Getting Elite Status on Air Canada With the Aeroplan Credit Card

Perks like free checked bags and priority check-in and boarding add a lot of value for Air Canada loyalists.
JT Genter
By JT Genter 

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Airline credit cards usually give perks like free checked bags and priority boarding, but they rarely give elite status as a benefit. The major exception is the Aeroplan® Credit Card. One of the major perks of signing up for the Aeroplan® Credit Card is getting Aeroplan 25K elite status the rest of the calendar year you sign up, plus the entire next calendar year.

Even better, cardholders can maintain Aeroplan elite status year after year just by spending on the card. That includes the ability to earn a status boost to at least Aeroplan 35K elite status.

However, travelers based in the U.S. are likely unfamiliar with the Aeroplan elite status program. Perhaps you're wondering what elite perks Aeroplan elite status gets you on Air Canada and domestically on its Star Alliance partner, United. Take a look at the elite status perks you get from the Aeroplan® Credit Card to see if it makes sense for you.

How you earn Aeroplan 25k elite status through the Aeroplan® Credit Card

Aeroplan Credit Card
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The Aeroplan® Credit Card offers new members Aeroplan 25K elite status plus the ability to maintain — or even boost — their elite status by spending on the card. Here's how:

New cardholder Aeroplan elite status

Aeroplan® Credit Card holders get automatic Aeroplan 25K elite status in the year that they sign up for the card plus the entire next calendar year. So to maximize this perk, you'll want to sign up near the beginning of a calendar year.

Maintain Aeroplan 25K elite status

To maintain Aeroplan 25K elite status in future years, cardholders need to spend $15,000 in a calendar year. That's a reasonable spending requirement, averaging just $1,250 per month.

Aeroplan Elite Status Level Up

The incentive to spend doesn’t stop at maintaining your status. Cardholders who spend $50,000 in a calendar year earn an Elite Status Level Up. As you'll already have 25K elite status from spending $15,000 on your card, that means you're guaranteed at least Aeroplan 35K elite status by making $50,000 in eligible purchases.

This elite status boost can be even more valuable for those who earn Aeroplan elite status from flying. That's because this elite status boost gets you an upgrade to the next elite status tier. For example, travelers who earn Aeroplan 35K elite status from flying and meet the eligible $50,000 spending requirement on the Aeroplan® Credit Card will get a boost to Aeroplan 50K elite status.

Elite status perks of the Aeroplan® Credit Card

Perks of Aeroplan 25K elite status

Aeroplan 25K is Air Canada's first tier of elite status, but it comes with a surprisingly long list of perks on Air Canada flights. These include the following Core benefits:

  • Priority phone line.

  • Priority reservation waitlist on full flights.

  • Priority seat selection at the front of economy cabins.

  • 50% discount on extra-legroom seats on Flex fares.

  • Priority airport check-in.

  • Priority airport standby on different flights.

  • 2 free checked bags up to 50 pounds (23 kilograms) each.

  • Waived handling fees for sports equipment.

  • Priority boarding.

  • 20 eUpgrade Credits.

  • 250 minimum point earning on Air Canada and Star Alliance flights.

In addition to Core benefits, Aeroplan elites also get to choose from a list of Select benefits. Aeroplan 25K elites get the choice of two of the following three options:

  • 25% bonus points on Air Canada and select airline partners — including United.

  • Five eUpgrade Credits — in addition to the 20 eUpgrade Credits you get as a Core benefit.

  • Two Maple Leaf Lounge one-time guest passes.

Plus, you get to choose one of the following two options after you complete eligible Flight Pass activities:

  • Four eUpgrade Credits.

  • 750 Status Qualifying Miles, or SQMs.

Finally, you'll get Star Alliance Silver status benefits when flying on other Star Alliance airlines, such as United. Unfortunately, Star Alliance Silver grants only two published perks: priority reservation waitlist and priority airport standby.

Perks of Aeroplan 35K elite status

Those with an Aeroplan® Credit Card are guaranteed at least Aeroplan 35K elite status if they make at least $50,000 in qualifying purchases in the previous calendar year. To help you determine if it's worth putting that much spending on the Aeroplan® Credit Card, take a look at the perks of Aeroplan 35K elite status.

Aeroplan 35K elites get all of the perks of Aeroplan 25K status plus the following:

  • A third free checked bag on Air Canada of up to 50 pounds (23 kilograms) each.

  • Complimentary access to select Maple Leaf Lounges.

  • Two Maple Leaf Lounge one-time guest passes.

  • Priority security clearance for you and up to nine traveling companions.

The Select Benefit options for Aeroplan 35K elites include a choice between 10 eUpgrade Credits or 35% bonus points on Air Canada and select airline partners. In addition, 35K elites can choose to earn either six eUpgrade Credits or 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles for completing eligible Flight Pass activities.

Like Aeroplan 25K elites, Aeroplan 35K elites also get Star Alliance Silver elite status.

What perks do Aeroplan elites get when flying United?

Most of the perks of Aeroplan elite status are applicable only when flying Air Canada. However, Aeroplan elites can also enjoy select perks on United thanks to Air Canada's partnership with the airline through Star Alliance.

Aeroplan 25K and 35K elite status — the easiest elite status levels to get through the Aeroplan® Credit Card — grant onlyStar Alliance Silver elite status. The guaranteed perks of Star Alliance Silver elite status are limited to just:

  • Priority reservation waitlist.

  • Priority airport standby.

There are some additional Aeroplan elite perks that apply when you're flying United. Aeroplan 25K elites can choose a Select benefit to earn 25% bonus points when flying Air Canada and select partners — and that list includes United.

Likewise, Aeroplan 35K elites can choose a Select benefit to earn 35% bonus points when flying Air Canada, United and other select partners. In addition, Aeroplan 35K Maple Leaf Lounge perks also apply when you're flying United. Meaning you can get access to Maple Leaf Lounges in New York (LaGuardia and Newark), Los Angeles and select lounges in Canada when flying on Air Canada or any Star Alliance carrier — including United.

Aeroplan® Credit Card elite status perks, recapped

The new Aeroplan® Credit Card comes with an elite status perk that few airline credit cards offer. Cardholders start off with Aeroplan 25K elite status, and you can maintain this status with just $15,000 in annual spend. Or, upgrade your status to at least 35K by spending $50,000.

Even having Aeroplan 25K elite status grants a long list of perks when you fly Air Canada — from two free checked bags to eUpgrade Credits. By upgrading to Aeroplan 35K elite status, you'll get perks like complimentary Maple Leaf Lounge access and a third free checked bag on Air Canada.

While most of the perks of Aeroplan 25K and 35K elite status are limited to flying Air Canada, you can enjoy perks like bonus points and Maple Leaf Lounge access when flying United, making this card that much more appealing to U.S. travelers.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

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