American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card Review

Sign Up Bonus Points
(conditions apply)
85,000
Annual Fee
$599
Purchase APR
19.99%
Min Personal Income Required
N/A
Recommended Credit Score
740 850 670 739 580 669 0 579
Good-Excellent
New American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Cardmembers can earn up to 85,000 Aeroplan®* points. Terms and conditions apply.

With the launch of the new Aeroplan program in November 2020 came the release of three brand new American Express Aeroplan credit cards. The American Express®Aeroplan®* Reserve Card is considered to be the premier option with the highest earn rate and some pretty great perks and benefits. Here’s what you need to know.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Great travel perks including lounge access

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Can only earn higher points on Air Canada®* and Air Canada Vacations®* purchases, not all travel purchases

Welcome Bonus

New cardmembers will be able to earn up to 85,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan®* points.

  • Earn 25,000 Aeroplan points after spending $3,000 in net purchases on your Card within the first 3 months of Cardmembership
  • Plus, you can also earn 5,000 Aeroplan points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $1,000 in purchases on your Card for the first twelve months of Cardmembership. That could add up to 60,000 Aeroplan points.

How to Earn Points

Cardholders earn points on every purchase they make.

Cardholders will earn standard earn rates of 3X the points on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada®* and Air Canada Vacations®* (making it the best card in Canada for paying for any Air Canada Travel), 2x the points on eligible Dining and Food Delivery purchases in Canada, and 1.25x the points for everything else.

On top of these earn rates, you can also double-dip. As an Aeroplan member and cardholder, you can earn double the points with Aeroplan partners.

How to Redeem Points

You can redeem your Aeroplan points easily online at either AirCanada.com or via the Air Canada App. Points can be used for a number of different things including flights, hotels, vacation packages, car rentals, experiences and activities, merchandise, and gift cards.

Strategically speaking, you get the best value for your Aeroplan points when redeeming them toward travel. You are most likely to get the best value for points on flights; however, there is no specific zone, area, or route that can be singled out as offering the best value. It’s in your best interest to research options and determine their value per point before selecting a specific redemption. If you can get your value per point to around $0.02 (or higher) then you know it’s a good deal.

Additional Perks and Features

When it comes to additional perks and features, the American Express®Aeroplan®* Reserve Card covers plenty of travel benefits. As an Air Canada premium travel credit card, many of these perks are specific to Air Canada flights. Here’s what is included with this card.

Air Canada Travel Benefits

As for Air Canada’s premium card, a number of the benefits associated with this card pertain to travelling with Air Canada. Cardholders can take advantage of priority boarding and priority check-in. Plus, enjoy access to select Air Canada Maple Leaf LoungesTM* and Air Canada CaféTM in North America for you and a guest, with a same day ticket on a departing Air Canada or Star Alliance flight. One of the biggest perks with this card is that up to 9 people on the same reservation will also have their first back checked for free.

Aeroplan Benefits

There are also a number of perks pertaining to Aeroplan points. For example, cardholders will get preferred pricing when redeeming their Aeroplan points for Air Canada flights. They will also earn 1,000 SQM (Status Qualifying Miles) and 1 SQS (Status Qualifying Segment) for every $5,000 on the card. Up to 200,000 SQM can then be rolled over each year. Plus, when you spend over $25,000 on your card in a year, you will receive one annual worldwide Companion pass.

Travel Benefits at Toronto Pearson International Airport

Further travel benefits can be enjoyed at Toronto Pearson International Airport. These include complimentary valet service at the airport as well as discounts on parking and car care services. Cardholders will also be able to take advantage of fast track security.

Insurance

The card also comes with comprehensive travel insurance coverage which includes: Emergency medical insurance, delayed and lost baggage insurance, flight delay insurance, trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, auto rental collision/loss damage insurance.

Entertainment Access

This includes American Express Experiences, Front Of The Line, and special American Express® Offers.

Shopping Coverage

Which consists of Buyer Assurance Protection Plan and Purchase Protection Plan, extending warranties and protecting your items from theft or physical damage.

Apply for the American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card

Rates and Fees

The card comes with a hefty annual fee of $599, making it one of the pricier credit cards on the market. There are two options for additional cards. If you would like to be able to share some benefits and collect points, the annual fee is $199 for each additional card. If you don’t need the benefits and just want to collect points faster, then the additional card is $0.

When it comes to interest rates, the American Express®Aeroplan®* Reserve Card carries the typical 19.99% purchase APR and 21.99% for cash advances.

Eligibility Requirements

If you would like to apply for this card, you’ll need to meet the following conditions to be eligible:

  • Must be a Canadian resident
  • Must be the age of majority in your home province
  • Must have a credit score that is considered good-excellent

How to Apply

Ready to apply? It’s very simple and straightforward and can be done online in just a few minutes.

  1. Visit the American Express®Aeroplan®* Reserve Card webpage here and click  ‘Apply Now’.
  2. A new window will pop up with some product and privacy information. After you read through this, click ‘agree and begin’.
  3. You will then have to fill out a couple of pages of personal information including your name, address, and birthdate. You do need to include your Social Insurance Number (SIN) so make sure that you have that on hand.
  4. After entering all your information, give it a once over and submit.
  5. According to the website, the decision as to whether you will be approved or not will be made within 60 seconds.
Apply for the American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card

How It Compares

Card NameAmerican Express®
Aeroplan® Reserve Card
American Express® Platinum® Card
Welcome BonusNew American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Cardmembers can earn up to a total of 85,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan®* points (conditions apply)Earn up to 80,000 Membership Rewards® points (conditions apply)
Key FeaturesComprehensive travel insurance and Air Canada travel perks Comprehensive travel insurance plus unlimited lounge access
Annual Fee$599$699

To figure out the best value, we’ve compared the American Express®Aeroplan®* Reserve Card to one of our top picks when it comes to travel credit cards, the Platinum Card®. Once you consider the statement credit and travel credit bonus, pricing for both comes out on par (at least for the first year). Right now, the American Express®Aeroplan®* Reserve Card’s welcome bonus blows that of the Platinum Card® out of the water. However, you do need to consider that the Platinum Card® allows a lot more flexibility when it comes to collecting points; 3x the points for dining and 2x the points for all travel (not limited to Air Canada or Air Canada Vacations). You collect Membership Rewards points under this card, however, if you choose, they can be changed over to Aeroplan points at a 1:1 ratio.

The flexibility of the Platinum Card® typically would earn it a spot as our top pick. However, right now the huge welcome bonus offered by the American Express®Aeroplan®* Reserve Card might just put it ahead for Aeroplan members.

What’s Our Take?

The American Express®Aeroplan®* Reserve Card is definitely a contender when it comes to the best travel credit cards. The welcome bonus right now is a huge draw and the annual fee, while high, is offset by the great travel perks and benefits. As a travel card, we don’t love that it’s limited to Air Canada®* and Air Canada Vacations®* for earning higher points. If you are a loyal Air Canada customer, however, it can be quite lucrative.

Apply for the American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card

FAQ

No, your points will not expire as long as you are a cardholder.

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.

Author Bio

Hannah Logan
Hannah Logan is a freelance finance and travel writer/blogger based in Ottawa. Her stories have appeared on Fodor’s Travel, Livestrong, World Nomads, Intrepid Travel, and more. You can keep up with her at Eatsleepbreathetravel.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram: hannahlogan21.

Article comments

2 comments
PETER BROWN says:

Horrible experience using new Amex reserve card for 1st trip since the pandemic. Traveled Air Canada return from YYZ to YVR.
The following challenges:
Departure YYZ (A/C #127 YYZ-YVR)
* MY YYZ departure with A/C Priority check- in, I had to remind the agent that my bags (& passengers) should be booked/tagged “Priority”
* No Priority was recognized thru YYZ security, I asked several agents/security personnel & was sent to the regular line (I traveled with an addition 3 passengers plus myself)
Return YVR (A/C #116 YVR-YYZ)
* Also NO priority recognized thru security, in fact when I asked security personnel they suggested getting either Visa or Mastercard, they also said you’d need a “green sticker”, whatever that is to be priority to the line-up…
* The A/C lounge had a 20-25min line-up for entrance…

An experience/disappointment for my 1st flight/vacation since the pandemic! The very reason for justifying/paying $599 annual membership was to enjoy these very benefits!! There appears to be a total disconnect from Amex marketing & the partners/personnel (A/C & Security) executing the benefits offered with the “Reserve Card”
I complained to Amex & the so called manager acknowledged that he had experienced the same complaints numerable times…they offered reimbursement of $100, with a take it or leave it!! Very sad & lack of customer services offered by Amex & staff!! btw, Amex customer/member since 1998 !!

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Peter,

A disappointment indeed, especially given the expectations they set with the annual fee. I hope you ended up taking the compensation they offered, even if doesn’t mean that the service will improve. With that in mind, will this experience have you looking elsewhere for a better option when you travel?