The Best Aeroplan Credit Cards for 2024

**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

The best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada are purely subjective. That’s because the welcome offers are constantly changing, and what people want from an Aeroplan credit card will differ. Some travellers will focus on Air Canada benefits while others prefer to earn points as quickly as possible.

Regardless of your reasons, having an Aeroplan credit card, or a card that earns you points that can be converted to Aeroplan is essential since you’ll earn points on every purchase. The below is my list of the best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada and why you should consider them.

Credit cardBest for
American Express Business Gold Rewards CardWelcome bonus
American Express Cobalt CardEveryday earn rate
CIBC Aeroplan Visa CardNo annual fee
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite CardCore benefits
American Express Gold Rewards CardNon Maple Leaf Lounge access
American Express Aeroplan Reserve CardPremium benefits
American Express Platinum CardGeneral travel benefits

Best Aeroplan card for the welcome bonus

American Express Business Gold Rewards Card

  • $199 annual fee
  • Up to 115,000 Membership Rewards points welcome bonus when using a referral link
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points when spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 10,000 points when you charge $20,000 each quarter (yearly benefit)
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Mobile device insurance
  • MESSAGE ME FOR A REFERRAL LINK

If you’re looking to earn a lot of Aeroplan points fast, then you need to apply for the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card. The welcome bonus has consistently been 75,000 American Express Membership Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months.

What some people don’t realize is that you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio. In addition, when you do this transfer, it’s almost instant. With an annual fee of just $199, getting the card just for the welcome bonus is often worth it.

To give you a comparison, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card also usually has a welcome bonus of around 75,000 Aeroplan points, but you may need to spend $10,000, and the annual fee is $599.

Eligibility: There’s no minimum income required. A credit score of 700 is recommended before applying.
Welcome bonus: Typically worth 75,000 American Express Membership Rewards points when spending $5,000 in the first three months.

Best Aeroplan card for everyday spending

American Express Cobalt Card

  • $12.99 Monthly fee ($155.88 yearly)
  • 1,250 monthly points when charging $750 each month for a year (15,000 points total)
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on eats and drinks
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on streaming services
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • MESSAGE ME FOR A REFERRAL LINK

The American Express Cobalt Card is another Amex card that earns you Membership Rewards points that can be transferred to Aeroplan. What really makes this card appealing is the earning rate. You’ll get 5 points per dollar spent on eats and drinks, 3 points on streaming services, 2 points on travel and transit, and 1 point on all other purchases. Simply put, there’s no other that will earn you as many points on your everyday spending as the American Express Cobalt Card.

You also get some decent insurance with this card. You get a comprehensive travel insurance package (but it doesn’t include trip cancellation), mobile device insurance, and purchase insurance.

Eligibility: There’s no minimum income required. A credit score of 700 is recommended before applying.
Welcome bonus: Typically, you’ll earn 2,500 American Express Membership Rewards points when you spend $500 monthly for the first 12 months. That’s 30,000 bonus American Express Membership Rewards points you can earn in the first year. The offer has also been as low as 1,250 monthly points for 12 months, with a minimum spend of $750 each month.

Best no fee Aeroplan card

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card

  • No annual fee
  • 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase
  • Earn 1 Aeorplan point per $1 spent on gas, groceries, and Air Canada
  • Earn 1 Aeroplan point per $1.50 spent on all other purchases

Not everyone can meet the high minimum spend requirements to get the welcome bonuses credit card offers. In addition, some people may not want to pay an annual fee. That’s where the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card comes in handy. With this card, there’s no yearly fee to worry about and you still get a reasonable welcome bonus.

The downside of this card is the earning rate is not very good. You’ll get 1 Aeroplan point per dollar spent on gas, groceries and Air Canada purchases. All other purchases earn you 1 point per $1.50 spent. You also don’t get any Air Canada benefits. Despite the drawbacks, this is still a decent card since you can earn Aeroplan points on every purchase.

Eligibility: Minimum income of $15,000. A credit score of at least 640 is recommended.
Welcome bonus: Typically 10,000 Aeroplan points after your first purchase.

Best Aeroplan Card for core benefits

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

  • $139 annual fee
  • 10,000 Aeroplan points after your first purchase
  • 15,000 additional Aeroplan points when you spend $7,500 in the first 180 days
  • 15,000 Aeroplan points on your anniversary when you spend $12,000 in the first 12 months
  • Earn 1.5 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on gas, groceries, and Air Canada purchases
  • Earn 1 Aeroplan point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • First bag checked free on Air Canada flights

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card is a core Aeroplan card. That means you get some Aeroplan benefits such as the first checked bag free from the primary cardholder and up to eight travelling companions on the same itinerary. You also get access to preferred pricing on Aeroplan flight redemptions and the ability to earn status qualifying miles and segments based on card spending.

Other travel benefits that come with the card include a comprehensive travel insurance package and a $100 Nexus rebate. If that wasn’t enough, the earning rate is respectable at 1.5 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, and Air Canada purchases, and 1 point on all other purchases. It’s worth noting that there’s a CIBC version of this card that’s nearly identical. Sign up for whichever one has the better welcome bonus.

Eligibility: A minimum personal income of $60,000 or a household income of $100,000 is required. It’s also recommended that you have a credit score of at least 700.
Welcome bonus: New cardholders typically get between 40,000 to 70,000 Aeroplan bonus points. This intro offer is usually divided into multiple parts with different minimum spending requirements.

Best Aeroplan card for non-Maple Leaf Lounge access

American Express Gold Rewards Card

  • $250 annual fee
  • Earn 5,000 Membership Rewards points when spending $1,000 each month for 12 months (60,000 points total)
  • Additional 10,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months (must use a referral link)
  • Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on grocery, gas, pharmacy, and travel purchases
  • Earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • $100 Annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass Membership + 4 annual Plaza Premium passes
  • MESSAGE ME FOR A REFERRAL LINK

The American Express Gold Rewards Card is another American Express card worth getting since you can convert your points to Aeroplan. Even though this card has an annual fee of $250, you get an annual $100 travel credit and four free Plaza Premium airport lounge passes. Those passes are worth at least US $32 each. In other words, you’re getting more value out of the card than what you’re paying in the annual fee.

The value from the benefits is relevant since if you use them all, you’re essentially getting the card for free. In addition, American Express has no minimum income requirement, so you could get a mid-tier travel credit card for “free.”

The earning rate is decent at 1 American Express Membership Reward points per dollar spent on grocery, gas, pharmacy, and travel purchases. All other purchases earn you 1 point per dollar spent. You also get a comprehensive travel insurance package.

Eligibility: There’s no minimum income required. A credit score of 700 is recommended before applying.
Welcome bonus: Typically worth around 50,000 – 70,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. The offer has been both a lump sum and broken into monthly spending bonuses.

Best Aeroplan card for premium benefits

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card

  • $599 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 points when spending $7,500 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 25,000 points per month when spending $2,500 in month 13
  • Earn 3 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on Air Canada, 2 points on dining and food delivery, and 1.25 points on all other purchases
  • Unlimited free access to Maple Leaf Lounges in North America for you and a guest
  • Free first checked bag, priority check-in and boarding on Air Canada
  • MESSAGE ME FOR A REFERRAL LINK

The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is great for people who frequently fly with Air Canada. The earn rate of 3 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on Air Canada purchases is significant if you’re usually paying cash for your tickets.

The primary cardholder and guests travelling on the same itinerary get their first checked bag free (8 maximum). You also get priority boarding, baggage handling and unlimited access for you and a guest at Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges in North America. One lesser known benefit is that cardholders with status can carry over up to 50 eUpgrade credits each year.

Even if you don’t have status, this premium Aeroplan credit card is worth considering. That’s because the benefits you’re getting are almost the same as those with 35K status. The only major difference is you don’t get any eUpgrade credits.

Eligibility: No minimum income is required. A credit score of at least 700 is recommended before applying.
Welcome bonus: The welcome offer is usually worth 80,000 – 120,000 Aeroplan points. To get the full bonus, you usually need to meet multiple minimum spending requirements.

Best Aeroplan card for general travel benefits

American Express Platinum Card

  • $799 annual fee
  • Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points when spending $10,000 in the first 3 months
  • 30,000 additional points when making any purchase in months 14 – 17
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on dining and travel, and 1 point on all other purchases
  • $200 annual travel credit
  • $200 annual dining credit (per calendar year)
  • Unlimited airport lounge access
  • MESSAGE ME FOR A REFERRAL LINK

The American Express Platinum Card gives you general premium travel benefits. You get unlimited airport lounge access for the primary cardholder and one guest. This is why this is one of the best credit cards with lounge access. In addition, you get hotel status upgrades (such as Marriott Bonvoy) and a great travel insurance package. Overall, I’d say the American Express Platinum Card is best for people who travel frequently with multiple airlines but still want the ability to use their points with Aeroplan when they want.

Admittedly, the annual fee of $799 is steep, but you get some yearly credits that can offset the price. There’s an annual travel credit of $200 and a dining credit of $200 that you get each calendar year. You’ll also get retail and dining offers that give you statement credits as part of American Express offers.

For a premium credit card, the earn rate is a bit lacking at 2 American Express Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on dining and travel, and 1 point on all other purchases, but the regular benefits more than makes up for things.

Eligibility: There’s no minimum income required. A credit score of 740 is recommended before applying.
Welcome bonus: Typically worth 80,000 to 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points when using a referral link. The minimum spending requirement is usually $5,000 to $10,000.

What is Aeroplan?

Aeroplan is the loyalty program for Air Canada, Canada’s #1 airline. Air Canada flies to more than 1,300 destinations and has 45+ partners. That means you can get almost anywhere in the world on points. Besides flights, you can also use your Aeroplan miles for hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, gift cards and merchandise. There’s no doubt that Aeroplan is one of the best travel rewards programs in Canada.

As you spend and fly more with Air Canada, you’ll gain Aeroplan elite status. This can be highly beneficial since you’ll get perks like lounge access, priority boarding, eUpgrade credits and more.

How to redeem Aeroplan points

Most people will use their Aeroplan points for flight redemptions which are done right on aircanada.com. When you search for flights, you’ll see an option to see the price by cash or points. Selecting points will show you how many points and taxes you need to pay for the route. Note that these prices are for one-way flights, so you need to add in the return flight for an accurate cost.

Hotel and car rental redemptions are done via the dedicated travel portal on aircanada.com. If you want to use your points for gift cards or merchandise, you would use the eStore, which is also located on aircanada.com.

How to earn additional Aeroplan points

Besides earning Aeroplan program points via an Air Canada Aeroplan card, there are a few other ways you can collect points.

  • Add additional cardholders
  • Eligible Air Canada purchases
  • Through the Aeroplan estore
  • With Aeroplan partners such as LCBO and starbucks
  • Participating online retailers (must go through the estore)
  • Car rentals and hotel bookings made through aircanada.com 

How much are Aeroplan points worth?

Since every Aeroplan redemption is different, the value of Aeroplan points varies. That said, I’ve personally searched hundreds of flights and have come up with the following valuations:

  • Economy flight – 1.5 to 2 cents per point
  • Business flight – 2 to 3.8 cents per point

In other words, when you’re thinking about making a redemption, if you can get a higher value than what I’ve established above, you’re getting a good value. If it falls below that base value, you’re better off using cash.

To find out the exact value of your Aeroplan Miles, you would use the following formula:

(Ticket price – taxes/fees on redemption) X 100 / points required for a redemption = Cost per point

For example, let’s say you’re flying from Toronto to Los Angeles. The cash fare is $650. Redeeming the flight on Aeroplan will cost you 25,000 Aeroplan Miles and $125 in taxes. To calculate the value of this redemption, you’d use the following formula:

($650 – $120) X 100 / 25,000 = 2.12 cents per point

Since this redemption value is higher than the base value of 2 cents per point, you’re getting a good value.

How to maximize the value of your Aeroplan points

  • Go for bonuses – The welcome offers will always be the quickest way to earn Aeroplan points. Note that you’ll need to meet the minimum spend requirement in net purchases within a few months of account opening to get your bonus.
  • Aim high – You should use your points for redemptions that are worth more than the established base value.
  • Fly business – Business seats have a much higher value for your points than economy.
  • Shop at partners – Aeroplan has retailer partners and an eStore where you can earn additional points.
  • Study the chart – The Aeroplan rewards chart is based on zones and distance. There are a few sweet spots that require fewer points.

Aeroplan credit card tiers

There are 10+ Aeroplan credit cards, but they can be broken down into three tiers:

  • Entry – Low or no annual fee, no airline benefits
  • Core – Annual fee around $139 (usually waived for the first year), some airline benefits
  • Premium – $599 annual fee, premium airline and travel benefits

As you can see, the higher the tier, the better benefits you get. Of course, the higher the tier, the higher the annual fee and income requirement. Also note that you can have more than one Aeroplan credit card at a time.

Do Aeroplan points expire?

Yes, Aeroplan points will expire if there’s no account activity in 18 consecutive months. The easiest way to ensure they don’t expire is to earn, redeem, donate or transfer your Aeroplan points sometime during those 18 months. Don’t forget that Aeroplan has an eStore where you can shop with hundreds of merchants and earn Aeroplan points. Also, if you’re part of an Aeroplan Family Sharing Plan, your calendar resets if anyone makes a redemption.

Do Aeroplan credit cards come with travel insurance?

Generally speaking, any Aeroplan credit card with an annual fee of $100 or more will come with some travel insurance. Some common travel insurance you would get include:

  • Travel medical
  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip interruption insurance
  • Travel accident
  • baggage delay
  • Auto rental collision
  • Motel/hotel burglary
  • Travel accident

You would need to check the insurance policy to find out precisely what you’re covered for.

Are Aeroplan credit cards worth it?

If your goal is to fly for cheap, then getting an Aeroplan credit card is worth it. Not only will you be able to earn Aeroplan points on eligible purchases, but you can also take advantage of the incredible welcome bonuses. For example, if you signed up for three of the best Aeroplan credit cards, you could easily earn 250,000+ Aeroplan bonus points from the welcome offers. That’s enough for a round-trip business class flight to just about anywhere in the world.

The other obvious reason to get an Aeroplan credit card is to take advantage of the free checked bags. Normally, checking a bag will cost you $30 – $60, each way depending on where you’re flying to. That would easily offset the annual fee. If you get one of the premium cards, you’ll get enhanced benefits such as Maple Leaf Lounge access, priority check-in and boarding, and even preferred pricing on Aeroplan redemptions.

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. The welcome bonus will often give you enough Aeroplan points 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 points, 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 always use your benefits.

I personally favour Aeroplan over Air Miles as I find them to be more flexible.

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 its points 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.

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

7 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.

  3. Jocelyne on May 6, 2023 at 2:41 PM

    I got the Amex Reserve card and I’m starting to wonder if the $599 annual fee I paid was worth it. Trying to book flights to NYC from YWG and they want ALL of my 144,000 points for economy?? Has anyone else experienced this?

    • Barry Choi on May 6, 2023 at 3:01 PM

      Hey Jocelyne,

      I just looked up flights from Winnipeg to NYC for Monday and it’s showing economy flights for 15-20k Aeroplan points. The cash fare is $500-900 so this is a pretty good value.

      What dates are you searching?

      • Jocelyne on May 6, 2023 at 3:49 PM

        Barry we are hoping to go August 26-Sept 1. I am a bit frustrated as a few days ago it would have cost me 133000 +400 cash (or 140k total) to fly business class there and economy back. I wanted to wait until my new points balance updated on Friday to book. Now it’s over 230K plus well over $1800 to book that same flight, which is why I switched my search to economy. The whole thing is beyond bizarre. (Sorry for thé long reply!!)

        • Barry Choi on May 6, 2023 at 5:27 PM

          Jocelyne,

          Aeroplan sells in fare buckets. For your dates, I’m seeing 15 – 25K one way in economy. Business is 86K but only for one seat.

          On the way back, economy is about 37 – 55K in economy. 120K in business (multiple seats available).

          So overall, you’re looking at roughly 55K – 80K in economy. While that’s a bit higher than usual, It’s September 1st that seems to have a lot of demand. I looked at the 2nd, and prices are 25K -40K in economy.

Leave a Comment





Get a FREE copy of Travel Hacking for Lazy People

Subscribe now to get your FREE eBook and learn how to travel in luxury for less