How to earn points with the new Aeroplan program without flying to Canada

Aug 5, 2021

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With so many positive changes, Air Canada’s launch of the new Aeroplan is one of the most exciting points and miles developments of 2020. The program is set to launch a slew of new features, like stopovers, lower fees and family sharing. These put Aeroplan back in the limelight as one of the best airline loyalty programs on the market.

If you’re looking to bulk up your Aeroplan points balance before the new program launches, then you’ll be happy to know that you have a handful of different options. From transferrable points to non-travel partners, there are a ton of different ways to earn Aeroplan points on your everyday purchases.

Today, I’ll show you all of the existing and new ways to earn Aeroplan points — many of which don’t require traveling.

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In This Post

Earn Aeroplan points by flying Air Canada

Air Canada 737-8 Max Tail at Windosor airport
Earn points when you fly with Air Canada. (Photo by JL IMAGES / Shutterstock.com)

At its core, Aeroplan is an airline loyalty program. Naturally, this means that you can earn points when you fly with Air Canada and its partners.

Let’s start with the bad news: later this year, Aeroplan will start to award points based on how much a ticket costs. As you’d expect, more expensive tickets in premium cabins earn more points than cheaper tickets. Here is a look at how many points per dollar (before tax) each fare type earns:

  • Basic economy: 2 points per Canadian dollar spent
  • Standard, Flex/Comfort and Latitude economy: 3 points per Canadian dollar spent
  • Premium economy: 3 points per Canadian dollar spent
  • Business class: 3 points per Canadian dollar spent

Additionally, you’ll earn bonus points on your Air Canada award tickets if you have Air Canada Altitude elite status. The higher your status, the more points you’ll earn. This is how many bonus points each tier earns:

  • Altitude 25K: 1x bonus points
  • Altitude 35K: 1x bonus points
  • Altitude 50K: 2x bonus points
  • Altitude 75K: 3x bonus points
  • Super Elite: 4x bonus points

These points are earned on the fare sans any taxes. This means that a $305 flight on Air Canada would earn 915 Aeroplan points when booked in Standard economy or higher. If you have Altitude 25K status, this number jumps to 1,220 points with your 1x bonus.

No firm date has been set for when this change will take place. Until then, you earn miles based on the distance and fare class — here’s a look at the earning chart:

Aeroplan Earning Chart
(Screenshot courtesy of Air Canada)

Elite members earn the following bonuses:

  • Aeroplan 25K: 25%
  • Aeroplan 35K: 35%
  • Aeroplan 50K: 50%
  • Aeroplan 75K: 75%
  • Aeroplan Super Elite: 100%

This style of points earning is advantageous for those flying on cheap long-haul tickets. For example, someone that books a flight from Toronto (YYZ) to London-Heathrow (LHR) in premium economy earns 4,445 points one-way. The flight is 3,556 miles long, and the fare earns 125% points per mile flown. This earning is the same whether you pay $500 or $5,000 for your ticket.

Related: Pros and cons of the new Air Canada Aeroplan loyalty program

Earn Aeroplan points by flying partner airlines

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner landing
You can also earn points when you fly with Air Canada’s partners, like Etihad. (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

You’ll still earn Aeroplan points based on the length of your flight on partner airlines. This includes Star Alliance partners and non-alliance partners like Azul and Etihad Airways.

The number of Aeroplan points you’ll earn per mile flown is based on your fare class. Typically, you’ll earn more points for higher-end fare tickets in premium cabins, so basic economy earns less than premium economy or business class. Earn rates also vary based on the airline you’re actually flying with.

You can view how many points you’ll earn by pulling up your partner airlines’ page on the Aeroplan website. Head to the “earning” tab and you’ll see a list of fare classes with a percentage listed to the right. This percentage is the number of points you’ll earn based on the distance flown.

Air Canada's Etihad earning chart
(Screenshot courtesy of aircanada.com)

Let’s use Etihad Airways as an example. You earn 125% points flown for W fare business class tickets, so a flight from New York-JFK to Hong Kong (HKG) via Abu Dhabi (AUH) earns 13,257 points, as the flight is 10,060 miles in length.

Related: What are points and miles worth?

Earn Aeroplan points with a cobranded credit card

Aeroplan recently launched a new suite of cobranded credit cards for Canadians and partners with two major transferable points currencies here in the U.S. and Canada. This makes it easy to earn Aeroplan points on your everyday purchases, putting you closer to your next vacation with each swipe.

Aeroplan has a whopping nine cobranded credit cards available to Canadians. Three cards are issued by TD Bank, two by American Express and three by CIBC bank. Additionally, each issuer offers a business credit card, giving business owners an easy way to earn bonus miles on their everyday business expenses.

One of the most interesting Aeroplan cards is the American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card. This high-end card has some interesting perks, like Maple Leaf lounge access and the ability to earn Status Qualifying Points and Segments when you hit certain spend tiers. The card also includes a sizeable welcome bonus that can bring massive value. That said, it also has a $599 (CAD) annual fee, so make sure you can use the benefits before you apply for the card.

The information for the American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The entry-level CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Card, on the other hand, has no benefits beyond earning points and a free checked bag. This may be an OK bet for your first travel credit card if the welcome bonus is high, but you may want to consider a transferable points card instead.

The information for the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

U.S. Aeroplan credit cards are coming soon

While no Aeroplan cobranded cards are available to Americans right now, they’re on their way.

Chase and Aeroplan recently announced a partnership to bring cobranded Aeroplan cards to U.S. residents. Details are scarce, but we’ll let you know when the cards are available.

Related: A guide to the new Aeroplan’s award routing and stopover rules

Transfer points from American Express, Capital One and Chase

Both American and Canadian American Express cardholders can transfer their Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio. Transfers can be made in 1,000 point increments and generally process instantly, so don’t transfer points until you’re ready to book an award ticket.

Need Membership Rewards points? Here’s a look at the best U.S. American Express cards for earning these points:

  • American Express® Green Card: 30,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Earn 3x points at restaurants, travel and transit, 1x points on all other purchases, $150 annual fee (see rates and fees).
  • American Express® Gold Card: 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months of account opening. Earn 4x points on dining at restaurants; 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x points); 3x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines; 1x points on all other purchases, $250 annual fee (see rates and fees).
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines or Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, starting Jan. 1, 2021), 5x hotels booked through Amex Travel and Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts; 1x on all other purchases, $695 annual fee (see rates and fees).

The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Americans with a Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card can also transfer their Capital One miles to Aeroplan. These transfers also process instantly, but at a 2:1.5 ratio. This means that 1,000 Capital One miles equals 750 Aeroplan points. Here’s a look at the card’s current offer:

We recommend getting an American Express card due to the higher category bonuses and a better transfer ratio. That said, you may want to pick up a Capital One Venture card for non-bonus spending and access to other Capital One transfer partners.

Finally, Chase Ultimate Rewards recently added Aeroplan as a transfer partner. Points transfer 1:1 and you can transfer points in increments of 1,000. Here’s a look at the most up-to-date signup bonuses for popular Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Earns 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on dining and 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. Earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel and dining purchases.
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card:  Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months from account opening. Earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent per calendar year (then 1 point per dollar) on shipping, internet, cable, phone, advertising with social media sites and search engines and travel.

Related: Why are transferable points worth more than other rewards?

Pool points with your family

Next, we have Aeroplan’s upcoming new Family Sharing feature. While this isn’t a way to earn Aeroplan points per se, it does let you consolidate them. In short, you can link up to eight family member’s Aeroplan accounts (including yours) to a pool. You can then share these points for award redemptions.

This is helpful if your family has an assortment of Aeroplan accounts with low balances. Combined, you may have enough for an award ticket that you can use to subsidize future family travel.

Those based in the U.S. may want to credit their family’s United flights to Aeroplan. If you only travel a few times per year, your family’s points balance will go further in a combined balance. Do your own research and see if Aeroplan’s United earning rate works well for your family.

Related: Ultimate guide to miles pooling and sharing

Buy Aeroplan points

One of the fastest ways to earn Aeroplan points is by buying them. You can usually purchase Aeroplan points at a rate of $0.03 CAD per point. The airline frequently discounts these points though, so you may be able to buy them at a lower price.

Canadians are subject to paying sales tax on these purchases. Thankfully, Americans are exempt. That said, you will be charged in Canadian Dollars and the purchase won’t code as travel. So pay with a card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which earns 2x miles on purchases and doesn’t impose foreign transaction fees.

Related: You can currently buy points at a 100% bonus — but should you?

Earn points by shopping and dining

Earn bonus points when you shop through the Aeroplan shopping portal. (Photo by Maskot/Getty Images)

There are other ways to earn Aeroplan points too. For example, Aeroplan has a partnership with Uber Eats that lets you earn points on food delivery, which is a rising expense for many of us during the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s a look at all of the other ways to earn Aeroplan points.

Use the Aeroplan shopping portal

You can earn Aeroplan points when you click through the Aeroplan eStore before you make a purchase online. There are several popular merchants through which you can earn at least one mile per dollar spend by clicking through the portal.

The number of points you’ll earn depends on the merchant you shop through. At the time of writing, you can earn 2x points per dollar on the Adidas website and 1x mile per dollar at Bose.

Some of these merchants are restricted to Canada, while others are available worldwide. Make sure to check your merchant for info before you make a purchase. Consider using another shopping portal if your merchant of choice isn’t offering Aeroplan points on purchases made outside of Canada.

Using the portal is simple. Just head to the Aeroplan eStore, log in and find the merchant you’d like to shop with. Then, click the “shop now” button and make your purchase as usual — the points will appear in your Aeroplan account within 6-8 weeks, but some may credit sooner.

Related: Maximizing shopping portals for your online purchases

Earn with other retail partners

Aeroplan is adding in-store shopping partners you can earn points with. We’re awaiting more information, but the new Aeroplan website teases UPS and Here’s How as the initial partners. There’s no word yet on if these will be available outside of the U.S.

Earn when you order food delivery with Uber Eats

Though it’s technically on the eStore, we want to highlight Uber Eats separately. You can earn 2x Aeroplan points per dollar spent on Uber Eats food delivery purchases made in the U.S. and Canada. Just head to the eStore before you order delivery, log-in and click through the link. In my experience, points post within a week of ordering.

Related: 31 food delivery promo codes and offers to help you save money on your next meal

Earn with travel partners

Rental cars parked in a lot
Earn Aeroplan points when you rent cars and book other types of travel. (Photo by Fahroni / Shutterstock.com)

You can earn Aeroplan points when booking other types of travel too. Here’s a look at earning points when you book hotels, rental cars and vacation packages.

Earn when you rent a car

On the rental car side, Aeroplan has partnerships with three major car rental companies. Members can earn Aeroplan points when renting and can score a discount of up to 25% with select partners — here’s a look:

  • Avis: Earn 500 points and save up to 25% per rental
  • Budget: Earn 500 points and save up to 25% per rental
  • Payless: Earn 50 points per rental at participating locations

Related: TPG’s guide to car rental promotions that will save you money

Earn when you park at the airport

Additionally, you can earn bonus points when you pay for airport parking at major Canadian airports. The number of points depends on the airport, but parking at Vancouver (YVR) earns 250 points regardless of how long you park. Unfortunately, American airports aren’t eligible for earning at this time.

Earn when you book vacation packages

Air Canada Vacations is a package booking service offered by the airline. You can use it to book packages that include flights, hotel and rental cars and earn bonus Aeroplan points at the same time.

Select Air Canada Vacation packages also earn points. These are noted when you search on the Air Canada website, but not all packages are eligible. For example, the airline is currently offering 7,000 bonus points on packages in Mexico.

Related: Why all-inclusive resorts are more attractive than ever following the pandemic

Earn Aeroplan points on hotel stays and transfers

Park Hyatt Paris sign
You can transfer hotel points to Aeroplan, but it isn’t usually a good idea. (Photo by Andrew Kunesh/The Points Guy)

You have a couple of options when it comes to earning Aeroplan points with hotels. Many major hotel chains — for example, Marriott and Wyndham — let you earn Aeroplan points in lieu of hotel points. The number of points depends on where you stay and how much you spend. Always compare the value of the Aeroplan points you’d earn to the hotel points you’d earn to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Alternatively, you can transfer existing hotel points to Aeroplan. The transfer ratio depends on the hotel you’re transferring from, with the best being a 3:1 from Marriott Bonvoy. Plus, you’ll get a 5,000 Aeroplan point bonus when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Aeroplan.

Other hotel programs transfer to Aeroplan at the following rates:

We don’t usually recommend transferring hotel points to Aeroplan. It can be a good option for topping up for a particular award, but you’ll generally get more value by using your points for hotel stays.

Earn points when you book with RocketMiles

Additionally, you can book hotels through RocketMiles and earn points on your stay. The number of points you’ll earn largely depends on the cost of your hotel, so run a search to be sure.

Just note that you usually won’t earn hotel points or receive hotel elite status benefits when you book with RocketMiles. We recommend using the service to book boutique and independent hotels where you wouldn’t otherwise earn points.

Related: 5 pitfalls to avoid when booking hotels

Bottom line

There’s no shortage of ways to earn Aeroplan points. When you use these methods in tandem, you’ll quickly earn enough points to book amazing award tickets and maybe even earn Altitude 25K elite status at the same time.

We recommend starting with transferable points credit cards. This way, you have the option to redeem your points with Aeroplan or any of the program’s other transfer partners. This keeps your options open so you can always get on the flights you want, regardless of the airline.

Feature photo by Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock.com

For rates and fees of the Amex Green, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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