Aeroplan Elite Status: The Benefits of Being a Super Elite

 

Air Canada’s most frequent flyers can qualify for its top tier status, Aeroplan Super Elite, by doing a lot of flying and spending a considerable amount of money with the airline each year.

In return, they’re rewarded with a suite of exclusive benefits and perks to distinguish themselves as Air Canada’s most loyal customers.

Qualifying for Aeroplan Super Elite Status

You don’t earn the title of Super Elite without spending a lot of time in the air. As described in detail in our guide to Aeroplan Elite Status, Super Elites must surpass qualifying thresholds in the program to earn their bag tags.

In a calendar year, Super Elites must attain:

  • 100,000 Status Qualifying Miles (SQM), or
  • 100 Status Qualifying Segments (SQS)

and:

  • $20,000 Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD)

It is possible to earn SQM and SQS from your monthly credit card spending. One could argue that reaching the SQM and SQS thresholds is easier than ever, as credit card spend counts towards your SQM and SQS progress throughout the year.

On premium Aeroplan co-branded credit cards, you’ll earn 1,000 SQM and 1 SQS for every $5,000 (CAD) spent, and for core Aeroplan co-branded credit cards, you’ll earn 1,000 SQM and 1 SQS for every $10,000 (CAD) spent.

Earn SQM/SQS Through Credit Card Spend
Credit Card Best Offer Value
Up to 100,000 Aeroplan points $819 Apply Now
Up to 40,000 Aeroplan points† $735 Apply Now
45,000 Aeroplan points $720 Apply Now
Up to 60,000 Aeroplan points† $714 Apply Now
Up to 75,000 Aeroplan points† $714 Apply Now
90,000 Aeroplan points $611 Apply Now
Up to 50,000 Aeroplan points† $609 Apply Now
70,000 Aeroplan points $399 Apply Now

Anyone who spends a significant amount of money on credit cards can strategically earn SQM and SQS this way; however, the full SQD requirement remains.

Keep in mind that you can also earn threshold awards with the SQM and SQS earned on your credit card, and you can also benefit from the SQM rollover benefit with a premium co-branded credit card for a boost each year.

For those who dabble in US credit cards, an interesting development took place with the launch of the Chase Aeroplan Card.

This card features the “Elite Status Level Up”, whereby after spending $50,000 on the card throughout the calendar year, your organically earned status is bumped up one level for the next calendar year.

For example, if you hold Aeroplan’s base-level 25K status in 2023, and spend $50,000 on your Chase Aeroplan Card in 2023, you will enjoy Aeroplan 35K status for 2024.

Taking this a few steps further, if you organically qualify for 75K status and spend $50,000 on the card, you’ll be bumped up to Super Elite for the next year. 

In the past, we’ve also seen promotions for double SQM, SQS, and even double SQD on paid bookings. If one of these happens to roll around again, be sure to take advantage of it, as it would essentially halve the requirements for obtaining Super Elite status.

Aeroplan Super Elite Core Benefits

The full suite of benefits for Super Elites can be found on the Air Canada website, and it’s also outlined in our guide to Aeroplan Elite Status. Super Elites enjoy the privileges afforded to all lower tiers, and also get exclusive perks. 

Core Benefits, which do not need to be selected, are awarded immediately upon meeting the SQM/SQS and SQD requirements. Here, the most valuable benefits include: free changes and cancellations for Aeroplan bookings, Concierge service, eUpgrade enhancements, and Priority Rewards.

Free Changes/Cancellations on Aeroplan Bookings

Super Elites benefit from having free changes and cancellations to Aeroplan reward bookings. This opens up the possibility of doing speculative bookings at any time, without having to worry about cancellation or change fees. 

Indeed, Super Elites have expressed their delight with this benefit. Aside from the money saved, they can also change to a different flight that better suits their schedules, rebook on a flight when the cost in points has reduced, or move to a flight with eUpgrade space if their original flight no longer has any. 

Given the dynamic nature of travel, if your plans change, getting all of your points, eUpgrades, and taxes/fees back without incurring any additional fees provides additional peace of mind. 

Concierge Services

On paper, the Concierge service is a team of specially trained employees that assist with special requests and aim to make the travel experience as seamless as possible for Super Elites.

They look after everything from proactively rebooking flights during delays and cancellations, assisting with last-minute hotel and restaurant bookings, and generally tailoring the travel experience.

In practice, though, the Concierge team frequently goes the extra mile for assisting Super Elites. On various online forums and blogs, they’ve often described as “angels” and “heroes” who do incredible work.

Concierges can also personally greet Super Elites onboard aircraft, introduce new Concierges to begin building a relationship, and meet passengers at the gate with new boarding passes for a tight connection.

Concierges can hand-deliver boarding passes to Super Elites on a tight connection.

There are stories of the Concierge team searching the bowels of the airport for lost luggage, holding an aircraft at the gate for a tight connection, and fast-tracking Super Elites through security and customs to make a flight. When travel plans go awry, the Concierge team ensures that they go as smoothly as possible. 

Concierges are of particular benefit during peak travel periods or inclement weather, when phone lines are slammed, lineups are impossibly long, and getting assistance is next to impossible. Rather, Super Elites have a team of individuals behind the scenes dealing with things so they don’t have to. 

One quick phone call, email, or conversation at the airport is all it takes to have someone field a request. The personal greetings and relationship building is a nice perk for those who value such service, too.

Should there be an otherwise long lineup at a priority check-in area, most airports have Concierge “huts” nearby, where Super Elites can check in and make any requests.

Air Canada Super Elite check-in & Concierge hut

Note that customers travelling in Air Canada business class on paid bookings are also eligible for Concierge services on the day of departure at the airport. However, they’re limited to Concierge check-in assistance in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver and assistance with at-risk connections to another business class flight.

eUpgrade Enhancements

Unlike all other Aeroplan Elite Status tiers, Super Elites can nominate one person each year as their eUpgrade Nominee. This allows the Nominee to use the account holder’s eUpgrades on their own, without the Super Elite being on the booking reference.

The eUpgrade Nominee can only use the Super Elite’s eUpgrades for themselves, and not for any companions booked on the same reservation as them.

All other Aeroplan Elite Status members can only share their eUpgrades with one other passenger on the same booking, as well as one other passenger for an upgrade request on the day of travel at the airport.

Many people gripe about not being able to use their eUpgrades for family members on separate bookings – indeed, this benefit is reserved for Super Elites.

Super Elites also have the longest eUpgrade clearance window. Aside from a Premium Economy (Flexible) or Economy (Latitude) fare booking, on which anyone can instantly confirm an eUpgrade, Super Elites can request and clear an eUpgrade 14 days prior to departure for North America and Sun destination bookings, and seven days prior to departure for International bookings. 

eUpgrade Nominees are treated to the same clearance window as Super Elites.

For families or groups, this means that three people can instantly confirm an eUpgrade if they make a paid or reward booking in Economy (Latitude) or Premium Economy (Flexible), or if they are within the extended eUpgrade clearance window: the Super Elite and one additional passenger on one booking, and the eUpgrade Nominee on another.

At the airport, they could then request an additional eUpgrade for one more passenger, theoretically bringing the total number of passengers travelling together on eUpgrades from a single account to four. In practice, this would be difficult to achieve (especially during peak travel or on highly sought-after routes), but in theory, it’s possible.

Under usual pricing, Economy (Latitude) cash fares tend to be significantly higher than Economy (Standard) or Economy (Flex) fares, whereas Economy (Latitude) fares on Aeroplan bookings don’t tend to be as proportionally expensive. In comparison to booking four (or more) passengers in business class, and with preferred pricing on Aeroplan redemptions, this benefit can result in huge savings.

Super Elites also enjoy waived add-on fees when using eUpgrades on bookings with lower fare classes. On international bookings paid for in cash or with Aeroplan points, there are add-on fees ranging from $200500 on most Flex, Comfort, and Premium Economy (Lowest) fares.

Super Elites who book these fares have the add-on fees waived, resulting in savings of hundreds of dollars. 

Lastly, Super Elites are usually among the top of the list for waitlisted eUpgrade requests. Nominees do not enjoy the same waitlist ranking privileges as their nominating Super Elite.

More About eUpgrade Waitlist Ranking

Priority Rewards

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages for Super Elites with Aeroplan is with the most powerful Priority Rewards available to Aeroplan Elite members. 

Priority Rewards are earned by crossing SQD thresholds. So, one Priority Reward is earned at each of the $4,000, $7,000, and $10,000 SQD thresholds, as well as every $5,000 thereafter. 

At a minimum, qualifying for Super Elite with a $20,000 SQD threshold would result in five Priority Rewards. Each of these Priority Rewards can be used to cut in half the number of points required for a booking for one person. 

Super Elites are the only members who can use their Priority Rewards on business class rewards with Air Canada and any partner airline for bookings anywhere in the world.

For example, if the regular cost of a flight from Toronto to Hong Kong was 82,000 Aeroplan points in business class, a Super Elite’s Priority Reward would cut that amount to 41,000 Aeroplan points. 

For travellers who seek to maximize their flight time and push the boundaries of what’s possible with Priority Rewards, this can be a very powerful tool to cover a lot of ground. It can also be a useful way to combat dynamic pricing on Air Canada flights by bringing it back down to a reasonable level.

Further, being able to redeem them for flights with any partner airline is a very valuable benefit. With a fixed price for flights with partner airlines, it is a more predictable way to calculate value in terms of points saved on a booking, as opposed to dynamic pricing with Air Canada flights.

Depending on individual travel styles, some find Priority Rewards to be more valuable than others. For those who tend to travel mostly within Canada, the amount saved on a round-trip booking between Winnipeg and Toronto may not result in as much savings as when cutting in half the dynamic value for a highly sought-after long-haul business class route, such as Sydney–Vancouver.

Priority Rewards can get you out of a tight spot with expensive Air Canada business class awards, but it may not be their best use.

While there can be significant value garnered from Priority Rewards, it will depend on your travel patterns. Of course, it’s impossible to design a program to appease everyone, so it’s up to the Super Elite to find value given what is available to them.

Aeroplan Super Elite Select Benefits

For the annual Select Benefits, Super Elites can choose two of the following six options:

  • 100% bonus Aeroplan points with Air Canada and select airline partners
  • 50 eUpgrade credits
  • Lower Requalification Level (95,000 SQM or 95 SQS)
  • Aeroplan 50K status for a friend
  • 12-month Wi-Fi plan
  • 4 Status Passes

Generally speaking, selecting the 100% bonus Aeroplan points and 50 eUpgrade credits is the most popular pair of choices. 

These choices help Super Elite members organically grow their Aeroplan balances (as long as they pay for flights during the year), and bolster their eUpgrade coffers to use throughout the year. 

For the Select Benefit of 50 eUpgrades, Super Elites who wait until after July 1 to make their selections will enjoy eUpgrade validity throughout the following year.

This means that if you select 50 eUpgrades in July 2023, they’ll be valid until January 16, 2025, giving first dibs on eUpgrade space for the following year.

On the other hand, gifting Aeroplan 50K status to your better half or someone with whom you travel often could equip you with an additional 40 eUpgrade credits to use between the two of you.

If they were also selected as an eUpgrade nominee, the dynamic duo would have at least 110 eUpgrade credits to use throughout the year (assuming the Super Elite selects eUpgrade credits as their other benefit).

Consider gifting 50K status to a family member as a Select Benefit

In general, choosing the Lower Requalification Level might not be the best choice. With the ability to earn SQM and SQS through credit card spending, you’d have to spend $25,000 on a premium card over the course of the year to make up the same difference.

Since most Super Elites have to spend $20,000 with Air Canada each year anyway, that only leaves a gap of $5,000, which should be easy for most people to hit. Ideally, the $20,000 is put on a credit card with the best category earning rate, and also offers insurance, which is the case with premium Aeroplan co-branded credit cards.

Wi-Fi is nice to have, but as monthly plans start at around $65, it would be important to gauge whether or not you can get more value out of other options.

In general, Status Passes would be a last resort, as many of the benefits can be obtained by redeeming for a business class ticket. Furthermore, Super Elites are given two complimentary Status Passes each year anyway.

Conclusion

Being a Super Elite with Air Canada comes with a number of perks and privileges. As the airline’s most loyal customers, they’re afforded benefits above and beyond what other Aeroplan Elite Status members are offered.

Super Elites enjoy a streamlined travel experience with priority everything, fast-tracking to the front of the line, and a personalized Concierge service. They also have the most powerful Priority Rewards and the greatest flexibility with eUpgrades.

If you’re a very frequent flyer with Air Canada, consider finessing your way to Super Elite status to enjoy the airline’s most exclusive perks.

 

2 Comments
  1. Maria

    Hi,
    Hello,
    For the no change fees, is that only on bookings where the super elite is also travelling or would it also apply to any aeroplan bookings made on behalf of others (i.e. family/close friends) .

    Thanks

    1. T.J. YQQ

      It applies to any bookings made from the Super Elite’s account.

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