.

Star Alliance members
Star Alliance members. Image Credit: Star Alliance

Earn Points With Credit Cards

The ideal way to accumulate points from credit card spending is to focus on the flexible point programs’ credit cards. 

When you earn flexible points, these can be transferred directly to the program’s airline partners.

Aeroplan partners with 3 of the 4 major flexible point programs (Amex, Marriott Bonvoy, and Capital One), providing you a couple of options to earn points.

Earning Bonus Points in Other Ways

The Aeroplan program also has a number of ways to earn Aeroplan points that don’t involve flying.

For example, it partners with hotels like Marriott and car rental companies like Avis.

How To Redeem Aeroplan Points

Most of the Aeroplan partner award flights can be both searched for and booked directly on the Aeroplan website.

If you are unable to see award availability for a particular airline, you can call Aeroplan at 800-361-5373 to confirm availability found on another airline’s website.

Hot Tip: If you’re looking for ways to use your Aeroplan points, we put together a guide on the best ways to use Aeroplan points

Star Alliance Partner Awards

Since Aeroplan is in the Star Alliance, you can use Aeroplan points to fly on any airline in the alliance.

Booking Online

The Aeroplan search engine can be a great way to book Aeroplan and Star Alliance award flights.

For Star Alliance partner flights, we recommend using the United search engine first, and then confirming the same award availability on the Aeroplan search engine.

If the partner you are trying to book can’t be booked on the Aeroplan website, search for award space on the United search engine first, and then call Aeroplan at 800-361-5373 to confirm award space and ticket the award flight.


Frequently asked questions

What is the Aeroplan program? Is it worth it? What are the benefits?

Aeroplan is the free frequent flyer program associated with Air Canada.

By signing up for an Aeroplan membership, you’ll have the ability to earn and redeem Aeroplan points, as well as work your way toward elite status.

Program benefits will vary depending on your elite status. The Aeroplan program has 5 elite tiers: 25K, 35K, 50K, 75K, and Super Elite 100K.

The higher your elite status, the more benefits you will have access to, like reduced mileage required for award flights.

The number of Aeroplan points you earn is driven by 2 factors: distance traveled and the fare class of the ticket.

With enough Aeroplan points earned by flying Aeroplan or its partner airlines, you’ll be able to book Air Canada and partner awards online (or by calling Air Canada to book partner airline flights).

In Aeroplan, who are the partners? Can I transfer points to them?

Air Canada is a member of Star Alliance and has additional partnerships with individual airlines.

You can review this list of Aeroplan’s airline partners.

Aeroplan also has other partners like hotels and car rental companies. You can transfer airline points directly to these partners if you need points for a redemption.

What is the Aeroplan login?

Where can I sign up for Aeroplan?

Sign up for the Aeroplan program by filling out this online form.

What is my Aeroplan number?

You can find your Aeroplan number by signing in to your account, on your membership card, or through a variety of marketing emails sent by Aeroplan.

If you can’t find it there, try using the “forgot my password” tool to reset your account so you can get in. Alternatively, try calling the customer service desk to find your number.

When do points post in Aeroplan?

Your points should automatically be credited to your account after your flight. However, the terms and conditions state that it may take up to 8 days for the points to appear in your account.

When do Aeroplan points expire?

Aeroplan points expire if you haven’t earned, redeemed, donated, or transferred any points in 18 consecutive months.

The expiration date of Aeroplan points can be extended in 1 of 2 ways.

On the earning points side, you can:

  1. Pay with your Aeroplan credit card
  2. Shop via the Aeroplan eStore
  3. Transfer American Express Membership Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy points, or Capital One miles to your Aeroplan account
On the redemption side, you can:
  1. Use Aeroplan points to book award travel
  2. Redeem for any other travel reward
  3. Donate points
  4. Transfer your Aeroplan points to another member

When does Aeroplan status expire?

The Aeroplan status qualification period begins January 1 and ends December 31 of the same calendar year. Once you qualify, benefits begin immediately and continue through the following calendar year.

Is there an Aeroplan credit card?

Yes! TD Bank has 3 co-branded personal Aeroplan credit cards and 1 co-branded business credit card.

Can you put an award flight on hold with Aeroplan?

Unfortunately, no. Aeroplan does not allow an award flight to be put on hold.

Michael McHugh

About Michael McHugh

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Michael took his first international trip in 2013 with friends to the Bahamas. Although he didn't travel much in his younger years, on that trip, he caught the travel bug and has been hooked ever since. Michael first caught wind of the points and miles game in 2014 while at a bar in Washington, DC where the conversation amongst friends was quickly derailed because of an alert on a friend's phone about a mistake fare.  That's where the love affair with points and miles began.

Travel prices are about to surge from pent-up demand.

Use this points strategy to lock in pennies-on-the-dollar pricing in 2021, all without being a frequent flyer...

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7 comments

  1. LAUREAN MATEI May 24, 2019

    HI
    Need to update my profile and cannot access the account on the website aeroplan.com (as probably my profile is not up to date).
    On the other hand when trying to call the answering machine directs me to the same website that does not allow me to access and update my account profile.
    I run in circles, no solution…
    What should I do, how should I proceed to have access to my profile?
    Thanks,
    L. Matei

    Reply

    • Hey Lauren,

      I’ve had the same issue before. It might be an IT maintenance issue they’re addressing. Keep trying to log in, and if you can’t, you’ll want to either call Aeroplan or create a new account altogether. Thanks for reading.

      Reply

  2. Hi,

    Is it possible to earn miles on flights taken before joining the Aeroplan program?

    Thanks,

    Mia

    Reply

    • Hi Mia, unfortunately, you must be a member at the time of travel. However, may be able to credit the flight to another Star Alliance loyalty program.

      Reply

  3. I have been trying to get ahold of Aeroplan for weeks now to dispute my status and they never want to respond or answer. So much for being a frequent flyer.

    Reply

  4. Carol goldstein December 28, 2019

    I have 34,899 AQM (short 101 AQM) and sufficient AQD to qualify for Air Canada Elite 35,000 status for 2020. Is there any way for me to purchase the 101 miles I am short?

    Reply

    • Hi Carol,

      If you contact Air Canada directly they might offer an option for you to buy up to the next status. However, it may be cheaper to just buy a cheap flight to earn the last bit of miles needed.

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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