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The 8 best credit cards for earning Aeroplan points

Aug. 31, 2021
9 min read
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Air Canada's Aeroplan is a behemoth of a rewards program, giving travelers the ability to earn and redeem points on over 40 airlines worldwide.

Adding to the program's versatility, earlier this summer, Chase officially added Aeroplan as an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. That's huge news in the world of points, miles and credit cards.

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Even better, later this year, Chase intends to launch an Aeroplan credit card for U.S. residents. Slated for release in late 2021, consumers who join the card’s waitlist by Nov. 8, 2021 can earn 10,000 bonus Aeroplan points in addition to the card's yet-to-be-announced welcome offer, upon card approval.

With Aeroplan being such a useful rewards currency — especially after the program's revamp in late 2020 — we thought it would be as good a time as ever to run down some of the best cards for earning Aeroplan points.

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Earning Aeroplan points with credit cards

Aeroplan points are some of the easiest rewards points to earn, even if you never fly with Air Canada. Until Chase launches its Aeroplan credit card later in 2021, however, there is no way to earn points directly by spending on a U.S. credit card. However, you can transfer points to Aeroplan with four distinct rewards programs:

Let's walk through each of the best cards for each program.

Related: Why Chase adding Aeroplan is a game-changer for Ultimate Rewards

American Express Membership Rewards cards

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Amex fields a host of rewards cards that earn Membership Rewards which can easily be converted to Aeroplan points on a 1:1 basis. Here are two of the best.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in your first six months of card membership. Keep in mind that some readers have been targeted for up to a 125,000-point offer using the CardMatch tool (offer subject to change at any time).

Earning rates:

  • 5x points for flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel, on up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year
  • 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel
  • 1x on all other eligible purchases

Aeroplan earning with welcome bonus:

  • Welcome bonus (once minimum spend is hit): 100,000 points
  • Transfer ratio: 1:1
  • Aeroplan points: 100,000 points

Related: The Platinum Card from American Express review

American Express® Gold Card

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first six months of account opening. However, some readers have been targeted for up to a 75,000-point bonus using the CardMatch tool (offer subject to change at any time).

Earning rates:

  • 4x points at restaurants
  • 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x)
  • 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amex Travel
  • 1x on all other eligible purchases

Aeroplan earning with welcome bonus:

  • Welcome bonus (once minimum spend is hit): 60,000 points
  • Transfer ratio: 1:1
  • Aeroplan points: 60,000 points

Related: Amex Gold card review

Chase Ultimate Rewards cards

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Chase is Aeroplan's newest transfer partner and, similar to Amex, Ultimate Rewards points easily transfer to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio. You can earn Ultimate Rewards points quickly with a welcome bonus on a Chase credit card. Here are two of the best to consider right now.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Earning rates:

  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3x on dining, select streaming services, online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 2x on travel not booked through Chase
  • 1x on other eligible purchases

Aeroplan earning with welcome bonus:

  • Welcome bonus (once minimum spend is hit): 60,000 points
  • Transfer ratio: 1:1
  • Aeroplan points: 60,000 points

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card review

Chase Sapphire Reserve

By signing up for the premium Sapphire Reserve card, you can earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening.

Earning rates:

  • 10x on hotels, car rentals and Chase Dining purchased through the Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 5x on flights booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 3x on all other travel (after the $300 annual statement credits) and dining
  • 1x on other eligible purchases

Aeroplan earning with welcome bonus:

  • Welcome bonus (once minimum spend is hit): 50,000 points
  • Transfer ratio: 1:1
  • Aeroplan points: 60,000 points

Related: Chase Sapphire Reserve review

Capital One Rewards cards

(Photo by Nick Ewen/The Points Guy)

Capital One is another lucrative rewards currency in which you can transfer miles to Aeroplan. However, unlike Amex and Chase, Capital One has a slightly more complex 2:1.5 transfer ratio. Here are two great Capital One cards to consider right now.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Venture Rewards card comes with a sign-up bonus of 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on the card within the first three months of account opening. While this isn't the highest bonus we've seen on the card, it's still a solid one.

Earning rate:

  • 2x on purchases

Aeroplan earning with welcome bonus:

  • Welcome bonus (once minimum spend is hit): 75,000 miles
  • Transfer ratio: 2:1.5
  • Aeroplan points: 56,250 points

Related: Capital One Venture Rewards card review

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,500 in the first three months of account opening. The Spark Miles from Capital One is a business credit card that gives you access to the same great airline and hotel transfer partners as the Venture family of cards.

Earning rate:

  • 2x on purchases

Aeroplan earning with welcome bonus:

  • Welcome bonus (once minimum spend is hit): 60,000 miles
  • Transfer ratio: 2:1.5
  • Aeroplan points: 37,500 points

Related: Capital One Spark Business review

Marriott Bonvoy cards

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Marriott Bonvoy points can be converted to Aeroplan points at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred. Two of the top Marriott Bonvoy cards right now are:

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card is an entry-level card that can help travelers dip their toes into the Bonvoy program.

Right now, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card bonus is three free nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.

Earning rates:

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases

Aeroplan earning with welcome bonus:

  • Welcome bonus (once minimum spend is hit): None
  • Transfer ratio: 3:1 (with a 5,000-point bonus for every 60,000 points transferred)
  • Aeroplan points: None from bonus, but depends on everyday spending

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

This card is offering 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

Earning rates:

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 3x points at worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases

Aeroplan earning with welcome bonus:

  • Welcome bonus (once minimum spend is hit): 75,000 points
  • Transfer ratio: 3:1 (with a 5,000-point bonus for every 60,000 points transferred)
  • Aeroplan points: 30,000 points

Bottom line

Remember, according to TPG’s latest valuations, a single Aeroplan point is worth 1.5 cents but there are a number of sweet spots where you can get a lot more value than that from redemptions. This is particularly true of long-haul premium-cabin awards, such as Lufthansa first class.

Aeroplan points are now one of the easiest types of frequent-flyer rewards to earn thanks to a wide array of transfer partners. These eight cards are a great starting point to bulk up your balance of transferable points, whether you end up moving those points to Aeroplan or not.

Featured image by Lufthansa First Class (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases