The Best Aeroplan Credit Cards in Canada

With cities opening again, people are getting into serious trip-planning mode, and that means that the best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada are even more valuable than ever. And with the re-launch of the Aeroplan program, the sign-up offers are coming fast and furious.

Maybe you’ve been collecting Aeroplan points for a while and want to ramp up your earning, or maybe you’re just starting out and want to know which card is best for you; either way, our Best Aeroplan Credit Card in Canada ranking can help you find a card that will get you farther for free.

Card

Best For

Annual Fees

Interest Rate (purchase / cash advance)

Minimum Income (person / household)

Current Promo

Learn More

TD Aeroplan

TD Aeroplan

Best overall + Best travel insurance

$139

19.99% / 22.99%

$60,000 personal / $100,000 household

Up to 20,000 points, Buddy Pass, 1st year fee waived

Amercian Express Gold

Amex Gold

Best charge card for Aeroplan members 

$150

N/A

None

25,000 points

CIBC Aeroplan Visa

CIBC Aeroplan Visa

Best No-Fee Aeroplan Credit Card

$0

19.99% / 22.99%

$15K per household

10,000 points

Amex Aeroplan Reserve

Amex Aeroplan Reserve

Best welcome bonus

$599

19.99% /  21.99%

None

75,000 points, $100 statement credit

What Are Aeroplan Points?

Aeroplan is Air Canada’s signature rewards program which offers points that are redeemable for travel on Air Canada and other Star Alliance airlines. Aeroplan members can earn points simply by presenting their Aeroplan number at any one of 150+ Aeroplan partner stores and receiving points based on how much they spend.

While this is an excellent start, cardholders’ earning potential is limited to purchases made at Aeroplan partner stores. An Aeroplan credit card expands this potential earning, allowing members to earn points no matter where they shop. Aeroplan credit cardholders can also double their earn rate when they shop at Aeroplan partner stores by paying with their Aeroplan credit card and presenting their Aeroplan number as well.

When you redeem your Aeroplan points, different flights are assigned specific point values based on a variety of factors including:

  • Your destination
  • The time of year
  • The number of layovers

 On Air Canada bookings, you’ll have the advantage of no seat or flight restrictions, and no cash surcharges on flight rewards. The number of points you need to book a reward flight on Air Canada will vary based on the market price of the tickets. This can be helpful if you’re planning a trip in the off-season or heading somewhere that isn’t a popular travel destination—or it can cost you if your plans aren’t flexible and you’re heading somewhere popular.

You can also use your points to book flights on any airlines in the Star Alliance family. Star Alliance is made up of over 30 airlines including:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air China
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Lufthansa
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • United Airlines

Between Air Canada’s flights and the Star Alliance airlines, you can get pretty much anywhere with enough Aeroplan points. However, it’s important to plan ahead: when you book with other Star Alliance airlines, the point values are set and can often be lower than Air Canada flights, but seat availability is limited, and they tend to sell out fast.

Aeroplan Points vs. Air Miles

Air Miles are an independently owned rewards program, and the most popular loyalty program in Canada. Air Miles collectors earn miles by presenting their Air Miles card at more than 300 partner locations. Like Aeroplan points, cardholders can accelerate their earnings by using an Air Miles branded credit card.

The principal difference between Aeroplan and Air Miles is that Aeroplan is an airline-specific loyalty program. Aeroplan points are principally designed for travel rewards, and particularly flights. Meanwhile, Air Miles has embraced flexibility as its central tenet.

Air Miles customers can choose one of two tracks: Cash rewards or Dream rewards. Cash rewards allow shoppers to apply their Air Miles to in-store discounts or purchases of merchandise, while Dream rewards can be applied to travel, events, and larger purchases.  Air Miles take longer to collect if you’re earning points towards free flights, but if you’re looking for a simple cash-back loyalty program, they’re the better pick.

Shoppers specifically looking to earn points towards flights will often stick with the single-focused Aeroplan loyalty program. As with any card or loyalty program, the best fit depends on what you’re looking for and where you shop.

Questions To Consider

When you set out to compare Aeroplan credit cards, it’s important to keep your own needs and habits in mind:

  • Does your annual income qualify you for a more premium card, or are you just starting out and looking for a basic card with no income requirement?
  • What kind of annual fee are you willing or able to pay? There are different levels of cards, from basic to elite, with fees and perks to match.
  • What are your primary spending categories? If you spend most on gas or groceries, you may want a different card than someone who spends most on travel and hotels.
  • What perks are most important to you?

Taking a minute to answer these questions will make your search for the best Aeroplan card far easier and ultimately more successful—after all, what you really want is the best Aeroplan card for you.

A note for Mastercard fans: As of June 2021, Aeroplan is only available for Visa and American Express cards, and not Mastercard. If that ever changes, we’ll be sure to let you know!

Best Aeroplan Credit Card: TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite is widely recognized as one of the best Aeroplan credit cards. With a good earn rate, a solid selection of perks, travel insurance, and one of the most generous welcome bonuses on the market today, it’s our top pick for Aeroplan credit cards and an excellent choice for shoppers who want to earn Aeroplan points whenever they shop.

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite has a fee of $139 (and $75 per additional card), but it’s waived for the main cardholder and three additional cardholders if you open the card, add your cardholders, and make a purchase before August 17, 2021.

Annual Fee: $139 ($75 per additional card)

Minimum Income: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household

Interest Rate: 19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances

Earn Rate:

  • 1.5 points per dollar on eligible gas, grocery, and Air Canada purchases
  • 1 point per dollar spent on everything else

Welcome Bonus: Up to 20,000 points, a Buddy Pass, and the first year’s fee waived for you and up to three additional cardholders (up until August 16th 2021)

Insurance Coverage:

  • Up to $1 million of travel medical insurance
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Flight/Trip delay insurance
  • Delayed and lost baggage insurance
  • Common carrier travel accident insurance
  • Hotel/motel burglary insurance
  • Auto rental collision/loss damage insurance.

Other perks:

  • First checked bag free on trips that originate with Air Canada flights
  • A Nexus application fee rebate up to $100 every 48 months
  • 1.5 bonus Aeroplan points for each $1 spent at Starbucks (at participating locations) before November 7, 2021
  • 10% off Avis and Budget car rentals in the US and Canada (5% off internationally)
  • Purchase security (eligible new items purchased on the card are covered against theft or damage for 90 days)
  • Extended warranty (if a purchased item comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, you may be eligible to double the warranty period up to 12 months).
  • Visa Concierge Service and Hotel Collection (free upgrades if available, free in-room WiFi).

We appreciate what an all-rounder the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite is. It has a great selection of perks, including comprehensive travel insurance coverage and exclusive Visa Infinite benefits. It also has a generous welcome bonus (keep an eye out for bonus offers, because we’ve seen even better ones from TD). We’re not surprised that this card has been collecting awards this year, and we also chose as it as the best travel credit card in Canada.

Best Aeroplan Charge Card: Amex Gold Rewards Card

The Amex Gold Rewards Card has been making waves on Aeroplan awards lists, and our editorial team agreed that it should have a place on ours as well. This charge card from American Express is not technically an Aeroplan card, but it allows users to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan at a rate of 1:1.

 Their transfer policy means that the Amex Gold Rewards Card’s current welcome bonus of 25,000 points can be exchanged for 25,000 Aeroplan points, making this welcome bonus more generous than that of any of the Aeroplan Visa Infinites, as well as the welcome bonus for Amex’s own Aeroplan card! The earn rate is also higher, at 2 points per $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery, drug store, and travel purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

In fact, the only reason why we didn’t give the Amex Gold Rewards Card our top credit card spot…is that it’s a charge card and it works differently than the credit cards you’re probably used to. Charge cards like this one are useful for earning rewards points and giving cardholders temporary extra spending power—but they must be paid off in full every month, or the cardholder incurs penalties. So, consider the Amex Gold Rewards Card if you want a way to collect those Aeroplan points quickly, but don’t expect to be able to carry a balance.

Annual Fee: $150

Minimum Income Requirements: none

Interest: A charge card does not allow users to carry a balance. A charge card like the Amex Gold Rewards Card must be paid in full every month, or the user is subject to 30% interest charges and other penalties.

Earn Rate:

  • 2 points per $1 spent on gas, groceries, drugs, and eligible travel.
  • All other purchases earn points at 1:1.
  • Amex Membership Rewards points can be transferred to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio.

Welcome Bonus: 25,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points when you charge $1,500 to your card in the first three months (can be transferred to Aeroplan at a rate of 1:1)

Insurance Coverage:

  • Emergency medical insurance
  • Trip interruption insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Hotel burglary insurance
  • Lost or stolen baggage insurance
  • $500,000 travel accident insurance
  • Car rental theft or damage insurance
  • Buyers Assurance Protection Plan
  • Purchase Protection Plan

Other perks:

  • American Express Experiences special offers and events, Front of the Line tickets and presales, as well as specially curated offers and experiences.
  • Special benefits and offers including discounts on hotel and car rental bookings. 

With earn rates like these, it’s obvious why this non-Aeroplan charge card has won recognition as one of the best Aeroplan cards! We love it for its generous bonus and transfer rate—but please do be aware that it’s a charge card and cannot carry a balance like a typical credit card can. You can also read our detailed Amex Gold review first before choosing whether you want to use it or not.

Best no-fee Aeroplan credit card in Canada: CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card

If the annual fees so far are feeling steep, have no fear! Canada has one no-fee Aeroplan credit card: the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card. The earn rate, insurance coverage, and welcome bonus are lower than the premium cards we’ve featured so far—but you can’t beat the cost!

This is a good starter card for people who don’t meet the income requirements for a Visa Infinite card, but who still want to collect Aeroplan points on their purchases.

Annual Fee: $0

Minimum Income Requirements: $15,000 household

Interest: 19.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash (21.99% for Quebec residents)

Earn Rate:

  • 1 point for every $1 spent on gas, groceries, and with Air Canada directly
  • 1 point for every $1.50 spent on everything else.

Welcome Bonus: Earn 10,000 points on your first purchase

Insurance Coverage:

  • Common carrier accident insurance
  • Car rental and loss damage insurance
  • Purchase security
  • Extended warranty

Other perks:

  • Earn 1 point for every $6 spent on a CIBC Global Money Transfer (no transaction fees)
  • Car rental discounts of up to 25% at participating Avis and Budget locations worldwide

If you’re a student and want to get started collecting Aeroplan points, CIBC makes an Aeroplan Visa specifically for you! It has the same features as the no-fee CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card, but with no minimum income requirement. We appreciate how CIBC has made earning extra Aeroplan points accessible to cardholders at any income level.

Aeroplan Credit Card With The Best Welcome Bonus: American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card

The only credit card from American Express that is directly connected to Aeroplan, the Amex Aeroplan Reserve card has the most generous welcome bonus that we’ve seen among Aeroplan cards. The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is an elite-level card with an elite-level annual fee ($599) and elite-level perks that can absolutely be worth it if you travel frequently and use your card for many of your purchases.

Amex offers new Aeroplan Reserve Credit Card members a whopping 75,000 points (enough for some serious travel) plus a $100 statement credit. To receive the full amount, you must:

  • Spend $3,000 in the first three months after you open the card (45,000 bonus points plus a $100 statement credit)
  • Spend $1,000 in each of the first 6 months (5,000 points for each month you do this, for a possible total of 30,000 points).

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege offers the same number of welcome points as the Amex Aeroplan Reserve card, but Amex’s spend requirement for earning the welcome bonus is significantly less. We like a welcome bonus that offers a lot for comparatively little, and that’s why Amex wins this round for us. However, for the record, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege card is another excellent card—they just ask you to spend more in order to earn those 75,000 points.

Annual Fee: $599 (additional cards are free if cardholders are simply earning points towards the account total, but $199 if they want to enjoy the perks associated with the account)

Minimum Income Requirements: none

Interest: 19.99% on purchases, 21.99% on cash advances

Earn Rate:

  • 3 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on Air Canada travel and vacations
  • 2 points per dollar spent on eligible dining and food delivery
  • 1 point per dollar spent on everything else

Welcome Bonus: Up to 75,000 points plus a $100 statement credit

  • 45,000 and $100 credit for spending $3,000 on the card in the first 3 months
  • 5,000 for each of the first 6 months where you spend $1,000 on the card (up to 30,000 extra points for a total spend of $6,000)

Insurance Coverage:

  • Emergency medical insurance (up to $5 million)
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Trip interruption insurance
  • Flight delay insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Hotel burglary insurance
  • Lost or stolen baggage insurance
  • Travel accident insurance ($500,000)
  • Car rental theft and damage insurance

Other perks:

  • Maple Leaf Lounge Access
  • Priority Airport Services
  • One Annual Worldwide Companion Pass if you spend $25,000 in net purchases prior to your Card anniversary date
  • Free first checked bag
  • Expedited security lane
  • Complimentary valet and 15% parking discounts at Pearson International Airport
  • American Express Experiences and Front of the Line access
  • Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan (extends the warranty on eligible purchases by up to one additional year)
  • Purchase Protection insurance for up to 90 days from the date of purchase, up to $1,000 per occurrence

Best Canadian Aeroplan Credit Cards – FAQ

The Best Aeroplan Credit Cards in Canada – Final Verdict

When we set out to determine the best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada, we couldn’t help but notice that, when you get down to it, all the options are excellent. In order to find the true winners in each of our categories, we had to crunch some serious numbers and scrutinize the small print for subtle differences. That made our job harder, but luckily for you, it means your search just got easier.

As always, consider your financial situation, spending habits, and goals before you start shopping for your new Aeroplan credit card.:

  • Are you looking for a no or low-fee card?
  • Are you in the market for a seriously elite card with tons of perks?
  • Do you need a charge card that simply allows you to earn points without carrying a balance?

Asking yourself these questions early on will help you find the right Aeroplan credit card for you. We tried to mention alternatives when we saw cards that were strikingly similar, so you should have no trouble getting a full picture of the options in your ideal range. If you’re looking to boost your Aeroplan points earning with an Aeroplan credit card, we’ve got you covered regardless of your income level.

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Meg Goodmanson

Meg is a writer, editor, virtual assistant, credit card expert, and lifelong learner-of-things. A self-proclaimed nerd, Meg’s favourite thing is collecting information and presenting it in an interesting and helpful way—especially if it helps her travel for free!
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