You Can Now Earn Star Alliance Elite Status By Drinking Starbucks Or Ordering Uber Eats

The new Air Canada Aeroplan program lets members earn elite status through everyday activity, not just flying. Crediting shopping transactions, credit card spending, and other forms of points-earning can give you better treatment with Air Canada, and even incremental benefits with some of its partners – without ever setting foot on a plane.

Aeroplan hass partnerships with brands like Starbucks and Uber Eats that can deliver elite status.

Earning 100,000 points in the program in a year (excluding points purchases, transfers, and signup bonuses – although there may be exceptions on a promotional basis) will earn Aeroplan’s first-tier 25,000 mile elite status.

Members can earn elite status shopping online and spending with an Aeroplan credit card. And there’s even a U.S. Aeroplan credit card coming from Chase that will also mean the ability to transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to the Aeroplan program.

This new feature is now live, and Aeroplan members who do not currently have elite status in the program will see a tracker towards earning status through all sorts of their activity.

Earning status for things other than flying makes a lot of sense. Most things other than flying have higher margins than flying does. Selling miles is more profitable for an airline than selling seats. It’s strange in a way that this hasn’t fully caught on, since it isn’t a new idea. Fifteen years ago US Airways ran an end of year ‘Everything Counts’ promotion where members could mileage run with the airline’s partners instead of flying to achieve end of year status.

The limitation of Air Canada’s approach is that you can only earn the lowest tier of status this way – and doing so doesn’t give you a head start towards higher tiers, either. Earning upper status tiers through a combination of flying and other forms of program engagement seems like a next logical step, but they haven’t gotten there yet.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I just tried to link, but it gave me an error that they only allow linking Starbucks accounts with Canada addresses at this time, not U.S.

  2. AC 35k which is there next level up is *A gold which would get you United Club access. AC is probably trying to avoid what they think of as “gamers” even though they play within all their restrictive t+c’s and make them more money because of the activity is higher margin.

  3. @Scotty, AC 35k is *S. Many years ago, 35k was *G, but that changed. While they get to use some AC lounges, they don’t have access to UA or *G lounges.

  4. Gary,

    It’s funny to see you link to a post from 2004. Then I saw a post from 2002 and saw you started “covering the topic” in 2002. Is that when you started the blog or just on FT? Who were some of the earlier bloggers?

  5. @Merry Chris Moss – i started the blog in May 2002, i believe this was the first miles and points blog but not the first travel blog

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