Bonuses & Fees
As American Express’s mid-range Aeroplan co-branded credit card, the American Express Aeroplan Card currently offers 20,000 Aeroplan points and an Air Canada Buddy Pass as a signup bonus when you apply through a refer-a-friend link.
The signup bonus is distributed as follows:
- 14,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $1,500 in the first three months
- Air Canada Buddy Pass 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 Aeroplan points
The card has an annual fee of $120, which is not waived for the first year.
The standard offer of 20,000 Aeroplan points for a $120 annual fee isn’t bad, but it gets a lot more interesting once you add the Air Canada Buddy Pass.
You now have the option to convert your Buddy Pass into an additional 30,000 Aeroplan points. If you fly solo or prefer business class or overseas travel, that would be a better choice, bringing your total welcome bonus to the equivalent of 50,000 Aeroplan points. That definitely sweetens the pot!
If you travel as a couple or family at times when cash fares are high, you might instead get excellent value by using the Buddy Pass directly. It’s essentially a buy-one-get-one voucher for paid Air Canada economy class flights within North America.
Either way, you’ll only get one Buddy Pass every 12 months between this card, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite, and the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite, so set your expectations accordingly if you plan to open two or more of these cards in the “core” Aeroplan tier.
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.
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.