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American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card Review

American Express AeroplanPlus CardIt’s not every day that a Canadian credit card offers enough welcome bonus points for two free flights, let alone a free companion ticket! Then again, it’s not every day that a credit card comes with a $499 annual fee.

But sometimes, paying a lot, just means you’re getting more. That’s exactly what we believe is the case with the American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card – you’re getting more.

Until March 29, 2017 you can get 50,000 Aeroplan miles if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. That’s enough miles for 2 round-trip flights to anywhere within continental North America.

Despite the annual fee, this card gives out oodles of value. From a 50,000 mile welcome bonus, to a free companion ticket, to free unlimited airport lounge access, an upgrade to Fairmont’s Platinum status, and a robust insurance package, we estimate this card spits out $1,350 in value in the first year before you’ve taking into account rewards from spend – a rare opportunity.

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American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Benefits

The American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum card offers 1.25 miles on your first $25,000 of spend and 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all other purchases over $25,000. The earn rate is ok, but frankly, you might be able to do better with the Amex Gold Rewards card which earns 2 points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, pharmacy, and travel and 1 point everywhere else – and then convert those points to Aeroplan 1:1.

The 50,000 mile bonus is superb. What we like about the Amex bonus structure, is that as soon as you meet the minimum spend requirement of $3,000 in the first 3 months, the entire bonus is yours. There’s no requirement for additional cardholders, no additional spend criteria, no fine print.

50,000 Aeroplan miles is a very generous bonus. It gets you a return flight from anywhere in Canada, to any other destination in continental North America. That’s 2 flights from Vancouver to Florida, Toronto to Los Angeles or Montreal to Vancouver and back. Compare it to some of the other best Aeroplan credit card bonuses in Canada to see just how well it ranks.

Here are some of the benefits of this card that really make it standout:

1. Free Companion Ticket: Once per year, get a free companion ticket when you redeem 15,000 Aeroplan miles for a short-haul flight
2. Priority Check-in: Skip the queue with access to Air Canada’s priority check-in on all flights booked with your credit card!
3. Free Unlimited Maple Leaf Lounge Access: Get free access to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf lounges. All you have to do is show your credit card and your Air Canada or partner airline ticket and you’re good to go!
4. Free International Lounge Access: Get access to over 700 lounges worldwide with Priority Pass Membership
5. Fairmont President’s Platinum Club Membership: Stay at a Fairmont Hotel for 5 nights and get enrolled in the Fairmont President’s Platinum Club. Membership gets you a free hotel night, complimentary room upgrades, $100 USD in Fairmont dining certificates, and more.
6. Comprehensive Travel Insurance: The card comes with trip cancellation, travel medical, trip interruption, flight delay, baggage delay, lost or stolen baggage, $500,000 travel accident, purchase assurance, extended warranty, car rental insurance.
7.  1.25 Miles Per Dollar Spent: 1.25 miles per $1 of spend on the first $25,000 of spend, 1.5 miles on everything else.
8. Earn Two Times The Miles: Earn Aeroplan miles when you use your credit card and then again when you use your Aeroplan membership card!

Worth It?
Because we estimate each Aeroplan mile to be worth 1.4 cents, the 50,000 mile welcome bonus alone is worth $700, making the $499 annual fee worth it. The free short-haul companion ticket free adds another $150 of value at a minimum. The free lounge access is worth a $99 annual fee and about $25 a visit – a value of about $200 a year, if you travel twice a year.

In addition you’re getting comprehensive travel insurance, Fairmont Hotel benefits, and of course miles on spend. If you happen to spend a lot in categories other than travel, gas, grocery and pharmacy, this card offers the best value.

So for $499 you’re getting $700 (welcome bonus) + $150 (companion ticket) + $200 (lounge access) + $300 (travel insurance)= $1,350 in benefits. We’d say it passes the value score.

The great thing about American Express is that it doesn’t have the same high minimum income requirements as the super premium MasterCard and Visa credit cards requiring $200,000 of income. All you need is $40,000 of personal income and you’re good to go.

Better Offers?
This is a limited time offer until March 29, 2017. It’s a great deal, offering an additional 10,000 miles more than the standard offer from American Express for the AeroplanPlus Platinum card.

Let us know if there’s a better offer in Canada for this card or an alternative. That said, in our opinion this offer is exceptionally strong, and gives more than it takes.

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