Earn up to $1,250 in Statement Credits With a Best-Ever Introductory Offer on the Aeroplan Credit Card
Thanks to a new Pay Yourself Back® option, the current 100,000-point welcome bonus on Air Canada’s Aeroplan Credit card can be redeemed for any eligible travel purchase.
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Even if you live in the United States or have zero plans to visit Canada in the future, you’ll want to consider getting Air Canada’s Aeroplan® Credit Card now. Why? The card is great for earning points, the current introductory bonus is huge, and the redemption opportunities are epic, all despite a low $95 annual fee.
Right now, new cardholders can earn up to 100,000 points after meeting spending thresholds within the first 12 months of card membership. You can then redeem these points in several ways, including statement credits toward travel—with any travel merchant at a rate of 1.25 cents apiece—through a new Pay Yourself Back feature. You can also use them on Air Canada’s frequent flier program, Aeroplan, which has more award partners than any other loyalty program in the world. With such options, that equates to $1,250 in travel credits or enough points to use on a business-class ticket with new airline partner, Emirates, among the 40+ airlines within the Aeroplan network.
Beyond the welcome bonus, the card is a solid travel credit card. It gives triple points in popular spending categories like groceries and dining, offers a Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or Nexus statement credit (every four years), and provides several complimentary travel insurances.
Here’s everything you need to know about the trending Chase Aeroplan Credit Card and why it’s worth getting now—even if you have no plans to set foot in Canada or on an Air Canada aircraft.
A best-ever welcome offer and an excellent new redemption feature
The current introductory bonus on Air Canada’s Aeroplan Credit Card allows new cardholders to earn 100,000 points within the first 12 months of card membership. You’ll earn 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months, plus 40,000 points after you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months. This is a major increase from the 70,000-point bonus offered during the second half of 2022.
If used wisely, 100,000 Aeroplan points can go far, especially now that cardholders can use points for travel statement credits using a new Pay Yourself Back feature.
With Pay Yourself Back, it’s possible to redeem points for statement credits on recent purchases. Specifically, Aeroplan cardmembers can redeem Aeroplan points as statement credits toward any travel purchases made on the card within 90 days, at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. Travel purchases can range from airfare (operated by any airline) to rideshares, to hotels, resort charges, trains, and more. The charge simply needs to be classified as “Travel” under Chase’s spending categories (something that’s taken care of on the merchant side).
This means that the current 100,000-point welcome bonus is worth up to $1,250 in credits with the new Pay Yourself Back option. That’s $1,250 toward Ubers, wine by the pool at your favorite W hotel, flights on American Airlines or Delta Air Lines—you name it! Points can be redeemed all at once or bit by bit. You can choose one or more recent eligible purchases (less than 90 days old and up to five purchases in a single order). Then you can choose how many Aeroplan points you’d like to apply to each purchase you select.
This flexibility in redemption is spectacular. Put in perspective, Pay Yourself Back is one reason the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is such a popular credit card. However, with the Preferred, cardholders can redeem points at 1.25 cents apiece only for bookings through the Chase travel portal or with select categories, which change quarterly. (Currently these are gas stations, grocery stores, and select charities.) To have a low-fee credit card that allows for redemption on all travel purchases at a rate of 1.25 cents is groundbreaking.
The option to still use Aeroplan points, the old-fashioned way
Despite our excitement for the Pay Yourself Back feature, we still love using Aeroplan points directly through Air Canada’s Aeroplan portal, which has access to award inventory on 45 other airlines serving more than 1,300 destinations.
These airlines include Star Alliance’s 26 members, including Austrian Airlines, Copa Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss, Turkish Airlines, and United Airlines, plus another 20 carriers, including Etihad Airways, Oman Air, and most recently Emirates. Combined this is the most comprehensive search engine of any airline program in the world.
While not cheap, the number of points required for an Aeroplan redemption is often far lower than, say, those on the MileagePlus loyalty program through United Airlines or Delta’s SkyMiles program. For example, this writer recently used 124,000 Aeroplan points for a one-way business-class ticket from Miami to Johannesburg (via Dubai) on Emirates for May 2023.
If you are planning to use Aeroplan points for flights, it’s worth getting to know the Aeroplan search engine and fiddling around with dates to find the best award prices. It’s not always easy to know exactly how many Aeroplan points you’ll need for your flight: Aeroplan’s somewhat complicated award chart is based on geography, distance flown, and dynamic pricing. That said, if you are flexible and persistent, you can often score an amazing deal like my Miami to South Africa one.
Earn lots of points
Aside from the introductory bonus, the Aeroplan card offers great opportunities to rack up extra points on everyday spending. The card’s earning rates are as follows:
- Earn three points per dollar spent at grocery stores
- Earn three points per dollar on dining, including takeout, and eligible delivery services
- Earn three points per dollar spent directly with Air Canada
- Earn one point per dollar on all other purchases
But the earnings don’t end there. Another standout feature of this credit card is the chance to earn bonus points when reaching spending thresholds each month. Earn 500 bonus points for every $2,000 spent in a calendar month (up to a maximum of 1,500 points per calendar month, or a total of $18,000 per year).
Global Entry credit and travel insurances
The Aeroplan credit card provides a Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or Nexus statement credit every four years, which is atypical for a card with a $95 annual fee (but we’re not complaining). It also comes with travel insurances aplenty, again uncommon for a low-fee card. These include:
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
- Baggage delay insurance
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
As with all matters of insurance, there are plenty of stipulations as to what’s covered, how much is covered, and when coverage applies.
Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. In this vein, carbon offsets will be purchased (and paid for by Air Canada) when Aeroplan cardholders (and their companions on the same reservation) fly Air Canada, Air Canada Express, and Air Canada Rouge on an Aeroplan flight reward. This will help reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions associated with flying. There’s no cap on the number of carbon offsets Air Canada will provide through this program.
Benefits on Air Canada
We’ve discussed the reasons why this card makes sense for those who don’t even fly Air Canada, but for those who do, the card is an even smarter choice. On Air Canada flights, the primary cardholder can expect one free checked bag for him- or herself and up to eight travel companions on the same itinerary.
Cardholders also get automatic elite status, Aeroplan 25K Elite Status, during the calendar year in which card membership is obtained plus the entire following calendar year. This provides such benefits as priority check-in, early boarding, and upgrades on Air Canada flights. After the initial period, cardholders can maintain Aeroplan 25K Status with $15,000 in account spending during a calendar year. Those who spend $50,000 during a calendar year can earn an Elite Status Level Up of one tier to 35K Status or higher depending on their current elite status.
With a best-ever welcome bonus of 100,000 points, a great earnings structure and even better redemption opportunities—including a new Pay Yourself Back feature—the Aeroplan Credit Card is a smart choice for all travelers, even those with no plans to visit Canada or fly Air Canada.
This article was originally published in 2022; it was updated on January 30, 2023, with current offer information. While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.