Beginner’s guide to the Aeroplan program: Essential knowledge

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In the world of travel and reward points, Air Canada’s Aeroplan program stands out as one of the most popular and influential platforms in North America, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced flyer. Since its inception, Aeroplan has won the loyalty of millions of travellers by offering exclusive benefits, attractive rewards and unforgettable travel experiences.

What is the Aeroplan program?

Aeroplan is more than just a loyalty program – it’s a gateway to exceptional travel. By joining Aeroplan, travellers gain access to a wide range of benefits, rewards and privileges designed to make every trip even more rewarding.

Aeroplan operates on a points system that can be accumulated through various activities, including flights on Air Canada and its partners, spending on co-branded credit cards, purchases at retail partners, and much more. These points can then be redeemed for a range of rewards, including flights, cabin upgrades, hotel stays and even exclusive experiences.

Aeroplan partners with many major players in the travel industry, including Star Alliance member airlines, renowned hotels, car rental agencies and retail partners. Members can earn Aeroplan points by using the services of these partners, giving them the flexibility and variety of options to maximize their rewards.


How do I create an Aeroplan account?

To join the ranks of Aeroplan’s privileged members, creating an account is the first step. Here’s a step-by-step guide to enrolling in the Aeroplan program.

  • Go to the official Air Canada website using your web browser.
  • On the home page, look for the “Join Aeroplan” option or link in the top right-hand corner of the screen. This will take you to the registration form.
Inscription Aeroplan
  • Once on the registration page, you will be asked to provide certain personal information such as your name, e-mail address, telephone number and other relevant details. Be sure to fill in the form accurately.
  • Choose a secure password to access your Aeroplan account. Be sure to keep this information in a safe place.
  • Before finalizing your enrolment, you will be asked to accept Aeroplan’s terms and conditions. Please read these terms and conditions carefully before accepting them.
  • Once you’ve filled in all the required fields and accepted the terms of use, click on the “Create my account” button to finalize the process.

Aeroplan membership is open to anyone wishing to enjoy the benefits of the loyalty program. There are no membership fees to join Aeroplan.

How do I earn Aeroplan Points?

Aeroplan Credit Cards

In the Canadian market, the major banks offer a range of credit cards in partnership with Aeroplan, enabling you to earn Aeroplan points on your everyday spending. These credit cards also offer a variety of travel benefits, including:

Please note that these advantages do not apply to all cards. When you’re looking for the card that best suits your needs, you can refer to this comparison article to help you make your choice.

People authorized to use the card as additional cardholders can also enjoy certain benefits with Air Canada. However, it is essential that they verify that their Aeroplan membership number is correctly linked to their credit card by consulting this page.

What’s more, when you sign up for one of these credit cards, you can take advantage of a generous welcome bonus. Here is an overview of the most attractive Aeroplan credit card welcome offers available today:

Transferable Points to Aeroplan

The American Express Membership Rewards program is another excellent way to accumulate Aeroplan points, as you can transfer these points at a 1:1 ratio.

In fact, these credit cards offer a remarkable opportunity to optimize your points accumulation, with generous multipliers for various categories of purchases such as groceries, restaurants and gas. This means that every dollar spent in these categories can result in increased Aeroplan point accumulation.

Given the variety of offers available, it’s a good idea to take the time to consult our dedicated guide to find the Membership Rewards credit card that best suits your spending habits and travel goals. By making the right choice, you can maximize your benefits and accelerate your path to exciting travel rewards with Aeroplan.

Aeroplan eStore shopping portal

Aeroplan eStore is another convenient and flexible way to earn points at a variety of participating merchants. What’s more, Aeroplan regularly offers special promotions that give you the chance to earn 5X, 7X or even 10X extra points, making the experience even more rewarding.

Here are the simple steps to take advantage of this strategy:

  • Log in to the Aeroplan eStore using your Aeroplan account.
  • Go to the page of the participating business of your choice.
  • Click on the “Shop & Earn” button to be redirected to the merchant’s online store.
  • Make your purchases as usual and your Aeroplan Points will be automatically credited to your account after the transaction.

What’s more, if you have Aeroplan Elite status, you can benefit from additional advantages when making purchases via the Aeroplan eStore. Indeed, Elite members can earn an accumulation bonus of 2 points per dollar spent, which represents an additional opportunity to maximize your points accumulation. You’ll find this information clearly displayed when you log in to your profile, allowing you to easily track your progress and benefits as an Elite member.

Double-Dip Tip: By using your Aeroplan credit card to pay for your eStore purchases, you’ll earn extra points!

Flights with Air Canada and its Partners

To earn Aeroplan points when you fly, book your flights with Aeroplan partner airlines such as Air Canada, Lufthansa, United Airlines, and Singapore Airlines. By choosing these partners, you can earn Aeroplan points for every trip you take.

Also, be sure to provide your Aeroplan membership number when booking or checking in for your flight. This ensures that the points you earn are properly credited to your Aeroplan account.

Next, carefully read the point accumulation rates for your specific flight. These rates may vary according to various factors such as airline, booking class and distance travelled. By understanding these rates, you can maximize your points earnings by choosing the suitable fare class for you.

Occasionally, special promotions may allow you to earn bonus points on certain flights or by meeting specific conditions. Taking advantage of these offers can significantly increase the accumulation of your Aeroplan points.

With other types of partners

In addition to flights, Aeroplan members have the opportunity to earn points with a variety of travel partners, broadening their reward opportunities through a variety of travel experiences. These partners include hotels, car rentals, airport parking, Air Canada Vacations® packages and popular brands such as Starbucks®, Uber and Uber Eats.

Hotels are one area where members can earn Aeroplan points during their stays. By staying at partner establishments, members can earn points based on the amount spent on their accommodation. This option offers a convenient way to accumulate points while enjoying a comfortable stay in world-renowned establishments.

Similarly, car rentals are another opportunity for members to earn Aeroplan points. Members can earn points by booking cars with affiliated rental partners based on the length of the rental and the amount spent. This option allows travellers to enjoy the freedom and flexibility car rental offers while being rewarded for their travel expenses.

Airport parking is an often overlooked aspect of travel that can also earn Aeroplan Points. By using partner parking services, members can earn points based on the length of time they park. This provides an additional opportunity to earn points while making the travel process easier for members.

Using Aeroplan Points

For a flight

The concept of zones

The Aeroplan “zone” concept refers to a geographic classification used to determine the number of points required to book a flight based on the destination chosen.

Destinations are generally grouped into different zones according to their distance from the starting point. Thus, flights to closer or shorter destinations will be classified in less expensive zones, while flights to more distant or further destinations will be classified in more expensive zones.

Here is an overview of the main zones used in the Aeroplan program:

  1. North America: This zone includes Canada, the United States (including Hawaii), Central America and the Caribbean.
  2. South America: This zone covers all of South America,
  3. Atlantic: This zone covers Europe, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

  4. Pacific: This zone includes Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.


This zonal classification enables Aeroplan to standardize the points cost of flights according to distance flown, thus offering a clearer and more consistent pricing structure.

Differences in pricing

Aeroplan award fares on Air Canada flights are dynamic, meaning they vary according to season and demand. An advantageous feature of booking with Air Canada is that all available seats can be purchased with Aeroplan points.

While it’s possible to find flights at a fare considered “standard” for your trip, it’s also common to find lower or higher fares. Higher rates are more common during busy periods such as the end-of-year vacations or spring break.

On the other hand, fares for travel on partner airlines are fixed, making it easier to plan your points accumulation strategy. However, it is important to note that the number of seats available in points for partners is limited compared with paid tickets. Therefore, if you do not find any available points seats on the search results page, no more points tickets (or award tickets) are available for the date you are looking for. This is a crucial consideration when planning your trip to ensure the availability of seats on points for the dates you require.

Miscellaneous fees

When booking flights with Aeroplan partners, it’s important to consider the booking fee, which is a flat $39, whether you’re flying economy or business class.

The pricing system is simple and clear:

  • $39 one-way
  • $39 for a round trip

So if you’re planning to book an award ticket that includes a flight with a partner airline like United Airlines, you’ll need to pay this booking fee.

It is also important to note that an additional fee of $26.55 one-way, or $53.10 round-trip per person, will apply for Aeroplan point reservations to and from the United States. This transportation tax does not apply outside the United States, or for flights that pass through the United States.

When it comes to Aeroplan Rewards changes or cancellations, the program offers a certain amount of flexibility. You can cancel a flight booked with points free of charge within 24 hours of booking. You can also cancel or change an award fare up to two hours before departure, subject to a fee based on the conditions of your ticket.

Change and cancellation fees are detailed as follows and are subject to change:

Frais 1
Frais 2

Aeroplan offers a particularly attractive benefit for infants travelling with you. For children under the age of 2, the fare for an award ticket is just $25 or 2,500 Aeroplan points per one-way trip in Economy, Premium Economy or Business/Signature class, on flights operated by Air Canada or its partners. This is one of the most attractive features of the Aeroplan program for families travelling with young children.

Using Aeroplan points on partner airlines

Star Alliance, of which Air Canada is a key member, is a global coalition of airlines offering travellers extensive connectivity around the world. In addition to flights operated by Air Canada, Star Alliance members include renowned carriers such as Lufthansa, United Airlines, Singapore Airlines and many others. This alliance enables Aeroplan members to book flights with a wide variety of airlines, offering greater flexibility and accessibility for their travels.

However, it is important to note that the availability of award seats on Star Alliance flights and those of Air Canada’s other partners (such as Etihad Airways or Emirates) may be limited. To maximize the chances of finding seats available with your Aeroplan points, we recommend planning ahead. Indeed, award spots are often put on sale almost a year in advance when the booking calendar is released, and seats can be reserved quickly.

Unlike Air Canada flights, which are subject to variable pricing, partner flights are subject to a fixed fare structure. This means that while Air Canada fares may fluctuate according to market conditions, partner fares remain fixed, subject to availability of course.

Advance planning is, therefore, essential to make the most of your Aeroplan points when booking flights with partners.

Using the Aeroplan stopover

The Aeroplan program offers great flexibility in creating itineraries, making it possible to maximize the destinations visited during the same trip, thanks to layovers and stopover options. This means that you can design itineraries that include several layovers of less than 24 hours, allowing you to add extra escapades to your trip.

Here are the possibilities offered by an Aeroplan stopover:

  • Award ticket pricing is based on one-way travel between four distinct geographical zones: North America, South America, the Atlantic, and the Pacific.
  • You can make several layovers of less than 24 hours. By carefully planning your itinerary, you can add several small stops along the way, allowing you to take a mini tour of the world trip.
  • You can stopover for up to 45 days on a one-way trip. So, by booking a one-way ticket with your Aeroplan points, you can take an extended break en route and visit an additional destination at a lower cost.
  • The price for any Aeroplan stopover is set at 5,000 points for both economy and premium cabins, making it affordable to explore more destinations.
  • You can design routes that exceed up to 100% of the direct distance between destinations. For example, you could choose an itinerary such as Vancouver – Sydney – Bangkok, which is 69% over the direct distance between Vancouver and Bangkok.
  • There is no limit to the number of airlines that can be included on the same ticket, offering great flexibility in the choice of airline partners for your trip.

Using the Points + Cash function

There are four different ways to book an award ticket, with different combinations of Aeroplan points and cash.

Option échanges

When you search for an Aeroplan award ticket, the results show a price in Aeroplan points + cash. This price corresponds to the lowest fare in points, plus airport taxes.

Once you have selected your preferred flight, you will be taken to the purchase confirmation page. This is where you choose from four different payment options:

  • The usual number of Aeroplan points + cash (including taxes and fees).
  • Payment entirely in Aeroplan points + $0.
  • 80% of usual number of points + 20% of required number of points converted into cash + cash (including taxes and fees).
  • 60% of usual number of points + 40% of required number of points converted into cash + cash (including taxes and fees).

The 60% and 80% points options are particularly useful when you decide to intentionally purchase a portion of the Aeroplan points you need, or when you don’t have the required number of points. You can view the different amounts added to your invoice by consulting the details of your selection.

For an upgrade

The upgrade option is a great way to travel in greater comfort at a fraction of the cost. Air Canada offers passengers the possibility of upgrading to a premium cabin using cash or points.

Once your trip is booked, you can access the “Bid Upgrade” option by logging into your Air Canada reservation with your reference code and last name.

Upgrade bids can be placed at any time up to 48 hours before departure. Moreover, you have the flexibility to modify or cancel them up to this period, unless they have already been accepted.

Ac bid upgrade py to j en

Upgrade prices depend on the original fare class, with generally a lower price range for higher fare classes.

An interesting feature is the visualization of the “strength” of your bid, where an indicator shows you your chances of success. By adjusting your offer, you can increase your chances of upgrading. The amount of your offer is per person and includes all taxes and fees.

If you want to use Aeroplan points for your upgrade, you can do so by clicking on the corresponding toggle.

To find out if your flight and fare are eligible for an upgrade with Air Canada, please visit the AC Upgrade web page.

For a hotel

With HotelSavers Aeroplan, members can use their points to stay at over 6,000 participating luxury, mid-range and economy hotels. You can save up to 30% of your points by booking at selected partner hotels.

Thanks to exclusive partnerships with various renowned hotels, Aeroplan Members can enjoy special points rates. When booking your stay on the dedicated member platform, look for the red HotelSavers Aeroplan label to take advantage of these unique benefits with renowned hotel brands such as Fairmont, Shangri-La, Loews Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Novotel, ibis, and many more.

The table below shows the estimated number of points per night for a standard room in each HotelSavers Aeroplan category:

Aeroplan HotelSavers category Points per night (subject to change)
1 10 000 – 15 000
2 15 000 – 22 500
3 20 000 – 30 000
4 25 000 – 40 000
5 35 000 – 50 000
6 45 000 – 70 000
7 55 000 – 80 000
8 75 000 – 105 000

Aeroplan credit card holders receive a 4th night free at partner hotels until December 31, 2024.

For an all-inclusive stay

You can use your Aeroplan points to get a discount on a vacation package to the South, but only with Air Canada Vacations. This travel discount will be applied directly to the total amount when booking your all-inclusive stay.

Aeroplan tout inclus

The number of points required to obtain a discount on a vacation package is fixed.

Number of points Discount
5 000 $50
10 000 $100
25 000 $250
35 000 $350
50 000 $500
100 000 $1,000
150 000 $1500
200 000 $2000
300 000 $3000

Please note that the above prices are subject to change. Applying the valuation formula of $1,000/100,000 points yields a value of 1¢ per Aeroplan point. However, it is important to note that according to Milesopedia’s current valuation, an Aeroplan point is valued at 2.0¢. This means that when you compare booking a cash flight with using Aeroplan points, you can consider this ratio as a benchmark.

Every dollar saved on your all-inclusive trip can be reallocated to other aspects of your vacation or to other future projects. So, while this may not be the most optimal use of your Aeroplan points according to the usual criteria, the money saved is still a significant benefit to consider when planning your travels.

For car rental

Car rental with Aeroplan points offers members greater flexibility when booking vehicles through a range of renowned rental partners such as Review, Budget, Entreprise, etc. Aeroplan allows travelers to pay entirely in points, combine points with cash, or pay entirely in cash while earning points on the rental. This versatility allows members to maximize the value of their points while enjoying additional benefits.

With a valuation rate of around 1.1¢ per point when used for car rental, members can quickly estimate the cost in points required for their booking in just a few clicks. Please note that these prices are subject to change.

Aéroplan voiture

Aeroplan Elite status and benefits

Aeroplan Elite status offers a range of exclusive benefits, enabling travellers to enjoy a superior travel experience. Benefits include priority check-in, free access to Maple LeafTM lounges, upgrade credits and much more.

Aeroplan Elite Members can also take advantage of additional benefits, such as priority awards offering discounts on flights, preferred rates for airline awards, credit cards with status benefits, and even the possibility of offering status to others via the Status Pass.

There are five levels of Aeroplan Elite status: 25K, 35K, 50K, 75K and Super Elite. Each level offers basic privileges as well as selected privileges, which members can choose according to their travel needs.

Aeroplan Cards Status

To earn Aeroplan Elite status, members must meet several criteria, including distance travelled or the number of flights taken and dollars spent on travel. These criteria are determined by Single Status Qualification Miles (SQM), Single Status Qualification Segments (SQS) and Single Status Qualification Dollars (SQD).

The qualification period runs from January 1 to December 31. Once obtained, Aeroplan Status is valid for the remainder of the current year and all of the following year. Members can also take advantage of special offers to extend or purchase their status.

Air Canada has made Aeroplan 25K status more accessible, allowing members to earn it by accumulating 100,000 Aeroplan points from various eligible sources.

Tips for maximizing the use of points

Frequently asked questions

How can I view my Aeroplan points?

To check your Aeroplan points balance, you have several simple and practical options:

Online: Log in to your Aeroplan account on the Air Canada website or on the official Aeroplan website. Once logged in, you can view your points balance and transaction history.

Via the mobile application: If you have downloaded the Air Canada mobile application or the Aeroplan application, you can easily access your account and check your points balance wherever you are, as long as you have an Internet connection.

By phone: You can contact Aeroplan or Air Canada customer service and ask a representative to check your points balance for you. Be sure to have your Aeroplan membership number handy to speed up the process.

How do I calculate the number of Aeroplan points for a flight?

To calculate the number of Aeroplan points you can earn for a flight, several factors come into play, including the fare option chosen and the distance flown. Flights paid in cash are those that earn Aeroplan points, as opposed to flights paid in Aeroplan points themselves.

When choosing your fare, the number of Aeroplan points you can earn is clearly specified as a percentage of the distance travelled in miles. You can consult resources such as GCMap for information on distance travelled.

Note that choosing a higher rate can be advantageous depending on the value you place on extra benefits and extra points.

What’s more, you can also earn Aeroplan Points by travelling with partners. Most of these partners are part of the Star Alliance network, although other carriers such as Emirates, Etihad and Cathay Pacific are also eligible. However, it is important to note that the percentage of points accumulated may vary from one partner to another.

How many Aeroplan points do I need to purchase a flight?

The number of Aeroplan points required to purchase a flight depends on several factors, including destination, zone, class of service (economy, business, first class), seat availability and fare conditions in effect at the time of booking. Flights with Air Canada and its partners can be booked in exchange for a certain number of Aeroplan points, which varies according to these variables.

The Air Canada website offers an online booking tool that can help you find out the exact number of points required to purchase a specific flight. When searching for flights, you’ll be able to see the number of Aeroplan points required for each available flight option. You can also use the prediction tool to estimate the number of points required for your specific travel itinerary.

Do our Aeroplan points expire?

Aeroplan has a policy regarding the expiry of points. Under this policy, Aeroplan Points expire if there has been no activity on your account for 18 consecutive months. However, there are ways to keep your account active and avoid expiration.

If you’re an Aeroplan credit card holder, that’s enough to keep your account active, even if you haven’t earned or used points for a while.

What’s more, if you forget to complete a transaction, such as a flight where you forgot to provide your membership number, you can request a retroactive credit of Aeroplan points in your account up to six months after the transaction.

If your Aeroplan points are about to expire and you have no travel plans with Air Canada, here are a few tips to keep your account active:

Can I transfer points from one person to another?

Yes, Aeroplan Points can be transferred from one person to another. However, it is essential to note that this process can be costly. Aeroplan offers the possibility of transferring points, but at a cost of 2 cents per point. For example, if you wanted to transfer 12,000 Aeroplan points to another person, it would cost you $240.

Can we make a reservation for someone else?

It’s perfectly possible to book an airline ticket for another person using your Aeroplan points. Unlike other loyalty programs, Aeroplan makes this possible without the need for costly point transfers. You can use your own points to reserve a ticket in the name of the person you want.

The procedure is simple: you access your Aeroplan account, select the desired flight, and during the booking process, enter the passenger’s personal information, such as date of birth and full name, as it appears on their ID. Once the reservation has been confirmed, the ticket is issued in that person’s name, and they can travel without any worries.

It is important to note that any benefits or privileges linked to your own status or credit card will not apply to the person for whom you are booking the ticket. For example, if you are entitled to free baggage because of your status or credit card, this benefit will not be extended to the passenger for whom you are booking the flight.

However, your friend can always choose to sign up for their own credit card or join the loyalty program to enjoy their own benefits. This way, they can enjoy the benefits of travel regardless of who made the booking or what method of payment was used.

Bottom Line

Having explored the Aeroplan program in detail, it’s clear that this platform offers a multitude of benefits for frequent travellers and rewards enthusiasts alike. Whether earning points through credit cards, online purchases, or flying with Air Canada and its partners, Aeroplan offers a variety of ways to earn points quickly and efficiently. What’s more, the options for using these points are flexible and diverse, whether for flights, hotel stays, all-inclusive packages, or even upgrades.

In conclusion, the Aeroplan program represents a complete and advantageous solution for those seeking to optimize their travels and be rewarded for their loyalty. Whether you’re an occasional traveller or a frequent flyer, Aeroplan offers travel opportunities and rewards to suit every profile. By joining this program, you’re guaranteed a rewarding and enriching travel experience.

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Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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