Menu Toggle
Search
  1. Home
  2. Credit Cards
  3. American Express Air Miles Reserve Card Review 2024: Is It Worth It?
Published January 1, 2024
Reading Time
8 minutes

American Express Air Miles Reserve Card Review 2024: Is It Worth It?

The Amex Air Miles Reserve Card is best for travel enthusiasts seeking flexible redemption options, airport lounge access and insurance coverage.

Written By

Edited By

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

The American Express AIR MILES Reserve Card is no longer available to new applicants. The information on this page may be out of date.

4.5

NerdWallet Rating

Best for travel enthusiasts seeking a card with diverse redemption options.

If you don’t mind an annual fee, travel often and typically use your credit card at the grocery store, gas station, or drugstore, the American Express Air Miles Reserve Card may be a practical choice.

Learn more about our star rating methodology.

    Travel bugs on the hunt for flexible rewards, airport lounge access and insurance coverage were a good match for the Amex Air Miles Reserve Card when it was available to new applicants.

    American Express® AIR MILES®* Reserve Credit Card

    American Express® AIR MILES®* Reserve Credit Card
    • Annual Fee
      $299
    • Interest Rates
      20.99% / 21.99%
    • Rewards Rate
      0.06x-0.1x Miles
    • Intro Offer
      2,400 Miles
    Product Details
    • Please note acquisition offers for American Express Air Miles Credit Cards are currently not available. The information here is a reference for current Card Members.
    • New American Express® AIR MILES®* Reserve Credit Card Cardmembers, earn a welcome bonus of 2,400 AIR MILES®* Bonus Miles when you charge a total of $3,000 in purchases to your Card within your first 3 months of Card membership. That’s enough for two select flights.
    • Your ticket to the World of Onyx®* – Receive automatic Onyx® Collector status.
    • Once a year, when you redeem for any flight Reward within the AIR MILES®* Reward Program, you can receive up to a maximum of 1,700 Miles towards a Companion Flight, for your companion to travel with you for the same itinerary (offer excludes service charges if applicable and taxes).
    • Get 1 Mile for every $10 in Card purchases at eligible AIR MILES®* Partners (excludes purchases made at airmilesshops.ca).
    • Get 1 Mile for every $10 in Card purchases at other eligible grocery stores, gas stations and drugstores in Canada.
    • Plus, get 1 Mile for every $15 in Card purchases everywhere else.
    • You can receive four (4) complimentary visits per year to more than 1,300 airport lounges around the globe. After your four (4) complimentary visits have been used for the year, you may continue to visit the lounges for a usage fee at the prevailing rate.
    • 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 Air Miles Reserve Card full review

    The American Express Air Miles Reserve Card is a travel rewards credit card that earns Air Miles Reward Miles. Cardholders earn points for dollars spent on everyday purchases, with higher earn rates on purchases made at the grocery store, gas station, drugstore and with Air Miles partners.

    Benefits of the American Express Air Miles Reserve Card

    This Amex card earns Air Miles and comes with a host of additional travel perks, like a complimentary Priority Pass for airport lounge access, automatic Air Miles Onyx Collector status, insurance coverage and more. Access to the American Express Experiences program, which offers opportunities to enjoy advanced film screenings, food festivals, private shopping experiences, and more, is also included.

    Drawbacks of the American Express Air Miles Reserve Card

    The American Express Air Miles Reserve Card has a $299 annual fee, which may be too steep for some applicants, and its emergency medical insurance doesn’t extend to cardholders 65 and older. Also, the Amex Air Miles Reserve Card it doesn’t offer any free checked bags, and Air Miles has fewer airline partners than some other rewards programs; only 30 to Aeroplan’s 51, for example. 

    Who should get the American Express Air Miles Reserve Card?

    The American Express Air Miles Reserve Card offers its highest earn rates on travel booked with Air Miles partners, groceries, gas and drugstore purchases: 1 mile for every $10 spent. It also comes with travel insurance and a variety of travel perks, like airport lounge passes, waived flight administration fees, Priority Security Lane access at Pearson airport and more. Travel bugs who frequently spend at the grocery store, pumps or drugstore will be able to maximize this credit card’s rewards program and benefits. 

    Is the American Express Air Miles Reserve Card worth it?

    It depends on your financial situation. Ideally, you want to get more value from your credit card than you pay to carry it. The American Express Air Miles Reserve Card costs $299 annually, so you need to extract at least that much value from the card for it to be worthwhile.

    Beyond its welcome offer, the Amex Air Miles Reserve Card has additional benefits of value. Once per year, cardholders can get up to 1,700 Reward Miles toward a companion flight when redeeming a flight reward — worth about $193, according to NerdWallet analysis. 

    Cardholders also get a complimentary Priority Pass membership, which would otherwise cost $99 to $429 USD annually, plus member visit fees of $27 USD per visit. Cardholders also pay no flight administration fees when they redeem Reward Miles for a flight reward. Flight administration fees vary by airline, but cardholders stand to save money here, too.  

    All in all, these perks could have a total annual value of just over $1,000. And that doesn’t include the insurance coverage that comes with the American Express Air Miles Reserve Card, which could be worth thousands should it ever be put to use.

    American Express customer satisfaction ratings

    Amex Air Miles Reserve Card eligibility

    Who qualifies for the American Express Air Miles Reserve Card?

    To qualify for the American Express Air Miles Reserve Card, you must be:

    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. What we do know is that higher scores have better chances of approval — that’s true no matter what type of credit you’re applying for.

    Want to learn more? Visit our “What Credit Score is Needed for a Credit Card?” page.

    » MORE: How to Check Your Credit Score 

    American Express Air Miles Reserve Card rewards

    Charge at least $3,000 in purchases to your Amex Air Miles Reserve Card within your first 3 months of card membership to get 2,400 Air Miles Bonus Miles — enough for two select flights.

    Get 1 Mile for every $10 in Card purchases at eligible Air Miles Partners; get 1 Mile for every $10 in Card purchases at other eligible grocery stores, gas stations and drugstores in Canada; get 1 Mile for every $15 in Card purchases everywhere else.

    New Amex Air Miles Reserve cardholders can earn up to 2,400 Air Miles Bonus Miles by unlocking the card’s welcome offer. According to NerdWallet analysis, the average value of 1 Air Miles Reward Mile is 11.35 cents. So this card’s intro offer is worth about $272, though the value ultimately depends on how points are redeemed. 

    Beyond the intro offer, Amex Air Miles Reserve cardholders get bonus Reward Miles for annual companion flights, complimentary Priority Pass lounge membership, waived flight administration fees, insurance coverage and more. All told, benefits offered by the Amex Air Miles Reserve could be worth thousands, but the total value of the card depends on how you take advantage of the card’s offerings.

    Point value breakdown

    NerdWallet analyzed 75+ data points to compare the Air Miles redemption values of flights in 2022 to determine a “cent per mile” value for each flight. Based on our analysis, the average value of 1 Air Miles Reward Mile is 11.35 cents.

    More specifically, you can expect to get around:

    How to apply for the Amex Air Miles Reserve Card

    You can complete the application for the Amex Air Miles Reserve Card from the American Express website:

    1. Select the Apply Now button from the American Express Air Miles Reserve Card page on the American Express website.
    2. Review the card’s terms and conditions and select Agree and Begin to continue. 
    3. Enter your personal details, including your full name, date of birth, phone number, email address and residential address.
    4. Tell American Express about your finances, including your annual personal income, household income and employment details. 
    5. Choose a four-digit PIN.
    6. Review the information you’ve supplied and submit your application. 

    American Express Air Miles Reserve Card vs American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card

    Both of these American Express credit cards earn travel rewards, but fees, earn rates and card perks vary.

    American Express Air Miles Reserve CardAmerican Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
    Annual fee$299$599
    RewardsEarns Air Miles Reward MilesEarns Air Canada Aeroplan points
    Airline partners3051
    Redemption optionsFlights
    Rental cars
    Hotel stays
    Cruises
    Vacation packages
    Concert tickets
    Merchandise
    Flights
    Hotels
    Car rentals
    Vacation packages
    Merchandise
    Gift cards
    Travel perksAnnual companion flight benefit
    Complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge access
    Waived flight administration fees
    Flight and merchandise discounts.
    $100 NEXUS application fee rebate every 48 months.
    Priority security lane access at Pearson Airport.
    Complimentary valet car service at Pearson Airport.
    Complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge access.
    Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge and Air Canada Cafe access in North America for you and a guest.
    Free checked bags on Air Canada flights.
    Priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling when you fly with Air Canada.

    Reasons you might want a different card

    The American Express Air Miles Reserve Card comes with an attractive array of perks, but there are a few circumstances where it won’t be ideal:

    American Express Air Miles Reserve Card facts

    American Express Air Miles Reserve Card
    Card TypeAir Miles credit card
    Interest Rates
    Regular/purchase APR20.99%
    Cash advance APR21.99%
    Penalty APR23.99% if you miss two payments within 12 months and 26.99% if you miss three payments within 12 months as of December 2022. This penalty APR will stay in place for 12 billing periods.
    Fees
    Annual fee$299.
    Balance transfer3% of the transaction amount.
    Cash advance$2.75 per transaction.
    Foreign transaction2.5% of the transaction amount.
    Reward Earn Rates
    Signup Bonus or Welcome OfferNew cardholders can receive 2,400 Air Miles Bonus Miles by spending at least $3,000 within the first three months of card membership (limited time offer, terms and conditions apply).
    Rewards and benefitsEarn Air Miles rewards on purchases made with Air Miles partners, at grocery stores, gas stations and drugstores, and other eligible purchases. In addition to Air Miles rewards, cardholders get Automatic Onyx® Collector status; a maximum of 1,700 Miles towards a Companion Flight each year; four complimentary visits per year to more than 1,300 airport lounges around the globe, and more.
    Other perks
    Annual companion flight benefit: Once per year, you can get up to 1,700 Reward Miles towards a companion flight for someone to travel with you on the same itinerary when you redeem your Reward Miles for a flight reward.
    Complimentary Priority Pass membership: Automatically become a Priority Pass member and gain access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide.
    Waived flight administration fees: Pay no flight administration fees when you redeem your Reward Miles for a flight reward online or through the Air Miles Concierge team.
    Skip the line. Cut down on time spent waiting in line with the Priority Security Lane when you visit Toronto Pearson Airport.
    Automatic Onyx status: Enjoy top-tier Air Miles Onyx Collector status and access flight and merchandise discounts, priority customer support and a complimentary Shell Go+ membership, among other perks.
    Front of the Line perks: Access exclusive ticketing presales for concerts, shows, restaurants and special events.
    American Express Experiences: Gain access to advanced film screenings, food festivals, private shopping experiences, and curated cardholder offers through the American Express Experiences program.
    Amex Priority Lines: Skip the lineups at popular Toronto event venues like the Budweiser Stage and the Royal Alexandra Theatre.
    24/7 customer support: Get in touch with an American Express rep any time of the day or night.
    Installment loans: Take advantage of the American Express Plan It installment loan program to split purchases into smaller monthly payments.
    Insurance coverage
    Extended warrantyUp to one additional year.
    Purchase protection90 days.
    Travel accidentUp to $100,000.
    Travel medicalUp to $5 million per insured person per trip.
    Flight delayUp to $500 for necessary accommodations, restaurant expenses and sundries.
    Baggage delayUp to $500 for essential clothing and sundry items.
    Lost or stolen baggageUp to $500 of coverage per trip for all insured persons.
    Hotel burglaryUp to $500 of coverage for personal items (excluding cash).
    Rental car theft/damageFor up to 48 days.

    Rating Methodology

    NerdWallet Canada rates credit cards according to overall consumer value and their suitability for specific kinds of consumers. Factors in our evaluation methodology 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 the American Express Air Miles Reserve Card

      What lounges can I access with the American Express Air Miles Reserve Card?

      The Amex Air Miles Reserve Card is no longer available to new applicants. Current members may get a complimentary Priority Pass membership which grants access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide.

      What airlines does American Express partner with?

      As of this writing, American Express partners with 17 airlines, including Air Canada, British Airways, Delta and Emirates Airline.

      DIVE EVEN DEEPER

      22 Best Credit Cards in Canada for July 2024

      22 Best Credit Cards in Canada for July 2024

      NerdWallet Canada’s picks for the best credit cards include top contenders across numerous card categories. Compare these options to find the ideal card for you.

      Credit Card Interest Calculator

      Credit Card Interest Calculator

      Interest charges don’t need to be a mystery. Use our credit card interest calculator to see how much interest you’d owe if you carry a credit card balance.

      5 Best Air Miles Credit Cards in Canada for 2024

      5 Best Air Miles Credit Cards in Canada for 2024

      The best Air Miles credit cards in Canada earn points for the loyalty program on every purchase. Air Miles Dream Miles have an average value of 11.35 cents per mile.

      Air Miles Rewards Program in Canada: A Complete Guide

      Air Miles Rewards Program in Canada: A Complete Guide

      Air Miles is one of Canada’s most popular loyalty rewards programs. Members can earn, collect and redeem Dream Miles and Cash Miles for travel, retail and more.

      Back To Top