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Air Canada Aeroplan rewards program: Complete guide

Learn all about the Air Canada Aeroplan rewards program and how it can benefit you.

Air Canada’s Aeroplan rewards program lets you earn Aeroplan points when you book travel or shop with an Aeroplan credit card. Keep reading to find out how much your points are worth and what you can redeem them for, and how to get the most value out of your Aeroplan membership.

What is the Aeroplan rewards program?

Aeroplan is Air Canada’s loyalty program. It’s one of the most popular frequent flyer programs in Canada, with five million members across the country, and boasts a wide network of travel and retail partners.

Aeroplan works just like any other frequent flyer program. You get a membership card and a membership number, which is linked to any Aeroplan credit card you have. You can then shop for daily purchases with your membership and credit card, or make online purchases through the Aeroplan eStore. This makes it easy to earn Air Canada rewards at some of Canada’s most popular stores and redeem them for a wide array of travel purchases and merchandise.

Who are Aeroplan’s partners?

Aeroplan works with three main categories of partners:

  1. Financial. Aeroplan’s main credit card partners are TD Canada Trust and CIBC (two of Canada’s Big Five banks). You can also sign up for a line of Aeroplan credit cards through American Express.
  2. Travel. Aeroplan is owned by Air Canada and works with over 40 other airlines to help you earn Aeroplan flight rewards. It also offers the chance to earn Aeroplan rewards with hotels and car rental agencies.
  3. Retail. You can earn Aeroplan rewards with over 150 brand-name retailers when you make online purchases through Aeroplan’s eStore. You can also earn points with in-store retailers such as Home Hardware, AmeriSpec Inspection Services, UPS and Starbucks.

How to earn Aeroplan points

There are several ways to earn Aeroplan points, including everything from flying with Air Canada to making everyday purchases. Let’s take a closer look at all of the ways you can build a bigger points balance.

Earn Aeroplan points when you fly with Air Canada

You earn Aeroplan points every time you fly with Air Canada. Points are earned in every fare class, including Basic, for flights booked in cash on the Air Canada website or app. The amount of points you earn will depend on the fare class you book, while Aeroplan Elite Status Members will also earn Status Qualifying Miles (SQM).

You can also accumulate points on in-flight food and drink purchases as well as Air Canada Duty Free Boutique purchases.

Earn Aeroplan points when you fly with partner airlines

You don’t have to fly with Air Canada to earn points, as you can also build your points balance every time you fly with any Star Alliance member airline and other partners. These include Air China, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines and United.

Get an Aeroplan credit card

Aeroplan credit cards allow you to earn points faster. TD, CIBC and American Express all offer Aeroplan credit cards that offer accelerated points earning rates, sign-up bonuses and other travel benefits. You’ll earn extra points when you pay for Air Canada purchases with an Aeroplan credit card, while business and corporate Aeroplan credit cards are available too.

Earn Aeroplan points when you book with travel partners

You can earn Aeroplan points when you book accommodation, car rentals, vacation packages and other extras with more than 20 travel partners. Partners are split into a few different categories:

  • Hotels. Aeroplan hotel partners include Accor Live Limitless, Best Western, Choice Hotels, Langham Hotels and Resorts, Marriott Bonvoy and Shangri-La’s Golden Circle.
  • Car rentals. Aeroplan’s car rental partners are Avis, Budget and Payless.
  • Transportation. Transportation partners include Aéroports de Montréal, Park & Jet Calgary and Rocky Mountaineer.

Earn Aeroplan points when you shop at the Aeroplan eStore or in-store

You can earn Aeroplan rewards with over 150 brand-name retailers when you make online purchases through Aeroplan’s eStore. Partner retailers include Amazon, Best Buy, Apple, Sephora, Dyson and many more.

You can boost your points balance further when you shop in-store at retailers such as AmeriSpec Inspection Services, LCBO, UPS and Starbucks. Linking your Aeroplan account to Starbucks Rewards, Uber and Uber Eats will also help you earn on your everyday spending.

Transfer points from partner reward programs

It’s possible to convert points from other loyalty programs into Aeroplan points. Partner reward programs are available in the financial and travel categories in Canada and internationally.

For example, 1,000 American Express Membership Rewards can be converted to 1,000 Aeroplan points, while 3 Marriott Bonvoy points = 1 Aeroplan point.

Buy Aeroplan points

You can also top up your account when you buy Aeroplan points. It’s also worth checking the latest promotions to take advantage of bonus offers when buying points.

How can I earn the most Aeroplan points?

It’s easy to maximize the number of points you can earn if you know where to start. Follow the tips outlined below to earn more points on your purchases.

  • Find the best Aeroplan credit card. Compare your options to find the best Aeroplan credit card that will give you the highest points return.
  • Pay an annual fee for a premium card. Pay an annual fee to earn more points and get comprehensive benefits with a premium card.
  • Get rewarded for targeted spending. Look for a card that lets you earn accelerated points for daily purchases like gas and groceries.
  • Shop at partner stores. Spend money at partner stores to get double the points or “multiplier” points on select purchases.
  • Look for special promotions. Check out the deals at partner stores to maximize the number of points you can earn. The Promotions section of the Aeroplan website lists the latest offers and deals from Aeroplan, with various bonus-points deals available.
  • Track down the best welcome offer. Search for the Aeroplan credit card that gives the biggest welcome bonus to get a lump sum of points right off the bat.
  • Order additional cards. Order extra cards for your family members to use so they can help you earn points faster.
  • Redeem Aeroplan points for flights. Aim to redeem Aeroplan points for flights and other travel if you want to get the most value.

Who offers Aeroplan credit cards?

You can sign up for a selection of basic and premium Aeroplan credit cards with CIBC, TD or American Express. Available cards include the following:

CIBC Aeroplan credit cardsTD Aeroplan credit cardsAmerican Express Aeroplan credit cards
Premium cards
  • CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card
  • CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card
  • American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
Basic cards
  • CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card
  • CIBC Aeroplan Visa for Students
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Card
  • American Express Aeroplan Card
Business cards
  • CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Card
  • CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Plus Card
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Business Card
  • American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card

Compare Aeroplan credit cards

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
85,000 points
Up to 2x points
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 85,000 welcome bonus Aeroplan points. That's a value of up to $2,600 or more when you combine your welcome bonus points and card benefits.
American Express Aeroplan Card
50,000 points
Up to 2x points
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 50,000 welcome bonus Aeroplan points. That’s up to $1,100 or more in value when you combine your welcome bonus points and card benefits.
American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
90,000 points
Up to 3x points
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 90,000 welcome bonus Aeroplan points.

Aeroplan Elite Status

Aeroplan Elite Status offers additional rewards and perks for Air Canada’s most frequent flyers. Formerly known as Air Canada Altitude, this program offers a ton of extra perks to members.

These include priority reservation services, VIP treatment at the airport, cabin upgrades, free checked bags and lounge access. Elite members will also earn more points for flights than the average traveler and they can share all of their perks with family members.

To qualify for Elite Status, you can earn Status Qualifying Miles (SQM), Status Qualifying Segments (SQS) and Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD) when you book eligible Air Canada or Star Alliance flights. You can also earn SQD on everyday purchases from partners like Uber Eats and Starbucks.

There are five status levels you can qualify for: Aeroplan 25K, 35K, 50K, 75K and Super Elite. Check the Aeroplan website for a breakdown of the benefits available to each status tier.

How much are Aeroplan points worth?

The value of each individual Aeroplan point is a subject of hot debate, with estimates ranging from approximately 0.5 to 2.5 cents per point. That said, it’s very difficult to provide an exact estimate because your points will typically be worth different amounts based on the Aeroplan rewards you want to redeem them for.

As a rule of thumb, you’ll usually get better value if you redeem your points for flights and other travel-related purchases. Your points will typically be worth less when you redeem them for items from the Aeroplan rewards catalogue such as merchandise or gift cards. Find out how many points you’ll need to use for flights with Aeroplan’s Points Predictor Tool.

How to redeem Aeroplan points

Once you bank a decent number of points, you can redeem them for travel and merchandise through the Aeroplan rewards catalogue. All you need to do is sign into Aeroplan by entering your nine-digit membership number and password. There are several ways to redeem your points online. For step-by-step instructions on how to redeem your points, check out our guide to redeeming Aeroplan points.

Redeem Aeroplan points on Air Canada flights

You can use your points to book seats on any Air Canada flight. Pricing varies depending on how far you’re travelling and the fare class you select, so check out the Aeroplan reward charts further down the page. You also have the option to pay for your flight with a combination of points and cash.

Redeem Aeroplan points on flights with partner airlines

You can also redeem Aeroplan points for flights on any of Aeroplan’s partner airlines, including Star Alliance member airlines. Simply log in to your Aeroplan account to search for available flights and seats.

Redeem Aeroplan points for other travel rewards

Aeroplan rewards are about more than just flights. You can also redeem your points for:

  • Hotel stays. You can book accommodation at partner hotels in thousands of destinations around the world. Hotels range from economy and mid-range providers like Holiday Inn and Novotel, to luxury hotels such as Intercontinental, Shangri-La and Sofitel.
  • Vacation packages. You can use your points to book an entire trip with Air Canada Vacations.
  • Car rentals. Use your Aeroplan points to book car rentals at over 11,000 locations around the world.
  • Extras and upgrades. You can also redeem Aeroplan points for in-flight extras and upgrades, such as in-flight Wi-Fi or a higher cabin class.

Redeem Aeroplan points at the Aeroplan eStore

The eStore is Aeroplan’s online shopping portal where you can redeem your points for gift cards and merchandise across a wide range of shopping categories. You can shop for the following from over 170 big brand names:

  • Activities and travel
  • Beauty, health and wellness
  • Toys
  • Disney experiences and products
  • Fashion and accessories
  • Electronics
  • Home and garden products
  • Kitchen and dining products
  • Sports and fitness products
  • And much more

How does the Aeroplan eStore work?

Aeroplan reward charts and flight redemption

Aeroplan reward charts are kind of like “cheat sheets” made by Aeroplan to help you figure out how many Aeroplan flight rewards you’ll have to redeem to fly on popular routes. These charts split Aeroplan travel destinations into 4 different zones: North America, Atlantic, Pacific and South America.

Each zone has its own Aeroplan rewards chart to outline points redemption rates for that zone. The number of points you’ll have to redeem to purchase an Aeroplan flight in that zone will be based on your flight distance and seat class. The charts for each zone are shown in the tables below and can give you a rough idea of how many Aeroplan flight rewards you’ll need to collect before you’re eligible to fly to certain destinations.

Picture not described

The map of Aeroplan zones above is from the Aeroplan website.

This zone includes any Aeroplan flights within Canada, to the US, to Mexico and to countries in Central America and the Caribbean. The number of Aeroplan points you’ll need to redeem for this zone range from 6,000 to 25,000 points for a one-way economy ticket.
AirlineEconomy (pts)Business (pts)
0 – 500 milesAir Canada6,000 – 10,00015,000 – 25,000
501 – 1,500 milesAir Canada10,000 – 15,00020,000 – 35,000
1,501 – 2,750 milesAir Canada12,500 – 17,50025,000 – 60,000
2,751+ milesAir Canada17,500 – 25,00035,000 – 70,000

The Atlantic Zones include countries in Europe, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and Africa. The number of Aeroplan points you’ll have to hand over for flights within this zone range from 35,000 to 100,000 points for a one-way economy ticket.

AirlineEconomy (pts)Business (pts)First (pts)
0 – 4,000 milesAir Canada35,000 – 60,00060,000 – 160,00090,000 – 180,000
4,001 – 6,000 milesAir Canada40,000 – 70,00070,000 – 180,000100,000 – 200,000
6,001 – 8,000 milesAir Canada55,000 – 80,00085,000 – 200,000120,000 – 225,000
8,001+ milesAir Canada70,000 – 100,000100,000 – 220,000130,000 – 250,000

The Pacific Zone includes countries in Central and Southeast Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand. The average number of Aeroplan points you’ll have to redeem in this zone ranges from 35,000 to 110,000 points for a one-way economy Aeroplan flight.

AirlineEconomy (pts)Business (pts)First (pts)
0 – 5,000 milesAir Canada35,000 – 65,00055,000 – 150,00090,000 – 200,000
5,001 – 7,500 milesAir Canada45,000 – 80,00075,000 – 175,000110,000 – 250,000
7,501 – 11,000 milesAir Canada50,000 – 90,00085,000 – 200,000130,000 – 300,000
11,001+ milesAir Canada65,000 – 110,000105,000 – 250,000140,000 – 350,000

The South America zone includes all countries in South America (but it doesn’t include Central American countries such as Panama, Costa Rica or Nicaragua). The number of points you’ll have to hand over for Aeroplan flights within this zone ranges between 30,000 and 70,000 points for a one-way economy fare.

AirlineEconomy (pts)Business (pts)First (pts)
0 – 4,500 milesAir Canada30,000 – 60,00050,000 – 175,00080,000 – 200,000
4,501+ milesAir Canada40,000 – 70,00060,000 – 200,000100,000 – 250,000
The points outlined in the tables above for each destination are only a rough estimate and are typical for normal times of the year. If you’re looking to travel in a high-demand period, the cost of your trip could be higher.

How to use Aeroplan rewards charts

Aeroplan has a number of different destinations you can fly to based on how many Aeroplan flight rewards you’ve collected. Follow these 6 steps to use an Aeroplan rewards chart to trade in your points for your next vacation:

  1. Decide which destination you want to visit.
  2. Find the distance (in miles) of that destination from your location in Canada using a tool like Google Maps.
  3. Decide if you want to book an economy, premium economy, business or first class Aeroplan flight.
  4. With all this information at hand, check the map above to find out which zone your destination is in.
  5. Consult the tables above to determine how many points you’ll need to hand over based on the distance of your destination and the class of flight you want. Be sure to keep in mind that you’ll need to multiply the number of points required by two if you plan to book a return Aeroplan flight.

Can I redeem Aeroplan points for a car rental?

Yes. It’s easy to cash your points in for Aeroplan car rentals using your Aeroplan account. Just follow the step-by-step booking process below to get started.

  1. Log in to your Aeroplan account using your nine-digit Aeroplan number or email and the password you made when you created your account.
  2. Once you’re logged in, open the Aeroplan car rentals page, select “Points” from the red toggle (as pictured below), and then click “Find”.
    Picture not described
  3. On the next page, input the dates you want your vehicle for and where you intend to pick it up and drop it off.
    Picture not described
  4. Hit search to get a list of eligible vehicles from Aeroplan car rental partners, Avis and Budget. This list will include the pick-up location, the type of vehicle, the cost in dollars, and how many points you’ll have to redeem for your rental.
  5. Choose the vehicle that best fits your needs and when a new screen opens, indicate how you want to pay for your rental (with credit card or points).
  6. Hit “Add to cart” to process your booking and your Aeroplan points will be deducted from your account.

Read our guide here for more ways to redeem your Aeroplan Miles.

How long will it take me to collect enough points for an Aeroplan car rental?

A one-day rental for a compact car will typically cost you between 4,000 and 10,000 Aeroplan points in Canada. That said, you may have to exchange more or less than this amount depending on a number of factors. These can include where you rent your vehicle, what type of vehicle you need, which provider you settle on and how long you need the rental for.

If you want to collect enough points to book an Aeroplan car rental, you should budget for at least 5,000 to 10,000 points per day for an economy car. The amount of time it will take to save up this many points will depend on your spending habits and credit limits, as well as what kind of credit card or Aeroplan membership status you have.

If you want to get a one-day Aeroplan car rental with 5,000 points and you have a basic Aeroplan membership, you’ll need to spend at least $5,000 with Aeroplan partners. If you have an Aeroplan credit card, you’ll have to spend at least $2,500 with partners or $5,000 on everyday purchases (depending on how many points you earn per dollar).

Keep in mind that the value you’ll get for your points when you exchange them for an Aeroplan car rental will be lower than for flights. For example, you can afford a one-way flight within Canada or the US for as little as 12,000 Aeroplan points. If that flight is around $250, your points will be worth much more than if you exchange a portion of them for a one-day car rental worth around $60.

Pros and cons of the Air Canada rewards program

Aeroplan pros

  • Book flexible flights. Enjoy no flight or date restrictions when booking flights.
  • Avoid carrier surcharges. There are no carrier fees with Aeroplan flights (though you may have to pay taxes and third-party fees).
  • Get reliable pricing information. Get an estimate of how many points you’ll need with Aeroplan’s Points Predictor tool.
  • Pay with a combination of points and cash. Use points to cover part of your fare and use cash to pay for the rest, as you please.
  • Share points with your family. You can combine the points you earn with up to eight family members.
  • Enjoy non-flight reward options. Use your points for travel perks such as cabin upgrades and onboard WiFi.
  • Take advantage of perks with Aeroplan Elite Status. Earn more Aeroplan rewards and get priority perks with Aeroplan Elite status.
  • Earn points faster with an Aeroplan credit card. Earn at least double the points with an Aeroplan credit card and enjoy travel insurance and extra perks with more premium Aeroplan cards.

Aeroplan cons

  • Partner flights come with a booking fee of $39. You’ll have to pay a small fee to book with partner airlines but you can book with Air Canada for free.
  • You’ll have to redeem a high number of points to book flights. You’ll need at least 24,000 points to book a return flight to an international destination from Canada.
  • You won’t earn many points for cheap flights. You’ll earn less points for cheap economy flights than you will for more expensive flights booked in business or first-class.
  • Stopovers cost 5,000 points each. Aeroplan charges 5,000 points for every stopover you make and you can’t add stopovers to any flights within or between Canada and the US.
  • Points are worth less for non-travel redemptions. You’ll get a lower value for your points if you cash them in for items from the Aeroplan rewards catalogue such as merchandise or gift cards.

What are some of the most common Aeroplan mistakes?

These are seven common mistakes you’ll want to avoid in order to get the most out of your Aeroplan rewards:

  1. Not signing up for an Aeroplan credit card. If you don’t have an Aeroplan credit card, you’ll only earn one point for every dollar you spend at partner stores and you won’t earn the maximum number of Aeroplan rewards when you shop for everyday purchases.
  2. Not comparing Aeroplan credit cards. If you don’t take the time to compare credit cards, you could end up with a card that gives you the minimum return on points, has benefits that aren’t useful or comes with an annual fee that’s too high for your budget.
  3. Not taking advantage of Aeroplan promotions. You could miss out on Aeroplan rewards if you don’t keep an eye out for special promotions. For example, you could earn 10x the points when you shop online at the Aeroplan eStore.
  4. Letting your points expire. Aeroplan rules for expiry dates state that your points can expire if you haven’t earned, redeemed, donated or transferred any points in 18 consecutive months.
  5. Not shopping at the Aeroplan eStore. You could be losing points when you choose to shop for products in-store instead of through Aeroplan’s eStore. Find out which retailers participate in the online eStore and what types of products you can buy here.
  6. Booking flights with fuel surcharges. Fuel surcharges can add hundreds of dollars to your Aeroplan flights. Find out more about how to avoid fuel surcharges when you book flights using your Aeroplan rewards.
  7. Exchanging points for low-value rewards. You’ll usually get a much higher value if you redeem your Aeroplan rewards for flights and other travel-related purchases. Your points will typically be worth less when you redeem them for merchandise and gift cards using the Aeroplan rewards catalogue.

Bottom line

If you’re a frequent flyer, the Air Canada Aeroplan rewards program offers plenty of bang for your buck. Learn how to maximize your points earning potential, and compare Aeroplan credit cards to find one that suits your needs.

Air Canada Aeroplan FAQs

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