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New Aeroplan Credit Card Offers by TD, CIBC, and American Express (75K Points, Buddy Pass, and More!)

It’s November 8, 2020, and that means the Aeroplan co-branded credit cards by TD, CIBC, and American Express have officially launched or relaunched under their brand-new identities.

Accompanying the launch are a variety of different welcome bonus offers on all 11 products, which are meant to appeal to a wide range of different types of travellers.

We were told to expect “something amazing” – so did Aeroplan and its three partner issuers live up to the hype? Let’s find out.

If you’d prefer to digest the new offers in video form, I’ve made the below YouTube video to help you get caught up. Otherwise, read on for an at-a-glance summary of all the new offers, followed by in-depth discussion of each one.

Spoiler alert: TD and CIBC’s offers most likely fell short of our expectations. Amex, on the other hand, pulled through with flying colours.

 

(We’ll be focusing on the new signup offers in this post. For more detailed information about the earning rates, travel benefits, and insurance perks of all 11 new products, refer to my original post on “The New Aeroplan Credit Cards by TD, CIBC, and American Express”.)

In This Post

Summary of New Aeroplan Credit Card Offers

To start, I’ve created the following table to summarize all 11 new credit card offers, showing the total bonus, breakdown of the bonus, and annual fee structure:

TD

CIBC

American Express

Entry-level


10,000 Aeroplan points

10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase

$89 annual fee,
waived for the first year


10,000 Aeroplan points

10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase

$0 annual fee

Core


10,000 Aeroplan points + Air Canada Buddy Pass

10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
+
Air Canada Buddy Pass upon spending $1,000 in the first 90 days

$139 annual fee,
waived for the first year


10,000 Aeroplan points + Air Canada Buddy Pass

10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
+
Air Canada Buddy Pass upon spending $3,000 in the first four months

$139 annual fee,
waived for the first year


20,000 Aeroplan points + Air Canada Buddy Pass

9,000 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
+
Extra 5,000 Aeroplan points by applying via the waitlist offer
+
Air Canada Buddy Pass upon spending $1,500 in the first three months

$120 annual fee

Premium


50,000 Aeroplan points + Air Canada Buddy Pass

20,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
+
30,000 Aeroplan points AND Air Canada Buddy Pass upon spending $1,000 in the first 90 days

$599 annual fee


20,000 Aeroplan points + Air Canada Buddy Pass

20,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
+
Air Canada Buddy Pass upon spending $3,000 in the first four months

$599 annual fee



Offer 1:
75,000 Aeroplan points


35,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
+
5,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $1,000
+
Extra 10,000 Aeroplan points by applying via the waitlist offer

Offer 2:
40,000 Aeroplan points + Air Canada Buddy Pass

10,000 Aeroplan points AND Air Canada Buddy Pass upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
+
5,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $1,000
+
Extra 10,000 Aeroplan points by applying via the waitlist offer

$599 annual fee
+
$100 statement credit upon spending $3,000 in the first three months

Small Business


10,000 Aeroplan points + Air Canada Buddy Pass

10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
+
Air Canada Buddy Pass upon spending $1,000 in the first 90 days

$149 annual fee,
waived for the first year


10,000 Aeroplan points + Air Canada Buddy Pass

10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
+
Air Canada Buddy Pass upon spending $3,000 in the first four months

$180 annual fee,
waived for the first year


75,000 Aeroplan points


35,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months
+
5,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $2,000
+
Extra 10,000 Aeroplan points by applying via the waitlist offer

$599 annual fee
+
$100 statement credit upon spending $5,000 in the first three months

New TD Aeroplan Credit Card Offers

TD’s four Aeroplan co-branded credit cards will launch with the following welcome offers, valid until January 17, 2021.


TD’s entry-level card, the TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum, will offer 10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase. The $89 annual fee for the primary cardholder, as well as the $35 annual fee for the first supplementary cardholder, is waived for the first year.


TD’s core card, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite, will offer 10,000 Aeroplan points and an Air Canada Buddy Pass:

  • 10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
  • Air Canada Buddy Pass when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days
  • The $139 annual fee for the primary cardholder, as well as the $75 annual fee for the first supplementary cardholder, is waived for the first year.

TD’s premium card, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege, will offer a total of 50,000 Aeroplan points and an Air Canada Buddy Pass:

  • 20,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
  • 30,000 Aeroplan points AND an Air Canada Buddy Pass when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days
  • $599 annual fee

Finally, TD’s small business card, the TD Aeroplan Visa Business, will offer 10,000 Aeroplan points and an Air Canada Buddy Pass:

  • 10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
  • Air Canada Buddy Pass when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days
  • The $149 annual fee for the primary cardholder, as well as the $49 annual fee for the first supplementary cardholder, is waived for the first year

If you’re wondering what the Air Canada Buddy Pass is and how it works, you can jump below to the section on “What Is the Air Canada Buddy Pass?” for more details.

Essentially, you can think of it as a companion fare that allows you to book any Air Canada revenue ticket in economy class and pay a $0 base fare for the second passenger (only the taxes and fees), to any destination within Canada, the US (including Hawaii), and Mexico.

As you can see, TD’s offers place an emphasis on the Air Canada Buddy Pass as a key component of the welcome bonus. As a result, the number of Aeroplan points associated with each offer is certainly lower than what we all would’ve expected.

Those of you who, like myself, want to redeem Aeroplan points for the maximum possible value under the new program (especially to book business class and First Class trips) may well have reason to be disappointed with these offers from TD. On the other hand, there are also some travellers who’d find greater value in the Buddy Pass instead, and we’ll talk more about the potential upsides in the dedicated section below.

Note also a subtle change to the terms and conditions of the TD offers: “If you have opened an Account in the last 12 months, you will not be eligible for this offer,” whereas these terms had stated six months previously.

New CIBC Aeroplan Credit Card Offers

CIBC’s four Aeroplan co-branded credit cards will launch with the following welcome offers, valid until January 31, 2021.


CIBC’s entry-level card, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card, will offer 10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase. There is no annual fee on this card, and in fact, it’s the only Aeroplan co-branded credit card with no annual fee.


CIBC’s core card, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite, will offer 10,000 Aeroplan points and an Air Canada Buddy Pass:

  • 10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
  • Air Canada Buddy Pass when you spend $3,000 in the first four months
  • The $139 annual fee for the primary cardholder, as well as the $50 annual fee for up to three supplementary cardholders, is waived for the first year

CIBC’s premium card, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege, will offer 20,000 Aeroplan points and an Air Canada Buddy Pass:

  • 20,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
  • Air Canada Buddy Pass when you spend $3,000 in the first four months
  • $599 annual fee

Finally, CIBC’s small business card, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business, will offer 10,000 Aeroplan points and an Air Canada Buddy Pass:

  • 10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
  • Air Canada Buddy Pass when you spend $3,000 in the first four months
  • The $180 annual fee for the primary cardholder, as well as the $50 annual fee for up to three supplementary cardholders, is waived for the first year

Clearly, CIBC’s credit card offerings have also placed an emphasis on the Air Canada Buddy Pass like TD’s, but their offers are much less generous.

For example, CIBC’s premium card clocks in at a full 30,000 points lower than TD’s equivalent product, even though both have an annual fee of $599, while the minimum spends required to unlock the Buddy Pass are also significantly higher on CIBC’s cards than TD’s ($3,000 vs. $1,000).

If TD’s credit card bonuses might’ve left aspirational travellers a little bit disappointed, CIBC’s are downright weak, plain and simple.

Thankfully, there’s one more issuer that has historically always taken up the mantle of strong welcome bonuses…

New American Express Aeroplan Credit Card Offers

American Express’s three Aeroplan co-branded credit cards will launch with the following welcome offers.


American Express’s core card, the American Express Aeroplan Card, will offer up to 20,000 Aeroplan points and an Air Canada Buddy Pass:

  • 9,000 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, up to a total of 6,000 points
  • An extra 5,000 Aeroplan points upon approval if you had signed up for the American Express waitlist and apply before December 31, 2020
  • Air Canada Buddy Pass when you spend $1,500 within the first three months
  • $120 annual fee

American Express’s premium card, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card, will launch with two separate offers that the cardholder may choose between.

The primary offer is for up to 75,000 Aeroplan points + $100 statement credit:

  • 35,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • 5,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $1,000, up to a total of 30,000 points
  • An extra 10,000 Aeroplan points upon approval if you had signed up for the American Express waitlist and apply before December 31, 2020
  • $599 annual fee, which is offset by a $100 statement credit upon spending $3,000 in the first three months, resulting in an effective annual fee of $499 for the first year

There’s also a secondary offer on the Amex Aeroplan Reserve, which can only be obtained by applying over the phone. This offer gives you up to 40,000 Aeroplan points, an Air Canada Buddy Pass, and the $100 statement credit:

  • 10,000 Aeroplan points and an Air Canada Buddy Pass upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • 5,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $1,000, up to a total of 30,000 points
  • $599 annual fee, which is offset by a $100 statement credit upon spending $3,000 in the first three months, resulting in an effective annual fee of $499 for the first year

Finally, American Express’s premium small business card, the American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card, will offer up to 75,000 points + $100 statement credit:

  • 35,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $5,000 in the first six months
  • 5,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $2,000, up to a total of 30,000 points
  • An extra 10,000 Aeroplan points upon approval if you had signed up for the American Express waitlist and apply before December 31, 2020
  • $599 annual fee, which is offset by a $100 statement credit upon spending $5,000 in the first three months, resulting in an effective annual fee of $499 for the first year

Of the three issuers, American Express is clearly the one that best understands Aeroplan’s most dedicated members, putting forth a spectacular offer of 75,000 Aeroplan points on not one, but two of its premium cards: the Amex Aeroplan Reserve for individuals and the Amex Aeroplan Business Reserve geared towards small business owners.

While TD and CIBC have placed their emphasis on the new Air Canada Buddy Pass, American Express has gone the full distance with two credit card offers that rank among the best we’ve seen in Canada.

Indeed, the only other offer in this ballpark has been on American Express’s very own Business Platinum Card and its 75,000 MR points, which of course can be transferred to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio as well.

Assuming you signed up for the American Express waitlist before today, these two new offers on the Aeroplan Reserve and Aeroplan Business Reserve are now just as strong – and the $100 statement credit brings the annual fee down to a net $499 in the first year, in line with the Business Platinum as well!

What Is the Air Canada Buddy Pass?

A large number of the new Aeroplan credit card offers include the Air Canada Buddy Pass as part of the welcome bonus. So what exactly is the Air Canada Buddy Pass, and how does it work?

You can think of it as a $0 companion voucher that’s good for any Air Canada flight within North America (i.e., Canada, United States including Hawaii, and Mexico). When redeeming the Air Canada Buddy Pass, the first passenger pays the full fare, while the second passenger enjoys a $0 base fare and only pays out-of-pocket the taxes and fees associated with the ticket. 

The Buddy Pass must be redeemed on revenue fares only, and cannot be used in conjunction with an Aeroplan award. It can only be redeemed on economy class tickets, although you’re free to choose between any fare family (Standard, Flex, Latitude, etc.) 

The Buddy Pass gets deposited into your Aeroplan account as soon as you’ve met the minimum spending threshold on your associated credit card. From that point on, it’s valid for one year, although you can use it to book travel for further than one year out. In that sense, you effectively get a two-year window in which to use your Buddy Pass to book travel for yourself and a companion at a steep discount.

There are no blackout dates on the Buddy Pass, so it’ll fetch maximum value if used during peak travel dates like Christmas, New Year’s, or March Break. Paid fares are highest during these times, so if you regularly travel during peak periods and don’t have the flexibility to avoid doing so, the Buddy Pass will help you unlock significant savings on Air Canada flights.

Moreover, even though the Buddy Pass is limited to economy class bookings, you’re able to redeem eUpgrades from your Aeroplan Elite Status for upgrades to premium economy and business class. Combined with eUpgrades, the Buddy Pass can therefore make for, say, an affordable yet luxurious trip to somewhere like Hawaii for yourself and your spouse (or the entire family).

Which Aeroplan Credit Card Should You Apply For?

The 11 new Aeroplan credit cards (and the 12 new offers that they come with, since the Amex Aeroplan Reserve comes with two separate offers) cater to a wide range of travellers’ wants and needs.

If you’re a solo traveller, or you’re the aspirational type who wants to maximize the value of your Aeroplan points to fly in business class or First Class, then the American Express offers will definitely appeal the most to you. 75,000 Aeroplan points is certainly nothing to scoff at, and under the new program, this signup bonus alone will be enough for:

  • A one-way business class flight from the East Coast to Europe
  • A one-way business class flight from many places in Canada to Asia
  • A one-way business class flight from Vancouver to Brisbane or Auckland

(Certainly, I think this is what many of us had in mind when we were told to expect “something amazing”. I personally would’ve loved to see a 100,000-point offer, but I do think that may have been over-ambitious here in the Canadian market.)

Meanwhile, if you travel regularly as a couple or as a family and you generally see yourself booking trips closer to home for the foreseeable future (as I imagine is the case for many of you), then consider giving the Air Canada Buddy Pass a spin as well. 

It may not be the type of signup bonus we usually expect from premium travel credit cards, but there are clearly circumstances under which the Buddy Pass will present value to the right type of traveller: such as if you’re flying over the festive period, where cash fares are sky-high (and Aeroplan redemptions will likely be as well, thanks to the new program’s dynamic pricing model on Air Canada flights).

And if you’d still like to add a touch of luxury to your Buddy Pass booking, then you always have the option of buying a Flex or Latitude fare (at the buy-one-get-one-free pricing) and applying eUpgrades to your booking, too.

If you do want to try out the Air Canada Buddy Pass, then it’s clear that TD’s offers are superior to CIBC’s, since they have a lower spending requirement and also offer a greater number of Aeroplan points in addition to the Buddy Pass in the case of the premium card from both banks.

Ultimately, though, if you don’t value the Buddy Pass all that much (say, if you’re in it for the business class and First Class trips), then the TD and CIBC offers are pretty disappointing, and we can only hope they come out with something better in January 2021.

Apply Now

If you’re interested in the new American Express Aeroplan cards, it would be best to apply via the dedicated email link from signing up for the waitlist in order to unlock the maximum bonus. You can also learn more about each card on its dedicated information page:

If you’re interested in the new TD Aeroplan cards, consider using the following links to apply, which helps support Prince of Travel:

And if you happen to be interested in the CIBC Aeroplan cards, you may consult the following information pages:

Finally, if you’d like to hop on a livestream to discuss these offers, the upcoming new Aeroplan program, and more, then check out our Virtual Miles & Pints session tomorrow, Sunday, November 8 at 1pm Eastern / 10am Pacific, as we await the delayed launch of the new Aeroplan on Monday.