Among all mid-range Aeroplan co-branded credit cards, the American Express Aeroplan Card consistently offers the highest signup bonus, making this a worthwhile proposition for all points collectors.
Bonuses & Fees
As American Express’s mid-range Aeroplan co-branded credit card, the American Express Aeroplan Card currently offers 75,000 Aeroplan points as its welcome bonus when you apply through a refer-a-friend link.
The signup bonus is distributed as follows:
- 50,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $3,000 in the first six months
- 2,500 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $500, for a total of 15,000 Aeroplan points
- 5x Aeroplan points on eats and drinks in Canada in the first three months, up to a maximum of 10,000 Aeroplan points (on $2,000 of spending)
You can refer friends and family from the Aeroplan Card to Aeroplan Cards, Aeroplan Reserve Cards, or Aeroplan Business Reserve Cards of their own, earning a referral bonus of 5,000 Aeroplan points each time, up to a maximum of 75,000 Aeroplan points in a calendar year.
The card has an annual fee of $120.
In terms of the returns on everyday spending, the American Express Aeroplan Card has a very unique structure, offering cardholders:
- 2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations
- 1.5 Aeroplan point per dollar spent on dining and food delivery
- 1 Aeroplan point per dollar spent on everything else
The earn rate on Air Canada, Air Canada Vacations, dining, and food delivery outshines both TD’s and CIBC’s Aeroplan Visa Infinite cards in the same market, so if you spend a significant amount in these categories, then the Amex Aeroplan Card definitely makes more sense.
Otherwise, the earn rate perhaps isn’t too attractive when compared to, say, the Amex Gold Rewards Card with a similar $150 annual fee – where you’ll earn 2x MR points (which can be transferred 1:1 to Aeroplan) on all travel purchases, not just Air Canada.
Aeroplan remains the program of choice for the vast majority of Canadians aiming to redeem their points for high-value international business and First Class redemptions.
Redeeming Aeroplan points follows the Aeroplan Flight Reward Chart, and can cost as little as 55,000 points one-way from Vancouver to Tokyo in business class.
From the East Coast, 60,000 Aeroplan points (or often fewer, thanks to Air Canada’s preferred pricing if you hold Elite Status or a credit card) would unlock a transatlantic flight to most parts of Western Europe.
Closer to home: short-haul flights within North America that are under 500 miles only cost 6,000 Aeroplan points one-way.
With the 55,000 points earned from this card (after reaching minimum spending), you can travel round-trip in business class across the continent on routes such as Toronto – Vancouver or Montreal – Los Angeles.
Perks & Benefits
The Amex Aeroplan Card offers a competitive set of Air Canada travel benefits for its price range. As a cardholder, you’ll receive:
- Free first checked bag on Air Canada flights, for the primary and supplementary cardholders
- Preferred pricing when redeeming Aeroplan points for Air Canada flights
- The ability to earn 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles (SQM) and 1 Status Qualifying Segment (SQS) for every $10,000 you spend on the card
- Your Aeroplan points won’t expire for as long as you’re a cardholder
The Amex Aeroplan Card’s insurance proposition is decent, but not outstanding. Some of the provisions that it does cover include:
- Delayed and lost baggage insurance: Up to $500 overall coverage per insured person towards the purchase of essentials such as clothes and toiletries if your baggage is delayed more than 4 hours or lost.
- Flight/trip delay insurance: Up to $500 in coverage if your flight/trip is delayed more than 4 hours.
- Auto rental collision/loss damage insurance: Coverage for up to 48 consecutive days for cars with an MSRP of $85,000, which can help you save on the insurance fees that the car rental company would otherwise charge.
It’s important to note that these benefits would also apply on Aeroplan reward tickets, as long as you charge the taxes and fees of your booking to your Aeroplan Card.
However, the card does not offer emergency medical insurance or trip cancellation & trip interruption insurance, which are two very significant benefits that you’ll find on many of the higher-end products out there.
Additionally, the card also offers Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Protection, covering most eligible items you’ve purchased with your card should they be stolen or damaged within 90 days of purchase, as well as a doubled warranty period compared to the manufacturer’s warranty.