American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card

Last updated: April 13, 2021
  • 75,000 Aeroplan points
  • $1,234 First-year value
Best offer is available publicly
Signup bonus:
45,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
5,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $1,000
Total of 75,000 Aeroplan points for spending $6,000
Annual fee:
$599 annual fee, offset by $100 statement credit upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
Earning rate:
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
Referral bonus:
10,000 Aeroplan points
Perks & benefits:
Priority check-in, boarding, and free first checked bag on Air Canada flights
Maple Leaf Lounge access within North America
Priority airport services at YYZ
Preferred pricing on Air Canada flights

The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is one of the premium credit cards partnered with Air Canada’s loyalty program. It’s a great choice for its large signup bonus, and a blend of premium perks from both Aeroplan and American Express.

Bonuses & Fees

As American Express’s high-end Aeroplan co-branded credit card, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card currently offers 75,000 Aeroplan points as its best signup bonus.

The bonus is distributed as follows:

  • 45,000 Aeroplan points upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • 5,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $1,000, up to a total of 30,000 Aeroplan points

The card has an annual fee of $599, which is offset by a $100 statement credit, upon spending $3,000 in the first three months months, bringing the net annual fee to $499 for the first year.

This puts the Amex Aeroplan Reserve’s signup bonus well above than American Express’s other high-end products, such as the Platinum Card, and on par with the Business Platinum Card which is widely considered one of the best signup bonuses in all of Canada!

While the annual fee of $599 is relatively high, the $100 statement credit brings it down to $499, and needless to say, the welcome offer of 65,000–75,000 Aeroplan points makes this one an easy pill to swallow. The card’s additional travel benefits (such as unlimited Maple Leaf Lounge access) can go a long way towards justifying that fee as well.

This Amex Aeroplan Reserve 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.

Note that there’s also an alternate offer on this card, which allows you to earn 40,000 Aeroplan points and an Air Canada Buddy Pass: 

  • 10,000 Aeroplan points, a $100 statement credit, and an Air Canada Buddy Pass upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • 5,000 Aeroplan points for each of the first six months in which you spend $1,000, up to a total of 30,000 Aeroplan points

This offer is available only if you apply over the phone; however, unless you highly value the Air Canada Buddy Pass (essentially a buy-one-get-one voucher for paid Air Canada economy class flights within North America), then we believe the first offer is much stronger for the purposes of maximizing Aeroplan points.

Earning Rewards

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.

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 50,000 SQMs and 20 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.

Insurance Coverage

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 4 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.

Apply Now

The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card does not have a minimum income requirement to be eligible.

Consider supporting Prince of Travel by applying for the card via our referral link below.

  1. Avatar


    Just wondering how long it takes for the 35K points to hit the account? I spent 10K plus already on the card within the first 3 days but have not seen the points yet after a week- thanks!

    1. Ricky

      Points post with your monthly statement.

  2. Avatar
    Paul C.

    Amex just upped the everyday spend to 1.25 points to match CIBC and TD VIP cards. It just popped up as a message on my AMEX dashboard.

    1. Ricky

      Good catch!

  3. Avatar

    Thanks for the referral link Ricky.
    Question re: spending… Want to clarify to ensure I get the maximum bonus.

    Card activated today (March 21st).
    Is it $1,000 / mo starting today or per statement period?

    ie) Do I need to spend $1,000 by Apr 21st then $1,000 from Apr 22nd – May 21st, then May 22nd – June 21st etc?

    1. Ricky

      My understanding is that it’s based on the statement period. By chance, some cardholders might end up with a very short statement period for their first statement, so many cardholders have reported American Express giving them an extra 5,000 Aeroplan points on the first statement as a kind of protection against that. If you can spend $1,000+ within the first few days and ensure that it’s posted within your first statement, you’ll even get to keep those 5,000 bonus points and end up with 10,000 points on your first statement in total.

      1. Avatar

        What’s AMEX statement period?

        I’m not sure if they start the clock when I receive and activate the card, or now since they gave me the card details digitally when I was immediately approved.

  4. Avatar

    Will you qualify for the 75,000 points if you spend $6k in the first couple of months, or does the spend have to be over a six month period?

    1. Avatar

      It has to be over the 6 months.

  5. Avatar
    Joel S

    I noticed that Priority Pass is now included in the advertised benefits for this card, in addition to the Maple Leaf Lounge access. A Priority Pass Prestige membership to be specific. I got approved right away and immediately received 5,000 AP points before making a single purchase. I met the MS requirements in the first couple of weeks (just under $5k spending) and have over 65,000 total points posted to this card, so it seems that the 5,000 points per $1k for first six months posts immediately as you spend each $1k segment.

    1. Avatar
      Shawn N

      Can anyone else confirm this DP, that we don’t need to wait every month to spend $1,000 per month? We can just spend the $6k right away??

    2. Avatar
      Joel S

      ^correction – It’s a Basic Prestige Priority Pass, so you have to pay for each visit. Will continue to use Biz Platinum card for lounge visits. Given that so many of the Maple Leaf lounges are closed or offering limited services you would think a higher level of Priority Pass would be included with this card, especially with it launching during a time with such restrictions in place. Maybe this explains why they added the $100 statement credit.

  6. Avatar
    Michelle M

    My Amex Platinum automatically changed to AMEX reserve card this November. I haven’t travelled since but I am about to in a few weeks. Do you have any idea if the Reserve card still allows you to have access to airport lounges other than Maple Leaf Lounges for a fee? ( Such as the Plaza Premium Lounges and other Star alliance affiliated ones?)

  7. Avatar
    Kyrie English

    Must the full cost of the flight be charged on the reserve card for one to be eligible for flight delay insurance? Say $200 taxes and fees for aeroplan rewards redemption is paid by a $25 AC gift card and the rest of the $175 is charged on the reserve card, would you still be entitled to the coverage?

  8. Avatar

    When does this offer expire?

    1. Ricky

      There’s no published expiry date on the public 75K offer. The waitlist offer expires on December 31, 2020.

  9. Avatar

    Isnt the Maple Leaf lounge access just for international flights? So this is worse than the amex plat PP access which you can use for international and domestic itineraries? (I’m likely still going to sign up as i just churned my amex plat last month)

    “A Basic Cardmember and Supplementary Cardmember(s) are each entitled to complimentary access to any Maple Leaf Lounge located in Canada and the United States, including International Maple Leaf Lounges in Canada and the United States when travelling on an international itinerary. Access excludes Air Canada Signature Suites and lounges operated by third parties, such as Star Alliance member airlines. Guests of Basic Cardmembers or Supplementary Cardmembers may enter upon paying an applicable fee. Access will be granted in conjunction with a same-day, confirmed ticket on a flight marketed or operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, under the Air Canada Express brand, or any Star Alliance member airline. Anyone under the age of majority entering a Maple Leaf Lounge must be accompanied by an adult with access to the lounge. Age of majority is determined by the jurisdiction in which the Maple Leaf Lounge is located. Benefit may only be used as described, and otherwise cannot be transferred. Access is subject to space availability. See aircanada.com/lounges-termsandconditions for applicable Maple Leaf Lounges Terms and Conditions”

    1. Avatar

      I think they’ve just worded it poorly. They’re saying along with domestic and trans-border lounges, you get access to the international lounges within N.A. when travelling internationally.

  10. Avatar

    Hi Ricky, thanks for all your hard work on running this website! Just wondering would you recommend someone who has amex platinum and Aeroplan elite status to apply the reserve card just to get the 75k welcome bonus? If so, should the card holder keep both after a year or cancel the reserve card afterwards as platinum have stronger earning ratios? Thanks.

    1. Ricky

      I’d say the 75K is a very strong bonus, yes. However, it’s probably not necessary to keep both the Platinum and the Aeroplan Reserve in the long run. Between the two cards, the Platinum does seem stronger for its earning rates and travel benefits; the only reason to keep the Reserve instead would be if you really value the Air Canada priority/lounge benefits on the card.

      1. Avatar

        Thanks Ricky for your reply, absolutely, since platinum have lounge benefits and my Aeroplan elite status offers priority, so I guess I’ll apply this card just to get the welcome bonus then.

  11. Avatar

    Has anyone got an automatic approval with Aeroplan reserve card? I got a generic response that my application will be reviewed. Then about 2 days after, I got a call from Amex saying that they still need 24-48hrs more to review my application.

    1. Avatar
      Nahun Espinoza

      Yes I was approved instantly and was given a copy of the card right away for use. I also received 5000 Aeroplan points right away

    2. Avatar

      I did, automatically approved and was given the option of showing card number right away for use. Physical metal card received TWO days after, fastest application ever.

  12. Avatar
    Noah W

    Hey guys. Just wanted to know what’s the waitlist email looks like. I have joined the waitlist back in September but I have not received the email as of yet.

    1. Avatar
      Kyrie English

      Got my email on Nov 8 or 9. Don’t bother, just go to Air Canada and apply. The WB is the same.

      1. Avatar
        Noah W

        Thank you for your reply. Does that mean I will still get the 10,000 pts bonus without getting the RSVP code? Will they just capture the email and compare to the waitlist when I submit the application?

        1. Avatar
          Kevin O

          Not sure. I received 2 waitlist emails in the last few days. I applied through the email link.

          Amex is offering 75K pts for waitlist. Only 65K pts on the Amex of Air Canada site.

  13. Avatar

    How come on the amex website says that the core card is a charge card whereas the reserve card is a credit card? is that a mistake on the amex website or it is actually a credit card?

    1. Ricky

      That’s correct. The Aeroplan Card is a charge card, whereas the Aeroplan Reserve Card is a credit card.

  14. Avatar

    Hello! Do you guys plan on cancelling this card when the 2nd year annual fee comes up or keeping it? I’ve heard that cancelling amex cards before the 12 month annual fee comes up can have bad consequences, but I’m not sure if that is strictly with american amex or if that applies to Canadian amex too.

    1. Ricky

      That’s mostly with American Amex cards but it’s getting more and more true with Canadian Amex cards these days. I’d definitely recommend against cancelling before the second year’s annual fee comes up; if you must cancel, do so after that fee posts and ask for a refund within 30 days.

  15. Avatar

    Great reviews and a resource for all new Cards. Thkx! How does this compared to Amex Biz personal or platinum? If all other benefits are redundant, can this card replace Amex Plat?

    1. Ricky

      I still think the personal and business Platinum Card’s perks are stronger, due to the superior lounge access benefits and hotel statuses. The Aeroplan Reserve could be stronger for a frequent Air Canada flyer who values the benefits there, but that’s about it.

      Here are some much more detailed comparisons:



  16. Avatar

    I literally just got the email from Amex at 5:34PM EST

  17. Avatar
    Brent B

    Nevermind, just got it!

  18. Avatar
    Brent B

    Hello. Has anyone received their Waitlist emails from Amex yet with promo code?


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