Table of Contents
Intro signup bonus
Chase has just launched the Aeroplan Card, making Air Canada’s first foray into the US credit card market.
You can earn 2 flight reward certificates worth up to 50K miles each after spending $4,000 in 3 months.
- The reward certificates are good for any passenger to use on one-way, round-trip, or multi-city travel.
- As long as you are a cardholder the reward certificates will never expire.
- You can’t combine reward certificates with other discount certificates like Priority Rewards.
- If you want to book an award that costs more than 50K miles you can pay the difference in miles. If you book an award worth less than 50K miles you won’t get a refund for the difference.
- You can change or redeposit award certificates if you cancel before travel commences as with any award ticket.
- If you close your card and haven’t yet booked travel with your certificates, they will expire immediately.
- If you book travel and close your card your ticket will remain active. You can make changes to your ticket even if your card is closed. However you won’t be able to redeposit the certificate if your card is closed.
Clearly these certificates are not as valuable as actual miles, but it is nice that they never expire (with the major caveat that you need to remain a cardholder to book them) and that you can add miles to them if needed.
Welcome bonus terms
- As a new card, everyone is eligible for this bonus.
- Going forward the bonus isn’t available for current Chase Aeroplan Cardholders or if you received a new Chase Aeroplan card in the past 24 months.
Typically, all Chase cards are subject to 5/24 restrictions, meaning that you are not likely to be approved if you have been approved for 5 or more consumer credit cards in the past 24 months.
There are numerous recent reports that Chase is not currently enforcing 5/24 rules on Southwest, United, and Amazon cards, but initial reports say that 5/24 is being enforced on this card.
Note that the Chase system automatically counts cards like authorized user cards and store cards as cards that count towards 5/24, but if you explain to Chase that those cards are merely authorized user cards or store cards they can manually approve you for a new card.
You can check your credit report for free at the federally authorized annualcreditreport.com to check how many accounts are shows as being open in the past 24 months.
- 3 miles per dollar on Air Canada flights
- 3 miles per dollar on groceries
- 3 miles per dollar on dining
- 1 mile per dollar elsewhere.
- There are no foreign transaction fees.
Additionally, you’ll earn 500 bonus miles for every $2,000 spend in a calendar month, up to 1,500 bonus miles on $6,000 of monthly spending.
Free Checked Baggage
This card allows the primary cardholder and up to 8 additional passengers on the same itinerary to get a free checked bag when flying Air Canada.
Nexus/Global Entry/PreCheck Fee Refund:
It costs $85 to apply for a 5 year TSA PreCheck membership which makes flying pleasant again. Shorter lines, no need to remove your shoes, belt, jacket, or hat. You can keep your laptop and small liquids inside your carry-on. And you go through a good old fashioned metal detector instead of assuming the position in the body scanner. If you charge it on your card the fee will be refunded.
It costs $100 to apply for a 5 year Global Entry membership which lets you bypass the customs line. If you have Global Entry you also get TSA Pre-Check for free.
NEXUS costs just $50 and includes access to shorter lines when traveling between the US and Canada and air, land, and marine ports. Even though it’s cheaper than Global Entry and PreCheck, it includes those benefits for free. Most cards don’t refund NEXUS, but this card will.
If you charge any of these on your card the fee will be refunded. You can get refunded for this charge once every 4 years.
My whole family has Global Entry and it sure makes traveling a whole lot easier!
Aeroplan 25K Elite Status
- You will get Aeroplan 25K elite status for the remainder of the calendar year after you apply, plus the following calendar year. As an exception for the card launch, if you apply now, status will last through 12/31/23.
- You will get Aeroplan 25K elite status when you spend $15,000 in a calendar year. The status applies for the remainder of the calendar year after you finish the spending, plus the following calendar year.
Elite benefits include priority call center, waitlisting, seat selection, airport checking, standby, and boarding. 25K elites get 2 free checked bags, free sports equipment handling, 2 lounge passes, 20 eUpgrade credits, 25% bonus miles, parental leave of absence for status extensions, and more.
Level up your Elite Status and more
If you spend $50,000 in a calendar year you will gain a level in elite status for the next calendar year, for example from 25K to 35K, 35K to 50K, 50K to 75K, or 75K to Super Elite. If you are Super Elite you will be able to gift 50K status to another member.
You can status match to Air Canada now and get status for 2022 if you fly by 1/15/22. However you’ll need to spend $50K in 2021 to bump up that 2022 status…
Spend threshold milestones and companion pass
As an unadvertised card benefit, upon spending $100,000, $250,000, $500,000 and $750,000 in a calendar year you’ll earn a 50% off Priority Rewards redemption certificate.
The value of the Priority Rewards will be based on your Air Canada status.
- 25K/35K elites get 50% off US/Canada awards in coach.
- 50K elites get 50% off North America awards in coach or premium economy.
- 75K elites get 50% off systemwide awards in coach or premium economy.
- Super elites get 50% off systemwide awards in coach, premium economy, or business class.
If you spend a whopping $1,000,000 in a year you’ll get a companion pass that allows unlimited free companion award travel systemwide in any class of service. That pass will be valid for the rest of the calendar year in which you spend the million bucks and for the following calendar year.
That’s an awesome perk, but putting a million dollars on a card isn’t for the masses. And even if it is for you, you need to consider the opportunity cost versus spending on a card like Citi Double Cash that earns 2 or more miles per dollar everywhere. However if you can do all your spending in bonus categories on this card that will be different that just earning 1 mile per dollar and playing catchup to a card that earns 2 miles per dollar.
Pay Yourself Back
Starting in early 2022, Chase Aeroplan Cardmembers will be able to apply their Aeroplan miles toward travel purchases on any airline, including hotel, car rental, and more at a rate of 1.25 cents per point.
You can pay yourself back for up to 50,000 miles, worth up to $625 of travel per year.
The new Aeroplan and sample 50K certificate redemptions
There are plenty of bargains and they are committed to keeping an award chart, which is more than US airlines can say!
Aeroplan allows up to 8 members to pool their miles together.
Infant awards in the US/Canada are free and are just C$25 outside the US/Canada.
Short-haul awards on partner airlines like United start at just 6,000 miles, but unfortunately Air Canada tacks on a C$39 booking fee on all partner awards.
Sample certificate uses:
- You can fly between NYC and LA in business class for 50K miles round-trip on United, so with the 2 flight certificates you can fly 2 people round-trip, based on award availability.
- You can fly between NYC and Hawaii in business class for 70K miles round-trip on United, so with the 2 flight certificates you can add 40K miles and fly 2 people round-trip, based on award availability.
- You can fly between NYC and Europe in business class for 60K miles each way with no fuel surcharges on Star Alliance airlines, so with the 2 flight certificates you can add 20K miles and fly round-trip business class to Europe, based on award availability.
- You can fly between NYC and Israel in business class for 70K miles each way with no fuel surcharges on Star Alliance airlines, so with the 2 flight certificates you can add 40K miles and fly round-trip business class to Israel, based on award availability.
- Find more samples here.
You’ll need to spend $4,000 on this card within 3 months for the 2 50K flight certificates.
You can pay your federal taxes for a 1.96% fee. If you overpay your taxes you can request a refund or apply it to your next year’s taxes.
My local natural gas company allows me to prepay up to $1,000 on a credit card for a $1.65 flat fee. That’s a great way to earn miles and help meet a spend threshold. My electricity supplier allows me to pay with a credit card for free as long as I am enrolled in autopay.
- Cardholders get discounted Preferred pricing on Air Canada award flights
- Aeroplan will purchase carbon offsets to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions associated with cardmember travel when they fly Air Canada using an Aeroplan flight reward. This applies to Chase Aeroplan primary cardmembers and travel companions on the same reservation for flight segments with Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge.
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
- Baggage Delay Insurance
- Trip Delay Reimbursement
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
- Roadside Assistance
Dan’s Quick Thoughts
Clearly, a lot of thought went into making this card appealing for Americans. Even if you want Air Canada miles, they had to create a value proposition to spend on the card instead of earning 1.5-5 miles per dollar spend with the Chase Quinfecta.
Did Air Canada do enough?
I’m not sure.
The signup bonus is much more restrictive than on other cards. It means you won’t want to book a ticket less expensive than 50K and that you need to hold onto the card until you use the certificates. It also means you can’t use the signup bonus for Pay Yourself Back benefit, which is a rather innovative benefit for an airline card.
The elite status earning and level up is innovative, but in a world where you can now spend your way to American elite status, it’s an open question if it will resonate with Americans that don’t travel often on Air Canada.
If you do travel on Air Canada often, then it can be worth keeping the card just for the free checked baggage.
The uncapped spending benefits such as triple points on groceries is certainly a nice perk. But is it enough to make it worth opening and using the card for someone who doesn’t typically fly on Air Canada? I’m still on the fence about that, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Will you signup for a Chase Air Canada Aeroplan Mastercard?