fbpx
Aeroplan Credit Cards: Convert the Buddy Pass into 30,000 Aeroplan Points (Unbelievable!) Ricky March 24, 2021

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

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.

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.

The Buddy Pass can take up to eight weeks to show up in your Aeroplan account – some members have reported getting the Buddy Pass pretty soon after completing their minimum spend, while others have had to wait close to the full eight weeks to see it show up.

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: 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 three months
    • $139 annual fee, waived for the first year
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege: 80,000 Aeroplan points
    • 20,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
    • 60,000 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
    • 15,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months
    • $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 Card: 45,000 Aeroplan points
    • 39,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $1,500 in the first three months
    • 1,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six 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!

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

If you applied for this trio of cards, you’d be able to earn 185,000 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.

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. 

Top Offers

American Express Business Platinum Card

75,000 American Express Membership Rewards points
upon spending $7,000 in the first three months

  • 1.25x MR points on all purchases
  • Points transfer to Aeroplan and British Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio
  • Unlimited Priority Pass access
  • Marriott Gold Elite status
Signup bonus
75,000 MR points
Annual fee
$499
73 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Adrian

    I opened the former CIBC Aerogold card in June of 2020 and got the signup bonus of 20k. Would I be eligible for the TD Aeroplan Buddy Pass offer?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Yes!

  2. Avatar
    Marc Berard

    Hi, How long after meeting minimum spend did you get buddy pass ? ( from statement date )

    Thanks

    1. Avatar
      Bobbie

      I was surprised it showed up in my Aeroplan account the day after my statement date

  3. Avatar
    Janet

    Wish Westjet would match this offer for their companion vouchers…

      1. Avatar
        Janet

        Yes, but those lounge passes have the same expiry date as the exchanging companion vouchers.

  4. Avatar
    matt rossy

    Hi Ricky,

    Where to find the AMEX offer below, I cant see it anywhere….

    American Express Aeroplan Card: 45,000 Aeroplan points
    39,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $1,500 in the first three months
    1,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $500
    $120 annual fee

  5. Avatar
    Stéphane Delisle-Lavoie

    Hi Ricky,

    My wife doesn’t have any Aeroplan cards, so she is looking at the 3 you mention as possible options for 185 000 points but is there enough time between now and the end of May? Should she apply for 2 (TD and CIBC) in April? Thanks

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      My understanding is that the April 30 “deadline” is a rolling deadline that’s quite likely to be extended based on the COVID situation, so there should be enough time. Naturally, the earlier you apply, the better.

  6. Avatar
    Kevin

    I can’t seem to find the AMX card that offers 39k plus 6k points with $120 annual fee??

  7. Avatar
    Topper

    Where on the Aeroplan site can you see if you have a buddy pass?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Under “Benefits” on the dashboard.

  8. Avatar
    Jean-Michel Auger

    Hi Ricky,

    If we held these products before the November switch do you know if these cards are considered new products and we are eligible for welcome bonus?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      They’re considered to be successors to the old products, so each issuer’s usual eligibility rules (12 months for TD, once in a lifetime for American Express) and enforcement patterns (a bit of a toss-up for Amex, less strict for TD and CIBC) would apply.

      1. Avatar
        CR

        What about CIBC’s eligibility rules?

        If I have an existing CIBC AG VI opened on 2020-06-23 (and still open), do you know If I can still earn the full WB If I were to open another one today?

  9. Avatar
    tom meyland

    so please clarify, the total spend for cibc infinite and business, is 1k and 3 k respectively but over the prescribed statement times to get the buddy pass? So if do an instant 1k and 3k spend will buddy get deposited asap? Waiting to pull the trigger, thanks for the tireless work you guys do to guide our points accumulation, got enough for 2 round world business class so far and counting,( will get consulting on that one) cheers

  10. Avatar
    Jonathan

    Ricky, I think your MS periods are off for the CIBC products. I work at CIBC and it’s within 4 statement periods, not 4 months. The first statement period is very short and counts towards that. It’s actually effectively 3 months. You can call CIBC to clarify that if you’d like.

    1. Avatar
      KC

      You are right. It looks like the language may have changed. It used to say 4 months. Now it says 4 monthly statement periods.

  11. Avatar
    Chris

    Hi Ricky,
    Would you be able to get multiple buddy passes to convert into 30k points from the same card tier (ie. premium, core, business) or are you still limited to one buddy pass per tier. Specifically, looking at the business cards (TD and CIBC) which both offer a buddy pass and if get both would that enable 30k points conversion twice? (similarly for Core cards as well)

  12. Avatar
    Scott L

    Hey Ricky, I heard someone said this buddy pass 30K AP point conversion is a promotion and will be expired on April 30, is that true? Thanks

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      It’s similar to the flexible rebooking policy or the Aeroplan cancellation policy – a rolling deadline that’s quite likely to be extended depending on how the COVID situation plays out.

  13. Avatar
    Allan

    Am I missing something? On the CIBC application page for the Aeroplan Infinite it says that AF rebate is only applicable if you have CIBC account.
    Specifically: Annual fee rebate of up to $139 if you have a CIBC Smart Plus™ Account

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      That rebates the annual fee every year. The public offer currently has a first-year fee rebate: “Earn up to 20,000 Aeroplan points! Plus, get a first-year annual fee rebate!”

  14. Avatar
    Shawn

    Waiting for pass to show in my account… your pic, you took that under “My Aeroplan” and then under “Benefits”, is that right?

  15. Avatar
    eun

    If I apply both CIBC’s AP personal and business at the branch, would it be 1 hard poll credit check or 2 hard poll? Thanks!

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      CIBC can combine pulls at the branch, so it’d be one.

  16. Avatar
    MAK

    I would recommend TD business card over CIBC as the MSR of $1k with TD biz card will get your Buddy pass vs. CIBC $3k MSR.
    so with one hard pull at branch both TD APVI and TD Biz AP should with $1k MSR should be the best strategy to get 50k + 40K = 90K with P2 on board its 180k with $0 AF.

  17. Avatar
    Glen

    Just talked to someone from Aeroplan and had a weird experience. They knew about the offer, but didn’t know how many points it would be exchanged for. Said they would need to request the bank to convert the buddy pass and deposit the points.

    I recently got both the TD VI and CIBC VI. Have hit the min spend with TD and not yet hit it with CIBC so I assumed the buddy pass in my account was from TD. Apparently not, said this guy. Hope it all goes through ok, he said it’ll take up to 10 days. He also noted how it looks like I’ve “had many cards. Racking up the points there.” Hmmm

  18. Avatar
    Fred

    Hi Ricky, thanks for sharing this amazing news. I have a CIBC visa infinite since last July, before the cards revamped. If I apply for a new visa infinite from TD, does the 12 months restriction apply to me?

    1. Avatar
      Hannah

      So, I chose to get the “loser” AmEx Aeroplan Reserve in February. At the time, it looked like a decent enough way to get 65,000 AP miles. No chance in hell of earning the buddy pass with this one, it requires $25,000 annual spend.
      Question: at this point, would you advise calling AmEx to try to downgrade to the regular AmEx Aeroplan (non reserve)? Much cheaper and now with the extra 30,000 miles in lieu of buddy, not that big a difference in WB miles…

    2. Avatar
      Jay*

      No because they are different products.

  19. Avatar
    Todd

    The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite bonus is 20,000, not 50,000.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Ah, but with the Buddy Pass, it is!

      1. Avatar
        Todd

        “10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
        40,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $1,000 in the first four months”

        Is not accurate.

        1. Ricky
          Ricky

          Ah, but with the Buddy Pass, it is!

          (You also get a Buddy Pass upon spending $1,000 in the first four months, which converts into 30,000 Aeroplan points.)

  20. Avatar
    JL

    I got the CIBC AP Visa Infinite in January, 2020. If I cancel today, how long before I can re-apply?
    Also got the TD AP Privilege on November 6, 2020 (before the 12 month language). Can I cancel and re-apply after 6 months?

  21. Avatar
    Mak

    Could not get multiple Buddy Passes. I logged in saw only one displayed despite having multiple AP different tier cards from both TD and CIBC. Upon calling, the agent could not confirm why only personal VI card was issued but Business Card did not. have to deal with TD and CIBC.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      My guess is your second Buddy Pass hasn’t been deposited yet. In general, you’d speak to the banks about depositing the Buddy Pass, and you’d speak to Aeroplan about converting the Buddy Pass.

  22. Avatar
    Kyrie English

    Ricky, do you know when the deadline to convert if this offer does not get extended?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      There’s no explicit deadline as I understand it. It’s ongoing due to COVID. I’d expect us to have some notice before the conversion option ends.

  23. Avatar
    BG

    Want to get the privilege card to make it 3, but $600 for 85000 is still hard to swallow.

    1. Avatar
      Kyrie English

      That is similar to the Amex Reserve’s AF.

      1. Avatar
        M

        The TD/CIBC Privilege cards do not have a $200+ GCR rebate like Amex Reserve does though…

  24. Avatar
    Ericinnl

    Interesting I thought we could only get one buddy pass but you say we get one per tier? I have the TD infinite and the amex ap which means I should have 2? Sadly I only see one.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      If you’re referring to the Amex Aeroplan Card there, those are both the same tier (core) so you’d only get one.

  25. Avatar
    Tim

    In what section of the Air Canada website do you see your buddy pass? I’ve been looking all over and can’t tell where it says if I have mine yet.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      It would be on your Aeroplan dashboard, under “Benefits”.

      1. Avatar
        Tim

        Thanks Ricky!

  26. Avatar
    Jay

    Isn’t the Buddy Pass good for flights to Hawaii and Mexico? Better value than 30,000 points, no?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Potentially – it’s all about whether you would’ve gotten high value out of the Buddy Pass (like in Steve’s example) in the first place. Travellers who are more interested in flying around North America with a partner may still prefer the Buddy Pass, whereas solo travellers or those who are all about maximizing Aeroplan points for premium cabins (as Jay mentioned) would greatly prefer the 30,000 points.

    2. Avatar
      steve

      While it is nice to have the conversion option, and it depends on your travel plans, I wouldn’t consider doing this redemption a slam dunk. Take Toronto-Hawaii in economy (yuk, 9+ hours) return for one week next February, both ways non-stop flights.

      The cost for two tickets – one purchased, plus the Buddy Pass taxes/fees, comes to $927. Two Aeroplan tickets would be 71,600 points plus $270 in taxes/fees. If I was faced with that situation, I would go the Buddy Pass route as the difference is $657 but I saved 71,600 Aeroplan points. I’d even end up getting 1,854 MR points paying with my Plat Amex.

    3. Avatar
      Jay*

      Depends if you tend to fly in premium cabins.

  27. Avatar
    Andrew

    I just talked to someone at Aeroplan and Air Canada Reservations. They both told me it is not possible to do this

    1. Avatar
      Jay*

      HUCA.

  28. Avatar