Aeroplan is the frequent flyer program of Star Alliance member, Air Canada, which may be of interest to some Australians who travel to Canada regularly. The loyalty scheme underwent a big revamp and is set to relaunch in November 2020.

Given that Aeroplan is based in Canada, earning opportunities for Australians are limited. This guide is ground zero for those who are just starting off or have some passing interest in how the program works, especially after its reboot.

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New to Air Canada Aeroplan? Start here! was last modified: March 10th, 2021 by Evin Tan Khiew

How do I join Air Canada Aeroplan?

Signing up to Air Canada Aeroplan is free. You can sign up using this link.

  1. Go to the Aeroplan enrolment page
  2. Enter your email and create a password
  3. Enter your personal information as required over the next two pages
  4. Click ‘Create my account’ to finalise your registration

How do I earn Aeroplan points?

When the program relaunches this month, Aeroplan miles will become Aeroplan points. Existing miles will be converted to points on a 1:1 basis.

The primary way to earn Aeroplan points is by flying on Air Canada and its partners. The program is moving towards ‘revenue-based earning’ in 2021, which simply means you will earn points based on how much you pay for your fare.

You could also:

  • earn Aeroplan points from hotel stays with over 120 partners, including booking site Rocketmiles
  • fly on airline partners, including the whole Star Alliance network, to earn Aeroplan points
  • hire a car to earn points

(There are other ways to earn points when you’re based in Canada, such as through the Aeroplan eStore, but we won’t cover them in this guide for Aussie readers).

How do I use Aeroplan points?

The way you use Aeroplan points will be changing as well. Air Canada flights will switch to an ‘any seat’ model, which means all seats on Air Canada flights will be bookable with points and without any blackout days.

Of course, the number of points you’ll require for this privilege will vary wildly, especially for premium cabins. However, additional airline surcharges are eliminated on Air Canada-operated flights booked with points.

Business Class on this Vancouver-Sydney Air Canada flight could range from 85,000 to 200,000 points under the new program.

Partner airline flight rewards still follow a fixed table, which you can browse through this link. For example, a Singapore Airlines Business Class seat from Sydney to Singapore would require 45,000 points + taxes. A redemption fee of CAD$39 per ticket applies for partner flights.

A guide to KrisFlyer's Star Alliance Round The World Award
Singapore Airlines Business Class is bookable with Aeroplan points.

Apart from flights, Aeroplan points can be used at over 300,000 worldwide, or redeemed for gift cards and more. These options will generally not give you as much value per point compared to flight rewards.

How do I earn Air Canada Aeroplan elite status?

Air Canada Aeroplan has five main status levels above the basic membership: 25K, 35K, 50K, 75K and Super Elite.

These tiers are earned with a mix of Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD), along with either Status Qualifying Miles (SQM) or Status Qualifying Segments (SQS). Note that the SQD threshold will be halved for non-Canadian residents.

Star Alliance Silver benefits apply to 25K and 35K status, with Star Alliance Gold kicking in for Aeroplan 50K status and above.

Aeroplan 25K

To achieve or maintain: $3,000 SQD ($1,500 for non-Canadian residents) + either 25,000 SQM or 25 SQS
Star Alliance equivalent: Silver

Some major benefits of Aeroplan 25K status include:

  • Priority assistance, waitlist, seat selection, check-in and boarding
  • 2x 23kg bags complimentary checked allowance and sports equipment handling
  • 20 eUpgrade credits
  • Priority Rewards voucher valid for 50% off Economy travel within Canada and to the USA
  • Status extension for parental leave

25K members can also select two of the following Select Benefits:

  • 25% Elite Status bonus with Air Canada and select partners
  • 5 eUpgrade credits
  • 2x Maple Leaf Lounge one-time passes

Aeroplan 35K

To achieve or maintain: $4,000 SQD ($2,000 for non-Canadian residents) + either 35,000 SQM or 35 SQS
Star Alliance equivalent: Silver

In addition to 25K benefits, 35K members get:

  • 3x 32kg bags complimentary checked allowance
  • Priority security clearance
  • Complimentary access to select Maple Leaf Lounges
  • 2x Maple Leaf Lounge one-time guest passes

35K members can also select one of the following Select Benefits:

  • 35% Elite Status bonus with Air Canada and select partners
  • 10 eUpgrade credits

Aeroplan 50K

To achieve or maintain: $6,000 SQD ($3,000 for non-Canadian residents) + either 50,000 SQM or 50 SQS
Star Alliance equivalent: Gold

50K status is the tier to aim for. New perks include:

  • Complimentary preferred seats on Flex fares within North America
  • Priority baggage handling
  • Complimentary access to Maple Leaf, Air Canada Cafe and partner Star Alliance lounges
  • 3x Maple Leaf Lounge one-time guest passes
  • Priority Rewards voucher valid for 50% off Economy and Premium Economy travel within North America and to Sun destinations

50K members can also select two of the following Select Benefits:

  • 50% Elite Status bonus with Air Canada and select partners
  • 20 eUpgrade credits
  • Lower requalification level of 45,000 SQM or 45 SQS
  • 2x Status Passes, allowing non-members to experience your status for one itinerary

Aeroplan 75K

To achieve or maintain: $9,000 SQD ($4,500 for non-Canadian residents) + either 75,000 SQM or 75 SQS
Star Alliance equivalent: Gold

New benefits on top of 50K perks include:

  • eUpgrade credits can be used on Air Canada Vacation reservations to Sun destinations
  • Priority Rewards voucher valid for 50% off Economy and Premium Economy travel worldwide, including partner airlines

75K members can also select two of the following Select Benefits:

  • 75% Elite Status bonus with Air Canada and select partners
  • 35 eUpgrade credits
  • Lower requalification level of 70,000 SQM or 70 SQS
  • Gift Aeroplan 35K elite status to a friend
  • 12-month Aeroplan Elite Wi-Fi plan
  • 3x Status Passes, allowing non-members to experience your status for one itinerary

Aeroplan Super Elite

To achieve or maintain: $20,000 SQD ($10,000 for non-Canadian residents) + either 100,000 SQM or 100 SQS
Star Alliance equivalent: Gold

As the top published tier, here are the benefits you can expect on top of everything else:

  • Complimentary preferred seats on all Air Canada flights
  • Air Canada Concierge Service
  • 4x Maple Leaf Lounge one-time guest passes
  • Access to London Heathrow Arrivals Lounge
  • 1x eUpgrade nominee
  • Priority Rewards voucher valid for 50% off travel up to Business Class worldwide, including partner airlines
  • Complimentary changes and cancellations with Aeroplan flight rewards
  • Complimentary in-flight refreshments in Air Canada Economy

Super Elite members can also select two of the following Select Benefits:

  • 100% Elite Status bonus with Air Canada and select partners
  • 50 eUpgrade credits
  • Lower requalification level of 95,000 SQM or 90 SQS
  • Gift Aeroplan 50K elite status to a friend
  • 12-month Aeroplan Elite Wi-Fi plan
  • 4x Status Passes, allowing non-members to experience your status for one itinerary

How do I contact Air Canada Aeroplan?

To get in touch with Aeroplan about a membership enquiry or flight redemption, try:

  • calling 1-800-361-5373 from the US or 1800 954 196 from Australia (charges may apply)
  • sending them a direct message on Twitter or Facebook

While the call centre might be the quickest way to resolve your issue, try the social media channels if the line is busy or you’re not able to call overseas numbers.

Summing up

The Aeroplan relaunch is undoubtedly going to be watched closely by the management of other frequent flyer programs. There are some interesting new concepts being introduced, including Priority Rewards vouchers for 50% off points bookings and Status Passes to gift your tier benefits to family and friends for a trip.

It’ll be interesting to note how well its members respond to the more drastic changes such as revenue-based earning and dynamic pricing on Air Canada reward seats, especially in times of heavy demand.

All-in-all, Aeroplan is not a program that many Point Hacks readers will have much participation in, except for the few that might usually travel to Canada often. But it’s good to keep abreast of these developments, as we might be seeing similar changes down the track here in Australia.

Frequently asked questions

What happens to my Aeroplan points in 2020?

Your existing Aeroplan miles will convert to Aeroplan points at a 1:1 ratio. You won’t lose any points.

Does Air Canada still use Aeroplan?

Yes, Air Canada is the owner of Aeroplan once more and is revamping the program to have tighter integration with Air Canada flights.

How much is 25,000 Aeroplan points worth?

The value of Aeroplan points depends on how you use it. For example, 25,000 points would be enough for a one-way flight from Sydney to Singapore in Singapore Airlines Economy Class, perhaps worth about A$600.

New to Air Canada Aeroplan? Start here! was last modified: March 10th, 2021 by Evin Tan Khiew