Are Aeroplan Rewards right for you? There are many loyalty programs in Canada. Since it is impossible to take full advantage of all the benefits of each program, it is better to focus on those that really fit your needs. 

Are your photo albums overflowing with vacation memories? Does your job require you to travel regularly? Have the last few months only increased your desire to travel? If you answered Yes to any of these questions, the Aeroplan Reward Program is for you! Here's what you need to know, and how to maximize your rewards.

Aeroplan Rewards get a makeover

In November of 2021, the Aeroplan Rewards program was reinvented to better meet the needs of consumers.  While travel remains the meat and potatoes of the Aeroplan program, Air Canada wants to offer flexible rewards that meet the everyday needs of as many people as possible.

So, on November 8, 2021, the reward miles became reward points! This new program, which allows you to accumulate in a variety of ways, is simpler, more advantageous and more flexible. If you were a member before the transformation of the program, don't worry, your old balance has been transferred at the rate of 1 mile per point. 

The new Aeroplan Rewards program offers you flight rewards for destinations around the world with more than 35 different airline partners. We are pleased to introduce you to the different features of the program so that you can enjoy your rewards quickly.

How the new Aeroplan Rewards program works

The Aeroplan Rewards program is popular with Canadian frequent flyers. Program members can redeem their points for flights, upgrades, car rentals, vacation packages and much more.

Since the transformation of the program, it is also possible to redeem points for purchases on the Aeroplan online store. However, given the value of the points, we strongly encourage you to only use your points for travel.

With the transformed Aeroplan program, you have access to all available seats on Air Canada flights. You also have access to a global network of more than 35 airlines that offer flights to more than 1,300 different destinations. 

In addition, the new Aeroplan Rewards program is the first loyalty program in Canada designed for families. Indeed, thanks to the sharing of points, you can accumulate points faster. However, it's important to share your account with people you trust, more on that later. 

How to earn Aeroplan Rewards points

With an Aeroplan Rewards card, you can earn points in a number of ways. First, you earn points for every Air Canada flight you book. 

Second, you can earn additional points on various in-flight extras. For example, when purchasing food, drinks or duty-free products.

Aeroplan has many travel partners, which means you earn points at every step of your trip. Indeed, you can get points by booking a flight with a partner carrier, but also by renting a car, booking a hotel room, or buying a vacation package. 

Another important point is that the accumulation of points is now calculated based on the amount spent and not the number of miles you travel. The cash value of one point is ₵1.7 cents per point. 

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In addition, you can earn points when you purchase products directly from the Aeroplan online store. Purchases can be made from many partners, including Apple, SAIL, Sephora, Amazon and others. 

The number of points you earn on a purchase depends on the partner. For example, for every dollar spent on Sephora products, you get 2 Aeroplan points. 

You can also earn points on your favourite beverages thanks to the new partnership between Aeroplan and Starbucks. It is now possible to link your Aeroplan and Starbucks Rewards accounts to receive even more benefits. The Aeroplan + Starbucks feature is available on select TD credit cards. 

Read More: The 6 Best TD Credit Cards

Finally, by getting an Aeroplan credit card, you can earn points by making your various daily purchases. We will come back to this later.

Read More: 10 Best Aeroplan Credit Cards

What to do with your Aeroplan points

The Aeroplan program is designed for avid travellers. That's why we strongly recommend that you use your points for trips! Although you can use them to make purchases through the online store, the redemption value of your points will be less than if you had purchased a plane ticket. 

Read More: Reward Points Value in Canada: How Much Are They Worth

In any case, you have the option to pay with only your points, with cash, or a combination of both.

Flights are offered by more than 35 different airlines. You can book your flights directly on the Air Canada website, or on the mobile app. And for more good news, you can now book the number of seats you need, no matter the date of the trip. 

Finally, you can redeem your points for upgrades and various in-flight perks too. For example, you can use Aeroplan points to purchase in-flight WiFi.

Read More: Boingo Wi-Fi: How to get it for free with a Canadian credit card

Aeroplan Rewards Elite Status

Long-time users are familiar with Air Canada Altitude preferred status. As of November 2020, that program is now called Aeroplan Elite status. 

There are still six different status levels based on how many points you accumulate: Basic Aeroplan status as well as the five Elite levels of 25k, 35k, 50k, 75k and Super Elite. By accumulating more points, members can reach a higher status. 

With the right Aeroplan credit card, it is easier and quicker to earn Elite status. Elite status allows you to benefit from discounts of up to 50%, have access to priority boarding, and enter certain airport lounges.

If you’re new to the Aeroplan Program, Elite Status holders can earn eUpgrade credits that allow them to access certain types of upgrades, like better flight cabins for example. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Air Canada has extended Aeroplan Elite status to 2022. 

What does that mean? eUpgrades that were earned in 2021 will now have a fixed expiry date depending on when you earned them: 

  • eUpgrades credits obtained by 30 June 2022 will expire on 15 January 2023

  • eUpgrades credits obtained on or after 1 July 2022 will expire on 15 January 2024.

Credit cards that earn Aeroplan Rewards

Since you probably don't travel every day and don't make all your purchases through the Aeroplan online store, you'll be happy to know there’s another way to earn points on all your daily purchases. The right Aeroplan credit card can help you accumulate points quicker. 

Another great advantage is that new Aeroplan credit cardholders through TD, American Express and CIBC have a travel pass that allows them to bring a companion on a trip for the price of a single ticket. Instead of the full price of a second ticket, all you have to pay are the taxes and miscellaneous fees associated with the second ticket.

Read More: Amex Priority Pass: Everything Canadians Need to Know

If you opt for a basic credit card, you’ll enjoy preferred rates with airline rewards while earning points faster too. Most of the major Aeroplan credit card providers give you the same benefits, plus the right to a free checked bag when travelling. 

Finally, if you opt for a prestige credit card, you have the same benefits, in addition to certain privileges, including access to Maple Leaf Lounges and priority boarding.

Read More: How to Access Airport Lounges For Free in Canada

In order to choose the credit card that best suits your needs, we invite you to use Hardbacon Credit Card Comparison Tool. This is a completely free tool that allows you to make an informed decision! 

Perks of the Aeroplan Rewards program

Account sharing

As mentioned earlier, it is possible to share your Aeroplan account. In total, up to eight users can earn points together. Moreover, if a member holds an Elite status, all users of the account have access to the related benefits.

However, make sure you trust these people. Although it is possible to accumulate points together, it is important to know that the sharing of points is effective at all times. So, if a user redeems points for a trip that they take alone, the points are reduced proportionally in all accounts

Fees for travelling with a partner carrier

Prior to November 2020, users who wanted to redeem their points while travelling with a partner carrier had to pay a surcharge fee. Since the transformation, there are no longer varying fees, but rather a fixed fee of $39. Goodbye to unpleasant surprises!

Flight with layovers

When purchasing a one-way ticket, it is possible to choose flights with quick layovers so you can visit other destinations on the cheap. If the stop is less than 24 hours, you have no additional charge. If the stop is longer than 24 hours, it costs you 5,000 points.

The only condition is that the stopover is not in North America. So you can, for example, leave from France, make a 21-hour stop in Portugal and continue your journey to Canada. At no extra cost!

Read More: How to Start Travel Hacking in Canada

Buy, give and transfer points

You can buy Aeroplan points directly to earn a reward faster or even give them to your loved ones. If you are short a few points to get a reward, it is also possible to ask someone you know to share their points with you. Please note that a fee of 2 cents per point applies!

A small bonus, you can even donate your points. If you don't plan on using your points to travel, this is a great opportunity to give back to charity!

Expiration of your points

You should keep in mind that your Aeroplan points expire after 18 months of inactivity on your account. In order to keep an account active, simply accumulate or redeem at least one point. However, if your points expire once, you have the opportunity to redeem them during the following six months.

Who is the Aeroplan program for? 

In short, if you want to earn points to buy merchandise or get cash back, this is not the right rewards program for you. However, if you're looking forward to the opportunity to travel like you did before the pandemic, then the Aeroplan program is perfect! 

Summary of the Program

How Aeroplan works* Designed for Canadian travellers
* With Air Canada and 35 partner carriers
* An online store with many partners
How to earn points* Booking a flight with Air Canada or one of its partner carriers
* Vacation Packages
* Car rentals
* Hotels
* Aeroplan Online Store
* Purchases on Aeroplan credit card 
What to do with your points* Redeem for travel
* Purchases on the Aeroplan Online Store
Aeroplan Elite Status Levels* 25 k
* 35 k
* 50 k
* 75 k
* Super Elite
Aeroplan Credit Cards* Several Aeroplan credit cards available to earn points on your daily purchases
Aeroplan Program Perks* The only rewards program in Canada that can be shared between different users
* Allows you to make a flight that includes layovers without having any additional costs
* Ability to buy and offer points
* Your points expire after 18 months without activity
Benefits of the Program * Free
* Allows people who travel a lot to earn points quickly
* Many credit cards linked to the program