Shop Canada's Best Aeroplan Miles Credit Cards
The Aeroplan Miles Program
When thinking about credit cards that offer excellent rewards programs, Aeroplan is among the first names that immediately comes to mind. If you’re a globetrotter who likes to save money while earning miles towards that next great getaway or other exciting rewards, Aeroplan might just be the credit card for you.
Available under the American Express, MasterCard and Visa banners, the program boasts over 5 million members. Aeroplan has proven to be among the more versatile options available in today’s market, and has many options available to suit the individual needs of its clients. In addition to travel and vacation packages, Aeroplan Miles can be exchanged for an array of goods and services.
How do I earn Aeroplan Miles?
Just as is the case with every loyalty program, there are many ways you can earn Aeroplan Miles. The table below shows how you can earn miles every time you fill up at an Esso gas or service station with an American Express Aeroplan credit card.
You can earn even more Aeroplan Miles by booking your vacation through the Aeroplan eStore or staying at an Aeroplan Hotel.
|Method of earning miles||Earning potential||Earning potential per $60 fill-up at Esso Stations||Earning potential after 1 year of weekly fill-ups at Esso Stations|
|Aeroplan Rewards Card||1 mile per $3 spent||20 miles||1,040 miles|
|American Express AeroplanPlus Card||1 mile per $1 spent||60 miles||3,120 miles|
|American Express Aeroplan Plus Gold Card||1 mile per $1 spent
(For card purchases of up to $10,000)
|75 miles||3,120 miles|
|American Express Aeroplan Plus Platinum Card||1.25 miles per $1 spent
(For every dollar in purchases charged to the card)
|75 miles||3,900 miles|
|American Express Aeroplan Plus Reserve Card||1.25 miles per $1 spent
(For every dollar in card purchases)
|75 miles||3,900 miles|
Aeroplan Status and its benefits
If you are a regular traveler and frequently collect miles with an Aeroplan American Express credit card or rewards card, you may qualify for Aeroplan Status. This special designation awards loyal members with three types of benefits – flight rewards, bonus miles and other exciting perks and privileges.
How do I qualify?
In order to qualify for Aeroplan Status, you must earn a sufficient amount of miles. The status level you attain corresponds with the number of miles you earn. There are presently three levels:
- Aeroplan Silver: 25,000 miles
- Aeroplan Black: 50,000 miles
- Aeroplan Diamond: 100,000 miles
The majority of miles earned using an Aeroplan credit or rewards card can be used to advance to these levels, although some restrictions and exclusions may apply. Be sure to reads the terms of the offer or your card before you make a purchase. Collectors can earn additional miles and discounts through other means, including:
- Booking hotel accommodations with Aeroplan partners
- Booking air travel online through AirCanada.com
- Filling up at an Esso gas or service station
- Flying with Air Canada
- Flying with other Star Alliance airlines
- Making everyday purchases with an Aeroplan card or affiliated credit card online or in-store
- Renting a car through Avis, Budget or Payless
Missing Aeroplan miles? Top-up your balance today
Should you ever find yourself short of miles for a reward or a trip to an exciting destination, Aeroplan offers collectors the opportunity to top-up their balance. When booking a flight or making a purchase, Aeroplan will automatically calculate the missing amount of miles and apply a top-up charge payable by credit card.
Miles can also be transferred between accounts online. The process is instantaneous and only costs two cents per mile; a small price to pay to get that much closer to a fantastic vacation or reward.
Benefits, rewards and more
Once you’ve reached Aeroplan Status, there are many benefits, perks, savings and rewards you can earn based on the level you’ve attained. The table below illustrates the rewards available for each level.
|Flight Reward Benefit|
|Fewer miles required when you redeem for a Market Fare Flight Reward||Up to 20% off||Up to 25% off||Up to 35% off|
|Bonus miles on travel cash bookings on aeroplan.com||Up to 2 Status bonus miles / $1 spent||Up to 4 Status bonus miles / $1 spent|
|Bonus miles on stays at Marriott and Starwood Hotels & Resorts||-||250 Aeroplan Status bonus miles per stay|
|Bonus miles with Aeroplan eStore||2x||3x|
|Priority access to the Aeroplan Contact Centre||-||-|
|Preferential rate on flight reward fees||-||-|
|Fairmont Hotels & Resorts room upgrade (if available) and daily breakfast|
|Fairmont Hotels & Resorts $25 credit||-||-|
|Fairmont Hotels & Resorts welcome amenity||-||-|
Do more, earn more
Arguably one of the best aspects of Aeroplan Status miles are their versatility. Not only can you use them for discounts and savings on flights, hotel accommodations, rental car bookings and more, you can also earn bonus miles when you book using cash.
If you are a Silver or Black Status member, you can earn up to two additional Status bonus miles for every dollar you spend. Diamond members can earn double the bonus miles, and this is in addition to any other Aeroplan promotions in effect when you are booking your travel. The potential to earn more miles has never been greater.
To earn your bonus miles, login to your account at aeroplan.com, and click on “Book travel.” When you’re ready to make your reservations, be sure to choose the “Cash” option. Once you’ve finished, your bonus miles will be added to your account after the hotel stay and/or car rental are complete. It’s that simple.
In the example below, you can see how many Status bonus miles you can earn with a one-day hotel stay and car rental.
(4 miles/$1 spent)
|Status bonus miles
(4 miles/$1 spent)
|Total miles earned|
|$250 for hotel stay||1,000 miles||1,000 bonus miles||2,000 miles|
|$250 for car rental||1,000 miles||1,000 bonus miles||2,000 miles|
|Total miles earned||2,000 miles||2,000 bonus miles||4,000 miles|
Redeeming your Aeroplan miles
If you’re dreaming of the perfect vacation and you’ve been steadily earning Aeroplan miles, redeeming them is simple. Here’s how it works in seven easy steps.
- Login to your account at aeroplan.com.
- Be sure to check your current Aeroplan miles balance before you redeem your miles. If you find you’re running a bit short, you can easily top-up your balance and pay the difference later on.
- Look for the Use Your Miles bar on the homepage.
- Select an option (Flights, Car Rentals, Hotels, Other Rewards, Vacation Packages, Donate Miles).
- You will be taken to an appropriate page for the option you selected.
- Use any or all of your miles to perform the appropriate action (reward redemption, accommodations, flight booking, car rentals, etc.).
- You’re done! Enjoy your trip or rewards.
A Brief History of the Aeroplan Rewards Program
The brainchild of Air Canada, Aeroplan first took to the skies back in July 1984. At first, the program’s operations were fully integrated into those of Air Canada, but it became an Air Canada subsidiary in 2002. Upon launch, Aeroplan was a traditional frequent flyer program designed for Air Canada’s clientele. Over time, it evolved into more of a loyalty marketing program.
The program has formed partnerships with over 170 major brand names, including
- Delta Hotels and Resorts
- Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
- Home Hardware
- Hudson’s Bay
Members can obtain discounts on products sold by these and other retailers by shopping online in the Aeroplan eStore.
When Aeroplan began, it was originally aligned with credit cards issued by CIBC, Diners Club and enRoute, Air Canada’s official credit card. In later years, both CIBC and Diners Club ended their partnership with the program while enRoute was discontinued outright.
Aeroplan was directly affiliated with Air Canada until June 2005, when it was spun off and became a distinct company. Air Canada sold 12.5 per cent of the program for $250 million via an initial public offering and Aeroplan then made history by becoming the world’s first publicly traded loyalty program. The now-detached company was initially known as the Aeroplan Income Fund but was later renamed Aimia in May 2008. Aimia went public in May 2012 and became known as Aimia, Inc.
In June 2013, Aeroplan Rewards announced that TD Bank would become its newest credit card partner. The partnership officially took effect on January 1, 2014 and will last for 10 years.
Caution: Turbulence ahead
Aeroplan Rewards stayed the course and enjoyed a relatively smooth flight during its formative years. However, the company encountered some turbulence during its journey. In 2007, the company announced that all Aeroplan Reward Miles would expire after seven years. This caused an uproar among travelers and collectors alike. The new rule forced collectors to use or add to their miles as soon as possible; if not used by the expiration date, they would disappear from the account.
Initially, Aeroplan refused to return the expired miles to the affected clients, which infuriated them. Feeling slighted by the company they had showed so much loyalty to over the years, a class action lawsuit was filed by Montreal-based lawyer Owen Falquero.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Noella Neale, a British Columbia Aeroplan collector who had been stockpiling miles for several years. When Aeroplan wiped out the 150,000 total miles she had accrued for a vacation to New Zealand, Neale took action shortly thereafter.
After going through vigorous legal proceedings, Aeroplan decided to reverse their decision to annul the unused miles. The decision was finalized and officially took effect on June 27, 2013.
Winds of change
It’s not uncommon for a flight to pass through windy areas while in transit. The same can be said for Aeroplan. On May 11, 2017, Air Canada announced that it would not renew its partnership with its former subsidiary effective June 30, 2020. Air Canada cited a desire to launch an in-house rewards program as the primary reason for the termination of the partnership. The announcement proved detrimental for the Aimia, as its shares dropped by an astounding 63 per cent that day.
But just like an actual flight, there are some twists and turns in this story. On July 25, 2018, it was announced that a group consisting of Air Canada – Aeroplan’s former parent company – TD Bank, CIBC and Visa wanted to purchase Aeroplan from Aimia. The offer was worth $2.25 billion, $250 million of which was in cash.
Two days later, Air Canada threatened to reopen discussions about launching its own loyalty program with credit card companies if its offer was not accepted by Aimia within six days. On August 21, 2018, a final deal was reached – Air Canada would purchase Aeroplan from Aimia for $450 million and form a partnership with the aforementioned financial institutions. The deal, which brought Aeroplan back under the Air Canada banner, required Air Canada to pay Aimia in cash for the acquisition and honour nearly $2 billion worth of unused Aeroplan reward miles.
The reacquisition of Aeroplan was a strategic move for the airline, as it would allow Air Canada to eventually place its customer base in its new yet-to-be-named in-house loyalty program. While there was some initial concern from Aeroplan customers about how their miles would be affected, Air Canada stated in a press release that all Aeroplan miles would be accepted on a one-to-one basis upon the launch of the new program in 2020.
This announcement helped to put some of the uncertainties involving the deal to rest and reassure long-time Aeroplan miles collectors that their balances would be safe. The last thing Air Canada wanted was another snafu similar to the one that landed Aeroplan in hot water back in 2013. What remains unknown at this point is the structure of the rewards program, the value of the reward miles and the flight redemption options.