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Start here: TPG details Air Canada's sweeping Aeroplan changes

Aug. 11, 2020
6 min read
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Tuesday morning, Air Canada unveiled significant changes to its Aeroplan program — some redemptions will require more points, but the airline has largely added value to the program, at a time when many others are taking it away.

The new Aeroplan will appeal to a broad range of travelers, too — you can easily take advantage of redemptions and new perks, like Family Sharing and earning Everyday Status without being a frequent Air Canada flyer.

That's because Aeroplan partners with a handful of transferrable-points programs, so there's a good chance you already have a way to easily earn Aeroplan points. Points from Amex's Membership Rewards program transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio, for example, and you can also boost your balance via Marriott Bonvoy and Capital One.

While we'd normally share program updates in a post or two, there's so much to cover here that we're breaking things up, in order to dive into certain elements with the level of detail you've come to expect from TPG. Be sure to bookmark this page, and check back for a closer look throughout the day and week.

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11 of the most innovative and exciting changes

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

The new Air Canada Aeroplan is loaded with exciting new features that make it one of the best loyalty programs in the business. Read more.

19 things you need to know about redeeming

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

Although the airline is maintaining the "Aeroplan" brand, there's a lot of change on the way. Read more.

How to earn Air Canada status without flying

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

Benefits include priority check-in, security and boarding, two Maple Leaf Lounge passes, eUpgrade credits, Star Alliance Silver benefits and more. Read more.

Why the promise to keep award charts is a big deal

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

Though the prices have changed, Aeroplan's committed to keeping award charts around — and being honest and upfront about pricing. Read more.

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Pros and cons of the new loyalty program

Photo by Heather Dunbar/Shutterstock.

While the cost of some awards has increased, the removal of high fuel surcharges and the addition of flexible stopovers makes Aeroplan points more versatile than ever before.

How Family Sharing lets you rack up rewards faster

Photo by Granger Wootz/Getty Images.

A brand-new addition to Air Canada's loyalty program, Aeroplan Family Sharing allows members to more seamlessly earn and redeem points as a cohort.

Why the new stopover option adds more value to Amex cards

Photo by Nicky Kelvin, TPG UK.

You can easily add in a side trip on the way to your final destination, and on the way back as well.

Why Aeroplan’s higher rates may actually be a better deal

Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

On the surface, a price jump would spell bad news — fortunately, that’s not necessarily the case here.

How to earn miles with the new program

Photo by JL IMAGES/Shutterstock.

From transferrable points to non-travel partners, there are a ton of different ways to earn Aeroplan miles on your everyday purchases.

4 things you should know about the new credit cards

Photo courtesy of Air Canada.

Buried amidst a transformed Aeroplan is the relaunch of the airline’s new co-branded credit cards, also launching in Nov. 2020.

Earn 2,500 bonus miles after signing up

Photo courtesy of Air Canada.

In order to earn the bonus, you have to register to become a member and earn one mile by Sept. 30.

The best ways to maximize the new Aeroplan program

Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

Worried that you’ll get less value from your rewards after the new program launches in November? There's still time to book before the changes kick in.

How Aeroplan compares to other Star Alliance programs

Asiana offers unbelievably cheap rate on Lufthansa first class awards (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

We help prepare you to snag new sweet spots (or look elsewhere) in order to make the most of your rewards.

Featured image by Air Canada

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees