Aeroplan is the premier frequent flyer program in Canada. This program can unlock the world for you as it is easy to earn and redeem miles to travel wherever you want to go for your next vacation.
Understanding the Aeroplan program is imperative to being involved in the miles and points game in Canada, including how to earn Aeroplan, burn Aeroplan, and also leverage some of the unique quirks of the program.
Acquiring Aeroplan Points
There are four main ways to earn Aeroplan points in Canada: flying on Star Alliance flights, credit card welcome bonuses, spending on Aeroplan branded credit cards, and making purchases through the Aeroplan eStore.
Aeroplan points can also be purchased in addition to being transferred from other airline and bank loyalty programs.
Flying on Star Alliance Flights
You can earn Aeroplan points when you fly with Air Canada or within the Star Alliance Network of partner airlines.
The amount of Aeroplan points you earn is based on the number of miles flown as well as your fare class. For Air Canada flights as well as Air Canada codeshare partners, the earn rate follows the following chart:
|Fare Class||Aeroplan Points|
|Premium Economy||125% points|
|Standard between Canada and the U.S., and Canada and International||50% points|
|Standard within Canada||25% points|
|Basic between Canada and International||25% points|
|Basic between Canada and the U.S.||25% points|
|Basic within Canada||10% points|
For other Star Alliance partner airlines, each airline has its own chart that determines the earn rate for miles flown. You can find them all listed on the Air Canada website.
Credit Card Bonuses
With Aeroplan being the biggest frequent flyer program in Canada, it isn’t surprising that there are many Aeroplan credit cards available and in turn, many strong welcome bonuses to be earned.
TD Canada Trust, CIBC, and American Express all offer both personal and business Aeroplan credit cards with various perks and welcome bonuses. Signing up for an Aeroplan credit card (or even multiple) is the fastest way to accrue a large amount of Aeroplan points in the least time possible.
There are eleven Aeroplan credit cards offered in Canada:
|Credit Card||Welcome Bonus||Net Value|
|TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege||115,000 Aeroplan||$1,816||Apply|
|American Express Aeroplan Reserve||90,000 Aeroplan||$1,291||Apply|
|CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege||90,000 Aeroplan||$1,291||Apply|
|American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve||85,000 Aeroplan||$1,186||Apply|
|TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite||55,000 Aeroplan||$1,155||Apply|
|American Express Aeroplan||55,000 Aeroplan||$1,035||Apply|
|CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite||45,000 Aeroplan||$945||Apply|
|CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business||30,000 Aeroplan||$630||Apply|
|CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Plus||30,000 Aeroplan||$630||Apply|
|TD Aeroplan Visa Business||30,000 Aeroplan||$630||Apply|
|TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum||20,000 Aeroplan||$420||Apply|
There is also one Aeroplan credit card offered in the United States by Chase:
Credit Card Spending
All Aeroplan co-branded credit cards earn Aeroplan points at various rates, depending on the purchase category. In general, the highest rate you can earn is on Air Canada travel purchases.
|Credit Card||Earn Rate on Air Canada Purchases|
|American Express Aeroplan Reserve|
American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve
|3 Aeroplan points per dollar|
|American Express Aeroplan|
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Plus
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege
TD Aeroplan Business
|2 Aeroplan points per dollar|
|CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite|
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite
|1.5 Aeroplan points per dollar|
|CIBC Aeroplan Visa|
TD Aeroplan Platinum
|1 Aeroplan point per dollar|
If you want to passively earn Aeroplan points from your day-to-day spending, holding an Aeroplan credit card is the best way to go about doing so.
The Aeroplan eStore is a miles-back shopping portal. Shopping portals offer a great way to earn miles and points on your everyday online purchases. The eStore is partnered with over 200 retailers and often has special offers which can increase the Aeroplan point earning rate for many popular retailers.
To start earning, simply visit the Aeroplan eStore and log in with your Aeroplan number and last name. From there, find the retailer you want to make a purchase at and click through to complete your transaction and earn Aeroplan points on your purchase.
If you want to learn how to get the most out of the Aeroplan eStore, click here to view our definitive guide.
Purchase Aeroplan Points
Aeroplan members are eligible to purchase up to 1,000,000 points per year. If you are purchasing Aeroplan points, ensure you are using a US credit card to avoid an additional GST/HST charge on your purchase.
You can buy Aeroplan points here.
Typically it is not worth purchasing Aeroplan points for the normal price of 3.5 cents per point unless you need to top up your points balance to make a redemption. Aeroplan often runs promotions in which you can earn bonus points on a purchase which will reduce your cent per point cost.
As always, we don’t recommend purchasing points unless you have a use for them in the immediate to short-term future. Points can be devalued and loyalty programs can be changed overnight.
Transfer Points From Other Programs
Points can be transferred from various financial institutions and hotel loyalty programs to increase your Aeroplan point balance. Points are transferable at different ratios and may be worth it, depending on the program that you are transferring from.
Many of these programs are able to transfer to other frequent flyer programs, so always do your research and ensure you are getting the most value for your points before transferring.
When it comes to converting financial institution points, there are some great value propositions in converting to Aeroplan:
|Type of Points||Conversion Rate||Is It Worth Transferring?|
|Amex Membership Rewards (Canada)||1,000 Membership Rewards: 1,000 Aeroplan Points||Yes|
|Amex Membership Rewards (United States)||1,000 Membership Rewards: 1,000 Aeroplan Points||Yes|
|Barclay Arrival Premier Miles (United States)||1,700 Arrival Premier Miles: 1,000 Aeroplan Points||Maybe|
|Capital One Miles (United States)||1,000 Capital One Miles: 1,000 Aeroplan Points||Yes|
On the other hand, there are many options for transferring points from hotel programs:
|Type of Points||Conversion Rate||Is It Worth Transferring?|
|Marriott Bonvoy||60,000 Marriott Bonvoy: 25,000 Aeroplan Points||Maybe|
|Hilton Honors||10,000 Hilton Honors: 1,000 Aeroplan Points||No|
|Accor Live Limitless||1,000 Accor Live Limitless: 500 Aeroplan Points||Maybe|
|Best Western Rewards||5,000 Best Western Rewards: 1,000 Aeroplan Points||No|
|Choice Privileges||5,000 Choice Privileges: 1,000 Aeroplan Points||No|
|Coast Rewards||1,000 Coast Rewards: 1,000 Aeroplan Points||Maybe|
|IHG Rewards Club||5,000 IHG Rewards: 1,000 Aeroplan Points||No|
|Radisson Rewards||10,000 Radisson Rewards: 1,000 Aeroplan Points||No|
|Shangri-La Golden Circle||1,000 Golden Circle Points: 1,000 Aeroplan Points||Maybe|
|Wyndham Rewards||5,000 Wyndham Rewards: 1,000 Aeroplan Points||Maybe|
We recommend pursuing any transfer options that are marked as “Yes” in value, however, there may be a use case for some that are marked as “Maybe” if you need to top up your Aeroplan balance before making a redemption.
Redeeming Aeroplan Points for Flights
Redeeming your Aeroplan points for flight rewards is the best way to extract the most value out of your points. We highly recommend only ever redeeming your Aeroplan points for flights since the other methods, such as car rentals, hotels, and more, are a terrible value for your points.
How To Redeem Aeroplan Points for Flights on AirCanada.com
To redeem Aeroplan for flights, first sign in to your Air Canada Aeroplan account using your Aeroplan number or email address.
Then from the main homepage, you will find the flight navigator.
Be sure to select “Book with points”. Then feed in your departure and destination city (or multiple cities using “multi-city” search) as well as dates.
Air Canada will then output all available flight options for the criteria you’ve entered.
From the flight results screen you can filter by cabin class, the number of stops, price, total duration, etc. You can also view more details about different flights within an itinerary such as the plane, layover duration, fare class (if mixed), and so on.
When you’ve chosen a flight, select your fare class (Economy or Business class) followed by the fare subclass (eg. Economy Standard, Economy Flex, Latitude).
At the following screen, you’ll be given the option to choose how much of the itinerary is paid with points and how much is paid with cash. Essentially you can choose to pay for both the base fare and taxes in Aeroplan points, or just the base fare, or some portion of the base fare.
I typically opt to pay for the base fare with points and taxes/air transportation charges (ATC) with cash. The reason I think this is the best approach is twofold:
- The way Aeroplan pricing works, points used for taxes are redeemed at a very poor rate of 1 CPP, and
- If you pay for at least a portion of the trip using a credit card, you may be eligible for travel insurance coverage (depending on the credit card terms and conditions).
Once you select your points+cash combination, the next pages will ask for passenger details and contact information, seat selection, and finally payment information, the same as with a regular non-award booking.
Confirm and purchase the flights if you are satisfied with all of your selections and you have completed an Aeroplan award booking.
Aeroplan Flight Award Chart
Aeroplan prices out their flight awards based on the below mapped out travel zones, in addition to total distance flown. Aeroplan has split up the globe into four zones: North America, Atlantic, Pacific, and South America.
The full award chart can be found here.
We recommend reviewing and understanding the award chart in-depth to figure out exactly how much your next vacation will cost. It is important to note that Air Canada flights are dynamically priced, meaning that they can fluctuate in price depending on demand and seats available. On the other hand, redemptions on Star Alliance partner airlines are not dynamic, but instead are a set price based on the zone and distance traveled.
If you can book partner airlines when using Aeroplan points, we highly recommend choosing those over Air Canada.
How To Find the Best Aeroplan Redemptions
For many years, finding the perfect Aeroplan flight reward involved many individual searches and stringing together an itinerary flight-by-flight. While some of that technique still remains, a genius miles and points enthusiast built out the Air Canada Reward Searcher tool.
This tool gives you the opportunity to search many dates and routes at once when you are looking to redeem your points. Not only that, but you can also easily filter by desired class of service, total cost, and many more requirements. Once you find the flight you are looking to book, there is a link that you can click on in the tool which will take you directly to Aeroplan.
Simply put, this tool does what the Air Canada searching tool does, but at a much more efficient level with the ability to also drill down on specific itineraries (e.g. for looking for R space for eUpgrade availability).
A big shout out to Scott Kennedy for his time spent in developing this tool that is used across the miles and points community.
Aeroplan Redemption Sweet Spots
While you can redeem Aeroplan points to fly almost anywhere in the world thanks to the Star Alliance partnerships, there are a few sweet spots that might be worth considering if you are looking to get the most value out of your Aeroplan points:
- Vancouver (YVR) – Tokyo (HND/NRT) in business class one way; 55,000 Aeroplan points on Air Canada or ANA
- Vancouver (YVR) – Hawaii (Honolulu, Maui, and Kona) in economy class one way; 12,500 Aeroplan points on Air Canada
- Washington (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) in first class one way; 120,000 Aeroplan points on Etihad Airways
This list is far from all-encompassing, but may give you some ideas for your next flight award booking if you are looking to get outsized value for your points redemption.
Other Aeroplan Point Redemptions
There are a few other ways to use your points that may be of interest. We would advise against redeeming your points for any of these options since the value will be nowhere near as strong as it would be when redeeming for flight rewards.
Hotel Stays & Car Rentals
Aeroplan points can be redeemed for hotel and car rental bookings.
There is not a set redemption rate or cent per point you can expect to receive when making a hotel reservation or booking a car rental. However, the value you would get out of your points would be significantly less than if you made a flight reward booking.
Gift Cards & Merchandise
As with most loyalty programs, there is an option to redeem points for gift cards and various merchandise. Consistent with most other programs, you should never redeem your points for either of these options since the value you would get is abysmal compared to almost any other redemption you could make.
This is a relatively new addition as an Aeroplan redemption option. If you are flying on an Air Canada flight that has in-flight WiFi enabled, you will have the option to redeem Aeroplan points to access Wi-Fi.
The point cost increases based on the length of the flight, but as a starting point, a flight under two hours would cost 850 Aeroplan points. On the other hand, WiFi costs on Air Canada flights are relatively reasonable with a typical cost of $21 for a one-way flight of any length.
If you are flush with points, you might find some value in making this small redemption if you want to get some work done during your next Air Canada flight.
Selling Aeroplan Points
In theory, selling Aeroplan points is a violation of the terms and conditions of the program. However, there are ways to sell points on the black market and there are many miles and points brokers that will buy them.
Typically you can expect to sell Aeroplan points on the black market for around 1 cent USD per point, but prices can fluctuate depending on the points economy in addition to the volume of points being sold.
If you go down this path, we recommend being aware of the risks that come with selling points before you commit to using your points in that manner.
However, if you know you aren’t going to use your points, or have way too many, then it’s something to consider.
Aeroplan Elite Status
Aeroplan is the official elite status program of Air Canada now, replacing the old Air Canada Altitude program.
Air Canada Aeroplan has five successive status levels: 25K, 35K, 50K, 75K, and Super Elite 100K, with valuable perks like e-upgrades, priority rewards, free checked bags, Maple Leaf Lounge access, and more.
There are specific flying requirements that have to be met each calendar year to earn and retain a status level.
In our article Introduction to Air Canada eUpgrade Credits, we explain how status requirements work, and also discuss two shortcuts to earning 25K status that doesn’t require flying at all!
Air Canada eUpgrades
eUpgrades are one of the most valuable perks of Aeroplan’s elite status, as they allow you to upgrade yourself from a lower class of service to a higher class of service on Air Canada flights.
For intricate details on how eUpgrades work including more advanced strategies and frequently asked questions, see our Comprehensive Guide to Air Canada eUpgrades.
Aeroplan Family Sharing
Introduced with the re-launch of the Aeroplan program in late 2020, Aeroplan now offers family sharing as a tool to accrue and pool points with your family members.
Up to eight family members can join an Aeroplan family sharing pool, which will allow family members to share Aeroplan points while maintaining their own Aeroplan accounts. All points that are earned by members of the pool are added to the shared balance, in addition to their existing points balances when joining the pool.
Any redemptions made by members of the Aeroplan family sharing pool are redeemed proportionally, meaning that each member will pay a percentage of the redemption based on their individual total points amount compared to the shared points balance.
This means that if you are making a redemption, and one member has contributed 60% of the points to the Aeroplan family pool, they will pay 60% of the redemption. This includes even if they are not on the award ticket! In the same vein, if a family sharing pool has eight members and one member makes a redemption, all eight members will have points deducted from their balances. Thus, it is very important that you trust everyone in the family points pool.
In order to set up family sharing, visit this page and click the “Start Family Sharing Now” button. The Aeroplan member who creates the family sharing pool will be designated as the Family Lead, which means they can invite other family members to the pool. The Family Lead is also able to set roles and permissions for each of the members; this means that it can be set that a certain family member is only able to earn points and not redeem them.
If you have an Aeroplan elite status member or Aeroplan credit card holder in your family sharing pool, all members will benefit from the preferred flight award pricing.
Members must remain in the family pool for a minimum of 3 months and must wait 6 months before joining or starting a new family pool (from the date they joined the pool). If you wish to be removed from a family pool, you will need to call Aeroplan. The member in the Family Lead role can also call Aeroplan to remove members from the pool.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is an Aeroplan point worth?
One Aeroplan point is worth roughly 2 cents. This means that you should aim to extract around two cents per point when making any flight redemptions.
Do Aeroplan points expire?
Aeroplan points will expire if you do not have any activity on your account for 18 months. Qualifying activities include earning points, redeeming points, donating points, and transferring points. An easy way to keep your Aeroplan account active is to hold an Aeroplan co-branded credit card.
How many Aeroplan points does it cost to book a flight?
It depends on a variety of factors including where you are flying to/from, the total distance of your flight, class of service, and if you are flying with Air Canada or on a Star Alliance partner carrier.
Reference the Aeroplan flight award chart to estimate what your redemption will cost.
What is the best way to search for Aeroplan award flights?
The best way to search for Aeroplan award flights is to use the Air Canada Reward Searcher tool. This tool will allow you to easily filter through multiple dates, routes, and further criteria. Using this tool is a much more efficient way to find reward flights compared to manually searching on the Aeroplan website.
Can you redeem Aeroplan points for hotel stays?
Yes, you can redeem Aeroplan points for hotel stays worldwide. However, the value is not great for hotel redemptions so I would recommend avoiding this as a strategy for using Aeroplan points.
Are Aeroplan points worth collecting?
Absolutely; Aeroplan is the biggest flight loyalty program in Canada. Aeroplan points give you the flexibility to travel anywhere in the world thanks to the Star Alliance network.
Can I buy Aeroplan points?
Yes, Aeroplan members can purchase points at a rate of 3.5 cents per point. Aeroplan often offers promotions that can significantly reduce your cent per point cost.
You can buy Aeroplan points here.