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.
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:
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!
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.
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.