Air Canada and Aeroplan have put out a series of strong incentives to make it easier for members to earn and retain status in 2022, for 2023 and beyond.
From now until April 30, 2022, a trio of promotions will help members rack up Status Qualifying Miles, Segments, and Dollars and boost their elite status plans for the upcoming year.
Furthermore, the 100% bonus SQM, SQS, and SQD promotion has been extended through September 30, 2022 for Air Canada flights to Europe, allowing you to boost your status qualification with your summer transatlantic travels.
How to Qualify for Aeroplan Elite Status
As a reminder, Aeroplan Elite Status qualification is determined based on a combination of Status Qualifying Miles (SQM), Segments (SQS), and Dollars (SQD) that a member earns through their paid flying activity over a given year.
Since Aeroplan’s relaunch in November 2020, we’ve seen many creative promotions in which SQM, SQS, and SQD were offered as incentives for engaging more closely with the program, beyond merely through flying activity. That trend has only continued with this quarter’s status promotion.
Get More Out of Aeroplan: Bonus 5,000 SQM, 5 SQS, and 500 SQD
The first component of the status promotion allows members with existing Aeroplan Elite Status to earn a one-time bonus of 5,000 SQM, 5 SQS, and 500 SQD by further engaging with the Aeroplan loyalty program.
You’ll earn the bonus SQM, SQS, and SQD by completing three of the following five items by April 30, 2022:
- Link your Aeroplan and Starbucks Rewards accounts
- Link your Aeroplan and Uber or Uber Eats accounts
- Earn points with the Aeroplan eStore, LCBO, Starbucks, Uber, Uber Eats or a car or hotel booking
- Redeem points for any merchandise or gift card at the Aeroplan eStore or for a car or hotel booking
- Hold a core, premium, or business Aeroplan co-branded credit card through April 30, 2022 (including the US-issued Chase Aeroplan Card)
If you’ve already completed some of the items from before the promotion period, then you’ll automatically qualify for that criterion, as long as the completion status remains the same through April 30.
For example, I’ve already linked my Starbucks and Uber accounts, and currently hold a premium Aeroplan credit card. I don’t need to take any further action to satisfy three of the five criteria by April 30, and I’ll automatically get my bonus SQM, SQS, and SQD.
One thing to note is that the bonus SQD also counts beyond status qualification itself – it can help you get closer to earning Priority Rewards as well!
Indeed, with 500 bonus SQD that you can easily collect here, you’ll only need a further 3,500 SQD to earn your first Priority Reward at 4,000 SQD – and as we’ll see below, that can get even easier too.
100% Bonus SQM, SQS, SQD Through April 30 + September 30 for Europe
The second component of the status offer is fairly straightforward, and can be a significant motivator towards pursuing Aeroplan Elite Status in 2022.
From January 1 through April 30, members will earn 100% bonus SQM, SQS, and SQD on their paid flying activity with Air Canada on Economy Standard fares or higher.
Then, from May 1 through September 30, members will continue to earn 100% bonus SQM, SQS, and SQD on their paid flying activity with Air Canada on Economy Standard fares or higher – to European destinations only.
No registration is required, and the bonuses will be deposited automatically based on your flight activity. That includes paid flights that you’ve taken since the offer period began on January 1.
Effectively, you can make double the usual progress towards your desired elite status thresholds during the promotion period. Another way to think about this is that the usual SQM, SQS, and SQD thresholds are effectively halved.
For those who are keen on earning or maintaining their Aeroplan Elite Status in 2022 for 2023 and beyond via paid flights, this can certainly move the needle for you to bring forward some trips into April or sooner (or European trips into September or sooner), or direct some of the flights you planned to book with other airlines to Air Canada instead.
Once again, the bonus SQD here also helps to get you closer to a Priority Reward.
If you’ve earned the easy 500 bonus SQD as mentioned above, then you’d only need to spend $1,750 on paid Air Canada flights during this promotion period to earn a further 3,500 SQD, which would then earn you a Priority Reward voucher that can be used for a 50% discount on an Aeroplan redemption.
That’s a pretty hefty discount compared to the usual threshold of 4,000 SQD for your first Priority Reward voucher, and it’s worth factoring in your potential Priority Reward earnings when deterring how far you’ll go with this series of status promotions.
Up to 5,000 SQM + 50% SQD with Air Canada Vacations
Finally, if you book an Air Canada Vacations package that fully takes place between January 1 and April 30, you’ll earn 2,500 or 5,000 SQM, plus 50% SQD on your purchase:
- Aeroplan 25K or 35K members will receive 2,500 SQM
- Aeroplan 50K, 75K, or Super Elite members will receive 5,000 SQM
- All members will receive 50% SQD of their total purchase price
The total purchase price of the entire vacation package will be divided by the number of travellers, and each traveller will earn their own bonus SQM and SQD regardless of the member who purchased the package.
Air Canada Vacations packages are typically not eligible for Aeroplan Elite Status earnings, so this promotion could be a reason to pick a vacation package over an independent trip if you were otherwise on the fence, or perhaps book a vacation package that you’ve planned with another provider through Air Canada Vacations instead.
No More Aeroplan Elite Status Extension in 2022?
Now that we’re looking ahead at brighter times in 2022 despite continued challenges around global travel, Air Canada has come out early in the year with a series of accelerated status promotions instead. I’d interpret that as a sign that it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see another further extension this year like we saw in the past few years.
The 100% bonus status qualifying activity promotion is particularly generous, and could see much of Air Canada’s “regular” status members (i.e., those who earn status through paid flying) shifting their behaviour to making significant progress towards their status goals in the promotion period, especially as domestic travel in Canada has recovered to be a fairly commonplace experience.
With the regular status ranks taken care of, plus the ongoing opportunity for casual members to earn 25K status through Everyday Status Qualification, I’d predict that Air Canada would only continue to offer creative status incentives throughout the rest of 2022.
A blanket extension like we saw in previous years would be very unlikely, unless there’s another dramatic downturn in the prospects of future travel (in which case we’d have bigger things to worry about).
Hot on the heels of the spend-based status promotion in late 2021, Air Canada and Aeroplan have put on another series of offers to help members progress towards their Aeroplan Elite Status goals in 2022.
You’ll earn an easy 5,000 SQM, 5 SQS, and 500 SQD simply be engaging with Aeroplan by a modest amount, and then you’ll have the opportunity to double your SQM, SQS, and SQD earnings through paid Air Canada flights by April 30 – which has now been extended to September 30 for flights to Europe.
For those interested in Air Canada Vacations packages, a 50% SQD bonus could move the needle on your purchase as well.
As we transition into looking forward to the end of the pandemic, we’re likely to see Air Canada offer further generous status promotions like these instead of the blanket extensions that we saw in 2020 and 2021.