Do you travel a lot? Do you have a ton of credit cards with little to no relevant rewards? You may want to consider switching to an Aeroplan credit card instead.
Aeroplan Credit Cards
The Aeroplan program is a loyalty program owned by the airline Air Canada with over 5 million members. Members use their Aeroplan credit cards to earn “miles” or points. They can then use points to get rewards such as free flights, gift cards, groceries, and more.
Similar to other air mile credit cards, you can earn Aeroplan miles by making any type of purchase with your Aeroplan credit card. So something as simple as a coffee run will earn miles for you. Depending on the Aeroplan card, you will usually get around 1 mile/point for each dollar you spend.
Most Aeroplan cards will also have offers that let you get two times, three times, four times, or even five times the number of points. You can do this by either shopping with their partners, or buying certain things like flights, hotels, or dining.
So, an Aeroplan credit card is a great idea for anyone who travels a lot or who generally just enjoys getting rewards at a low fee (if any).
Table of Contents
- Best Credit Cards in Canada
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
- The American Express Gold Rewards Card
- The American Express Platinum Card
- CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite
- CIBC Aero Platinum Visa Card
- Aeroplan FAQs
- The Bottom Line
Best Credit Cards in Canada
With so many great Aeroplan cards available, choosing just one can be hard. As many have a monthly or annual fee, you want to make sure you have the best Aeroplan card for you.
When choosing an Aeroplan card, you should first look at what the annual fee is. The annual fee can sometimes be as low as $39 but can go as high as $550 a year. Typically, the higher the annual fee, the more rewards and offers you will get as well. If an Aeroplan card has rewards that interest you, a higher annual fee may be worth it.
Similarly, some Aeroplan cards will waive the annual fee for you in your first year. This is usually a great deal because, in addition to no annual fee, you will typically also receive a welcome gift, which brings us to our next point.
Look at the card’s welcome offer. Most will have some sort of offer. It could be waiving your annual fee in your first year, offering you bonus points, or the opportunity to earn more points in your first year. Every Aeroplan card will have something.
Although you shouldn’t base your whole decision on what the card’s welcome offer is, it is important to take it into consideration. It is quite telling about what kind of service or deals you will get with the bank down the line.
Also, consider what the rules are regarding redeeming or carrying over your Aeroplan points. Some cards will let you carry over unused points each year and some will not. If you don’t intend to travel or spend your points each year, you should consider a card that lets you roll over the points.
Similarly, some cards make it really difficult to redeem points by blacking out travel dates. Or, require a ton of points for small things. If it does, it may not be the card for you. Points should not only be used as an incentive in getting the card, they should be functional.
Ultimately, which Aeroplan card you pick is up to your own preferences. But, we looked at some of the Aeroplan cards in Canada to find the best ones. We based the decision on their annual fee, what types of rewards they offer, and how easy it is to earn and use points.
If you’re interested in getting a card to start racking up Aeroplan points today, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find the best Aeroplan-affiliated card in Canada!
1. TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
Starting off our list is a TD credit card called the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card. The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite credit card is often considered one of the best airline credit cards TD or any other bank in Canada offers.
This credit card comes with an enticing rewards system. The points system allows you to earn points on everyday purchases. Points are easy to earn and the points system is easy to understand:
- Earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery and direct through Air Canada purchases.
- Earn 1 point for all other purchases on your credit card.
- Earn double points when you pay with your card and provide your Aeroplan number at more than 150 Aeroplan partners and 170 online retailers.
One of the great things about the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card is that your points never expire. You can redeem your points on flights, hotels, and car rentals. If you are not a frequent traveller, you can choose to redeem your points on merchandise, experiences, and gift certificates. Your rewards are usually worth more if you redeem them on Air Canada flights.
TD also offers a generous welcome offer. This includes up to 25,000 Aeroplan points and a bonus buddy pass. Your first year’s annual fee will also be waived. TD also provides comprehensive travel insurance, perfect for frequent travellers.
Here are some of the reasons why this is one of the best TD credit cards available!
- After you make your first purchase with the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite credit card, you will receive 15,000 Aeroplan miles for free. 15,000 Aeroplan miles can get you something as big as a short-haul, economy, round-trip flight.
- Your annual fee of $120 to maintain the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite credit card will be waived your first year.
- The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite credit card includes $1,000,000 in travel insurance. It covers medical emergency coverage, lost baggage coverage, car rental insurance, and more.
- The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite credit card earns between 1 mile and 1.5 Aeroplan miles for every $1 spent. This equates to a 1.2% to 1.8% return on travel rewards per dollar.
- In addition to the rewards you can get with your aero plan miles, you will also get airport travel benefits. Such as priority check-in, priority boarding, and one-time access to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge. These benefits a renewed every year when you pay your annual fee.
- The Aeroplan miles you earn can only be redeemed for Air Canada and Star Alliance member airlines.
- Every Aeroplan mile earned may have a different value, so determining how much they are worth to redeem rewards can be complicated.
- To receive the offer of Air Canada benefits, you must book the flight using Aeroplan miles. The benefits include getting priority check-in or accessing the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge,
2. The American Express Gold Rewards Card
Next on our list is an American Express credit card, the American Express Gold Rewards Card. This credit card gives you membership to the American Express Membership Rewards program.
The points system allows you to:
- Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases.
- Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases.
- Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
- Earn 1 additional point for every $1 spent on American Express Travel Online.
- Earn a bonus of up to 75,000 points for referring your friends.
Your points can be redeemed for flights and other travel-related purchases. Alternatively, you can redeem your points against your card purchases or use them for merchandise, gift cards or on Amazon.
As well as a wide array of other travel benefits, this Gold Rewards Card also offers comprehensive travel insurance.
Aside from travel perks, choosing an American Express credit card gives you a host of other benefits. This includes access to American Express Experiences and Front of the Line for access to music, theatre, dining, film, fashion, and shopping experiences. The Amex mobile app also gives you the opportunity to track your points, access your benefits, monitor your account, and track your spending.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of the American Express Gold Rewards Card.
- You will receive an offer of 35,000 reward points. But, you have to spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in your first three months with the American Express Aeroplan credit card.
- High rewards rate with the American Express Aeroplan credit card in specific categories. Such as dining-in, or getting take-out, or buying groceries. You will receive 4 times the points.
- The American Express Aeroplan credit card has an offer of $100 airline fee credit for any airline of your choice such as Air Canada.
- This American Express Aeroplan credit card has no foreign transaction fees.
- With the American Express Aeroplan credit card, you will get $120 a year in dining credit.
- Every $1 spent on purchases other than dining, groceries, and travel with the American Express Aeroplan credit card will receive 1 mile.
- Other travel rewards with the American Express Aeroplan card include a $100 activity credit on your vacations over $3000. Or a $100 hotel credit.
- American Express is also quite lenient with their rewards points as they don’t expire, there are no limits, and they can be used for a variety of rewards. Ranging from travel, gas, grocery, entertainment, gift cards, and even charity.
- There is no access to any airport lounge while you travel with the American Express Aeroplan credit card. Other credit cards do have access to lounges such as the Air Canada lounge.
- American Express is not as widely accepted as credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard.
- The American Express Aeroplan credit card annual fee is quite steep at $250 a year.
3. The American Express Platinum Card
Another great American Express Aeroplan credit card is the Platinum Card which, as the name suggests, is a step up from the Gold Aeroplan card.
This metal credit card boasts 50% more perks than its competitors. It often ranks as the best credit card for perks in Canada.
Although this credit card has a high annual fee of $699, for frequent users, the perks and rewards can quickly earn you your money back.
The Platinum Card rewards system offers:
- 3 points on eligible dining and takeout purchases.
- 2 points on eligible travel purchases.
- 1 point for all other purchases.
- 1 additional point on Amex Travel Online.
- $200 annual travel credit.
You will also receive a host of perks and VIP treatment every time you travel. When looking to redeem your points, transferring them to an airline program, such as Aeroplan, offers you the most value for your money. Aeroplan offers you a 1:1 transfer ratio for your points. Alternatively, you can redeem your points against card purchases, use them for other travel purchases or spend them on gift cards.
You will also get excellent comprehensive travel insurance, a one-year Extended Warranty on purchases and 120 days of Purchase Protection.
Applying for the American Express Platinum Card is quick and simple – taking as little as 60 seconds.
To help you decide if this is the best Aeroplan credit card for you, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons in more detail.
- If you spend $5,000 in your first three months with this Aeroplan card, you will receive 60,000 membership points as a welcome offer. This is valued at around $1200.
- Great Uber rewards as you will get to enjoy VIP status and receive $200 in Uber savings that can be used towards rides or Uber Eats.
- Access the Global Lounge Collection. This is a credit card airport lounge access program that allows you to enter over 1,200 airline lounges while you travel.
- Receive 5 times the membership rewards points on any flights you book with your credit card. This can be direct with the airlines or through AmEx Travel.
- Also, receive 5 times the membership rewards points on prepaid hotels. Only when booked using your credit card on American Express’ travel website.
- Other travel rewards such as $200 airline fee credit and up to $200 worth of credits in baggage fees.
- Other than the 5 times rewards deals, you will receive 1 mile for every $1 spent on general purchases.
- Your points are also safe with this Aeroplan credit card. They won’t expire and there are no limits. They are easy to redeem for travel rewards as there are no blackout dates. Plus you can use your points to get rewards such as gift cards, shopping, gas, grocery, merchandise, or charity.
- This Aeroplan credit card has a steep annual fee of $699.
- Again, American Express is not as widely accepted as credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard
4. CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite
Going back to a Canadian bank card, our next offering is CIBC’s Aerogold Visa Infinite card. This card allows you to earn points on everyday purchases. CIBC’s rewards program offers:
- Earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on gas, groceries and with Air Canada directly.
- Earn 1 point for every $1 on all other purchases.
- Earn your points twice at over 150 Aeroplan partners and more than 170 online retailers.
- Up to 10 cents off per litre at participating gas stations with Journie Rewards.
- Earn 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles and 1 Status Qualifying Segment for every $10,000 spent on qualifying purchases.
- Earn 1 point for every $4 spent on a CIBC Global Money Transfer.
Aeroplan also offers some great family perks. The Aeroplan Family Sharing allows you to combine points with others in your household. Your authorized users will also have access to your travel benefits even when travelling without you.
Your points never expire, and you can redeem them at any time.
The annual for this card is $139. However, if you have a CIBC Smart Plus Account, you can have up to $139 refunded every year. The interest rate is 20.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
CIBC offers some other additional perks. CIBC Pace It helps you to manage your finances. You can set up installment plans on your credit card with lower interest rates.
Here is a list of some of the pros and cons of the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite.
- CIBC has a welcome offer with this credit card. Once you make your first purchase in your first year, you will receive 15,000 Aeroplan miles to spend on rewards. This equates to about $375 in travel rewards such as free flights.
- If you spend $3,000 or more during your first 4 months, you will get an additional 5,000 points to spend on rewards.
- The annual fee is quite low, only $120 and CIBC will even waive the annual fee during your first year.
- With this Visa Infinite credit card, you get 1 Aeroplan mile on every $1 spent. Unless you are making grocery, gas, drugstore, or AirCanada.com purchases, then you will get 1.5 Aeroplan miles for every $1 spent.
- You will be covered as you travel this credit cards’ travel insurance. The travel insurance covers out-of-province medical bills. It also covers car rental insurance, trip cancellation, and trip interruption.
- When you travel on Air Canada flights, you will receive priority check-in and priority boarding. Your first bag will also be checked in with no fee to you.
- This Visa Infinite card will get you into Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge once a year.
- Holders of this credit card will receive up to 25% off at any participating Avis and Budget car rental locations.
- You can earn double the miles with this credit card if you shop with participating Aeroplan partners or online retailers.
- This credit card only gets you limited access to lounges while you travel.
- To access Air Canada’s travel rewards such as priority boarding and priority check-in, you need to use your Aeroplan miles on the flight.
5. CIBC Aero Platinum Card
Ending our list of the best credit cards in Canada is another CIBC credit card, the Aero Visa Card.
One of the biggest draws to this credit card is the absence of an annual fee. You can also get up to three additional cards with no annual fee. Unlike many other no annual fee credit cards, CIBC still offers some great rewards with this card.
You can earn:
- 1 point for every $1 spent on gas, groceries and with Air Canada directly.
- 1 point for every $1.50 spent on all other purchases.
- Twice the points at over 150 Aeroplan partners and more than 170 online retailers.
- Up to 10 cents off per litre at participating gas stations with Journie Rewards.
- 1 point for every $6 spent on CIBC Global Money Transfers.
Although you are earning fewer points per dollar compared to some of the other cards we have looked at today, CIBC is offering an affordable credit card, that still provides Aeroplan rewards. There is also a low annual income requirement of only $15,000. This makes this credit card attainable for many Canadians.
The interest rate is fairly standard – 19.99% on purchases and 22.9% on cash advances and balance transfers. You will also receive Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Insurance. Frequent travellers can also benefit from Common Carrier Accident Insurance and Car Rental Collision, Loss and Damage Insurance.
Below is a list of some of the pros and cons of the CIBC Aero Visa Card.
- No annual fee. These Aeroplan Visa credit cards have the lowest annual fee of all the credit cards we discussed, including the top TD credit cards.
- These Aeroplan credit cards have a welcome offer of 10,000 Aeroplan miles after your first purchase to spend on rewards in your first year
- Like the other credit cards, these Aeroplan credit cards a number of things. This includes rental car insurance for collision and damage insurance.
- Double up the manufacturer’s warranty on big items such as phones and laptops for no fee. You will also get theft and loss replacement as well with these credit cards.
- Only a minimum household income of $15,000 is needed to open one of these Aeroplan credit cards. You also only need to be 18 or 19 depending on your province. You need to be a Canadian citizen to be eligible for one of these Aeroplan credit cards.
- You will receive one Aeroplan mile for every $1.50 you spend.
- If you want to get credit cards for your family, you can get up to three credit cards with no fee.
- You can get double the Aeroplan miles if you shop at over 150 Aeroplan partners/ organizations.
- Receive up to $100,000 in insurance when you travel by plane, ferry, bus, or train.
- No additional fee car rental insurance that covers collisions and damage.
- With an interest rate as high as 22.99%, it is the highest among all of the Aeroplan credit cards we discussed.
- As the annual fee is so low, the rewards are not very extensive.
- Cash advances are available with one of these Aeroplan credit cards but come with a steep fee. Advances are charged 22.9%.
Aeroplan versus Airmiles
This guide has been about the best Aeroplan cards in Canada. But we cannot ignore Canada’s other travel rewards program: Airmiles.
Both rewards programs function in the same way. Whenever you use your Aeroplan or Airmiles card, you receive points to then spend on rewards. These include travel, groceries, entertainment, and more.
Aeroplan is Air Canada’s loyalty program whereas Airmiles is not owned by an airline, but a company called LoyaltyOne.
As Aeroplan is owned by Air Canada, most of its rewards are based on travel with the airline. Most popular are free flights, lounge use, vacation packages, or merchandise. As Air Canada is the leading airline in Canada, getting a card with Aeroplan could be a good idea for you. If you do not typically travel on Air Canada, however, Airmiles might be better.
Airmiles tends to be a more popular rewards program as it is more versatile. You can typically earn Airmiles in more places and you can use Airmiles points on any airlines or even turn it into cash rewards.
One of the main gripes people have with Aeroplan points is they expire if your account is not active within the last 18 months. Airmiles on the other hand, never expire so you can accumulate them over long periods of time.
How long does it take for Aeroplan points to show up?
The short answer is that it depends on which partner you accumulated the points with.
If you got Aeroplan points from shopping at any of the Aeroplan retail partners. Assuming you swiped your card when you made the purchase, your points will be deposited into your account within 48 hours.
If you have an Aeroplan-affiliated card, your points will be deposited into your account every billing cycle (typically once a month).
Lastly, if you accumulate points with either Air Canada or Aeroplan’s air travel partners Star Alliance, the points accumulated will be deposited into your account within 48 hours after your flight. You will only get the points if you booked with your Aeroplan number.
To see all the details of your transactions that can get you points, you can log in to your account at Aeroplan.com. Once in your account, you will be able to see details of your transactions and what your Aeroplan miles balance is.
If it has been more than a month and the points you expected to have are not in your account you can request missing miles. Simply log into your account, go to the self-serve tools and request missing miles from there.
If the missing miles are from travel, you will need to input your ticket information for Aeroplan to double-check. It may happen that your flight was actually not eligible for Aeroplan points, so Aeroplan will help you validate that.
Do Aeroplan miles ever expire?
Aeroplan has changed their expiry rules a couple of times, previously allowing members to use their points within seven years. Now, however, your points will never expire if you keep your Aeroplan account active. If your account is inactive for a period of 18 months, your points will expire. This is in line with most travel credit cards.
Keeping your account active can be done in a number of ways. By earning points, redeeming them, donating them, or transferring them within the 18 months.
Your miles will not expire if you:
- pay with your Aeroplan-affiliated card.
- use your points to redeem rewards.
- donate a minimum of 1,000 miles through the Aeroplan Member Donation program.
- transfer your miles to another Aeroplan member (with a fee).
How much are 25,000 Aeroplan miles worth?
As Aeroplan miles are not equivalent to actual dollars, many people want to know how much an amount like 25,000 Aeroplan miles is really worth. If it is hard to accumulate points with actual value, potential members would not want to pay an annual fee for their card.
It’s hard to say what the exact value of one Aeroplan mile is because each flight or reward you can get has a different value.
The average value of one Aeroplan mile, however, ranges from 0.5 to 2.5 cents per mile. It is such a large range because booking flights with your miles also depends on other factors. For example, what time of year you’re booking, where you’re going, whether or not it’s a popular flight, and so much more.
But, 25,000 points can typically get you an economy, short-haul, roundtrip flight. So, if you’re flying from Toronto, you can get a flight to places like Montreal, Ottawa, Iqaluit, or New York.
Ultimately, If you used 25,000 points to their maximum potential of 2.5 cents per Aeroplan mile, you would get $625 worth of rewards. That you could spend on things like flights, entertainment, food, and even merchandise.
As many of the cards we discussed have welcome offers of around 25,000 points or close to it, paying the annual fee to get them is often worth it. This is especially true if you travel a lot as you will accumulate more points.
If the card’s annual fee is still what is putting you off from getting one, many banks, some of which we discussed, will waive the annual fee for the first year. This makes it a great way to see if you will actually use the card and determine the value to you, of the 25,000 points reward.
The Bottom Line
For anyone who travels regularly, you are seriously missing out on rewards if you are are not taking advantage of the points awarded with an Aeroplan credit card. Whenever you travel or even when you pick up groceries at selected partners, you are able to accumulate points. Each point has a monetary value of between 50 cents and $2.50.
Many credit card companies offer great incentives like reduced fees or having the fees waived completely. But some even offer up to 25,000 free air miles. This could be enough for a free domestic free flight, just for signing up!