Aeroplan Credit Cards: Cash Back Offers for Air Canada Flights!

Air Canada has launched a series of statement credit and cash back offers for booking Air Canada flights on the core and premium Aeroplan co-branded credit cards issued by TD, CIBC, and American Express.

Starting today until later in 2021, you can earn $25 or $50 in cash back for booking an Air Canada flight, a total of five times, for a total of $125 or $250 in cash back on a single card.

In TD and CIBC’s case, this could translate into a discount of up to 50% on Air Canada flight bookings that you make between now and the end of the year. Let’s take a closer look at the details.

Register for the Offer

Before earning cash back on your future Air Canada flights, you’ll first need to register for the offer based on the exact Aeroplan credit card that you hold:

For the American Express core and premium cards, simply navigate to your Amex Offers dashboard and click “Register your Card”, and the offer will be activated.

The registration window is open until June 30, 2021, so make sure to submit your registrations by then. This also means that you’ll want to apply for any of the six credit cards before June 30 if you’d like to take advantage of this cash back offer on Air Canada flights.

Aeroplan Credit Cards with Air Canada Cash Back Offers
Credit Card Best Offer Value
105,000 Aeroplan points $1,921 Apply Now
90,000 Aeroplan points $1,449 Apply Now
55,000 Aeroplan points $1,114 Apply Now
45,000 Aeroplan points $920 Apply Now
90,000 Aeroplan points $676 Apply Now
Up to 50,000 Aeroplan points $662 Apply Now

Earn Up to $125 in Cash Back on the Core Aeroplan Cards

If you hold one of the core (or “grey”) Aeroplan co-branded credit cards, you are eligible for the following cash back offers on Air Canada flight bookings:

  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card:
    • Earn a $25 statement credit for a $100 flight booking, up to five times, for a total of $125 in statement credits.
    • Booking must be made by December 31, 2021, for travel up to December 31, 2022.
    • Offer not available in Quebec. 
  • CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
    • Earn $25 statement credit for a $100 flight booking, up to five times, for a total of $125 in statement credits.
    • Booking must be made by December 31, 2021, for travel up to December 31, 2022.
    • Offer not available in Quebec. 
  • American Express Aeroplan Card:
    • Earn a $25 statement credit for $400 in qualifying purchases, up to five times, for a total of of $125 in statement credits.
    • Qualifying purchases must be made by November 12, 2021.

The three banks’ terms and conditions appear to vary in their interpretation of what counts as a qualifying transaction.

Reading TD and CIBC’s terms and conditions, it appears that each ticket must be at least $100 in order to trigger the $25 statement credit. This means that you wouldn’t earn the statement credit if you made two separate bookings of, say, $50 each.

On the other hand, American Express’s terms and conditions allow for cumulative qualifying purchases totalling at least $400, implying that you would trigger the $25 statement credit upon spending a total of $400 with Air Canada on the card.

The offers from the TD and CIBC Visa Infinite cards are definitely the strongest on paper, given the lower minimum purchase amount of $100 for every $25 statement credit.

On the core tier, that translates into a discount of up to 25% on your first five Air Canada flights of at least $100 per card, although you’d need to make bookings for exactly $100 to reach that 25% discount level.

On the other hand, the Amex Aeroplan Card’s offer only translates into a discount of 6.25%, but you could more easily unlock this discount by stacking cumulative bookings to reach the $400 threshold, or perhaps splitting a large booking of $800+ into two separate transactions to trigger the credits twice.

If you plan to book flights with Air Canada this year and can maximize the full $125 in cash back on any of these three cards, you’d go a long way towards offsetting the annual fee (in the case of the $139 TD and CIBC Visa Infinite cards) or indeed more than offset the fee (in the case of the $120 American Express Aeroplan Card)!

Earn Up to $250 in Cash Back on the Premium Aeroplan Cards

If you hold one of the premium (or “black”) Aeroplan co-branded credit cards, you are eligible for the following cash back offers on Air Canada flight bookings:

  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card:
    • Earn a $50 statement credit for a $100 flight booking, up to five times, for a total of $250 in statement credits.
    • Booking must be made by December 31, 2021, for travel up to December 31, 2022.
    • Offer not available in Quebec.
  • CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card
    • Earn $50 statement credit for a $100 flight booking, up to five times, for a total of $250 in statement credits.
    • Booking must be made by December 31, 2021, for travel up to December 31, 2022.
    • Offer not available in Quebec. 
  • American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card:
    • Earn a $50 statement credit for $400 in qualifying purchases, up to five times, for a total of of $250 in statement credits.
    • Qualifying purchases must be made by November 12, 2021.

Again, the terms and conditions vary by issuer, with TD and CIBC making reference to a $50 statement credit per flight ticket of at least $100, and American Express simply referring to qualifying purchases.

TD and CIBC would offer you a discount of up to 50% on your first five Air Canada flights of at least $100 per card – but you’d need to spend exactly $100 to reach that 50% discount.

Meanwhile, American Express would only offer you a 12.5% discount, but you can unlock that discount as long as you spend at least $2,000 with Air Canada during the promotion period, without having to worry about optimizing for a specific amount on each transaction. 

Either way, if you plan to book flights with Air Canada this year and can maximize the full $250 in cash back on any of these three cards, you’d recoup a fair chunk of the $599 annual fees on these premium cards.

Do Aeroplan Taxes & Fees Count?

These days, Aeroplan taxes and fees are processed directly by Air Canada on the same website as regular Air Canada flight purchases, so in theory, they should also count towards these statement credit offers.

Indeed, Air Canada has confirmed that Aeroplan taxes and fees will be eligible for these statement credits, as long as they’re at least $100 in a single transaction for the TD and CIBC offers, or they cumulatively add up to $400 for the American Express offers.

Could You Effectively Buy Aeroplan Points for Cheap?

Air Canada flights issued before May 31, 2021 can be converted into Aeroplan points with a 65% bonus in the case of a voluntary cancellation.

(This isn’t being advertised on the Air Canada website now that the airline is offering full refunds after April 13, but it remains in place until May 31 as per the original commitment before the refunds policy was announced.)

In theory, if you were able to purchase five $100 Air Canada flights on a TD or CIBC premium Aeroplan credit card and convert them into Aeroplan points at 1.8 cents per point (which is the equivalent purchase price after the 65% bonus), you’d end up with 27,778 Aeroplan points. Subtracting the $250 in statement credits on the $500 in flight bookings, and you’re effectively buying those Aeroplan points at a spectacularly low 0.9 cents per point.

TD’s terms and conditions appear to allow for this. The relevant portions state the following:

For clarity, a credit on the amount originally charged to the Account will cancel this statement credit offer if the $100 spend threshold is not met.

This offer can be combined with other Aeroplan and Air Canada offers.

When you convert the Air Canada flight into Aeroplan points, you aren’t getting any kind of credit back to your TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege account, nor are you causing the $100 spend threshold to be “not met” in any way. Furthermore, the terms explicitly state that this offer can be combined with other Aeroplan and Air Canada offers, which bodes well for our manoeuvre.

On the other hand, CIBC’s terms and conditions appear to be more ambiguous in this regard:

This offer can be combined with other Aeroplan and Air Canada offers. The statement credit can be withdrawn and reversed on the Account at any time if the qualifying flight ticket is cancelled for any reason.

Does cancelling your Air Canada flight to convert the value into Aeroplan points count under “the qualifying flight ticket is cancelled for any reason”? Well, yes, it kind of does, so your statement credit may be withdrawn.

(For what it’s worth, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card also states that the “statement credit may be reversed if qualifying purchase(s) is returned/cancelled”, but the 12.5% effective discount here is far less interesting than TD and CIBC’s 50% anyway.)

Conclusion

Air Canada and Aeroplan have put out a series of cash back offers on their core and premium Aeroplan co-branded credit cards to further incentivize bookings for future travel.

For TD and CIBC’s cash back offers, you must book flights of at least $100 to qualify, and the booking must be completed by December 31, 2021 for travel through December 31, 2022. 

Meanwhile, on the American Express side, you’d earn the statement credit upon completing $400 in qualifying purchases by November 12, 2021, although they can be cumulative rather than on a single booking. 

These are some fairly generous offers by Air Canada and their financial partners, and they represent only the first installment of a new series of “Aeroplan Ahead” limited-time offers designed to give members more ways to maximize Aeroplan points at home as they prepare for future travel. 

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