Air Canada Aeroplan Loyalty Program: Find Out What’s New
CNN Underscored examines financial products like credit cards and bank accounts based on their aggregate value. We may receive a commission through the Credit Cards.com affiliate network if you apply and are approved for a card, but our report is always independent and objective.
A new credit card has just landed in the United States: the Chase AeroplanÂ® World Elite MastercardÂ® Credit card. But with Aeroplan being directly tied to an international airline at Air Canada, there’s a good chance you quickly forgot about the card, thinking the Aeroplan loyalty program has no benefit if you don’t live or travel. often in Canada.
But that’s a big misconception, because the Aeroplan program and the Aeroplan credit card have big benefits for US-based travelers, even if Canada isn’t on your radar. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might want to consider adding this card to your wallet.
The Aeroplan credit card offers excellent reward categories where you will earn 3 points for every dollar spent in restaurants – including eligible takeout and delivery services – groceries and purchases made directly with Air Canada. Plus, you’ll earn a bonus of 500 points for every $ 2,000 you spend on the card per month, up to 1,500 points per calendar month.
And luckily, with the points accumulated on the Aeroplan credit card, you don’t have to use those points just for flights under the Aeroplan program.
Beginning in 2022, Chase will roll out its “Pay Back” tool, which will allow you to redeem points accumulated on the Aeroplan credit card at a rate of 1.25 cents per point on all travel-related purchases. In other words, you can redeem your points on all travel bookings, including hotels, plane tickets, car rentals, and basically anything that is coded as “travel” on your monthly statement. When you use your points in this way, the tour operator will also treat your purchase as a paid reservation, which means that you will be able to earn points or miles in the supplier’s respective loyalty program.
This is a great trading opportunity for those who prefer flexibility and don’t want to deal with the hassle of rewards availability. But, you are limited to 50,000 points per year thanks to this exchange tool.
As part of the current Aeroplan Credit Card Welcome Offer where new cardholders get up to 100,000 points in total after spending $ 4,000 in the first three months of opening the account, you will also automatically achieve Aeroplan 25K Elite status for the calendar year in which you open the card and the entire following calendar year. Thus, if you apply for the card in early January 2022, you will benefit from Elite 25K status until December 31, 2023.
With many airline loyalty programs, the benefits of Elite status can only apply to the specific airline of which it is a part. So, on the surface, you might not care about this benefit if you are not traveling with Air Canada. But, with Aeroplan elite status, some benefits extend to partner airlines as well.
For example, with Aeroplan 25K elite status, you will automatically achieve Star Alliance Silver status. Having this status will provide you with many benefits when traveling with partners, such as United Airlines. Some of these benefits include a priority reservation waitlist where you can put your name on a waitlist for a desired class of service if the seat is not currently available, as well as a priority wait at the airport that gives you a higher priority on the waiting list for your preferred flight.
Then, after the initial free 25K Elite status benefit that comes with the Aeroplan credit card, you can re-qualify for – or raise your – status just with spending by credit card.
After the welcome bonus expires, when you spend $ 15,000 on the card in a calendar year, you will receive 25K Elite status. But, if you are able to spend $ 50,000 on the card in a calendar year, you will get Aeroplan 35K elite status. For those who spend a lot, you can continue to earn even more benefits at different spending thresholds.
For those who travel with United Airlines often, having a credit card for a completely different airline that entitles you to status benefits can come in handy if you are not able to achieve United Status on your own – same.
One of the unique benefits of this card is that you will receive up to $ 100 credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS membership every four years. While there are many travel credit cards that offer credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, reimbursement of your NEXUS membership is a rarity as a credit card benefit.
NEXUS offers pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada. If you think you’ll be traveling to Canada in the next four years, this is a great opportunity for a smoother travel experience.
And thankfully, NEXUS membership also includes Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, so that one app – where fees are reimbursed – will give you access to all three programs.
Also, with the card, keep in mind that you will get the first piece of checked baggage free when your trip begins on an Air Canada flight, no foreign transaction fees, and preferential prices on rewards for cardholders.
Since the Aeroplan card is a World Elite Mastercard, you will enjoy many of the benefits that are part of Mastercard. While there are a ton of added perks, some of our favorites include free DoorDash delivery, Lyft Credits, and a ShopRunner membership.
Aeroplan cardholders will receive three free months of DashPass, DoorDash’s monthly subscription. This membership will give you free shipping, reduced fees and exclusive offers when ordering at your favorite restaurants.
If you shop Lyft often, you’ll also be on your way to saving money just by being a card holder. If you make three Lyft trips in a month, you will receive a $ 5 credit once a month to use for your next trip. That’s up to $ 60 in credit per year, which can easily help offset the $ 95 annual Aeroplan credit card fee.
Or, if you shop online often, a free ShopRunner membership will get you free shipping and returns to over 100 stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Brooks Brothers, American Eagle Outfitters, Bloomingdales, Chico’s and more.
One of Aeroplan’s strengths is its partnership with 45 airlines. So not only can you redeem your points directly with Air Canada, but you can also use your accumulated points to travel with popular airlines such as United, Lufthansa, Swiss, Singapore Airlines and many more. Thanks to its strong distance-based rewards table, the number of points required for a partner flight is fixed, making Aeroplan points very simple and easy to use when booking online.
And one of the best benefits of using Aeroplan points on partner airlines is that you won’t be charged any fuel surcharges. Instead, you’ll only pay standard taxes and third-party fees, plus a flat-rate booking fee of CAD $ 39 (approx. $ 30) per ticket, or you can use points to cover the costs.
For example, you can travel from Chicago (ORD) to Zurich (ZRH) with partner Swiss Air for 40,000 points in economy class or 70,000 points in business class, each way.
Or, if you are looking for domestic travel within the United States, you can also use your Aeroplan points on partner United Airlines for as little as 6,000 points one way.
For flights less than 500 miles, such as between San Francisco (SFO) and San Diego (SAN), you can fly for only 6,000 points each way.
Or, if you’re looking to fly to the beaches of Mexico or the Caribbean, there are plenty of United flight options out there, which follow the same rewards table for North America pictured above. For example, a flight from Houston (HOU) to Cancun (CUN) costs only 10,000 points each way.
Plus, Aeroplan allows for a flexible itinerary where you can add a stopover for an additional 5,000 points on a one-way ticket. This means that if you want to visit multiple cities during your trip, instead of booking separate reservations for each leg, you can add an additional stop – all on the same route – for minimal points.
Ultimately, with the high earning potential and flexible redemption options, Aeroplan is a loyalty program you’ll want to pay attention to, especially now with the addition of the Aeroplan credit card.
Looking for a travel credit card? Find out which CNN Underscored cards chose as our best travel credit cards of 2021.