The Complete Guide to Aeroplan 50K Status

aeroplan-50k-status-guide-featured-image

The miles and points world is rife with loyalty programs that can greatly benefit your travels. Whether it be an airline, hotel, or other loyalty programs, understanding these programs and their benefits can be a game changer when it comes to the quality of life of your personal and business travel.

One of the most prominent programs for Canadians is Air Canada Aeroplan, and as a result, elite status within the program is highly desired for the various perks it offers on Canada’s favorite airline and its many Star Alliance partners.

Let’s dig into Aeroplan 50K status to determine what benefits it comes with, how to earn it, and if this status is worth chasing.

What is Aeroplan 50K Status?

If you are a Canadian in the miles and points game, there is no doubt that you have started to collect Aeroplan points thanks to the many Aeroplan co-branded credit cards we have in Canada.

Within the Aeroplan program, there are five different levels of status that have various perks and benefits: 25K, 35K, 50K, 75K, and Super Elite 100K.

aeroplan elite status tiers

Aeroplan 50K status is the middle status tier for the program and it is when the loyalty program starts to become actually rewarding for members, thanks to a number of key benefits that can really up your travel game.

Aeroplan 50K Status Benefits

Aeroplan 50K status comes with a variety of benefits, but there are a few that stand out from the crowd. First of all, Aeroplan 50K status means you also hold Star Alliance Gold status, meaning that many benefits such as priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling apply when flying on any Star Alliance carrier, and not just Air Canada.

Aeroplan 50K members receive complimentary access to Maple Leaf Lounges, in addition to access to any Star Alliance Gold lounges. The eligible member can bring immediate family members and one guest into Maple Leaf Lounges, whereas they can bring one guest into Star Alliance Gold lounges. If you travel a lot, especially with others, this benefit can bring exceptional value when improving the quality of your vacations.

Finally, Aeroplan 50K status members can select two benefits from the following list:

  • 50% bonus Aeroplan points with Air Canada and select airline partners
  • 20 eUpgrade credits
  • Lower requalification level
  • 2 Status Passes

When selecting these benefits, I would recommend considering your travel habits and if you tend to travel more on cash fares or on points redemptions.

If you or your employer often pays for cash fares, the 50% bonus Aeroplan points with Air Canada and select airline partners is a no-brainer, since it will assist in continuing to build your points balances for your next redemption. The 20 eUpgrade credits are the most logical choice for the second choice since you can get solid values out of these when upgrading certain fares to Air Canada Premium Economy or business class.

Learn More: Introduction to Air Canada eUpgrades & eUpgrades: A Comprehensive Guide

On the flip side, if you often travel on Aeroplan point redemptions, the 50% bonus is most likely worthless to you. In that case, I would opt for the 20 eUpgrades but also the 2 status passes, as a way to share the wealth with a friend or family member you want to treat. When a status pass is gifted, it grants the recipient up to 3 complimentary checked bags, maple leaf lounge access, and priority check-in, baggage, security, and boarding.

That being said, you may have a unique situation, and a different combination of select benefits may be a better option for your personal travel needs. Consider all the options before you make your selection to ensure you are getting the most out of your 50K status benefits.

How to Earn Aeroplan 50K Status

There are quite a few ways to earn Aeroplan 50K elite status, ranging from the more traditional and expected method to some methods that are a bit more unconventional.

Flying on Air Canada

No different than any other airline or hotel loyalty program, the most straightforward way to earn status is by flying on Air Canada. In order to earn Aeroplan 50K status, an Aeroplan member will need to earn 50,000 status qualifying miles (SQM) or 50 status qualifying segments (SQS), as well as at least $6,000 status qualifying dollars (SQD).

Aeroplan members earn SQM based on the fare type and distance flown, whereas SQS are earned on a per segment basis. This provides avenues to earn status for those who fly more frequent yet shorter flights in addition to those who often fly long-haul flights.

Aeroplan members earn 1 SQD on the base fare and any carrier-imposed surcharges, meaning you will need to actually purchase cash fares on Air Canada and other eligible flights in order to earn status through this method.

If you are looking to calculate status qualifying miles or status qualifying dollars for an upcoming itinerary, check out the fantastic Air Canada SQM/SQD Calculator developed by Scott Kennedy.

Alternatively, if you reach million miler status, you will earn 50K status for the rest of your lifetime. A lofty goal for sure, but hey, at least you have forever status to look forward to once you earn it!

air canada million mile program

Grind Status on Canadian Credit Cards

On a number of Canadian Aeroplan credit cards, cardholders can earn status qualifying miles and status qualifying segments simply by spending on their card. This can help you to up your already earned SQM and SQS on the way to Aeroplan elite status. This bonus can be earned multiple times per year with no cap.

Cardholders who have the American Express Aeroplan Reserve card, CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card, or TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege card can receive 1,000 SQM and 1 SQS upon spending $5,000 CAD on the card.

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card

The Amex Aeroplan Reserve card earns Aeroplan points and offers cardholders various Air Canada benefits including priority boarding, free checked baggage, and Maple Leaf lounge access. In 2024, we awarded this card as the Best Air Canada Aeroplan Credit Card.

Check out our American Express Aeroplan Reserve card review for more details.

BONUS
85,000 Aeroplan
MINSPEND
$10,000
NET VALUE
$1,186+
ANNUAL FEE
$599
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY

On the other hand, cardholders who have the American Express Aeroplan card, CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite card, or TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card can receive 1,000 SQM and 1 SQS upon spending $10,000 CAD on the card.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

The TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* card earns Aeroplan points and offers cardholders various benefits including a free first checked bag on Air Canada and a $100 NEXUS membership credit.

BONUS
50,000 Aeroplan
MINSPEND
$10,000
NET VALUE
$911+
ANNUAL FEE
$139
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY
Jun 3, 2024

If you are going down this road, remember that the $6,000 in status qualifying dollars is also a requirement in earning 50K status, so simply grinding SQM or SQS will not be enough. Having a plan in place to meet the SQD requirement, and supplementing with credit card spend as required, can be a good method to reach 50K status.

Receive Gifted Status from a Super Elite 100k Member

If you have frequented any miles and points events and have rubbed shoulders with experienced travelers, you have no doubt met at least a handful of Aeroplan Super Elite 100k members. This is the highest status in the Aeroplan program, and as a result, comes with a wealth of benefits.

One of these benefits is the ability to give Aeroplan 50K status to another Aeroplan member. This gifted status will remain for the rest of the calendar year, meaning it makes the most sense for the Aeroplan Super Elite 100k member to gift it earlier in the year so the recipient can get the most usage out of it through the year.

If any generous Aeroplan Super Elite member is looking to bestow a humble Frugal Flyer writer with gifted status, let me know. 😉

Take Advantage of the Chase Aeroplan Credit Card

If you have an ITIN and are able to get US credit cards, the Chase Aeroplan Mastercard (US) is one of the best cards around, especially when it comes to grinding Aeroplan status.

Chase Aeroplan Card

The Chase Aeroplan Card earns Aeroplan points and offers cardholders a variety of Air Canada benefits including instant 25k Elite status and a first free checked bag.

BONUS
100,000 Aeroplan
MINSPEND
$3,000
NET VALUE
$2,005+
ANNUAL FEE
$95
FOREX FEES
No
EXPIRY

With the Chase Aeroplan card, you can move up one level of Aeroplan Elite Status upon spending $50,000 USD in a calendar year. This means that if you currently hold 35k status, you would move to 50K status upon completing the spend, and so on. This actually means you can reach Super Elite 100k status solely through credit card spending alone.

Spending $50,000 USD in one calendar year is no easy task, but consider digging into manufactured spending methods or buying groups if you are interested in taking on this challenge.

Is Chasing Aeroplan 50K Status Worth It?

In my opinion, Aeroplan 50K status is where the loyalty program truly becomes worth it. Similar to Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status or Hilton Honors Gold status, 50K status comes with valuable benefits that can absolutely increase the comfort and efficiency of your travels through a variety of perks.

Holding Aeroplan 50K status greatly negates the need to hold another credit card for lounge access, but you might still find value in holding a card such as the American Express Platinum card to further branch out the variety of lounges you can access, including American Express Centurion Lounges.

amex centurion lounge denver bar seating

The select benefits can bring some strong value to the status as well, depending on your travel habits. Additionally, the traditional benefits of priority check-in, security, boarding, and baggage all make the travel experience smoother (but I recommend looking into NEXUS if you want an easy way to speed through security with no status required).

If you want to grind the status out, the best play really depends on your travel habits. If you often fly on Air Canada with cash fares, whether for leisure or business travel, you may be able to reach status through the intended and organic method. If you get close, you could always top up SQM and SQD through spending on an eligible Canadian credit card.

Alternatively, if you have a great US-based manufactured spending method, the Chase Aeroplan card can be an easy way to upgrade your status without even needing to fly.

Conclusion

Aeroplan 50K status is the first impactful elite status level and is often the level that members shoot for. When looking to grind for status, consider all of the paths available to earn that status, and take the one with the least resistance when considering your travel and spending habits.

And hey, if you reach 50K status, why not shoot for Aeroplan 75k or Super Elite 100k status at that point? 😉

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Aeroplan 50K status members receive up to three complimentary checked bags.

The easiest way to get Aeroplan 50K status is to have an Aeroplan 100k Super Elite member gift it to you. Barring that possibility, grinding status with the Chase Aeroplan credit card may be the easiest path forward.

Aeroplan 50K status members can choose two of four select benefits: 50% bonus Aeroplan points with Air Canada and select airline partners, 20 eUpgrade credits, lower requalification level, or 2 Status Passes.

Once you earn Aeroplan 50K elite status, your status will be retained through the end of the next calendar year.

Josh Bandura

Josh Bandura

Co-Founder at Frugal Flyer
Josh has been involved in the miles and points game since 2015 but has scaled up his knowledge and points earning potential in recent years. With a consistent attitude of "min-maxing" in many aspects of his life, Josh has transferred this mindset over to the miles and points game. Always looking for the next big opportunity, he aims to share content on a variety of topics including his travels, miles and points, and most importantly, how to get the most out of your credit cards

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7 comments on “The Complete Guide to Aeroplan 50K Status

  1. I have a question concerning the 50% bonus points benefit that you can select at 50K. Do the bonus points count towards your SQM or are they just Aeroplan redeemable points?

    Reply
  2. I have a TD visa infinite privilege card and expect to achieve 50k SQM with my spending with my spending in December. If the SQM don’t post until January from my December statement, will this count for this year or next year?

    Reply
  3. I hold 25K status. I want to get to 50K in 1 year. How much spend do we need with the Chase Aeroplan card to get there, the same year?

    Reply
  4. Thank you for this info!
    Question regarding a super elite gifting 50k
    A family member reached super elite and gifted me 50k. I understand it says 50k status is good until the end of the calendar year; however is this still the case if I hold a premium aeroplan credit card? Would my 50k carry over to the following year since it’s one of the perks of the CC?
    Thank you in advance for answering this question!

    Reply