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The ultimate travel hacking guide on Aeroplan

To the point Aeroplan is a key loyalty program in Canada and you absolutely must know it to save a lot of money on your trips! With this ultimate travel hacking guide, you'll learn how to earn and burn Aeroplan Miles.

With travels on Star Alliance

Aeroplan is Air Canada‘s loyalty program.

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Air Canada

The airline is a member of Star Alliance, which includes 27 airlines worldwide.

It is therefore possible to earn Aeroplan miles while traveling on board:

  • of Air Canada
  • or one of Star Alliance’s member airlines

Star Alliance member Airlines

Star Alliance has 27 member airlines:

Adria Airways
Aegean Airlines
Air Canada
Air China
Air India
Air New Zealand
All Nippon Airways
Asiana Airlines
Austrian Airlines
Brussels Airlines
Copa Airlines
Croatia Airlines
Egypt Air
Ethiopian Airlines
EVA Airways
LOT Polish Airlines
SAS Scandanavian 2017
Singapore Airlines
South African Airways
TAP Portugal
Turkish Airlines

Booking classes

All airfares have dozens of different booking classes.

You will earn miles based on:

  • the booking class of your ticket
  • Destination
  • airline used

To find out how many Aeroplan Miles you will earn with your flight, go to this page provided by Aeroplan.

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The accumulation of miles according to the partners

With purchases from partners

Aeroplan has more than 150 partners.

Miles earning rate will be different for each partner. Here are some examples:

  • Costco.ca: 1 mile / $
  • Home Hardware: 1 mile / $2
  • UPS Store: 1 mile / $
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Some Aeroplan partners

With eStore retailers

Aeroplan has an online shopping portal called eStore,with more than 170 partners.

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The Aeroplan eStore

By going through this portal before shopping, you will get 1 mile/ $. This is called “the basic offer.”

Then, during promotions, comes “the multiplier” from partner stores.

The multiplier of partner stores

Aeroplan’s partner stores regularly offer mile earning promotions through a multiplier.

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Wayfair and Aeroplan

For example, if it is indicated that you will earn 5x the miles, it means that:

  • you will get 1 mile / $ (basic offer)
  • you will get 4 miles / $ (special offer with the multiplier)

That’s 5 miles / $.

That’s why Aeroplan says 5x the miles.

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The Aeroplan eStore

With credit cards welcome bonuses

Aeroplan has 3 financial partner institutions offering a lot of Aeroplan credit cards:

  • American Express
  • CIBC
  • TD

Each of these cards will have a welcome bonus when you apply for it. This is a great way to earn many Aeroplan miles quickly!

Aeroplan and American Express

American Express has 4 Aeroplan cards:

Our choice will be the American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Platinum Card because it offers unique benefits if you frequently travel with Air Canada such as:

  • priority check-in
  • priority boarding
  • access to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges
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Access to Air Canada's Maple Leaf Lounges

Also, American Express has 4 cards within its Membership Rewards program. You can convert those points in Aeroplan miles with a 1:1 ratio :

Our choice will be the American Express® Gold Rewards Card because it has an earning rate of 2 membership rewards points / $ (i.e. 2 Aeroplan miles / $) for:

  • grocery stores
  • gas stations
  • pharmacies
  • Travel

With purchases made on credit cards

To earn Aeroplan miles faster, it’s best to use your Aeroplan credit card (see the choices above) as often as possible!

The mileage accumulation rate will often depend on the issuer and the type of card:

Also, depending on the categories of purchases,it is possible to earn more Aeroplan miles.

Be sure to do double-dip: pay your purchases with your Aeroplan credit card and show your Aeroplan loyalty card at the checkout.

With hotel points conversion

With most hotel loyalty programs (Marriott Bonvoy, Best Western Rewards…), you can convert hotel points into Aeroplan miles.

This is a nice way to get Aeroplan miles! Especially during conversion promotions offered by Aeroplan.

For example, Marriott Bonvoy points can be converted into Aeroplan miles.

By maximizing both programs, and converting during a promotional period (such as the one offering 30% more miles), it is possible to do this:

60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
25,000 Aeroplan miles
32,500 Aeroplan miles

If you got:

But whether you’d like to get Aeroplan miles instead of redeeming your points for free nights, this is a possible solution for you!

With conversion of Membership Rewards Select points

Using Marriott Bonvoy for Aeroplan miles is also a way to convert Membership Rewards Select points from American Express Cobalt™ Card into Aeroplan miles!

If the 4 others Membership Rewards cards can transfer at a rate of 1:1 in the Aeroplan program, this is not the case for American Express Cobalt™ Card which can only transfer its points to hotel partners .

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Le transfert de points-privilèges de la Carte Cobalt en milles Aéroplan via Marriott Bonvoy

So if you have American Express Cobalt™ Card and would like to get Aeroplan miles, here’s the way to go during a promotional period:

50,000 Select membership rewards
60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
25,000 Aeroplan miles
32,500 Aeroplan miles

Redeem miles

Let’s see all the possibilities of redeeming Aeroplan miles:

Fixed mileage flight rewards

With the Rewards chart, you will exactly know the number of Aeroplan miles required for a round trip to a destination. This is called “Fixed mileage flight rewards”

It is possible to book a one-way ticket (the fare is 50% compared to the round-trip ticket).

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The Aeroplan tariff schedule

When searching for flights on Aeroplan, tickets available at the fixed mileage will appear under the left tab:

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Fixed mileage flight rewards

Here is the list of countries by region:

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Aeroplan Regions

Market fare flight rewards

There are also” market fare flight rewards .”

These are additional flight rewards available for flights operated by Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge.

These flight rewards will therefore have a variable fare:

  • the more the flight is in demand, the more expensive it will be
  • on the contrary, in the event of low demand, rewards may be less expensive than fixed mileage

When searching for flights on Aeroplan, tickets available at market rates will appear under the right tab :

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airline rewards at market fare

Only Air Canada flights and its subsidiaries will appear in Market fare flight rewards

Traveling with children

There are“Infant Flight Rewards(children under 2 years of age AND traveling on the adult’s knees).

The required fare will be the same in all travel areas:

  • Economy Class – $50 or 5,000 Aeroplan Miles
  • Economy Privilege Class – $75 or 7,500 Aeroplan miles
  • Business class – $100 or 10,000 Aeroplan miles
  • First class – $125 or 12,500 Aeroplan miles

To book a flight reward for your infant, call Aeroplan at 1-800-361-5373.

Modifying and canceling a flight reward

With Aeroplan, you can modify or cancel a flight reward up to 2 hours before the flight schedule time.

To modify an itinerary,the fee will be:

  • $100 / direction / ticket (plus mileage difference) – maximum $200 fee
  • $75 / direction / ticket (plus mileage difference) – maximum $150 fee for Diamond status members
  • Free for Air Canada Super Elite 100K members

To cancel a reward ticket, miles used will be re-credited to the account and the fee will be:

  • $125 / ticket if cancellation is made on aeroplan.com
  • $150 / ticket if cancellation is made by phone
  • Free for Air Canada Super Elite 100K members

If the cancellation is made within 24 hours of booking, there will be no charge! Convenient if you find a route that suits you better!

The flight rewards availability

Flight rewards will be displayed on Aeroplan from 355 days prior to the flight departure (e.g. Air Canada).

However, for some airlines, tickets will only be displayed 300 days before the flight (Swiss for example).

In exceptional cases, it may even be as short as 14 days before the flight’s departure (Lufthansa First Class). This is for last-minute booking lovers !

It is possible to book a ticket up to 2 hours before the flight’s departure.

The sooner you do it, the more likely you are to get the flight reward you want! However, carriers regularly “release” seats based on their inventory. It is therefore not uncommon for a flight to be unavailable 300 days before departure, and to appear available 100 days before !

Multi-city flight rewards

With Aeroplan, you can book multi-stop flights on the same flight reward ticket.

So, you could visit another destination during the same trip for the same fare.

Like Montreal – San FranciscoVancouver – Montreal for the price of a round-trip ticket Montreal – San Francisco – Montreal!

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A multi-city itinerary with Aeroplan

But you could make a much longer trip around the world like: Montreal – Zurich – Singapore – Montreal and visit 2 continents like Europe and Asia for the same price as a round trip from Montreal to Singapore!

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A multi-city Flight Reward around the world

The multi-city flight reward is a great way to maximize aeroplan miles.

Carrier surcharges

On Aeroplan, when you reserve a reward flight, a fee is added to the mileage amount.

This fee includes:

  • airport taxes
  • a possible “surcharge” from the carrier

The carrier surcharge was introduced by some airlines such as Air Canada and Lufthansa when the price of oil peaked.

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Carrier overload with Lufthansa
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No carrier surcharge with Swiss

Since then, this surcharge has not been removed and is a way for airlines to earn money.

However, by cleverly searching for its airline rewards it is possible to avoid them: some airlines do not charge any surcharges!

Here is the example of 2 flights to the same destination:

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Searching for an airline reward on Aeroplan

The first with Lufthansa (including a $265 Carrier surcharge).

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Aeroplan airline reward with Lufthansa

The second with Swiss (having no carrier surcharge):

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Aeroplan airline reward with Swiss

The difference is major: almost $300! And it’s JUST a one-way ticket!

Airlines without surcharge

In order to avoid carrier surcharge, it will be necessary to know the airlines that don’t charge this on reward tickets.

Here are the airlines NOT charging surcharge

Adria Airways
Aegean Airlines
Air India
Air New Zealand
Brussels Airlines
Copa Airlines
Croatia Airlines
Egypt Air
Ethiopian Airlines
EVA Airways
SAS Scandanavian 2017
Singapore Airlines
South African Airways
TAP Portugal
Turkish Airlines

It is therefore possible to travel around the world avoiding surcharge However, it will be more difficult in North America and especially in Canada given the predominance of Air Canada.

Traveling from the United States

Another way to drastically lower the cost of an Aeroplan flight reward is to travel from the United States.

For example, from Plattsburgh (PBG) and Burlington (BTV) airports, served by United Airlines.

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An airline reward from Burlington

Only $7.40 in taxes for this flight between Burlington and Los Angeles!

Leaving from the United States can make the difference when traveling with family or friends: you will be able to spread the associated costs (car/petrol/parking/hotel).

Flight rewards in premium cabin

Aeroplan’s great advantage over competitors such as AIR MILES is that it offers the possibility to fly in premium cabins:

  • upper economy class
  • business class
  • first class
IMG 8020
Un vol en Première Classe sur Lufthansa

This is called “low-cost luxury.” A round-trip ticket between Canada and Asia often costs more than $5,000 in business class.

Now, with Aeroplan miles, these kind of tickets are accessible!

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Classe affaires de Swiss

A flight reward in business class, is not just a more comfortable seat. It’s mostly:

  • a bed to sleep in
  • a better meal
  • Improved service at the airport and in-flight
  • a much higher baggage allowance
  • Priority baggage delivery
  • access to airline airport lounges (better than other lounges)
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Lufthansa Lounge

A flight reward in business class is usually 1.5 to 2x higher in miles than a flight reward in economy class.

Don’t forget: you could book one way flight in business class and return in economy class, or vice versa! A way to optimize the use of your miles.

Short-haul flights: the best deal

Another excellent use of Aeroplan miles: to book short-haul flight rewards

These are “proximity” destinations, as defined by this table:

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Aeroplan's short-haul destination chart

These Air Canada-operated flights will cost 7,500 miles one-way or 15,000 miles roundtrip.

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Quebec - Magdalen Islands with Aeroplan

This type of airfare can be expensive and the use of miles is particularly recommended!

For example, a one-way ticket between Montreal (YUL) and Boston (BOS) costs only 7,500 Aeroplan miles!

Remember: it is possible to get a a multi-city flight reward on the same ticket! It’s enough to visit the Maritimes cheaply!

The companion ticket

2 Aeroplan-affiliated credit cards offer an annual reward flight ticket for a travel companion:

To book a reward flight ticket for a travel companion, you will need to call Aeroplan.


There are several free and paid tools to find reward tickets on Aeroplan.

If Expertflyer will suit advanced users, Award.Flights is easier to access and free of charge.

With this Chrome Extension, you can search Aeroplan website automatically based on your queries.

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The Award.Flights tool

To learn more about how this tool works, read this article!

For gift cards

It is possible to redeem aeroplan miles for gift cards. It is not a recommended use, but it does exist.

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Giftcards with Aeroplan

The cost in miles will vary depending on the gift card’s issuer and promotions.

For car rentals

Aeroplan miles can be redeemed for car rentals.

Here’s an example of a week-long car rental in Vancouver.

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A car rental with Aeroplan miles

In some cases, this can be a great way to redeem Aeroplan miles! Always compare with specialized sites like Holiday Autos.

And most importantly, if you’re redeeming your Aeroplan miles, use an Aeroplan-affiliated credit card like the American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Platinum Cardto take advantage of the card’s collision-damage insurance!

For holiday packages

With Aeroplan, you can redeem miles for vacation/all-inclusive packages offered by Air Canada Vacations.

Here’s the value you could get from your Aeroplan miles this way:

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The use of Aeroplan miles for all-inclusive

In this case of redemption, 1 Aeroplan mile = 1 cent. This is rather far from the value it is given, around 1.7 cents.

For hotels

Aeroplan miles can also be redeemed for hotel nights.

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The use of Aeroplan miles for hotels

In this case of use, we are well below 1 Aeroplan mile = 1 cent. So it’s not an option.

For merchandise and activities

Aeroplan Miles can be redeemed for merchandise and activities within Aeroplan’s rewards catalogue.

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The use of Aeroplan Miles for products or activities

Many products or activities are suggested. Once again, the value of the Aeroplan mile will vary depending on each product.

A basic tip: you don’t buy products with miles!

Managing your miles

You know how to earn and use your Aeroplan miles.

Now let’s see how to manage them… every day!

The value of miles

The value of a Aeroplan Mile will depend on how you use it. However, there is agreement that 1 Aeroplan mile = 1.7 cents.

You could get a much higher value with multi-city flight rewards or flights in premium cabins (business class/first class).

This means that the welcome bonus for American Express® AeroplanPlus® Platinum Card is worth about $700!

The expiration of miles

Aeroplan miles expire after 12 months of Aeroplan inactivity. To generate an activity, nothing could be simpler:

  • Keep and use an Aeroplan credit card
  • Use your Aeroplan loyalty card at a partner store like Home Hardware
  • earn miles through eStore with a partner like amazon.ca
  • Redeem miles
  • transfer Membership Rewards points to your Aeroplan account

Tip: If your Aeroplan miles have expired, check your recent transactions (flight tickets, hotels, car rental…)! If it was with an Aeroplan partner, you could request a missing miles credit and get your expired miles back!

Claiming missing miles

Have you traveled on Air Canada or a Star Alliance without indicating your membership number? Or did you forget to use your Aeroplan membership number with a partner?

It is possible to make a claim of missing miles up to 6 months after the transaction.

This will require completing the claim form available on the missing miles page.

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Aeroplan Miles Credit Application

Transfer miles

It is possible – but very expensive – to transfer miles from one Aeroplan member to another Aeroplan member: 2 cents/mile!

Tip: If you have some Membership Rewards points from American Express,it is possible – unofficially – to transfer them to the Aeroplan account of your choice!


Aeroplan has 3 levels of status:

  • silver
  • black
  • diamond

To obtain one of these status, it is necessary to earn aeroplan miles (by traveling or through purchases on credit card).

However, those activities do not count for the status:

  • Aeroplan miles earned through credit card welcome bonuses
  • Aeroplan miles earned with Membership rewards points or hotel points conversion
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Aeroplan status

Main status perks:

  • 20 to 35% discount on Market fare flight rewards
  • 2x to 3x bonus miles for purchases made through Aeroplan eStore
  • Priority access to the Aeroplan Contact Center

The qualification period runs from January 1 to December 31 of the same calendar year. The status obtained is valid until the end of the following calendar year.


Aeroplan is Canada’s leading frequent flyer program for travellers because of Air Canada.

It will be a must-go program for:

  • those who want to travel to North America or the other side of the world
  • those who like to travel in the comfort offered by premium cabins (business class, first class)
  • those who want to get the most value on their travel through multi-city reward tickets

Note that a new program will come into effect from July 2020. Aeroplan miles will be transferred to this new program at a value of 1:1.

This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

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