The Aeroplan Program Overview
Canadians are lucky to have a plethora of loyalty programs available to them. One of the most iconic travel-based programs available is Aeroplan. Members of the Air Canada provided loyalty program can collect points while spending on everyday purchases. Once a member has earned enough points, they can make a redemption for travel or merchandise.
In this Aeroplan guide, My Rate Compass covers the recent changes to the program, how to earn and redeem points, valuation of the program and frequently asked questions.
What is Aeroplan?
Aeroplan is a travel loyalty program owned and offered by Air Canada. The program incentivizes frequent flyers with an array of perks. The main benefit is the ability to collect points on travel and other purchases. Once a member has enough points, they can make a redemption for travel and merchandise. The program offers other exclusive travel perks as well, such as special offers.
Changes to the Aeroplan Program
On November 8, 2020, Air Canada introduced various changes to the Aeroplan loyalty program. The first notable change was the credit card partnerships available. Former Aeroplan credit cards are no longer offered. American Express, TD and CIBC are the three Canadian banks that supply the new Aeroplan based credit cards. A list of the personal and business credit card names are as follows:
Personal Aeroplan Credit Cards
Business Aeroplan Credit Cards
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
American Express Aeroplan Card
TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Card
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card for Students
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card
American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
TD Aeroplan Business Credit Card
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Card
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Plus Card
In addition to the new credit cards, many features of the program have been upgraded too. The following changes are now in effect:
- Family Sharing. Aeroplan members within the same household can pool points together. This allows families to earn and redeem points at an accelerated rate.
- No seat restrictions or blackout dates. Members of the old program may recall the uncompromising restrictions around seating and dates. Now, members can redeem Aeroplan points for any Air Canada seat at any time.
- Stabilized prices. Air Canada introduced the Points Predictor Tool which allows members to accurately forecast the amount of fixed points needed to complete a purchase. The Aeroplan Points Chart is no longer available. This feature has been replaced by the Points Predictor Tool.
- Airline partnerships. Over 35 partner airlines are included in the program with Etihad Airways and Azul as the latest additions. Members can still purchase flights using their points from airlines other than Air Canada so long as they’re a valid partner.
- Flight upgrades. If seat upgrades are available, such as Premium Economy or Business Class, Aeroplan points can be used to purchase the upgrade.
- Points and cash redemptions. Prior, members were only able to complete a purchase with exclusively points or cash. Now, a combination of both points and cash can be used to make a redemption.
- No surcharges. Airline surcharges are no longer payable, such as the gas surcharges on Air Canada flights.
- Easy to redeem. Redemptions can be made at com or through the Air Canada app.
- Elite Status benefits. The former Air Canada Altitude sub-program will be replaced with the Aeroplan Elite Status program. As an Elite Status member, you can earn Priority Rewards vouchers that provide 50% off eligible flight rewards with both Air Canada and affiliated airlines.
- Additional perks. Points can be used to purchase extra perks such as in-flight Wi-Fi or entry into Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge.
How to Earn Aeroplan Points
Before you can take advantage of the Aeroplan program, you must have a points balance. To earn Aeroplan points, you have two options: shop with Aeroplan partner vendors using your membership card and use an Aeroplan credit card.
You can use one or both options, it all depends on your lifestyle and spending habits. The great thing about Aeroplan is you can earn double the points on a single purchase! This is called “double dipping”. To earn double points, simply present your Aeroplan membership card and an Aeroplan based credit card at the time of purchase.
Shopping with Aeroplan Partner Vendors
Aeroplan has a long list of partner vendors, you likely shop with many of them already. Get into the habit of presenting your Aeroplan membership card and credit card, if you have one, when shopping to gather more points. Some common vendors include Sephora, Indigo, Apple, Avis and Marriott Bonvoy.
Keep in mind that some retail offers are only available in-store, online or in the e-store. If you don’t use an Aeroplan supported option, you may not receive points on your purchase. Be sure to double check the details on Air Canada’s website.
Aeroplan Credit Cards
Various Canadian banks have partnered with the Aeroplan program. By using an Aeroplan based credit card, members can earn points while they spend on everyday purchases. Below are various Aeroplan credit cards available along with their respective welcome offers and earning rates.
- American Express Aeroplan Card. The welcome bonus is 15,000 points. Earn 2 points for every dollar spent with Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, 1.5 points for every dollar spent on dining and food delivery in Canada, and 1 point for every dollar spent elsewhere.
- American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card. The welcome bonus is 65,000 points. Earn 3 points for every dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, 2 points for every dollar spent on dining and food delivery in Canada, and 1 point for every dollar spent elsewhere.
- American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card. The welcome bonus is 65,000 points. Earn 3 points for every dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, 2 points for every dollar spent on hotels and car rentals, and 1 point for every dollar spent elsewhere.
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card. The welcome bonus is 10,000 points. Earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent on gas, grocery, Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, and earn 1 point for every dollar spent elsewhere.
- TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Card. The welcome bonus is 10,000 points. Earn 1 point for every dollar spent on grocery, gas, Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, and earn 1 point for every $1.50 spent elsewhere.
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Credit Card. The welcome bonus is 50,000 points. Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent on gas, grocery, travel and dining, and earn 1.25 points for every dollar spent elsewhere.
- TD Aeroplan Visa Business Card. The welcome bonus is 10,000 points. Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent on travel, dining and select business expenses, and earn 1 point for every dollar spent elsewhere.
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card. The welcome bonus is 10,000 points. Earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent on gas, grocery, Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, and earn 1 point for every dollar spent elsewhere.
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card. The welcome bonus is 20,000 points. Earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent on gas, grocery, travel and dining, earn 2 points for every dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, and 1.25 points for every dollar spent elsewhere.
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card & CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card for Students. The welcome bonus is 10,000 points. Earn 1 point for every dollar spent on gas, grocery, Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, and 1 point for every $1.50 spent elsewhere.
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Card & CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Plus Card. The welcome bonus is 10,000 points. Earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent on shipping, internet, cable, phone, travel and dining, earn 2 points for every dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, and earn 1 point for every dollar spent elsewhere.
How to Redeem Aeroplan Miles
After steadily collecting Aeroplan points, you’ll eventually possess enough to make a redemption. Aeroplan points can be redeemed online by logging into Air Canada’s website or app. Under the old program, members would make a redemption through Aeroplan’s website, but this has changed.
Points can be redeemed for airfare, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, experiences, merchandise and gift cards. There’s truly something for everyone!
What is the Points Predictor Tool?
The Points Predictor Tool is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an online tool that allows members to realistically estimate how many fixed Aeroplan points are required to complete a flight redemption. Users simply input the starting and ending point of their desired trip. Then, the tool provides details on how many points are needed by seat class and airline company.
Value of Aeroplan Points
The short answer is the value of an Aeroplan point is approximately 2 cents. The long answer is the value of an Aeroplan point depends on the redemption choice.
Where you fly and what class you select impacts the value of an Aeroplan point. The average value of a point per flight zone is as follows:
- 2 cents for Canada
- 4 cents for the United States of America
- 2 cents for Europe
- 4 cents for Asia
When redeeming points for items other than flights, the values are estimated at:
- 1 cent for Air Canada gift cards
- 9 cents for car rentals
- 83 cents for Air Canada Vacations
- 82 cents for hotels
- 74 cents for merchandise
- 71 cents for other gift cards
In general, members receive the highest value when they spend on flights. However, this valuation only considers finances. You may have higher intrinsic value as a consumer by using your points for other redemptions.
Using the Aeroplan Program to Your Benefit
Earning points with Aeroplan is rather straightforward, but the redemption process takes a bit of extra work, especially if you want to get the most bang for your buck. When you’re planning your next vacation, be prepared to crunch some numbers to get the best value!
Frequently Asked Questions
The Aeroplan program can be confusing because of all of the tricky rules and regulations. Below are frequently asked questions and corresponding responses to reduce your confusion!
What happens if I cancel an award flight?
You will not lose your points so long as you cancel at least 2 hours prior to the flight’s departure. However, you will be required to pay a fee between $75 and $150 plus applicable taxes to cancel your award flight and get your points back. The fee you pay depends on the type of flight you booked.
If you make changes to your flight, you will incur a fee between $25 and $100 plus applicable taxes. The fee you incur depends on the change you’d like to make.
How many Aeroplan points does it take to fly?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a standard number of points you require to make a flight redemption. You can use the Points Predictor Tool to get an accurate estimate of how many points you need based on where you’re starting and where you’re going.
Do these Aeroplan points expire?
Rewards do not expire as long as your account remains active. Points will expire if your account is inactive for 18 consecutive months.
You can keep your account active by regularly performing transactions on your account. This includes earning and redeeming points. So long as you’re actively using your Aeroplan membership card or Aeroplan credit card, you don't have to worry about your points expiring.
Can you use Aeroplan points to cover taxes and fees?
Yes, Aeroplan members can now pay for taxes and fees with their points.
Can Aeroplan points be transferred to another program?
Yes, Aeroplan members can now transfer points to and from other loyalty programs. The only limitation is the program must be affiliated with Aeroplan. The American Express Membership Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy Rewards, Best Western Rewards and many other loyalty programs have partnerships with Aeroplan.
Can I give my Aeroplan points to another person?
Yes, members can transfer points between Aeroplan accounts. There is a fee to complete an Aeroplan point transfer. The cost varies depending on the transaction details.
There is also the option to share points under the Aeroplan Family Sharing feature. Up to 8 family members can pool their points to earn and redeem faster. There are no transfer fees or additional costs to pool points.
Is there a way to earn Aeroplan points faster?
Yes, you can use both your Aeroplan membership card and an Aeroplan credit card in a single purchase to earn double the points. You can also consider getting a credit card which earns points at an accelerated rate on everyday purchases to earn even more.
Can I lose my Aeroplan points?
You can only lose Aeroplan points if your account remains inactive for 18 consecutive months. If you don’t earn or redeem points for a year and a half, your account will be closed and you’ll lose all your Aeroplan points. Otherwise, your Aeroplan points are safe and cannot be lost.
How do I access my Aeroplan login?
You can login on Air Canada’s website or app. If you do not know your Aeroplan number or password, contact Aeroplan customer service to reset it.
How can I contact Aeroplan?
You can contact Aeroplan at 1-800-361-5373.
Is Aeroplan right for me?
Aeroplan is a very popular travel rewards program in Canada because you can earn points on most of your purchases and put them towards your next vacation. However, that doesn’t mean Aeroplan is right for you. Everyone’s financial needs and circumstances are unique. What might be right for you may not be right for someone else. For instance, if travel isn’t your thing, you likely won’t get a lot of value out of the Aeroplan program. Take a moment to assess your finances and lifestyle to determine whether Aeroplan is the best choice.