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Credit Cards

Chase launches 100,000-point welcome offer for new Air Canada Aeroplan credit cardholders, worth up to $1,250 on travel

Here's how you can earn up to 100,000 bonus points with the Chase Aeroplan Card.

Aaronp | Bauer-Griffin | Gc Images | Getty Images

The offer mentioned below for the for the Aeroplan® Credit Card is no longer available.

Travel enthusiasts have an exciting new credit card welcome offer available to help offset the cost of a future vacation.

Those applying for the Aeroplan® Credit Card can now earn up to 100,000 Aeroplan points within the first 12 months from account opening. That's worth $1,250 on travel, or potentially more depending on how you redeem the points. Here's how it works:

  • Earn 60,000 Aeroplan points after spending $4,000 in the first three months from account opening
  • Earn an additional 40,000 Aeroplan points after spending $20,000 total in the first 12 months from account opening

Aeroplan may be the loyalty program of Air Canada, but it's not just for Canadians. Cardholders can also use Aeroplan points to book domestic flights on United Airlines, plus international flights on Star Alliance partners like Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, as well as non-alliance partners like Emirates.

Below, CNBC Select details the new bonus, who's eligible and how to redeem Aeroplan points.

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Aeroplan Card welcome bonus

The Aeroplan Card's new offer has two earning tiers, unlike its previous welcome bonus.

  • New bonus: Earn up to 100,000 Aeroplan points within the first 12 months from account opening: 60,000 Aeroplan points after spending $4,000 in the first three months, and an additional 40,000 Aeroplan points after spending $20,000 total in the first 12 months
  • Old bonus: Earn 70,000 Aeroplan points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening

CNBC Select's take: The new welcome offer provides an opportunity to earn more Aeroplan points after one year, though the first tier has a higher spending requirement and lower rewards within the first three months.

Yet by meeting the $4,000 minimum spend alone in the first three months, you will have earned at least 64,000 Aeroplan points. Aeroplan airline points are often valued around 1.5 cents apiece, meaning your 64,000 bonus points could be worth $960 in airfare.

Say, however, you meet the $20,000 minimum spend in the first year of having the Aeroplan Credit Card, earning at least 120,000 Aeroplan points. At a 1.5 cent per point valuation, your 120,000 bonus points could be worth up to $1,800 in airfare.

With a modest $95 annual fee, this travel credit card provides a solid first-year value for new cardholders no matter what bonus tier they hit.

Who's eligible to earn the Aeroplan Card welcome bonus?

Only new Aeroplan Card members who have not received a cardmember bonus for this card within the last 24 months are able to earn this welcome bonus. This card also falls under Chase's 5/24 rule, which limits approvals for those who've opened five or more personal credit cards (from any card issuer) within the past 24 months.

How to redeem Aeroplan points

The points you earn with the Aeroplan Credit Card can be redeemed for flights operated by Air Canada and its many Star Alliance airline partners, including United Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand, as well as a number of non-alliance partners such as Brazil-based Azul and United Arab Emirates-based Etihad Airways and Emirates.

For example, when traveling domestically, you can fly United Airlines where economy redemptions start at 6,000 Aeroplan points one-way and business class starts at 15,000 Aeroplan points.

Regardless of whether you prefer to travel domestically or internationally, you'll have many options when it comes time to cash in your Aeroplan points. Check out Aeroplan's Flight Reward Chart to see how many points you'll need for your next trip.

Aeroplan cardholders are also able to use Chase's Pay Yourself Back feature to cover other travel purchases including airfare, hotels, taxis, trains and more. Through the Pay Yourself Back tool, they can redeem Aeroplan points for a statement credit towards travel purchases made on the card within 90 days. With Pay Yourself Back, each Aeroplan point is worth 1.25 cents — meaning the 100,000-point welcome offer can be redeemed for $1,250 in statement credits. The 60,000-point bonus if you just hit the first welcome offer tier can be redeemed for $750 in statement credits. Otherwise, you can still redeem smaller amounts of your Aeroplan points to offset travel costs like a train ticket or cab ride.

Bottom line

For those who frequently fly Air Canada or one of its partner airlines, the Aeroplan Card's tiered welcome offer is pretty solid. You'll also earn 1X point for every dollar you spend and 3X points for each dollar spent at grocery stores, at restaurants and on Air Canada directly. Aeroplan cardholders can earn status just by opening the card and in future years by spending a specific amount.

Those looking for a more general travel credit card can consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It offers many similar benefits, and when you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you can transfer them directly to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio, plus a number of other airline and hotel partners for added flexibility.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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