Aeroplan has made a big splash with the Air Canada Buddy Pass in 2021. By allowing members to convert it into 30,000 Aeroplan points, they’ve effectively catapulted the welcome bonuses on almost all of the Aeroplan credit cards to all-time highs.
Promotional Link: 45,000 Aeroplan Points
- Earn 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase
- Earn an additional 35,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
(As usual, Quebec residents can earn the latter portion simply by keeping their account open and in good standing for 90 days, with no spending requirement.)
The key difference with this offer is the reward for meeting the minimum spend requirement: you’ll get an extra 35,000 points, instead of 10,000 points plus a Buddy Pass.
That brings the total to 45,000 Aeroplan points – the highest outright bonus we’ve ever seen on the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite, with a sparklingly low minimum spend requirement and no first-year annual fee.
However, consider that the Buddy Pass can also be converted into 30,000 Aeroplan points, bringing the total haul for the main offer up to a potential 50,000 Aeroplan points. On the surface, this new offer looks like a step down… but is it that simple?
New Buddy Pass Strategy: Earn More Aeroplan Points
While the Buddy Pass effectively represents 30,000 Aeroplan points, that doesn’t mean you should treat it like an automatic 30,000-point bump on every credit card offer that includes it.
Recall that you can only earn one Buddy Pass for each credit card tier, regardless of the credit card issuer. That means you can only earn one Buddy Pass for all core Visa Infinite cards, one for all premium Visa Infinite Privilege and Amex Reserve cards, and one for all business cards.
Note the terms and conditions of CIBC and TD’s main offers. It seems this provision is enforced by Aeroplan, not by the banks:
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.
That makes things a bit more complicated for anyone with new credit cards from multiple banks.
If you’ve already opened the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card, for 20,000 points plus a Buddy Pass, you could still open TD’s equivalent card via the main offer – but you’d only earn 20,000 points, and no Buddy Pass.
Alone, each card will net you up to 50,000 points. But together, the most you’ll earn from the two main offers is 70,000 points.
Instead, if you combine the main CIBC offer with this promotional TD offer, you can earn up to 95,000 Aeroplan points, for a total of $2,000 spent and no first-year annual fees:
- 20,000 Aeroplan points from the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite’s base offer
- 30,000 Aeroplan points for converting the core-tier Buddy Pass from the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite
- 45,000 Aeroplan points from the promotional TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite offer
This new points-only offer might also be useful if you can’t open many credit cards at once, or if you’re not in CIBC’s good graces for whatever reason.
While CIBC credit cards have been delivering the Buddy Pass within a few days of meeting the spending requirement, TD has been taking their sweet time. It can take up to 90 days after fulfilling the offer’s conditions before the Buddy Pass arrives in your Aeroplan account.
After that, you’ll still have to wait for Air Canada to process your request to convert the Buddy Pass into points. How long that will take is anyone’s guess. On the other hand, you’re more likely to receive the regular points component of a welcome bonus within a few days of the statement on which you cross the spend threshold.
Therefore, if you need points in your account quickly, it might be wise to forgo the extra 5,000 points, and use the promotional link instead for an offer with a simpler structure.
Who’s Eligible for the Promotional Offer?
The terms and conditions suggest that the offer was distributed via email, with a unique one-time code for each recipient:
This offer is not transferable. The promo code in the offer can only be used by the recipient and may only be used once and prior to the expiration of the pre approval offer.
Even so, you can still see the 45,000-point offer by visiting this generic link. After clicking through to the application as a new TD client (not logged into TD or Aeroplan), I’m still seeing the extra points:
Whether or not this promotion is only intended for targeted Aeroplan members, I’m encouraged by the fact that it’s visible via the generic link.
Unfortunately, there have been many glitches with TD’s online application system lately, and many people are getting declined with no rhyme or reason. As this offer is only available on the Air Canada website, you won’t be able to apply for it in person or over the phone with TD. If you do need to call to push your application through, I’d suggest having the promotion handy in case TD’s representative isn’t aware of it.
There’s one major exclusion in the terms and conditions to take note of (not listed on the main offer on the TD website), which would likely rule out some of our readers:
Existing TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Cardholders are not eligible for this offer.
As always, your mileage may vary when it comes to how strictly these terms are enforced. And if you hold a different Aeroplan credit card with TD, like their Platinum or Infinite Privilege cards, you’d still be eligible for this offer.
TD and Aeroplan have mixed things up with another credit card offer, this one for 45,000 Aeroplan points on the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card.
Be sure to apply by July 21, 2021 via this promotional link if you’re interested. Alternatively, the main offer for 20,000 Aeroplan points plus a core-tier Buddy Pass is also still available until August 16, 2021.
I wouldn’t say the new offer is strictly better or worse than the main one, but it certainly opens up some creative possibilities to earn more points with several cards on your roster. As you navigate the best way to maximize the one-time Air Canada Buddy Pass for each card tier, I suspect this opportunity will be most lucrative for anyone who hasn’t yet applied for a Visa Infinite card since last year’s Aeroplan refresh.
The Buddy Pass conversion is now available indefinitely, and TD’s spring offers with the Buddy Pass have just been extended through the summer. Now, with a new promotional link that only has a points component (and a very large one at that), I imagine that Air Canada is feeling out the demand for the Buddy Pass.
Whether cardholders have more of an appetite for a two-for-one revenue fare for North American travel in economy, or if they’d prefer to build large balances of points for intercontinental premium partner cabin redemptions, I think there’s still lots to be determined about the long-term future of the new Aeroplan program and how it engages its loyal members.
Either way, it’s always good to see more offers for more points, and you never know if you might be able to capitalize on this one. 😉