Edited by: Stella Shon
& Kellie Jez
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Air Canada Aeroplan has become a fan-favorite loyalty program over the years thanks to its strong redemption opportunities with Star Alliance carriers and the ease of earning miles in the program.
The program has gone through some changes in recent years, most recently introducing a revamped award chart, elimination of carrier-imposed surcharges, the introduction of a points-pooling program, and more.
There are many ways to leverage the Aeroplan program, but we think the best way to do it is by focusing on long-haul business class flights and using the program’s stopover rules to get amazing value for your miles.
In this article, we’ll cover how to earn Aeroplan points, how to leverage the Aeroplan network of airline partners, and, of course, the best ways to use your Aeroplan points.
Aeroplan points can be transferred from American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio, or from Marriott Bonvoy at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000-point bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred.
Aeroplan points can also be earned directly with the Aeroplan® Credit Card issued by Chase.
The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.
This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.
With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.
There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.
Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.
Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.
Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular rewards cards on the market. It’s perfect for anyone in search of a great welcome offer, high rewards rates, and flexible redemption options.
Frequent travelers with excellent credit may benefit from this credit card that offers a lot of bells and whistles. And it offers easy-to-understand rewards earning and redemption.
A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.
Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.
The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options. Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.
Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!
This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.
When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.
The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.
The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.
Aeroplan has several travel partners. You can find the full list in our post covering the best ways to earn lots of Aeroplan points.
You can earn extra miles by linking your Aeroplan account with the Aeroplan eStore, your Starbucks account, and various hotel and car rental partners to “double-dip” in your mileage earnings.
Aeroplan uses 10 award charts to determine redemption rates between and within its 4 travel zones.
The new Aeroplan award rates are determined by zone and by flight distance. To find out how many miles you’ll need for a specific flight, first locate your destination on Air Canada’s zone map.
Then, you can input your origin and destination cities into a service like The Great Circle Mapper to find out the distance between the cities. Finally, reference the Aeroplan award chart that applies to the appropriate zone of your destination and you’ll be able to find the cost of your flight.
Aeroplan’s terms and conditions contain a number of rules that are important to review. For simplicity, here are some of the most important rules to keep in mind as you’re searching for award flights:
While the number of miles required for many of these redemptions is high compared to other award programs, there’s still great value to be found with your Aeroplan points.
A one-way business class flight between the East Coast of the U.S. and India using Aeroplan is likely not at the top of your list of redemptions, but in our opinion, it really should be.
From just 85,000 Aeroplan points, you can book a one-way business class flight on any Star Alliance partner from the East Coast to India, which is classified as part of the “Atlantic” zone on the new Air Canada Aeroplan award chart.
In economy, you’ll spend at least 55,000 Aeroplan points to book a one-way economy ticket on Star Alliance partners:
Here’s an example of a flight you can book:
One of the benefits of the new Aeroplan program is that it doesn’t pass on carrier surcharges, so you don’t have to worry about forking over a lot of out-of-pocket cash on top of the points you use.
Hot Tip: While you won’t get outsized value, you can also use your points to pay yourself back on travel expenses with the Aeroplan card at 1.25 cents each through December 31, 2023.
Africa is on many a traveler’s bucket list, but it’s typically challenging to get to.
However, you can book a round-trip business class flight between the East Coast of the U.S. to South Africa from 170,000 points. One-way flights are half the price. If economy makes more sense, you can book a round-trip flight from 110,000 Aeroplan points.
Here are some example itineraries you can book:
Using your points and miles to fly to Europe in business class may not yield you the greatest value for them, per se, but we still think it’s a great way to put them to good use.
With 120,000 Aeroplan points, you can book a round-trip business class flight from many U.S. cities to destinations across Europe.
All of Europe is located in the same zone according to Aeroplan, but remember that within each zone, redemption rates vary by flight distance, so you’ll have to check the mileage of your specific destination to accurately calculate how many miles you’ll need to spend.
Here are some examples of itineraries you can book with Aeroplan:
If you can find availability, you could book a round-trip business class flight from the West Coast of the U.S. to Australia or New Zealand from 150,000 Aeroplan points. One-way flights require half the points.
Here are some examples of itineraries you can book:
Hot Tip: You may have better luck finding award space by using United’s search engine. If you’re successful, you can call Aeroplan to confirm the booking.
You can book round-trip economy flights on United Airlines within the continental U.S. and Canada from just 12,000 Aeroplan points. Again, the exact rates depend on the distance of the flight.
Flights between the West Coast of the U.S. and Hawaii will require 25,000 points round-trip in economy and 50,000 points round-trip in business class, while flights between the East Coast and Hawaii will cost 45,000 points round-trip in economy and 70,000 round-trip in business.
Here are some examples of itineraries you can book:
Hot Tip: Check out all the best ways to fly to Hawaii using points and miles!
The Star Alliance has a solid presence in South America with several airlines providing nonstop flights, such as Avianca, Copa Airlines, and United Airlines.
You can book a round-trip business class flight from the U.S. to cities across southern South America from 120,000 Aeroplan points.
Here are some examples of itineraries you can book:
The Star Alliance has several Asian carriers that allow you to access many cities across the region with nonstop flights or easy 1-stop itineraries.
Partners based in Asia include All Nippon Airways (ANA), Asiana Airlines, EVA Air, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways.
You can book a round-trip business class flight from the U.S. to destinations in Asia from just 110,000 Aeroplan points.
Keep in mind that most of Asia falls into the Pacific zone in Aeroplan’s award chart and it’s a vast region, so mileage rates will vary depending on your origin and destination cities.
Here are some examples of itineraries you can book:
Hot Tip: You can snag a round-trip economy flight from the West Coast of the U.S. to select destinations in Asia from just 70,000 points, which can be a great way to stretch your miles for a long-haul flight.
While Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways isn’t a Star Alliance partner, Aeroplan maintains a partnership with the airline that opens up some amazing redemption opportunities.
Thanks to this partnership, you can redeem 85,000 Aeroplan points to fly one-way in Etihad business class from cities on the U.S. East Coast, such as New York (JFK) and Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Abu Dhabi (AUH).
Want to up the luxury ante a notch (or 3)? You can fly the same routes in Etihad’s spectacular first class product for 120,000 points each way.
Below is a list of all Star Alliance member airlines:
|Air Canada||EVA Air|
|Air China||LOT Polish Airlines|
|Air New Zealand||Scandinavian Airlines|
|Asiana Airlines||Singapore Airlines|
|Austrian||South African Airways|
|Brussels Airlines||TAP Air Portugal|
|Copa Airlines||Thai Airways|
|Croatia Airlines||Turkish Airlines|
|Egypt Air||United Airlines|
Below is a list of airlines that partner with the Aeroplan program but are not full Star Alliance members:
Aeroplan offers numerous opportunities to earn points through spending at its car rental and hotel partners.
The Aeroplan program has gone through some changes recently, but there are still many opportunities for maximizing your points. In addition to eliminating carrier-imposed surcharges, the program’s stopover and open-jaw allowance can help boost the value of your points even more.
Aeroplan shouldn’t be overlooked when you’re planning your next bucket-list getaway!
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
Aeroplan points are the points you earn from flying Air Canada, crediting partner flights to Aeroplan, transferring points to Aeroplan, or earning miles from non-airline partners like hotels and car rental companies.
Once you earn or transfer points to Aeroplan, the points cannot be transferred out of the program.
You can transfer miles from one Aeroplan account to another instantly online at a rate of 2 cents per mile.
Fortunately, Aeroplan points are very easy to earn. You can earn them directly by spending on the Aeroplan card issued by Chase, or you can transfer points from a number of programs, including Amex Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.
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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.
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.