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Aeroplan & Chase Launch Partnership: Convert Points + Waitlist Bonus!

Late last year, Air Canada and Chase announced that they would be launching a partnership in 2021, making Chase the primary US financial partner for Air Canada’s Aeroplan loyalty program.

The first phase of that partnership has launched today, with Aeroplan becoming a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points program.

Meanwhile, the US-issued Chase Aeroplan World Elite Mastercard will be launching later this year, and also as of today, you can sign up for an exclusive

waitlist that will give you an extra 10,000 Aeroplan points on top of the publicly available signup bonus when you apply anytime before February 15, 2022.

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Aeroplan

Aeroplan has now been added to Chase Ultimate Rewards as its 11th airline partner and 14th travel rewards partner overall. Ultimate Rewards points can transfer at a 1:1 ratio to Aeroplan. 

Aeroplan’s existing partnership with American Express US (at a 1:1 ratio) and Capital One (at a 2:1.5 ratio) remain in place, meaning that the program now has a total of three partnerships in terms of converting credit card points down in the US.

Among Chase’s airline roster, Aeroplan will be the third transfer partner that allows access to Star Alliance flights, alongside United MileagePlus and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

Aeroplan offers fairly attractive pricing on many routes compared to their peers here, so I’m sure it’ll be a popular choice among US-based Chase cardholders as they look to maximize the value of their points.

For example, Aeroplan’s pricing is more attractive for direct business class flights from both coasts:

  • From Seattle to Tokyo, you’d pay 55,000 Aeroplan points compared to 70,000 United miles or 115,000 KrisFlyer miles
  • From New York to Zurich, you’d pay 60,000 Aeroplan points compared to 73,000–77,000 United miles or 72,000 KrisFlyer miles

Indeed, while I’m certainly biased given my familiarity with the program as a frequent flyer based in Canada, I do believe Aeroplan now ranks up there among Chase’s most valuable airline transfer partners when you consider the overall picture in terms of award pricing, fuel surcharges, stopover policies, and the variety of partner airlines offered by the program. 

Sure, Emirates Skywards, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club continue to offer their own unique aspirational sweet spots (in the form of First Class awards on Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and ANA respectively). 

But in my view, Aeroplan strikes a better balance across all of the above criteria from a North American traveller’s perspective, and I expect many US-based Chase cardholders to flock to Aeroplan as a potential transfer partner when planning their travel.

On the other hand, from the Canadian perspective, I’d argue that transferring Chase UR points to Aeroplan doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, unless you’re looking to consolidate your points balances. 

That’s because we have so many ways to earn Aeroplan points up here in Canada, between all-time-high welcome bonuses, referral bonuses, and spend-based incentives. 

If you’ve earned Chase UR points as a Canadian, you’ve likely gone through a fair bit of trouble to build up your US credit history for at least a year to get approved for a Chase card, so it’d make more sense to diversify your holdings and use your Chase points for a partner that isn’t quite as easily accessible in Canada, such as Emirates Skywards for flights or World of Hyatt for hotels. 

No matter which side of the border you live on, if you want to take advantage of this new 1:1 transfer opportunity, you’ll need to sign up for one of Chase’s credit cards to build up your Ultimate Rewards balance. 

These include the Chase Sapphire Preferred (currently offering a record-high welcome bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points), Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Chase Ink Preferred products, which earn Ultimate Rewards points directly. 

But the Ultimate Rewards program also includes the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Ink Cash products, which earn cash back in the form of Ultimate Rewards points, and then these points can also be pooled with the points you earn from one of the cards in the former category. 

Chase Aeroplan World Elite Mastercard: Waitlist Bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan Points

Of course, another Chase-issued credit card that will allow you to earn Aeroplan points is about to arrive very soon: that’s the US-issued Chase Aeroplan World Elite Mastercard. 

We know very little about this card right now, except that it will be priced at a US$95 annual fee and will earn Aeroplan points as the rewards currency. 

Even though we don’t know what signup bonus the card will offer upon its launch later this year, we now know that you can get an extra 10,000 Aeroplan points on top of the publicly available signup bonus simply by joining a waitlist for the card’s launch.

You can sign up for the waitlist at aircanada.com/chase. After the card launches, you’ll need to apply before February 15, 2022 to be eligible for the waitlist bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points on top of the welcome bonus at the time. 

The terms of the waitlist offer do state the following:

The Waitlist Offer is only valid for participants who sign up for the waitlist program prior to November 8, 2021

We can interpret November 8, 2021 as a likely scheduled launch date for the Chase Aeroplan Mastercard, although it could still be sometime after that as well. 

Like all of Chase’s other products, the Aeroplan Mastercard is almost certain to be subject to Chase’s “5/24 rule”, which states that Chase will not approve you for a new credit card if you’ve opened five or more cards over the past 24 months.

In the lead-up to the Chase Aeroplan Mastercard’s launch, then, those of you who’ve already gotten into the US credit card game will want to carefully assess your 5/24 status and plan out whether you’ll be eligible to open the Aeroplan Mastercard any time before February 15, 2022. 

Unfortunately, it’s a bit short-notice to enter the US game now if you’re interested in nabbing the waitlist bonus. That’s because Chase generally requires at least one year of US credit history before approving you for your first Chase card, and there’s only six months left until the waitlist bonus comes to an end on February 15. 

Still, the launch of the Aeroplan Mastercard could well prove to be the impetus for many Canadians to get involved with US credit cards – especially if Aeroplan decides to really shake things up in the US credit card market with some groundbreaking welcome bonuses and cardholder benefits when they launch the product. 

Conclusion

Aeroplan and Chase have officially launched their financial partnership in the US.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are now convertible to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio, while the US$95-annual-fee Chase Aeroplan Mastercard has soft-launched with a waitlist bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points. 

As a Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholder myself, I won’t be in a rush to transfer points to Aeroplan, since we already have many sources of earning Aeroplan points up here in Canada.

However, I am very much intrigued by the upcoming Chase Aeroplan Mastercard and what unique features it might offer, so I’m definitely getting myself on the waitlist and keeping a 5/24 slot open in advance of its launch. 

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7 Comments
  1. Oliver

    Any rumors of a Chase Business Aeroplan card?

    1. Ricky YVR

      None at this moment.

  2. Jose

    If Americans are starting to collect Aeroplan points, it is bad for us living up north, will see more of dynamic priced tickets with more points required moving forward.

    1. Jay*

      Nothing to worry about, as a few blogs in recent years, I’m sure have helped facilitate that dynamic pricing already 😉. Just have to be ahead of the curve :).

    2. John

      You know, I thought that, then realized that Amex USA has had Aeroplan transfers for years.

      1. Ricky YVR

        I’d imagine that a dedicated co-branded card + preferred pricing benefit may make more of an impact though.

  3. Gol Dim

    Hey Ricky, do you ever sleep? 🙂 Thanks for staying on top of all this and doing the heavy lifting. It makes our lives so much easier. I’m hoping to weight the U.S. card against the Canadian. Or visa versa.

Ricky Zhang

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