How to earn points with the Aeroplan program without flying to Canada
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Air Canada Aeroplan continues to be a favorite in the loyalty world. In addition to featuring reasonable award charts, it offers a number of customer-friendly features like stopovers, low fees and family point-pooling. These features put Aeroplan in the limelight as one of the best airline loyalty programs in the industry.
If you’re looking to bulk up your Aeroplan points balance, you have plenty of options. From transferable points to non-travel partners, there are a ton of different ways to earn Aeroplan points on your everyday purchases. There’s even an all-new cobranded Aeroplan credit card available for those that live in the U.S.
Today, I’ll show you all of the existing ways to earn Aeroplan points — many of which don’t even require traveling.
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Earn Aeroplan points by flying Air Canada
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.
Currently, you earn points based on the distance of the flight and fare class you’re booked in — here’s a look at the earning chart:
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.
Unfortunately, Aeroplan will start awarding points based on how much a ticket costs starting in 2023. As you might expect, more-expensive tickets in premium cabins will earn more points than cheaper tickets. Here is a look at how many points per dollar (before tax) each fare type will earn:
- 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 will 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.
Earn Aeroplan points by flying partner airlines
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. Earning 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 airline’s information on the Aeroplan website. Click on the “Details” link 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.
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, United Arab Emirates (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 — both here in the U.S. and in Canada. Plus, it partners with three major transferable points currencies. This makes it easy to earn Aeroplan points on your everyday purchases, putting you closer to your next vacation with each swipe.
Aeroplan credit card for U.S. members
In December 2021, Aeroplan launched an all-new cobranded card in the U.S., the Chase Aeroplan Credit Card. It has a moderate $95 annual fee and comes with some valuable benefits like automatic elite status, which gets you perks including a free checked bag and passes for Air Canada’s Maple Leaf lounges, and – coming in 2022 – the ability to use the Chase “Pay Yourself Back” function.
It’s quite strong on the earning side, offering 3 Aeroplan points per dollar spent at grocery stores, dining and purchases made directly with Air Canada and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Meanwhile, new cardholders can currently earn a sign-up bonus worth up to 101,000 bonus points.
More specifically, you’ll earn a “Welcome Flight Rewards,” which is a certificate worth up to 50,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of account opening. Plus, up to 51,000 Aeroplan points through 10x total points on travel and dining purchases in the first six months of account opening (for a total of up to 101,000 points in value) .
Aeroplan credit cards for Canadians
Aeroplan has a whopping eight cobranded credit cards available to Canadians. Three cards are issued by TD Bank, two by American Express and three by CIBC. Additionally, each issuer offers a business credit card, giving Canadian 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 spending tiers. The card also includes a sizable welcome bonus that can bring massive value.
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.
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: 45,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership. Earn 3x points at restaurants, travel and transit, and 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 (on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1x points), 3x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines and 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 six 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), 5x on hotels booked through Amex Travel and Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts and 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 or Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card can also transfer their Capital One miles to Aeroplan. These transfers also process instantly and at a 1:1 ratio. Here’s a look at current offers:
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Earn 10 miles per dollar on car rentals and hotels booked through Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel and 2 miles per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases ($395 annual fee).
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Earn 2x miles per dollar on everyday purchases and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100) every four years ($95 annual fee).
Finally, Chase Ultimate Rewards recently added Aeroplan as a transfer partner. Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio and you can transfer points in increments of 1,000. Here’s a look at the most up-to-date sign-up bonuses for popular Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card:Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Earn 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 and phone services; advertising with social media sites and search engines; and travel.
Pool points with your family
Next, we have Aeroplan’s Family Sharing feature.
While this isn’t a way to earn more Aeroplan points per se, it does let you consolidate them. In short, you can link up to eight family members’ 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 than with small balances spread across multiple accounts. Do your own research and see if Aeroplan’s United earning rate works well for your family. There’s no fee to take advantage of this feature.
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 Canadian dollars 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: Should I buy points and miles now?
Earn points by shopping and dining
There are other ways to earn Aeroplan points too, including shopping online and interacting with Aeroplan’s retail partners. Aeroplan also has a partnership with Starbucks that lets you earn points every time you load your digital Starbucks Card. 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 1 mile per dollar spent by clicking through the portal.
Some of these merchants are restricted to Canada, while others are available worldwide. Make sure to check your merchant for information 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 six to eight weeks, but some may credit sooner.
Earn with other retail partners
Aeroplan has several in-store shopping partners you can earn points with, such as UPS and Home Hardware Stores. Unfortunately, these partnerships are not available outside of the U.S.
Earn when you link your Aeroplan and Starbucks accounts
You can also earn points by linking your Aeroplan and Starbucks Rewards accounts. You’ll earn 75 points for every $50-$74.99 loaded to your digital Starbucks Card and 150 points for every $75 or more loaded. That said, from time to time, Aeroplan offers special bonuses for new members who link their accounts.
Earn with travel partners
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 250 points and save up to 25% per rental.
- Payless: Earn 50 points per rental at participating locations.
Earn when you park at the airport
Additionally, you can earn bonus points when you pay for airport parking at major Canadian airports. The exact number of points depends on the airport, but ranges between 50 and 100 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 Vacations 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 12,500 bonus points when you book Sandals Resorts in Barbados.
Earn Aeroplan points on hotel stays and transfers
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 earned 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 bonus of 5,000 Aeroplan points when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to Aeroplan.
Other hotel programs transfer to Aeroplan at the following rates:
- Accor Live Limitless – 4,000:2,000.
- Choice Privileges – 5,000:1,000.
- World of Hyatt – 2.5:1.
- Wyndham Rewards – 6,000:1,200.
- IHG Rewards – 10,000:2,000.
- Radisson Rewards – 2,000:200.
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.
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. That said, thanks to its strong everyday earning rates, the new Chase Aeroplan Credit Card is worth considering as well.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.
Feature photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images.
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