Aeroplan is a coalition loyalty plan that is completely separate from Air Canada. This program was introduced over ten years ago, and it is a completely independent entity. Aimia is the company that owns Aeroplan, and it is involved in other loyalty programs around the world. The Aeroplan program turned 30 years old in 2014, and it currently has over five million members. Aeroplan has evolved into a loyalty marketing program with retail partners like Esso, Home Hardware, Birks, Thrifty Foods, and Nestle Canada. You will find that Aeroplan is currently used by Air Creebec, Canadian North, Calm Air, and First Air. This program has deployed the MicroStrategy platform for the purpose of intelligence reporting and analytics to track and analyze member information as well as track purchasing patterns. In 2012, around 2.3 million rewards were issued to members, including more than 1.6 million flights on Air Canada or other Star Alliance carriers, which offer travel to more than 1,000 different destinations around the world. There are a number of benefits associated with an Aeroplan membership, including free award flights, cabin upgrades, and many others. Millions of people have joined this program, and it’s highly recommended that you consider doing the same.

General Information

Star Alliance™
+1 (800) 361-5373

Pros

  • Pay your taxes with miles ❹
  • Booking tool is easy to use
  • You need only 50% of the miles ❶
  • Cash and miles option available
  • Good number of partner airlines
  • Good availability of economy seats
  • Most airlines can be booked online

Cons

  • Miles expire in 12 months
  • Taxes will be billed in CAD ❷
  • City can not be set as origin ❸
  • Some airlines impose fuel surcharge

Fees & Charges

  • Cancellation fee
    CAD 90
  • Change award fee
    CAD 90
  • Phone booking fee
    CAD 30

Additional Information

Expiration: Miles expire 12 months since last activity.
For some programs, an activity is any accrual of miles, crediting a flight, transfering or purchasing miles. For others, spending activities such as redeeming or donating points counts as an activity.
❶ You need a minimum of 50% of the miles in order to book other 50% you can pay with cash.
❷ Taxes will be issued and billed in Canadian dollars (CAD). A foreign merchant transaction fee may be charged by your credit card issuing bank at time of billing.
❸ City can not be set as origin or destination point - only airport
❹ You can pay all taxes, fees and surcharges with miles

Transfer Partners

1,000
Amex points
1 : 1
1,000
miles
Instant
1,000
Amex points
1 : 1
1,000
miles
Instant
1,000
Starwood points
1 : 1
+5,000 BONUS
1,000
miles
4 days
1,000
Starwood points
1 : 1
+5,000 BONUS
1,000
miles
4 days
1,000
Marriott points
2.8 : 1
357
miles
42 days
1,000
Marriott points
2.8 : 1
357
miles
42 days
1,000
Choice points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
Choice points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
BW points
5 : 1
200
miles
7 days
1,000
BW points
5 : 1
200
miles
7 days
1,000
Wyndham points
5 : 1
200
miles
28 days
1,000
Wyndham points
5 : 1
200
miles
28 days
1,000
Hilton points
10 : 1
100
miles
4 days
1,000
Hilton points
10 : 1
100
miles
4 days
1,000
Carlson points
10 : 1
100
miles
42 days
1,000
Carlson points
10 : 1
100
miles
42 days

The ratio is the number of flexible reward points it would take to transfer to Aeroplan®.

Transfer time is what is reported by the transfer programs, supplemented by our own research. However, actual time to transfer is often highly variable.

Airlines And Fuel Surcharge

This table will show you the partner airlines can be booked online and those which impose fuel surcharge.

Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
Aegean Airlines Aegean Airlines
Star Alliance™
Air China Air China
Star Alliance™
Air Creebec Air Creebec
No alliance
Air India Air India
Star Alliance™
Air New Zealand Air New Zealand
Star Alliance™
Avianca Avianca
Star Alliance™
Bearskin Airlines Bearskin Airlines
No alliance
Brussels Airlines Brussels Airlines
Star Alliance™
Calm Air Calm Air
No alliance
Canadian North Canadian North
No alliance
Copa Airlines Copa Airlines
Star Alliance™
Croatia Airlines Croatia Airlines
Star Alliance™
EgyptAir EgyptAir
Star Alliance™
Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian Airlines
Star Alliance™
EVA Air EVA Air
Star Alliance™
First Air First Air
No alliance
Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
LOT Polish Airlines LOT Polish Airlines
Star Alliance™
Scandinavian Airlines Scandinavian Airlines
Star Alliance™
Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines
Star Alliance™
South African Airways South African Airways
Star Alliance™
SWISS SWISS
Star Alliance™
Turkish Airlines Turkish Airlines
Star Alliance™
United Airlines United Airlines
Star Alliance™
Adria Airways Adria Airways
Star Alliance™
Air Canada Air Canada
Star Alliance™
ANA ANA
Star Alliance™
Asiana Airlines Asiana Airlines
Star Alliance™
Austrian Airlines Austrian Airlines
Star Alliance™
Lufthansa Lufthansa
Star Alliance™
Shenzhen Airlines Shenzhen Airlines
Star Alliance™
TAP Portugal TAP Portugal
Star Alliance™
Thai Airways Thai Airways
Star Alliance™

Program Review

Air Canada is the largest airline of Canada, and it was founded in 1937. It provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 182 destinations all over the world. It is the 10th largest passenger airline by fleet size, and it is a founding members of the Star Alliance. Air Canada’ corporate headquarters are located in Montreal, Quebec, while its largest hub is at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Air Canada had passenger revenues of CA $13.8 billion in 2015. Aeroplan, which is Air Canada’s official frequent flyer program, offers its members the ability to accrue points/miles that can be redeemed for a number of different things, including award flights, hotel bookings, car rentals, and more.

 

Aeroplan Program

Aeroplan offers members a number of different ways to earn points, which can be used for everything from free award flights to cabin upgrades and even car hire. This program is definitely one of the more accessible ones in existence, and there are a number of Elite levels that members can work through way up to so as to enjoy even more perks and benefits. One of the great things about this rewards program is that Air Canada has so many different partner airlines, making it very easy to earn points/miles. Those who fly with Air Canada often will definitely want to take the time to look into this program to see what exactly it has to offer overall.

 

Earning Aeroplan Points

The normal way to earn Aeroplan miles is, not surprisingly, by flying on an Air Canada flight. You can also earn miles on a number of partner airlines that are a member of the Star Alliance airline alliance. The amount of miles that you will earn varies depending on the length of the flight, the class of ticket (read “price”), and the airline you are flying with. The miles are calculated based on the actual miles, not kilometres, flown with a 500 mile minimum payout for shorter flights. You can consult the following table to get an idea of exactly how many miles you will earn for the flight you booked, with 100% being the exact number of miles flown. There is a second type of miles that can often be earned in tandem with Regular Miles called Status Miles. These are the miles that count towards qualifying you for one of the several Air Canada preferred statuses, known as the Air Canada Top Tier Program, which each comes with an increasing set of benefits, depending on which level you qualify for. Air Canada describes the difference between the two types of miles in their FAQ. You can also qualify for a status tier by flying a certain number of flight segments, even if the distance traveled wouldn’t normally be enough to qualify you. This is to accommodate those passengers who fly frequently with Air Canada but only fly short distances.

 

Redeeming Mileage Points

Again, the normal way to redeem Aeroplan miles is for flights. Short haul flights to nearby provinces and states (aka. short haul) start for as little as 15,000 miles and 25,000 miles will get you a flight anywhere in the United States or Canada. The full chart is available on their website but here is an abbreviated version of the chart including only departures from within Canada & Continental USA. Over the years Aeroplan has become more of a full featured rewards program that includes a lot of options outside flights for both earning and redeeming miles. If you visit the Use Your Miles section of Aeroplan.com you will see all the options they have available including flights, hotels, car rentals, activities, merchandise, and vacation packages. These additional options are great for added flexibility, but redeeming for flight rewards almost universally gives you the best value for your miles.

 

Routing Rules

On longhaul awards, in addition to your destination Aeroplan allows two stopovers (one in each direction) OR one stopover and one open jaw. For longhaul awards, Aeroplan lets you officially exceed the maximum permitted mileage for a city pair by 5% (airlines publish MPMs, which are the most number of miles you should be able to fly between a city pair, so basically they’re letting you exceed that slightly, which is reasonably generous), and unofficially lets you exceed it by 10%. Award tickets are manually priced, so it’s up to the agent to verify that the routing is valid — Aeroplan agents are among the most competent in the industry, so they’ll almost always correctly validate routings.

 

Benefits of Air Canada’s Aeroplan Program

There are many different benefits associated with Air Canada’s Aeroplan program, including the fact that there are so many different ways to earn points, making it very easy. If you are looking for an airline frequent flyer program that offers many different perks and benefits with little downside, this is definitely one to consider.

 

Elite Levels

In October 2014 Air Canada announced a set of changes to their Altitude elite program. As a reminder, Altitude is separate from Aeroplan, which is the general Air Canada frequent flyer program. Just like its U.S. peers, Air Canada tightened the screws by adding the revenue component to the list of the Elite Status requirements.

The new requirements don’t go into effect until 2017. The requirements for reaching each Elite level in this program are:

  • For Altitude Elite 25K you need to fly 25,000 PQMs or 25 PQSs and $3,000 PQDs

  • For Altitude Elite 35K: 35,000 PQMs or 35 PQSs and spend $4,000 PQDs

  • For Altitude Elite 50K: 50,000 PQMs or 50 PQSs and spend $6,000 PQDs

  • For Altitude Elite 75K: 75,000 PQMs or 75 PQSs and $9,000 PQDs

  • For Altitude Elite 100K: 100,000 PQMs or 95 PQSs and $20,000 PQDs

 

Booking Fees/Charges

Aeroplan members will need to pay a CAD$90 fee for changing flights and a CAD$90 fee for any and all refunds. Aeroplan Contact Center on 1-800-361-5373, which will cost CAD$30. Asking very nicely may get the fee waived.