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Aeroplan Credit Cards: Convert the Buddy Pass into 30,000 Aeroplan Points! (Through November 2021)

Aeroplan has confirmed that the Buddy Pass conversion opportunity will end on November 30, 2021. We’ve updated the article to reflect this.

When the new Aeroplan credit card offers by TD, CIBC, and American Express were first launched in November 2020, many Aeroplan members were left frustrated that a large chunk of the welcome bonuses took the form of an Air Canada Buddy Pass rather than the juicy quantities of Aeroplan points that we were expecting.

While the Buddy Pass might offer good value to travellers who usually fly on paid Air Canada flights in groups of two or more, Aeroplan points can offer considerably higher value through international flights in premium cabins – not to mention that they’re much more useful than the Buddy Pass for solo travellers who rarely fly with a companion.

Well, you know what they say: good things come to those who wait. It appears that we’re going to get the juicy Aeroplan points offers that we’ve been waiting for after all.

Although this isn’t being publicly promoted by Air Canada, I’ve confirmed through an internal source that the Air Canada Buddy Pass can now be exchanged for 30,000 Aeroplan points – a feature that’s being introduced in recognition of the reality around travel planning during the pandemic.

Deadline for Buddy Pass Conversion: November 30, 2021

The ability to convert the Buddy Pass into 30,000 Aeroplan points was originally introduced with an end date of April 30, 2021, although it was my understanding that this would be a rolling deadline subject to further extensions, to account for the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic.

Later, the conversion opportunity was extended indefinitely, allowing anyone with a Buddy Pass in their account to convert it into 30,000 Aeroplan points at any time.

Now, as of August 2021, Aeroplan has indicated that November 30, 2021 will be the last date on which it is possible to convert the Buddy Pass into 30,000 Aeroplan points.

(Even though it was Aeroplan’s original intention to honour the Buddy Pass conversion opportunity based on the application date rather than a fixed deadline, this was too complex to be implemented in the end. While the intentions were good, I do find the outcome quite disappointing here.)

If you’re interested in boosting your Aeroplan credit card welcome bonuses by converting the Buddy Pass into 30,000 points, then you’ve got just over three months’ time to take action. 

Exchange Your Air Canada Buddy Pass for 30,000 Aeroplan Points

You’ll earn an Air Canada Buddy Pass upon completing the minimum spending requirement associated with one of the Aeroplan co-branded credit cards.

It should look like this:

buddy pass graphic with airline tickets

Once the Buddy Pass has arrived in your account, you can either go ahead and use it to book a paid Air Canada flight for two passengers, with the second passenger paying a $0 base fare… or, as of now, you can call Aeroplan and ask to exchange the Buddy Pass for 30,000 Aeroplan points.

While the Buddy Pass itself has a one-year expiry period, the 30,000 Aeroplan points simply get deposited into your account alongside the rest of your Aeroplan balance, and you can go ahead and redeem those 30,000 Aeroplan points for a flight redemption just like all your other points.

You might be wondering: should you go ahead and exchange the Buddy Pass for 30,000 Aeroplan points?

In my opinion, you absolutely should, unless you have very specific travel plans in mind in which you can leverage the Buddy Pass in its original form for a high value.

By our current valuation of 2.1 cents per Aeroplan point, 30,000 Aeroplan points are worth $630 – and quite likely far more than that if you redeem them for a business class or First Class flight in the future.

Unless you have very firm plans to book paid Air Canada flights within North America for two people, in which you would’ve paid full fare for both passengers anyway and the second passenger’s base fare is greater than $630, I’d say that exchanging the Buddy Pass for 30,000 Aeroplan points is a no-brainer decision.

Aeroplan Credit Card Offers Are Now Incredible!

Needless to say, this is a major boost to the value proposition of all the Aeroplan co-branded credit cards that currently include Buddy Passes as part of the signup incentive. 

Factoring in the option to exchange the Buddy Pass for 30,000 Aeroplan points, we’re looking at the following effective welcome bonus offers on Aeroplan credit cards:

  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite: 55,000 Aeroplan points + First Year Free
    • 10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
    • 45,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $1,000 in the first three months
    • $139 annual fee, waived for the first year
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege: 95,000 Aeroplan points
    • 20,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
    • 75,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $1,000 in the first three months
    • $599 annual fee
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Business: 55,000 Aeroplan points + First Year Free
    • 10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
    • 30,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $1,000 in the first three months
    • 2x Aeroplan points in the first three months, up to an additional 20,000 points
    • $149 annual fee, waived for the first year
  • CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite: 50,000 Aeroplan points + First Year Free
    • 10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
    • 40,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $1,000 in the first four months
    • $139 annual fee, waived for the first year
  • CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business: 50,000 Aeroplan points + First Year Free
    • 10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
    • 40,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $3,000 in the first four months
    • $180 annual fee, waived for the first year
  • American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card: 120,000 Aeroplan points
    • 60,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
    • 5,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first 12 months in which you spend $1,000
    • $599 annual fee
  • American Express Aeroplan Card: 70,000 Aeroplan points
    • 40,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $1,500 in the first three months
    • 2,500 Aeroplan points for each of the first 12 months in which you spend $500
    • $120 annual fee

Wow, wow, wow, wow, WOW!

50,000+ Aeroplan points for no first-year annual fee and only $1,000 in minimum spend – on no less than three co-branded credit cards. You’re looking at it!

Aeroplan Credit Cards with a Buddy Pass
Credit Card Best Offer Value
90,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $2,236 Apply Now
40,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass
$120 annual fee
40,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $1,476 Apply Now
65,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $1,422 Apply Now
30,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass
First Year Free
30,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $1,260 Apply Now
25,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass
First Year Free
25,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $1,176 Apply Now
20,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass
First Year Free
20,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $1,113 Apply Now
20,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass
First Year Free
20,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $1,071 Apply Now

Now, before you get too excited, I should remind you that the terms and conditions of the Aeroplan credit cards with Buddy Pass offerings include the following language:

This one-time Bonus Buddy Pass is only valid for eligible cardholders. You will not be eligible for the Bonus Buddy Pass if you have previously opened an Aeroplan Program credit card of the same type, regardless of the credit card issuer and have received the Welcome Bonus offer in the last 12 months. 

Since you can only earn one Buddy Pass per “type” of Aeroplan credit card (i.e., core, premium, or small business) within a 12-month period, you’ll want to be selective about which cards to apply for.

Under the current offers (which are expected to last until the end of May), one possible winning combination might be as follows:

  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege (premium)
  • CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business (small business)
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite (core)

(You’ll also want to take action as soon as possible, since recent data points indicate that TD can take up to two months’ time to deposit the Buddy Pass into your account. That leaves you with a tight timeframe to act before the Buddy Pass conversion opportunity ends on November 30, 2021.)

If you applied for this trio of cards, you’d be able to earn 200,000 Aeroplan points for a net $599 outlay in the first year.

And even if you were to skip the premium card, you’d end up with 105,000 Aeroplan points for $0 out-of-pocket in the first year. 

Factor in the points you earn from the minimum spending… and that’s already a round-trip business class flight from the West Coast to Japan for $0 out-of-pocket on annual fees.

That is simply outrageous, staggering, unreal… and dare I say, the “something amazing” that we were originally promised back in the day?

Conclusion

Due to the harsh realities of planning travel in the pandemic era, Air Canada has quietly introduced the ability to convert the Air Canada Buddy Pass into 30,000 Aeroplan points – a game-changer for the Canadian Miles & Points landscape. 

If you have a Buddy Pass in your Aeroplan account, you can go ahead and call Aeroplan to exchange the Buddy Pass for 30,000 Aeroplan points, which should be deposited into your account very shortly thereafter.

As a result of this increased flexibility, the welcome bonuses on six of Aeroplan’s 11 co-branded credit cards are now looking sizzling hot, with up to 105,000 Aeroplan points on the table through first-year-free offers alone.

Make no mistake about it: it’s time to get yourself, your partner, and everyone in your Aeroplan Family Sharing group to jump onboard. 

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