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What is Aeroplan?
How much are Aeroplan points worth?
How do you earn Aeroplan points?
What can you redeem Aeroplan points for?
Which airlines are affiliated with the Aeroplan program?
Does Aeroplan have blackout dates?
Can you transfer Aeroplan points between loyalty programs?
Can Aeroplan points be used retroactively?
Can Aeroplan points be used to pay for taxes and fees?
Do Aeroplan miles expire?
Are Aeroplan points refundable?
Natasha Macmillan, Business Unit Director - Everyday Banking
Aeroplan is Air Canada's frequent flyer program and one of the most popular airline loyalty programs in Canada with over 5 million active members. Many credit card providers like CIBC, TD, and American Express offer a variety of different Aeroplan credit cards that'll earn points on all your everyday purchases.
Aeroplan is Air Canada's loyalty program, where members can redeem points for flight rewards, merchandise, and discounts on hotel stays and car rentals. The best Aeroplan credit cards also offer valuable perks and benefits like travel insurance coverage, NEXUS rebates, companion passes, free checked bags, and lounge access.
We have listed below our choices for the best Aeroplan credit card in Canada.
The American Express Cobalt continues to cement its place as one of Canada’s Aeroplan credit cards. If you’re looking for a well-rounded, lucrative travel credit card that’s just as great for everyday spending as it is for travel, the American Express Cobalt has got you covered. Cardholders can transfer the points to other airline partners, such as Aeroplan. Cardholders can take advantage of the strong travel insurance, impressive welcome bonus and flexible point redemption options.
Offering an industry-leading five times the points (valued at $0.01 per dollar) on eligible restaurants and food delivery purchases, three times the points on eligible streaming services, and twice the points on travel and daily transit, the American Express Cobalt easily takes our prize for best overall travel credit card in Canada.
- Great welcome bonus - earn 2,500 points for each month you spend $500, up to a maximum of 30,000 points.
- Flexible and easy point redemption, allowing cardholders to redeem their Membership Rewards for travel, gift cards, merchandise, or purchases. Frequent flyers can also transfer their points 1:1 to several loyalty programs.
- Earning potential for restaurants and takeout is significantly higher than most other cards
- Access to Front of the Line Presale and Reserved tickets to concerts, theatre performances, movie screenings, and culinary events, along with other special offers
- Strong travel insurance package including up to $5,000,000 in travel emergency medical
- No fee for additional authorized users (an average fee of $30 - 50 on other comparable cards)
- Monthly fee of $12.99 (coming to an annual fee of $156, which is higher than most other rewards cards)
- American Express isn’t as widely accepted in Canada compared to Visa and Mastercard
- Travel insurance package does not cover trip cancellation or medical coverage for cardholders over the age of 65
- Airport lounge access isn’t provided, which may be disappointing to frequent travellers
Aeroplan clients and frequent Air Canada fliers searching for a card to help them earn more on travel should look no further than the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite. This card is the best airline travel credit card on the market. Users can earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent on eligible gas, grocery, and direct through Air Canada purchases (including Air Canada Vacations) and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
- Impressive welcome bonus - earn up to 35,000 Aeroplan points. Conditions apply. Account must be approved by January 3, 2024.
- Anniversary bonus - earn 15,000 Aeroplan points. Conditions apply. Account must be approved by January 3, 2024.
- Aeroplan points can be redeemed for flights on Air Canada or over 27 Star Alliance member airlines (including United Airlines and Lufthansa, to name a few)
- Access to Air Canada perks: first bag checked free on Air Canada flights for the primary cardholder and up to eight travel companions (up to $30 in savings per traveller on flights across Canada and the US) plus the ability to earn credits towards achieving elite airline status
- Up to $100 in Nexus Membership reimbursements available every 48 months; allowing for smoother cross-border travel within Canada or between the US
- Comprehensive travel insurance benefits with up to 21 days of out-of-province/country medical emergency coverage, flight delay insurance, lost/delayed baggage insurance, and even hotel/motel burglary insurance for stays within the US and Canada
- Can get double the Aeroplan points when using this card in conjunction with your Aeroplan card at participating retailers
- The card’s annual fee is $139 versus the $120 typically found on comparable rewards cards
- The Aeroplan points program isn’t the most straightforward, and navigating your way around the program’s quite elaborate rewards chart / understanding how to best maximize points can require considerable effort
- Aeroplan points can’t be redeemed on any airline but only on Air Canada and Star Alliance Members
The American Express Green Card takes our prize for best no-fee aeroplan credit card due to its healthy welcome bonus, point accelerator for travel purchases, redemption flexibility and great perks.
Cardholders earn one point per dollar which can be doubled when booking travel expenses through American Express Travel. Users can choose to cash in their points on travel (booked on American Express Travel Online through the Flexible Points Travel Program), gift cards and merchandise through Membership Rewards, groceries and other everyday purchases through Pay with Points, or eligible purchases at Amazon.ca. Not only that, but you can also transfer your points to travel loyalty programs such as Aeroplan and Marriott Bonvoy.
- No annual fee
- Welcome bonus: earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you charge $1,000 in purchases to your card in the first three months of cardmembership.
- Opportunity to effectively double your points when booking travel through American Express Travel
- Flexible redemption options: travel, gift cards/merchandise, everyday purchases, Amazon.ca
- Transfer your points 1:1 to several frequent flyer and loyalty programs like Aeroplan and Marriott Bonvoy, making it easier to save on flights and accommodations while abroad
- Standard earn rate of one point per dollar isn’t particularly competitive with other no fee rewards cards
- Fairly lean insurance package extended warranty and purchase protection only. If you’re interested in more comprehensive coverage, other no fee cards offer more in this area.
For those in search of a premium, high-performing Aeroplan credit card perfect for travel, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege should be on the radar.
With this card, you can earn a respectable two points per $1 on all purchases direct through Air Canada (including Air Canada Vacations), 1.5 points on eligible gas, grocery, travel, and dining, plus 1.25 points on everything else. That means that even if you decide not to book your travel through Air Canada, you’ll still earn bonus points (albeit slightly less). And, as with all Aeroplan co-branded credit cards, you can earn twice the points by using your Aeroplan membership card in tandem with the Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege at any participating retailer.
But the real draw of this card is in its wide array of travel perks: an annual round-trip companion pass from $99, wait for your flight in comfort with free access to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges at any airport in Canada or the United States, enjoy priority airport check-in and baggage handling (plus other airport upgrades), and reach Aeroplan Elite Status much quicker by earning 1,000 status qualifying miles and one status qualifying segment for every $5,000 spent on the card. Those who sign up for NEXUS can also get an annual fee rebate every 48 months (up to $100 CAD).
And, because no premium travel card would be complete without it, you’ll also get an extensive suite of travel insurance coverage ranging from travel medical to trip cancellation/interruption.
While the card’s hefty $599 annual fee can be intimidating, the amount of perks and benefits offered make it well worth it for the right cardholder.
- Welcome bonus: earn up to 70,000 Aeroplan points. Conditions apply. Account must be approved by January 3, 2024.
- Anniversary bonus: earn 30,000 Aeroplan points. Conditions apply. Account must be approved by January 3, 2024.
- Earn two points per $1 on direct Air Canada purchases; 1.5 points per dollar on gas, groceries, travel, and dining; 1.25 points per dollar on all other purchases
- Incredible travel perks including Maple Leaf Lounge access, priority check-in, priority baggage handling, plus more
- Extensive travel insurance package including travel medical and trip cancellation/interruption
- NEXUS annual fee rebate every 48 months (up to $100 CAD)
- Steep annual fee of $599 can be too pricey for some users
- Mostly suited for loyal Air Canada customers - those who fly other airlines or want more flexibility may want to look elsewhere
The American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve credit card is a premium travel credit card designed for business owners who travel frequently. With exclusive benefits and rewards, this card aims to enhance your travel experience while providing exceptional and top-of-the-line value.
- Generous welcome bonus: earn up to 55,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan points.
- Anniversary bonus: earn an additional 40,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $9,000 in net purchases between month 13 and 16 of your Cardmembership.
- Accelerated earning potential with three points per dollar on eligible Air Canada purchases, two points per dollar on hotels and car rentals, and 1.25 points on all other purchases
- Premium travel benefits including access to airport lounges worldwide, priority check-in, complimentary concierge services, and travel insurance coverage
- Flexible redemption options: travel, hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards/merchandise, and more
- This card carries a high annual fee of $599 which is not suitable for business owners with infrequent travel
- American Express credit cards are not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard
How to redeem Aeroplan points?
You can redeem points for flights on Air Canada (as well as on Star Alliance member airlines) online from aircanada.com. You can also redeem points for other rewards like hotel stays or merchandise here.
In terms of airline redemptions, Aeroplan operates according to a rewards chart that splits up the world into four major travel zones: North America, Atlantic, Pacific, and South America. Travel between and within zones requires a different range of points, and the larger the distance (in kilometres) between the departure and travel destinations, the more points you'll need to redeem.
The redemption rules do vary slightly when using points to book a flight on Air Canada versus a Star Alliance airline, and each offers its own pros and cons.
On Air Canada, the number of points needed to redeem a flight isn’t fixed and can fluctuate within a pre-set range depending on whether you’re flying during a high-or-low demand season. For instance, a one-way flight from Toronto to Vancouver may require anywhere from 12,500 points to 17,500 - depending on travel demand. When you fly on Air Canada and have an Aeroplan credit card, you can also get the first bag checked free for you and up to eight companions when travelling to most destinations in North America (that can add up to several dozens of dollars saved on baggage fees).
When booking on Star Alliance member airlines, there’s an additional $39 booking fee for each passenger that you’ll need to account for and a first checked bag isn't included. Unlike on Air Canada, however, the number of points needed to redeem a Star Alliance flight are fixed and won’t fluctuate. For instance, a one-way flight from Toronto to Vancouver on a Star Alliance airline will always require the same 12,500 points.
You’ll want to run the numbers to see which option offers a higher return for your particular flight.
What are some ways to maximize Aeroplan points?
Aeroplan points can be maximized in a handful of ways. Since points values aren’t fixed - and can vary depending on where and when you fly according to a Flight Rewards Chart - you can often reap higher values well above the standard $0.01 per point offered by other programs. You’ll just need to put in some effort and strategize your travel bookings.
- Tip 1: Use stopovers: Aeroplan has a unique stopover policy that allows you to add 1 stop on each one-way flight and it’ll only cost you an incremental 5,000 points. By adding the right stopovers, you can create elaborate itineraries, travel further, and see more destinations, all while redeeming fewer points than a conventional one-way flight. And the fewer points you use, the more value you get. Just note: there are some restrictions, like the fact you can’t add stopovers on flights within North America.
- Tip 2: Save for business class: On average, you’ll earn a far higher return on a per-point basis when redeeming Aeroplan points for business class flights versus economy. So considering saving up points to fly in luxury for less.
- Tip 3: Compare airline options: As we covered earlier in the FAQ, redemption rules vary slightly depending on whether you fly on Air Canada or Star Alliance. So be sure to compare your options.
- Tip 4: Use a co-branded Aeroplan credit card: Holders of co-branded Aeroplan credit cards can often get access to better redemption rates on flights, and will often require fewer points to redeem a booking versus generic Aeroplan loyalty members. And the fewer points needed to redeem, the more your points will be worth on average.
- Tip 5: Check the Aeroplan e-store: The program’s online shopping portal offers a ton of promotions on everyday purchases from brands like Adidas, Sephora, and more. Mae sure to check https://aeroplan.rewardops.com/en-CA/home/promotions for opportunities to rack up even more bonus points on your everyday spending.
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