Air Canada & Aeroplan Launch “Travel at Home” Promotions Ricky April 20, 2020

Air Canada & Aeroplan Launch “Travel at Home” Promotions

As part of their continuing efforts to reward members for their loyalty while travel is put on hold, Air Canada & Aeroplan have today launched the “Travel at Home” series of promotions, which, for the first time ever, allows members to earn Air Canada Altitude status for 2020 and 2021 without stepping on a plane and through stay-at-home activities instead. 

There are two separate promotions being launched today, with the promise of many more coming through the pipeline in future weeks, so let’s take a deeper look at the details.

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Earn Altitude Status Without Having to Fly

The first component to the promotion, known as the “Reach Air Canada Altitude Status Offer”, is geared towards members who haven’t earned any Altitude status as of today’s date. 

Between today and May 31, 2020, if you accrue 50,000 Aeroplan miles through “everyday Travel at Home activities” (that is to say, any method of earning Aeroplan miles at all, including credit card spending and signup bonuses), you’ll earn Air Canada Altitude Prestige 25K status through the end of 2021.

Indeed, if we take a close look at the terms and conditions, we see that virtually all Aeroplan earning activity will count:

Screen Shot 2020-04-20 at 11.43.23 AM.png

Therefore, if you simply transfer over 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points over to Aeroplan within the offer period, you’d earn instant Prestige 25K status until the end of 2021. The same would be true if you took advantage of the TD Business Aeroplan’s welcome offer during this time, earning 45,000 miles via the signup bonus and then 5,000 miles from your minimum spending, for a total of 50,000 miles.

This is a pretty unbelievably generous promotion on Air Canada’s part, and I imagine that a majority of us may end up holding Prestige 25K status as a result, thus giving us priority seat selection, priority check-in, Zone 2 boarding, two Maple Leaf Lounge access passes, and a waiver on fuel surcharges when redeeming Aeroplan miles for Air Canada flights within Canada and the US through to the end of 2021. As per the terms and conditions of the offer, the status upgrade will be processed by July 31, 2020.

You’ll need to register for this promotion, which you can do on the dedicated Travel at Home page on the Aeroplan website.

Of course, you might feel a little hard done by if you’ve only recently transferred over a large chunk of Amex MR points, but alas, that’s the way the timing on these things works out sometimes. 

While I wouldn’t transfer over 50,000 MR points solely for the purpose of getting Prestige 25K status if you weren’t already going to transfer those miles over, I do think it’ll be relatively easy for most people to achieve this within the offer period anyhow, with the TD Business Aeroplan card being one easy avenue that comes to mind. 

If you earn Prestige 25K status via this offer, you’ll be able to combine it with the previously announced initiative to gift status to a loved one if you happen to earn it through organic flying activity. So if you manage to earn Prestige 25K through your flying activity in the rest of 2020, then a friend or family member of yours can be treated to the same status bump as well.

Earn Additional Altitude Status & Benefits Without Having to Fly

The second component to the promotion, known as the “Earn a Higher Altitude Status Offer”, is geared towards members who already have Altitude status of some kind as of today’s date.

For greater clarity, the two components to today’s promotions are mutually exclusive and cannot be combined in any way: if you don’t already have Altitude status as of today, you’ll qualify for the first offer, whereas if you do, then you’ll qualify for the second offer.

Here, you’ll earn specific Altitude bonuses and benefits based on how many Aeroplan miles you earn between now and May 31, 2020, according to a published chart, which reads as follows:

Respectively, upon earning 10,000, 30,000, 75,000, and 100,000 Aeroplan miles, you’ll earn 1,500 bonus Altitude Qualifying Miles (AQM), 3,000 bonus AQM, 20 eUpgrade credits, and $1,000 bonus Altitude Qualifying Dollars (AQD). The AQM and AQD bonuses are used to help you get closer to the next tier of Altitude status, while the 20 eUpgrade credits can be used to upgrade to a higher class of service on Air Canada flights. 

For more information on these, click here for our guide to all the qualifying requirements for Altitude status, and click here for our guide on maximizing eUpgrade credits.

The final threshold is by far the most interesting: by racking up 250,000 Aeroplan miles before May 31, you’ll earn a one-time status upgrade, up to a maximum of Elite 75K status. This does not mean that you’ll be bumped up to Elite 75K from any status level, but instead you’ll get a one-tier bump to the next status level above your current one. 

So if you registered for the promotion as a current Prestige 25K member, then earning 250,000 Aeroplan miles will bump you up to Elite 35K, earning you additional perks like Maple Leaf Lounge access and priority security clearance.

And current Elite 35K members are particularly well-positioned here: if you’re currently an Elite 35K (perhaps as a result of completing the Air Canada status challenge offered late last year), then earning 250,000 Aeroplan miles will give you Elite 50K status, and therefore Star Alliance Gold status, until the end of 2021!

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Meanwhile, current Elite 75K and Super Elite 100K members won’t receive any kind of status bump upon earning 250,000 miles, and will instead qualify for 25,000 bonus Aeroplan miles that will count towards your Million Mile recognition.

Once again, all forms of Aeroplan earning activity will count towards the promotion, meaning that if you had 250,000 Amex MR points sitting around, then transferring them over to Aeroplan in one go will get you the status bump instantly. 

That’s a huge amount of MR points, however, and unless you were dead-set on transferring them anyway, I’m not sure that I’d recommend moving them all over to Aeroplan purely for the status bump, rather than keeping them in the form of MR points for the added flexibility. 

It’s also curious to note the following terms and conditions under both of the promotions:

So… don’t do that, guys.

Previously: Altitude Status Extension & Earn Miles for Donating

As was previously announced two weeks ago, Air Canada has already extended members’ status in 2020 through to the end of 2021. Furthermore, any member who achieves the same status level through organic qualifying activity during the rest of the year will not see their efforts go to waste, and will instead be able to share that status with a friend or family member. 

Air Canada & Aeroplan have also made it possible for members to earn Altitude Qualifying Miles (AQM) and accompanying Aeroplan miles by donating their existing Aeroplan miles to one of three charities involved in the fight against COVID-19. For every five miles you donate, you’ll receive one AQM and one Aeroplan mile in return, up to a maximum of 25,000. 

This promotion runs until the end of April, so during this time, you could concurrently register for one of the two promotions announced today and make progress towards your goal by donating your Aeroplan miles. Having said that, I personally am not too convinced that donating Aeroplan miles is better than redeeming those miles for excellent value and then donating some of the money you saved instead.

Conclusion

It’s wonderful to see Air Canada and Aeroplan offering promotions to earn miles and status that are thoughtfully tailored to the current environment. With non-essential travel halted until further notice, members are being offered the ability to earn either Prestige 25K status or a variety of Altitude-related bonuses, benefits, and status bumps, purely from their Aeroplan activity. 

What’s more, while it would’ve been entirely reasonable for Air Canada to exclude things like credit card signup bonuses and credit card points transfers from this promotion, they’ve gone the extra mile and made the promotion much more generous by including those channels within the scope.

Like many of you, I personally expect to earn Prestige 25K status pretty effortlessly as a result, and I’m sure there will be some Elite 35K readers who find it worthwhile to shoot for that 250,000-mile threshold and the upgrade to Star Alliance Gold as well.

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53 Comments
  1. Avatar
    JP

    Is the 25k status for 50k Aeroplan still valid? I don’t seem to see any options on the Aeroplan page.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Nope, the promotion ended on May 31.

  2. Avatar
    Sudin

    Question about the welcome bonus of credit card. My first statement won’t be until sometime in June and approximately 25-27k miles will be there as I doubt I will be able to reach 5k spend in first statement period. Just trying to understand how the welcome bonus will work applied within the offer period.

  3. Avatar
    Julis Santata

    And kudos to you, Ricky! Thanks to your blog I traveled to the places I would never dream to be able to afford and even proposed to my now-fiance on one of these trips (I hope she does not think I am super-rich 🙂

  4. Avatar
    Julius Santana

    Anybody knows the rules for welcome bonus from the card opened within the promotion time? It usually posts with the first statement and in my case it will go out in mid-June. The exact wording of the conditions is not too clear:
    "- Aeroplan credit card welcome bonus: The welcome bonus for a new Aeroplan credit card acquired by an Eligible Participant, provided the credit card was acquired during the Offer Period and in conformity with the applicable credit card terms and conditions.
    – Aeroplan credit card spend: All Aeroplan spend-based earn shall include only Aeroplan Miles credited to the Eligible Participant’s Aeroplan account during the Offer Period, in-cluding Aeroplan Miles credited on the June 2020 statement. The applicable credit card terms and conditions shall apply"

    Also – beware the fine print which says that if the Aeroplan credit card is obtained and cancelled in 2020, the status can be revoked.

  5. Avatar
    Mat

    Hey Ricky,

    I’m currently at 25k before all this went down. Do you think it’s worth it to drop in 70k to get the 20 eupgrades? I don’t see a lot of benefit of getting 35k over 25k right now especially since I may be able to hit that later this year organically. 20 eupgrades for 70k though sounds pretty good.

    1. Avatar
      sarah ramkissoon

      I am in same both..I just dropped the 70K (Transfer from amex points)…Earlier this year I flew in business class to LAX from YYZ on an eupgrade from aeroplan ticket – well worth the cost.

  6. Avatar
    Jerry Zhang

    Does anyone know if the altitude status extension applies to status earned through this promotion? My status says it will expire Feb 2021

  7. Avatar
    Jeff

    I have 20000 aeroplan that posted after the beginning of the promotion but originated from a credit card application subscribed before the beginning of the promotion. Is it ok?

  8. Avatar
    David Robinson

    So there is no point in transferring more than 50,000 points if you have no prior status?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      That’s my understanding.

  9. Avatar
    Ray

    Just received my Prestige 25k Status from Air Canada. Thank you for bringing this to our attention Ricky!

  10. Avatar
    Al

    Hi Ricky
    my friend has diamond Aeroplan. So how does this relate. How many points does he have to transfer to get the Altitude level? Sorry I’m just not getting any of this what did I miss because we both don’t understand it. Thanks and sorry
    Al

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Diamond doesn’t relate to this promotion. Did you friend have Altitude status? If not, then they’ll earn the base-level Prestige 25K status by transferring/earning 50,000 Aeroplan miles during the promotion period.

  11. Avatar
    AK

    Hi Ricky, I have both Amex MR and CIBC Aventura that I can transfer to Aeroplan 1:1. Which one is better option in the redemption value?. Thanks!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      If you’re a CIBC Aventura holder from before 2013 with the grandfathered ability to transfer to Aeroplan at 1:1, then I’d recommend transferring Aventura over MR. MR points have many other alternative uses that are more powerful than Aventura.

  12. Avatar
    Vicky Lau

    Likely not eligible, but what about points returned due to canceled Aeroplan redemptions previously booked?
    Booked 90k redemption to Australia few months back and waiting out to cancel it due to the lockdowns.

  13. Avatar
    Ben Sotelo

    Hi Ricky,
    Currently I have 22 K AQMs accounted for ytd -2020, I have about 50 K MR points and 59 K aeroplan miles, currently Altitude Elite 35 K status. Given my scenario and the new activities, what would you think be the best strategy to reach Altitude 50 K? , I’m not concerned about AQD, but the 250 K sounds steep for me right now. Any advice is highly appreciate it! Thanks,
    Ben

  14. Avatar
    AT

    Hi Ricky,

    I have about 100k MR points, is there a way to transfer 50k to my partner’s AP account to get her status? She’s not an authorized user on my Amex account (I have the Plat Biz Card) and doesn’t current have an Amex card. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      You’ll need to add her Aeroplan number to your MR account and send the points over.

      1. Avatar
        Tim

        I was under the impression that there was a big crackdown going on for MR to P2 Aeroplan transfers. Transfers are being denied and/or accounts cancelled.

        1. Avatar
          Cohen

          There’s been no indication of this. Dozens of people who routinely send MR to others’ Aeroplan have not been affected.

  15. Avatar
    GUY

    Is the waiver on fuel surcharges only for the member’s ticket with the 25k status, or for any ticket he would buy?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Any ticket that he or she buys.

  16. Avatar
    AV

    Ricky,

    I see nothing about a one-level status bump in the T&C, only “a one-time Altitude status upgrade to Altitude 75K.” An example is given using E50K but there appears to be nothing excluding an E35 to E75 upgrade. Did you speak to an agent and confirm the single level status upgrade only?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      It’s not “a one-time Altitude status upgrade to Altitude 75K", but "a one-time Altitude status upgrade up to Altitude 75K.” And yes, it’s been confirmed officially that the status upgrade via earning 250,000 miles is to the next tier only.

      1. Avatar
        AV

        ???? thank you

  17. Avatar
    Gustav Rodricks

    Ricky, Any thoughts on transferring Marriott Bonvoy points to get Aeroplan Prestige 25K status? The transfer rate is 3 Bonvoy = 1 Aeroplan, plus you get 5000 bonus Aeroplan for every 20K transferred. So 120,000 Bonvoy will get you 40,000 Aeroplan + 10,000 bonus getting you to Prestige 25K. Assuming 1 Bonvoy =1 c, and 1 Aeroplan = 2c, you end up losing C$ 200 to get Prestige 25K, so is it worth it?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      It depends on how much you’d value the benefits. Do you see yourself redeeming Aeroplan miles for 3-4 Air Canada flights within North America over the next year and a half? If so, then you’d save yourself about $200 in surcharges by being Prestige 25K.

      Having said that, I’d personally prefer to transfer over 50,000 MR points rather than 120,000 Bonvoy points to meet the requirement. I’d keep the Bonvoy points to use at hotels instead.

  18. Avatar
    H

    What would it take to get to elite 35k if I have no status right now. 250k miles or 300k miles?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      The two promotions are mutually exclusive, so you can only get Prestige 25K with 50,000 miles as a current non-status member. Elite 35K would have to be achieved through organic qualifying activity.

      1. Avatar
        H

        Thanks Ricky

  19. Avatar
    Janice

    I just received my CIBC Aerogold Visa infinite last week but the 20,000 Bonus Points have not posted yet. ( haven’t received first statement ) I’m wondering if they will count and I’ll only have to transfer another 30,000 Amex MR over to Aeroplan …. or do I play it safe and transfer the full 50,000 MR over?

    1. Avatar
      Alice

      You have until May 31st for CIBC to generate a statement and deposit the points (usually within 1-2 days from statement date). I would just wait until mid-May for the statement to be generated before deciding to transfer 30k or 50k MR. Unless you had always planned on transferring MR to AP anyways, then timing does not matter.

      1. Avatar
        Janice

        Thanks- I guess I was just wondering if that welcome bonus would count as per the T & C’s which seem to state that you must apply for the card during the promotion period which I did not…

        1. Avatar
          Alice

          Hmmm I see what you mean. The T&C also states "Aeroplan Activities shall be defined as any accumulation of Aeroplan Miles earned…". WB posts on statement date, not application. I am wondering if AC is just being generous to allow CC applied during promo period in case WB doesn’t post by May 31 (or June 2020 statement).

          If you have 50K to transfer I would do that then.

  20. Avatar
    Alice

    Question on reaching higher tier after getting P25k. In order to qualify for E50k, do I need 25,000 AQM plus $3,000 in AQD? Or is it $6,000 in AQD?

  21. Avatar
    Alex B

    I’m Elite 35. Got 580K Amex points, out of which I could transfer 250K to become Elite 50 (I noticed a bunch of interesting perks vs 35k, including reduced re-qualification criteria for Elite50). Any real drawbacks for doing this?
    I don’t transfer to Hotel programs (there is a path for that). Whatever the new Aeroplan program will be rolled out I suspect I will still continue to use it for Long Haul Business. Thx for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I don’t see many drawbacks, especially if those miles would’ve most likely gone to Aeroplan anyway (which I imagine is the case if you plan to continue to travel in long-haul business class).

      Star Alliance Gold may not be overly useful if you primarily fly in business class, but it’s still going to have some value for sure, especially if you have it for the next 18 months and can use it to status-match to other programs (e.g., Alaska). I’d go for it in your situation.

  22. Avatar
    Ahmed Asfour

    Just called to apply for the TD Aeroplan VI business card and the agent said there not doing anymore applications on the phone and you would need to go to a branch. I told him even with COVID, hes like yes still have to go to a branch.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Give it a few more tries. Someone was able to do it over the phone successfully a few days ago, but I’d expect that not every TD agent would be able/willing to do it.

  23. Avatar
    Teddy

    If your gifted elite 50k from someone who has super elite……… would this promo work…..and get you bumped up to 75k status?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Sounds like it!

  24. Avatar
    ezra

    Just transfered 278k last week, any hope for getting this offer?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I’ve followed up with Air Canada to see if there’s any hope for members who’ve only recently transferred points, but alas, it has been clarified that the starting date is today.

  25. Avatar
    Anon

    Just transferred 125k MR to Aeroplan last week because the Amex shutdowns made me paranoid.

    Only have 25k MR left. Feelsbad

  26. Avatar
    Emmanuel

    Small precision: "You’ll need to register for this promotion before having any of your miles count towards the total of 50,000" – from the T&C it seems as long as your register during the offer period, any mile earned during the period will count, even if it was before registering.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Thanks for pointing this out Emmanuel, I’ll clarify this.

  27. Avatar
    JoeShmoInYOW

    If someone is already at 25K … how many MR points / spend is needed to get Super Elite?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      You can only bump up one level to Elite 35K under this promotion. To reach Super Elite (or any other higher tier) you’d need to qualify the normal way.

  28. Avatar