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How to calculate and earn Aeroplan points on flights?

To the point Earn Aeroplan points on flights with Air Canada and partners. Calculate earnings and maximize rewards with credit card bonuses. 

Being the country’s flagship airline’s loyalty program, you can earn Aeroplan points on flights very easily. Even if you are not especially keen on flying with Air Canada because of their dynamic pricing, your Aeroplan points earnings can also secure flights on many other carriers with Star Alliance from the main hubs in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Sign-Up for an Aeroplan Account

You cannot earn Aeroplan points if you do not have an account with Air Canada’s Aeroplan loyalty program. So, the first step is to enroll in the program, which you can do here.

Aeroplan account sign up
Aeroplan account sign up

Earn Aeroplan Points - Flying With Air Canada

The most obvious way to earn Aeroplan points is by taking a flight with Air Canada or their subsidies like Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge. Indeed, you can earn Aeroplan points by associating your Aeroplan account number with your flight.

The amount you can get for your trip will depend on your fare option, and the distance travelled. The following table sums up how many Aeroplan points you can earn on a flight with Air Canada.

Earn aeroplan points ac en
Earn aeroplan points ac en

It is important to note that only flights paid in cash earn Aeroplan points; flights paid in Aeroplan points do not. In addition, Aeroplan Elite Status Members earn a minimum of 250 Aeroplan points and SQM multiplied by the percentage of miles flown as indicated for eligible booking classes for distances up to 249 miles flown.

Here’s how to calculate it yourself, which you should do to request missing points if you’re not credited properly after your flight. For our example, I am taking a flight from Montreal to Tokyo where it is clearly marked how many Aeroplan points you can earn on that flight depending on the fare you chose.

Earn aeroplan points with ac
Earn aeroplan points with ac

The percentage mentioned concerns the distance travelled in miles. To get this information, you can go to GCMap. We can notice here that this flight will cover precisely 6,449 miles.

Distance calculator
Distance calculator

Therefore, as per the chart and what you can see on the booking screen, you can earn as follows:

  • 1,612 Aeroplan points when choosing Economy – Basic (25% of 6,449 miles)
  • 3,225 Aeroplan points when choosing Economy – Standard (50% of 6,449 miles)
  • 6,449 Aeroplan points when choosing Economy – Flex (100% of 6,449 miles)

Electing to purchase a different fare option than basic economy has various advantages, such as distinct changes and cancellation policies, the possibility to use e-upgrades, etc., but also to earn Aeroplan points. Selecting a higher fare may be worth depending on how you value those perks and the extra points.

For example, the difference in the amount of Aeroplan points you can earn with the first two options is 1,612. Our valuation shows they are worth about $32, while the fare difference is $50. Consequently, leaning on the Standard fare solely to earn more Aeroplan points does not make sense financially.

However, if you estimate your points higher, which can be the case if you mainly fly in business class with your points, then the same number of points can be worth more than $50. You should always do the math regarding your situation and preferences.

On a side note, you also earn an equal amount of SQM, which are status-qualifying miles.

Earn Aeroplan points - Flying with Air Canada’s partners

Similarly, you can earn Aeroplan points when you fly with their partners; most of them are members of the Star Alliance network, but you also have other carriers such as Emirates, Etihad or Cathay Pacific who are eligible.

Earn aeroplan points on partner flights
Earn aeroplan points on partner flights

One thing to note is that the earning percentage for partners’ flights is not identical from one to another.

For example, when travelling to Spain, you can either go with Swiss or with TAP Portugal as partner airlines but with the former, you would earn 100% of the miles flown if you booked Economy V while the same fare option gives you only 50% of the miles flown with the latter.

Earn aeroplan points with swiss
Earn aeroplan points with swiss
Earn aeroplan points with tap
Earn aeroplan points with tap

Therefore, if your flights are relatively equally priced, I would choose to purchase my plane ticket with Swiss instead of TAP Portugal to earn more Aeroplan points.

Each class of service is divided into many booking classes, represented by a specific letter. How do you know which letter is associated with your flight? You can usually find this information on the carrier’s website by clicking the details on the fare comparison link. As we can see here, our Economy V with Swiss is called Economy Basic Plus.

Fare options other carriers 2
Fare options other carriers 2
Fare options other carriers
Fare options other carriers

Earn Aeroplan points - Credit Cards

While reaping Aeroplan points when you fly is evident, that is not the easiest way since you may have to travel quite extensively and/or pay for a higher class of service to obtain enough points for a worthwhile redemption.

The simplest and quickest way to earn Aeroplan points is by signing up for a new Aeroplan co-branded credit card. Indeed, the welcome bonus you can get from just one of these credit cards can be enough to book a decent free flight. Furthermore, American Express cards do not require a minimum income to be eligible.

With as little as 25,000 Aeroplan points, you can book a short-haul flight for a getaway, even your first experience in business class.

In addition, with a card such as the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card, you can not only benefit from a generous bonus, but you can also earn Aeroplan points at a higher rate on purchases with Air Canada:

  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Earn 3X Aeroplan points on eligible purchases on Air Canada by paying with the credit card.
  • Earn Aeroplan points on the actual miles flown (depending on your fare option).
  • Benefit from excellent travel insurance
  • Access to select Maple Leaf Lounges in North America

Bottom Line

When you travel with Air Canada and their partners, you can earn Aeroplan points if you are a member of their loyalty program and if your fare option is eligible.

Depending on how you value your Aeroplan points, it is sometimes worth it to take the time to calculate how much you can earn on a flight or fare option compared to another.

While you can earn Aeroplan points with your flights, the easiest and most lucrative way to obtain them will always be with generous credit card bonuses and rewards.

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Aline Nguyen
I'm Aline, an experienced traveller, a foodie at heart, an Avgeek, a photography enthusiast and an expert on credit card programs. I use Reward Points to travel on a budget and to save money on everyday life; writing about these topics allows me to share my passion and help you. ~ 7 continents and 75 countries ~

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