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Credit Cards

Chase launches Air Canada Aeroplan credit card: This travel card is not just for Canadians

The new product comes with a number of unique perks for a co-branded airline card.

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Chase is out with another new credit card after recently launching the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card. It's now unveiled details of the Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card. While many Americans may not initially be interested in a card that's tied to a Canadian airline, the product comes with a number of perks that make it an enticing choice for many points, miles and travel enthusiasts.

Below, Select takes a look at the new credit card, its welcome bonus and benefits.

Chase launches the Aeroplan Credit Card

Air Canada revamped its Aeroplan loyalty program in 2020 and added a number of new features that made it more friendly for travelers who want to easily redeem points and miles, including the elimination of fuel surcharges on award tickets, the ability to add stopovers for just 5,000 points and the opportunity to pool points with family members.

Air Canada is part of the Star Alliance network, so you can use its points to book travel on any of its partners, including the U.S.-based United Airlines. Air Canada has a number of non Star Alliance partners, too, like Aer Lingus and Cathay Pacific. In total, Aeroplan has 45 partners that you can use points to book flights with.

Similar to many other co-branded airline cards, the Aeroplan credit card has a $95 annual fee.

Aeroplan® Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 3X points for each dollar spent on grocery stores, dining at restaurants and Air Canada directly; 1X points for each dollar spent on all other purchases; 500 bonus points for every $2,000 you spend in a calendar month (up to 1,500 points per month).

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 70,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    19.49% - 26.49% Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Cardmembers and travel companions (up to eight) traveling on the same reservation will all enjoy free first checked bags on Air Canada.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS credit of up to $100 every four years
  • No fees on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% APR

Key features

Welcome bonus

New Aeroplan credit card cardmembers will earn 70,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Aeroplan has a solid award chart, so the points could get you some cool redemptions. Flights from the U.S. to Europe start at 60,000 points in business class while short-haul flights under 500 miles within the U.S. only cost 6,000 points.

Points earning

Cardholders can earn points at the following rate:

  • 3X points for every dollar spent on dining at restaurants, takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3X points for every dollar spent at grocery stores
  • 3X points for each dollar spent directly with Air Canada
  • 1X point for each dollar spent on all other eligible 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)

What's most notable is the 3X points on groceries, which is uncapped. Many credit cards that offer bonus points on grocery spend cap the amount of points you can earn in a year. So if this is a popular category for you, the Aeroplan card could be worth considering.

The extra 500 bonus points per every $2,000 spent is a nice bonus, but it's not anything that's going to move the needle of your rewards balance in a big way.

Earn elite status through spending

Some airline credit cards offer the ability to earn credits toward elite status by spending on the card, however, you'll often still need to fly a decent amount to actually qualify. The Aeroplan card allows you to earn status just by opening the card, and in future years by spending a specific amount in one year.

Here's how you can earn Aeroplan elite status with the card:

  • After signing up for the card, you'll receive Aeroplan 25K status for the remainder of the current calendar year plus the following calendar year.
  • After the new cardmember 25K status period ends, you can maintain 25K status by spending $15,000 in a calendar year.
  • Additionally, you'll have the ability to 'level up' your current level of Aeroplan elite status after spending $50,000 in a calendar year. So if you had 25K status and then spent $50,000 on the card, you'll be bumped up to 35K status, or if you had 35K status and meet the spending requirement you'd jump to 50K, and so on.
  • There are further perks for spending on the card, including 50% off priority rewards when spending $100,000, $250,000, $500,000 and $750,000 in a calendar year. And if you spend $1 million on the card, you'll get to choose a companion who you can take with you on any award flights for free.

Other benefits

On top of the more unique benefits of the card, the Aeroplan credit card also comes with a number of other perks, some similar to other co-branded airline cards, including:

  • Up to$100 statement credit to cover the cost of Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS every four years
  • Cardmembers and travel companions (up to eight) traveling on the same reservation get free first checked bags when travel originates on an Air Canada flight.
  • Access to preferred pricing on flight rewards on Air Canada flights (not applicable to partner airlines)
  • Similar to the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature, Chase Aeroplan cardmembers can use their Aeroplan points to cover travel purchases (including any airline, hotel or car rental) at a rate of 1.25 cents, up to 50,000 points per year. This feature is launching in early 2022.
  • No foreign transaction fees

Bottom line

The Aeroplan credit card has a number of unique features that could appeal to Air Canada flyers as well as those who may be interested in traveling with any of its partners. For a co-branded product, the Aeroplan card has a solid welcome bonus and ongoing earning rates. The ability to earn elite status through pure spend or to 'Pay Yourself Back' for non-Air Canada related purchases makes this a travel card worth considering.

If you're interested in more flexibility with your points, consider a card that earns transferrable points, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and American Express® Gold Card (terms apply). These cards can transfer their points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio

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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