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

In March 2021, Air Canada introduced the ability to convert the Air Canada Buddy Pass into 30,000 Aeroplan points – a feature that was introduced in recognition of the reality around travel planning during the pandemic.

Deadline for Buddy Pass Conversion: November 30, 2021, with an Exception

The ability to convert the Buddy Pass into 30,000 Aeroplan points was originally introduced with an end date of April 30, 2021. This later turned into a rolling deadline subject to further extensions, to account for the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic.

In August 2021, Aeroplan indicated that November 30, 2021 would be the last date on which it is possible to convert the Buddy Pass into 30,000 Aeroplan points.

However, for a limited time, some cardholders will be granted an exception to convert their Buddy Pass beyond November 30:

  • You must have opened the card in July or August 2021
  • You must have your Buddy Pass deposited into your Aeroplan account after November 15, 2021

This exception is to account for the fact that some of the issuers (most notably TD) have taken a particularly long time to deposit the Buddy Pass into members’ accounts.

Cardholders may have applied in July or August 2021 with the intention of converting their Buddy Pass, but without having had the opportunity to do so because of these delays. 

If you don’t fulfill the above criteria, then the deadline to convert the Buddy Pass into 30,000 Aeroplan points will remain fixed at November 30, 2021.

How to Convert the Buddy Pass for 30,000 Aeroplan Points

You 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.

Should You Convert the Buddy Pass?

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
105,000 Aeroplan points $1,869 Apply Now
90,000 Aeroplan points $1,606 Apply Now
30,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass
First Year Free
30,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $1,323 Apply Now
55,000 Aeroplan points $1,161 Apply Now
20,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass
First Year Free
20,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $1,071 Apply Now
Up to 60,000 Aeroplan points $735 Apply Now
Up to 50,000 Aeroplan points $662 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 introduced the ability to convert the Air Canada Buddy Pass into 30,000 Aeroplan points – a game-changer for the Canadian Miles & Points landscape in 2021. 

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

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 before November 30, 2021, with limited exceptions to this deadline if you opened your card in July or August 2021 and the Buddy Pass took a long time to show up. 

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