Last chance for Chase Aeroplan Card’s welcome bonus worth up to 100,000 points
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The Aeroplan Credit Card from Chase and Air Canada was launched last December with a welcome offer worth up to 100,000 points.
Now, after four months, that offer will end on April 20, and we have no indication of what will replace it. So if you have been thinking about applying but have not done so yet, time is running out.
As a new cardholder, you can earn two “Welcome Flight Rewards” worth up to 100,000 points combined when you spend $4,000 on purchases with the card in the first three months. This bonus comes in the form of two “Flight Reward Certificates” valued at up to 50,000 Aeroplan points each.
But there’s more to the card than a quick points haul. It also confers automatic elite status and, coming soon, the ability to use Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature to redeem points toward other travel purchases, which can save you valuable money on certain redemptions.
Although Aeroplan, which is Air Canada’s frequent flyer program, might not be one of your main loyalty programs yet, it’s worth another look thanks to many recent positive updates, from eliminating fuel surcharges to generous stopover rules.
What’s more, Aeroplan is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, so points earned from cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card can be transferred to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio.
Here is everything you need to know about the Aeroplan Credit Card, and why you might want to apply now while its current welcome bonus is still available.
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Aeroplan Credit Card welcome offer
The $95-per-year Aeroplan Credit Card is currently offering two “Welcome Flight Rewards” worth up to 100,000 points combined when you spend $4,000 on purchases with the card in the first three months. Each of these flight rewards is worth up to 50,000 points. But they’re a bit more versatile than they might seem at first glance.
Here’s how the Aeroplan Credit Card’s Welcome Flight Rewards work:
- Each of the two 50,000-point Welcome Flight Rewards can be applied toward a single passenger’s Aeroplan redemption.
- You cannot combine two reward certificates for a single redemption for a single passenger (i.e., if you find a 100,000-point ticket, you cannot just use both certificates toward it at the same time).
- This can be in any cabin and for any redemption amount.
- For redemptions of more than 50,000 points a top-up of extra points needed is allowed (i.e., if you had a 65,000-point itinerary, you could apply a 50,000-point Welcome Flight Reward and make up the remaining 15,000-point difference with points from your Aeroplan account).
- You don’t get the overage points back if you redeem the certificate for an itinerary of fewer than 50,000 points (i.e., if you used one for a 40,000-point itinerary, you would not be refunded the remaining 10,000 points).
- The rewards don’t expire as long as you have the card.
Although there are some restrictions, these certificates have several features built-in that allow cardholders to use them on a wide variety of redemptions.
Aeroplan Credit Card earning rates
The Aeroplan Credit Card is a strong earner on spending categories, accruing points at the following rates:
- 3 points per dollar on purchases made directly with Air Canada.
- 3 points per dollar spent on grocery store purchases.
- 3 points per dollar on dining (including delivery services).
- 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Additionally, cardholders will get a 500-point bonus for every $2,000 spent on the card per month, up to 1,500 bonus points per month.
If you were to maximize this bonus by spending $6,000 per month exclusively on the categories of dining, grocery or Air Canada purchases, you would earn the equivalent of 3.25 points per dollar spent, for a total of 19,500 points.
Aeroplan Credit Card perks
Chief among the Aeroplan Credit Card’s other perks is automatic entry-level Aeroplan 25K elite status for the remainder of the current calendar year and all of the following one. So if you apply now, you’ll enjoy Aeroplan 25K status through the end of 2023.
After that, to retain status, a cardholder must spend $15,000 on purchases per calendar year.
What Aeroplan 25K status gets you
Those with Aeroplan 25K status enjoy benefits like priority airport check-in, two complimentary checked bags, priority boarding, priority seat selection, two one-time Maple Leaf Lounge passes, eUpgrade credits and more.
As a matter of course, cardholders and up to eight companions will get their first checked bag free when flying on Air Canada – so you won’t have to retain 25K status to continue enjoying some elite-style perks.
More rewards with spending … up to $1 million
Air Canada is creating more incentives to spend on the card, with earning thresholds at incremental amounts up to $1 million in spending during a calendar year.
- Spend $50,000: Existing status holders earn a one-level status boost to 35K status or higher for the next year. That even includes customers who took advantage of a status match opportunity with Destination Canada.
- Spend $100,000: 50% off Priority Reward when redeeming points.
- Spend $250,000: 50% off Priority Reward when redeeming points.
- Spend $500,000: 50% off Priority Reward when redeeming points.
- Spend $750,000: 50% off Priority Reward when redeeming points.
- Spend $1 million: Free companion travel for redemption for the remainder of the year and the following year.
Cardholders and their travel companions who fly Air Canada using an Aeroplan flight reward will have their carbon emissions automatically offset.
A variety of the card’s other perks include:
- An up-to-$100 statement credit toward Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or Nexus every four years (as reimbursement for the application fee charged to the card).
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
- Baggage delay insurance.
- Trip delay reimbursement.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver.
- Roadside assistance.
- World Elite Mastercard benefits.
Pay Yourself Back is coming soon
The Chase Aeroplan Credit Card will be one of the few cards that give holders the ability to redeem their points through Chase’s popular Pay Yourself Back program. When this launches, those with the Aeroplan Credit Card will be able to redeem their Aeroplan points at a rate of 1.25 cents apiece, up to 50,000 points per year, toward travel purchases including airline tickets, hotel stays and car rentals.
That creates a significant amount of flexibility should cardholders need to use their points for redemptions other than through Aeroplan, Air Canada and their partners. Chase is in the process of building out this tool, and we should see this launch sometime in 2022.
Aeroplan as a Chase transfer partner
You don’t necessarily need to sign up for Aeroplan’s new credit card in order to stock up on Aeroplan points.
Last August, Aeroplan was added to the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel transfer partner roster. That means you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio (1 Ultimate Rewards point is equal to 1 Aeroplan point).
To transfer Chase points to Aeroplan, you need to have at least one of the following three cards that earn transferable Ultimate Rewards points:
In addition to the transferable Ultimate Rewards-earning cards above, there are a few other Chase cards you might want to take note of. Those include:
- Chase Freedom (no longer available to new applicants).
- Chase Freedom Flex.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited.
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card.
- Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card.
While the points these cards earn can’t be transferred to Ultimate Rewards’ airline or hotel partners on their own, if you also carry one of the cards that do earn transferable Ultimate Rewards points, you can combine the points you earn across all cards into a single account and transfer from there.
Reasons to focus on Air Canada Aeroplan
The introduction of a new U.S. Aeroplan Credit Card and the addition of Air Canada’s Aeroplan to Ultimate Rewards were exciting for a number of reasons.
Aeroplan has long been a favorite loyalty program among award travelers – and the program’s late-2020 revamp included several customer-friendly enhancements.
According to TPG’s latest valuations, a single Aeroplan point is worth 1.5 cents. But there are several sweet spots where you can get a lot more value than that.
This is particularly true of long-haul premium-cabin awards. For instance, it’ll cost 60,000 Aeroplan points for a business-class seat on United between New York and London. Cash fares for business class on this one-way route can easily exceed $2,000. In this one example, you would get more than 3 cents in value per point.
While United and Singapore Airlines are both Star Alliance partners with Air Canada — and existing Chase transfer partners — there are unique features to Aeroplan that are worth mentioning and reasons to transfer to Aeroplan instead of the others.
For starters, Aeroplan has a published award chart while United MileagePlus has shifted entirely to dynamic pricing. Altogether, you can earn and redeem Aeroplan points on over 40 airline partners, which is outstanding and opens up some interesting options beyond just the Star Alliance. Most award flights can be booked on Air Canada’s easy-to-use website, too, which takes the hassle out of redeeming your points.
Arguably the most compelling reason for award enthusiasts to opt for Aeroplan instead of other programs is the elimination of carrier-imposed surcharges along with the addition of generous stopover and open-jaw rules.
For example, awards on Lufthansa previously could incur hundreds of dollars in surcharges, which negated many of the benefits of booking an award ticket. Now, you’ll pay standard taxes and fees on all tickets booked through Aeroplan in addition to a reasonable partner award fee of 39 Canadian dollars ($31), when applicable.
When it comes to stopovers, Aeroplan is also a standout, with the ability to add a single stopover to a one-way ticket and two stopovers to a round-trip ticket for just 5,000 extra points per stopover.
The Aeroplan Credit Card is one of the most compelling airline cobranded credit cards to come around in years. Not only does it confer automatic elite status on new cardholders, but it also earns points at a fast clip and proffers some great day-of-travel perks such as a statement credit for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or Nexus applications. All for just a reasonable $95 annual fee.
Right now, the card is offering a sign-up bonus worth up to 100,000 points. That ends on April 20, though, and there’s no telling what the bonus will be after that. So if you’ve been waiting to apply, now is the time to do so.
Official application link: Aeroplan Credit Card with two “Welcome Flight Rewards” worth up to 100,000 points combined when you spend $4,000 on purchases with the card in the first three months.
Additional reporting by Eric Rosen.
Featured photo by JL IMAGES/Shutterstock.com.
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