American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card Review
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.
In This Article:
Pros and Cons
- Comprehensive travel insurance
- Great travel perks including lounge access
- High annual fee
- Can only earn higher points on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations travel purchases, not all travel purchases
New cardmembers will be able to earn up to 65,000 welcome bonus Aeroplan points and a $100 statement credit.
When you spend $3,000 within the first three months, you will receive 35,000 Aeroplan points plus a $100 statement credit. You can also earn an additional 5,000 points/month for every month that you spend $1,000 on your card for the first six months of card membership, totaling an additional 30,00 Aeroplan points.
If you wish, you can choose for your welcome bonus to be 40,000 (rather than 65,000) Aeroplan points, $100 statement credit, and a buddy pass. When you make the required minimum spend in three months you will receive 10,000 points, the statement credit, and the buddy pass. You can still earn an additional 30,000 points when you make the minimum monthly spend for the first 6 months. Please note that this option is only available if you apply over the phone.
How to Earn Points
Cardholders earn points on every purchase they make.
Direct Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations purchases will earn you 3x the points. Eligible dining and food delivery services in Canada will earn you 2x the points, and all other purchases will earn you 1x the points.
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 towards travel. You are most likely to get the best CPM (cost per mile) for a flight, 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 the CPM to ensure you get the best value. If you can get your CPM to $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, priority check-in, and complimentary visits to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges within North America. 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.
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 50,000 SQS and 20 eUpgrades 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.
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.
This includes American Express Experiences, Front Of The Line, and special American Express® Offers.
Which consists of Buyer Assurance Protection Plan and Purchase Protection Plan, extending warranties and protecting your items from theft or physical damage.
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.
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.
- Visit the American Express®Aeroplan®* Reserve Card webpage here and click ‘Apply Now’.
- A new window will pop up with some product and privacy information. After you read through this, click ‘agree and begin’.
- 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.
- After entering all your information, give it a once over and submit.
- According to the website, the decision as to whether you will be approved or not will be made within 60 seconds.
How It Compares
|Card Name||American Express®|
Aeroplan® Reserve Card
|American Express® Platinum® Card|
|Welcome Bonus||65,000 Aeroplan points + $100 Statement Credit||25,000 points plus $200 annual travel credit bonus|
|Key Features||Comprehensive travel insurance and Air Canada travel perks||Comprehensive travel insurance plus unlimited lounge access|
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). Now, you are collecting American Express® points under this card, however, if you choose, they can be changed over to Aeroplan points at a 1:1 ratio.
While 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.