Air Canada Aeroplan & Chase Launch US Partnership

Filed Under: Air Canada, Chase

The Air Canada Aeroplan program was recently refreshed, and it has some fantastic sweet spots. I love the ability to redeem on Star Alliance airlines with no fuel surcharges, and to have a stopover on a one-way award for just 5,000 extra miles.

For those of us in the US, there are some exciting updates about the ease with which we can earn Aeroplan miles, thanks to a new partnership with Chase that’s coming in 2021.

Aeroplan joining Chase Ultimate Rewards

Starting in late 2021, the Air Canada Aeroplan program will become a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. Points will transfer at a 1:1 ratio, so this will be a fantastic addition to the program.

For some context:

Air Canada will become a Chase Ultimate Rewards partner

This is a lovely addition to the value of Ultimate Rewards. While I love Ultimate Rewards points, I’d say their value has decreased ever since Korean Air SkyPass was lost as a partner a couple of years back.

The only unique transfer partners (compared to other programs) that Chase has are United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt. There are few cases where you’ll find the value through United MileagePlus is competitive, while I love World of Hyatt as a transfer partner, and that’s where most of my Chase points go.

World of Hyatt is my favorite Chase transfer partner

Aeroplan, Chase, and Mastercard, launching US credit card

In late 2021, Air Canada Aeroplan will launch a US credit card, in partnership with Chase and Mastercard. We’ll have to stay tuned for the details on the card, though Chase has several other co-branded airline cards, so I think we have a general sense of the type of benefits we can expect.

The leadership at Aeroplan is brilliant and good at engaging with members, so I hope that we see some creativity in terms of benefits for cardmembers.

From Chase’s perspective, I think these cards may follow a similar framework in terms of benefits to other cards issued for foreign carriers, like Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Iberia.

I think some sort of travel benefits when flying Air Canada are a given. Personally what I’d most like to see is the ability to earn Priority Reward vouchers. These offer 50% off an award ticket for one passenger (including on partner airlines).

If you could earn one of those for spending a certain amount, that could potentially be a great deal, since it could get you a significantly discounted Air Canada or partner Star Alliance award redemption.

Could the Aeroplan credit card offer the ability to earn Priority Reward vouchers?

Bottom line

Air Canada Aeroplan and Chase will launch a partnership in late 2021, with which we’ll see Aeroplan become an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, and we’ll also see Aeroplan launch a US credit card. I look forward to learning more details.

Could you see yourself transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Air Canada, and what are you hoping for from a US co-branded credit card?

Comments
  1. I still hate the devalue of aeroplan, but I this is definitely a huge pick up for Chase. With United’s devalue, there weren’t very many uses for them other than Hyatt, Virgin Atlantic, and Emirates. I still prefer Amex due to ANA and more transfer bonuses, but overall a nice pick up.

  2. I think it’s unlikely to see Priority Vouchers given out with spend – it’s specifically tied to AQD earnings in Canada and only AQDs. That being said, I’m not sure if earning AQM and AQS for AC elite status is a major draw. AC might need to change things up for the US market vs the Canadian cards.

  3. Canadian residents get an Aeroplan point for CAD$1 spend on most Canadian bank cards and Amex MR (Canada).

    American residents have to spend USD$1.00, a third more (CAD$1.30), on a Chase UR card to get the same one Aeroplan point. Maybe Aeroplan and Chase will address this in the co-branded card, but I doubt it. A fair transfer would be 10UR=13Aero.

    More likely, Aeroplan will pile this on top of the deval and rake in the money, while the blogger fanboys continue to call the deval a “relaunch” and swoon over the 5,000-point stopover and the elimination of surcharges.

    Competent Aeroplan users, who easily avoided surcharges pre-deval, are now paying 15% – 40% more for their favourite awards. Adding a 5,000-point stopover always requires phoning the World’s Longest Call Queue and paying a CAD$39 phone booking fee, even if the itinerary was otherwise bookable online. Aeroplan says they might make stopovers bookable online “sometime in 2021”, maybe.

    Look closely at value before dumping your valuable USA points, hard earned in US dollars, into a Canadian scheme.

  4. @DenB I mostly agree with you, but any additional Chase transfer options are a positive at this point. Who knows how long Virgin Atlantic will last. It was basically down to Virgin Atlantic and Hyatt. I could see some uses for Aeroplan with the right itinerary though.

  5. @ DenB — To address a couple of your points…

    “American residents have to spend USD$1.00, a third more (CAD$1.30), on a Chase UR card to get the same one Aeroplan point. Maybe Aeroplan and Chase will address this in the co-branded card, but I doubt it. A fair transfer would be 10UR=13Aero.”

    With Chase you can easily earn 1.5-5x points per dollar spent. Is that possible in Canada? I don’t think so. Those of us maximizing rewards aren’t spending anywhere close to a dollar per transferable point that we’re earning. And that doesn’t even factor in the difference in welcome bonuses between the US and Canada.

    “More likely, Aeroplan will pile this on top of the deval and rake in the money, while the blogger fanboys continue to call the deval a ‘relaunch’ and swoon over the 5,000-point stopover and the elimination of surcharges.”

    To be clear, and I’ve stated this in the past, I don’t think the Aeroplan changes are necessarily good for those exclusively earning Aeroplan miles, or for those who don’t have access to transferable points.

    That being said, the beauty of the new Aeroplan is what a great complement it is to other Star Alliance frequent flyer programs. Were 55K J US to Europe redemptions without fuel surcharges great? Absolutely. But for those kinds of awards I almost always did better with LifeMiles, either by buying miles for close to a cent each, or by transferring them to LifeMiles with a signifiant transfer bonus (which we rarely saw with Aeroplan).

    The new Aeroplan is unique among Star Alliance programs with the stopover possibilities. What other Star Alliance program offers anything like what’s available through Aeroplan now? I’ll wait…

    Can you just accept that we have a difference in opinions based on where we live and how we earn points, rather than suggesting that this comes down to “the blogger fanboys?” I’ve never made a dime from Aeroplan, period, in terms of promoting their points sales, their credit cards, etc. So it sure would be against my own self interests to promote them if I didn’t believe what I said, no?

  6. DenB® some Aeroplan Cards have minimum earning of 1.25 per $ spent, also aeroplan still a great program especially if you fly star alliance a lot, with new program i’ve booked nyc – Bali for 105K roundtrip, and nyc to Singapore for only 54K round trip both in business class…. Definitely great value for chase ultimate rewards and potential new Aeroplan card holders… I just dont think you know how to utilize this program as well as others properly, do some research you won’t regret seeing the worth in comfort

  7. Wow – Scott O’Leary “COINSIDER” from Flyertalk and his pal Mark Nasr from Continental strike again with another powerful move – savviest team in loyalty

  8. @Monte What airline and routing and airline did you use for those rewards? With the new devalue, I don’t think that’s available anymore.

  9. @Ben Sorry I touched a nerve and I stand corrected on many points. Your ethics are above reproach and I don’t accuse you of payola.

    Maybe I’m an outlier; Aeroplan 2020 isn’t paying off for me.

    You do give Aeroplan 2.0 lots of puff. The 5,000 stopover is not effectively free, it requires a painful time waster phonecall and CAD$39 expense, no exceptions. Most of us avoided surcharges in the past, so their removal is a nothingburger. Rates have gone up on partners and are newly dynamic on AC metal. Everything you said I was wrong about I was wrong about. But I’m not wrong saying that for many savvy users the shiny new benefits fail to distract from the disappointment in Aeroplan 2020.

  10. @Andrew im in USA/Canada a lot ….I booked about a week ago… I love the new program for me, way better then united personally, AC has hybrid point pricing system, both flights to Bali is on Turkish which is why its the most expansive but obviously not an issue as united’s could be double that one way… Singapore flight is operated by Air Canada, until Haneda then its ANA… this qualifies it for fixed mileage, if you have an credit card you decent discount on amount of points you redeem, status does the same thing, I have highest AMEX, card and highest status with the airline which gives me the ability to get 50% off any business class redemption worldwide… if you dont have these the redemptions are still good especially with ethiad,ana Eva, and Swiss, also AC just announced that several more International airline partners are coming to program so it just gets better from here

  11. @monte You have SE and a Reserve card. Readers should know that AC is well known for being really really good to guys like you. Arguably an Air Canada SE probably enjoys a greater boost in “the experience” than a top-tier 100k customer on any US carrier, maybe even Delta.

  12. @DenB ya I’m well aware of the status and it’s service but there are many sweet spots you can get without those… like 2 weeks ago for example round trip Yul to nrt was $1700CAD round trip in signature class, because it’s on air Canada that’s means that price is around 75k round trip… obviously there can be downsides to this but they are out weighed by the positives… especially comparing to competing programs.

  13. @ DenB you generally don’t have any idea on what you’re talking about. This is fantastic news that Aeroplan is a transfer partner of Chase. More ways to use the UR points and now it’s Chase, Amex and Capital One. The 5K stopovers open up significant opportunities to get incredibly outsized values. I won’t bore you with rehashing the routings you can read plenty of articles that give you examples. The increases on some awards have been not as bad like JFK to ZRH which used to be 57.5K and now is 60K but would having more options to transfer now makes it even more insignifacant

  14. @Alex Z Your first sentence is a meaningless insult and after that you haven’t rebutted a single thing i said.

    To get a 5,000-point stopover you must do a phone booking, wait in a queue and incur a fee. That’s a fact.

    My favourite redemptions YYZ-BKK, YYZ-HKT, YYZ-TPE have all gone up and since I never paid surcharges in the past, there’s no upside. Fact.

    I’ve read bloggers’ coverage of this thing and there are lots of Eurocentric examples of non-surcharges and stopovers. Like you, the bloggers are enthusiastic. I’m not and I’ve given my reasons.

    Your accusation that I’m ignorant is borderline trolling. I didn’t give you reason to trash me. My opinion is not nonsense, and moreover I predict that a year from now bloggers’ enthusiasm (and maybe yours, @Alex Z) will be lower and people will realize that in practice it’s a bit more sizzle than they realized, a little less steak. Maybe I’ll be wrong! Too early to tell.

  15. @DenB® .. I think @Alex Z is pointing out that you believe the new program is already fully here, Air Canada and Aeroplan have been very open and transparent about the new program and how the majority of it won’t arrive until 2021 and throughout the year… in 2020 we will NOT see the new full program, we only currently have access priority rewards, pricing, and stop over via call right now as well as credit cards in Canada, we will officially be able to use the new program throughout 2021, including the new flight rewards booking system, digital stopover booking, more airline partners, new ticket pricing and earning, more credit cards and more aeroplan store parnters

  16. @ DenB it was not my intention to insult you and I’m sorry you felt that way. You keep on bringing up the phone thing when in fact this is just temporary and you will be able to book everything online. Aeroplan has been pretty forthcoming and there hasn’t been any surprises. Yes the prices went up especially flying to Asia but again if you add a combination of layover (up to 24 hours) and stopover (numerous days) you can get a lot of value for an additional 5K. Here’s an example for Asia:
    Outbound:

    Leg 1: Seattle (SEA) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND) – Layover, ANA
    Leg 2: Tokyo-Haneda to Hong Kong (HKG) – Stopover, ANA
    Leg 3: Hong Kong to Singapore (SIN) – Destination, Singapore Airlines

    Total distance: 8,195 miles

    Price: 90,000 points business class, 65,000 points economy

    Inbound:

    Leg 1: Singapore (SIN) to Bangkok (BKK) – Layover, Thai Airways
    Leg 2: Bangkok to Seoul (ICN) – Stopover, Thai Airways
    Leg 3: Seoul to Seattle (SEA) – Destination, Asiana

    Total distance: 8,369 miles

    Price: 90,000 points business class, 65,000 points economy

  17. NOTE – YOU CANNOT USE THE 50% OFF VOUCHER FOR FIRST CLASS!

    Ben put a picture of LH F with the 50% off voucher comment. You can use it up to Business class worldwide if you’re AC 100K (including partners), but NOT on First Class.

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