Air Canada’s Aeroplan program has come a long way over the years. It now proudly counts more airlines as partners than any other frequent flyer program on the planet. Of course, Air Canada is a member of Star Alliance – bringing with it 25 fellow member airlines. But Aeroplan has many bespoke partnerships beyond the alliance’s reach.

In Australian skies alone, those extra tie-ups allow Aeroplan members to use points to travel with five non-aligned airlines. There’s Air Mauritius (from Perth), Bamboo Airways (from Sydney and Melbourne), Emirates (from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth), Etihad Airways (from Sydney and Melbourne), and also Virgin Australia.

Naturally, Aeroplan points can get you a seat on Air Canada too. Ditto on every Star Alliance carrier. From Down Under, this includes Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Asiana Airlines, EVA Air, Singapore Airlines, THAI Airways and United Airlines.

Aeroplan points aren’t the easiest to earn in Australia, but there are still opportunities. It’s now possible to convert some credit card points directly across to Aeroplan, as well as opportunities via other points transfer programs like Marriott Bonvoy. Aeroplan also sells points – handy if you can snap them up on sale.

Beyond merely redeeming points though, here’s what you need to know about Air Canada Aeroplan.

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.
  4. Finalise your registration and keep a record of your Aeroplan membership number.

How do I earn Aeroplan points?

Given Aeroplan is a frequent flyer program, the most practical way to earn points is to fly with Air Canada and the program’s partner airlines. Generally speaking, more points are earned when flying in premium cabins and on the more expensive flexible fare types.

For instance, on Canadian domestic flights, you’ll earn points at the rate of just 10% of the miles flown when booked on the cheapest Economy tickets. When flying Air Canada Business Class though, you’ll amass points at 150% of the miles flown.

Earning rates from Air Canada flights with Aeroplan

But closer to home, you can now also convert CommBank Awards points into Aeroplan points. The 4:1 conversion rate isn’t particularly generous, but it may suit some. For instance, CBA’s Ultimate Awards card earns three CommBank Awards points per AU$1 spent abroad (up to $10,000/month) with no international transaction fees. This translates into 0.75 Aeroplan points per AU$1 spent overseas, which isn’t bad. Earning rates in Australia aren’t as generous, though.

A newer option in the market is the HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card. On the first $3,000 of eligible monthly spend (including in Australia), this card earns the equivalent of 0.8 Aeroplan points per $1 via Star Alliance Rewards. Eligible new customers can also fast-track their way to Star Alliance Gold (including with Air Canada) by spending $4,000 within 90 days of opening the account.

Other ways of earning Aeroplan points include:

  • From hotel stays with a huge range of partners, including the booking website Rocketmiles.
  • Fly on partner airlines. This includes the entire Star Alliance network, as well as other eligible partners.
  • Hire a car to earn points.
  • When travelling to Canada, link your Starbucks Rewards account with Aeroplan to earn points on coffee.

As you’d expect, there are even more ways to earn points when you’re based in Canada. For instance, via an Aeroplan co-brand credit card or when shopping through the Aeroplan eStore. But those options are seldom useful when based in Australia.

How do I use Aeroplan points?

Aeroplan points are most useful when put towards flights. With Air Canada, points can be used to book any flight without blackout dates. But most of the time, the process is comparable with an ‘any seat’ booking on other airlines. Flights on partners normally adopt a fixed redemption rate instead, which can sometimes be better value.

In fact, Air Canada Aeroplan doesn’t normally pass on carrier charges that can often be payable through other programs. Even when using Aeroplan points to book Emirates Business Class and First Class, Emirates’ hefty carrier charges don’t apply. You just pay the genuine taxes and fees, as well as a modest partner airline booking fee (CA$39 per ticket).

Booking rates in points can differ on Emirates flights compared to other partners, and are displayed at the time of booking. Other partner airline flight rewards follow Aeroplan’s simple reward chart, which you can browse through this link.

As an example, a Singapore Airlines Business Class seat from Sydney to Singapore would require 45,000 Aeroplan points + taxes and fees.

Aeroplan points can be used for bookings on Air Canada's partners, like Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines Business Class is bookable with Aeroplan points.

Apart from flights, Aeroplan points can be used to book rooms at hotels across the globe. They can also be cashed in for gift cards and more. These options generally don’t generate 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). In the past, the SQD requirements were halved for those living outside Canada, but this is no longer the case.

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 + 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 with Air Canada.
  • Two complimentary 23kg checked bags and no extra fees for sports equipment.
  • 20 eUpgrade credits, usable towards flight upgrades with Air Canada.
  • 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.
  • Five extra eUpgrade credits.
  • Two single-use passes to the Maple Leaf Lounge.

Aeroplan 35K

To achieve or maintain: $4,000 SQD + either 35,000 SQM or 35 SQS
Star Alliance equivalent: Silver

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

  • Three complimentary checked bags, up to 32kg each.
  • Priority security screening.
  • Two Maple Leaf Lounge passes every year.

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

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

Aeroplan 50K

To achieve or maintain: $6,000 SQD + either 50,000 SQM or 50 SQS
Star Alliance equivalent: Gold

50K status is the real sweet spot in the program. 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.
  • Three Maple Leaf Lounge one-time passes, useful to bring in additional guests.
  • Priority Rewards voucher valid for 50% off Economy and Premium Economy travel within North America and to other selected destinations.

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

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

Aeroplan 75K

To achieve or maintain: $9,000 SQD + either 75,000 SQM or 75 SQS
Star Alliance equivalent: Gold

In addition to the perks of 50K status, 75K cardholders get this:

  • A Priority Rewards voucher valid for 50% off Economy and Premium Economy travel worldwide (rather than North America, as with 50K). This includes travel on eligible 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.
  • Three Status Passes, allowing non-members to experience the benefits of your 50K status for one itinerary.

Aeroplan Super Elite

To achieve or maintain: $20,000 SQD + either 100,000 SQM or 100 SQS
Star Alliance equivalent: Gold

As the top published tier, here are the benefits you can expect in addition to everything else:

  • Complimentary preferred seats on all Air Canada flights.
  • Access to the Air Canada Concierge Service to monitor for flight disruptions and handle special requests.
  • Four Maple Leaf Lounge one-time guest passes, to bring additional guests.
  • Access to London Heathrow Arrivals Lounge.
  • One eUpgrade nominee, meaning you can share your upgrade privileges with this person even when travelling separately.
  • Priority Rewards voucher valid for 50% off travel up to Business Class worldwide, including on eligible 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 (Star Alliance Gold) to a friend.
  • 12-month Aeroplan Elite Wi-Fi plan.
  • Four Status Passes, allowing non-members to experience your status for one itinerary per pass.

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 within Canada, as well as the United States and the Caribbean.
  • Dialling 1800 954 196 from within Australia. If that doesn’t get you through, call the North American number as +1 800 361 5373.
  • Sending them a direct message on Twitter/X 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

Air Canada Aeroplan does things a little differently – and in a good way. Being able to gift frequent flyer status for a special trip to friends or family members is quite the perk. And for Air Canada, could inspire those nominees to become regular travellers themselves – or to fly with Air Canada more regularly.

The strength of redemption options through Aeroplan also isn’t to be understated. Having all of Star Alliance, as well as a multitude of other partners, makes Aeroplan points particularly valuable. It should also be said, there’s a lot less ‘competition’ for reward seats on some of those more obscure partners. For instance, not many other frequent flyer programs can secure reward seats on carriers like Bamboo Airways from Australia.

Aeroplan has some catching up to do in the Australian market, though. Right now, it’s not very easy to earn those points. From time to time, promotions between American Express and Marriott Bonvoy can create some opportunities for Amex Membership Rewards members. But it’d be far more beneficial if Aeroplan were a direct, year-round points transfer partner for Amex.

Frequently asked questions

What happened to Aeroplan miles when they became Aeroplan points?

Members with a previous balance of Aeroplan miles had these automatically converted into Aeroplan points at a 1:1 rate, when the currency of the program changed back in 2020.

Does Air Canada still use Aeroplan?

Yes, Air Canada is the owner of Aeroplan once again, and the program has been revamped in recent years to provide greater benefits on Air Canada flights.

How much are 25,000 Aeroplan points worth?

The value of Aeroplan points depends on how you use them. For example, 25,000 points are enough for a one-way flight from Sydney to Singapore in Singapore Airlines Economy Class (plus taxes and fees), perhaps worth about AU$600.

Additional reporting by Evin Tan Khiew.

The Ultimate Guide to Air Canada Aeroplan was last modified: October 25th, 2023 by Chris Chamberlin