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Value of Aeroplan Distinction

If you were wondering how valuable the Aeroplan Distinction program is, I was wondering the same thing. So I thought I’d provide a post talking about the value of the program. Aeroplan Distinction is its elite status program, which is different from Air Canada’s Altitude program, which is based on Air Canada and Star Alliance flights. Aeroplan is solely based on how many Aeroplan miles you collect.

There are 3 elite status levels with the Distinction program. Below are some of the key highlights of each status, thereafter I will provide my thoughts on some of the items:

dSilver

  • Need to earn 25,000 qualifying miles during the calendar year
  • Receive up to 20% discount on Market Fare Flight Rewards
  • Earn 1,000 bonus miles for an Air Canada Getaway on eligible round-trips
  • Earn 2x bonus miles on eStore purchases
  • Receive Fairmont Hotels & Resorts room upgrade and daily breakfast

dBlack

  • Need to earn 50,000 qualifying miles during the calendar year
  • Receive up to 25% discount on Market Fare Flight Rewards
  • Earn 2,000 bonus miles for an Air Canada Getaway on eligible round-trips
  • Earn 2x bonus miles on eStore purchases
  • Receive Fairmont Hotels & Resorts room upgrade, daily breakfast, $25 hotel credit, as well as earn 250 bonus miles per stay (up to 20 stays or 5,000 bonus miles per calendar year)

dDiamond

  • Need to earn 100,000 qualifying miles during the calendar year
  • Receive up to 35% discount on Market Fare Flight Rewards
  • Earn 3,000 bonus miles for an Air Canada Getaway on eligible round-trips
  • Earn 3x bonus miles on eStore purchases
  • Receive Fairmont Hotels & Resorts room upgrade, daily breakfast, $25 hotel credit, Welcome Amenity, as well as earn 250 bonus miles per stay (up to 20 stays or 5,000 bonus miles per calendar year)
  • Receive Preferential rate on flight reward fees

Earning Requirement

Note that I mentioned elite qualifying miles. In some cases, such as certain credit card sign up bonuses and surveys (AskingCanadians) do not count toward elite status. You will generally notice that it is mostly when you spent money that it will qualify.

Air Canada Getaway Bonus on eligible round-trips

I really like this bonus offer where you can automatically rack up some bonus miles on specific Air Canada Getaways Note that the destinations will vary depending on which elite status level and what month of the year. Furthermore, you must register online before you travel.

Also note that in the past, it was only half the amount of bonus miles versus today, i.e. dSilver was only 500 bonus miles, etc.

Aeroplan eStore

Getting additional bonus miles with Aeroplan’s eStore is always nice to have. What is great is that this is automatically applied to your account, so you don’t need to worry about it.

The benefits of dBlack include:

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Benefits

Distinction members can receive some neat added perks at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts when you book a stay online at fairmont.com. You just need to enter your exclusive Fairmont Aeroplan status promotional code.

Keep in mind that Fairmont has been bought out by Accorhotels, so who knows how much longer this perk is going to be around. So enjoy it while you still can!

Preferential Rate on Flight Reward Fees

As a dDiamond member, you will be entitled to lower change and refund fees than other members. When we say plus taxes, it could depend on the province that you live in. The discounts are as follows:

  • Change fee of $75 CAD (plus taxes) instead of $100
  • Refund fee of $100.00 CAD (plus taxes) instead of $150 via the Aeroplan Contact Center
  • Refund fee of $30.00 CAD (plus taxes) instead of $150 via aeroplan.com in the Manage Your Rewards section

Note that these are changes that only kicked in a few months ago. For any flight reward bookings made prior to December 6, 2016, the previous non-refundable flat fee of C$90.00 (plus taxes) per ticket will apply, unless the fee structure above is more favourable according to the member’s Aeroplan status at time of change or refund.

Conclusion

You can also earn bonus miles with Starwood and Marriott stays, but that would mean that you would not earn hotel points, so that is why I did not include it in the list. It would only make sense to take advantage of those offers if you did not want to collect hotel points whatsoever.

So there you have it. These are not earth-shattering features and benefits of the elite status program, but still some value to be had if you dig through it. However, knowing that Air Canada already has its own elite status program, I feel that the Aeroplan Disitinction program is just gravy on top, because there are very few (if any) other frequent flyer programs that has two elite status programs that work simultaneously with this structure.

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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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