Aeroplan Elite Status: Guide to Qualifying and Privileges

Aeroplan Elite Status is Air Canada’s elite program for its most frequent flyers. There are many opportunities to earn and benefit from status, which can help to make your travels more seamless.

Having a thorough understanding of the program will benefit you greatly, whether you’re seeking to earn Aeroplan Elite Status for the first time or maximize it year-after-year.

This article will guide you through the elite program, including how to qualify for Aeroplan Elite Status, and the privileges that come with each tier.


In This Post

How to Qualify for Aeroplan Elite Status

Qualifying for Aeroplan Elite Status depends on three factors:

  • Status Qualifying Miles (SQM)
  • Status Qualifying Segments (SQS)
  • Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD)

You earn the various status tiers by reaching minimum levels of SQM or SQS, in addition to SQD, through your paid flying activity. 

Status Qualifying Miles

SQM are earned as a percentage of the actual distance flown and on the fare purchased. Lower fares will offer a reduced percentage of SQM accrued, while higher fares will offer up to 150% SQM.

The destination to which you fly (within Canada, to the United States, to Sun Destinations, or to International Destinations) also plays a small role in the SQM earned. Economy (Basic) fares aren’t eligible for SQM accumulation.

For example, if you fly from Vancouver to Toronto on an Economy (Flex) fare, which earns 100% SQM, you’d earn 2,085 Status Qualifying Miles, since the distance between the two cities is 2,085 miles. If you booked a Premium Economy (Lowest) fare, you’d earn 2,606 SQM, which is 125% of the distance flown.

To estimate the distance between two cities, you can use a tool such as Great Circle Mapper.

You can also earn SQM on flights booked as part of an Air Canada Vacation Package; however, the rate at which you earn SQM is different than the earning rates for flight-only bookings with Air Canada.

Earning status through SQM often is easier for those who tend to fly longer distances, especially if you book on Economy (Flex) fares and up.

Keep in mind that the amount of Aeroplan points you earn on a flight largely mirrors the amount of SQM earned, although it’s important to point out that these are two very different things. 

Status Qualifying Segments

SQS are determined by the amount of actual flight segments you have on a particular booking. Each separate flight you take counts as a single Status Qualifying Segment. Economy (Basic) fares aren’t eligible for SQS accumulation.

For example, if you fly from St. John’s to Toronto on a direct flight, you earn 1 SQS, but if you were to fly St. John’s–Montreal–Toronto, you’d earn 2 SQS. In some cases, it can be worthwhile to book milk-run routes in order to earn more SQS. 

Qualifying for status through SQS can be easier for people who tend to fly more short-haul flights, or for those who always require a connecting flight to a major airport hub to get to their destination. 

For example, if you don’t live in a city with a major airport, you always must connect through a larger hub to get to your destination. Therefore, you’ll always have at least two segments on a booking, and sometimes even more.

If you tend to qualify for status through SQS instead of SQM, you can consider booking Economy (Standard) fares, since you’ll always earn 1 SQS per flight. However, you’ll want to be mindful of the other benefits of higher fares, such as accumulating Aeroplan points, which could be worth paying for a higher fare.

For both SQM and SQS, you’re able to boost your earnings even more with an eligible co-branded credit card: you’ll earn 1,000 SQM and 1 SQS for every $5,000 spent on a premium Aeroplan credit card or 1,000 SQM and 1 SQS for every $10,000 spent on a core or small business Aeroplan credit card.

Premium Aeroplan Credit Cards
Credit Card Best Offer Value
Up to 95,000 Aeroplan points $1,147 Apply Now
Up to 85,000 Aeroplan points† $924 Apply Now
85,000 Aeroplan points $858 Apply Now
80,000 Aeroplan points $845 Apply Now
Core & Small Business Aeroplan Credit Cards
Credit Card Best Offer Value
Up to 50,000 Aeroplan points† $756 Apply Now
45,000 Aeroplan points $720 Apply Now
Up to 60,000 Aeroplan points† $714 Apply Now
Up to 50,000 Aeroplan points† $617 Apply Now

If you tend to be a big spender, you’ll be rewarded with easier qualification for Aeroplan Elite Status if you put a significant amount of spending on a co-branded credit card each year. The SQM and SQS earned through credit card spending also count towards Threshold Rewards.

Another benefit of holding a premium Aeroplan co-branded credit card is that you can rollover up to 200,000 unused Status Qualifying Miles each year. You’ll need to have a card by December 15 to benefit from the rollover, which happens early in the next year.

Status Qualifying Dollars

SQD are earned based on the amount of base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges paid for your Air Canada flight. You can also earn SQD on Star Alliance airlines ticketed on Air Canada 014 stock, Flight Pass purchases, Air Canada Vacation packages, and on eUpgrade add-on fees.

For example, in the below screenshot of a fare breakdown on an Air Canada flight from the Air Canada website, the total ticket cost is $873.73. However, you’d only earn $800 SQD, which is the sum of the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges.

To earn SQD on flights with Star Alliance-member airlines, you must have an Air Canada ticket number that begins with the numbers “014”. This means that you have to buy your ticket through Air Canada, and not through other airlines.

For example, if you buy a ticket for a Lufthansa flight from Toronto to Frankfurt on the Air Canada website, you’ll earn SQD on that flight, since your booking is made on Air Canada ticket stock. However, if you book the same flight on the Lufthansa website, you won’t be eligible to earn SQD, since you’ll have a Lufthansa ticket number.

For eUpgrade add-on fees, you’ll earn the full amount of SQD for your add-on fee, and only if your eUpgrade is confirmed. For example, if there’s an add-on fee of $75 and your eUpgrade is confirmed, you’ll earn $75 SQD.

SQD may also be earned on Flight Passes. If you purchase a fixed amount of flight credits, you’ll earn a fixed amount of SQD each time you use a Flight Pass segment. The amount of SQD earned excludes government-imposed taxes and fees.

If you purchase an Unlimited Flight Pass, you’ll earn SQD on the date of purchase, and then on each monthly installment for the duration of your unlimited Flight Pass. The amount of SQD earned corresponds to the price paid before sales taxes.

 

For Air Canada Vacations packages, you’ll earn 25% SQD based on the total cost of an eligible vacation package per member, inclusive of taxes and fees. An eligible Air Canada Vacations package means one consisting of a package with flights included, or a Flight & Cruise package with travel completed by the member.

Except for the case of Unlimited Flight Passes, SQD are posted after the date flown, not on the date of purchase. Economy (Basic) fares are not eligible for SQD accumulation.

There are currently no other ways to earn SQD (e.g., through credit card spending) other than by spending on eligible flights, eUpgrade add-on fees, Flight Passes, and Air Canada Vacations.

Status Requirements

There are five Aeroplan Elite Status tiers: 25K, 35K, 50K, 75K, and Super Elite.

To obtain status, you need to fulfill either the SQM or SQS requirements, in addition to the corresponding SQD requirement, in a calendar year. In other words, you need to earn either the SQM or SQS threshold, as well as the SQD threshold, to earn status.

  • Aeroplan 25K: 25,000 SQM or 25 SQS, and $3,000 SQD
  • Aeroplan 35K: 35,000 SQM or 35 SQS, and $4,000 SQD
  • Aeroplan 50K: 50,000 SQM or 50 SQS, and $6,000 SQD
  • Aeroplan 75K: 75,000 SQM or 75 SQS, and $9,000 SQD
  • Aeroplan Super Elite: 100,000 SQM or 100 SQS, and $20,000 SQD

For example, to reach Aeroplan 35K status, you need to either obtain either 35,000 SQM or 35 SQS in a calendar year, as well as reach a minimum $4,000 SQD.

This all needs to happen between January 1 and December 31 to qualify for status, since Air Canada uses the calendar year for status qualification.

Everyday Status Qualification

The Aeroplan Everyday Status Qualification feature allows you to earn Aeroplan 25K status without ever having set foot on a plane.

If you earn 100,000 Aeroplan points in a calendar year through eligible sources, you’ll receive Aeroplan 25K status. 

Eligible sources include the points you earn from spending on a co-branded Aeroplan credit card, flying with Air Canada and partner airlines, and earning through travel and retail partners, such as the Aeroplan eStore.

However, it’s important to note that credit card welcome bonuses and points transfers from other programs don’t count towards Everyday Status Qualification. 

Chase Aeroplan Card + Elite Status Level Up

The US-issued Chase Aeroplan Card brings a new angle to earning and levelling up your Aeroplan Elite Status strategy.

Upon signing up for the card, Aeroplan members automatically receive Aeroplan 25K status through to the end of the next calendar year.

Moreover, after the first year(s) of instant 25K status, cardholders are able to retain 25K status every year by spending $15,000 (USD) on the Chase Aeroplan Card during a single calendar year. 

Cardholders can also earn an Elite Status Level Up to Aeroplan 35K status or higher upon spending $50,000 (USD) in the calendar year. 

The Elite Status Level Up takes into consideration whatever status level you’ve organically earned during the year of hitting the $50,000 (USD) spending threshold. Then, as of January 1 and through to December 31 of the following year, your status will be bumped up one level higher.

For example, if you organically earn Aeroplan 75K status, and spend $50,000 (USD) on your Chase Aeroplan Card in the same year, you’ll enjoy top-tier Super Elite status through the entirety of the following year.

Status Period

Once you’ve reached Aeroplan Elite Status for a given year, you’ll enjoy it through to the end of the next calendar year.

For example, if you qualify for Aeroplan 50K status in August 2023, you’ll enjoy the status benefits through to December 31, 2024. 

Note that eUpgrades have a validity period until mid-January. If you have confirmed an eUpgrade in the first couple of weeks of the new year, but haven’t renewed your status for that year, the eUpgrade still remains valid. 

Early Recognition

If you qualify for a status tier that’s higher than the one you currently hold throughout the year, you’ll enjoy the Early Recognition benefit.

You’ll be able to choose a batch of Select Benefits for your new status tier before the end of the year, and then you’ll get another set of Select Benefits early in the following year.

For example, if you currently have Aeroplan 35K status, and you cross the Aeroplan 50K status threshold on October 1, you’ll enjoy Aeroplan 50K status through to the end of the year, and you’ll get to choose Select Benefits shortly after October 1. Then, you’ll get to choose another set of 50K Select Benefits early in the new year.

If you’re eligible for Early Recognition, be sure to consider which Select Benefits would be most useful, since you can get another batch in the next benefit year. For example, you may want to select a Wi-Fi plan as an Early Recognition Select Benefit as a 75K or Super Elite.

Note that the eUpgrade Select Benefit will only be 10 under the Early Recognition period for all members, and you’ll only receive 1,500 bonus SQM when choosing the lower requalification Select Benefit during Early Recognition.

Core Benefits and Select Benefits

Now that we’ve explored how to qualify for Aeroplan Elite Status, let’s explore what you get for all of your hard work. 

There are two sets of perks that are available to Aeroplan Elite Status members: Core Benefits and Select Benefits.

Core Benefits

Core Benefits do not need to be chosen, and you’re automatically afforded a range of perks that depend on the status tier reached. The full range of Core Benefits can be found on the official Aeroplan Elite Status website, and the main ones will be highlighted in the discussion below.

All Aeroplan Elite Status members receive the following Core Benefits upon qualifying for any tier of status:

  • 20 eUpgrade credits
  • eUpgrades and bonus SQM for eligible Flight Pass activity (as of January 1, 2024)
  • Priority services with Air Canada (check-in, call centre, boarding, etc.)
  • 2 extra Aeroplan points per dollar spent at the Aeroplan eStore
  • Earning a minimum of 250 Aeroplan points on eligible Air Canada and Star Alliance flights

In order to enjoy status benefits on a flight, be sure to attach your Aeroplan number to your flight. You can do this during the booking process, or afterwards on the “Manage My Booking” page.

Select Benefits

Select Benefits are bundles of options that must be selected by each Aeroplan Elite Status member once per year. We’ll explore the options in the below section, as they’re different at each tier.

Select Benefits must be chosen by December 31 each year. To choose them, login to your Aeroplan account, select the “Benefits” tab, look for the “Choose button, and then proceed with your selections.

If you neglect to select them by the deadline, you’ll forfeit them for the remainder of the benefit validity period.

You may wish to delay selecting your benefits until at least July 1 of each year, especially if you choose extra eUpgrades as one of your benefits.

The primary reason is that eUpgrades earned on or after July 1 of each year will have a longer validity period than those earned between January 1 and June 30.

For example, if you choose eUpgrades as a Select Benefit between January 1 and June 30, 2024, those eUpgrades will be valid until mid-January 2025.

However, if you choose eUpgrades as a Select Benefit after July 1, 2024, those eUpgrades will be valid until mid-January 2026. Therefore, you’ll have first dibs on eUpgrade space throughout 2025 by choosing your eUpgrades after July 1.

If you choose to receive bonus Aeroplan points as one of your Select Benefits, it will apply retroactively to flights taken prior to your selection at the status level you hold at the time of choosing your Select Benefits.

For example, if you flew on a number of eligible paid flights between January and July, and choose bonus Aeroplan points for eligible paid flights as one of your Select Benefits in July, you’ll earn bonus Aeroplan points on all eligible flights taken between January and July, as well as any eligible paid flights through to the end of the year.

Therefore, by waiting to choose your Select Benefits, you won’t lose out on any bonus Aeroplan points you’d earn through the bonus Aeroplan points Select Benefit.

Aeroplan 25K

The lowest status tier, Aeroplan 25K, is reached by earning either 25,000 SQM or 25 SQS, as well as a minimum of $3,000 SQD in a calendar year. You can also earn Aeroplan 25K status through Everyday Status Qualification, which requires you to earn 100,000 Aeroplan points in a calendar year.

While the range of perks is limited as compared to higher tiers, there’s definitely value to be found with the status, especially since you can reach this tier without flying at all.

In terms of Core Benefits, beginning with this level, you’ll enjoy a number of priority services with Air Canada: front-of-the-line call centre access, a separate check-in area or queue at the airport, and boarding the plane before most people.

25K members can enjoy complimentary Preferred Seats at check-in, subject to availability, on all fares except for Economy (Basic). These include exit-row seats and seats at the front of the economy cabin, which typically come with a fee.

Furthermore, if a flight is full, you’ll have priority standby over others without status if you have purchased an eligible fare. 

You’ll also enjoy two free 23kg checked bags on Air Canada flights, and complimentary handling of your sports equipment. So, for your winter ski trips or your summer cycling or surfing trips, you won’t have to shell out extra money to bring your gear with you.

20 eUpgrades will automatically be deposited into your account as a Core Benefit, which you can use to upgrade to a higher class of service on a booking. We’ve written extensively about eUpgrades, and I encourage you to review the information to maximize the value you can get from them.

If you earn a Priority Reward as a 25K member, it’ll be valid for use on economy class bookings in Canada and the United States. As a reminder, Priority Rewards knock 50% off the cost of an Aeroplan redemption, and can be very valuable.

You’ll also get Star Alliance Silver status, which extends your priority reservations waitlist and priority airport standby benefits to flying with other Star Alliance partners in any class of service, but doesn’t really offer much else.

For Select Benefits, Aeroplan Elite 25K members have the option of choosing two of the following: 

  • 25% bonus Aeroplan points with Air Canada and select airline partners
  • 5 eUpgrade credits
  • 2 Maple Leaf Lounge one-time guest passes

From these, the best options are generally the 25% bonus Aeroplan points and the five eUpgrade credits. If you neither travel often nor hold a credit card that offers free lounge access, the Maple Leaf Lounge passes could be worth considering.

Aeroplan 35K

Aeroplan 35K is reached when you obtain 35,000 SQM or 35 SQS, as well as a minimum of $4,000 SQD in a calendar year. In addition to the aforementioned Core Benefits for 25K, there are a few additional perks that come with 35K.

At this level, members enjoy priority security clearance via dedicated lanes in many airports worldwide. While this can also be obtained with a business class ticket or by holding a premium Aeroplan co-branded credit card, it can be a very useful perk when flying during peak travel season or in providing a streamlined travel experience.

Two one-time Maple Leaf Lounge passes are automatically deposited to your Aeroplan account, and these may be transferred to anyone of your choosing, or used for yourself.

Your complimentary baggage allowance also increases to three checked bags at 32kg each, and they’ll be marked with priority tags. This can be a big money saver if you tend to fly with a lot of luggage, or even if you’re moving across the country or overseas.

As with 25K members, 35K members may select Preferred Seats at no cost at the time of check-in for all flights and all fares except for Economy (Basic) fares.

Priority Rewards earned by Aeroplan 35K members are valid for 50% off Aeroplan redemptions in economy and premium economy across North America, including Sun destinations.

For Select Benefits, 35K members can choose one of the following:

  • 35% bonus Aeroplan points with Air Canada and select airline partners
  • 15 eUpgrade credits

Between these, you’ll want to weigh up how much you value having some extra Aeroplan points in your account, or how much use you can get out of an extra 15 eUpgrade credits. Since you can only choose one, consider which benefit you’re likely to get more value from.

When used strategically, eUpgrades can be quite valuable for saving on Air Canada business class. However, you may find more utility from using Aeroplan points on partner airlines.

Aeroplan 50K

Aeroplan 50K is reached when you earn 50,000 SQM or 50 SQS, as well as at least $6,000 SQD. If you’re a member of the Air Canada Million Miler program, you’ll also enjoy this status for the rest of your life, no matter how little or how much you fly.

In addition to the aforementioned Core Benefits for 25K and 35K members, 50K gives you Star Alliance Gold status.

This extends many of your elite privileges when you’re flying with other Star Alliance airlines, including priority airport check-in, baggage handling, boarding, and access to all Star Alliance lounges worldwide for yourself and one guest.

At 50K, you can also enjoy unlimited complimentary access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges and Air Canada Cafés. You may also invite immediate family members (your spouse plus up to five dependent children) and one guest with you at no charge. 

Air Canada Café Toronto Pearson

You’ll also get 3 Maple Leaf Lounge one-time passes to give away to friends or family members.

50K and higher members also enjoy complimentary access to Virgin Australia lounges when travelling on an Air Canada or Virgin Australia flight, as well as Emirates Business Class Lounges when travelling on an Air Canada or Emirates flight out of Dubai (DXB).

Aeroplan 50K members may select Preferred Seats at no cost at any time for flights within North America, and at the time of check-in for all other flights, on all fares except for Economy (Basic) fares. This affords you a bit of extra legroom and access to the front of the economy cabin without any extra charges.

If you earn a Priority Reward as a 50K member, it’s valid for 50% off Aeroplan redemptions in economy class or premium economy within North America and to Sun destinations. Note that this is the same as the benefit offered to Aeroplan 35K members.

At 50K, you’ll also have access to Threshold eUpgrades and gifts. These are earned when you cross an additional SQM or SQS threshold between tiers.

For example, after reaching 60,000 SQM or 60 SQS, you’ll receive an additional 10 eUpgrades, 2,500 rollover SQM, and 2,500 bonus Aeroplan points.

For Select Benefits, 50K members can choose two of the following:

  • 50% bonus Aeroplan points with Air Canada and select airline partners
  • 20 eUpgrade credits
  • Lower requalification level (5,000 bonus SQM and 5 bonus SQS as of January 1, 2024)
  • 2 Status Passes

From these choices, I’d consider the 50% bonus Aeroplan points and the 20 eUpgrade credits as the most valuable options. After all, if you’re flying 50,000 or more miles per year, a 50% bonus isn’t insignificant, while the 20 eUpgrades can offer great value when used strategically to access higher classes of service. 

Status Passes may be a good option to give to a group of people travelling on the same booking, but you’re likely to find better value in the other two options.

If you choose the lower requalification level as a Select Benefit, as of January 1, 2024, you’ll receive a boost of 5,000 SQM and 5 SQS, instead of having the SQM and SQS thresholds lowered by the same margins. 

Keep in mind that you can earn 1,000 SQM and 1 SQS for every $5,000 spent on a premium Aeroplan co-branded credit card, or for every $10,000 spent on a core Aeroplan co-branded credit card. Therefore, you may be able to get the same benefit offered by lower requalification through credit card spending, and you could benefit more from the other options.

However, if you’re someone who struggles to meet the SQM or SQS requirements for 50K status (or higher), the lower requalification level used in tandem with the SQM/SQS boost offered through co-branded credit card spending could be the easiest way to bring yourself across the thresholds.

Aeroplan 75K

The second-highest tier, Aeroplan 75K, is reached when you earn 75,000 SQM or 75 SQS, as well as at least $9,000 SQD in a calendar year. While the benefits for 75K largely mirror those of 50K members, there are a few additional perks in which some people may find extra value.

Aeroplan 75K members can choose Preferred Seats at no cost at any time for all flights and all fares, excluding Economy (Basic) fares.

For 75K and Super Elite status holders, Air Canada will guarantee an economy class seat for you and one travel companion on any Air Canada flight booked in a full-fare economy (“Y” booking class) at least six hours prior to departure. 

Guaranteeing you a seat means that someone else will be denied boarding. This comes at an additional cost to Air Canada under Canada’s Air Passenger Protection RegulationsEU261, or under the Montreal Convention. You’ll be en route to where you need to be, albeit at a cost to you (with a full-fare ticket) and to the airline (in having to pay compensation to the denied passenger).

Air Canada will deny boarding to other passengers to get an Elite 75K member on their full-fare flight.

At this level, Priority Rewards are valid for 50% off an Aeroplan redemption in economy class and premium economy worldwide.

For Select Benefits, 75K members can choose two of the following six options:

  • 75% bonus Aeroplan points with Air Canada and select airline partners
  • 35 eUpgrade credits
  • Lower requalification level (5,000 bonus SQM and 5 bonus SQS as of January 1, 2024)
  • Aeroplan 35K status for a friend
  • 12-month Wi-Fi plan
  • 3 Status Passes

The Select Benefits at 75K get a bit more interesting. Prior to making your selection, it would be wise to review your past, current, and future travel plans to see where you can extract the most value. 

For many, the 75% bonus Aeroplan points and the 35 eUpgrade credits could offer the most value; however, the 35K status for a friend or the 12-month Wi-Fi plan options could be valuable choices, too. 

Gifting 35K status could be put to good use for someone who flies frequently with Air Canada throughout the year. For couples or families, this could also be a strategic choice for increasing the number of eUpgrades at your household’s disposal, since the 35K giftee would enjoy 20 eUpgrades as a Core Benefit, as well as 15 bonus eUpgrades is chosen as a Select Benefit.

If you tend to work when you fly, the Air Canada Wi-Fi pass would save you around $800 as compared to buying a monthly plan.

And if you know a group of people travelling together, the Status Passes could help them elevate their travel experience and save money on baggage fees, too. 

As for the lower requalification level, the same approach described for the 50K status applies here, too. 

Aeroplan Super Elite

Air Canada’s highest status (that can be earned) is Aeroplan Super Elite. This status level is obtained by earning 100,000 SQM or 100 SQS, as well as earning at least $20,000 SQD, in a calendar year. 

In addition to all aforementioned benefits, Super Elites are afforded several additional perks for being the airline’s most loyal customers, including the following:

  • Super Elites get complimentary Preferred Seats on all fares anywhere Air Canada flies.
  • Super Elites and one guest can also access the Arrivals Lounge at London Heathrow.
  • Free cancellation and free changes to all Aeroplan bookings. 
  • Super Elites receive a free beverage (including alcohol) and a free snack when travelling in economy class on Air Canada flights.
  • An eUpgrade nominee, who may use the Super Elite’s eUpgrades when travelling separately
  • 2 Status Passes, which can be gifted to anyone of their choosing

Further, Super Elite Priority Rewards are valid towards 50% off a redemption in business class on Air Canada and any partner airline worldwide. We’ve outlined how to maximize this perk in detail, and it can indeed be a very powerful and valuable benefit.

Perhaps the most intriguing benefit for Super Elites is the Air Canada Concierge service. These employees offer a personalized, bespoke service to Super Elites, which includes handling special requests, proactively monitoring flight cancellations and connections, and ensuring your travel experience is as comfortable as possible. 

Air Canada Concierge hut, Montreal

We have heard from some Super Elites who have remarked at the lengths to which the Concierge has gone to assist. This includes digging through the bowels of airports to locate missing luggage, holding up planes so they can make a tight connection, and developing a personalized experience unavailable to most travellers.

For 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 (5,000 bonus SQM and 5 bonus SQS as of January 1, 2024)
  • Aeroplan 50K status for a friend
  • 12-month Wi-Fi plan
  • 4 Status Passes

As with the Select Benefits for 75K members, the best value will depend on your individual preferences.

Your Aeroplan balance will expand very quickly with a 100% bonus. And if used in conjunction with a Priority Reward, your points are even more valuable.

50 eUpgrade credits can save you thousands of dollars if used strategically to upgrade to a higher class of service, especially since you’ll be at the top of the eUpgrade waitlist.

50K status is a very generous gift for a friend or family member, especially if the giftee can leverage the generous lounge access benefits and eUpgrade allotment.

As for Wi-Fi, since you spend so much time in the skies as a Super Elite, you could save around $800 by choosing it. On the other hand, you’re likely to get more tangible value out of the other benefits.

Again, lower requalification may be a good option if you need some help crossing the finish line; however, the other Select Benefits are likely to be more valuable, and you can use co-branded credit card spending for a similar outcome.

Lastly, since you get 2 Status Passes as a Core Benefit as a Super Elite, choosing an extra four as a Select Benefit likely isn’t the most valuable option.

Conclusion

The Aeroplan Elite Status program rewards Air Canada’s most frequent travellers with a variety of perks and privileges.

Core Benefits offer a range of priority services and enhanced travel options, while Select Benefits cater to individual preferences.

No matter how you prefer to engage with Air Canada and Aeroplan, having status can help you get more out of the program.

 

103 Comments
  1. Jason Wong

    I’ve got an odd question – does AC send you a customized physical aeroplan card that shows your status level?

  2. Ruddy YQB

    Hi T.J.,
    Thank you very much for this new updated article.
    My comment is not directly with the AP Elite statuses (incidentally, I am now 50K thanks to being a million miler). It is about how Aeroplan calculates miles when granting SQMs. Indeed, I was happy to see that the distance YVR-YYZ is 2085 miles (both from the Great Circle Mapper web site and from the Sky Guide), in your article section on Status Qualifying miles. However, the AP miles you do get for that distance have been 2081, then 2078 (I cannot give you the dates when the changes occurred), and more recently 2076, as I exasperatingly discovered when checking my last travel YQB-YYZ-YVR-HNL on November 1, 2023! Nevertheless, Air Canada does count 2085 miles when computing that same YYZ-YVR distance for a reward travel or for buying a RTW travel. Similar glitches exist for other direct distances (examples available on request). Is there a way to have Air Canada stop such unfair discrepancies, once and for all? Maybe Prince of Travel has more power than me for that matter?! Thank you very much in advance for your reply.

  3. DPP

    Hi TJ
    Thanks as always for your insights and valuable answers.

    I see no discussion in the thread of “early recognition “ benefits. Based on our earlier discussions- it looks like I will achieve 35k status in December 2023 for 2024. And then in July I will slide over to 50k status.

    My two questions are:

    1. Will I get 35k early recognition because I achieve it in December? Seems too good to be true?

    2. For my 50k early recognition bonuses which I should be offered next August approximately- is it simply the select benefit reduced choices that are offered? Or do I also get the core benefits in 2024 and then again in 2025? Again – this seems too good to be true… 🧐

    Unrelated – with the movement of the Bundle 2 choice on flight passes to a core benefit – does that mean there is no longer a second bundle? I am going to benefit greatly from this movement either way.

    Thanks again – I hope these questions can help others navigate. I find as I enter new status levels my learning expands – but so do the questions!

    1. DPP

      Hi again,
      I now understand much better the early recognition benefits – thanks.

      I am still unclear on the Bundle 2 question. By making it a core benefit- has Aeroplan simply dispensed with Bundle 2, leaving only Bundle 1?

      1. T.J. YQQ

        As of 2024, there will only be Select Benefits from Bundle 1, since all of the Flight Pass-related benefits from Bundle 2 will become Core Benefits.

        1. DPP

          Thanks TJ. This is first time I have had it confirmed so clearly. Helpful as always.

          And I am about to land 35k status early this year because of your advice. Thanks!

  4. DPP

    Good updated article – thanks for posting again.

    A question about SQM when flying on a flight pass. I have one with Latitude tickets to Europe. I will obviously use latitude attitude as I can be very flexible in my bookings. For those flights – will my SQM be calculated on my latitude (125%) or on my e up ticket to business at 150%?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      You’ll earn SQM based on the original class of service, so 125% for Economy (Latitude).

  5. Francis Cortellino

    Hello, great article. Question on the SQD. I have an Aeroplan Status, but not my wife. If I buy two fligh tickets on the same reservation (one for myself, one for my wife), are the SQD that I will receive is only for my ticket, or for the two tickets? Thanks

    1. T.J. YQQ

      You’ll only receive SQD for your personal flights (not for anyone else’s).

  6. Brendan McCullough

    What is a Status Qualification Boost? I get these most months in connection with my Visa Infinite card but don’t know what they are used for.

    1. T.J. YQQ

      The Status Qualification Boost is extra SQM/SQS earned through credit card spending. It helps you get to the next status level tier without having to fly to earn the SQM/SQS.

  7. Bert

    If I’m about to pass into Super Elite status with a flight, and I’ll also get my next priority reward at the same time, will it be a priority reward as if I was Super Elite, or will it be treated as if I was 75k status?

    Example here: I’m at 80k SQM. Going to do a trip that will bump me over 100k SQM on the return leg of my flight. The return leg will also bump me over 30k SQD, triggering a priority reward. Would you expect the priority reward to be counted under 75k status or Super Elite Status?

    Thanks!

    1. T.J. YQQ

      I believe it will be a 75K Priority Reward when you hit the threshold, but if it’s a Super Elite one, that will just be a bonus.

  8. Brett

    Question for you TJ. If I hit threshold gift levels that include roll over SQM, do they stack? for example there is a threshold gift of 2,500 roll over SQM and then at another level there is a roll over of 5,000 SQM. If I hit both of these thresholds do I get 7,500 SQM next year or is it just the higher of the 2 values?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Howdy Brett! Those should stack and rollover.

      1. Brett

        Thanks TJ. That makes the decision easier

  9. Ray

    Will status qualifying miles be earned with Air Canada if the flight is booked with a star alliance partner?

  10. Raman

    For SQD is it earned 100% of the base fare for any class of travel?

    1. Raman

      Also, if in a calender year jan to dec lets say you earn 2000 sqd and are 1000 short from reaching the silver status, would those sqd carry over into the next year or be reset?

      1. T.J. YQQ

        Hi Raman. The SQD earned depends on the fare you buy, and the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges, but not government-imposed taxes, will count towards your SQD. Your SQD don’t rollover.

  11. Carmela

    Can I earn status by just spending on aeroplan card or do I need flights as well – I often travel with aeroplan points so not much chance of paying for flights

    1. T.J. YQQ

      You can earn 25K status by earning 100,000 Aeroplan points over the course of the year (Everyday Status Qualification).

  12. DL

    Hi, love all of your Aeroplan articles. I’m currently on track to hit 75K later this year and contemplating which Select Benefits would be most advantageous in the latter part of the Early Recognition Period (i.e. hitting 75K in December 2022). I understand that some Select Benefits like Status Passes are only valid until the end of that benefit year so it wouldn’t be very useful to select this in December. Any experience with choosing the “12-month wi-fi plan” or “35K for a Friend” benefits this late in the calendar year? If I chose these in December 2022, would they continue into 2023 or are they only valid for 2022?

  13. Daniel

    Hi, thanks for the great info! I have a 9 and 5 year old. If I’m flying YYJ to YEG, do I earn SQM/SQS on their portion of the ticket as well as mine? Or should they have their own aeroplan membership and add them into the family group? Thanks!

    1. T.J. YQQ

      You’ll only earn for yourself, so it would be a great idea to get them set up with Aeroplan memberships and add them to the family group.

  14. Justin

    If I just get status 25k say today May 4, 2022. Is that status only good until Dec 31, 2022. Like say I get up to 35k status in November 2022 is it only gold until December 31, 2022 then you start from scratch again January 1, 2023?

    1. Rachel YYZ

      After earning status, you’ll keep it through the next calendar year.

  15. Anita

    I have 35k status. Do people who travel me receive free luggage as well (same reservation)?

  16. May

    Does one earn SQM on paid flights only or can we earn them on reward bookings as well? Thanks

    1. T.J. YQQ

      You only earn SQM, SQS, and SQD on paid flights.

  17. Ariana CAL

    Hello. I currently have 25K Status (carry over, and exp 2022) and three core Aeroplan credit cards (TD, CIBC, AMEX) . I having trouble sorting out how much EQD do I need to stay at 25K status. Do I need only $25,000 in spend to get 25 SQS and of course the $3,000 SQD? And second question, confused on how much EQD/SQS I need to move up to 35K? Is it $100,000 spend to get 10 SQS to add to the 25 sqs for the 25k level I already have, to make 35SQS. Plus the $4000 sqd which is only $1000 more than the 25k level.
    Is it best for the spend to be on same credit card type to take the best advantage of the every $10k is 1 SQS? Or is it cumulative with credit cards and the EQD that are posted on the Aeroplan activity list? ( am busy studying the Accelerate blog but still a bit confused…THANK YOU )

    1. T.J. YQQ

      You can remain at 25K by earning 100,000 Aeroplan points over the course of the year, without any SQD requirements. For Core credit cards, you earn 1,000 SQM and 1 SQS for every $10,000 spent on the card. To earn SQD, you have to fly with Air Canada on paid flights, and it’s $3,000 for 25K or $4,000 for 35K. You will earn 1,000 SQM for each $10,000 Core card, and you’re able to earn per card.

      1. Ariana CAL

        Hello, Thank you very much for your time in replying. This helps alot. Thanks again.. 🙂

  18. peterprinciple

    I finally received 35k status in late Jan 2022, based on the prior year’s 10k spend on premium cards promo.

    I’ve read mixed things online but want to confirm two things:
    1. does my 35k status good until the end of 2023 (basically the “if u earn it in year you get it immediately, but it lasts until the year after”? or am I wrong and it’s only good until 2022?
    2. Assuming answer to above is end of 2023… then is there no value in me earning SQD nor SQM throughout 2022 (assuming I wouldn’t make it to 50k)

    thank you!

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Your status will be valid until the end of 2022, unless Air Canada extends it for another year (I think that’s doubtful).

      1. Mike F

        Any word Amex will run this promo again? I’d like to keep my 35k status but primarily fly with reward tickets.

  19. LEX

    Currently, I have no elite status but I have flights booked for April that will earn me 35k status miles (double status promo). I’ll be zero to 35k after I complete my roundtrip flight. Do I earn both the 25k elite benefits and 35k elite benefits at the same time?

    By my calculations, each way will earn me 17600 status miles. So I won’t have a brief pause on hitting the 25k status and immediately hit 35k status upon completing my return flight.

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Hmm, good question. I think you’ll jump straight to 35K. Please keep us posted!

  20. StatusNewbie

    Hi T.J. If one books a flight with a connection and the total length is 1,000 miles, but one leg is 150 and the other 850, does that count as 1 or 2 SQS? Does this change if it is 400 and 600?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      You’ll get one segment per flight, no matter how short or long it is.

  21. Raj

    I have 35K this year and am on track to earning 50K for next year.

    If I get 50K for next year, do I need to earn 75K for the following year? Or can I just meet the 50K requirements and maintain it/requalify for it?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      You can maintain/requalify for any level, so no need to keep moving up the tiers.

  22. Cpt

    How do you use the priority security lines if you have 35k status? Show them your aeroplan card when you walk up ?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Priority Security will be indicated on your boarding pass.

  23. Michael G

    I have Visa Infinite Privilege card which promises some rollovers. I currently have 25K status which from 2020 wasn’t earned organically but through points sum promotion and extended to 2021 and 2022 subsequently.
    I have only 24500 SQM and 1100 SQD – will these be rolled over according to the Infinite Privilege card benefit or I have to beef it up to 25K SQM and 3500 SQD to be able to use Jumpstart 2022 promotion?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      You’d have to have fulfilled all the requirements for earning 25K status organically for it to rollover to next year (jumpstarting for 2022’s qualifying).

  24. Circuscowboy

    I will have about 92000 of 100000 edq posted by December and on another card the last 8000 will be earned but not posted until January 17. Do you know if this will work or is the calendar over Dec 31 and only posted edq points count.

    Thanks

  25. Richard

    If I haven’t selected my Select Privileges yet in 2021 and have only a few more weeks to do so, and I haven’t flown at all in 2021, is there any value in making the selection now? In other words, will any selection I make now have lasting effect for 2022? For example, if I select to give someone 12 months of Elite status, will they get it for a full 12 months going forward, or just for the balance of 2021? If I select 50 E- Upgrade points now, and if I’ve already got more than I can rollover to next year, do these points last longer by selecting them now?
    Your thoughts on how to maximize value for Select Benefits so late in the year would be appreciated.

  26. Kaz YVR

    “Note that the SQD requirement is halved for those residing outside of Canada.”

    I think this is no longer the case starting from 2022? Ricky wrote this on Oct 18 in his article.

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Yes – we have updated the article accordingly.

  27. Zo

    Hi TJ, I was approved for the Chase Aeroplan card and have the 20+5 eUps in my account now. Will these expire in early 2022, and therefore will have to be used soon, or will they rollover into next year?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      They should be valid through the next benefit year. You can find out when they expire by logging into your Aeroplan account and navigating to the eUpgrade page on the dropdown list.

  28. Francois

    Good morning

    Will all my aeroplan infinite priviledge credit card sqm and segments obtained only by spending will they be erased in 2022 or will it be rolled over.

    Thanks

    1. T.J. YQQ

      The SQM and SQS only rollover if you’ve organically earned status by completing the SQM, SQS, and SQD requirements.

  29. Chris

    Is there still en eStore bonus for elite members? I tend to recall reading something about this would be announced later, but never really saw anything. I know for 2021 the existing bonus structure had been respected.

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Buried in the FAQ on the eStore page, it states: “Aeroplan Elite Status members will earn an extra 2 points per dollar spent on the Aeroplane eStore.”

  30. J.C.

    Great article! Just wondering – if I was qualified for 25K status in September of this year and I was given 25 e-upgrades that I haven’t used. If I have the black Amex Aeroplan card, do those 25 e-upgrades rollover and I will get 25 new upgrades for next year, so I will have 50 in total for 2022? Thank you!

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Yes – once the eUpgrades roll over (which should happen some time early in 2022), you’ll have 50 at your disposal for 2022.

  31. Luke

    Hey there, I’m currently on my way to 25k status but have found if I don’t book the trip myself I don’t receive the sqs/sqm even if I add the existing booking. Can you confirm if there is a way to add the sqs/sqm if I didn’t book the fare myself?

  32. Alexa

    Hello! For the credit card SQS earning, is that $5000 in one billing cycle or just cumulatively every $5000?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      It should be cumulatively every $5,000.

  33. Rameez

    What does this mean and how can we ensure getting SQD on, let’s say, United flights within US?

    “You can also earn SQD on Star Alliance airlines ticketed on Air Canada 014 stock”

    1. T.J. YQQ

      The 014 refers to Air Canada ticket stock. This means that the ticket was purchased, for example, directly with Air Canada. You’ll earn SQD for eligible flights this way.

  34. Man Ban

    Hi T.J.! Does the flight has to be booked directly with Air Canada for the benefits to apply? If the flight has been booked with United Airlines (YUL-DEN-ANC), but the first leg is operated by Air Canada, does the benefits of the 25K Elite Status (including baggage allowance) will apply?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      For baggage allowance, it’s the first carrier on the booking that applies. So, if you fly YUL-DEN-ANC, you’ll get the 25K baggage allowance for the entire booking.

      1. Richard

        If I haven’t selected my Select Privileges yet in 2021 and have only a few more weeks to do so, and I haven’t flown at all in 2021, is there any value in making the selection now? In other words, will any selection I make now have lasting effect for 2022? For example, if I select to give someone 12 months of Elite status, will they get it for a full 12 months going forward, or just for the balance of 2021? If I select 50 E- Upgrade points now, and if I’ve already got more than I can rollover to next year, do these points last longer by selecting them now?
        Your thoughts on how to maximize value for Select Benefits do late in the year would be appreciated.

      2. Man Ban

        Thanks for the answer. What I was not sure is: if the booking has been made with United (not Air Canada), so the ticket is issued by United, does the Air Canada 25K benefit will apply on check-in (considering that the first leg is operated by Air Canada)?

        1. T.J. YQQ

          I confirmed with Air Canada that you will enjoy benefits on flights ticketed by other Star Alliance airlines but operated by Air Canada. So, in your case, since it is the first segment, you’ll be good to go.

          1. MB

            Great!, thank you!

  35. Jared

    Hi TJ. Thanks for the helpful article. I find myself in a different situation than some others. I am close to 35K this year through SQM but am going to be short on SQD (lots of domestic US flying, not ticketed by AC). If I’m reading this correctly, flight pass purchases count.

    Does anyone know if the SQD for a flight pass posts to account upon purchase of the pass, or upon completion on travel? TIA.

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Hi Jared! To the best of my knowledge, your SQD won’t post until after travel.

  36. MVPSim

    Hey T.J. – great article. Do you know if we have 25k with everyday status qualification, if we want to fly to get to 35k, do we just need 10k status miles and SQD? Or do we need 35k status miles from flying?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      I reached out to Aeroplan, and they confirmed that you’ll have to qualify through the regular criteria for higher statuses. So, you’ll need to hit all of the thresholds for SQM/SQS and SQD. Happy flying!

  37. Ap

    If I book flights on United Airlines directly. Does it count towards my SQM or SQD?

  38. Cecil Liu YYZ

    Hi TJ, may I know if any of these benefits (free checked baggage, separate check-in counter) apply if I redeem the points from my account for a friend and I am not flying with him? Thx!

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Hi Cecil! Unfortunately the benefits won’t transfer to someone booked from your account but not travelling with you. You’ll be able to snag a free preferred seat for them during the booking process, though 😉

  39. Celine

    Hello! Wondering if AC still gives out those baggage tags for the statuses. Couldnt find any info anywhere.

    Thanks!

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Hi Celine!
      35K and above will get baggage tags. Unfortunately, 25K doesn’t get the tags.

  40. Sam

    Hi T.J. – does booking on e-Upgrades and Priority rewards count towards status for SQM/SQS/SQD?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Hi Sam! Aeroplan bookings don’t count toward Elite Status – only eligible paid bookings do.

      1. sam

        Ah thanks for getting back to me T.J. If we pay latitude fare and use e-Upgrades to get onto business or premium classes do they not count at all?

        1. T.J. YQQ

          For booking with Aeroplan points, no. If there is an add-on fee with your eUpgrade, it counts toward SQD.

  41. T

    For the 25k baggage allowance, how does that work on connecting flights. I’ve got a flight from YOW to YUL on AC, connecting to PTY on CM. So I get the 25k baggage allowance since I’m checking in with Air Canada, or do I not get it because the longest flight is on Copa?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Your baggage allowance is determined by the first carrier on your booking. So, outbound you’d have the 25K allotment. But if you fly with another carrier on the first leg of your return, you’ll be subject to their baggage terms.

      1. M B

        Hi T.J.! Does the flight has to be booked directly with Air Canada for the benefits to apply? If the flight has been booked with United Airlines (YUL-DEN-ANC), but the first leg is operated by Air Canada, does the benefits of the 25K Elite Status (including baggage allowance) will apply?

  42. Paul

    Maybe it is just my flying habits but I am finding the SQMs and/or SQSs to be disproportionally high relative to the SQD. I currently sit at 9200/$2300 or 8/$2300. I will be hitting the SQDs for the various tiers while SQMs/SQSs will be lagging behind.

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Do you have an Aeroplan co-branded credit card? If you have a Premium card, you’ll get an extra 1,000 SQM and 1 SQS for every $5,000 spent, which could be of use in your case. But, you’re right, it’s hard to hit 25 SQS while only spending $3,000 SQD.

  43. Steven

    Hi TJ,
    Access to the Air Canada Cafe at Toronto Pearson? Is this a paid service?
    For SQD halved requirement, do you need have the Foreign address on file in the beginning of year or year end?
    Thanks!

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Hi Steven!

      Not sure about the SQD thing – I imagine that it would halve the requirement if you move anytime in the year though.

      AC Cafe was another area at YYZ for J passengers and some Elites. It served better coffee and had grab and go food. It has been closed since COVID and I imagine it won’t reopen until things pick up again.

  44. Jane

    Hi TJ,
    Great Article. Would buying an AC flight using Aventura or Avion flexible points count as SQD or would the flight have to be booked through aircanada.com?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Hi Jane! Unfortunately, flights booked with Aventura or Avion flexible points aren’t eligible for SQD accrual.

      1. Jane

        Thanks T.J. 👍🏿

  45. Sweetvibes

    I have a friend at 75k, who is thinking of gifting me 35k status (currently have 25k) do you know if I am gifted the 35k and subsequently upgraded, would I also get a priorty reward that is given to those who earn 35k the regular way?

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Hi Amit! You have a very nice friend. I was gifted 35K status this year, and there wasn’t a Priority Reward added to my account. So, you’d have to meet the minimum spending requirement to organically earn a Priority Reward.

      1. Circuscowboy

        I will have about 92000 of 100000 edq posted by December and on another card the last 8000 will be earned but not posted until January 17. Do you know if this will work or is the calendar over Dec 31 and only posted edq points count.

        Thanks

      2. Sweetvibes

        T.J.

        Thanks for this vital info! I was really hoping to get the 50% off in economy latitude and then subsequently using my e-upgrades, but alas I will dream on to other things.

  46. Helgi

    Wondering, with 25K status, the ability to select seats at the front of the economy cabin – is it for fee or free? When is this option available to use? I have paid flight in economy, but choosing seats on the seat map shows that all seats are for a fee. Thanks.

    1. T.J. YQQ

      Hi Helgi! For most fares, these are paid seats. Non-status members have to book a higher (Comfort/Latitude) fare to access these seats.

      1. Helgi

        Thanks T.J.

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