Here’s some very welcome news from the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card: as of a few days ago, the base earning rate on the card has now increased by 25%, from 1 Aeroplan point per dollar spent to 1.25 Aeroplan points per dollar spent!
1.25x Aeroplan Points on Regular Purchases
Since it first launched in November 2020, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card had offered an earning rate of 1 Aeroplan point per dollar spent on purchases outside of Air Canada flights, dining, and food delivery.
For a premium travel credit card, that was arguably a rather weak return, especially compared to the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege and CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege in the same premium Aeroplan credit card family, both of which offered a superior 1.25x base earning rate.
Moving swiftly to address this weakness, the Amex Aeroplan Reserve has today bumped up its regular earning rate on non-bonused purchases to 1.25 Aeroplan points per dollar spent. The overall earning rates now look as follows:
- 3 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations
- 2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on dining and food delivery
- 1.25 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on everything else
Amex Aeroplan Reserve cardholders will be notified of this change via a pop-up window upon logging in to their accounts:
Many of the public pages on the American Express website haven’t been updated yet; however, I’ve confirmed via the American Express live chat service that this is indeed a permanent change rolled out to all Aeroplan Reserve cardholders as of April 7, 2021.
Indeed, if you log on to the American Express app (which allows you to view your Aeroplan points earnings before the statement posts, unlike the desktop website), you’ll see that any transactions that took place from April 7 onwards have been earning points at the elevated 1.25x rate.
It’s my understanding that this change only applies to the personal version at the moment, and doesn’t apply to the American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card.
Personally, I think the business version of the card would do well to bump its base earning rate up to 1.25x as well, in order to avoid being cannibalized by the American Express Business Platinum Card’s flat 1.25x earning rate on all purchases. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a similar change to the Aeroplan Business Reserve eventually.
A Further Improvement to One of Canada’s Best Credit Cards
Through compelling welcome bonuses, referral bonuses, and statement credits, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card has quickly established itself as one of Canada’s most powerful credit cards since its relaunch last year. That advantage has very much been reinforced by this 25% increase to the base earning rate.
In terms of earning rates, the Aeroplan Reserve is now the clear winner among the three personal premium Aeroplan credit cards in the market.
First of all, the card’s 1.25x earning rate on non-bonused purchases is equivalent to its peers thanks to this recent change.
Meanwhile, compared to the Visa Infinite Privilege cards by TD and CIBC, the Aeroplan Reserve is superior in both its 3x earning rate on Air Canada purchases (compared to 2x from TD and CIBC) and its 2x earning rate on dining and food delivery (compared to 1.5x from TD and CIBC).
The only categories in which TD and CIBC’s Visa Infinite Privilege cards hold a slight advantage is the 1.5x earning rate on gas, groceries, and travel (outside of Air Canada purchases). The Amex Aeroplan Reserve doesn’t treat these as bonus categories, so you’d only earn 1.25x Aeroplan points – but the 0.25x advantage here is so slender that it’s almost negligible.
Throw in TD and CIBC’s onerous $200,000 income requirement compared to American Express’s $0, and in my view, the Amex Aeroplan Reserve is now the leading product among all three.
Indeed, American Express strikes me as an issuer that enjoys a greater level of flexibility in enhancing its products compared to TD and CIBC (who are often beholden to the demands of the Visa network, as in the case of their cards’ income requirements).
Given their recent streak of positive changes for Aeroplan Reserve cardholders, I’m excited to see what further updates lie in store, especially as Aeroplan themselves continue to build out new features of the program throughout 2021 and beyond.
As of April 7, American Express has bumped up the base earning rate on the Aeroplan Reserve Card to a much more respectable 1.25x Aeroplan points on “everything else”.
The card’s base earning rate now matches its rival TD and CIBC products and further elevates the card’s standing in the premium credit card market.
If you haven’t applied for the Aeroplan Reserve Card yet, absolutely consider doing so to pick up 75,000 Aeroplan points, a $100 statement credit in the first year to bring the first-year fee down to $499, and now the ability to earn at least 1.25 Aeroplan points per dollar spent.