The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is one of the premium co-branded Aeroplan credit cards. It’s a great choice for its large signup bonus, and a blend of premium perks from both Air Canada and American Express.
Bonuses & Fees
As American Express’s high-end Aeroplan co-branded credit card, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card currently offers 90,000 Aeroplan points as its welcome bonus when you apply with a referral link.
The bonus is distributed as follows:
- 7,500 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $2,000 (CAD), for a total of up to 45,000 Aeroplan points
- 5,000 Aeroplan points upon adding a supplementary cardholder with an annual fee at the time of application, for a total of up to 10,000 Aeroplan points
- 35,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $6,000 (CAD) in months 13–17
The card has an annual fee of $599.
You can refer friends and family from the Aeroplan Reserve Card to Aeroplan Reserve Cards or Aeroplan Business Reserve Cards of their own, earning a referral bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points each time, up to a maximum of 150,000 Aeroplan points in a calendar year.
The Aeroplan Reserve Card also allows you to add supplementary cardholders for $199 apiece; alternatively, you can also add the lower-tier Aeroplan Card for your authorized users for $50 apiece.
In terms of the returns on everyday spending, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card has a very unique structure, offering cardholders:
- 3 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations
- 2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on dining and food delivery
- 1.25 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on everything else
Whether or not you find value in the earning rates will depend on your spending patterns and how well they fit with the bonus categories.
The 3x earn rate on Air Canada makes this the ideal card when purchasing cash fares on Air Canada or any of its codeshare partners, and the 2x earn rate on dining and food delivery is also the highest among all the Aeroplan-branded cards.
Meanwhile, earning 1.25 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on all other purchases is equal to the earning rates on TD’s and CIBC’s Visa Infinite Privilege cards in the same market, and represents a very strong overall return on your everyday purchases.
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.
Perks & Benefits
As Air Canada’s premium travel credit card, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card leans in heavily on the Air Canada travel benefits:
- Priority boarding, priority check-in, and a free first checked bag on all Air Canada flights, for the primary and supplementary cardholders
- Complimentary visits to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges within North America, 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 $5,000 you spend on the card
- The ability to rollover up to 200,000 SQMs and 50 eUpgrades per year
- The ability to earn an Annual Worldwide Companion Pass after spending $25,000 on the card per year
- Your Aeroplan points won’t expire for as long as you’re a cardholder
In addition to the Air Canada benefits, the card also offers some travel benefits via American Express, such as priority benefits (valet parking, fast track security, etc.) at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Finally, you’d also get a $100 (CAD) Nexus credit, which is always useful for getting a NEXUS card to make your journey across the US border much smoother.
As a high-end product, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card excels in the insurance department. Some examples of its strong coverage include:
- Emergency medical insurance: Up to $5 million of coverage for the first 15 days of your out-of-province trip, for travellers aged under 65.
- Delayed and lost baggage insurance: For delayed baggage, up to $1,000 of coverage per insured person if delayed more than 6 hours. For lost or stolen baggage, up to $1,000 of coverage total.
- Flight delay insurance: Up to $1,000 in coverage if your flight/trip is delayed more than 4 hours
- Trip cancellation / trip interruption insurance: For Trip Cancellation, up to $1,500 of coverage per insured person, with a maximum of $3,000 for all insured persons, and for Trip Interruption, up to $1,500 of coverage per insured person, with a maximum of $6,000 for all insured persons on the same covered trip.
- Auto rental collision/loss damage insurance: Comprehensive coverage for up to 48 consecutive days for cars with an MSRP of up to $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 American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card.
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 an extended one-year warranty period compared to the manufacturer’s warranty.