New American Express Credit Card Offers for Fall 2021

Today’s the day, folks – it’s finally over: the best-ever credit card offers in Canada have come to an end. I hope you all applied yesterday, and it should come as no surprise that the offers have dropped across the board.

Fortunately, though, the new offers are still quite strong. In fact, most are higher than they were prior to the outrageous Summer 2021 offers. Thankfully, none have dropped to “pandemic” levels of austerity – worst case scenario, they’re “back to normal.”

For the most part, none of these offers have an end date. If you weren’t able to apply for more cards recently, the Fall 2021 offers are a solid consolation prize, although they are subject to change at any time.

American Express Fall 2021 Credit Card Offers

Aeroplan Reserve Card: 90,000 Points + Buddy Pass

The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is offering 90,000 Aeroplan points, plus an Air Canada Buddy Pass. The signup bonus is structured as follows:

  • Earn 30,000 Aeroplan points and a Buddy Pass upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • Earn 5,000 Aeroplan points per month when you spend $1,000 per month in each of the first 12 months

The monthly spend requirement lasts for a full year, so the card will demand constant attention. Luckily, the average monthly requirement, a new concept I’ve recently started exploring, is very reasonable, putting this large welcome bonus within reach for low spenders.

As a reminder, the Buddy Pass is good for a two-for-one cash fare in economy on Air Canada within North America. Alternatively, you have the option to convert the Buddy Pass into 30,000 Aeroplan points, a better choice for solo travellers and anyone aspiring towards long-haul redemptions in premium cabins on partner airlines.

(Note that you can only earn one Buddy Pass at each card tier – premium, core, and business – so if you’ve already earned one from the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card, you may not be eligible for another from the Amex Aeroplan Reserve Card.)

If you do convert the Buddy Pass, your welcome bonus on this card would be 120,000 Aeroplan points in the first year. Plus whatever you’d earn from everyday spending, a bare minimum of 1.25x Aeroplan points on $12,000 spent, your total haul would be at least 135,000 Aeroplan points.

Considering that the old 150,000-point offer included points earned on your everyday spend, that’s actually not that much of a downgrade at all!

Also, with the new offer, you don’t need to spend on eats and drinks to make the most of it. You can reap the full benefit at any merchant, giving you much more flexibility.

Finally, if you’re interested in spending your way to a status upgrade with Aeroplan, you’ll need to apply by October 1 and meet the $10,000 spending threshold by November 30.

Aeroplan Business Reserve Card: 90,000 Points + Buddy Pass

The American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card has an almost identical offer as the personal Reserve Card. It’s offering the same number of points, with a higher spending requirement:

  • Earn 30,000 Aeroplan points and a Buddy Pass upon spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • Earn 5,000 Aeroplan points per month when you spend $2,000 per month in each of the first 12 months

There’s not much to add here that I didn’t cover above. Again: a hair lower than the recent all-time high, but a good alternative to the personal card if you have high spending capacity and are running out of cards to apply for with a large welcome bonus.

As a premium business Aeroplan card, you can earn the Buddy Pass on the Aeroplan Business Reserve Card even if you’ve already earned one from the core business cards from TD or CIBC. 

Aeroplan Card: 40,000 Points + Buddy Pass

At the core tier, the American Express Aeroplan Card is taking a step back – but not a very big one.

The welcome bonus structure is a slimmed-down version of the Aeroplan Reserve Card:

  • Earn 10,000 Aeroplan points and a Buddy Pass upon spending $1,500 in the first three months
  • Earn 2,500 Aeroplan points per month when you spend $500 per month in each of the first 12 months

In terms of spending requirements and monthly bonuses, take the premium card’s offer and cut it in half. For ultra-low spenders, that puts the average monthly requirement at $500 per month. Meeting that threshold would tick the boxes for all components of the welcome bonus.

Notably, that’s in line with the Cobalt Card, which also offers 2,500 points when you spend $500 per month in each of the first 12 months. The Cobalt Card’s points will soon be transferable to Aeroplan, pitting the two cards directly against each other.

Nobody can deny the power of the Cobalt Card’s 5x points on everyday grocery and restaurant spending, but the Aeroplan Card’s new welcome bonus sets it apart. With a converted Buddy Pass, you could earn an additional 40,000 points on top of the monthly bonuses, as opposed to the best-available offer on the Cobalt Card which would net you an additional 20,000 points.

In total, if you convert the core-tier Buddy Pass, you’d earn a welcome bonus of 70,000 Aeroplan points on the Aeroplan Card. Add the 6,000 points for everyday spending totalling $6,000, and suddenly your haul on the card is 76,000 Aeroplan points, more than the old offer!

Again, you’ll have the flexibility to spend at any merchant category, with the trade-off that it’ll take 12 months to earn the full bonus rather than six with the old offer.

Platinum Card: 85,000 Points Over Two Years

If you don’t want to fuss with monthly spend requirements, the Platinum Card is the way to go:

  • Earn 65,000 Membership Rewards points upon spending $6,000 in the first three months
  • Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards points when you make a purchase in months 14–17
    • If you apply without a referral link, you’ll only earn 15,000 points in the second year

Like the Aeroplan cards, this offer is formatted like a reduced version of the old one, minus the eats and drinks bonus.

Make no mistake, the offer has taken a big tumble from 150,000 points. That said, 65,000 points is still higher than the Spring 2021 offer of 60,000 points.

Plus, a basically automatic second-year bonus of 20,000 points (via a referral link) is a great reason to keep the card for its comprehensive travel benefits. With frequent Amex Offers for top-tier cardholders, I’d wager that the value you get in the first two years combined will likely exceed the cost of two annual fees.

The Platinum Card would be a great choice if you want the bulk of your points sooner, or if you’d prefer a transferable rewards currency over Air Canada benefits.

Air Miles Reserve Card: 2,400 Air Miles

Finally, the American Express Air Miles Reserve Credit Card has also returned to its pre-July offer. You’ll earn 2,400 Air Miles upon spending $3,000 within three months.

If you’re only interested in the miles, I’d sooner apply for the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard, offering 2,000 Air Miles (and often more) with a first-year annual fee waiver.

Where the Amex Air Miles Reserve Card shines is with its perks. You’ll get an annual Companion Flight worth up to 1,700 Air Miles, and you can use FlexFly to redeem for premium cabins at a fixed rate equivalent to 13 cents per Air Mile.

I do think that those perks are well worth maximizing if you’re an Air Miles loyalist, but if this card piques your interest ahead of the other Amex cards, I imagine you most likely applied during the Summer 2021 offer already. I’d recommend that newcomers to Miles & Points prioritize the more lucrative rewards programs above.

Conclusion

While the total number of points has dipped a bit, one aspect of the Summer 2021 offers that American Express is maintaining is an emphasis on ongoing cardholder engagement. Whether that’s a monthly spending requirement for 12 months, or a bonus that kicks in after your second annual fee is charged, they’re keen to retain cardholders rather than seeing them quickly cancel.

It’s nice to see the return of the Buddy Pass to the Amex Aeroplan cards. Before, they weren’t offering it, as the points offers were gigantic. But its reintroduction helps preserve a lot of the value that a new signup has for the cardholder, whether you use or convert it, even though the “sticker value” of the offers has dropped.

For anyone who passed on the Summer 2021 offers, rest assured that credit card issuers are still aggressively pursuing acquisitions for their rewards-earning products, with travel poised to take off as the world continues to reopen.

I’ll give myself a pat on the back, as the value of most of these offers has fallen within the range of the potential future values I projected recently, in some cases even exceeding my predictions. As you earn and burn in an ever-changing landscape, I encourage you to weigh the various limitations you face as you decide which cards to get next, using your own criteria.

8 Comments
  1. Will

    What about the Business Platinum? I saw no expiry date on its previous offer.

    1. Ricky YVR

      No expiry date on this one, it’s ongoing.

  2. Giorgio

    I missed the boat on the bonuses for the cobalt card, should I still apply for one anyways to take advantage of the one year savings on the monthly rate or should I wait for a better signup offer?

  3. Bileth

    What do you do when both P1 and P2 have gone through all of the AMEX cards?

    1. Jay*

      Looking forward to when this becomes a common issue among most readers and the SUB is even further enforced.

      1. Ricky YVR

        Now, why would someone look forward to repeat signup bonuses being enforced? 😃

        1. Jay*

          Just curious to see what “out of the box” ideas your readers would be able to come up with. 😆

  4. steve

    I’m more interested in Amex refreshing the Plat card to compete with the much cheaper, yet more lucrative (MR points earning anyway), Cobalt card. That can’t come soon enough.

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