The Best Aeroplan Credit Cards

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Aeroplan is one of Canada’s most popular loyalty programs since the miles you earn can be used later to redeem flights on Air Canada or any other Star Alliance member. Since people love to travel for cheap or free, one of the most common questions is what are the best Aeroplan credit cards? This should be a straightforward answer, but you need to look at the signup bonus, earn rate, and additional benefits before you apply for a new card. To help you narrow down your choices. I’ve come up with a list of the best Aeroplan credit cards.

CardSign Up BonusAnnual Fee
American Express Aeroplan CardUp to 70,000 points$120
American Express Aeroplan Reserve CardUp to 120,000 Aeroplan Points$599
TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum CardUp to 20,000 Aeroplan Points$89 - FYF
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite CardUp to 20,000 Aeroplan Points+ Buddy Pass $139 - FYF
American Express Business Platinum CardUp to 100,000 Membership Rewards Points$499
American Express Gold Rewards CardUp to 50,000 Membership Rewards Points$150

American Express Aeroplan Card

  • $120 annual fee
  • Earn up to 40,000 Aeroplan points as your welcome offer
    • 10,000 Aeroplan points and a Buddy Pass after spending $1,500 in purchases within the first three months of cardmembership
    • Earn 2,500 Aeroplan points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases on your card for the first twelve months of cardmembership (30,000 points total)
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations purchases
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on dining and food delivery in Canada
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
  • Air Canada Travel Benefits: including eligible Free First Checked Bag (up to 8 people), Status Qualification Boost and Preferred Pricing on flight rewards
  • Some travel insurance
  • Purchase security
  • Extended warranty
  • Access to Amex Invites

The current American Express Aeroplan Card welcome bonus is incredible since it’s worth up to 70,000 Aeroplan points. The base value is 40,000 points, plus 30,000 more if you convert your Buddy Pass. That’s much better than the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card. Otherwise, the cards are actually quite similar. The key differences are the earn rate and included travel insurance. TD has a slight edge. But if you spend a lot on dining and food delivery, then the Amex card may be a better fit. If you value points more than insurance, go for the American Express Aeroplan Card.

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card

  • $599 annual fee
  • Earn up to 90,000 Aeroplan points as your welcome offer
    • Earn 30,000 Aeroplan points and a Buddy Pass after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of cardmembership
    • Earn 5,000 Aeroplan points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $1,000 in purchases on your card for the first twelve months of cardmembership (60,000 points total)
  • Earn 3 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on eligible Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations
  • Earn 2 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on dining and food delivery in Canada
  • Earn 1.25 Aeroplan points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Unlimited free access to Maple Leaf Lounges in North America for you and a guest
  • Complimentary Priority Pass membership (no free entries)
  • Free first checked bag, priority check-in and boarding for the primary cardholder and up to 8 companions on the same reservation
  • Preferred pricing on Aeroplan redemptions
  • Annual Worldwide Companion Pass when you spend $25,000 in net purchases prior to your card anniversary date
  • American Express offers and experiences

The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card currently has a welcome bonus worth up to 120,000 points. You get 90,000 points and a Buddy Pass when you meet the minimum spend requirement. If you then take the Buddy Pass and convert it to Aeroplan points, it’s worth an additional 30,000 points. Anyone looking to accumulate points as quickly as possible should get this card. As for the card benefits, the earn rate is excellent. You get all the new Air Canada travel benefits and a great travel insurance package.

TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum

  • $89 annual fee – First year free
  • 10,000 Aeroplan points after your first purchase
  • 10,000 additional Aeroplan points when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Earn 1 Aeroplan point for every $1 spent on gas, groceries or purchases made with Air Canada, including Air Canada Vacations 
  • Earn 1 Aeroplan point for every $1.50 spent on all other purchases
  • Some travel insurance
  • Mobile device insurance
  • Purchase security
  • Extended warranty

The entry-level Aeroplan credit card is the TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Card. The welcome bonus is excellent considering this is a pretty basic card. Plus, the annual fee is waived for the first year.

Unfortunately, the earn rate is not the best and you don’t get any Air Canada travel benefits. This shouldn’t be a surprise since it’s the lowest tier of all the TD Aeroplan credit cards.

With such limited benefits, you’re likely wondering why this card is on the list of the best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada. Well, it has a low minimum income requirement so it is a good card for people who are new to Aeroplan.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

  • $139 annual fee – First year free – Must apply by December 5, 2021
  • 10,000 Aeroplan points after your first purchase
  • 15,000 additional Aeroplan points when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Air Canada Buddy Pass after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Earn 1.5 Aeroplan points for every $1 spent on gas, groceries, and Air Canada purchases
  • Earn 1 Aeroplan point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Air Canada Travel Benefits: including eligible Free First Checked Bag (up to 8 people), Status Qualification Boost and Preferred Pricing on flight rewards
  • Aeroplan Elite Status Benefits: Rollover Status Qualifying Miles, Rollover eUpgrade Credits and Priority Airport Upgrades
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package
  • Mobile device insurance
  • Purchase security
  • Extended warranty
  • NEXUS+ application fee reimbursement of up to $100 for the primary cardholder and additional cardholders 

With the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card, you get Aeroplan points and an Air Canada Buddy Pass as part of the welcome bonus. When you purchase a full fare price, you can use the buddy pass for a second ticket where you’d only pay taxes third-party fees. This is an easy way to save hundreds of dollars if someone is travelling with you on the same itinerary.

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card is arguably the best mid-tier Aeroplan credit card for everyday users. The earn rate on gas, groceries, and Air Canada purchases is 1.5 Aeroplan points per $1 spent. All other purchases get you 1 point per $1 spent.

The recently added free checked bags is definitely a huge benefit of this card. You can read my full review of the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card here.

American Express Business Platinum Card

  • $499 Annual fee
  • Up to 105,000 Membership Rewards points welcome bonus when using a referral link
  • Earn 1.25 points for every $1 spent
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
  • 55 interest free days
  • Unlimited airport lounge access
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package
  • Buyer’s assurance
  • Purchase protection

If you’re looking for good sign up bonus in Canada, then check out the American Express Business Platinum Card which gives you 75,000 points when you charge $7,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership when using a referral link. Yes, that’s a lot of money you need to spend, but 75,000 points can get you pretty far if you book your flights via the Amex Fixed Travel Program.

More importantly, you can transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 which is why this card is one of the best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada.

Note that you don’t get any Air Canada benefits with this card, so you should only consider it if you want to earn a lot of Aeroplan points fast. The earn rate is a straight 1.25 points per $1 spent, so business owners who charge a lot of expenses can rack up the points easily. You do get unlimited Prioity Pass lounge access with the which is why this is one of the best credit cards with lounge access.

American Express Gold Rewards Card

  • $250 Annual fee 
  • 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points welcome bonus when you charge $3,000 in the first three months
  • 10,000 additional points when you make any purchase between months 14 and 17.
  • $100 Annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass Membership + 4 annual Plaza Premium passes
  • $50 CAD statement credit for NEXUS applications or renewal fees
  • Earn 2 American Express Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on grocery, gas, pharmacy, and travel purchases
  • Earn 1 American Express Membership Rewards point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package included
  • 1 Free supplementary card ($50 value)

You also earn Membership Rewards points with the American Express Gold Rewards card, so this is a good choice if you want to earn a quick 30,000 Aeroplan points (after you convert your points).

If you use a referral link and add a secondary user, the sign up bonus is worth up to 30,000 points. You get 25,000 points when you charge $1,500 to your card in the first 90 days and another 5,000 points when you add another user. Without a referral link, you just get 25,000 points.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card 

  • $120 annual fee
  • 70,000 Bonvoy points when spending $1,500 in the first three months
  • Earn 5 Marriott Bonvoy points for every $1 on eligible card purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • Earn 2 Marriott Bonvoy points for every $1 on all other purchases
  • Free annual night award that can be redeemed at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties worldwide, with a redemption value of up to 35,000 points
  • 15 Elite Night credits each calendar year
  • Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status when you spend $30,000 on your card each year
  • Complimentary in-room, premium internet access while staying at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • Some travel insurance

Wait, isn’t this a list of Aeroplan credit cards? Why is the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card on this list when it earns hotel points? If you didn’t know, you can transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to various airlines including Aeroplan. The transfer ratio is 3:1 so for every Marriott Bonvoy point you transfer, you get 1 Aeroplan mile. Admittedly, this may not sound like a good deal, but when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, you get 5,000 extra Aeroplan Miles for a total of 25,000 Aeroplan Miles. That’s basically a 20% bonus. Even with the extra miles, some people may not think it’s worth it, but you need to look at it from your specific perspective. The ability to transfer points to Aeroplan is handy if you’re short a few thousand points to get a free flight. Getting the Marriott Bonvoy Amex is also good if you’re trying to accumulate Aeroplan Miles quickly.

The current welcome bonus is worth up to 105,000 points, so it’s worth considering since you can get quite a few free nights with that amount. Alternatively, you could top up your Aeroplan balance.

What is Aeroplan?

Aeroplan is the loyalty program for Air Canada which is Canada’s #1 airline. Since Air Canada is a member of Star Alliance, you’re able to use your Aeroplan Miles with more than a dozen airlines. Besides flights, you can also use your Aeroplan miles for hotels, car rentals, vacation packages and merchandise. There’s no doubt that Aeroplan is one of the best travel rewards programs in Canada

How much are Aeroplan miles worth?

Since every Aeroplan redemption is different, the value of Aeroplan Miles varies. To find out the exact value of your Aeroplan Miles, take the ticket price, subtract the taxes and fees, then divide by the number of miles it takes for that redemption.

For example, let’s say you’re flying from Toronto to Los Angeles. The ticket costs $575 but $140 is in taxes. To get redeem the flight on Aeroplan, it’ll cost you 25,000 Aeroplan Miles. To calculate the value of your Aeroplan Miles, you would use the following formula ($575 – $140) ÷ 25,000. That works out to $0.0174. That’s a great value as most people accept that the average value of 1 Aeroplan Mile is $0.012. If you’re getting less than $0.012 per Aeroplan Mile, you’re better off paying cash and saving your points.

Do Aeroplan miles expire?

Yes, your miles will expire if there’s no account activity in 12 consecutive months. The easiest way to make sure they don’t expire is to earn, redeem, donate or transfer your Air Miles sometime during those 12 months. Don’t forget, Aeroplan has an estore where you can shop with hundreds of merchants and earn Aeroplan Miles.

Aeroplan vs. Air Miles

Quite often people what’s the difference between Aeroplan and Air Miles. Heck, some people assumed they were the same program but they’re not. While both popular programs in Canada, Aeroplan is exclusive to Air Canada while Air Miles allows you to redeem your miles on just about any airline. You might already be thinking that Air Miles is the better program, but it’s not that simple.

Air Miles uses a redemption chart based on where you’re flying from, where you’re flying to and the season. That means getting good value for your points can be tricky. In addition, earning Air Miles can be hard. Yes, there are quite a few Air Miles credit cards and they have plenty of partners, but the earn rate is not nearly as good as Aeroplan. 

That said, Air Miles gives you the option to earn cash miles which can be redeemed for store credit directly with merchants. This is a handy feature, but if you want that kind of reward, you’re likely better off with one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada

How to choose the best Aeroplan credit card

With so many Aeroplan credit cards available, it may not be easy to choose the perfect one for you. Look at the following factors and picking the best Aeroplan credit card will be easy.

  • Sign up bonus – For people getting their first Aeroplan credit card, the sign up bonus can be important. Quite often the welcome bonus will give you enough Aeroplan Miles for a free flight so that’s a good enough incentive to apply right away.
  • Annual fee – The best Aeroplan credit cards all have an annual fee, but some people don’t like the idea of paying a yearly fee for their credit card. Remember, as long as you’re getting more value and rewards out of your card than what you pay for your annual fee, you’re coming out ahead
  • Earn rate – Aeroplan credit cards have different earn rates so it would make sense to choose a card that gives you the most Aeroplan Miles based on your spending
  • What your future travel plans are – If you plan on using Aeroplan Miles in the future, you should choose your credit cards accordingly. A card that offers your 25,000 Aeroplan Miles is great for flights within North America, but if you want to go international, you may want to apply for more than one card.
  • Additional benefits – Besides the ability to earn Aeroplan Miles, you’ll also want to see what other benefits come with the card. Airport lounge access, travel insurance and hotel status are important to some people. Using your Aeroplan Miles for free flights may happen only once a year, but you can use your benefits all the time.

Final thoughts

Getting one of the best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada makes sense if you like to travel as it can save you a fair amount of money. Even if you don’t travel that often, using an Aeroplan credit card can still be a good idea since you can save your points over time and make a redemption when you do decide to take a trip. That said, like any loyalty program, Aeroplan can devalue their miles at any time, so don’t hold onto your points for too long. If you can make a redemption that’s worth it, do it.

The Best Aeroplan Credit Cards

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

3 Comments

  1. Malkeet Singh on November 4, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    The problem with American Express card is that not all merchants accepts the Amex Card.That way,you loose a lot of points yearly.I had to cancel my Amex card and switched to CIBC Aeroplan card.Which is the same as TD card.

  2. Susan on January 30, 2020 at 2:19 PM

    TD Infinite card will be raising the interest rates to 24% and charging a compound interest on revolving credit owning.

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 12:05 AM

      Yes, that was a recent unfortunate announcement.

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