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[ANALYSIS] Aeroplan Distinction

Aeroplan is launching its new Distinction program on January 1, 2014 that rewards top points-earning members. You can start earning points to reach elite qualification for 2014 starting now. Your accumulated points are retroactive to what you earned since January 1st, 2013 until December 31, 2013. It is important to note that this is different from the Air Canada Altitude program.

To qualify for elite status, you need to earn points by spending money at Aeroplan’s partners including airline, travel, retail and financial card partners, but it does not included credit card sign-up bonuses and AskingCanadians surveys, since you did not actually spend money to earn those points. In a sense, you are earning phantom points with Distinction. The Distinction points are qualification points used to calculated your elite status, which is different from your actual total number of Aeroplan points, which will still accumulate as before. The Distinction program is designed to become more competitive, which is a good thing for consumers.

The program will consist four levels. The basic levels means you do not receive any additional perks, everything remains as it always has been. However, there are three elite level statuses and the highlights are as follows:

dSilver

  • Need to earn 25,000 points during the calendar year
  • Earn up to 20% off the number of points required to redeem for Market Fare Flight Rewards
  • Earn 500 Distinction bonus points per eligible round-trip with Air Canada

dBlack

  • Need to earn 50,000 points during the calendar year
  • Up to 25% off the number of points required to redeem for Market Fare Flight Rewards
  • Earn 1,000 Distinction bonus points per eligible round-trip with Air Canada

dDiamond

  • Need to earn 100,000 points during the calendar year
  • Earn up to 35% off the number of points required to redeem for Market Fare Flight Rewards
  • Earn 1,500 Distinction bonus points per eligible round-trip with Air Canada

All levels

  • Receive access to Distinction Flights, such as special flights during peak periods with 100% of the seats reserved for Distinction members offered at ClassicFlight reward mileage levels
  • Receive bonus mile offers on eligible Air Canada flights, with select hotel partners, and through Aeroplan’s eStore
  • Receive preferential treatment, privileges and limited-time offers, special partner and reward offers and invitations to exclusive events

The combination of Distinction and Altitude makes Aeroplan and Air Canada respectively much more competition and in line with the rest of the world. Now we just need to find a way to earn points and to take advantage of the benefits. The Distinction program will be very useful for frequent flyers who take advantage of reward flights.

Don’t forget to register before December 31, 2013 for additional bonus points. If you have an active Aeroplan-affiliated financial card on March 31, 2014 and if you reach dBlack/dDiamond status by December 31, 2013 or reach 2015 dBlack/dDiamond status by March 31, 2014 you will receive:

  • 10,000 Aeroplan points for dBlack members
  • 15,000 Aeroplan points for dDiamond members

These bonus points will actually count towards your next Distinction status.

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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