In 2020, Air Canada "remodeled" its Aeroplan loyalty program. This created some changes that could be beneficial for you when booking an Award Ticket. Let's dive right into this program!
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Getting Started With Air Canada Aeroplan
Air Canada is the largest airline in Canada—and is the country's flag carrier. Its headquarters is in Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec. Air Canada is a member of the largest airline alliance in the world—the Star Alliance.
Star Alliance airline partners:
Air New Zealand
South African Airways
Getting started with Aeroplan is a simple process that can be done online. When you create your account, be sure to enter your name and date of birth exactly as they appear on your government-issued ID. (E.g. driver's license, passport, etc.)
After you create your account, you will receive an email from Aeroplan with your Aeroplan number. You will need this number when logging into your account, booking an Award Ticket, or earning miles while flying on Air Canada or other partner airlines.
Aeroplan's Flight Reward Chart is divided up into 4 geographical zones: North America, Atlantic, Pacific, and South America.
You are charged by Aeroplan for an Award Ticket based on the geographical zone, distance flown between your departure point and destination—including any stops, and whether you are flying Air Canada metal or a partner airline.
Aeroplan has 10 distance-based Award Charts. One of the sweet spots are on short routes of 500 miles or less. Let's look at the Award Chart within North America.
Aeroplan charges as little as 6,000 points one-way on flights between 0-500 miles or 10,000 points on flights between 501-1,500 miles within North America. This creates some interesting possibilities! More on this a little later.
Aeroplan has a nice stopover policy. For just 5,000 Aeroplan points, you can add a stopover to your Aeroplan award itinerary. However, you are not allowed to add a stopover within the United States or Canada. In addition, you will need to call Aeroplan and feed them your Award Flight details to add a stopover—you can not do it online.
With Award Travel flexibility is the key to get outsized value out of your Aeroplan points. You may need to be a little more flexible with your departure/ arrival dates & times.
Credit Cards to Earn Aeroplan Points
There are several ways to amass a plethora of Aeroplan points that can be redeemed for an Award Ticket. Air Canada Aeroplan is a transfer partner of Chase, American Express, Capital One, and Marriott. The transfer ratio—except for Marriott—is 1:1. Marriott's transfer ratio is 3:1. This is great news and makes it easy to accumulate Aeroplan points!
Chase, in my opinion, offers some of the best credit card products, and they have a robust transfer partner program. Any Chase Ultimate Rewards®-earning credit card can be used to accumulate points that can subsequently be transferred to Air Canada Aeroplan—provided you have one of the following Chase credit cards to complete the transfer: Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or Chase Ink Business Preferred®.
In my opinion, the best credit card to get started within Award Travel is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The current welcome bonus is 60,000 Ultimate Rewards®! You can apply for this card here! If you would like to learn more about this credit card, please see the following post: Chase Sapphire Preferred—The Best Credit Card Just Got Better!
Capital One recently upped their game with most of their transfer partners. Capital One is now a 1:1 point transfer partner of Air Canada Aeroplan! Capital One credit cards that earn transferable miles include: Venture X Rewards; Venture Rewards; and VentureOne Rewards. The Venture Rewards has a 60,000 welcome bonus with only a $3,000 minimum spend within the first 3 months. In addition, it earns 2X unlimited on all non-category purchases making this a great card to accumulate miles on categories that don't typically earn good rewards. You can apply for this card here! If you would like to learn more about this credit card, please see the following post: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card—Simple But Powerful!
Air Canada Aeroplan also offers a co-branded credit card through Chase—the Aeroplan® Card—that directly earns Aeroplan points. However, learn more about the value of selecting a Flexible Points Credit Card in the following post: Flexible Points Credit Cards vs. Co-Branded Credit Cards—Don't Make This Mistake!
American Express also has excellent cards that earn Membership Rewards® Points that can be transferred to Air Canada Aeroplan: The Platinum Card®; American Express® Gold Card; Amex EveryDay® Credit Card; Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card; American Express® Green Card; and Blue from American Express®. They also have many business products. American Express also offers transfer bonuses to Air Canada Aeroplan periodically; the last one was a 20% bonus.
Marriott has several co-branded credit cards through Chase and American Express. These include: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card; Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card; Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card; and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.
Strategically Working to Increase Your Aeroplan Points
There are several strategies you can use to increase your supply of Aeroplan points. This includes opening multiple credit cards—those that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points, American Express Membership Rewards® Points, Capital One Miles, Marriott points, or Aeroplan points.
Families can work together in "two-player mode." This is a way for two individuals to work together to increase their credit card rewards which can then be redeemed for Award Travel. To learn more about this strategy, please see the following post: Getting Approved for a Credit Card While Unemployed—Why You Don't Want to Miss Out!
Taking advantage of Air Canada Aeroplan's eStore and other promotions offered by Air Canada Aeroplan are some additional ways to increase your points. It does create a little extra work to sign-up and access the links but it becomes second nature with practice. This is also known as reward stacking. To learn more about this practice, see the following post: How to Win Points—With Your Spouse and Your Credit Card!