The Complete Air Canada Aeroplan Status Guide

air-canada-aeroplan-status-25k-35k-50k-75k-super-elite-white-podium-pedestal-product-display-white-background

Air Canada’s loyalty program, Aeroplan, is the most rewarding airline loyalty program in Canada but also the most complex. After all, that’s why banks love offering Aeroplan co-branded credit cards. We have 11 different Aeroplan credit card options for consumers to earn Aeroplan points directly from everyday purchases. 

Similar to many other frequent flyer programs, Air Canada Aeroplan elite status offers a wealth of benefits to passengers who patronize Air Canada and their Star Alliance partners. To help shed some light on what an SQD, SQM, SQS, or Threshold Reward is, I’ve compiled this complete guide to Aeroplan status so you can master the program. School is in session!

What is Aeroplan Elite Status?

Aeroplan Elite Status rewards Air Canada’s most frequent flyers and Aeroplan’s most active members with special perks and rewards. You might think that Aeroplan and Air Canada are one and the same, but at one point, Air Canada did not own Aeroplan, and there’s still a degree of separation between them. 

You don’t need to step on an Air Canada plane to earn Aeroplan status; we will discuss this later. However, Air Canada supports Aeroplan’s endeavors and mainly focuses on flying planes for most of its revenue. 

In Air Canada’s ideal world, the perfect customer engages at every level by flying on paid Air Canada flights, making purchases with Aeroplan credit cards, and utilizing Aeroplan’s retail partnerships like Starbucks, Uber, and LCBO.

air canada aeroplan retail partners

This perfect customer will eventually become an Aeroplan Elite Status member and gain special perks like free checked bags, extra Aeroplan points when shopping, 50% discount vouchers for Aeroplan bookings, and upgrade credits to experience business class flights like Air Canada Signature Class.

How Do I Qualify For Aeroplan Elite Status?

This is an age-old question that (thankfully) has remained unchanged for the past few years. Airlines seem to enjoy complicating elite status, forcing customers to think more about their brand and product. 

In theory, qualifying for elite status is simple: You only need to fulfill two requirements. However, the complication begins as there are many different ways to meet those two requirements, and the best way to satisfy them is different for everyone. 

Note that four requirements are listed below: SQM, SQS, SQD, and EDQ. It’s important to know that you can fulfill SQM or SQS, not both, but you must also satisfy the SQD requirement. EDQ is a separate topic we will review later. 

Here are the requirements to earn Aeroplan elite status as of 2024.

aeroplan elite status requirements for 2024

If this is your first time seeing those requirements, you’re probably wondering what an SQM, SQS, SQD, or EDQ is. That’s part of the reason I wrote this article. These terms are exceedingly foreign for newcomers to the hobby, and we at Frugal Flyer have never explicitly explained them.

Earn Status Qualifying Miles (SQM)

Status qualifying miles are a measure of distance for how far you traveled on an Air Canada plane or one of their partner planes, but there’s quite a lot of nuance.

Air Canada will sometimes award zero SQM if you book a basic fare class ticket, or if you book your flights through Air Canada Vacations, you will occasionally receive less SQM than booking directly with Air Canada.

status qualifying miles sqm earning fare class

On the contrary, the highest fare class, Business, awards more SQM than the distance you actually flew, 150% of the distance, to be exact. Here’s an example of a flight I took in Air Canada’s Premium Economy class from Ottawa to Vancouver that awarded me 2,755 SQM, even though, according to FlightConnections, these two cities are only 2,204 miles apart.

air canada premium economy ottawa to vancouver fare status earning

If you’re close to the next level of status at the end of the year and only need a few extra SQM to qualify for Air Canada Aeroplan 50K status, it could make sense to buy a more expensive fare that includes some extra SQM, rather than booking an additional round trip just for the SQM.

Travelers who travel overseas often will most likely qualify for Aeroplan Elite Status with SQM. Those flights are at least 3,000 miles long, making the fare class you choose even more critical. 

SQM has many technical details. If you think you will qualify for status by fulfilling this requirement, I recommend you thoroughly read our article on Air Canada fare classes.

Earn Status Qualifying Segments (SQS)

Status qualifying segments are much easier to understand compared to status qualifying miles. Did you take a flight on a Standard Fare or higher that you bought from Air Canada or one of its partners? You just earned a SQS. There is still some trickery to be had, though. 

Let’s compare SQM and SQS with math. If you fly round trip from Montreal direct to Vancouver on a Standard Fare (50% SQM), you will accumulate the following status credit:

  • Total Distance Flown: 4,572 miles
  • Total SQM Awarded: 2,286 SQM
  • Total SQS Awarded: 2 SQS

Considering you need to accumulate 25 SQS or 25,000 SQM to qualify for 25K, Aeroplan’s entry-level status, it can feel like mission impossible as that’s only 9.1% of the required SQM and 8% of the required SQS. While you could pay for the more expensive Flex fare, the more economical solution would be to choose a flight with a connection.

If, instead, you flew round-trip on a Standard Fare from Montreal to Vancouver with a connection in Toronto on both your outbound and inbound trips, you will accumulate the following status credit:

  • Total Distance Flown: 4,801 miles
  • Total SQM Awarded: 2,400 SQM
  • Total SQS Awarded: 4 SQS

The SQM didn’t change much, as we’re now 9.6% of the required SQM for Aeroplan Elite Status, but 4 SQS is 16% of the way to the required 25 SQS! 

If you don’t mind an extra connection and spending some time in Maple Leaf Lounges qualifying for elite status with SQS, rather than SQM, is often more economical. Not to mention that flights with a connection tend to be less expensive than direct flights anyway.  

If your employer books flights for you and there’s a schedule change, you can often ask to be rebooked on an itinerary with more segments, although it will be less convenient. 

Planning is vital to achieving the status you’re aiming for. If you’ll only make 5 round trip flights from Montreal to Vancouver in a year, and you don’t have any other travel plans, it’s probably worth the extra cost for a Flex fare (100% SQM) than it is to book another trip for SQS if your goal is to achieve 25K status.

Earn Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD)

Status qualifying dollars are the most challenging (and painful) part of the elite status requirements. There are only a few ways to accumulate SQD, the easiest of which is to fly on Air Canada planes or Air Canada-purchased tickets. 

SQD is awarded based on the dollars spent on each passenger’s ticket. So, if you’re buying tickets for your family of four, you will only receive SQD for your own ticket, not your entire family’s.

If you book a Basic Fare with Air Canada, as one employer did for me, you will not receive any SQD. However, on eligible flights, you will still receive 25% Aeroplan points, which count towards your EDQ (I will explain EDQ later).

air canada aeroplan seattle to toronto edq earned

Air Canada tickets are easy to identify as the ticket number starts with 014. If your ticket starts with any other number, you won’t receive SQD for the flight unless Air Canada operates it. But you will earn SQD even if your flight is operated by a partner airline, and your ticket starts with 014.

Here are some examples to help you understand. This first example is the same Premium Economy flight we discussed earlier with the SQM bonus.

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air canada premium economy ottawa to vancouver fare status earning with sqd highlighted

My second example is a ticket that was (frustratingly) booked for me through an online travel agency and was purchased from United Airlines. Notably, the flight from YVR to DEN was operated by Air Canada, meaning I still earned SQD!

united-airlines-flight-earning-sqd-on-air-canada-aeroplan
air canada aeroplan vancouver to denver sqd earned on united flight

Only some of the dollars you spend on your ticket will count towards SQD. On this Latitude ticket, $25 GST was not counted towards my SQD total. The official rule from Air Canada is that carrier-imposed surcharges count, but government taxes do not.

air-canada-sqd-vs-taxes-and-fees
air canada toronto to baltimore sqd earnings

While Air Canada does its best to track your SQD, it has been known to make mistakes, sometimes pretty big ones. For example, Air Canada had to retroactively apply more than $200 of SQD to my account for this flight from Toronto to Edmonton.

air canada sqd adjustment

You can submit a missing SQD request here. After you take a flight, you should check the SQD in your Aeroplan account to make sure none is missing. You may have a Priority Reward waiting for you that you would have missed out on!

You can also accumulate SQD when you co-pay when using eUpgrades. I don’t like paying co-pays on eUpgrades, but the fact that I earn SQD from the co-pay takes the sting out of paying it. Surprisingly, you still earn SQD even if you’re eUpgrading a booking made with Aeroplan points.

air canada aeroplan sqd with eupgrades

Accumulate 100,000 Everyday Qualification (EDQ) Points

This is more commonly known as Aeroplan Everyday Qualification, but in your Aeroplan App, you’ll see EDQ more often than Everyday Qualification. You will see this tracker in your account if you have not achieved 25K status yet.

air-canada-aeroplan-everyday-qualification-status-tracker

For some, Everyday Qualification will be the fastest way to obtain Aeroplan status, as all you need to do is collect 100,000 EDQ points. I wrote a very detailed article on Aeroplan Everyday Qualification about how easy it can be to accumulate EDQ points. 

To quickly cover it, all EDQ points you earn are Aeroplan points and can be redeemed, but only specific ways of earning Aeroplan points count towards your 100,000-point total.

Apply for the Chase Aeroplan Card

Canadian points and miles maximizers at the highest level should eventually get into US cards, and the Chase Aeroplan card is quite powerful. Upon approval, you’re granted 25K status for the rest of the calendar year and all of the following calendar year.

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

The best strategy would be to apply for this card in January, and you can enjoy 25K status for the majority of 23 months. If you have the capacity, you can bump yourself up one status level by spending $50,000 USD in a calendar year.

That’s an exciting perk for Aeroplan status members who get stuck at the 75K level every year, as Aeroplan Super Elites receive the most powerful benefits. 

Be aware that getting this card is a marathon, not a sprint, especially if you have no US Credit history. Prepare for about 18 months of waiting and strategizing if you only have a Canadian credit profile.

Receive Gifted Status

This is the most straightforward way to become an Aeroplan elite member. If you have a really good friend or a member of your household who is a 75K or Super Elite member, they can choose to gift status to another Aeroplan member as one of their Select Benefits.

air canada aeroplan gifted status benefit

Depending on their travel patterns, it may be in the best interest of the 75K or Super Elite member to gift you the status, but we will discuss that later.

An important note: gifted status is the only ‘earned’ status lasting less than 12 months. If you receive gifted status in July 2024, it will only last until December 31st, 2024.

How Long Does My Aeroplan Status Last?

Aeroplan status achieved through any means except as a gift will last from the moment you reach it until the end of the next calendar year. So if you achieve 100,000 EDQ in February of 2025, you will keep a minimum of 25K Status until December 31st, 2026.

Early Recognition

If at any point in time, you achieve a higher status than you had previously, you enter a period known as Early Recognition. Early Recognition allows you to use your new status’s benefits without waiting until the calendar year restarts. 

If you start the year with no status or low status and have many cash flights scheduled (rather than points travel, which does not count for status), you’ll want to pay close attention as you cross the ranks. Being on top of choosing your Select Benefits is important because if you forget to do so, you lose out on all those benefits. 

Also, if you believe you’ll cross through multiple status levels in one year, do not select the bonus Aeroplan points as a Select benefit. Only choose the bonus Aeroplan points once you reach the highest level of status you can reasonably achieve, as this benefit is retroactive.

If that doesn’t make sense, return to this section once you’ve read about Select Benefits.

What are the Benefits of Aeroplan Elite Status?

There are many layers of benefits to Aeroplan Elite Status. This covers most of them, but not all. Information about the Million Miler program and Flight Pass Benefits, which don’t apply to most travelers, is missing here.

Core Benefits

Core Benefits are a set of benefits that every Aeroplan Elite Member earns, regardless of which level of status you attain. They are listed here:

  • Priority Contacts
  • Priority Reservation Waitlist
  • Complimentary Preferred Seats
  • Priority Airport Check in
  • Priority Airport Standby
  • Complimentary Sports Equipment Handling
  • Priority Boarding
  • 20 eUpgrade Credits
  • 250 Point Minimum

The priority contact, complimentary preferred seats, and eUpgrade credits are most useful, as holding an Aeroplan Premium credit card allows you to access the other benefits. One fun benefit for new Aeroplan status members is that they receive 20 eUpgrade credits every time they reach a new status rank. My run in 2022 was great fun!

air-canada-aeroplan-eupgrade-credits-earned

eUpgrades

eUpgrades are a bit of a dark art, and there are many intricacies in how they work. The best way I can quickly describe their benefit is that they give Aeroplan elite status members more options to book premium cabins for a reasonable price, compared to Aeroplan members who don’t have eUpgrades.

If you tend to buy premium cabins outright, they can still have value, but if you want to guarantee a business class seat every time, they will be worthless. 

In combination with Aeroplan points, eUpgrades are particularly powerful. For a complete in-depth look at eUpgrades, look at our popular feature article Why Am I Still Waitlisted? A Comprehensive Guide to eUpgrades.

Select Benefits

Select benefits are bundles of benefits that elite members can choose from based on which ones best suit their travel needs. Think of them like a choose-your-own-adventure book, but every end to the story is happy. 

I’ll review these in more detail later, but here’s an example of my bundle of benefits as an Aeroplan 50K member; I get to choose two.

air canada aeroplan 50k status select benefits with icons

Previously, we at Frugal Flyer would recommend choosing these benefits after July 1st every year so the eUpgrades could last as long as possible. But as of July 1st, 2024, eUpgrades are now valid for 12 months from the date they are earned. 

This development completely changes the strategy, as you now want to choose your Select Benefits just before you cross another status threshold (from 25K to 35K, 50K to 75K, etc.) or when you need the extra eUpgrades for an Air Canada flight. 

If you go the entire calendar year without needing more eUpgrades, choose your Select Benefits as close to the end of the year as possible. As mentioned earlier, if you choose the bonus Aeroplan points from flying as a Select Benefit, it will be applied retroactively, so there’s no harm in waiting to select your bonus. 

By implementing this strategy, you still get your 50% bonus Aeroplan points on all the Air Canada flights you took in the year, but your eUpgrades now last as long as possible.

Priority Rewards

Priority Rewards are 50% discount vouchers for Aeroplan bookings and are probably the most powerful and valuable benefits offered to elite members. At the top end, they can be worth 100,000+ Aeroplan points each, and I’ve used mine to save at least 150,000 Aeroplan points over the past two years.

aeroplan-priority-rewards-guide-50-percent-off-featured-image

They are not easy to earn, as you must acquire at least $4,000 of SQD to be granted just one of them. If you are interested in learning more, I’ve written a complete guide to Aeroplan Priority Rewards that covers them in extreme detail.

Threshold Rewards

If you thought Priority Rewards were hard to earn, threshold rewards will blow your mind. Only 50K members and above are eligible to earn them, and they act as a reward for members who engage with Aeroplan at the highest levels. They are meant to inspire Super Elites to continue to travel with Air Canada even after renewing their status.

They’re an intermediary reward in between status levels that are awarded at the following thresholds and give the following rewards:

  • 60,000 SQM / 60 SQS – 2,500 rollover Status Qualifying Miles and 2,500 bonus Aeroplan points and 10 eUpgrade credits
  • 80,000 SQM / 80 SQS – 10 eUpgrade Credits
  • 90,000 SQM / 90 SQS – 5,000 rollover Status Qualifying Miles and 5,000 bonus Aeroplan points 
  • 100,000 SQM / 100 SQS – 20 eUpgrade Credits
  • 140,000 SQM / 140 SQS – 20 eUpgrade Credits
  • 150,000 SQM / 150 SQS – 20,000 bonus Aeroplan points
  • 180,000 SQM / 180 SQS – 20 eUpgrade Credits
  • 200,000 SQM / 200 SQS – 35,000 bonus Aeroplan points
  • 220,000 SQM / 220 SQS – 20 eUpgrade Credits
  • 250,000 SQM / 250 SQS – Banked Year of Aeroplan Super Elite Status
  • 260,000 SQM / 260 SQS – 20 eUpgrade Credits
  • 300,000 SQM / 300 SQS – 150,000 bonus Aeroplan points or $2,000 Air Canada Gift Card and 20 eUpgrade Credits
  • 340,000 SQM / 340 SQS – 20 eUpgrade Credits
  • 350,000 SQM / 350 SQS – 300,000 bonus Aeroplan points or $4,000 Air Canada Gift Card
  • 380,000 SQM / 380 SQS (continuing every 40,000 SQM / 40 SQS up to 700,000 SQM / 700 SQS) – 20 eUpgrade Credits 

Let’s just take a moment and think about what 350 segments in a calendar year mean. That’s like boarding a plane almost every day, 95.8% of the year, to be exact. Members engaging at this level likely accrue many SQM and SQS from the Status Boost Feature of Aeroplan Premium credit cards as well, so it’s not likely someone is accumulating 350 SQS from pure flying activity.

But even then, acquiring 100,000 SQM or 100 SQS from Status Boost alone requires $500,000 CAD in annual spending. The most exciting feature here is the banked year of Super Elite status, which isn’t that far-fetched for the most frequent of flyers who can roll over up to 200,000 SQM every year if they have an Aeroplan Premium credit card.

Additional Earning Through Partners

Taking a step back to benefits all elite members can use, we have some extra earning opportunities for your hard work and loyalty to Air Canada. All Elite members will get 2 extra points per dollar on the Aeroplan eStore and some extra points with Avis and Avis Status. The Avis Status isn’t that exciting, as President’s Club Status is a perk of Aeroplan Premium credit cards.

additional earning through aeroplan partners

Elite Status Tier Specific Benefits

Aeroplan 25K Status

Now that we’ve been through the program’s general benefits let’s get to the specifics!

Starting with Aeroplan 25K status, the benefits are largely similar to those of the Aeroplan Premium credit cards. I made this chart for another article, but I think it also applies here.

aeroplan premium credit card vs aeroplan 25k status

If you value having more flexibility to book business class at reasonable rates, Aeroplan 25K status is very valuable. For example, a 25K member could book this Air Canada flight for 35,500 Aeroplan points and instantly eUpgrade to Business Class, while a premium credit card holder could only book Business Class directly for 62,500 Aeroplan points.

air canada latitude reward pricing with eupgrades

Not to say the premium credit card holder can’t find other Air Canada flights with cheap fares, but the Aeroplan 25K member has more options to book the elusive 30K-35K transcontinental lie-flat business class seats that is considered a sweet spot on the Air Canada award chart

25K also comes with Star Alliance Silver recognition, which won’t get you much with Star Alliance member airlines other than Priority Standby and Waitlist. I find there are so many Star Alliance Gold members regularly flying, that Star Alliance Silver isn’t likely to make a noticeable difference on the standby list. 

As an Aeroplan 25K or 35K Member, you can use the United Premier Access line when checking in at the airport for your United flight and enjoy Group 2 Priority Boarding on United. If flying Lufthansa, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Discover Airlines, or Air Dolomiti, you can use the Business Class Check-in line.

Aeroplan 35K Status

Aeroplan 35K status is a nice level to achieve, but most people won’t notice a considerable difference from 25K. The most significant changes are:

  • 3 complimentary checked bags at 32kg each compared to 2 checked bags at 25kg each
  • Priority Baggage Handling (This is an included benefit if you hold a premium Aeroplan credit card)
  • Priority Security Clearance (irrelevant most of the time if you’re a member of a Trusted Traveler Program)
  • Priority Rewards can be used across North America and Sun destinations compared to only the US and Canada
  • Up to 35 eUpgrade credits are available compared to only 25 eUpgrade credits with 25K
  • 2 Maple Leaf Lounge passes

The same Star Alliance Silver recognition exists here, but if your eUpgrade is waitlisted or you’re standing by for a flight, you’ll be ahead of all 25K members who purchased the same fare class.

Aeroplan 50K Status

Once you reach Aeroplan 50K status, this is where the best benefits begin. You’ll receive the following benefits on top of everything in 25K and 35K:

  • Complimentary Standard Seat Selection
  • Complimentary Preferred Seat Selection at the time of booking with a Standard or Flex fare for travel within Canada or between Canada and the U.S and at check-in for all other itineraries
  • Priority check-in at a Star Alliance Gold counter when traveling with any Star Alliance member airline. Aeroplan 50K members may also use the Air Canada Business Class Check-in when traveling on any Air Canada flight departing from Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Star Alliance Gold Recognition
  • Extra baggage allowance when traveling with any Star Alliance member airline. Contact the carrier operating your flight for details on their baggage policy as certain exceptions apply
  • Priority Baggage across all Star Alliance Airlines
  • Priority Boarding across all Star Alliance Airlines
  • Unlimited Maple Leaf Lounge, Air Canada Cafe, and Star Alliance Gold Lounge access – including United Clubs
  • Access to Virgin Australia lounges when traveling on Air Canada or Virgin Australia, and the Emirates Business Class Lounges at Dubai International Airport (DXB) when traveling on Air Canada or Emirates
  • 3 Maple Leaf Lounge passes to give to friends and family, even when not traveling with them
  • 40 Available eUpgrade credits
  • Access to Threshold Rewards

50K is so powerful and popular that we have previously done a deep-dive through an article on the complete guide to Aeroplan 50k status. It’s also very useful for status matching. In 2024, I was able to snag a complimentary match to British Airways Silver status.

Aeroplan 75K Status

I believe Aeroplan 75K status is underrated. Your Priority Rewards become usable worldwide, and you’re near the top of upgrade lists as most travelers stop chasing status at 50K. Once you reach 75K every year, you’ll have unlocked 65 eUpgrade credits to use, which is enough for 2 round trip transatlantic upgrades to business class.

You also have the option of gifting 35K status to a friend, which can be very lucrative if you fly with your Player 2 often and value eUpgrades.

While there are not many more tangible benefits than that, here’s the list of everything above 50K status:

  • Complimentary preferred seats at the time of booking with the purchase of a Standard or Flex fare (all itineraries)
  • 65 available eUpgrade Credits (including 10 from the 60,000 SQM / 60 SQS Threshold Reward)
  • Ability to gift 35K status to a friend
  • Priority Rewards can be used Worldwide (Economy and Premium Economy)

Aeroplan 100K – Super Elite Status

Aeroplan Super Elite is one of the best airline statuses, period. There are stories of Air Canada Super Elite concierges collecting baggage for passengers, proactively re-booking delayed customers, and even sprinting through airports to help a flyer in need. 

The hands-on approach and level of service Air Canada demands from its concierges cannot be understated. 

Aeroplan Super Elites will receive the following benefits, above all previously mentioned perks:

  • Complimentary Preferred Seats at the time of booking with the purchase of any fare (all itineraries)
  • Super Elite Members may board first when traveling with any Star Alliance member airline, where available
  • Air Canada Concierge Service
  • 4 One Time Lounge Passes to give to friends and family, even when not traveling with them
  • Access to the London Heathrow Arrivals Lounge in Terminal 2. Subject to space availability, you can invite one guest at no charge when you and your guest are traveling on a flight arriving on the same day operated by Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge.
  • 110 available eUpgrade credits (including 40 from Threshold Rewards)
  • eUpgrade Nominee: Share your upgrade benefit with a designated eUpgrade nominee, even when you are not traveling with them
  • Worldwide Priority Rewards for Business Class
  • Ability to gift 50K status to a friend
  • 2 status passes
  • Ability to acquire 4 more status passes
  • Complimentary In-Flight Refreshment: enjoy one free alcoholic beverage and one free snack item when traveling on Air Canada, Air Canada Express, or Air Canada Rouge in Economy Class

Which Select Benefits are Best?

Select benefits are an interesting quirk to the Aeroplan Elite Status program. As mentioned earlier, you don’t want to select these benefits until you need them, and it’s not worth choosing the bonus Aeroplan points if you’re going to level up your status within a calendar year.

Aeroplan 25K Status

At the Aeroplan 25K status level, there are 3 options, and members can choose 2.

air canada aeroplan 25k status select benefits

If you value the flexibility of booking premium cabins for a reasonable price, the eUpgrades are the easy first choice. Secondly, you’ll want to calculate how much you fly with Air Canada or their partners. If you collect 25,000 SQM annually, the 25% bonus is worth 6,250 extra Aeroplan points, or about $125 CAD.

If you fly less than that and mainly acquire your status through EDQ, the lounge passes may make more sense if you don’t have an Aeroplan premium credit card.

Aeroplan 35K Status

Things become more straightforward at the Aeroplan 35K status level. There are 2 options, and you can choose 1.

air canada aeroplan 35k status select benefits

15 eUpgrade credits are the easy choice, as these can be worth hundreds of dollars even when used domestically, never mind for international business class. 

If you achieve 40,000 SQM every year, the 35% bonus equals 14,000 Aeroplan points, which is nothing to shake a stick at, but points can always be earned again, whereas eUpgrades are very limited in their availability.

Aeroplan 50K Status

Aeroplan 50K status brings more nuance, as we have 4 options but can only choose 2.

air canada aeroplan 50k status select benefits

The bonus Aeroplan points begin to make more sense, as a flyer that achieves 50,000 SQM would take home a bonus 25,000 Aeroplan points. That’s enough for a one-way business class ticket from Vancouver to Toronto or a round trip in economy.

The one-time SQM and SQS bonus is also attractive if you’re on the cusp of 75K status or having a slower travel year. As I said earlier, having Worldwide Priority Rewards and 35K status for a friend can be very powerful.

The 20 eUpgrade credits are a cornerstone benefit at this level, and forgoing them would require an exceptional scenario.

Status passes can have benefits, but I don’t think they’re powerful enough to choose over the other three options.

Personally, I have chosen the 50% bonus Aeroplan points and eUpgrades every year, but now that eUpgrades expire 12 months from the day they’re issued, I probably won’t select my benefits until the last week of December.

There may come a scenario where I need more eUpgrades sooner than that, but if I don’t, then it may allow me to opt for the eUpgrades and One Time SQM / SQS bonus instead of the Bonus 50% Aeroplan points. 

As I’m now incentivized to choose my select benefits as late as possible, it increases the value of the One Time SQM / SQS bonus, as I won’t have to estimate in July how much travel I have left before December 31st. Now, I will wait and see how everything shakes out and what exactly 5,000 SQM and 5 SQS do for my status once travel is finished for the year and if it can unlock 75K status or a Threshold Reward.

Aeroplan 75K Status

Aeroplan 75K status members have it tough, with 6 options to choose from, and they are limited to 2.

air canada aeroplan 75k status select benefits

We already know that status passes have little value, so they bite the dust immediately. 

The Aeroplan Elite Wi-Fi plan is worth $791.40 CAD, a tangible benefit that is certainly attractive. However, you may be able to write off the cost of Air Canada in-flight Wi-Fi as a business expense, whatever that is worth to you. 

The One Time SQM / SQS bonus can be valuable if it unlocks Super Elite status or a Threshold Reward.

35 eUpgrade credits are attractive, but if you often fly with a partner or significant other, the 35K status is a better deal. Your partner will now have 35 eUpgrades to upgrade themselves, and they’ll get all the benefits of 35K. Not to mention, as a 75K member, you’ll already have access to 30 eUpgrades in a year.

The 75% bonus Aeroplan points become very loud at this stage. If a 75K member accumulates 80,000 SQM, this means a bonus of 60,000 Aeroplan points, more than most mid-level credit card sign-up bonuses.

If you achieve status through SQM rather than SQS, the 75% bonus Aeroplan points are a no-brainer, they must be selected. Your second selection will depend on whether or not you have a travel partner often, how close you are to Super Elite status or a Threshold Reward, and how you value the Wi-Fi Plan.

If you know you’ll reach Super Elite status before the end of the year, choose the Wi-Fi plan and eUpgrade credits.

Aeroplan 100K – Super Elite Status

Super Elites are in a similar position to 75K status members. They have many options, but they can only choose 2.

air canada aeroplan 100k super elite status select benefits

I’ll stand by my sentiment of status passes, but a Super Elite status pass is pretty powerful.

Elite Status for a friend becomes less powerful here as Super Elites can use their eUpgrades for one other person, even when not traveling with them, through the eUpgrade nominee program. 

The 100% bonus Aeroplan points are an essential pick, as this will likely mean 75,000+ extra Aeroplan points yearly. As Super Elites can access Business Class Worldwide Priority Rewards, 75,000 points is enough for one round trip ticket from SFO – SIN in Business Class.

sfo to sin on singapore airlines business class cash fare

A $9,729 CAD benefit from a frequent flyer loyalty program is absolutely wild when you consider what can be done with the extra Aeroplan points earned from the 100% bonus.

I don’t think the One Time SQS / SQM boost will make sense unless it unlocks a Threshold reward like 35,000 Aeroplan points. 

The 50 eUpgrade credits more than likely make sense, as gifted 50K status only grants 40 eUpgrade credits every year. Say you’re upgrading a travel companion using the latitude attitude at any status level, and R space exists. The eUpgrade will go through even for companions who are not Aeroplan status members. 

I continue my same sentiment about the Wi-Fi plan: It’s probably not worth it unless you value it at 100% face value. 

To summarize, the 50 eUpgrade Credits and 100% bonus Aeroplan points are likely the best options for an Aeroplan Super Elite member.

Is Chasing Aeroplan Elite Status Worth It?

Chasing some status levels is undoubtedly worth it, but only on the upper end. For example, I would push quite hard to unlock 75K status for myself, as I value the Worldwide Priority Rewards highly. For someone who only travels domestically, though, 75K status likely doesn’t excite them compared to 50K.

Chasing 25K status can be worth it if you want more flexibility to book Aeroplan Award flights in business class at a reasonable price. This would be accomplished using eUpgrades and instant clearance windows of Economy Latitude and Premium Economy Flex fares. 

It rarely makes sense to pay for a plane ticket to qualify for a higher level of status, but it often makes sense to spend on the right credit cards to gain SQS / SQM toward a higher status. 

The value of Aeroplan status is subjective, but having status certainly makes for an easier and more comfortable travel experience.

Conclusion

After reading this comprehensive guide, you should be well-versed in Aeroplan Elite Status and all its quirks. It’s an extremely deep program with layers of complexities to continue rewarding members as they engage with Air Canada and Aeroplan.

Remember, if one of your goals is to qualify for Aeroplan elite status, make a plan to get there, and you will more than likely achieve it.

Daniel Burkett

Daniel Burkett

Contributor at Frugal Flyer
Daniel entered the Miles and Points game in 2021 and has taken the “make up for lost time” mentality. After spending five years travelling for work and paying no attention to loyalty programs, some say Daniel is out for Points Revenge. With his desire to maximize every point available, he hopes to share the knowledge gained with more travellers to prevent the same mistakes he made.

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