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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 Platinum card60,000 - $5,000 Spend$699
American Express Business Platinum75,000 - $7,000 Spend$499
American Express Gold Rewards card25,000 - $1,500 Spend$150
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card15,000 - First purchase$120 - FYF

American Express Platinum Card

  • $699 annual fee
  • 60,000 Sign up bonus (when using a referral link)
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $200 Annual travel credit
  • Unlimited airport lounge access
  • Special benefits at Toronto Pearson
  • Hotel status upgrades
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits
  • Exclusive dining experiences with the Global Dining Collection
  • Emergency medical, flight delay/cancellation, lost/delayed luggage insurance

Although you don’t earn Aeroplan points directly with the American Express Platinum card, the American Express Membership Rewards points you get can be transferred to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio. That means the 60,000 welcome bonus points you get with my referral link after charging $5,000 to your card in the first three months is enough for two roundtrip tickets to anywhere within the continental U.S and Canada. Those tickets easily have a value of $1,200 which easily makes up for the $699 annual fee. If you read my American Express Platinum card review, you’ll find out why it’s one of the best travel credit cards in Canada.

American Express Business Platinum Card

  • $499 annual fee
  • 75,000 Membership Rewards points signup bonus (with a referral)
  • Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent
  • Unlimited airport lounge access with Priority Pass
  • Emergency Medical, Flight Delay / Cancellation, Lost / Delayed Luggage Insurance

If you’re looking for the best 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. Yes, that’s a lot of money you need to spend, but 75,000 points get you three roundtrip tickets to anywhere within the continental U.S and Canada or a flight to Europe with points left over if you book via the Amex Fixed Travel Program. You don’t get hotel status upgrades with the Business Platinum card (the regular Platinum card does), but you earn a straight 1.25 points per $1 spend which may appeal to people who do the majority of spending on categories that are related to restaurants or travel. Like the personal Platinum Card, this is one of the best credit cards with lounge access.

American Express Gold Rewards Card

  • $150 Annual fee
  • 25,000 Sign up points after charging $1,500 in purchases
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on grocery, gas, pharmacy, and travel
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package included

Just like the Amex Platinum card, the American Express Gold Rewards card also earns you American Express Membership Rewards points which can be transferred to Aeroplan. What makes the American Express Gold Rewards card appealing is the “low” annual fee of $150. The sign up bonus of 25,000 points is good enough for one roundtrip ticket to anywhere within the continental U.S and Canada which is obviously great. People also love that you earn 2 points per $1 spent on grocery, gas, pharmacy and travel purchases.

Don’t foget about the American Express Fixed Travel Program which can be even more valuable than Aeroplan at times. Although the Amex program requires more points for certain routes, they have no blackout dates. That’s incredibly valuable when Aeroplan is only making market price seats available. I don’t think there’s ever been a time where I’ve considered a market price seat a good deal which is why I like the flexibility of Membership Rewards points. If I see a route on Aeroplan that available, only then do I transfer points over to make the booking. Read my American Express Gold Rewards card review now and find out why it’s one of the most versatile credit cards in Canada.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

  • $120 Annual fee – first year free (when you sign up by March 2, 2020)
  • 15,000 Aeroplan miles sign up bonus after your first purchase
  • Earn 5X the Aeroplan miles on all purchases up to $1,000 in spending per month, up to 15,000 Aeroplan miles total
  • Earn 1.5 Aeroplan miles per $1 spent on grocery, gas, drugstore and aircanada.com purchases
  • Earn 1 Aeroplan mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • One annual pass to an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge when travelling on an Aeroplan reward flight
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package included

Oddly enough, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card is the only official co-branded credit card that makes my list of the best Aeroplan credit card. While the signup bonus of up to 15,000 Aeroplan miles after your first purchase isn’t bad, it’s not nearly as impressive as what the two American Express credit cards listed above offer. That said, you can earn another 15,000 miles if you charge $1,000 to your card each month for the first three months. The earn rate on this card is not as impressive compared to the Amex cards which is why I don’t love this card, but if you have an All-inclusive banking plan with TD, you can get your annual fee waived which is a pretty compelling reason to hold this card.

I do find it annoying that you only get one annual pass to an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge when travelling on an Aeroplan reward flight, but at least you get free seat selection. I’m hoping this card improves next year when Air Canada fully takes over Aeroplan. You can read my full review of the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card 

  • $120 annual fee
  • 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points welcome bonus or 51,000 with a referral link
  • 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 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

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 regular welcome bonus is 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you spend $1,500 in the first three months of card membership. However, you can get 51,000 points when you use a referral link, but then you need to spend $3,000 in the first three months. You need to decide for yourself which is the better offer for your individual circumstances.

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.

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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