This post is a summary of recently posted material regarding how to get up to 50K Aeroplan points that will count as Distinction points with Aeroplan. There’s the 3 levels of Distinction with Aeroplan–Silver, Black, and Diamond. Diamond, if you’re an Aeroplan maniac, spending over $7K/mth on the card or a combo of spending on an Aeroplan credit card plus travel on Air Canada flights could get you 100K Aeroplan points that are Distinction qualifying. That will get you a 35% discount on Market Fare tickets (discussed below) AND priority when calling Aeroplan’s booking line (though I’d only use it to book a flight that can’t be booked online or just to get info that they can access to avoid Fuel Surcharges for overseas flights with Star Alliance affiliates).
Basically, anytime you spend money on your AMEX Aeroplan, CIBC, or TD Aeroplan Visa, you’ll get Distinction qualifying points. 25K Distinction points will get you Silver status, which gives you 20% off Market Fare rates. Black you get at 50K and Diamond at 100K. On your Aeroplan account when you click, “Your Aeroplan,” and then, on the dropdown menu “Transactions,” you’ll see on the right column the amount of points you received, and beside it, a lower case fancy “d”. The only time you don’t get a “d” is if it’s not earned through travel or purchases on a credit card.
TD and AMEX welcome bonus points on a new card do NOT qualify, BUT…
- The 10K you get with the TD Aeroplan after spending $1K in 3 months DOES.
- The CIBC Aeroplan, both the business welcome bonus of 20K (annual fee waived now ’til August 31) DOES and…
- The personal welcome bonus of 15K (annual fee waived when applying in a CIBC branch–some say you have to get a chequing account and agree to some credit insurance in case you lose your job but other sources say you do NOT need any of this) DOES
So you spend $1K on your TD Aeroplan Infinite, at least a few dollars on the CIBC business and personal has just earned you 45K Distinction qualifying points. You’ve now spent $1K and change to get the 45K Aeroplan points +1K (or more if you spent them in certain qualifying categories such as gas or groceries on the TD or CIBC personal cards)–now you need only spend another $4K on all 3 cards and you’ll have Black status. With that, you’ll get a 25% discount on Aeroplan Market Fare flights. You also KEEP your status through next year. If you’re a churner, you may be able to pull off things such as:
Applying for 2 TD Aeroplan cards on the same day (not at the same time–may register as a duplicate application) (that’s only ONE credit hit BTW if it’s on the same day).
Cancelling and reapplying for the CIBC cards after a few months…you get the idea.
I.E. You may be able to pull off Diamond Status this way–it’s not my way, but it’s an option that while it may be frowned upon by the banks, is not illegal from anything I’ve read.
Market Fare is an excellent way to fly IF you’re desperate to get an AC flight that has no classic fare availability for that day or for a specific flight time, but be prepared to get ripped off by Aeroplan for the number of points they want from you for the flights. They can truly be astronomical! Like over 100K points for a one-way to New York from Toronto. IF you book the flight right in the beginning of the opening of AC flights with Aeroplan, 356 days in advance, you could get tickets for the same or LESS than a classic fare flight if you book while there’s plenty of availability–and the taxes are lower. For a one-way flight to NY, tickets are about $50 cheaper with Market Fare flights.
With some flights, it’s practically impossible to book the flights to get classic rewards. I’ve tried to fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico with Aeroplan points, on the direct flight during peak season. No success, but with Market Fare, if I’m fast enough, I may have success–and so might you!