In November I wrote about how Air Canada is following US carriers in adding a revenue requirement for status as of this year. In other words, if you want to qualify for status this year which is valid for 2017, you’ll not only need to fly a certain amount, but will also need to spend a minimum amount.
Here are the spending requirements for status this year:
- Prestige 25K status requires 25,000 miles OR 25 segments AND 3,000CAD spend
- Elite 35K status requires 35,000 miles OR 35 segments AND 4,000CAD spend
- Elite 50K status requires 50,000 miles OR 50 segments AND 6,000CAD spend
- Elite 75K status requires 75,000 miles OR 75 segments AND 9,000CAD spend
- Super Elite 100K status requires 100,000 miles OR 95 segments AND 20,000CAD spend
I found the details of the actual thresholds to be interesting with Air Canada. While qualifying for Prestige 25K, Elite 35K, Elite 50K, and Elite 75K required an average of ~12 cents per mile of spend, Super Elite 100K requires ~20 cents per mile of spend (all the requirements are in CAD and not USD).
It’s an interesting statement by an airline, where they’re saying “if you want our top tier status you don’t just have to fly more, but also have to spend a lot more per flown mile.” As much as I don’t love that as someone looking to maximize value, I totally get why they did it — they’re doling out big benefits for top tier elites, and they feel someone should spend a lot with them in order to get those benefits.
It’s interesting to note that there has been an update to the requirements for Air Canada members with accounts registered outside of Canada. The Air Canada Altitude spend threshold will be lowered by 50% for non-Canadian members:
For non-Canadian residents, the Altitude Qualifying Dollars (AQD) will be 50% lower than the published amounts found in the chart above. Proof of address may be requested in order to apply non-Canadian resident AQD requirements. For eligible members, the AQD tracker at altitude.aircanada.com will be updated to reflect these new lowered requirements by March 1, 2016.
This means that for non-Canadians, the thresholds for elite qualification are as follows:
- Prestige 25K status requires 25,000 miles OR 25 segments AND 1,500CAD spend
- Elite 35K status requires 35,000 miles OR 35 segments AND 2,000CAD spend
- Elite 50K status requires 50,000 miles OR 50 segments AND 3,00CAD spend
- Elite 75K status requires 75,000 miles OR 75 segments AND 4,500CAD spend
- Super Elite 100K status requires 100,000 miles OR 95 segments AND 10,000CAD spend
It’s pretty standard to see an airline decrease or waive certain requirements for those not based in the airline’s home country. For example, United MileagePlus waives their revenue requirement altogether for non-US based members. Air Canada knows they have a captive audience in their home market, while they have to go more out of their way to attract people based elsewhere.
In other words, I know quite a few Americans who regularly fly between the US and Europe or Asia on Air Canada, as they offer similar connectivity options to many US carriers. Air Canada doesn’t want to lose those customers, I’m guessing, which is why they’re cutting the requirements in half.
What do you make of Air Canada cutting the revenue requirement in half for those with addresses registered outside of Canada?
(Tip of the hat to Loyalty Lobby)