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American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card

Last updated on: November 10, 2020
  • 75,000 Aeroplan points
  • $599 Annual fee, offset by $100 statement credit in the first year
Best offer is available publicly
Signup bonus:
45,000 Aeroplan points upon meeting minimum spending
5,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $1,000
Total of 75,000 points
Minimum spending:
$3,000 in the first three months
$1,000 per month, for the first six months
Minimum total of $6,000
Annual fee:
$599 annual fee, offset by $100 statement credit upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
Earning rate:
3 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations
2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on dining and food delivery
1 Aeroplan point per dollar spent on everything else
Perks & benefits:
Priority check-in, boarding, and free first checked bag on Air Canada flights
Maple Leaf Lounge access within North America
Priority airport services at YYZ
Preferred pricing on Air Canada flights
Insurance:
Strong

Bonuses & Fees

As American Express’s high-end Aeroplan co-branded credit card, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card currently offers 75,000 Aeroplan points as its best signup bonus.

The bonus is distributed as follows:

  • 45,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • 5,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $1,000, up to a total of 30,000 Aeroplan points

The card has an annual fee of $599, which is offset by a $100 statement credit, upon spending $3,000 in the first three months months, bringing the net annual fee to $499 for the first year.

This puts the Amex Aeroplan Reserve’s signup bonus well above than American Express’s other high-end products, such as the Platinum Card, and on par with the Business Platinum Card which is widely considered one of the best signup bonuses in all of Canada!

While the annual fee of $599 is relatively high, the $100 statement credit brings it down to $499, and needless to say, the welcome offer of 65,000–75,000 Aeroplan points makes this one an easy pill to swallow. The card’s additional travel benefits (such as unlimited Maple Leaf Lounge access) can go a long way towards justifying that fee as well.

This Amex Aeroplan Reserve also allows you to add supplementary cardholders for $199 apiece; alternatively, you can also add the lower-tier Aeroplan Card for your authorized users for $50 apiece.

Note that there’s also an alternate offer on this card, which allows you to earn 40,000 Aeroplan points and an Air Canada Buddy Pass: 

  • 10,000 Aeroplan points, a $100 statement credit, and an Air Canada Buddy Pass upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • 5,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $1,000, up to a total of 30,000 Aeroplan points

This offer is available only if you apply over the phone; however, unless you highly value the Air Canada Buddy Pass (essentially a buy-one-get-one voucher for paid Air Canada economy class flights within North America), then we believe the first offer is much stronger for the purposes of maximizing Aeroplan points.

Earning Rewards

In terms of the returns on everyday spending, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card has a very unique structure, offering cardholders:

  • 3 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations
  • 2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on dining and food delivery
  • 1 Aeroplan point per dollar spent on everything else

Whether or not you find value in the earning rates will depend on your spending patterns and how well they fit with the bonus categories.

The 3x earn rate on Air Canada makes this the ideal card when purchasing cash fares on Air Canada or any of its codeshare partners, and the 2x earn rate on dining and food delivery is also the highest among all the Aeroplan-branded cards.

However, earning 1 Aeroplan point per dollar spent on all other purchases is not appealing at all compared to the 1.5 points per dollar spent on both TD’s and CIBC’s Visa Infinite Privilege cards in the same market.

Perks & Benefits

As Air Canada’s premium travel credit card, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card leans in heavily on the Air Canada travel benefits:

  • Priority boarding, priority check-in, and a free first checked bag on all Air Canada flights, for the primary and supplementary cardholders
  • Complimentary visits to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges within North America, for the primary and supplementary cardholders
  • Preferred pricing when redeeming Aeroplan points for Air Canada flights
  • The ability to earn 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles (SQM) and 1 Status Qualifying Segment (SQS) for every $5,000 you spend on the card
  • The ability to rollover up to 50,000 SQMs and 20 eUpgrades per year
  • The ability to earn an Annual Worldwide Companion Pass after spending $25,000 on the card per year
  • Your Aeroplan points won’t expire for as long as you’re a cardholder

In addition to the Air Canada benefits, the card also offers some travel benefits via American Express, such as priority benefits (valet parking, fast track security, etc.) at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Insurance Coverage

As a high-end product, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card excels in the insurance department. Some examples of its strong coverage include:

  • Emergency medical insurance: Up to $5 million of coverage for the first 15 days of your out-of-province trip, for travellers aged under 65.
  • Delayed and lost baggage insurance: For delayed baggage, up to $1,000 of coverage per insured person if delayed more than 4 hours. For lost or stolen baggage, up to $1,000 of coverage total.
  • Flight delay insurance: Up to $1,000 in coverage if your flight/trip is delayed more than 4 hours
  • Trip cancellation / trip interruption insurance: For Trip Cancellation, up to $1,500 of coverage per insured person, with a maximum of $3,000 for all insured persons, and for Trip Interruption, up to $1,500 of coverage per insured person, with a maximum of $6,000 for all insured persons on the same covered trip.
  • Auto rental collision/loss damage insurance: Comprehensive coverage for up to 48 consecutive days for cars with an MSRP of up to $85,000, which can help you save on the insurance fees that the car rental company would otherwise charge.

It’s important to note that these benefits would also apply on Aeroplan reward tickets, as long as you charge the taxes and fees of your booking to your American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card.

Additionally, the card also offers Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Protection, covering most eligible items you’ve purchased with your card should they be stolen or damaged within 90 days of purchase, as well as an extended one-year warranty period compared to the manufacturer’s warranty.

Apply Now

The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card does not have a minimum income requirement to be eligible. If you're interested in this card, you can follow the below link (not an affiliate link) to apply.

20 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Thomas

    Isnt the Maple Leaf lounge access just for international flights? So this is worse than the amex plat PP access which you can use for international and domestic itineraries? (I’m likely still going to sign up as i just churned my amex plat last month)

    “A Basic Cardmember and Supplementary Cardmember(s) are each entitled to complimentary access to any Maple Leaf Lounge located in Canada and the United States, including International Maple Leaf Lounges in Canada and the United States when travelling on an international itinerary. Access excludes Air Canada Signature Suites and lounges operated by third parties, such as Star Alliance member airlines. Guests of Basic Cardmembers or Supplementary Cardmembers may enter upon paying an applicable fee. Access will be granted in conjunction with a same-day, confirmed ticket on a flight marketed or operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, under the Air Canada Express brand, or any Star Alliance member airline. Anyone under the age of majority entering a Maple Leaf Lounge must be accompanied by an adult with access to the lounge. Age of majority is determined by the jurisdiction in which the Maple Leaf Lounge is located. Benefit may only be used as described, and otherwise cannot be transferred. Access is subject to space availability. See aircanada.com/lounges-termsandconditions for applicable Maple Leaf Lounges Terms and Conditions”

  2. Avatar
    Frank

    Hi Ricky, thanks for all your hard work on running this website! Just wondering would you recommend someone who has amex platinum and Aeroplan elite status to apply the reserve card just to get the 75k welcome bonus? If so, should the card holder keep both after a year or cancel the reserve card afterwards as platinum have stronger earning ratios? Thanks.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      I’d say the 75K is a very strong bonus, yes. However, it’s probably not necessary to keep both the Platinum and the Aeroplan Reserve in the long run. Between the two cards, the Platinum does seem stronger for its earning rates and travel benefits; the only reason to keep the Reserve instead would be if you really value the Air Canada priority/lounge benefits on the card.

      1. Avatar
        Frank

        Thanks Ricky for your reply, absolutely, since platinum have lounge benefits and my Aeroplan elite status offers priority, so I guess I’ll apply this card just to get the welcome bonus then.

  3. Avatar
    Jimbo

    Has anyone got an automatic approval with Aeroplan reserve card? I got a generic response that my application will be reviewed. Then about 2 days after, I got a call from Amex saying that they still need 24-48hrs more to review my application.

    1. Avatar
      Ed

      I did, automatically approved and was given the option of showing card number right away for use. Physical metal card received TWO days after, fastest application ever.

  4. Avatar
    Noah W

    Hey guys. Just wanted to know what’s the waitlist email looks like. I have joined the waitlist back in September but I have not received the email as of yet.

    1. Avatar
      Kyrie English

      Got my email on Nov 8 or 9. Don’t bother, just go to Air Canada and apply. The WB is the same.

      1. Avatar
        Noah W

        Thank you for your reply. Does that mean I will still get the 10,000 pts bonus without getting the RSVP code? Will they just capture the email and compare to the waitlist when I submit the application?

        1. Avatar
          Kevin O

          Not sure. I received 2 waitlist emails in the last few days. I applied through the email link.

          Amex is offering 75K pts for waitlist. Only 65K pts on the Amex of Air Canada site.

  5. Avatar
    Fatari

    How come on the amex website says that the core card is a charge card whereas the reserve card is a credit card? is that a mistake on the amex website or it is actually a credit card?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      That’s correct. The Aeroplan Card is a charge card, whereas the Aeroplan Reserve Card is a credit card.

  6. Avatar
    Ryan

    Hello! Do you guys plan on cancelling this card when the 2nd year annual fee comes up or keeping it? I’ve heard that cancelling amex cards before the 12 month annual fee comes up can have bad consequences, but I’m not sure if that is strictly with american amex or if that applies to Canadian amex too.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      That’s mostly with American Amex cards but it’s getting more and more true with Canadian Amex cards these days. I’d definitely recommend against cancelling before the second year’s annual fee comes up; if you must cancel, do so after that fee posts and ask for a refund within 30 days.

  7. Avatar
    Prashant

    Great reviews and a resource for all new Cards. Thkx! How does this compared to Amex Biz personal or platinum? If all other benefits are redundant, can this card replace Amex Plat?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      I still think the personal and business Platinum Card’s perks are stronger, due to the superior lounge access benefits and hotel statuses. The Aeroplan Reserve could be stronger for a frequent Air Canada flyer who values the benefits there, but that’s about it.

      Here are some much more detailed comparisons:

      https://princeoftravel.com/blog/head-to-head-amex-platinum-card-vs-new-premium-aeroplan-cards/

      https://princeoftravel.com/blog/head-to-head-amex-business-platinum-vs-amex-aeroplan-business-reserve/

  8. Avatar
    Annie

    I literally just got the email from Amex at 5:34PM EST

  9. Avatar
    Brent B

    Nevermind, just got it!

  10. Avatar
    Brent B

    Hello. Has anyone received their Waitlist emails from Amex yet with promo code?

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