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Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

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Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase Credit Review

Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase Credit Review

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Introduction

The Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase is a travel-focused rewards credit card designed for individuals who frequently fly with Air Canada and its Star Alliance partners. This card offers a combination of lucrative rewards, comprehensive travel benefits, and exclusive airline perks that aim to enhance the cardholder’s travel experience. With a generous welcome bonus, competitive rewards earning structure, and elite status benefits, the Aeroplan® Credit Card stands out as a premier choice for travelers seeking to maximize their earnings and enjoy premium travel advantages. In this review, we will delve into the key aspects of this credit card and evaluate its potential value for prospective cardholders.

Welcome Bonus

The Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase comes with an attractive welcome bonus that fuels the cardholder’s travel aspirations right from the start.

Current Offer:

  • New cardholders can earn up to 60,000 Aeroplan points after meeting a specific spending threshold within the first three months of account opening.
  • This introductory promotion typically requires spending $3,000 or more in purchases, which can be quite achievable for many consumers.

Value of 60,000 Points:

  • To understand the welcome bonus’s value, it’s important to decipher how much these points can get you.
  • With Aeroplan, 60,000 points could potentially cover a round-trip economy class ticket to many destinations, or even a one-way business class ticket, depending on the season and availability.

Strategic Spending for the Bonus:

  • To make the most out of the welcome bonus, it’s advisable to plan your spending.
  • Consider making the Aeroplan® Credit Card your go-to for everyday purchases, bills, and planned big-ticket items to hit the requirement without overspending.

Bonus Tips:

  • Look out for promotions within the Aeroplan ecosystem that may offer additional points on top of the welcome bonus during certain periods.
  • Balancing the timing of your application to coincide with upcoming major expenses can ensure the minimum spend is met naturally.

Bonus Limitations:

  • It’s wise to note that welcome bonuses are often a one-time deal for new cardholders, so if you’ve held the card before, you might not be eligible.
  • Chase’s “5/24 rule” also applies—potential applicants who’ve opened five or more credit card accounts across all banks in the past 24 months may not be approved.

Overall, the welcome bonus is a high-value feature that can fast-track cardholders toward significant travel savings. It incentivizes early and high spending, rewarding those who can integrate the card seamlessly into their financial habits. The key is ensuring that the spending threshold aligns with your budget, so the initial bonus doesn’t encourage debt but rather complements your existing spend for maximum benefit.

Earning Rewards

Earning points with the Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase is a compelling aspect that attracts frequent flyers and maximizes their spending benefits.

Rewards Structure:

  • The Aeroplan Credit Card offers an impressive earning rate across various spending categories:
    • 3 points per $1 spent on grocery stores, dining at restaurants, and directly with Air Canada.
    • 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

Grocery and Dining Purchases:

  • These popular categories ensure that cardholders earn bonus points just by using their card for everyday needs.
  • Whether it’s a weekly trip to the supermarket or a meal out with friends, these frequent transactions can accumulate points quickly.

Direct Air Canada Purchases:

  • Booking flights directly with Air Canada not only earns triple points but also helps cardholders reach their next getaway sooner.
  • The synergy with Air Canada spending underscores the card’s value for loyal customers of the airline.

Everyday Purchases:

  • Even non-bonus category spending generates Aeroplan points, making every dollar spent on the card a step closer to travel rewards.

Monthly Spending Bonuses:

  • Some promotions may offer additional points for meeting monthly spending thresholds, providing an extra incentive for cardholders to use their card regularly.

Transaction Round-Up:

  • Another innovative feature is the transaction round-up function, which allows cardholders to round up to the nearest dollar on purchases, earning extra points on the difference.

Combining with Aeroplan Status:

  • Cardholders who are also part of the Aeroplan loyalty program can earn points on both their credit card and through the program. This ‘double-dipping’ accelerates point accumulation toward awards.

Maximizing Rewards:

  • To fully benefit from the rewards, cardholders should use this card as their primary method of payment, especially in the higher earning categories.
  • Monitoring specials and promotions via the Aeroplan program can further amplify point earning.

While the Aeroplan Credit Card’s earning potential is substantial, it’s crucial to align your spending habits with the card’s reward structure. By focusing on the higher earning categories and taking advantage of bonus opportunities, cardholders can effectively turn their regular expenses into future travel adventures.

Redeeming Rewards

The true value of the Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase points comes to light when cardholders redeem them for travel and other rewards. Let’s examine the redemption process and explore the value cardholders can get from their accumulated points.

Redemption Process:

  • Aeroplan points can be seamlessly redeemed via Air Canada’s website or Aeroplan’s dedicated online portal.
  • Cardholders have access to a variety of options including flights, upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, and more.

Flight Redemptions:

  • Points are most commonly used for booking award flights with Air Canada and Star Alliance partner airlines.
  • The dynamic pricing of Aeroplan means that redemption value can vary, but savvy travelers can find good deals, especially on economy flights or during off-peak dates.

Business and First-Class Bookings:

  • Higher value can often be found in business and first-class bookings, where the cost in points does not always increase at the same rate as the cash price of these premium seats.

Mixing Points and Cash:

  • Aeroplan provides flexibility by allowing cardholders to pay for part of the ticket with points and cover the rest with cash.
  • This can be handy when you don’t have quite enough points for a desired redemption or you’re looking to stretch your points for multiple trips.

Other Redemption Options:

  • Beyond flights, points can also be redeemed for other travel-related expenses, including hotels, car rentals, and experiences.
  • Non-travel options, such as gift cards and merchandise, are available but tend to offer less value compared to travel redemptions.

Pooling Points:

  • Aeroplan also allows households to pool points together, which means family members can combine points to redeem for more substantial rewards.

Award Availability:

  • Finding award availability can sometimes require planning and flexibility. Air Canada typically releases award seats sporadically, so it pays to be patient and check frequently.

No Blackout Dates:

  • A significant advantage is that Aeroplan does not impose blackout dates for award travel, increasing the opportunity to use points even during peak travel times.

Transfer Partners:

  • Aeroplan points can be further augmented by transferring from partner loyalty programs, such as hotel points, to give even greater redemption power.

In summary, when redeeming Aeroplan points, the highest value is often found in flight redemptions, particularly for premium cabin travel. The flexibility and variety of options add to the card’s utility, ensuring that rewards align with various travel goals and preferences.

Perks and Benefits

The Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase is not just about earning and redeeming points; it’s complemented by a suite of perks and benefits that enhance the travel experience and add value to card membership.

Travel Perks:

  • Free First Checked Bag: Primary cardholders and up to eight companions on the same reservation on Air Canada-operated flights can benefit from this perk.
  • Priority Airport Services: Enjoy priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling on Air Canada flights, a boon for those who value efficiency and convenience at the airport.

Lounge Access:

  • Maple Leaf Lounge Access: Two one-time guest passes each year to these lounges offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling airport environment.
  • Priority Pass™ Select Membership: Although not complimentary, cardholders have the option to enroll and gain access to this extensive network of over 1,300 airport lounges globally for a fee.

Upgrade Credits:

  • Get closer to a more comfortable flying experience with 20 eUpgrade credits upon qualification, applicable for upgrades to premium cabins on Air Canada flights.

Partner Benefits:

  • The partnership with Air Canada allows access to additional travel benefits and savings, such as discounts on partner services and occasionally bonus point promotions.

Elite Status Fast Track:

  • Cardholders can achieve or maintain Aeroplan Elite Status more easily with the status qualification boost that comes from spending on the Aeroplan Credit Card.

Travel and Purchase Protections:

  • Enjoy peace of mind with travel insurance coverages such as trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, and auto rental collision damage waiver.
  • The card also offers purchase protection and extended warranty protection, safeguarding your new purchases against damage or theft.

No Foreign Transaction Fees:

  • Make international purchases without worrying about additional fees, which is especially valuable for those who travel or shop abroad frequently.

Mobile Payment Compatibility:

  • The card is compatible with major mobile payment wallets, enhancing convenience and security for contactless payments both domestically and internationally.

The perks and benefits of the Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase provide an extensive array of value-adds that can justify the card’s annual fee for frequent travelers. Each of these benefits can contribute to significant savings and elevate the overall travel experience, making it an attractive option for those who fly regularly with Air Canada or its partners.

Pros and Cons

Assessing the Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase with a critical eye, let’s explore the advantages and limitations to help potential cardholders make an informed decision.

Pros:

  • Generous Welcome Bonus: The current offer sets a high bar for initial value, providing a significant points boost early on.
  • Rewarding Earning Structure: Cardholders benefit from multiple categories, especially on common expenditures such as groceries and dining.
  • Valuable Airline Perks: Free checked bags, priority services, and lounge passes directly enhance the travel experience.
  • Aeroplan Elite Status Boost: The ability to accelerate elite status progression is a definitive advantage for frequent flyers.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: Ideal for international travelers looking to avoid extra charges on overseas spending.
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance: Provides a safety net for various travel-related mishaps, from delays to cancellations.

Cons:

  • Annual Fee: While justified by the card’s benefits, the fee could deter those who don’t travel often enough to capitalize on the perks.
  • Airline Specificity: The card’s advantages are closely tied to Air Canada, which may not be as beneficial for those who prefer flexibility or a wider choice of airlines.
  • Limited Lounge Access: Despite providing lounge passes, unlimited access requires additional membership enrollment.
  • Elite Status Availability: The status boost feature is attractive but requires a considerable amount of spending to make a profound impact.
  • Complex Rewards System: Some users may find the Aeroplan program’s various tiers and redemption rules to be convoluted compared to simpler rewards systems.

When weighing these pros and cons, the Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase shows its strength as a travel companion for Air Canada enthusiasts. It presents a compelling package for those who can fully utilize its spectrum of travel benefits and its strong partnership with Aeroplan.

Comparison to Other Cards

When choosing a travel rewards credit card, it’s important to compare the Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase with other cards on the market to determine the best fit. Let’s look at how it stacks up against similar offerings.

Comparison with Airline-Specific Cards:

  • American Express® Gold Card: While not airline-specific, Amex Gold offers 4X points on dining and supermarkets, albeit with a higher annual fee but no free checked bags or specific airline perks.
  • United℠ Explorer Card: United’s card provides similar benefits like free checked bags and priority boarding but with a focus on United instead of Air Canada.

Versus Broad-Based Travel Cards:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: With 2X points on travel and dining and a broad definition of travel, it’s a strong contender, but lacks the airline-specific benefits of the Aeroplan Card.
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Offers 2X miles on every purchase, giving flexibility but without in-depth airline perks.

Premium Travel Cards:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: More expensive, with 3X on travel after the travel credit, lounge access, and luxury travel benefits, appealing to high spenders who want more than just airline-specific rewards.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: With a steep annual fee, it provides extensive lounge access, hotel status, and luxury travel services, targeting the upscale market.

Entry-Level Travel Cards:

  • Discover it® Miles: No annual fee and flat 1.5X rewards on all purchases can be attractive to those seeking simplicity over comprehensive travel perks.

Comparative Analysis:

  • The Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase shines for those deeply integrated with the Air Canada/Aeroplan program and Star Alliance flights, providing more value in this niche than others.
  • Other cards might offer better earning structures, annual travel credits, or more flexible redemption options, but may not cater as effectively to an Air Canada loyalist’s needs.

Decision Factors:

  • Frequent Air Canada customers will likely find the Aeroplan card unmatched due to specific perks like status boosts, upgrades, and lounge access which other cards don’t provide.
  • Those valuing a more comprehensive travel protection suite or who are less airline-specific may find broader-based travel cards better suited to their needs.

In conclusion, the Aeroplan® Credit Card is tailored for Air Canada’s frequent flyers, offering a competitive earning rate and airline-specific perks that outstrip many competitors. It’s essential for cardholders to align their travel habits and loyalties with the card’s benefits to truly maximize its potential.

Conclusion

The Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase is an excellent choice for Air Canada loyalists and frequent flyers within the Star Alliance network. With a strong welcome bonus, a rewarding points system, and a plethora of travel benefits, it’s tailored to enhance every aspect of the travel journey. From earning elite status quicker to enjoying premium airport services, this card is geared towards making travel more comfortable and affordable. While the annual fee and airline specificity may not suit everyone, for the right traveler, the Aeroplan Credit Card is a gateway to a world of travel rewards and experiences.

How do I choose the right travel rewards credit card for my needs? Understand your spending habits, travel frequency, and brand loyalties. Consider cards that offer the greatest rewards on your highest spending categories and provide benefits that align with your travel style.

Can credit card rewards points expire? Yes, some credit card rewards points can expire based on the issuer’s policy. It’s crucial to review the terms of your credit card to understand the expiration policy of your rewards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a credit card with an annual fee worth it? A credit card with an annual fee can be worth it if the value of the rewards and benefits you receive exceeds the cost of the fee. Evaluate how you’ll use the card and whether you’ll take full advantage of its offerings.

Should I use my travel credit card for international purchases? Yes, if your travel credit card does not charge foreign transaction fees, it can be a good option for international purchases, particularly since it may also offer additional travel protections.

How can I maximize my travel rewards points? Maximize your travel rewards points by using your credit card for all eligible purchases, taking advantage of bonus categories, and participating in any promotional offers provided by the card issuer.

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