Now that Air Canada has acquired the Aeroplan loyalty program—and announced that it will be replacing Aeroplan with something new in 2020—we know that credit card offerings will be changing in the future, too.
In the meantime, Air Canada has promised it will be business as usual when it comes to earning and redeeming Aeroplan rewards points, and for frequent flyers of Air Canada and Star Alliance partners, there are some lucrative rewards credit card offers to consider right now. We’ve selected the three best based on our analysis of fees, points accumulation, redemption structures and flexibility to help get you to your next vacation faster.
The best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite — Best all-around Aeroplan rewards credit card
- CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite — Best Aeroplan rewards credit card for CIBC banking customers
- American Express Gold Rewards Card — Best Aeroplan rewards credit card for Air Canada flyers
This card offers one of the largest sign-up incentives in the market today, with new cardholders receiving up to 25,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles. On sign-up, users will get 15,000 miles for making their first purchase, followed by 10,000 miles when $2,000 is spent over the first three months—almost double that of CIBC’s Aeroplan card offering. (Note there’s an annual income requirement of $60,000.) Aeroplan Miles are accumulated at 1.5 miles for every $1 spent on groceries and gas, at drugstores and on purchases at aircanada.com. Additionally, other eligible purchases will earn 1 mile per $1. Given that Aeroplan miles will transfer 1:1 into the new program, this is a good way to start earning ahead of the launch of Air Canada’s new loyalty program.
Cardholders receive Visa Infinite protection, including travel insurance, car rental discounts, and access to Visa Infinite events across Canada.
- Annual fee: $120 (rebated for the first year if you apply by September 3, 2019)
- Welcome bonus: 25,000 Aeroplan Miles
- Rewards earn rate: 1.5 miles for every $1 spent on groceries and gas, at drugstores and on purchases at aircanada.com; other eligible purchases earn 1 mile per $1 spent
- Additional rewards: Your Aeroplan Miles don’t expire as long as you’re a TD Aeroplan cardholder; one annual One-Time Guest Pass to the Maple Leaf Lounge, first checked bag free, priority check-in, and priority boarding when travelling on a reward ticket
CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite
CIBC’s Aerogold Visa Infinite is similar to TD’s offering, down to the earn rate (it even has the same $60,000 annual income requirement). What it lacks is the three-month welcome points bonus and first-year annual fee rebate offered by TD. Still, this card is worthy of consideration if you have a Premium Banking Bundle with CIBC and can get the card included without the additional $120 annual year cost. Cardholders who travel out-of-province are protected against trip interruption and cancellation insurance, coverage for collision or damage when they rent a car, and also receive medical insurance.
- Annual fee: $120
- Welcome bonus (until October 31, 2019): 15,000 Aeroplan Miles on first purchase, plus an additional 5,000 Miles if you put at least $1,000 in purchases (net of returns) on your card within the first four monthly statement periods; plus Air Canada eGift Card worth $120, which is redeemable against the cost of flights and more
- Rewards earn rate: 1.5 miles for every $1 spent on grocery, gas, drugstores, and purchases at aircanada.com; other eligible purchases earn 1 mile per $1
- Additional rewards: Access to priority check-in and priority boarding with your Aeroplan Flight Reward when travelling with Air Canada; complimentary first checked bag with your Aeroplan flight reward when travelling with Air Canada; one Maple Leaf Lounge One-Time Guest Pass each year to access Maple Leaf Lounges with your Aeroplan flight reward when travelling with Air Canada
Unlike the TD and CIBC offerings, American Express Membership Rewards points transfer 1:1 to Aeroplan for redemption on Air Canada and Star Alliance partners, but are held within Membership Rewards and not Aeroplan. This attracts people who want flexibility around where to redeem their points and who also understand that Amex is accepted less widely than some other cards.
Those who do choose to use this Amex card can take advantage of fixed points redemption; that means you can use Membership Rewards to book paid tickets for Air Canada, and then earn additional Aeroplan miles on that purchase. Another cool feature is that you can apply points you’ve just earned for a credit on your statement.
- Annual fee: $150
- Welcome bonus: 25,000 Membership Rewards (must spend $1,500 within the first 3 months)
- Rewards earn rate: 2 points for every dollar on eligible travel and everyday purchases, 1 point for every dollar on everything else
- Additional rewards: Front of the Line access for concerts and other ticketed events; up to $100 USD hotel credit on qualifying hotel amenities charged to the room, such as dining, spa services and golf; comprehensive American Express travel insurance and purchase protection plan
MORE ON CANADA’S BEST CREDIT CARDS:
- Overall Best Credit Cards in Canada
- Best Travel Credit Cards
- Best Travel Insurance Credit Cards
- Best Air Miles Credit Cards
- Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards