Link: Apply now for the Aeroplan® Credit Card
In late 2021 the Aeroplan® Credit Card (review) was introduced, which is one of Chase’s newest co-branded airline credit cards. This was part of a larger partnership between Air Canada and Chase, as Air Canada Aeroplan also became a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner.
We recently saw a new welcome bonus introduced on this co-branded credit card, so in this post I wanted to take a closer look at the card.
Full details: Chase Aeroplan Credit Card
It’s not surprising given the people behind the Aeroplan program, but Air Canada’s co-branded credit card in the United States is both lucrative and innovative. From a great welcome bonus, to some generous bonus categories for spending, to valuable perks, this card has a lot to offer. The card also has what might be the coolest credit card perk ever… for those who spend a million dollars per year.
Aeroplan Credit Card welcome bonus offer
The Aeroplan Credit Card is offering an excellent welcome bonus of 70,000 Aeroplan points after spending $3,000 within the first three months. Personally I value Aeroplan points at 1.5 cents each, so to me those points are worth $1,050. That’s a huge bonus.
Aeroplan Credit Card $95 annual fee
The Aeroplan Credit Card has an annual fee of $95 per year. There’s no cost to add authorized users to the card, and spending from authorized users can help you rack up points. This annual fee is in line with the annual fees you’ll find on most mid-range airline co-brand credit cards, so that’s quite reasonable.
Aeroplan Credit Card offers up to 3x points, further spending bonuses
- 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
- 1x Aeroplan points per dollar spent on other purchases
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 we’ve seen 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.
Aeroplan Credit Card elite status perks with Air Canada
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 2022, it would be valid through the end of 2023)
- 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 Credit Card priority reward vouchers with spending
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
Then there’s one more threshold, which is worthy of its own section…
Aeroplan Credit Card million dollar spending reward
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.
Aeroplan Credit Card other benefits & perks
In addition to everything else I’ve outlined, the Aeroplan Credit Card offers the following benefits:
- A free first checked bag on Air Canada flights for the primary cardmember and up to eight other travelers on the same itinerary
- A $100 credit toward Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS, once every four years
- World Elite Mastercard benefits, plus travel protection for flight delays, baggage, and more
- A carbon offset benefit, whereby Aeroplan will purchase carbon offsets when the cardmember redeems Aeroplan points for Air Canada flights
Coming soon: “Pay Yourself Back” feature
Aeroplan points are incredibly valuable for award redemptions on Star Alliance and other partner airlines, so it’s a great points currency to earn (then again, you can also transfer points from Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Chase Ultimate Rewards). There’s another exciting way to redeem Aeroplan points if you have the card.
Coming soon, Chase Aeroplan cardmembers will be able to apply their Aeroplan points toward travel purchases on any airline, hotel, or rental car, at the rate of 1.25 cents per point, up to 50,000 points per year.
That’s a pretty innovative opportunity for those who value Aeroplan points less than I do, since this is basically a way to “cash them out” toward any travel purchase at a solid rate.
My take on the Aeroplan Credit Card
The Aeroplan Credit Card is easily one of the most well thought out and lucrative co-brand airline credit cards we’ve seen. I’m still trying to figure out how exactly this will fit into my strategy (as if I don’t have enough cards already), but here are a few thoughts:
- The welcome bonus is lucrative and straightforward, given how many incredible partner redemption opportunities there are with Aeroplan
- The bonus categories are generous, especially since there aren’t many Chase cards consistently offering bonus points on groceries
- I love that rather than just offering a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, you can also get a NEXUS credit; I’ve said for years that I wish we’d see that, so it’s great to see this card lead the way with that
- The ability to earn status with the card is great, though this will mostly be useful if flying with Air Canada, rather than a Star Alliance partner; however, if you already earn status with Aeroplan, the one-tier status upgrade could be very valuable
- The global companion voucher for spending a million dollars on the card is one of the coolest credit card benefits we’ve ever seen; I’ve always been surprised by how low the caps are on some credit card spending thresholds, so it’s fantastic to see a card go all-out like this
I definitely plan on picking up this card soon. I’m not sure how much spending I’ll put on the card — the bonus categories are great, though I don’t want to put too much everyday spending on the card, given the opportunity cost.
The Aeroplan Credit Card has a great welcome bonus, and offers 3x points in select categories, plus monthly spending bonuses and further threshold bonuses. The card also offers some valuable 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 70,000 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?