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Published October 6, 2023
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Aeroplan Rewards: A Guide to Air Canada’s Loyalty Program

Air Canada’s Aeroplan is one of Canada’s most popular loyalty programs for travel rewards.

Air Canada’s loyalty program allows you to fly just about anywhere in the world. But Aeroplan points can be used for more than airfare. Understanding how the Aeroplan program works will help you maximize the value of your points.

What is Aeroplan?

Aeroplan was created as a loyalty program for Air Canada customers. The program has changed hands a few times over the decades but was sold back to Air Canada in 2018 and relaunched in 2020 with a focus on flexible rewards.

Since the relaunch, multiple airline and retail partners have been added to the program, as well as many Aeroplan credit cards to help members quickly earn points. There have been other positive changes, too, such as the elimination of fuel surcharges.

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How does the Aeroplan rewards program work?

At its core, Aeroplan is an airline loyalty program. Every available seat on an Air Canada flight can be redeemed using Aeroplan points with no restrictions or blackout dates. In addition, you can redeem your points for available seats on more than 50 partner airlines.

The number of points required to redeem a free flight depends on the following:

  • Departure city.
  • Destination.
  • Seat class.
  • Miles flown.
  • Airline.
  • Demand.

Aeroplan rewards chart

Aeroplan operates under a zone-based chart with dynamic pricing. The farther you fly, the more points it’ll likely cost you. Plus, if the flight is in demand, the number of points required will fall closer to the upper end of the scale.

Aeroplan flight rewards chart

The Aeroplan flight reward chart is broken into four travel zones: North America, Atlantic, Pacific and South America.

Each zone is broken down into two to five distance bands that represent varying mileage ranges across each travel zone.

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Aeroplan rewards highlights

Sweet spots

If you study Aeroplan’s flight reward chart, you may notice that there are some sweet spots where flying costs fewer points.

For example, at just over 4,900 miles, an economy ticket with a partner airline from Calgary to Tokyo costs 35,000 points. If that route was 100 miles longer, the flight would move into the 5,001 – 7,500 mile distance zone and cost 50,000 points.

If you’re flexible with your travels, you can take advantage of flights that require fewer points for redemption.

Many ways to use points

Aeroplan allows you to use your points to improve your travel experience. For instance, you can use points to bid on seat upgrades or purchase in-flight Wi-Fi. Beyond flights, your points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, including hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, merchandise, gift cards and more.

Unlike some other airline loyalty programs, there are no cash surcharges when booking a flight with points. Taxes and third-party fees still apply, but you can cover those with Aeroplan points.

Family sharing

Aeroplan Family Sharing allows up to eight family members to share points. Each member has their own Aeroplan account, but all individually-earned points are added to a shared points pool. Combining points makes it easier for families to qualify for larger redemptions.

Aeroplan points value

According to NerdWallet analysis, the average value of one Aeroplan point ranges from 1.69 to 2.81 cents. Aeroplan points are worth more when redeemed for business-class flights.

How much is 1 Aeroplan point worth?

Since Aeroplan uses dynamic pricing, the value of every redemption varies. However, NerdWallet searched more than 75 flights in 2021 and 2022 to determine the average value for Air Canada flights.

Based on our analysis, the average value of 1 Aeroplan point is 2.23 cents.

More specifically, you can expect to get around:

  • 1.69 cents in value per Aeroplan point for economy-class awards on Air Canada flights.
  • 2.81 cents in value per Aeroplan point for business-class awards on Air Canada flights.

How to calculate an Aeroplan flight redemption

To calculate the value of a redemption, use the following formula:

(Ticket price – taxes) x 100 / points required for a redemption = Cost per point.

How many Aeroplan points are earned per dollar spent?

How many Aeroplan points you’ll earn per dollar spent will vary depending on a few different factors, such as:

  • If you have an Aeroplan credit card.
  • If you’re shopping at a merchant partner.
  • If you’re shopping through the Aeroplan eStore.

Unless you have an Aeroplan credit card that earns Aeroplan points, you don’t earn points based on the amount you spend on Air Canada. Instead, points are awarded based on fare type and miles flown with the airline. Typically,  flights between the U.S. and Canada earn more points than standard flights within Canada. You can also earn Aeroplan points when you make duty-free purchases and in-flight food and beverage purchases.

How many Aeroplan points are needed for a free flight?

Aeroplan’s flight reward charts display the number of points needed to cover Air Canada flights in ranges (e.g., 10,000 to 20,000). That’s because flight rewards on Air Canada are priced dynamically. The number of points needed depends on your desired departure and arrival cities, seat class and number of miles you plan to fly. Generally, more popular flights  cost more.

Conversely, partner airlines require a fixed number of points (e.g., 10,000). While appealing, there are a limited number of award seats offered by partner airlines and a $39 booking fee applies.

Aeroplan has a points predictor tool ( that estimates the range of points required for a redemption. But if you want the most accurate price, you’ll need to conduct a manual search for the flight you’re interested in.

Aeroplan flight redemption example

Let’s see what a one-way flight from Calgary (YYC) to London (LHR) might cost.

Using the points predictor tool, that one-way flight is estimated to cost 40,000 to 70,000 Aeroplan points in economy on Air Canada, or 40,000 points on partner airlines.

Using the points predictor tool, this one-way flight is estimated to cost 40,000 to 70,000 Aeroplan points in economy on Air Canada, or 40,000 points on partner airlines.

To narrow down that range, we used Air Canada’s website to check for a more specific cost.

If we book that one-way flight 60 days out:

  • A non-stop flight in economy on Air Canada costs 37,200 Aeroplan points (at the time of writing).
  • A one-stop flight in economy that includes a flight on United Airlines, a partner airline, costs 38,400 Aeroplan points (at the time of writing).

If we book the cheapest one-way flight 30 days out:

  • A non-stop flight in economy on Air Canada costs 37,400 Aeroplan points (at the time of writing).
  • A two-stop flight in economy that includes a flight on United Airlines, a partner airline, costs 38,500 Aeroplan points (at the time of writing).

As you can see, the type of flights available and the number of points required varies by airline and date.

» MORE: The best ways to use your credit card overseas

How to earn Aeroplan points

There are multiple ways to earn Aeroplan rewards points.

Flying Air Canada

Aeroplan members who purchase a ticket to fly with Air Canada earn Aeroplan points. The number of points awarded depends on fare class, type of seat, destination and miles flown.

Aeroplan credit cards

Co-branded Aeroplan credit cards are an efficient way to earn points since you earn Aeroplan points on every purchase you make. In addition, these rewards cards often come with a welcome bonus and an increased earn rate when spending in specific categories.

Which credit cards earn Aeroplan points?

The following co-branded credit cards earn Aeroplan points:

Transfer points

There are a few loyalty programs that allow you to transfer your points to Aeroplan. American Express Membership Rewards, for example, can be converted to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio. Marriott Bonvoy has a 3:1 transfer ratio, but you get a bonus of 5,000 Aeroplan points when transferring 60,000 Marriott points over.

Other programs include:

  • ALL – Accor Live Limitless points, 2:1 ratio.
  • Best Western Rewards points, 5:1 ratio.
  • Choice Privileges points, 5:1 ratio.
  • Coast Rewards points, 1:1 ratio.
  • Hilton Honors points, 10:1 ratio.
  • IHG Rewards Club points, 5:1 ratio.
  • Shangri-La Golden Circle Award Points, 1:1 ratio.
  • Wyndham Rewards points, 5:1 ratio.

You’ll maximize the value of your rewards by transferring points to Aeroplan from loyalty programs with a 1:1 transfer ratio. The higher the transfer ratio, the more costly the transfer. For example, if you transfer 5,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points to your Aeroplan account (a 1:1 ratio), you’ll get 5,000 Aeroplan points. But if you transfer 5,000 Choice Privileges points to your Aeroplan account (a 5:1 ratio), you’ll only get 1,000 Aeroplan points.

Aeroplan retail partners

Aeroplan has a variety of retail partners that allow Aeroplan members to earn points even if they don’t have an Aeroplan credit card. You just need to show your Aeroplan number or card.

Some of the most popular partners include:

  • Apple.
  • LCBO.
  • Etsy.
  • Starbucks.
  • The UPS Store.
  • Uber.

Aeroplan eStore

Aeroplan has an eStore ( where you can earn points with over 200 online retailers. To get your points, log into your Aeroplan account and navigate to the partner merchant via the Aeroplan eStore. All eligible purchases earn Aeroplan points.

Promotions and special offers

Occasionally, Aeroplan runs promotions and special offers, such as an increased earn rate when you meet certain spending criteria, enter a contest or fill out a survey.

Hotels and car rentals

When you book hotel accommodations and car rentals through the Aeroplan travel portal, you earn points per dollar spent.

Purchasing points

Buying Aeroplan points is an option, but the cost may be more than the established base value of the points, and purchased points don’t count towards Aeroplan status or the Air Canada Altitude program.

That said, there are occasional sales. Under these circumstances, it may be worth buying points. You can purchase up to 1,000,000 Aeroplan points per calendar year.

Ask a friend

Aeroplan allows members to gift points to other members at a rate of 2 cents per point. Members can gift anywhere between 1,000 to 250,000 points. So, at a rate of 2 cents per point, a gift of, say, 1,000 Aeroplan points, would cost $20.

How to redeem Aeroplan points

Aeroplan points can be redeemed on or via the Air Canada app. When you log in, you’ll see your profile and points balance. Once you start searching for travel, you’ll see an option to use your points.

It’s worth mentioning that if you have Aeroplan Elite Status or a core or premium Aeroplan credit card, you may get preferred pricing on flight redemptions.

Aeroplan flights

While inputting the search criteria for your flights on the Air Canada website or mobile app, you’ll see an option to pay in cash or points. Once you select points, the search results will show you the number of Aeroplan points it takes to cover the flight, plus any taxes or third-party fees. Aeroplan allows you to pay for fees with points, so it’s possible to get a flight without paying anything out of pocket.

Aeroplan airline partners

Aeroplan partners with more than 50 airlines.

  • Aegean Airlines.
  • Aer Lingus.
  • Air China.
  • Air Creebec.
  • Air Dolomiti.
  • Air India.
  • Air Mauritius.
  • Air New Zealand.
  • Air Serbia.
  • ANA.
  • Asiana Airlines.
  • Austrian Airlines.
  • Avianca.
  • Azul Brazilian Airlines.
  • Bamboo Airways.
  • Brussels Airlines.
  • Calm Air.
  • Canadian North.
  • Cathay Pacific.
  • Central Mountain Air.
  • Copa Airlines.
  • Croatia Airlines.
  • Emirates.
  • Ethiopian Airlines.
  • Etihad Airways.
  • Eurowings.
  • Eurowings Discover.
  • EVA Air.
  • GOL.
  • Gulf Air.
  • Juneyoa Airlines.
  • LOT Polish Airlines.
  • Lufthansa.
  • Middle East Airlines.
  • Olympic Air.
  • Oman Air.
  • PAL Airlines.
  • Scandinavian Airlines.
  • Shenzhen Airlines.
  • Singapore Airlines.
  • South African Airways.
  • SriLankan Airlines.
  • SunExpress.
  • SWISS.
  • TAP Air Portugal.
  • THAI.
  • Turkish Airlines.
  • United.
  • Virgin Australia.
  • Vistara.

Aeroplan hotels

Aeroplan has a dedicated travel portal ( for members who want to book hotels or flights. From the Aeroplan travel portal, input your destination, travel dates and number of guests. A list of available hotels that meet your criteria will appear. You can pay with cash, Aeroplan points or a mix of the two.

Aeroplan car rental

You can also book car rentals through Aeroplan’s travel portal.. Besides your destination and travel dates, the platform will ask for your age and if you plan to return the vehicle to a different location.

Aeroplan gift cards

When logged into Aeroplan, you can go to the eStore to redeem your points for gift cards. Aeroplan has dozens of gift card partners, including:

  • Amazon.
  • Apple.
  • LCBO.
  • Mastermind Toys.
  • Rocky Mountaineer.
  • Sephora.
  • Uber.

The number of points required per redemption will differ depending on the merchant, but the most common rates are as follows:

  • 7,000 points = $50.
  • 14,000 points = $100.
  • 35,000 points = $250.

Aeroplan merchandise

The Aeroplan eStore also has a variety of products available for redemption, including electronics, toys, small appliances, beauty products, travel accessories and more. Click on the “Products” tab for the full list.

Extras and upgrades

When purchasing an economy or premium economy class ticket on eligible Air Canada flights, you can bid with points to be upgraded to a higher cabin class. You can submit an upgrade bid any time up until 48 hours before your flight. On-page charts from the AC Bid Upgrade website can help you determine how many points to bid. Once a bid is in place, Air Canada will accept or reject your bid no later than 48 hours before your flight. You can also use your points for in-flight Wi-Fi.

Charitable donations

The Aeroplan Member Donation Program allows members to donate their points to more than 300 organizations, charities and causes. Since its founding in 2006, the program has raised more than 1.6 billion points for over 1,470 causes — equal to about $2.5 billion, based on our valuation of Aeroplan points. Visit for a full list of organizations.

Do Aeroplan points expire?

Aeroplan points expire after 18 months of account inactivity. You can maintain your account by earning, redeeming, donating or transferring Aeroplan points.

What to know about Aeroplan Elite Status

Aeroplan Elite Status is a program within Aeroplan designed to reward its most frequent flyers. Simply put, the more you fly and spend with Air Canada, the more benefits you’ll get. That said, the program is complex and there are numerous ways to earn Aeroplan Elite Status tiers. Each Elite Status tier comes with core benefits that will enhance your travel experience. In addition, you get select benefits that allow you to choose specific perks that matter the most to you.

Status levels and benefits

Aeroplan Elite Status has the following tiers:

  • 25K.
  • 35K.
  • 50K.
  • 75K.
  • Super Elite (100K).

Tiered benefits include:

  • Priority reservation waitlist.
  • Priority seat selection.
  • Complimentary preferred seats.
  • Priority check-in.
  • Free checked bags.
  • Free sports equipment handling.
  • Priority baggage handling.
  • Priority security clearance.
  • Priority boarding.
  • Airport lounge access.
  • Guest lounge passes.
  • eUpgrade credits that can be used to upgrade to higher seat classes.
  • Priority rewards.
  • Elite status partner offers.
  • Additional points earned on hotel stays and car rental bookings, as well as at the Aeroplan eStore.

How to earn Aeroplan Elite Status

There are four different criteria that can be used to earn Aeroplan Elite Status.

  • Status Qualifying Miles (SQM). Earned as a percentage of the distance you fly.
  • Status Qualifying Segments (SQS). Earned for each flight segment.
  • Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD). Earned on eligible dollars spent on tickets, flight passes, eUpgrade add-ons and Air Canada vacations.
  • Everyday Status Qualification (EDQ). Earned on eligible dollars spent on everyday purchases.

To reach each status tier, you need:

  • 25K – 25,000 SQM or 25 SQS and $3,000 SQD or 100,000 EDQ.
  • 35K – 35,000 SQM or 35 SQS and $4,000 SQD.
  • 50K – 50,000 SQM or 50 SQS and $6,000 SQD.
  • 75K – 75,000 SQM or 75 SQS and $9,000 SQD.
  • Super Elite (100K) – 100,000 SQM or 100 SQS and $20,000 SQD.

Note that SQM, SQS, SQD and EDQ are separate from earned Aeroplan points. While Aeroplan points can be earned and redeemed in a variety of ways, SQM, SQS, SQF and EDQ are exclusive to the Aeroplan Elite Status program.

How to get the best value for Aeroplan redemptions

Earning Aeroplan points is just one part of the equation. Knowing how to redeem your Aeroplan points for the best value is equally important. Although every redemption value will be different, there are a few things you can do to maximize your points.

  • Know your base value. Whether it be for airfare or hotel stays, whenever you redeem your points, you should aim for a value of at least 1.69 cents per point. 
  • Look for partner airlines. Partner airlines require a fixed number of points for airfare redemptions, which may help you maximize the value of your Aeroplan points.
  • Study the Aeroplan chart. Since the Aeroplan program uses a zone and distance rewards chart, there are a few sweet spots — specific routes and seats that offer the best value.
  • Go for business. When you use your Aeroplan points for business class redemptions,, the base value of each point rises to 2.81 cents per point. This means you get more bang for your buck.
  • Earn points as quickly as possible. Maximizing the value of Aeroplan becomes easier when you have a lot of points to use. If maximizing rewards is your goal, consider a co-branded Aeroplan credit card so you can stack rewards and earn Aeroplan points on every eligible dollar spent.

Aeroplan alternatives

One alternative to Aeroplan is Air Miles — another popular Canadian travel rewards program. There are co-branded Air Miles credit cards and the program has online travel and shopping portals for its collectors. 

Unlike Aeroplan, Air Miles isn’t affiliated with an airline. Another difference? Its rewards can be collected as Cash Miles, redeemable for cash rewards, or Dream Miles, which can be put towards flights, rental cars, hotel stays, merchandise and more. 

When comparing the Aeroplan and Air Miles programs, consider credit card and redemption options to find the rewards that best fit your lifestyle.

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