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Published September 23, 2022

American Express Aeroplan Card Review

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Best for travel bugs who want competitive earn rates, extensive insurance coverage and flexibility when redeeming Aeroplan points.

American Express Aeroplan Card rating: 4.0/5.0 stars

View star rating methodology.

American Express® Aeroplan®* Card

  • Annual Fee
    $120
  • Interest Rates
    Charge Card
  • Rewards Rate
    1x-2x Points
  • Intro Offer
    Up to 50,000 Points
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    The American Express Aeroplan Card can help you rack up points at an impressive clip, especially if you make regular use of food delivery apps. No pre-set spending limit means freedom and flexibility — just remember to pay down that balance every month.

    Pros
    • Relatively low annual fee.
    • Plenty of opportunities to score double points.


    Cons
    • As a charge card, unpaid balances are subject to a 30% annual interest rate.
    • Perks may not be enough to scratch the “premium” itch for those used to other luxury cards.
  • Product Details
    • New American Express® Aeroplan®* Cardmembers can earn up to 50,000 Aeroplan points:
    • Earn 35,000 Aeroplan points after spending $3,000 in net purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Cardmembership.
    • Plus, earn 2,500 Aeroplan points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases on your Card for the first 6 months of Cardmembership. That could add up to 15,000 Aeroplan points.
    • New Cardmembers: Earn up to $1,100 in value within your first year. Spend applies to bonus point offers valued at up to $1,000.
    • Standard Earn Rate: Earn 2X the points on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada®* and Air Canada vacations®*.
    • Standard Earn Rate: Earn 1.5X the points on eligible Dining and Food Delivery purchases in Canada.
    • Standard Earn Rate: Earn 1X the points on everything else.
    • Enjoy your first checked bag free (up to 23kg/50lb) for up to 9 people travelling on the same reservation on Air Canada®* flights.
    • Earn 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles and 1 Status Qualifying Segment for every $10,000 in eligible net purchases charged to your Card.
    • As an American Express Aeroplan Cardmember, you can often book flight rewards for even fewer points with preferred pricing.
    • American Express® Experiences: From music and movies, to specially curated dining and online shopping opportunities, stay connected with all that we have to offer from the comfort of your own home.
    • Enjoy an array of travel related insurance benefits such as Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance and up to $500,000 in Travel Accident Insurance.
    • 24/7 Customer Service and Emergency Card Replacement.
    • As part of our commitment to sustainability, the American Express® Aeroplan®* Card has been made with 70% reclaimed plastic.
    • No pre-set spending limit on purchases gives you flexibility. Using a charge card is a great way to manage your finances as the balance must be paid in full each month.*
    • *American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

American Express Aeroplan Card pros and cons

Pros

  • A nice welcome bonus and earn rate on certain purchases.
  • Earn twice the points at participating Aeroplan partner brands and online retailers.
  • A variety of travel insurance and purchase protection perks.

Cons

  • Few travel perks beyond a free first checked bag.
  • As a charge card, unpaid balances are subject to a 30% annual interest rate.

American Express Aeroplan Card full review

The American Express Aeroplan Card is a charge card that allows cardmembers to earn Aeroplan points with each purchase.

Air Canada’s Aeroplan is one of the country’s most popular loyalty programs for travel rewards. Points can be redeemed for a variety of items, including flights, hotel stays, car rentals and merchandise.

Benefits of the American Express Aeroplan Card

Earning Aeroplan points to offset the cost of travel adventures is an attractive benefit, but the American Express Aeroplan Card offers a few more noteworthy perks.

Cardmembers are covered by a robust suite of travel insurance. The coverage provided, which includes lost or stolen baggage insurance and travel accident insurance, can help smooth out unexpected bumps in the road when away from home.

Taking advantage of the free first checked bag offer saves cardmembers money every time they fly with Air Canada. In addition to the primary cardholder, up to eight travelling companions can check a bag free of charge.

The American Express Aeroplan Card provides cardmembers access to a pair of programs designed to enhance nights out on the town. Exclusive dining, sports and entertainment events can be discovered through American Express Experiences, while American Express Front Of The Line helps cardmembers score presale and reserved tickets for concerts or the next big game.

Drawbacks of the American Express Aeroplan Card

A drawback of any American Express card is that they aren’t as readily accepted by retailers as Visa and Mastercard.

Because the American Express Aeroplan Card is a charge card rather than a credit card, you’re expected to pay off the entire balance each month. The annual interest rate on unpaid balances is a rather steep 30%.

Travellers searching for a more relaxed airport experience might be disappointed that the card doesn’t provide access to airport lounges. Other American Express cards, like the Aeroplan Reserve, offer lounge access but charge higher annual fees.

The 2x the Aeroplan Points earn rate on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations purchases is a nice plus, but it only applies if you book travel directly through the airline. Book through a third-party and those extra points won’t be awarded.

Is American Express reliable and secure?

With American Express being one of the world’s biggest credit card issuers, their products typically provide a secure way of making purchases in person and online.

If someone steals your credit card information or makes fraudulent purchases with your card, American Express’s Fraud Protection Guarantee ensures you won’t be held responsible for any of the charges.

There have been minor security scares involving American Express customer information in recent years that were either the result of security breaches at third-party sites storing American Express customer data or the work of disgruntled former employees.

American Express customer satisfaction ratings

American Express ranks third (and above industry average) in customer satisfaction with credit card issuers, according to J.D. Power’s 2022 Canada Credit Card Satisfaction Study, a survey of 6,478 cardholders in Canada [1]. Card issuers were rated on their benefits and services, communication, card terms, customer support and rewards. The credit card issuers with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the survey were Tangerine Bank and Canadian Tire.

American Express had a Trustpilot rating of 1.7 out of a possible 5 stars, based on more than 2,500 reviews, at the time of this writing.

American Express had a Better Business Bureau rating of 1.07 out of a possible 5 stars, based on nearly 300 reviews, at the time of this writing.

American Express had a Customer Service Scoreboard rating of 36.52 out of a possible 200, based on over 300 ratings, at the time of this writing.

American Express Aeroplan Card details and eligibility

Who qualifies for the American Express Aeroplan Card?

To apply for the American Express Aeroplan Card, you must:

  • Be a Canadian resident and have a Canadian credit file.
  • Be the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Approximate credit score needed for approval

Canadian credit card issuers rarely disclose required credit scores, which makes it hard to know your chances of approval when comparing credit cards. It also means any score suggestion we make would be our best guess — which may not be accurate and could result in card application rejections. We don’t want that.

Suggesting that you’d need a “good” or “excellent” score would also be confusing, because the meaning of those terms can vary depending on the rating system card issuers use.

Instead, we’ll tell you what we do know: higher scores have better chances of approval — that’s true no matter what type of credit you’re applying for. Visit our “What Credit Score is Needed for a Credit Card?” page to learn more.

» MORE: How to Check Your Credit Score 

Income requirements

There is no publicly available minimum income requirement for the American Express Aeroplan card.

Who should get the American Express Aeroplan Card?

Because its higher earn rates are attached to dining and Air Canada purchases, the American Express Aeroplan Card will be most valuable for people who frequently eat out/order in and book their vacations directly with Canada’s biggest airline.

How to know if the American Express Aeroplan Card is right for you

The American Express Aeroplan Card might be a good choice if you’re looking for a rewards card that can help reduce the cost of your next adventure.

But it is a charge card, which means you’re expected to pay off your entire balance every month. If that doesn’t sound like something you’d be comfortable with, keep looking.

» MORE: Best Aeroplan Rewards Cards in Canada

Value of the American Express Aeroplan Card’s welcome offer: $1,100+

In the first year, new cardmembers can earn $1,100 or more in value, including:

  • Up to 50,000 bonus Aeroplan points (worth up to $1,000).
  • Free first checked bags for two people flying round trip in the first year ($120).

Is the American Express Aeroplan Card worth it?

The ability to earn points on everyday purchases and turn them into travel rewards has definite value — especially if you’re a frequent Air Canada flyer. Take a few flights with a travelling companion and the money you save on checked bags will exceed the American Express Aeroplan Card’s annual fee. The included insurance coverage is a nice thing to have in your back pocket — quite literally — in case any mishaps arise while you’re on the road.

Point value breakdown

NerdWallet searched more than 75 flights in 2021 and 2022 to determine the average value for Air Canada flights.

  • Based on our analysis, the average value of 1 Aeroplan point is 2.23 cents.

More specifically, you can expect to get:

  • Around 1.69 cents in value per Aeroplan point for economy class awards on Air Canada.
  • Around 2.81 cents in value per Aeroplan point for business class awards on Air Canada flights.

How to apply for the American Express Aeroplan Card

The application process for the American Express Aeroplan Card is fairly straightforward:

  1. Visit the American Express CA home page.
  2. Select the card you wish to apply for.
  3. Read the product information, then read and agree to the card’s requirements.
  4. Provide your personal information, including your name, address and date of birth. Entering your Social Insurance Number is optional but encouraged.
  5. Enter your employment and income details.
  6. Confirm your information.
  7. Read and agree to the terms and conditions.
  8. Submit your application.

How to maximize the Amex Aeroplan Card’s benefits

To get the most out of your American Express Aeroplan Card:

  • Hit all the spending targets in the first six months to ensure you receive your full bonus of 50,000 Aeroplan points.
  • Use the card to make your “eats and drinks” purchases in the first three months to make use of the introductory earn rate of 1.5 points per dollar spent.
  • When booking travel with Air Canada using your card, deal directly with the airline and not a third-party booking site. You’ll earn two points for every dollar spent directly with Air Canada.
  • Pay off your balance in full every month. Carrying a balance that gets charged an annual rate of 30% interest can cost you more than your benefits are worth.

Alternatives to the American Express Aeroplan Card

If Aeroplan points don’t appeal as a reward, numerous card alternatives exist, including travel reward cards, cash-back cards, cards with no annual fees and more.

Reasons you might want a different card

Some travellers may want more perks than the American Express Aeroplan card provides. Others may not be comfortable using a charge card that requires them to pay their full balance every month. And if you don’t dine out often, you may not get much value from the card’s elevated earn rates on restaurant and food delivery purchases.

American Express Aeroplan Card vs TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

Both of these cards earn Aeroplan points but eligibility criteria and earn rates vary.

 American Express Aeroplan CardTD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
Minimum credit scoreNot known.Not known.
Minimum annual incomeNot known.$60,000 annual personal income or $100,000 household annual income is required.
Annual fee$120$139
Earn ratesEarn 2x points on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, 1.5x points on eligible Dining and Food Delivery purchases in Canada, and 1x points on everything else.Earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery and direct through Air Canada® purchases (including Air Canada Vacations®) made with your card. Earn 1 point† for every $1 spent on all other Purchases made with your Card.

 

American Express Aeroplan Card facts

Card Type

The American Express Aeroplan Card is a travel rewards charge card. That means it earns Aeroplan points that can be redeemed for discounted travel purchases or even free flights. With a charge card, you’re expected to pay off your entire balance every month.

Interest Rate

Regular APR

The American Express Aeroplan card is a charge card, which means you’re expected to pay off your entire balance each month. Any balance that isn’t paid off will be charged a 30% annual rate of interest.

Fees

Annual Fee

$120 for the primary card, $50 for each additional Aeroplan Card.

Balance Transfer Fee

There’s no balance transfer fee associated with the American Express Aeroplan Card. As a charge card, it isn’t designed for cardmembers to carry a balance from month to month.

Cash Advance Fee

Either 3% of the amount of each advance or $0.75, whichever is greater.

Foreign Transaction Fees

2.5% for each charge.

Reward Earn Rates

  • 2x the Aeroplan points on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations.
  • 1.5x the points on eligible dining and food delivery purchases.
  • 1x the points on all other eligible purchases.

Sign-up Bonus

  • Earn 35,000 Aeroplan points after spending $3,000 in net purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of membership.
  • Earn 2,500 Aeroplan points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases on your Card for the first 6 months of membership. That could add up to 15,000 Aeroplan points.

Rewards & Benefits

Main Reward

The most significant award offered by the American Express Aeroplan Card is the ability to earn points that you can use to pay for future travel excursions, including flights, car rentals and hotel stays.

Other Perks

  • Free first checked bag for cardmembers and up to eight travelling companions.
  • Access to American Express Experiences and Front of the Line.
  • Exclusive offers on shopping, dining, travel and more.

Insurance Coverage

Travel Insurance

  • Flight delay insurance: Up to $500 for accommodation, food and sundry expenses when delayed or denied boarding for four hours or more, for flights paid in full for using the American Express Aeroplan Card.
  • Baggage delay insurance: Up to $500 for essential purchases if checked baggage is delayed for six or more hours, for flights paid in full for using the American Express Aeroplan Card.
  • Lost or stolen baggage insurance: Up to $500 per trip for loss or damage to baggage during transit when flights are paid for using the American Express Aeroplan Card.
  • Hotel burglary insurance: Up to $500 in coverage against the loss of personal items if your accommodation is burglarized, for stays paid for in full using the American Express Aeroplan Card.
  • Travel accident insurance: Up to $500,000 in common carrier accidental death and dismemberment insurance for trips paid for using the American Express Aeroplan Card.

» MORE: How credit card travel insurance works

Extended Warranty

Purchasing eligible items with the American Express Aeroplan Card automatically extends the manufacturer’s original warranty by up to one year.

Purchase Protection

Eligible items can be insured against accidental damage or theft for 90 days from the date of purchase, up to a total of $1,000 per occurrence.

Mobile Device Protection

There is no mobile device protection offered by the American Express Aeroplan Card.

Rental Car Theft & Damage

Coverage for theft, loss and damage of a rental car with an MSRP of up to $85,000 on rentals of 48 days or less when fully charged to the American Express Aeroplan Card.

Rating Methodology

NerdWallet Canada rates credit cards according to overall consumer value and their suitability for specific kinds of consumers. Factors in our evaluation include annual and other fees, rewards rates, the earning structure (for example, flat-rate rewards versus bonus categories), redemption options, bonus offers for new cardholders, introductory and ongoing APRs, and other noteworthy features such as airline or hotel perks or the ability to transfer points.

  • Frequently asked questions about American Express Aeroplan Card

    • Does American Express have an Aeroplan Card?

      In Canada, American Express offers three different Aeroplan cards: the American Express Aeroplan Card, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card and the American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card.

    • How much is the American Express Aeroplan Card?

      The American Express Aeroplan Card’s annual fee is $120. Additional cards cost $50 each.

Article Sources

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