You might want to go fishing if you ever visit British Columbia. We shall take a look at the important things to do and the places to go to, in this article.
Frequent travellers based in Canada might well be tempted by Aeroplan credit cards. This popular frequent flyer program is run by Air Canada, and could allow you to make some serious savings when you’re on the move.
But which Aeroplan credit card is best? What are their fees? Does it have to be Aeroplan branded, or can some other credit cards let you claim the same rewards? In this article, we’ll take a look. You’ll also learn about the Wise debit card, a low-cost and convenient option in case you’re planning to travel abroad.
Aeroplan credit cards work much like all credit cards. When you purchase things with the card, you’re rewarded with points: typically between 0.5 and 3 points per dollar.
Then, you can redeem those points for all manner of things offered by Aeroplan. Most obviously, and perhaps most temptingly, you can redeem them for flights with Air Canada. But other stuff is on offer as well, from hotels to car rental to merchandise. You can even get entire vacation packages.
Aeroplan has official branded partnerships with several credit card providers which put the scheme’s name front and centre.
These are the cards which may well prove most effective in getting you enough Aeroplan points to spend on your dream trip.
They’re not the only option, though. Some other cards let customers accumulate Aeroplan points, while also offering other rewards as well.
But more on that later. First of all, here’s a complete list of all the official Aeroplan credit cards currently available.
|Card||Annual fee||Welcome bonus||Interest rate (purchases / cash)||Minimum annual income||Points per dollar (all doubled at Aeroplan retailers)|
|CIBC Aeroplan Visa²||$0||10,000 points||20.99% / 22.99% (21.99 in Quebec)||$15,000 household ($0 with the student version)³||0.67-1|
|TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum⁸||$89 (first year rebate)||Up to 20,000 in first 90 days||19.99% / 22.99%||n/a||0.67-1|
|American Express Aeroplan¹²||$120||Up to 40,000 in first year||30% (NB this is a charge card)||n/a||1-1.5; 2 with Air Canada|
|CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Plus⁴||$120 (first year rebate)||Up to 60,000 in first year||19.99% / 22.99%||Approval based on business||1-1.5; 2 with Air Canada|
|CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite⁵||$139 (could be rebated each year)||Up to 20,000 in first year||20.99/ 22.99 (21.99 in Quebec)||$60,000 individual, $100,000 household||1-1.5|
|TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite⁹||$139 (first year rebate)||Up to 25,000 points in first 90 days||19.99% / 22.99%||$60,000 individual, $100,000 household||1-1.5|
|TD Aeroplan Visa Business¹⁰||$149 (first year rebate)||Up to 30,000 points in first 3 months plus other features||14.99% / 22.99%||n/a||1-1.5; 2 with Air Canada|
|CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business⁶||$180 (first year rebate)||Up to 60,000 in first year||12.99% / 14.50% or higher||$35,000 individual||1-1.5; 2 with Air Canada|
|CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege⁷||$599 ($139 could be rebated each year)||Up to 75,000 in first year||20.99% / 22.99% (21.99% in Quebec)||$150,000 individual, $200,000 household||1.25-1.5; 2 with Air Canada|
|TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege¹¹||$599||Up to 65,000 in first 90 days||19.99% / 22.99%||$200,000 household||1.25-1.5; 2 with Air Canada|
|American Express Aeroplan Reserve¹³||$599||Up to 90,000 in first year||19.99% / 21.99%||n/a||1.25-2; 3 with Air Canada|
|American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve¹⁴||$599||Up to 90,000 in first year||16.99% / 21.99%||n/a||1.25-2; 3 with Air Canada|
Two of the three providers – CIBC and TD – offer an Aeroplan card with a lower or zero annual fee.
The CIBC Aeroplan Visa is the only no-fee credit card in the list, so could be the perfect option if you want to keep annual costs down. Despite the lack of annual fee, you still get 10,000 bonus points when you sign up, which could pay for an entire short-haul flight within North America. The card also comes with basic insurance coverage for things like car rental. In terms of points, you get 1 per $1.50 on everything, rising to 1 per dollar on gas, groceries, and with Air Canada.
There’s a student version of CIBC’s Aeroplan Visa as well, which drops the minimum income requirement of $15,000.
By contrast, the TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum costs $89 per year, although that is currently rebated for your first year. 10,000 bonus points on signup could rise to to 20,000 if you spend $1,000 in your first 90 days. Other features are quite similar to CIBC’s card.
Cards with an annual fee of $120 or somewhat more tend to offer 1 point per dollar or 1.5 in certain categories like food. Some offer 2 points per dollar when you spend with Air Canada.
These cards also offer a Buddy Pass to new members if you spend enough money in the first few months. This lets you bring someone else along on an Economy flight within North America.
Amex’s lowest-cost Aeroplan card isn’t actually a credit card at all. The American Express Aeroplan Card costs $120 per year, and it’s a charge card, so you have to settle your balance in full each month, rather than borrowing money. If you spend enough during your first year you could end up with as many as 40,000 bonus points, although you’ll have to keep your spending above $500 each month to reach that target.
CIBC and TD’s mid-range Aeroplan cards are both called Visa Infinite, and they also both cost $139 annually. Although actually, that fee is rebated from CIBC so long as you have a CIBC Smart Plus Account. TD rebates the first year fee as well, although not subsequent years.
The CIBC and TD cards both have have a minimum income requirement of $60,000 or $100,000 across your household. Other features are similar, too. The two cards are very similar – but if you bank with CIBC the recurring fee rebate may tip the balance.
At the higher end of the scale, the base rate for points is 1.25 per dollar, rising to 1.5 on those certain categories and 2 with Air Canada. You can expect a host of bonus perks, potentially including priority check-in, some free checked bags, lounge access, and insurance.
Like at the mid-range level, the CIBC and TD Visa Infinite Privilege credit cards are similar. Both cost $599, although you can still claim $139 as a rebate with CIBC if you have their Smart Plus account.
In terms of the points bonus, CIBC is a little more generous, offering up to 75,000 as compared to TD’s 65,000, and those points can be accumulated over a whole year too rather than 90 days. Both these cards require a household income of $200,000, although CIBC will also accept individuals on $150,000.
The American Express Aeroplan Reserve credit card is a third competitor priced at $599. On top of 1.25 points as a base rate, it offers 2 per dollar on dining and food delivery and 3 with Air Canada, and the welcome bonus points could end up as high as 90,000 if you spend $1,000 a month over the year. Other bonus features are similar.
Business credit cards with Aeroplan are more varied than the the others.
CIBC offer both the Aeroplan Visa Business and Aeroplan Visa Business Plus. The Business Plus card is actually cheaper, at $120 rather than $180; you get that fee rebated in your first year. The difference is that the Business card requires an annual income of $35,000, while the Business Plus requires your business to be approved for credit; it’s likely to come with a higher interest rate.
Points and perks for the two CIBC cards are similar, with up to 60,000 points on offer if you spend right. You earn 1 as a base rate, 1.5 on business-friendly categories like shipping, internet, cable, phone, travel, and dining, and 2 with Air Canada.
The TD Aeroplan Visa Business credit card offers the same point structure and charges an annual fee between the two CIBC cards at $149 (again rebated the first year). To be eligible you just need to be a Canadian resident and the age of majority where you live. The points welcome bonus is up to 30,000 but there are other bonus features too including a Buddy Pass.
As for Amex, their business offering is at the premium end of the scale. The American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve credit card is $599 per year, and there are up to 90,000 welcome bonus points available plus a Buddy Pass. Needless to say, there are plenty of additional bonus features.
Aeroplan points aren’t just available on Canadian credit cards with Aeroplan written on the front. You can also get Aeroplan points on many other American Express cards.
These run the gamut from fee-free to premium, and of course – because they’re not specifically Aeroplan cards – they let you spend points in different ways. Here’s a brief overview of some of the options.
|American Express card||Annual fee||Potential welcome bonus|
|Cobalt¹⁶||$12.99 monthly ($155.88 yearly)||50,000|
Here are a few common questions when it comes to the Aeroplan scheme and how it works.
You get points in the same way as you normally get points or cash back with a credit card: simply by using the credit card. Typically you’ll get a small percentage of points for all purchases, maybe 0.5%, and a higher percentage for purchases in certain categories like groceries or travel.
Currently a distance of up to 500 miles within North America could cost as little as 6,000 points. At the other end of the scale, a trip from North America to the Pacific of more than 11,000 miles will be at least 65,000.²⁰
All the Aeroplan cards reward you in the same way, so the thing you want to focus on is how you accrue points in the first place: will you get points in the right spending categories? And is it worth it, when set against recurring costs like the annual fee?
But the other thing to consider is whether an Aeroplan-only credit card is the way to go. If you like the idea of an American Express card, it’s worth looking into their alternative cards, which will let you use Aeroplan if you want or alternatively redeem your points elsewhere.
In terms of sheer points, the Amex Aeroplan Reserve and Business cards offer the most potential bonus points, with an impressive 90,000. But is that the best value? Some of the less premium cards, which waive the yearly fee, might end up saving you more.
Aeroplan isn’t the only show in town when it comes to travel rewards. There’s also Air Miles, which is very similar in that it also has a series of branded credit cards. You could check out Avios as well, as part of the oneworld alliance which features a number of prominent airlines. Amex also has its own in-house scheme, the Fixed Points Travel Program.
Then again, there are plenty of travel credit cards for Canada that are not tied to a specific scheme but rather designed to enhance your trip in general. Good options include the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus, and HSBC World Elite.
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If you’re planning to travel and spend in a different currency, have a look at what Wise has to offer. The Wise card is 4x cheaper than banks for spending abroad..
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The Wise card is part of the Wise account, which means that you can add, hold, and convert over 40 currencies instantly. You can get your own bank details for 10 different currencies (including CAD, USD, GBP, EUR, and more) to receive money from those places.
- Air Canada Redeem your Aeroplan points 26 November 2021
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card 26 November 2021
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card for Students 26 November 2021
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Plus Card 26 November 2021
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card 26 November 2021
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Card 26 November 2021
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card 26 November 2021
- TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Credit Card 26 November 2021
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card 26 November 2021
- TD Aeroplan Visa Business Card 26 November 2021
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Credit Card 26 November 2021
- American Express Aeroplan Card 26 November 2021
- American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card 26 November 2021
- American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card 26 November 2021
- American Express Green Card 1 December 2021
- American Express Cobalt Card 1 December 2021
- American Express Gold Rewards Card 1 December 2021
- Business Platinum Card from American Express 1 December 2021
- The Platinum Card 1 December 2021
- Aeroplan Flight Reward Chart
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