WealthRocket is reader-supported. When you buy through links on the website, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Aeroplan vs. Air Miles Review 2023

padlock icon

Why you can trust us

The team at WealthRocket only recommends products and services that we would use ourselves and that we believe will provide value to our readers. However, we advocate for you to continue to do your own research and make educated decisions.

Aeroplan and Air Miles are two of Canada’s biggest travel rewards programs and have partnered with some of Canada’s best travel credit cards. They’ve each been around for decades, and you likely belong to one of them, if not both.

When collecting rewards, it’s usually best to focus on one of the major loyalty programs to earn as many points or miles as possible. Let’s take a look at Air Miles vs Aeroplan in this comparative review by WealthRocket.

Overview of Air Miles

The Air Miles rewards program was launched in Canada in 1992 and has nearly 11 million members. As well as being able to use Air Miles for flights, there are also many other ways to redeem them.

Let’s take a look at how Air Miles works in greater detail.

How does Air Miles work?

There are several ways to collect miles including at Air Miles partners, at airmilesshops.ca, and by using an Air Miles credit card offered by American Express or BMO.

Some Air Miles in-store partners include Budget, Holiday Inn, IGA, Irving, Jean Coutu, Metro, Safeway, Shell, Sobeys, and Staples.

If you use one of the Air Miles credit cards at an Air Miles partner, you can double dip and earn miles faster.

There are also annual rewards programs, such as the Shop the Block promotion, that allow members to earn bonus miles when shopping online.

Card Annual Fee Potential bonus miles
American Express Air Miles $0 500
American Express Air Miles Platinum $120 2000
American Express Air Miles Reserve $299 2400
BMO Air Miles Mastercard $0 1500
BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard $120* 3000

*waived for the first year

AMEX Air Miles Platinum Card

American Express Air Miles Platinum

  • Welcome Offer 2,000 Air Miles points
  • Annual Fee $120
  • Interest Rates Purchase: 20.99%, Cash Advances: 21.99%
  • Recommended Credit 760 - 900

The number of miles you can earn vary based on the card you choose and your spending habits. For instance, you can earn more miles on gas, grocery, or drug store purchases with certain cards.

What can I use Air Miles for?

Air Miles rewards are split into two categories: Cash Miles and Dream Miles. Combined, Air Miles can be used for flights, hotels, cruises, vacation packages, merchandise (electronics, appliances, etc.), entertainment (movie passes), and e-vouchers (similar to gift cards). Alternatively, they can be redeemed for cash at participating stores.

Pros & cons of Air Miles

There seem to be a couple more disadvantages of Air Miles than advantages, but it all depends on what you want to get from your travel rewards credit card.


  • Large selection of rewards options and partners

  • Anyone who reached gold or onyx status in 2020 will keep it until the end of 2022


  • Takes a lot of spending to reach gold or onyx status

  • Flights can only be booked if originating in Canada (or in the United States as long as the destination is in Canada)

  • $0.15 per mile fee to gift miles or merge collector accounts in separate households

  • Air Miles can expire if your account is inactive for 24 months

Overview of Aeroplan

Air Canada launched the Aeroplan rewards program in 1984. Today, the company has more than five million active members. When comparing Aeroplan vs Air Miles, Aeroplan has been around longer but Air Miles has more members.

Below, we’ll take a look at Aeroplan in greater detail, looking at how it works and how it can benefit you.

How does Aeroplan work?

Aeroplan members collect points by flying with Air Canada, staying at certain hotel chains, renting vehicles, purchasing from the Aeroplan eStore, and using Aeroplan-branded credit cards.

These are the personal Aeroplan cards that are available as well as the potential bonus points that you can earn in the first year:

Card Annual Fee Potential Bonus Miles
American Express Aeroplan $0 500
American Express Aeroplan Reserve $120 2000
CIBC Aeroplan Visa $299 2400
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite $0 1500
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege $0 1500
TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum $0 1500
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite $0 1500
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege $120* 3000

*waived for the first year

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite

Rated 3.3/5 stars.

Our Review

  • Welcome Offer N/A
  • Annual Fee $129 (first year waived)
  • Interest Rates Purchases: 19.99%, Cash Advances: 22.99%
  • Recommended Credit 740+

Many of the bonus points are earned if you reach a certain spending threshold within 90 days of opening your account.

Like most credit cards, the earn rate is better when the annual fee is higher. There are also opportunities to earn more points in certain spending categories, such as grocery and gas, and for every $1 spent on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada.

How to qualify for Aeroplan Elite Status

There are several different Aeroplan tiers for Elite Status.

You need to have a certain amount of status qualifying miles (SQM) or status qualifying segments (SQS), which are earned when you fly with Air Canada or Star Alliance member airlines. You also need to earn status qualifying dollars (SQD), which are based on the price of your ticket.

These are the different tiers of Elite Status that Aeroplan has along with their requirements:

Status SQM or SQS… …plus SQD
25k 25,000 or 25 $3,000
35k 35,000 or 35 $4,000
50k 50,000 or 50 $6,000
75k 75,000 or 75 $9,000
Super Elite 100,000 or 100 $20,000

The higher your status, the better the benefits. These may include complimentary checked baggage, priority security clearance, priority boarding, and free access to the Maple Leaf Lounge.

Soon, Aeroplan says that you can reach 25K Status if you earn 100,000 points through eligible transactions during a calendar year.

Keep in mind that that doesn’t include signup bonuses or points transfers from other rewards programs.

What can I use Aeroplan for?

The most common reason to use Aeroplan is for flights, but points can also be redeemed for upgrades, hotels, car rentals, merchandise, activities, and gift cards. You’ll get the most value for your points if you use them for flights though.

Pros & cons of Aeroplan

So, we’ve established that Aeroplan is a suitable travel rewards program if you want to use your rewards points mainly toward flights and travel. Here are the pros and cons to help make your decision clearer.


  • With 44 airline partners, you can use your points for flights almost anywhere in the world

  • Family sharing plan allows up to eight family members to share points without transfer fees


  • Not the best program if you don’t mostly fly with Air Canada

  • Difficult to qualify for Elite Status, especially if you don’t fly often

  • Points expire if your account is inactive for 18 months

Our final thoughts

In the Air Miles vs Aeroplan battle, both programs offer great rewards. However, the one you choose should be based on what you plan to do with your hard-earned points or miles.

If you want to use them towards flights and travel, Aeroplan could be the answer.

If you want a broader selection of benefits or if you don’t often fly with Air Canada or its Star Alliance partners, Air Miles could be better for you.

Frequently asked questions

Related Articles

drawing of a man rolling a suitcase with a hand holding an umbrella over his head and a plane in the background

Is credit card travel insurance enough, or should you buy a separate policy?

Julia Stratton October 25, 2023

Read more
Woman using a charge card for online shopping

Charge card vs. credit card: what’s the difference?

Afua Mfodwo October 25, 2023

Read more
Corner of black credit card

Credit card size: why all cards have the same dimensions

Mark Gregorski October 25, 2023

Read more
Close up of a male looking to cancel credit card

How to cancel a credit card

Julia Stratton October 25, 2023

Read more
drawing of two people standing by a scale with a credit card and a wallet being weighed

Understanding a negative balance on a credit card

John Loeppky October 25, 2023

Read more
drawing of two hands holding credit cards

Credit card authorized user: what to know and how to add one

Sabina Wex October 25, 2023

Read more