Are you making the most out of your Aeroplan membership? Hopefully, the answer is yes, but if you aren’t sure, then this article is for you. In this guide to Aeroplan rewards, we’re sharing the best ways to collect and redeem Aeroplan points, as well as answer any important questions you may have about the Aeroplan rewards program.
What is the Aeroplan Rewards Program?
The Aeroplan program is a rewards system from Air Canada, one of Canada’s most popular airlines. You earn Aeroplan points on every dollar that you spend, and your accumulated points can be cashed in for travel rewards. With 5 million members and 75 world-class partners, it’s considered Canada’s premier travel loyalty program.
One important thing to know: Air Canada purchased Aeroplan from Aimia, and it underwent big changes in late 2021. This means if you’re already an Aeroplan member, you were automatically transferred to the new rewards system.
Aeroplan Points Value
Aeroplan Points don’t have a cash value, but generally speaking, the value of an Aeroplan point works out to roughly $0.0120. But the exact value will depend on a range of factors, such as whether you’re redeeming for flights, merchandise, gift cards, or other rewards. However, you can get the most value from your points by redeeming them for flights, and on certain routes/destinations. Here’s an example of assessing Aeroplan points value on flights:
Route Cabin Class Points Needed for Round Trip Points Cash Value Flight Market Value Toronto – Auckland
First Class Round Trip Air Canada: 260,000 - 600,000 pts
$3,120 to $7,200 $13,000 Vancouver – Los Angeles Economy Round Trip Air Canada: 20,000 - 30,000 pts
Partner airlines: 20,000 pts
$240 to $360 $230 Vancouver – Tokyo First Class Round Trip Air Canada: 180,000 - 400,000 pts
Partner airlines: 180,000 pts
$2,160 - $4,800 $18,000 Thunder Bay – Toronto Economy Round Trip Air Canada: 20,000 - 30,000 pts
Partner airlines: 20,000 pts
$240 to $360 $300
As you can see, you get the best value for long-haul international flights in business/first-class cabin. For example, a first-class flight from Auckland to Toronto would normally cost around $13,000; but by using your Aeroplan points, you’re only “paying” (in Aeroplan points) anywhere between $3,120 to $7,200, which could save you as much as $9,800.
Meanwhile, you’re not getting much savings for flights to short-haul Canadian destinations in economy class. Sure, you’re not paying for the ticket cost for an economy flight from Vancouver to Los Angeles, but you’re also not getting the best value for your Aeroplan points. You’re better off to pay out of pocket and save those points for a more valuable route. In some cases, if there’s a seat sale, it may even be cheaper to pay for the cost of a ticket than cash in your points.
The bottom line: be strategic and stretch the value of those points to the max!
How Many Aeroplan Points to Fly?
With the new Aeroplan program, redeeming Aeroplan points for flights just got a lot simpler. For starters, the amount of points you’ll need depends on various factors (such as destination, time of year, number of layovers, flight class, and so forth).
As of November 2021, there are two options for redeeming Aeroplan points for flights:
- Air Canada flight rewards: With this option, you can cash in your points for any seat on any available flight, but the points needed are based on the current market prices (rather than the special prices reserved for members). So, if the price of the ticket goes up or down, so do the points required for the flight. This option has the potential to save you money if you want to travel to a less popular destination or during the off-season, however it may end up costing you more if you want to fly to a popular destination at a peak time.
- Partner flight rewards: These tickets are reserved especially for Aeroplan members on partner airlines. They’re typically offered at lower, set points levels, but there’s limited seat availability (which tends to sell out fast). You usually need to book well in advance to score these seats, especially for first-class/business class. See the Aeroplan flight chart in the next section below for some example fares.
Since the cost of Aeroplan points is determined by dynamic pricing, you can calculate how many Aeroplan points are needed to fly on Air Canada using the Points Predictor Tool. Partner flights will cost a fixed number of points, regardless of the time of year or your desired route. If you don’t have enough points, you can pay part of your fare in cash as well.
Aeroplan Points Chart
With the new Aeroplan program, redeeming Aeroplan points for flights just got a lot simpler. For starters, the amount of points you’ll need depends on various factors (such as destination, time of year, number of layovers, flight class, and so forth). Also, when you use Aeroplan to book a flight, you choose between Air Canada or partner airline flights. This impacts how many points are needed to book a flight. See the Aeroplan flight chart below for some example Air Canada and partner fares:
Route (one-way, economy class) Aeroplan Miles Required Ottawa-Orlando Air Canada: 10,000-15,000
Partner Airlines: 10,000
Vancouver-Mexico Air Canada: 12,500-17,500
Partner Airlines: 12,500
Calgary-Hawaii Air Canada: 17,500-25,000
Partner Airlines: 22,500
Montreal-Athens Air Canada: 40,000-70,000
Partner Airlines: 40,000
Toronto-Bangkok Air Canada: 50,000-90,000
Partner Airlines: 60,000
Regardless of which option you take, you’ll still need to book via Air Canada’s website or app where you can compare the flight options on the site.
The Best Way to Collect Aeroplan Points
Collecting Aeroplan points is a cinch. Members can earn points while shopping or travelling with partner brands in the hospitality, retail, and travel sectors, and/or by using an Aeroplan credit card to make everyday purchases. Let’s look at each approach.
1. Earning Points with Aeroplan Credit Cards
Hands-down, the fastest way to earn Aeroplan Points is to get an Aeroplan credit card. It’s simple: you earn points for every dollar spent on your credit card. Plus, you’ll earn twice the points for purchases made at Aeroplan-affiliated partners.
The new Aeroplan program also comes with new credit cards, some of which launched in late 2020. Research the new attractive welcome bonuses that could help you rack up some serious points, just by signing up.
The TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card remains our top choice for an Aeroplan card. New cardholders who apply by December 5, 2021 can earn up to $1,250 in value.†
Aside from a welcome bonus, cardholders earn points with every dollar spent: 1.5 points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, groceries, and AirCanada.com purchases, and 1 point for every dollar spent on everything else. Plus, you’ll double your points when you pay with your credit card and present your Aeroplan Membership Number at Aeroplan retail partners.
You get travel and car rental insurance included with the card as well as additional VIP perks such as a free first checked bag for you and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation for Air Canada flights, and more. Read our full TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card review.
- Annual Fee: $139 (first year annual fee rebate)†
- Minimum Income Eligibility: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household annual income
- Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
- Welcome Offer: Earn up to $1,250 in value† Must apply by December 5, 2021
- Other Perks: Travel insurance, Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance
- Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%
This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.
†Terms and conditions apply.
2. Earning Points with Aeroplan Retail Partners
Another trick of the trade is to shop at Aeroplan retail partners. Here’s how it works: when making a purchase at an Aeroplan partner, such as Air Canada or Home Hardware, just swipe your card or provide your membership number and you’ll instantly earn points. However, some partners (like Costco) will only let you earn Aeroplan points when shopping online.
There are plenty of Aeroplan retail partners to choose from, many of which you probably already use on a daily basis:
- Air Canada
- Star Alliance airlines
- Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
- Budget Car Rentals
- AVIS Car Rentals
- The UPS Store
- Home Hardware
Here’s a handy hack: when you make purchases at Aeroplan-affiliated partners with an Aeroplan credit card, you’ll earn double the points on the same purchase. With more than 150 partner brands and 170 online retailers, it’s easy to supercharge your Aeroplan earnings when shopping for everyday items.
3. Shop at the Aeroplan eStore
Realize your full points-earning potential by shopping on the Aeroplan eStore – an online shopping portal where you can earn at least 1 Aeroplan point for every dollar you spend. There are more than 170+ online retailers on the shopping platform, and all you have to do is make your purchases through the portal. Here is a chart listing how much you could potentially earn with some of the top retailers in the Aeroplan eStore:
Aeroplan eStore Retailer Earnings Amazon.ca 1 point per $1 Apple 1 point per $1 Hello Fresh 5 points per $1 Lululemon 5 points per $1 Old Navy 1 point per $1 Indigo 2 points per $1 Sephora 3 points per $1 UberEats 2 points per $1
Once again, don’t forget to “double-dip” and earn twice the points by charging your purchases to an Aeroplan credit card.
Understanding How to Redeem Aeroplan Points
You can redeem your points for hundreds of brands, so the options are endless. Your accumulated points can be redeemed for travel rewards, such as flights on Air Canada and its partner airlines, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, and more. Additionally, there is merchandise available through the Aeroplan program. You can also or combine them with family members. It’s up to you!
Redeeming your Aeroplan points is easy and can be done online via the AirCanada.com, the Air Canada app, or the Aeroplan eStore. You just log in to the website and redeem your points for travel, merchandise, or even gift cards.
The Best Way to Use Aeroplan Points
The best way to get the most value is to redeem your Points for flights, and you can use the estimated value of $0.0120 as a benchmark as to whether you’re getting a good deal. Here’s how to make a decision:
- Look up the cost to book your flight using cash (e.g. $500 for a round-trip flight)
- Using the Points Predictor Tool, calculate how many points you need for a flight redemption (e.g. 10,000 Aeroplan points)
- Multiply the number of Aeroplan points X $0.0120 to get the cash value (10,000 X $0.0120 = $120)
- If the redemption amount is worth less than the cash value, save your points. But if the flight value exceeds the calculated value of using Aeroplan points, then go for it.
For example, you’d need a minimum of 100,000 Aeroplan Points for a round-trip flight to New Zealand, which works out to $1,200 (100,000 X $0.0120). So if flights are currently selling for more than that amount, you’re getting good value by using your Aeroplan points. But if you can score a flight for less than $1,200, it’s best to save ’em for another time if you can.
Right now, your Aeroplan points have the most value if redeemed for flights in the following regions:
- Short-haul flights within Canada and USA
- Hawaii, South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific
- Long haul international flights in Business or First Class (very high return on Aeroplan point investment especially with business or first class)
That being said, this may change once travel re-opens post-pandemic. Stay tuned for further details.
Avoid redeeming your Aeroplan points for merchandise or gift cards unless you’re not interested in travelling at all. But if that’s the case, you might want to choose a rewards or cash back credit card instead of an Aeroplan credit card.
Aeroplan is one of Canada’s original rewards program and has gone through many changes and a lot of restructuring throughout the years. It’s true that Air Canada has recently purchased Aeroplan and made significant changes to the program on November 8, 2020. Read more about the Aeroplan program changes.
This Aeroplan guide will help ensure you get the most out of your points and rewards earnings. If you’re not sure if Aeroplan is the right rewards program for you, take a look at The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards in Canada. You can also read more about the differences between Canada’s top loyalty programs in Aeroplan vs AIR MILES: Which Should You Choose?