Best Aeroplan Credit Cards in Canada

The best Aeroplan credit cards offer juicy sign-up bonuses, Air Canada perks, and often waive the annual fee in the first year of card ownership. Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that Aeroplan miles carry significant value for frequent travellers and those looking for flight rewards.

But unless you’re a business traveler who flies Air Canada on the regular, the best way to earn Aeroplan miles is by using an Aeroplan branded credit card for everyday purchases. In addition, you’ll want to take advantage of periodic sign-up bonuses offered from time-to-time from card issuers like TD, CIBC, and American Express.

Here’s a look at the best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada.

Best Aeroplan Credit Cards

TD Aeroplan Credit Cards

TD became the preferred partner for Aeroplan credit cards back in 2014, ending a 20-year partnership between Aeroplan and CIBC. TD also recently joined forces with Air Canada, CIBC, and Visa to take over Aeroplan and its 5 million members starting in 2020.

Canada’s big green bank offers a suite of four Aeroplan credit cards in its portfolio. Here’s a look at each one:

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card

At the high-end is the TD Aeroplan Visa Inifinite Privilege Card, which comes with a $399 annual fee and requires a minimum household income of $200,000, plus a minimum credit limit of $10,000.

With the Privilege Card you’ll earn 1.5 Aeroplan miles on every $1 spent on groceries, gas and drugstore purchases, as well as Air Canada purchases. Earn 1.25 Aeroplan miles for every $1 spent on all other purchases made with the card.

You’ll get exclusive Air Canada benefits, including:

  • Complimentary First Checked Bag
  • Priority Check-in and Priority Boarding
  • Four annual One-Time Guest Access Benefits to an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge (when travelling on an Aeroplan Flight Reward)
  • One 50% discount on a Companion Ticket on an Air Canada flight

You’ll also receive exclusive benefits with Visa Infinite Privilege, including:

  • A complimentary Priority Pass and 6 complimentary lounge visits per year at over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide
  • Visa Infinite Privilege Airport Benefits at Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal-Trudeau International airports: VIP Fast Track Lanes to bypass the security line (Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal-Trudeau), Dedicated airport taxi and limo line (Vancouver), Access to dedicated premium parking spots (Vancouver, Ottawa), Save up to 20% on parking (Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal-Trudeau)
  • Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection. Book a stay through the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection – a portfolio of the luxury brand and boutique properties around the world – and receive a suite of premium benefits.
  • Complimentary Visa Infinite Privilege Complimentary Concierge: On call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Visa Infinite Food and Wine Experiences: Visa Infinite Dining Series – Enjoy exclusive access to dining events hosted at top restaurants across the country
  • Visa Infinite Canada Wine Country Program: Enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences, plus receive exclusive wine tasting benefits at participating wineries in Ontario & British Columbia

Finally, you’ll get a comprehensive suite of travel insurance benefits, including:

  • Travel Medical Insurance: Up to $5 million of coverage for the first 22 days. If you or your spouse is aged 65 or older, you are covered for the first 4 days of your trip.
  • Delayed and Lost Baggage Insurance: For delayed baggage, up to $1,000 of coverage per insured person if delayed more than 4 hours. For lost baggage, up to $2,500 of coverage per insured person.
  • Flight/Trip Delay Insurance: Up to $1,000 in coverage if your flight/trip is delayed more than 4 hours.
  • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance: Up to $500,000 of coverage for covered losses while travelling on a common carrier (for example, a bus, ferry, plane, train, or auto rental).
  • Trip Cancellation: up to $2,500 of coverage per insured person, with a maximum of $5,000 for all insured persons
  • Trip Interruption Insurance: up to $5,000 of coverage per insured person, with a maximum of $25,000 for all insured persons on the same covered trip.
  • Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance: Coverage for up to 48 consecutive days.
  • Emergency Travel Assistance Services

When to apply: Watch for the welcome bonus on this one and pull the trigger when it’s up to 50,000 Aeroplan miles.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Credit Card

The more typical “premium” travel credit card is the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card, which comes with a $120 annual fee and requires annual personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000 to qualify. TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite cardholders will earn 1.5 Aeroplan miles on every $1 spent on groceries, gas and drugstore purchases, as well as Air Canada purchases. Earn 1 Aeroplan mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases made with the card.

You’ll receive exclusive Air Canada benefits when you travel using an Aeroplan Flight Reward:

  • One complimentary first checked bag (with Aeroplan Flight Rewards)
  • Priority check-in and priority boarding (with Aeroplan Flight Rewards)
  • One annual One-Time Guest Access Benefit to an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge (with an Aeroplan Flight Reward)

Get exclusive Benefits with the Visa Infinite Card:

  • Complimentary Visa Infinite Concierge: On call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection: Receive exclusive benefits when you book your stay through the collection featuring over 900 of the world’s most intriguing properties.
  • Visa Infinite Food and Wine Experiences: Enjoy exclusive access to gourmet events at Canada’s top restaurants. Plus premium benefits at participating wineries in British Columbia and Ontario.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card customers will receive the same comprehensive travel insurance benefits as the Privilege cardholders.

When to apply: When the welcome bonus reaches 25,000 Aeroplan miles or more and the first year annual fee is free.

TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Credit Card

For those who cannot qualify for the higher end Visa Infinite Privilege or Visa Infinite card, there’s the TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Credit Card. This card comes with a lower annual fee of $89 and does not have any minimum income requirements to be approved. The minimum credit limit is $1,500.

TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum cardholders will earn 1 Aeroplan mile on every $1 spent on groceries, gas and drugstore purchases, and 1 Aeroplan mile for every $1.50 spent on all other purchases made with the card.

This card does not come with exclusive Air Canada benefits or Visa Infinite benefits, but it does come with decent travel insurance coverage that includes:

  • Delayed and Lost Baggage Insurance: Up to $1,000 overall coverage per insured person towards the purchase of essentials such as clothes and toiletries if your baggage is delayed more than 6 hours or lost.
  • Flight/Trip Delay Insurance: Up to $500 in coverage if your flight/trip is delayed more than 4 hours.
  • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance: Up to $500,000 of coverage for covered losses while travelling on a common carrier (for example, a bus, ferry, plane, or train).
  • Emergency Travel Assistance Services: Toll-free access to help in the event of a personal emergency while travelling.
  • Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance: Coverage for up to 48 consecutive days.

When to apply: When the welcome bonus is 15,000 Aeroplan miles and the first year annual fee is free. *Note that you can hold both the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card and the TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Card simultaneously. This can be advantageous if you’re looking to take advantage of the welcome bonuses offered by each card.

TD Aeroplan Visa Business Card

One of the best Aeroplan credit cards for small business owners is the TD Aeroplan Visa Business Card. The card comes with a $149 annual fee and the minimum credit limit is $1,000. To be eligible for a small business credit card you’ll need to bring in a master business license (for a sole proprietorship), a partnership agreement (for partnerships), or articles of incorporation (for corporations).

With the TD Aeroplan Visa Business Card you’ll earn 1.5 Aeroplan miles for every $1 spent on eligible travel and gas purchases made with your card. Earn 1 Aeroplan mile for every $1 spent elsewhere.

When to apply: When the welcome bonus reaches 30,000 Aeroplan miles or more and the annual fee is waived in the first year.

CIBC Aeroplan Credit Cards

Despite losing the Aeroplan contract several years ago CIBC still offers Aeroplan branded credit cards and joins TD, Visa, and Air Canada as the new owners of Aeroplan.

Buried beneath their flagship Aventura credit cards you’ll find a decent suite of five CIBC Aeroplan credit cards.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card

The top-end Aeroplan credit card comes with a $399 annual fee and requires minimum household income of $200,000 to be eligible to apply. Earn 1.5 Aeroplan miles on every $1 spent on groceries, gas and drugstore purchases, as well as Air Canada purchases. Earn 1.25 Aeroplan miles for every $1 spent on all other purchases made with the card.

Get exclusive Air Canada benefits:

  • Priority check-in and boarding, and complimentary first checked bag on Air Canada-operated flights
  • 4 annual One-time Guest Access Benefit passes to an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge
  • Access 850+ airport lounges with 6 annual complimentary lounge visits

Its best insurance feature is out-of-province emergency medical, trip cancellation and other safeguards.

When to apply: Watch for the welcome bonus on this one and pull the trigger when it’s up to 50,000 Aeroplan miles.

CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Card

The original flagship Aeroplan credit card, CIBC’s Aerogold Visa Infinite Card comes with a $120 annual fee and requires minimum personal annual income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000. Earn 1.5 Aeroplan miles on every $1 spent on groceries, gas and drugstore purchases, as well as Air Canada purchases. Earn 1 Aeroplan mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases made with the card.

You’ll get priority airport services and lounge access when using an Aeroplan Flight Reward on flights operated by Air Canada. For travel insurance coverage you’ll get out-of-province medical, trip cancellation or interruption and auto rental collision or damage.

When to apply: When the welcome bonus reaches 25,000 Aeroplan miles or more and the first year annual fee is free.

CIBC Aero Platinum Visa Card

The low annual fee version that still earns Aeroplan miles is CIBC’s Aero Platinum Visa Card. It comes with an annual fee of just $39 and requires minimum annual income of $15,000 to apply. Cardholders will earn 1 Aeroplan mile for every $1.50 they spend on their card.

Auto rental collision and damage insurance is included, along with extra protection on new purchases. Double the manufacturer’s warranty up to an extra yea, plus get theft or loss replacement.

When to apply: When the welcome bonus is 15,000 Aeroplan miles and the first year annual fee is free.

*Note there is also a CIBC Aero Platinum Visa Card for Students. It has the same benefits as the Aero Platinum Visa Card, comes with a $39 annual fee, but does not require any minimum income to apply.

American Express Aeroplan Credit Cards

American Express reached a deal to extend its Aeroplan partnership until June 2020. After that date, Air Canada’s new loyalty program will launch and Aeroplan and its new owners (Air Canada, TD, CIBC, and Visa) will move on without American Express.

For now, though, Amex offers great value for Aeroplan members with its co-branded credit cards and an incredibly flexible Membership Rewards program that allows 1:1 transfers to Aeroplan.

Amex offers four Aeroplan credit cards:

American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card

The Reserve card comes with an annual fee of $899 and has a standard welcome offer of 50,000 Aeroplan miles when you spend a minimum $3,000 in your first three months.

  • Earn 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every $1 in purchases
  • Earn 2 Aeroplan Miles for every $1 of eligible Air Canada purchases

American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Cardmembers will also receive travel benefits such as:

  • Access to an $200 Annual Travel Credit
  • An annual Partner Ticket benefit for a short-haul or long-haul roundtrip Fixed Mileage Flight Reward when you redeem up to 25,000 Aeroplan Miles
  • Unlimited access to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge where available, and Priority Pass Lounges
  • A complimentary first checked bag on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and under the Air Canada Express banner, up to 5 bags annually
  • Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance, plus Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country)
  • Avoid line-ups at security by accessing the Pearson Priority Security Lane located at the departure level of Terminal 1 & 3 at Toronto Pearson International Airport during peak airport operating hours

To be eligible for the Reserve card you’ll need a minimum personal income of $60,000.

When to apply: The $899 annual fee is a turn-off and don’t expect to see a better promo than they currently offer. That said, 50,000 Aeroplan miles can be worth up to $1,250 in flight rewards (at 2.5 cents per mile). Add a $200 annual travel credit and an annual partner ticket (round-trip) and you’re looking at more than $2,000 in travel benefits.

American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card

The Platinum version of AeroplanPlus comes with a lower annual fee of $499, and new cardmembers can earn a welcome bonus of 40,000 Aeroplan miles when they spend $3,000 in the first three months.

  • Earn 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every $1 in purchases up to $25,000 annually
  • Earn 1.5 miles for every dollar in purchases over $25,000 annually

AeroplanPlus Platinum Cardmembers can also enjoy travel benefits such as:

  • Once per year, you can redeem 15,000 Aeroplan Miles for a short-haul round-trip Fixed Mileage Flight Reward in economy class and receive a second complimentary Partner Ticket for the same itinerary.
  • Relax in over 700 lounges worldwide, including Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, access in major airports across Canada and key international locations, and around the globe with Priority Pass Membership
  • Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance, plus Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country)
  • Avoid line-ups at security by accessing the Pearson Priority Security Lane located at the departure level of Terminal 1 & 3 at Toronto Pearson International Airport during peak airport operating hours.

There is no stated minimum income threshold to apply for this card. Note that this version is a charge card with no credit limit, but the balance needs to be paid in full or it’s subject to a 30% interest rate.

When to apply: Again, the $499 annual fee will give new applicants pause, however the welcome bonus of 40,000 Aeroplan miles, plus the short-haul round-trip companion voucher could be worth up to $1,375 in travel rewards.

American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Card

The AeroplanPlus Gold card comes with a more typical $120 annual fee and offers a welcome bonus of 15,000 Aeroplan miles when you spend $1,500 in the first three months.

  • Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every $1 in Card purchases up to $10,000
  • Accelerate your earn rate to 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every additional $1 in purchases over $10,000 annually

The Gold version does not come with a travel credit, companion voucher, or even airport lounge passes. Instead you’ll get a decent suite of travel insurance coverage and purchase protection.

When to apply: Perhaps this card would be worth a look if the welcome bonus increased to 25,000 miles and/or the first year annual fee was waived.

American Express AeroplanPlus Card

The final tier of AeroplanPlus cards is a low fee version ($60/year) where cardmembers can earn 5,000 Aeroplan miles after spending $500 in the first three months. Earnings are straightforward:

  • Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every $1 in purchases

This basic card comes with some travel insurance coverage, but not much. Get $250,000 in travel accident insurance, access to travel emergency assistance, and purchase protection coverage. That’s it.

When to apply: Can’t think of a good reason why.

The Best Aeroplan Credit Card?

The one card not mentioned specifically because it is not an Aeroplan branded credit card is the American Express Gold Rewards Card.

Widely considered to be one of the best and most flexible travel rewards credit cards on the market, the Amex Gold Rewards Card typically comes with a standard welcome bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points and often comes with a promotion where you can get the first year free.

  • Earn 2 points for every $1 in purchases on eligible travel and everyday purchases
  • Transfer your points to frequent flyer and other loyalty programs
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 in purchases everywhere else

Earn the 25,000 point welcome bonus and then transfer your Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan on a 1:1 basis.

Final thoughts

Aeroplan miles still offer great value for travellers, especially if you know the ins and outs of the program and can avoid hefty fuel surcharges on flight rewards.

The best Aeroplan credit cards give members a chance to boost their rewards balance with juicy one-time welcome bonuses and no annual fees in the first year. It’s a perfect combination for credit card churning and earning enough Aeroplan miles for a dream trip.

I Applied For 13 Credit Cards Last Year. Here’s What Happened To My Credit Score

I’ve always enjoyed playing the credit card rewards game and earning points to use for free cash back, groceries, and travel. Last year I upped the ante with the goal of earning enough travel and hotel points to pay for our trip to Scotland and Ireland this summer. To level up my rewards I had to apply for new cards – 13 of them to be exact. The end result was an assault on my credit score that would make any personal finance blogger bury their head in shame.

Yes, in the process of earning more than 1 million rewards points my credit score sunk to new depths – dropping 122 points in less than a year.

What happened to my credit score?

I’ve never had an impeccable credit score like some people who boast scores over 800. I’ve been dabbling in credit card rewards for several years and all the new inquiries and age of accounts tend to drag down my score. Still, I started 2018 with a solid credit score of 749 – enough to receive an “Excellent” grade from the good folks at Equifax.

Early in the year I applied for the BMO World Elite Air Miles MasterCard that came with 3,000 Air Miles and waived the first year annual fee. Then I applied for two CIBC cards, the personal Aventura Visa Infinite Card and the Aventura Visa Infinite Business Card.

Next up was the RBC Visa Infinite Avion Card, which paid a healthy 25,000 Avion points and came with the first year free. I also got the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Card – this one paid 25,000 Scotia Rewards points and comes with no foreign exchange fees.

Finally, I applied for the PC Financial World Elite MasterCard to take advantage of the no-fee card and bonus PC Points on shopping at Loblaws stores, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Esso gas stations.

No Credit Checks from Amex or TD

I should point out that during this time I had also applied for the American Express Platinum Card, as well as the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. As a current and long-time American Express cardholder I did not have a credit check pulled with those applications.

I also applied for the TD First Class Visa Infinite Card – but since my home bank is at TD they were able to approve me without a credit check.

Application denied

What I didn’t discover until later in the year was that all of these inquiries took a toll on my credit score – dropping it by 40 points or so by the middle of July.

In the meantime, I was on a roll and applied for another BMO card – this time the World Elite MasterCard. In hindsight I should have done a product switch from the BMO World Elite Air Miles Card to the World Elite Card, but I had cancelled the Air Miles credit card shortly after receiving the bonus. Damn – didn’t need that extra credit hit!

Related: Why is cancelling a credit card so hard?

Then my first rejection – I applied for the HSBC World Elite MasterCard, which came with an awesome sign-up bonus and first year free. Denied! I also applied for a BMO business credit card. Denied again!

It’s at this time that I login to my Borrowell* account and check out what happened to my credit score. I also wanted to see if there’s anything odd in my credit report. Sure enough, I discovered multiple credit hits from CIBC after my Aventura misadventure from the summer. There’s two extra credit hits I didn’t need.

*Note: If you haven’t checked out your free credit score and report with Borrowell you should do so now. They also just released a super convenient mobile app that allows you to monitor your credit score and credit reporting information in real time.

By October 2018 my credit score had plummeted to 627 – a “below average” score according to Equifax. While a low credit score is not exactly devastating to someone who technically doesn’t need credit – I just like to collect rewards points – this poor score would clearly prevent me from getting approved for new applications.

What happened to my credit score

Road to Recovery

After that discovery I put a hold on any new credit card applications. I had already earned enough points for our trip to Scotland and Ireland, so there was no point being greedy. It was time to repair my credit score.

It didn’t take long. After all, I pay my bills on time and pay off my credit cards in full each month. The 122 point drop in my credit score matches up with a common belief that each new credit inquiry lowers your credit score (temporarily) by 10 points. The extra credit hits from CIBC didn’t help, and so by October my score had suffered from all of these new inquiries within a short time-frame.

By November my credit score had jumped 50 points and then by December it had climbed back over 700. There it hovered for several months before jumping again in May to around 730.

The increased credit score doesn’t mean much – again, I’m not applying for a mortgage, car loan, or line of credit. But I’m grateful that my score is once again closing in on “Excellent” in the eyes of lenders. That’s because there are some very tempting credit card offers on the market right now and it’s time for me to get back into the rewards game!

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