Back in 2002, Air Canada found itself in a dire financial position forced to sell off its loyalty program, Aeroplan. For about 18 years, Aeroplan was operating as an entirely separate company from Canada’s flagship air carrier. However, in 2019, Air Canada reacquired Aeroplan after its massive devaluation and vowed to relaunch the loyalty program by 2020.

True to its word, the revamped Aeroplan program was initiated Nov. 8, 2020, with a new award chart, revised award policies, no fuel surcharges and many more features that made it attractive to travel enthusiasts.

Today, the Aeroplan program is arguably the most versatile frequent-flyer program out there. Air Canada’s route network reaches destinations on every continent except Antarctica.

If you’re unable to get where you want to go on an Air Canada-operated flight, you can use your points to book flights with any member of Star Alliance or with one of Air Canada’s other airline partners. In fact, Air Canada now has a whopping total of 48 partner airlines, more than any other frequent-flyer program. With such an extensive list of airline partners, it’s easy to find high-value redemptions for your Aeroplan points.

On top of that, there are many ways to rack up Aeroplan points, from flying with Star Alliance airlines to spending on Air Canada co-branded credit cards. Air Canada loyalists can also earn elite status tiers that come along with some great perks, most notably the ability to earn bonus points on flights with Air Canada and select partner airlines.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the Air Canada Aeroplan program.

Air Canada

Air Canada

Air Canada Aeroplan Overview

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline that serves more than 220 destinations across six continents. And, since Air Canada was one of the founding members of Star Alliance in 1997, you can fly to almost any destination in the world either with Air Canada or one of its Star Alliance partners.

Currently, Star Alliance has 26 member airlines, including:

Aegean AirlinesEthiopian Airlines
Air CanadaEVA Air
Air ChinaLOT Polish Airlines
Air IndiaLufthansa
Air New ZealandScandinavian Airlines (SAS)
All Nippon Airways (ANA)Shenzhen Airlines
AsianaSingapore Airlines
Austrian AirlinesSouth African Airlines
AviancaSwiss International Air Lines
Brussels AirlinesTAP Air Portugal
Copa AirlinesThai Airways
Croatia AirlinesTurkish Airlines
EgyptAirUnited Airlines

In addition to being a Star Alliance member, Air Canada has added many airline partners to its Aeroplan program over the years, bringing the current number to 48.

Some of the notable non-Star Alliance partners include Aer Lingus, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia. All in all, with such a massive list of airline partners, the Aeroplan program is extremely flexible in where you can earn and redeem points.

Unfortunately, Air Canada’s zone-based award chart can be fairly difficult to understand, making it hard to predict the redemption rates for specific redemptions. However, if you do your research, you certainly can find sweet spots that offer a lot of value within the Aeroplan program.

Air Canada Business Class

Air Canada Business Class

Air Canada Aeroplan Elite Status

Air Canada Aeroplan has its own elite status program with five distinct tiers, all of which have different eligibility requirements and benefits. Once you earn elite status with Air Canada Aeroplan, it will be valid for the remainder of that calendar year as well as the entire following calendar year.

For instance, if you were to earn 25K elite status in January 2023, then your elite status would be valid until the end of December 2024. However, if you earned 25K elite status in December 2023, then your status would still be valid until December 2024. So, it’s worth keeping in mind that earning elite status earlier in the year will give you a much larger time frame to take advantage of its benefits.

To achieve a certain elite tier, you have to meet either a certain threshold of Status Qualifying Miles (SQMs) or Status Qualifying Segments (SQSs) as well as a certain amount of Status Qualifying Dollars (SQDs).

If you’re familiar with Delta’s Medallion elite status program, then this probably makes sense to you. However, for everyone else, this can seem confusing.

Let’s take a closer look at the elite status requirements and benefits.

Earning Elite Status

There are three main metrics that contribute to your elite status tier: Status Qualifying Miles (SQMs), Status Qualifying Segments (SQSs) and Status Qualifying Dollars (SQDs).

SQMs are earned as a percentage of the distance you fly, based on a minimum distance of 250 miles. So, you won’t earn any SQMs on flights shorter than 250 miles in distance.

The percentage of SQMs that you’d receive on an Air Canada-operated flight longer than 250 miles is based on the distance flown and the fare class.

Here are the different earnings rates for each fare class:

  • Economy Basic – 0%
  • Economy Standard – 50%
  • Economy Flex – 100%
  • Economy Comfort – 115%
  • Economy Latitude – 125%
  • Premium Economy – 125%
  • Business – 150%

So, if you were to take a 1,000-mile flight in Economy Standard, you’d earn 500 SQMs. If you took the same flight in Economy Flex, you’d earn 1,000 SQMs. And, if you took the same flight in Business, you’d earn 1,500 SQMs.

SQSs are earned for each flight segment that you take. So, if you book an itinerary that has one layover, you would earn two SQSs.

Both SQMs and SQSs can be earned on eligible flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Canada Rouge, Air Canada Vacation packages and certain flights with other Star Alliance member airlines.

SQDs are earned for eligible spending on your base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges. You can earn SQDs on eligible flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Canada Rouge and on flights with Star Alliance member airlines ticketed on Air Canada ticket stock. You can also earn SQDs for Unlimited Flight Passes, Limited Credit Flight Passes and eUpgrade add-ons.

Now that you understand what SQMs, SQSs and SQDs are, here’s a breakdown of how many of each you’ll need to earn to achieve each of Aeroplan’s five status tiers:

25K35K50K75KSuper Elite
You must have SQDs of at least:$3,000$4,000$6,000$9,000$20,000
AND EITHER this many SQMs: 25,00035,00050,00075,000100,000
OR this many SQSs:25355075100

It’s also worth noting you can earn 25K elite status by signing up for The Aeroplan® Card from Chase. You can also earn SQMs and SQSs by meeting certain spending thresholds on Air Canada co-branded credit cards.

Elite Status Benefits

The benefits that you receive for having elite status are broadly separated into two categories: Core Benefits and Select Benefits. Core Benefits are, essentially, perks that you’ll get automatically once you reach a certain elite status. Select Benefits, on the other hand, have to be selected from a list of options.

There are also certain benefits that are available at all five status tiers. These include:

  • Priority reservation waitlist (on all Star Alliance flights)
  • Priority seat select (only on Air Canada flights)
  • Priority airport standby (on all Star Alliance flights)
  • Complimentary sports equipment handling (only on Air Canada flights)
  • 20 eUpgrade credits (with the option to receive more at some status tiers if chosen as Select Benefit)
  • Earn a minimum of 250 Aeroplan points for eligible fares for flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Canada Rouge and Star Alliance member airlines, regardless of distance traveled
  • 3 bonus Aeroplan points per dollar spent every time you book a hotel stay or Avis/Budget car rental with the full cash option on the Aeroplan Member booking tool
  • 2 bonus Aeroplan points per dollar spent every time you shop through the Aeroplan eStore

On top of the previously mentioned perks, each of the five elite status tiers offers their own unique benefits. Here’s a breakdown of the notable perks you’ll receive at each elite status tier.

25K35K50K75KSuper Elite
Complimentary preferred seatsN/AN/AWith Flex fares within North AmericaWith Flex fares on all marketsWith all fares on all markets
50% off preferred seatsWith Flex fares on all marketsWith Flex fares on all marketsWith Flex fares on international marketsN/AN/A
Guaranteed reservations in Economy Class on Air Canada and Air Canada ExpressN/AN/AN/AYesYes
Priority airport check-inOn Air Canada onlyOn Air Canada onlyOn all Star Alliance flightsOn all Star Alliance flightsOn all Star Alliance flights
Complimentary checked baggage allowanceTwo bags up to 23 kg. eachThree bags up to 32 kg. eachThree bags up to 32 kg. eachThree bags up to 32 kg. eachThree bags up to 32 kg. each
Priority baggage handlingN/AN/AOn all Star Alliance flightsOn all Star Alliance flightsOn all Star Alliance flights
Priority security clearanceN/AOn Air Canada onlyOn Air Canada onlyOn Air Canada onlyOn Air Canada only
Priority boardingOn Air Canada onlyOn Air Canada onlyOn all Star Alliance flightsOn all Star Alliance flightsOn all Star Alliance flights
Complimentary access to all Maple Leaf LoungesN/AN/AYesYesYes
Complimentary access to all Maple Leaf LoungesN/AYesN/AN/AN/A
Maple Leaf Lounge one-time guest passesTwo passesTwo passesThree passesThree passesFour passes
Complimentary access to Star Alliance Gold LoungesN/AN/AYesYesYes
Additional eUpgrade credits available as Select Benefit5 credits10 credits20 credits35 credits50 credits
Aeroplan points bonus on Air Canada and select partners available as Select Benefit25%35%50%75%100%
Ability to gift 50K status to a friend available as Select BenefitN/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Ability to gift 35K status to a friend available as Select BenefitN/AN/AN/AYesN/A
Complimentary changes and cancellations on Aeroplan award flightsN/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Status passes (which allows a friend to enjoy the perks of elite status for the duration of their trip)N/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Additional status passes available as Select BenefitN/AN/ATwo passesThree passesFour passes
Complimentary in-flight refreshmentN/AN/AN/AN/AYes
Exclusive status upgrade with AvisAvis Preferred PlusAvis Preferred PlusAvis Preferred PlusAvis President’s CircleAvis President’s Circle
Star Alliance recognitionStar Alliance SilverStar Alliance SilverStar Alliance GoldStar Alliance GoldStar Alliance Gold

As you can see, the Air Canada Aeroplan elite status program can be confusing. However, if you look closely, there are some valuable perks at every elite status tier.

Even 25K status comes with 20 eUpgrade credits, the option to choose a 25% points bonus as a Select Benefit, two free checked bags up to 23 kg. and two single-use passes to the Maple Leaf Lounges. Considering that you can achieve 25K status without ever stepping on a plane by signing up for an Air Canada co-branded credit card, this elite status program is worth paying attention to.

air canada

Air Canada Business Class (Image Courtesy of Air Canada)

Million Mile

One final aspect of the Aeroplan elite status program is the Air Canada Million Mile program. This is basically Air Canada’s equivalent of lifetime elite status.

To earn this status, you must fly more than 1 million Lifetime Qualifying Miles (LQMs) on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express. Additionally, miles earned as a bonus for purchasing a ticket in business class or purchasing an Air Canada Unlimited Flight Pass will also count as LQMs.

Each time that you cross another million-mile milestone, you’ll be rewarded with more elite status benefits. Here’s how it works:

  • One Million Miles: Your elite status will always be at least 50K.
  • Two Million Miles: Your elite status will always be at least 75K and the status of a friend will always be at least 50K.
  • Three Million Miles: Your elite status will always be Super Elite.
  • Four Million Miles: Your elite status will always be Super Elite and the status of a friend will always be at least 75K.

While you may be able to achieve One Million Miles over the course of your life if you frequently fly with Air Canada, it’s going to be hard to achieve Four Million Miles. That’s more than 160 times the circumference of the Earth.

How to Earn Aeroplan Points

You can earn Aeroplan points by flying on Air Canada-operated flights as well as with some of their airline partners. There are several other ways to earn points as well. However, the only one that’s really worth paying attention to is signing up for an Air Canada co-branded credit card. Still, let’s cover all of the different ways to earn Aeroplan points.

Flying with Air Canada

The simplest way to earn Aeroplan points is to book flights with Air Canada. And the number of points that you’ll earn from each flight depends on the actual distance flown as well as the fare class that you booked in.

For any flight, you can find the number of Aeroplan points (and SQMs) that you’ll earn by multiplying the distance flown by the earnings percentage associated with your fare class. Here are the percentages for each fare class.

Fare ClassAeroplan points and SQMs (% of miles flown)
Business150% points / SQMs
Premium Economy125% points / SQMs
Latitude125% points / SQMs
Comfort115% points / SQMs
Flex100% points / SQMs
Standard between Canada and the U.S., and Canada and international50% points / SQMs
Standard within Canada25% points / 50% SQMs
Basic between Canada and the U.S., and Canada and international 25% points / 0% SQMs
Basic within Canada10% points / 0% SQMs

You must book directly through the Air Canada website or through the Air Canada mobile app to earn points on Air Canada flights. Any bookings made through third-party agencies aren’t eligible to earn points.

It’s also worth noting that you can earn points on in-flight extras, such as food, beverages and duty-free purchases.

Flying with Partner Airlines

You also can earn Aeroplan points by flying with one of Air Canada’s partner airlines. To find out how many Aeroplan points you can earn with each partner airline, you can view Air Canada’s list of partner airlines and click the “Details” button below the name of your desired airline.

Considering that Air Canada Aeroplan has more airline partners than any other frequent-flyer program, this represents a huge opportunity to earn lots of Aeroplan points.

To earn Aeroplan points on a partner flight, you can simply book your flight on that partner’s website as you normally would. However, when it comes time to input your personal information, select Air Canada Aeroplan as your frequent-flyer program and input your Aeroplan account number. Then, any miles you’ve earned from that booking will be credited to your Aeroplan account.

Air Canada

Air Canada

Spending with Air Canada Credit Cards

In addition to earning Aeroplan points by purchasing flights, you can earn points on everyday purchases by signing up for one of Air Canada’s co-branded credit cards. Like every other aspect of the Aeroplan program, understanding their credit card offerings is a bit difficult.

Air Canada has co-branded credit cards issued by four different banks: American Express, Chase, CIBC and TD Bank. Many of these cards are exclusive to Canada, while others are for the U.S. market. Italicized cards below are Canadian issued cards. Here are the options available from these issuers.

American Express

  • American Express® Aeroplan® Business Reserve Card ($599 annual fee)
  • American Express® Aeroplan® Card ($120 annual fee)
  • American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card ($599 annual fee)

Chase

CIBC

  • CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Business Card ($180 annual fee)
  • CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Credit Card ($0 annual fee)
  • CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card ($139 annual fee)
  • CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege Card ($599 annual fee)

TD Bank

  • TD® Aeroplan® Visa Business Card ($149 annual fee)
  • TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card ($139 annual fee)
  • TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege Card ($599 annual fee)
  • TD® Aeroplan® Visa Platinum Card ($89 annual fee)

As you can see, there’s an Aeroplan card for everyone from Air Canada loyalists to casual, time-to-time travelers. When deciding which Aeroplan might be for you, you should look at the everyday spending bonus as well as the Air Canada-specific benefits.

For instance, the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege Card and the American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card both come with unlimited access to Maple Leaf Lounges. Then, consider whether you’ll use such perks frequently enough to justify paying the $599 annual fee that comes with both of these cards.

Most of these cards also offer valuable welcome bonuses when you spend a certain amount of money on the card within a certain time period after opening the card. These can be a great way to boost your Aeroplan points balance quickly.

If you’re after Aeroplan elite status, then you’re probably going to want to go with the Aeroplan® Card from Chase, which has an annual fee of $95 and comes with automatic 25K elite status for the remainder of the calendar year in which you sign up for the card as well as the entirety of the next calendar year.

Being that none of Aeroplan’s $599 annual-fee cards come with automatic elite status, this makes the Chase card quite an attractive option.

However, while other cards don’t come with automatic elite status, there are other cards that can help you achieve elite status more quickly. With the American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card, for instance, you can earn 1,000 SQMs and 1 SQS for every $5,000 you spend on eligible purchases.

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge

Transfer Points

There are several programs out there that allow you to transfer your points into the Air Canada Aeroplan program. However, few of Air Canada’s hotel partners offer a good transfer ratio. So, you’re probably better off leaving your points in their original program than transferring them into Aeroplan. However, Air Canada’s partner credit card programs offer solid transfer ratios.

You can transfer points from the following partner programs.

Loyalty ProgramTransfer Ratio
ALL - Accor Live Limitless2:1
American Express Membership Rewards1:1
Best Western Rewards5:1
Capital One Rewards1:1
Chase Ultimate Rewards1:1
Choice Privileges5:1
Coast Rewards1:1
Hilton Honors10:1
IHG Rewards Club5:1
Marriott Bonvoy3:1
Radisson Rewards10:1
Shangri-La Circle1:1
Wyndham Rewards5:1

As you can see, not many of Air Canada’s hotel partners offer a favorable transfer ratio. However, if you have a specific Air Canada award flight in mind, it might be worth transferring some points from American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards.

So, unless you’re a frequent traveler with Air Canada, you’re probably better off getting a general credit card instead of an Air Canada co-branded card. For instance, unless you’re an Air Canada loyalist, you may want to go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card over the Aeroplan® Card from Chase, both of which have an annual fee of $95.

With the Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll earn flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points instead of airline-specific Aeroplan points, meaning you’ll have a much wider range of redemption options. If you see an award flight from Air Canada that you want to purchase, you can always just transfer your points to your Aeroplan account.

Retail Partners

Air Canada Aeroplan also partners with many different retail brands that allow you to earn Aeroplan points for making purchases online, through an app or in person. Here are some of Aeroplan’s more notable retail partners:

adidasKeurig
AliExpressLand’s End
AmazonLenovo
Applelululemon
Banana RepublicMacy’s
Bed Bath & BeyondMarriott Bonvoy
Best BuyMicrosoft
BloomingdalesNew Balance
BoseNike
ColumbiaOld Navy
CrocsQuickbooks
DellReebok
Disney+Samsung
EtsyStarbucks
GapUber + Uber Eats
HPUnder Armour
InstacartYETI

With most of these partners, you’ll be awarded a certain number of Aeroplan points for every dollar that you spend with that brand through the Aeroplan eStore. To do so, you can simply log in to the Aeroplan eStore and search the brand that you want to shop with. Then, once you make a purchase, any Aeroplan points you’ve earned will be credited to your account.

For other partners, you can earn Aeroplan points by linking your Aeroplan account to their app. For instance, you can receive 500 Aeroplan points for making an account on the Starbucks app and then linking it to Aeroplan. After that, you’ll receive even more Aeroplan points for loading cash into your Starbucks app.

Buying Aeroplan Points

Although, we wouldn’t recommend it in most cases, one final way to boost your Aeroplan points balance is to purchase points. Air Canada typically sells points for around 3.5 Canadian cents apiece (which is around 2.63 U.S. cents at the current exchange rate). Considering that Aeroplan points are usually valued at around 1.5 to 2 U.S. cents apiece, buying Aeroplan points is usually a pretty bad deal.

However, if you really need to top off your Aeroplan points balance for a specific award and you don’t have any other points in other programs to transfer in, then you may want to consider buying points. Occasionally, Air Canada runs promotions that drop the cost of buying points. These can be a good opportunity to buy some points at a discounted rate.

It’s also worth noting that Air Canada uses Points.com to process points purchases. These transactions will not trigger travel-related spending bonuses on credit cards. So, if you’re going to buy points, you’re better off using a card with strong everyday spending bonuses.

How to Redeem Aeroplan Points

You can redeem Aeroplan points for flights with Air Canada as well as with both Star Alliance and non-Star Alliance partners. And because Air Canada has more airline partners than any other airline in the world, Aeroplan points are an extremely flexible rewards currency when it comes to award flight redemptions.

However, there are ways to redeem your Aeroplan points that don’t involve flying. Air Canada allows you to use your Aeroplan points for hotel stays, car rentals, experiences, merchandise and more.

Let’s take a look at the different ways that you can redeem your Aeroplan points and the redemption options that offer the most value.

Flying with Air Canada

Of course, the most obvious way to redeem Aeroplan points is to book flights operated by Air Canada. Technically, Air Canada has a fixed award chart that’s based on four travel zones, the distance flown and the fare class. For instance, according to the chart, a flight shorter than 500 miles within North America in economy class should cost between 6,000 and 10,000 points.

Flying with Air Canada

However, Air Canada doesn’t adhere to this award chart strictly and prices for award flights can often fall outside the ranges presented on the chart. For instance, when we searched for flights from Toronto to New York (which are both in North America and are less than 500 miles apart), we found flights that were both above and below the range presented in the chart.

Flying with Air Canada

According to the chart, economy class tickets for this origin and destination should have been between 6,000 and 10,000 points. However, we found tickets that cost between 5,800 and 16,500 points, both outside of the range stated in the award chart. So, all in all, award flights seem to be tied more closely to cash rates and it’s probably better to ignore this award chart altogether.

You should always make your award bookings online. All you have to do is search for your desired flight itinerary and check the “Book with Aeroplan points” box. If you make your booking online, it will be free of charge. However, if you make your booking by calling the Aeroplan Contact Centre, you’ll be charged a fee of 30 Canadian dollars.

Flying with Partner Airlines

You also can use your Aeroplan points to purchase award flights from Air Canada’s partner airlines. However, you’ll be charged a partner booking fee of CAD39. Although Air Canada provides an estimated range for what Air Canada-operated award flights will cost, its award chart lists exact prices for award flights operated by partner airlines.

Flying with Partner Airlines

To book partner award flights with Aeroplan points, you can simply search for your desired flight origin, destination and dates. Make sure to check the “Book with Aeroplan points” box. The Air Canada website will then display all of the results that meet your search (whether they’re operated by Air Canada or a partner airline) and their redemption rates in Aeroplan points.

As I mentioned with the previous section, prices for Air Canada-operated award flights don’t always match up with the ranges listed on their award chart. However, with partner-operated flights, it seems that the prices listed on their award chart are reliably correct.

For instance, economy flights within the Pacific zone of distances between 2,001 and 5,000 miles cost 25,000 Aeroplan points, according to the award chart.

When we searched for a flight between Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur (which are both within the Pacific zone and are between 2,001 and 5,000 miles apart), we found an economy ticket for 25,000 Aeroplan points, which is the same rate as stated in the chart.

Flying with Partner Airlines

In general, since Air Canada’s award chart is based on both zones and flight distance, the highest-value redemptions (whether operated by Air Canada or a partner airline) are going to be short-haul flights. For instance, you can often find flights between New York and Toronto, one of the world’s busiest international routes, for as few as 6,000 points.

Air Canada has also partnered with Emirates. At the time of publishing, Emirates flights are pricing out the same as partner flights. But in 2023, expect Air Canada to shift to an Emirates specific award chart for Emirates operated flights.

Air Canada Vacations

In addition to booking flights with your Aeroplan points, you have the option to book vacation packages, Flight & Hotel packages, hotels, tours and cruises with points through Air Canada Vacations. To do so, you can simply sign in to Air Canada Vacations with your Aeroplan account credentials and search for your destination.

If you’re booking vacations in Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Los Angeles or Orlando, Florida, you can select the number of points you would like to redeem from the drop-down menu at the left of your search results.

If you’re booking vacations in Canada, Europe or other cities in the United States not listed above, select the number of points you would like to redeem by adjusting the slider above your search results or at the bottom of the checkout page.

Note that you can only book cruises with Aeroplan points by calling Air Canada’s reservations department at 1-866-529-2079.

Gift Cards

Air Canada also gives you the option to redeem your Aeroplan points for gift cards from a wide variety of brands. Prices for gift cards vary based on the brand and the value of the gift card. Typically, you’ll need:

  • 3,500 points for a $25 gift card
  • 7,000 points for a $50 gift card
  • 14,000 points for a $100 gift card
  • 35,000 points for a $250 gift card
  • 50,000 points for a $500 gift card

As you can see, 3,500 points will get you $25 in-store credit. However, considering that Aeroplan points are typically valued between 1.5 and 2 cents apiece, those 3,500 points could be worth between $52.50 and $70. All in all, redeeming your points for gift cards typically doesn’t yield high value per point.

Merchandise

It’s also possible to use your Aeroplan points to purchase merchandise from hundreds of brands through the Aeroplan eStore. You’re given the option to pay entirely with points or with a combination of cash and points. You can purchase anything from a TV to a grill to a backpack to an espresso machine.

Unfortunately, redeeming points this way typically provides low value. So, if you plan on taking any flights in the future, it’s usually not a good idea to redeem your points for merchandise.

Donate Points

Air Canada also gives you the option to donate the points to your choice of more than 300 charities. To donate your points, log in to your Aeroplan account and navigate to their charities page. Then, you can select the charity you want to donate your points to. It’s difficult to say how much value you’ll get out of this redemption method as every charity provides a different value per point.

Transferring Points

You also can transfer points from one Aeroplan account to another. However, this isn’t a good idea as Air Canada charges a fee of 2 cents per point to do so as this erodes the value of your points.

If you want to give your friend or family member Aeroplan points, you’re much better off buying them an Air Canada eGift Card. For instance, transferring 10,000 points (which is valued at between $150 and $200) to another Aeroplan member would cost you $200. Thus, all value would be lost with this method. On the other hand, you can use those 10,000 points to purchase a $100 Air Canada eGift Card.

An even better way to use your Aeroplan points on a friend or family member is simply to book an award flight in their name. That way you can still get the most value per point possible and get your friend or family member a gift.

Aeroplan Family Sharing

Aeroplan Family Sharing is a feature that was added to the program when it relaunched back in 2020. This feature allows you to pool your points with up to seven other people without paying any fees. And, while it’s called the “Family Sharing” feature, you can choose to pool your points with any other Aeroplan member whether they’re a relative or not.

To use Family Sharing, you can go to the Aeroplan website and set up a Family Sharing Group by sending out email invites to any other Aeroplan member that you’d like to join your group. If that person accepts the invitation, they will become part of your Family Sharing group and both of your points will be added to a shared balance.

You can add up to eight people to your group, and all of your points will be pooled in one shared balance that can be used by any member of the group for redemptions.

On top of that, if any member of your Family Sharing group has elite status or is an Air Canada Aeroplan cardholder, then every member of the group will benefit from their preferred pricing for redemptions.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, the Air Canada Aeroplan program is complicated. From the complexity of its elite status program to the large array of credit card offerings to the difficulty of predicting award flight prices, the Aeroplan program is anything but easy to understand.

However, if you frequently fly with Air Canada, then it’s worth getting to know the ins and outs of this loyalty program as there are some valuable sweet spots within it.

For one, the opportunity to automatically earn 25K elite status by signing up for the Aeroplan Card from Chase should not be missed out on. If you fly with Air Canada often, the benefits of 25K elite status can easily make up for the card’s $95 annual fee many times over.

And because Air Canada Aeroplan has more airline partners than any other frequent-flyer program in the world, it’s super easy to rack up points by flying with Star Alliance and non-Star Alliance partners. Likewise, Air Canada’s multitude of partners gives you a ton of options when it’s time to redeem your Aeroplan points.

When it comes to award flight redemptions, whether with Air Canada or a partner airline, you’re going to find the best value on short-haul flights. This is because Air Canada has an award chart that’s based on zones and distances. This presents an opportunity to find some high-value redemptions for popular short-haul routes.