Canada’s Best Aeroplan Credit Cards - MoneySense

Canada’s Best Aeroplan Credit Cards

For frequent flyers of Air Canada and Star Alliance partners, these top picks come with lucrative welcome offers to consider right now. 

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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


Best overall Aeroplan credit card

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite*

This card offers one of the largest sign-up incentives in the market today, with new cardholders receiving up to 40,000 bonus Aeroplan miles. On sign-up, users will get 15,000 miles for making their first purchase, followed by up to 20,000 miles over the first three months (you’ll earn 2X rewards on eligible purchases during this period), and another 5,000 miles if you add a second cardholder by December 1, 2019. (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 December 1, 2019)
  • Welcome bonus: 15,000 Aeroplan miles when you make your first purchase; 2X earn for the first three months (up to 20,000 miles); plus 5,000 miles when an authorized user is added by December 1, 2019
  • 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

Click here for more details on the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite.*


Best for transferable rewards

American Express Gold Rewards Card*

Unlike TD’s offering, the American Express Gold Rewards Card earns you American Express Membership Rewards points which you can then transfer 1:1 to Aeroplan miles for flight redemptions on Air Canada and Star Alliance partners. 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 its higher earn rate; since it offers up to 2 Membership Rewards on everyday purchases. It’s worth noting the American Express Gold Rewards is a charge card, which means that unlike other credit cards, you’ll need to pay off its balance in full every month.

  • 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, gas, grocery and pharmacy 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
  • Note: this is a charge card, so you’re required to pay off your balance in full with this card every month.

Click here for more details on the American Express Gold Rewards Card.*


Best premium credit card for Aeroplan users

American Express Platinum Card*


This is American Express’ premium offering, ringing in at a hefty $699 annual fee. Like the Gold card, you can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points one-to-one to Aeroplan, but comes with Priority Pass and Centurion Lounge access, alongside a generous $200 annual travel credit (essentially reducing your annual fee to $499), hotel upgrades, and a 50,000 point sign-up bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first three months of membership. The American Express Platinum is a charge card, which means you’ll need to pay off its balance in full every month unlike the other Aeroplan Visa cards on this list.

  • Annual fee: $699
  • Welcome bonus: 50,000 Membership Rewards (must spend $3,000 within the first 3 months)
  • Rewards earn rate: 3 points per dollar on eligible dining, 2 points for dollar on eligible travel, 1 point for every dollar on everything else
  • Additional rewards: Front of the Line access for concerts and other ticketed events; Priority Pass and Centurion Lounge access; $200 annual travel credit; hotel membership upgrades; comprehensive American Express travel insurance and purchase protection plan
  • Note: this is a charge card, so you’re required to pay off your balance in full with this card every month.

Click here for more details on the American Express Platinum Card.*


Best entry-level Aeroplan credit card

CIBC Aero Platinum Visa Card

The appeal of CIBC’s Aero Platinum Visa Card is its $39 annual fee. It’s a great way to step into the Aeroplan game and start racking miles through credit card spend.

It comes with a conservative 5,000 Aeroplan Mile welcome bonus, but for those sensitive to spending on expensive annual fees, this could be a way to earn on everyday spending.

  • Annual fee: $39
  • Welcome bonus: 5,000 Aeroplan miles (on first purchase)
  • Additional rewards: Purchase protection, auto rental collision, damage insurance, earn additional miles when presenting an Aeroplan number or membership card at participating retailers.


Honourable mention

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 same three-month welcome points bonus (it offers 5,000 fewer bonus points than TD) and first-year annual fee rebate.

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.


Should I collect Aeroplan miles? Frequently asked questions about Aeroplan:

How many Aeroplan miles do you need for a flight?

You need at least 15,000 miles to redeem for short-haul flight. Short-haul flights are typically to adjacent provinces and/or states, which include cities like Montreal, New York and Ottawa from Toronto. The number of miles you need for redemption increase as you go further from your departure city (i.e. 60,000 for a European flight, or 75,000 for a return trip to Asia).

The Aeroplan miles Chart below shows how many miles you’d need to redeem for a flight for different parts of the world.

View the full Aeroplan miles chart here.

How much are Aeroplan miles worth?

Unfortunately, Aeroplan miles don’t have a fixed value (see the chart above for how it can vary); however you can get better value depending on the destination. For example, if you’re flying to a destination with lower airport fees (many Asian countries are known for that), you can get a better overall Aeroplan mileage value per retail dollar.

A good formula to keep in mind is Value of 1 Aeroplan mile = (The Price of Ticket – Fees) ÷ miles needed to redeem

Generally, if the result of this equation is more than 1.2 cents per mile, you’re looking at a good deal. For example, if you were to fly round-trip from Toronto to Los Angeles from August 25 to September 1, you’d need to redeem 25,000 Aeroplan miles. Since the price of a ticket is currently around $616 plus $156 in fees, in this scenario, the value of 1 mile would be 1.85 cents, based on the following equation ($616 – $156) ÷ 25,000.*

Business class flights are also known to offer better value as their retail value is much higher, but you’ll need to rack up more miles to redeem for those rewards.

How you can earn Aeroplan miles faster

Many retailers partner with Aeroplan, offering the ability to earn twice—so a good tip is to scan your Aeroplan card when available while you’re shopping. Plus you can take advantage of Aeroplan’s e-store to make purchases and earn additional bonus miles from popular online retailers like Amazon.  

*According to Google Flights as of this article’s publish date.


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