Canada’s 7 Best Aeroplan Credit Cards

Aeroplan is Air Canada’s frequent flyer program and a very popular loyalty program among Canadian travellers. There’s a wide range of credit card options for Aeroplan members looking to boost their points balances and get closer to their next free flight.

Here are our choices for the best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada.

Best Aeroplan Credit Cards

Best Credit Card for Earning Aeroplan Points

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is the fastest way to rack up a big balance of Aeroplan points. It often has the largest welcome bonus of any credit card in Canada, earning Membership Rewards points which are transferable to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio.

The requirements to earn the welcome bonus are simple, with a single spending threshold in the first three months. This is much more straightforward than having to juggle ongoing monthly spending requirements or anniversary bonuses. You’ll get the full bonus within a few days of crossing the spending threshold.

For ongoing spending, you’ll earn 1.25 points per dollar spent on all purchases. That’s a strong earning rate for uncategorized transactions, in line with the base earn rate on Aeroplan’s very own co-branded premium cards.

Also, this card has the best refer-a-friend incentive in Canada, worth 20,000 MR points per successful signup. If you have this card and get family or friends to apply using your link, your rewards can quickly add up!

Best Premium Aeroplan Credit Card

Any of the top-tier Aeroplan cards would get you the same perks, but the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is a strong choice for the unique benefits provided by American Express.

As a premium Aeroplan cardholder, you’ll get the lowest Aeroplan reward ticket prices on Air Canada flights thanks to the preferred pricing benefit, free checked bags on Air Canada flights, priority airport services, and unlimited Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge access.

In addition to Aeroplan benefits, you’ll get Amex Offers for more generous statement credits throughout the year, access to a referral program, and slightly higher earning rates on restaurants and Air Canada purchases.

Best Visa Aeroplan Card

If you’re looking for a non-Amex card, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card is the best premium Aeroplan credit card, setting itself apart from its competitors with an excellent welcome bonus.

In addition to all of the same Aeroplan perks as the Amex Reserve Card, your Visa card comes with a DragonPass membership and six complimentary visits per year. These passes are good for accessing DragonPass airport lounges, including those operated by Plaza Premium, with a strong presence in Canadian airports.

Best Aeroplan Credit Card for Business Owners

Nearly identical to the personal Amex Aeroplan Reserve Card, the American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card is a great option for business owners looking to leverage high spending into points and elite status.

With a unique rate of 2 MR points per dollar spent on car rentals and hotels, this card is a good choice for road warriors looking to maximize their return on business expenses.

You’ll also earn Status Qualifying Miles and/or Segments just for spending on the card, earning 1,000 SQM / 1 SQS per $5,000 spent on any purchase. If you need to supplement your mileage-qualification activity to reach the next tier of Aeroplan Elite Status, this is a great way to do so with your business spending rather than with a qualifying flight.

Best Aeroplan Credit Card for Daily Spending

At 5 points per dollar spent on groceries and restaurants, the American Express Cobalt Card is unsurpassed when it comes to rewards on everyday spending.

You can transfer the points to other airline partners, similar to the premium American Express Platinum Card. That’s far more points than you’d earn by spending on a co-branded Aeroplan credit card.

If you’re looking to rack up a large Aeroplan balance powered by your grocery bill and restaurant spending, consider getting the Cobalt Card and using it as much as you can for the 5x categories.

Best Aeroplan Credit Card for Beginners

If high annual fees are intimidating, it’s good to start with a mid-tier option like the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card.

There’s no annual fee for the first year. Plus, the welcome bonus is easy to achieve, with a low spending requirement up front and a long deadline to achieve the full bonus. It’s a good introduction to earning Aeroplan points before you’ve fully grasped how to redeem them.

The card also comes with a solid suite of benefits, including preferred pricing on award tickets on Air Canada routes, one free checked bag for everyone in your travelling party, and travel insurance on Aeroplan award bookings if you pay for the taxes and fees with this card. Not to mention, your rewards will remain active as long as you are a cardholder, so there’s no rush to learn how to use them effectively.

Best No Fee Aeroplan Credit Card

If you’re keen to keep costs down while earning points for flight rewards, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card is your best bet. It’s a good card to get if you’re just beginning to explore the Aeroplan program or award travel in general.

In fact, this is the only Aeroplan credit card with no annual fee. It has a very low barrier to entry, requiring a minimum household income of $15,000.

For students, CIBC also offers the CIBC Aeroplan Visa for Students, with no income requirement, and all of the same features and bonuses.

Not surprisingly, as a no-fee card, this card earns at a lower rate than premium cards, and it has fewer insurance benefits.

Instead, the card’s biggest appeal is the preferred pricing benefit, giving you a slight discount on flight rewards on Air Canada flights. In addition, your Aeroplan points will never expire as long as you remain a cardholder.

Aeroplan Credit Cards: What You Need to Know

When choosing an Aeroplan credit card, you should familiarize yourself with what benefits an Aeroplan credit card can offer, what features to look out for, and how Aeroplan credit cards can fit into an optimized overall credit card strategy.

Why get an Aeroplan credit card?

Aeroplan is one of the most popular frequent flyer programs in Canada, and for good reason: it can be extremely valuable if you know how to use your points effectively.

Points can be redeemed for any seat on any Air Canada flight. Whether you travel domestically, or live in a small town and need to connect through a major hub to fly overseas, you’ll always find a use for your rewards.

But the best value often lies in long-haul travel in premium cabins on Air Canada and its partner airlines. You have access to a wide variety of premium airline products in the Star Alliance network, plus a few others. Also, you can add extra destinations and layovers with the creative routing possibilities allowed by Aeroplan, all for very little extra cost.

With no fuel surcharges on Aeroplan flight rewards on Air Canada or any of their partners, you don’t have to worry about unexpected cash costs arising when you want to book a “free” flight.

There are so many different ways to earn Aeroplan points, including no less than 20 co-branded or transferable rewards cards. It’s an easy loyalty program to quickly build up monstrous balances for aspirational travel redemptions.

With Aeroplan poised to continue adding new retail partners, there will only be more and more ways to earn points on your Aeroplan credit card in the future.

What should you look for in an Aeroplan credit card?

There are two types of credit cards for earning Aeroplan points: co-branded cards (associated with Aeroplan itself) and transferable rewards cards (associated with other rewards programs that can transfer points to Aeroplan).

American Express issues credit cards with a few types of points that are transferable to Aeroplan:

These cards generally have bigger signup bonuses than Aeroplan co-branded cards, and higher category earn rates on everyday spending as well.

On the other hand, co-branded cards are typically stronger in their Air Canada and Aeroplan benefits. You’ll get perks like free checked bags, preferred pricing on Air Canada flight rewards, priority airport services (including check-in and boarding), and the opportunity to spend your way to Aeroplan Elite Status.

These cards are offered by TD, CIBC, and American Express. Across their portfolios, there are cards at the entry-level, core, premium, and small business tiers.

Perks are the same for each tier, but other factors may vary. Each bank has different welcome bonuses, annual fees, income requirements, and approval criteria.

Luckily, you have several institutions to choose from, and you’ll still enjoy the same cardholder benefits for Aeroplan members regardless of which issuer you go with.

Entry-level

Core

Business

Premium

Points don't expire

Bonus points for Air Canada purchases

Good

Better

Best

Best

Preferred pricing

Good

Better

Better

Best

Elite 25K Status (with annual spending)

Insurance on Aeroplan tickets

Buddy Pass signup bonus

Free checked bag

Earn SQM & SQS by spending

Good

Best

Best

Maple Leaf Lounge access

Priority check-in

Priority boarding

Priority baggage handling

Priority standby

Worldwide Companion Pass (with annual spending)

Rollover SQM & eUpgrades

Maple Leaf Lounge guest passes (with annual spending)

What’s the optimal strategy for Aeroplan credit cards?

If you’re a dedicated traveller who wants to see as much of the world as possible by maximizing your credit cards, Aeroplan credit cards will arguably play the largest role out of any Canadian airline or hotel co-branded card lineup in your credit card portfolio.

Aeroplan points are the single most useful rewards currency for Canadians looking to maximize their international travel, and Aeroplan credit cards allow you to rack up a huge volume of points in a short time, all while enjoying Aeroplan benefits exclusive to credit card holders.

The savvy Aeroplan user will likely find value in either the core or premium series of Aeroplan credit cards, depending on their appetite for rewards and tolerance for annual fees.

The core level of Aeroplan cards already comes with some very impressive welcome bonuses along with First Year Free offers, allowing you to load up on Aeroplan points without paying anything out-of-pocket in the first year. The free first checked bag can also represent hundreds of dollars of savings per year when you travel on Air Canada flights.

In terms of the premium cards, the $599 annual fee can be a tougher pill to swallow, even when you account for the juicier welcome bonuses at this level. The premium credit cards are best-suited to Air Canada frequent flyers who are interested in earning Aeroplan Elite Status, as the cards can offer a major boost towards Elite Status qualification.

Even if you’re only interested in maximizing Aeroplan points for flight rewards, though, you might still look towards the premium Aeroplan credit cards for their 1.25x base earning rate on your daily spending, or perhaps as another source of Aeroplan points in addition to the core cards.

The entry-level Aeroplan credit cards can play a meaningful role, too. TD’s entry-level Aeroplan product routinely puts on a healthy welcome bonus in the range of 15,000–20,000 points with a First Year Free offer, while CIBC’s no-fee card is great for retaining the preferred pricing benefit in perpetuity (a slight discount on Aeroplan flight rewards on Air Canada) even if you happen to be switching up your core or premium cards.

Outside of Aeroplan’s co-branded products, the four major American Express Membership Rewards charge cards will also be valuable sources of earning points, thanks to their generous welcome bonuses and competitive earning rates.

Between these two card families, you should be able to easily earn enough points to cover a few international trips per year, perhaps even in business class or First Class if you take the time to understand how the Aeroplan program works in detail.

Overall, every dedicated points collector and traveller should have their eyes on Aeroplan credit cards, as they represent the best pathway towards using credit cards to elevate your travel experiences here in Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions we frequently hear from readers about the best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada.

Can I have more than one Aeroplan card?

Yes, you can have Aeroplan cards from TD, CIBC, and American Express all at the same time. You can also have entry-level, core, and premium cards from the same bank at the same time.

Can I earn the welcome points on more than one Aeroplan card?

Yes, the terms of the offer from one bank have no bearing on your eligibility for a points bonus from another. However, Aeroplan may limit the number of credit card bonuses a member receives if they deem it to be excessive.

Can I earn more than one Air Canada Buddy Pass?

You can earn one Buddy Pass for each card tier – core, premium, and small business – regardless of the issuer.

How do I know if my card is properly linked to my Aeroplan profile?

When you get a new Aeroplan credit card, you’ll often get a welcome email confirming that your new credit card is attached to your Aeroplan membership within a day. You can verify in the Air Canada app to see if it says “Credit Card Holder” on the Aeroplan tab. You can also try searching for an Aeroplan flight reward while signed in, and while not signed in, to see if you’re getting preferred pricing on Air Canada flights.

How do I get a free checked bag on Air Canada flights?

As long as your reservation is linked to your Aeroplan number, and you have an active credit card (or supplementary card) linked to the same Aeroplan number, you should automatically receive this benefit when you check-in for your flight.

How do I transfer Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan?

From your American Express online dashboard, click on the green View and Redeem Points button. Above the search box, navigate to Travel > Frequent Traveler Participants. Use the Switch Account button to make sure you’re transferring your points from the proper card.

How do I transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Aeroplan?

Login to the Marriott website and click on Redeem Points at the bottom of the page. Navigate to Use Points / Certificates > Travel > Transfer Points to Miles.

Can I link my Aeroplan account to someone else’s Aeroplan credit card?

Aeroplan’s terms and conditions expressly forbid this. If you’re collecting points in multi-player mode, you should use Aeroplan’s Family Sharing feature to pool your points.

Can I transfer my Aeroplan points to another frequent flyer program?

No, once you’ve transferred your Membership Rewards to Aeroplan, you can’t transfer them back.

How can my Aeroplan credit card help me earn Aeroplan Elite Status?

The core, premium, and small business Aeroplan credit cards allow you to earn Status Qualifying Miles (SQM) and Status Qualifying Segments (SQS) for every $5,000 (premium cards) or $10,000 (core and small business cards) that you spend on the card.

These can help you qualify for Aeroplan Elite Status, although you’d still need to complete a Status Qualifying Dollar (SQD) requirement separately to qualify for each Elite Status level.

Also, your spending on your Aeroplan credit card can help you reach Aeroplan 25K status via the Everyday Status Qualification benefit by racking up 100,000 Aeroplan points through eligible sources every year. However, credit card signup bonuses wouldn’t count towards Everyday Status Qualification.

26 Comments
  1. Riley

    I have the Amex platinum card for the past 5 years. My annual fee has just came out again and I’m wondering if I should cancel and reapply for the business card with my corp. to get the MR points. Do you know of any rule against this?

  2. Tharsis Bastos

    Does it make sense to have Amex cobalt and TD Aeroplan? Can I transfer the points from both cards to my Aeroplan account?

    1. Matthew

      Absolutely! I have this exact setup and use my Cobalt for the 5x and 3x categories and my TD Aeroplan card for everything else. The advantage to this setup is , as long as you use the TD card to pay for the fees/taxes on your rewards flight, you get full insurance coverage as if you paid cash. TD Aeroplan has trip interruption and trip cancellation insurance whereas the Cobalt does not. — obviously use the card that gives you the best insurance and return on spend.

    2. Ricky YVR

      Yes!

  3. Pat

    Just wanted to drop a tip in here that I don’t see mentioned in the article. Great Canadian Rebates has a pretty extensive financial section to get cash back when applying for credit cards. For example, they currently offer $150 cash back on the Business Platinum AMEX bringing the effective annual fee for the first year down to $350 while still getting all the great benefits..

  4. Eric

    This webpage shows the amex business platinum as the best aeroplan card… the amex business platinum isn’t even an aeroplan card!!

    1. Ricky YVR

      It very much is – you earn American Express MR points that can transfer 1:1 to Aeroplan, and it’s one of the most powerful cards for doing so.

  5. M

    The post updated on March 1st, 2022 has the Colbolt with 20k points upon spending $3000 within the first 3 months. When I click the link the 20k points do not show up as the promo. Is there a typo or I’m missing something?

    Thanks!

    1. Nick

      I noticed the same thing

  6. Shawn

    Hi Ricky,
    I am really torn whether or not to add an Aeroplan premium card to my wallet. I have the AMEX Platinum and the BMO Eclipse Infinite Privilege VISA. My wife and I travel to India usually 1 or more times per year. My dream is to fly first class on this long-haul flight. Air Canada offers the best flights to India so I joined Aeroplan and have 25k elite status at the moment. Due to COVID my elite status has been rolled over for 2 years now. The main features I’m looking for are the rollover of SQM + eUpgrades and faster-earning rates for elite status. In summary, I’m not sure if the premium Aeroplan cards are a good fit with the huge fees or if I even need a Aeroplan credit card. My existing cards have great perks and earning rates for my spending habits. I want to make my dream of first-class come true with as many Aeroplan points/eUpgrades as possible! Any advice would be helpful!!

  7. david

    I am thinking of adding an aeroplan branded card to my stack.. I already have AMEX platinum.
    I read that free checked bag as long as you have an aeroplan CC linked to your aeroplan number.. but do you need to actually use that aeroplan credit card to pay for the trip to get free bag? If I book with Amex Platinum, but also hold an aeroplan CC on my aeroplan number would the free baggage apply?

    “How do I get a free checked bag on Air Canada flights?”
    As long as your reservation is linked to your Aeroplan number, and you have an active credit card (or supplementary card) linked to the same Aeroplan number, you should automatically receive this benefit when you check-in for your flight.

  8. Marie Denton

    Hi Ricky ! Thanks for the very recent information on the extended time allowed for a layover during a one way trip on Aeroplan. It so happens that on October 1st I’d just booked a Miami to Victoria flight with layover in Toronto. Aeroplan had to do this in 2 segments and so I was ‘charged ‘ 26000 points instead of approx 17000! Then I saw your information! I have screenshots to show that point changes and $ refunds need to be made since the $30 charge has been waived. Am thinking of mailing all this info to Aeroplan Head Office in Montreal – or do you have a different idea ?
    ALSO , have you any idea why I still don’t have the Buddy Pass attached to my Aeroplan account . I made the first purchase on my TD Infinite Visa on July 17 th 2021 and have more than fulfilled requirements . I lOVE my card . Do I have to wait the full 3 months before the Buddy Pass will be attached to my Aeroplan ? Thanks. million.

  9. Ann Jones

    Can I use my own Aeroplan number on my supplemental card or are the awards linked to the premium card owner’s aeroplan card number

  10. Jesse

    Hello Ricky,

    Thank you for the informative write up. I recently signed up my first Amex Cobalt and I have a BMO World Elite MC (will cancel after this year after I used the lounge passes, fees don’t justify the earn rate and I get 50% off as an employee), thinking of applying an Aeroplan card as my back up & earn some welcome bonus. Would it still make sense for me to go for the Amex aeroplan card or should I go for the TD or CIBC core aeroplan card instead cause they are both VISA ? Thanks in advance.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Given that you’ll likely use your Cobalt for most places that take it (especially groceries and dining), it makes sense to choose a Visa card if you’re looking for a backup. Currently the CIBC core card might be the best choice, since CIBC tends to post the Buddy Pass faster than TD, and the deadline to convert the Buddy Pass into 30,000 Aeroplan points is coming up on November 30, 2021.

  11. Peter

    Ricky: Currently I have an Amex Gold and an Amex Aeroplan. Would Amex allow me to obtain the Cobalt one? Thanks and I enjoy this particular write up. Ciao

    1. Leon YYC

      Don’t see why not. It’s best to do it before Aug 16.

  12. Amit Kumat

    Hi Ricky- If I get both TD Visa Aeroplan and AMEX Cobalt and earn Aeroplan points on both cards for 1st year. After 1st Year I cancel noth TD and AMEX and move to CIBC Aeroplan No Fee card. In this case will I still get to keep all aeroplan points I earned in my first year using TD and AMex cobalt? Also is there any disadvantage in redeeming the aeroplan points if I movie to no fee CIBC Aeroplan after 1st Year?

    1. Leon YYC

      Yes, your points are transfered to AP every month.
      What you really should get is the Amex AP card though. You have two more days! Feel free to DM me for more.

  13. Jacqueline Schmidt

    Good morning,
    Could you please explain how the “Maple leaf lounge guest passes” (with annual spending) works?
    Thank you

  14. SJ TOR

    Thanks Josh. Let me apply heh!

  15. SJ TOR

    Hi Ricky
    Hi Ricky
    Can you have both an Amex Reserve (premium) and TD Inf Priv (premium) and get both card welcome bonuses based on their required spending and fees?. If yes, then would I also receive the TD Buddy Pass, since Amex Reserve does not have one? Thank you for your help.

    1. Josh YVR

      Yes to both!

      1. George

        Does the same apply for core card bonuses (i.e. Can we get sign-up bonus points for both Amex Aeroplan and TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite?)

      2. Sebastien C

        Hello, Follow-up question. In order to obtain the full welcome bonuses in the above example (1 Amex and 1 TD premium cards), Shabbir would need to meet the spending requirements separately for both cards, correct?

        1. Ricky YVR

          Correct.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have an Account? Click here to Login

Shopping cart
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping