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Years of work, the Aeroplan credit card from Air Canada has finally arrived. The card benefits and welcome bonus are better than expected. This includes an introductory offer of up to 100,000 points, plus automatic elite status for the first two years of card membership.
A partnership between Air Canada and Chase, this new credit card offers a strong earnings structure, many premium travel perks such as free checked baggage, and Global Entry/TSA/Nexus credit. However, its annual fee is only $95. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Chase Aeroplan credit card and why it’s worth getting it now — even if you don’t have plans to visit Canada anytime soon.
If you are flying with Air Canada, this card is a must
The Aeroplan credit card is Air Canada’s first credit card to target the US market. Previously, Americans flying on Canada’s largest airline could get travel perks like priority boarding, free bags by flight, and spending a lot on Air Canada to achieve elite status. Now, by just being a cardholder, Air Canada travelers can access the likes of free baggage, early boarding, mega points-earning opportunities, and all the perks associated with Aeroplan 25K Elite status, which are awarded in the calendar year your account is open as well as in the following calendar year.
Even without plans to visit Canada (ever), this pass is great
It might sound like a strange suggestion to get an Air Canada-branded credit card if you don’t have plans to visit Canada, but listen up. The airline’s frequent flyer program has more reward partners than any other loyalty program in the world – currently 45 and over – serving more than 1,300 global destinations. As a founding member of the Star Alliance, Aeroplan has access to prize stocks for all 26 alliance members, including Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Swiss Airlines, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines , and more. Add partnerships with nearly 20 other airlines including Etihad Airways and Oman Air, and you’ll get the most comprehensive search results of any airline program in the world.
The current Aeroplan credit card introductory bonus is a big bonus—especially for a card that has an annual fee of $95—but it’s different from the usual welcome offer. For a limited time, new cardholders can earn two welcome flight reward certificates, worth up to 50,000 points each, after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months. Together, the bonus points total up to 100,000.
Welcome flight reward certificates may not be as straightforward as the traditional use of points for flight rewards, but they aren’t difficult to use either. Think of them as invoices that offer no change. For flight prizes costing more than 50,000 points, use a certificate and pay the difference with your Aeroplan points. A recent prize hunt for a return ticket from Paris to Miami on Air Canada in May 2022 was priced at 76,600 points. After using one certificate (worth 50,000 points), the balance of 26,600 points will be deducted from your Aeroplan balance. On the other hand, in the case of a redemption for the same flight in economy class at a cost of 35,000 points, a certificate can be used, but no change will be given (effectively forfeiting the value of 15,000 points).
Also, as part of the card launch, earn Aeroplan 25K status for the calendar year your Chase Aeroplan card account is opened and for the following calendar year. This elite status grants many travel privileges on Air Canada.
Aside from the introductory reward certificates, the Aeroplan card is brimming with opportunities to collect additional points on your daily spend. Card profit rates are as follows:
- Earn 3 points for every dollar you spend directly with Air Canada
- Earn 3 points for every dollar you spend on groceries
- Earn three points for every dollar on dinner, including takeout and eligible delivery services
- Earn 1 point for every dollar on all other purchases
But the profits do not end there. Another distinguishing feature of this credit card is the chance to earn reward points when you reach your spending limits each month. Earn an additional 500 points for every $2,000 spent in a calendar month (maximum 1,500 points per calendar month, or a total of 18,000 points per year).
Countless Redemption Chances
Aeroplan’s strongest asset is its payback ability. With the most comprehensive rewards portal in the loyalty program industry, it is possible to redeem points at more than 40 airlines with Aeroplan.
However, it’s not always easy to know exactly how many points you’ll need for your trip: Aeroplan’s rather complex awards scheme depends on both geography and distance traveled. To give some simple best-case scenario examples, short flights (less than 500 miles) within North America—say, from Boston to Montreal or from New York City to Toronto—can cost just 6,000 airline points each way in the economy. A single flight from New York to Frankfurt on Lufthansa or Miami to Paris on Air Canada can cost 35,000 points in economy class while Los Angeles to Zurich on Switzerland can cost 70,000 points in business class. (Note that the number of points required to redeem Aeroplan is often much lower than that of the Mileage Plus loyalty program through United Airlines.)
If you can’t find your coveted travel award through the portal, don’t worry. Simply ship your purchases – on Which Airline, hotel, or car rental – and apply your Aeroplan Points at a rate of 1.25 US cents per point with Chase’s Pay Yourself Back. Aeroplan card members can use this redemption tool for up to 50,000 points per year (valued at $625). At the time of publication, this feature is set to work in the near future but has not yet been activated.
In addition, those with Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Capital One Points can transfer credit card points to the Aeroplan program. This makes it easy to combine points from spending on your Aeroplan card with points accumulated on other general travel credit cards, collected collectively enough for coveted business class tickets to remote destinations. Furthermore, Aeroplan allows members to pool and share points among eight family members, making it even easier to collect enough miles to get tickets for your dream prizes.
Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or Nexus statement
A Global Entry credential or TSA PreCheck statement (every four years) is common among credit cards with high annual fees but is unusual for a card that has an annual fee of $95. However, the Aeroplan credit card goes beyond the $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck by allowing cardholders to also use credit toward the Nexus, a Canada-US car travel express screening program (which allows members to use Global Entry kiosks and get TSA PreCheck – Yes, that’s three for one!).
Air Canada has committed to achieving a net-zero emissions target from all global operations by 2050. In this context, carbon offsets will be purchased (and paid for by Air Canada) when Aeroplan cardholders (and their companions on the same reservation) travel to Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge on an Aeroplan flight bonus. This will help reduce the impact of aviation-related greenhouse gas emissions. There is no limit to the number of carbon offsets that Air Canada will provide through this program.
Free Bags, Elite tier, and more
The Aeroplan Pass comes with a lot of travel perks. On Air Canada flights, a primary card member can expect one free checked bag of him or her and up to eight travel companions on the same itinerary.
When receiving Aeroplan 25K Elite status with a credit card, primary cardholders can also enjoy benefits such as priority check-in, early boarding, upgrades and more on Air Canada flights.
With a welcome offer of up to 100,000 points, a great points-earning structure, and great redemption opportunities, the new Aeroplan credit card is a smart choice for those who fly Air Canada often and even for those who will never set foot on an airplane. Canada Aircraft.
While the above offers are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may change or may no longer be available.
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