chase aeroplan credit card review air canada
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Note: The welcome bonus described below is ending on April 20, 2022

We’ve known for quite some time that Chase was going to launch a co-branded credit card with Air Canada’s revitalized Aeroplan program. We just didn’t know when or what the details would be.

If you are in a cash crunch, you should avoid travel rewards credit cards until you are caught up. Here are our favorite credit cards for Intro 0% APR offers and for balance transfer offers

Chase and Air Canada were kind enough to invite me to their media event for the new card yesterday, and I have all the details (including some nuanced questions and answers).

chase aeroplan credit card

And before I jump into it, you may be thinking “I don’t fly to Canada, so this isn’t relevant to me.” But that would be a mistake. Even the team running the program at Air Canada, Mark Nasr and Scott O’ Leary, get that there are two markets here. One is the Air Canada flyers, obviously. But the other is the entire US market that used frequent flyer programs for global travel and uses credit card spend to earn those miles and points.

The Chase Aeroplan credit card reflects both customers, as does the Aeroplan program that was relaunched in 2020. And remember that Chase Ultimate Rewards also now transfers 1:1 to Aeroplan.

Chase Aeroplan Overview

Let’s start with the press release which outlines everything, and then we can look at this bit by bit:

The new Chase Aeroplan Card, a World Elite Mastercard, offers cardmembers:

  • Opportunities to earn Aeroplan points on everyday categories:
    • 3X points for every dollar spent on dining, takeout, and eligible delivery services
    • 3X points for every dollar spent at grocery stores
    • 3X points for each dollar spent directly with Air Canada
    • 1 point for each dollar spent on all other purchases
    • Plus, 500 bonus points for every $2,000 spent in a calendar month (up to a maximum of 1,500 points per calendar month)
  • Carbon offsets: Aeroplan will purchase carbon offsets to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions associated with cardmember travel when they fly Air Canada using an Aeroplan flight reward. Applies to Chase Aeroplan primary cardmembers and travel companions on the same reservation for flight segments with Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge.
  • Unprecedented access to Aeroplan travel benefits:
    • Free first checked bags on Air Canada flights: one free checked bag for the primary cardmember and up to eight other travelers on the same itinerary
    • Automatically receive Aeroplan 25K Elite Status for the remainder of the first calendar year, plus the following calendar year, allowing primary cardmembers to enjoy benefits such as priority check-in, early boarding, upgrades and more on Air Canada flights. Cardmembers can requalify as follows:
      • Earn 25K Status through the next year after spending $15,000 in a calendar year
      • Existing status holders earn a one-level status boost to 35K Status or higher for the next year after spending $50,000 in a calendar year
      • Additional spend thresholds starting at $100,000 of spend in a calendar year will unlock unprecedented Aeroplan redemption benefits, including 50% off Priority Rewards and companion benefits
    • $100 credit toward Global Entry, TSA Precheck or NEXUS every four years (as reimbursement for the application fee charged to the card)
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Protection benefits, including
      • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
      • Baggage Delay Insurance
      • Trip Delay Reimbursement
      • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
      • Roadside Assistance
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, including
    • Complimentary 24/7 concierge service
    • Access to Mastercard Priceless® Experiences
    • Exclusive offers from popular brands for services like ride-sharing, food delivery and online shopping
  • Pay Yourself Back® Benefits Coming Soon: Chase Aeroplan Cardmembers will be able to apply their Aeroplan points toward travel purchases on any airline, including hotel, car rental, and more at a rate of USD 1.25 cents per point up to 50,000 points per year (US$625 of value)
aeroplan credit card
Chase Aeroplan Credit Card

Aeroplan Credit Card Signup Bonus

Earn two Welcome Flight Reward Certificates valid for up to 50,000 points each (up to 100,000 total points) after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months.

The way this works is that you can apply one 50,000 point certificate to one reservation. If the flight costs less, you don’t get the balance back, so you want to make sure the flight costs at least 50,000 points. If you need more, though, you can use your Aeroplan points to top off. This is very similar to what Marriott Bonvoy is doing with their certificates from next year.

If you want to use both certs on one trip, break the trip into two one ways and use one on each.

The great thing about the certificates is that they do not expire as long as you have the credit card. So, use them whenever.

If you were on the “waitlist” for this card, they’ll email you a link to apply and get the additional 10,000 points and 10 eUpgrade credits previously promised. You’d have to sign up by February 15th, 2022 to get that bonus.

Annual Fee

$95 and not waived the first year.

Earn Rate

3X Aeroplan points on Air Canada purchases as well as on groceries (worldwide) and dining (worldwide). Restrictions would be warehouse clubs, big box stores etc. Those would not get the 3X. And yes, takeout and delivery services earn the 3X as well.

It’s worth nothing that this is now the highest earning Chase credit card for groceries, although the Amex Gold Card earns 4X on both dining and groceries and Amex also transfers to Aeroplan. However, it’s also worth noting that the Amex Gold only earns 4X on domestic grocery purchases.

You also earn 500 bonus points for every $2,000 spent in a calendar month (up to a maximum of 1,500 points per calendar month) which is a nice way to incentivize some extra spend.

Status Boost

I think the most innovative part of the Aeroplan credit card is the Status Boost.

Let’s look at those details again:

  • Automatically receive Aeroplan 25K Elite Status for the remainder of the first calendar year, plus the following calendar year, allowing primary cardmembers to enjoy benefits such as priority check-in, early boarding, upgrades and more on Air Canada flights. Cardmembers can requalify as follows:
    • Earn 25K Status through the next year after spending $15,000 in a calendar year
    • Existing status holders earn a one-level status boost to 35K Status or higher for the next year after spending $50,000 in a calendar year
    • Additional spend thresholds starting at $100,000 of spend in a calendar year will unlock unprecedented Aeroplan redemption benefits, including 50% off Priority Rewards and companion benefits

So, when you get the card, you get automatic Aeroplan 25k status (think of it like United Silver). If you get the card now, or anytime next year, you get that status until the end of 2023. This is most useful if you do actually fly Air Canada.

But then if you spend $50,000 in a calendar year, you boost your status another level. However, you need to understand the mechanics of it. It will boost whatever status you earn in the year you earn the boost and bump that up. Let me give you two examples to clarify:

Scenario 1: You are currently Aeroplan 35K from this year’s Aeroplan Status Match promotion. You apply for the card this month and spend $50,000 before Dec 31st. You would get bumped to Aeroplan 50K (which is Star Alliance Gold status).

Scenario 2:You are currently Aeroplan 35K from this year’s Aeroplan Status Match promotion. You apply for the card and spend $50,000 next year. You would NOT get bumped to Aeroplan 50K. This is because it uses the status you earned in the year you are spending. You would need to requalify for 35K in 2022 AND hit that spend in 2022 to bump to the 50K Elite level in 2023.

The bump is processed at the end of the calendar year (the following Jan 1st to be precise) and that is why it’s going to be tough to stack it with the status match. However, should Air Canada adjust requirements in 2022 to make it easier to requalify or if they do another match campaign in 2022, you may be able to align this better.

The additional spend thresholds are also very interesting.

  • At $100,000, $250,000, $500,000 and at $750,000 spend in a calendar year you get a 50% off reward certificate. These vary in utility based on your tier but if you have top tier Air Canada status, they are good for 50% off any award you can find.  In fact, you can even use them to book an Aeroplan-metal economy award (if that is what your status allows) and then use eUpgrade credits to get into Business Class. The Canadian blog Prince of Travel details this further.
  • At $1,000,000 (yes, One Million Dollars) in spend, you het a GLOBAL +1 Award, which grants you 100% of your points back for all redemptions in all cabins on any metal for a designated companion.

OK, sure, most of us aren’t dropping a cool Mil on a personal credit card, but if you do, it’s nice to see these really rich rewards as a bonus.

Pay Yourself Back – on a Co-Brand?!

Most of us know about the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature on their Ultimate Rewards branded cards. This lets you buy something in a stated category and then use points to pay yourself back at 1.25 cents per point on the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Preferred and 1.5 cents each on the Sapphire Reserve.

The Aeroplan Credit Card is the first co-branded card to do this (starting soon, not right at launch) and you will be able to Pay Yourself Back with up to 50,000 Aeroplan points annually. This will be good for any all travel from Ubers to flights and will be at 1.25 cents per point in value, so $625 a year max.

Other Aeroplan Credit Card Benefits

The card is a World Elite Mastercard, so you’ll get all of those benefits.

Of course, you’ll get some other benefits like:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Global Entry / PreCheck / Nexus reimbursement once every four years (This is the only credit card in the US that reimburses Nexus, which is like a Canadian Global Entry and is available to US citizens as well)
  • Free checked bag for you and up to 8 companions on the same itinerary (Do you need to pay with the card? I’m not sure).
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (Secondary)
  • Roadside Assistance

New Aeroplan Partner

They also revealed a new partner at the event – Oman Air!

Oman Air is not otherwise in an alliance and has a well reputed premium class product. You might use them to connect on to India or the Maldives, for example. And remember that you can mix and match with Aeroplan – multiple airlines and multiple classes of service – no problem and all online.

Aeroplan Highlights

Keep in mind that Aeroplan has a few differentiating features since the relaunch, including the ability to pool points from up to 6 family members (no fee), allows you to mix and match cabin class and airline partners on all awards, has 45+ partners (Star Alliance plus others like Etihad), no fuel surcharges on ANY awards including partners (just a CAD$39 booking fee) and it’s maybe the best program for those with lap infants, with a fee of just $25 CAD or 2500 miles for the lap infant (some programs charge crazy amounts like 10% of the cash price of the ticket!). You can also add a stopover for just 5,000 points.

They also have a crazy easy to use website and app that really lets you do most things without calling.

Bottom Line

Overall, this looks like a very well thought out and well crafted card. Of course, if you already have a Chase Sapphire or Freedom family card, you already get 3X on dining (but not groceries) and could transfer those into Aeroplan, but you’d be missing out on the rest of the card benefits – especially that Status Boost.

Sure, you’re going to either need to fly Air Canada or have use for their award partner network of Star Alliance, Etihad, Oman Air etc – but I think a majority of people are one or the other.

How to Apply

You can use this link, which supports MilesTalk.

Note that 5/24 is expected to apply to this card – for now…

Thoughts?

Let me know below in the comments, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

And if this post helped you, please consider sharing it!

You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.

4 COMMENTS

  1. It looks like a pretty compelling deal. Thanks for the link to Prince of Travel for the eUpgrade info. It looks like I’ve got some reading to do since they have 3 separate posts explaining what eUpgrades are and how best to utilize them.

    My question is, at a high level, are these truly useful to get class upgrades, or is it often an exercise in frustration trying to find availability to use them? I apparently have 20 eUpgrades in my account now and I would get 10 more if approved for the card. The skeptic in me feels like it seems like they hand these out like candy so maybe they are more fluff than stuff, but I’d love to be proven wrong and real advantage of them in my 2022 travels.

    • I’m still getting up to speed on these myself 😉 I have 50 eUpgrades and haven’t flown to Canada in 2 years… This page goes into good detail on how many you need for what and the Prince of Travel does explain the fare buckets needed to upgrade. But I don’t know personally if it’s easy or not so easy. (Yet)

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