Link: Apply now for the Aeroplan® Credit Card
The $95 annual fee Aeroplan® Credit Card (review) is Chase’s newest co-branded airline credit card, and it’s easily one of the most lucrative co-branded airline credit cards out there. If you don’t yet have this card, in this post I wanted to share nine reasons you should consider applying. In no particular order…
Welcome bonus of up to 100,000 Aeroplan points
The Aeroplan Credit Card has a fantastic new welcome bonus, which can earn you up to 100,000 Aeroplan points:
- Earn 60,000 bonus Aeroplan points after spending $4,000 within the first three months
- Earn 40,000 bonus Aeroplan points after spending $20,000 within the first 12 months
While the spending requirement is significant, this is a huge bonus, and the math checks out, assuming you can spend this much. Personally I value Aeroplan points at 1.5 cents each, so to me this bonus is worth $1,500.
As I’ll explain below, at a minimum you can redeem those points for 1.25 cents each to erase the cost of virtually any travel purchase, meaning you could use the bonus for $1,250 worth of travel of your choice, even if it’s totally unrelated to Air Canada or its partners.
Chase’s standard credit card application rules, including the 5/24 rule, apply.
Lucrative rewards structure for spending
The Aeroplan Credit Card has an extremely compelling rewards structure, all with no foreign transaction fees (making it perfect for purchases abroad). The card offers:
- 3x Aeroplan points per dollar spent on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services
- 3x Aeroplan points per dollar spent at grocery stores
- 3x Aeroplan points per dollar spent directly with Air Canada
It gets better than that, though. The card offers 500 bonus Aeroplan points for every $2,000 spent in a calendar month, up to a maximum of 1,500 Aeroplan points per month. If you theoretically spent $2,000 per month in a category eligible to earn 3x points, you’d earn a total of 6,500 points, or 3.25x Aeroplan points per dollar spent.
This is the best rewards structure you’ll find on a co-branded airline credit card, in my opinion. And that’s only the beginning, since spending can also earn you elite status and flight reward discount vouchers.
Valuable Aeroplan elite status
The Aeroplan Credit Card offers elite status to new cardmembers, plus offers the opportunity to maintain status in the long-run with spending. Specifically, the card offers:
- Aeroplan Elite 25K status for the remainder of the first calendar year in which you have the card, plus the following calendar year (so if you applied in 2023, it would be valid through the end of 2024)
- Cardmembers can maintain Aeroplan Elite 25K status by spending $15,000 on the card in a calendar year
- Cardmembers can get a one-tier status upgrade when they spend $50,000 on the card in a calendar year; this means that if you otherwise earn Aeroplan Elite 25K status by spending $15,000 on the card, your status would be upgraded to Aeroplan Elite 35K status, though if you’re an Aeroplan Elite 75K member you could use this boost to earn Super Elite status
Aeroplan Elite 25K or Elite 35K could come in handy if you fly Air Canada with any frequency, as you can receive perks like priority check-in, early boarding, upgrades, and more. Unfortunately this is just Star Alliance Silver status, so it won’t get you as many perks on other airlines as you’d get with Star Alliance Gold status.
I’d say this is great, and if you’re otherwise loyal to Air Canada, it’s cool to be able to get a one-tier status boost all the way up to Super Elite.
Aeroplan priority reward vouchers
Here’s where the Aeroplan Credit Card gets really interesting, if you ask me. In addition to solid bonus categories, monthly spending thresholds, and the ability to earn status through credit card spending, big spenders can also earn priority reward vouchers. Each can be used to get 50% off an eligible Aeroplan award ticket (it can be for travel on Air Canada or a partner airline).
You can earn these vouchers when spending $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, or $750,000 in a year. The way these can be used depends on your status:
- Aeroplan Elite 25K and Elite 35K members can only use these for economy awards wholly within the United States and Canada
- Aeroplan Elite 50K members can use these for economy and premium economy awards within North America
- Aeroplan Elite 75K members can use these for economy and premium economy awards worldwide
- Aeroplan Super Elite members can use these for economy, premium economy, or business class awards worldwide
The world’s ultimate companion certificate
The Aeroplan Credit Card offers the ultimate companion pass in the world… if you spend a million dollars on the card in a year. Those who reach that spending threshold receive an award redemption companion voucher that’s valid globally:
- You can take a companion with you on Air Canada or any partner airline in any class an unlimited number of times, and 100% of the points redeemed for them will be reimbursed
- This is valid for the year in which it’s earned, plus the following calendar year
- You have to designate a single companion, as the benefit can only be applied to one person
This is innovative and an unbelievable perk. It goes without saying that this isn’t within reach for a vast majority of us, but for those that spend a lot, this could seriously be worth considering. In fairness, you’d need to not only be a big spender for this to make sense, but you’d also need to be someone who redeems a lot of points for award travel.
Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS credit
The Aeroplan Credit Card offers a Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS credit once every four years. This can come in handy, and especially can help with justifying the card’s annual fee the first year.
In particular, I appreciate how this credit can also be applied to NEXUS, which is arguably the best of the three programs. This was the first “mainstream” card in the United States to offer a credit for NEXUS, and in the meantime other Chase cards have matched.
Access to Chase Pay Yourself Back
While this isn’t personally how I’d choose to redeem my Aeroplan points, I do think there’s potentially quite a bit of value with this. The Aeroplan Credit Card offers a “Pay Yourself Back” feature, whereby you can apply your Aeroplan points toward a travel purchase on any airline, hotel, rental car, etc., at the rate of 1.25 cents per point.
For 2023 there’s no limit on how many points you can redeem this way, while as of 2024 you’ll be able to redeem 50,000 points this way.
What’s especially exciting is that you can also transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Aeroplan, and then redeem them using this functionality. This is potentially better than redeeming points directly through Chase, in my opinion. Why? With Aeroplan’s Pay Yourself Back feature, you can purchase your travel however you’d like, and then reimburse yourself, rather than having to book through the Chase Travel portal.
10% Chase Aeroplan transfer bonus
Air Canada Aeroplan is transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards, allowing 1:1 points transfers. Those with the Aeroplan Credit Card can exclusively receive a 10% bonus on transfers from Ultimate Rewards to Aeroplan. This is available through December 31, 2023, and applies when transferring 50,000 or more Chase points in one transaction, with a total maximum of 25,000 bonus points (which you’d get by transferring 250,000 points).
Aeroplan is one of the most valuable Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, so being able to get a transfer bonus just by having the card is awesome.
Unlock the value of the Aeroplan program
A major reason you should pick up the Aeroplan Credit Card is because you want to get more involved in the Aeroplan ecosystem. Air Canada Aeroplan is my favorite frequent flyer program, and the single most valuable program for redeeming points.
Aeroplan has a huge number of airline partners, allows stopovers for just 5,000 additional points, and has very generous routing rules. The other thing is that it’s easy to rack up Aeroplan points, as you can also transfer points from Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Chase Ultimate Rewards.
The Aeroplan Credit Card is one of the most compelling and flexible airline co-branded cards out there. The card has a huge welcome bonus, a generous rewards structure, incentives for spending, and offers plenty of perks just for being a cardmember.
If you’ve been considering this card but haven’t yet applied, this is a fantastic time to do so, as the card is offering up to 100,000 Aeroplan points. This is a creative card that offers value for so many types of consumers, from small spenders to huge spenders.
What do you make of the Aeroplan Credit Card?
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