There are dozens of airline credit cards offered in the United States, and it might surprise you to learn that many of them are co-branded with foreign carriers. Air Canada is the foreign airline with the most service to the United States, and it's long offered a very low-key credit card that earned points in its Aeroplan frequent flyer program. And that card wasn't even issued by a major bank.
All that changed recently when Chase introduced its Aeroplan® Card. This card offers numerous ways to earn valuable Aeroplan points that can be redeemed for award flights on dozens of airlines it partners with.
How this card works
While many airline credit cards offer bonus miles when you open a new account, new Aeroplan Card applicants can earn two Welcome Flight Reward certificates, which are worth up to 50,000 points each towards an award flight, after spending $4,000 on the card with in three months of account opening.
This card also offers you three points per dollar spent at grocery stores and on dining at restaurants, including takeout and delivery services. And of course you earn three points per dollar for purchases from Air Canada and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. There's also a 500-point bonus for every $2,000 you spend in a calendar month.
This card also offers you elite status, as new cardmembers automatically receive 24K status for the current and following year. You can maintain this status by spending $15,000 on your card each year. You can even earn 35k status or higher for existing status holders with $50,000 in account spend during a calendar year.
Other perks include a $100 credit towards an application for TSA PreCheck or NEXUS. You also get a free checked bag and preferred pricing on flight rewards. There's a $95 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.
The two 50,000-point flight reward certificates are a little different than earning 100,000 points, but they work the same. You can simply use one each way for a 100,000 points off of a round-trip ticket. Or you can redeem each for a 50,000 discount on a single ticket. And this card also offers you 3x points on all dining and groceries, and a 500-point bonus when spending $2,000 in a month, which is a really strong value.
And although most airline credit cards come with a free checked bag, this is also one of the few airline cards that allows you to earn elite status. Also, your points can be redeemed for award fights on Air Canada, or any of its partners. Air Canada is part of the Star Alliance of more than a dozen major international carriers.
The two 50,000 point reward certificates are generous, but are less valuable if you plan on redeeming points for less expensive regional flights for a single person, that can cost less than 50,000 points. The $95 annual fee is competitive for a card like this, but many people still prefer not to pay an annual fee to use a credit card. And like all reward cards, this one has a higher interest rate than similar cards that don't offer rewards.
United Explorer card from Chase. This card offers new applicants 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within three months of account opening. It offers double miles on dining, hotels and airline purchases, and one mile per dollar spent elsewhere. It also comes with a free checked bag, priority boarding and two United Club passes each year. There's a $95 annual fee for this card.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card. This card offers new applicants 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,500 in purchases within three months of account opening. It also features double miles at restaurants, at gas stations and on American Airlines purchases. Other benefits include a free checked bag and priority boarding. There's a $95 annual fee for this card.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card. This card offers new applicants 75,000 bonus SkyMiles after making $2,000 in purchases within three months of account opening. It offers double miles on dining, groceries and on Delta purchases. Benefits include a free checked bag and a $100 Delta Flight Credit when you spend $10,000 on the card in a calendar year. There's a a $99 annual fee for this card that's waived the first year.
The new Aeroplan Card is an innovative product that offers lots of bonus miles and other benefits. Even if you don't often fly Air Canada, you can use this card to earn points towards award flights on its partners. By understanding all of the details about how this card works, you can decide if it deserves a place in your wallet.