The new Aeroplan program arrives on November 8, 2020, with a series of exciting changes to both the rewards and features to which members have become accustomed. Air Canada is shaking things up to bring a more flexible and straightforward experience for travellers.

Apart from miles transitioning to points, some program highlights include:

  • Pay with points and cash: Members can now use a combination of points and money to book flights and travel sooner. No restrictions. No blackouts periods.
  • No cash surcharges: Air Canada passengers will no longer have to pay airline surcharges on flight rewards.
  • Aeroplan Family Sharing: Pool your points with up to eight family members to earn and redeem rewards faster.

These are just a few of the benefits travellers can look forward to and enjoy once they become available.

In addition to the program upgrades, Aeroplan-affiliated credit cards are getting a new look and notable enhancements.

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Here is a detailed look at the new Aeroplan credit cards and what they offer.

Aeroplan credit cards

Aeroplan credit cards are available from three issuers in Canada, including American Express, TD, and CIBC. While each issuer has slightly different versions of these cards, in general, they will all fall into three distinct tiers: silver, grey and black, with some common elements that come standard.

Silver

Members of the silver tier and above can earn more rewards for purchases they make through aircanada.com, aircanadavactions.com, or the Air Canada app. Not only that, but they can also enjoy preferred pricing and typically book flight rewards using fewer points.

Aeroplan points won’t expire for primary cardholders as long as they have an Aeroplan credit card. Generally, Aeroplan members have 18-months to earn or redeem points to keep their account active.

Grey

Building on the lower tier, the following two levels can take advantage of additional perks.

Primary cardholders and up to eight companions travelling on the same reservation will soon be able to enjoy their first checked bag for free when their travel originates on an Air Canada flight, and, depending on the card, this isn’t the only shared benefit. Soon, eligible secondary cardholders can take advantage of some of the airport benefits generally reserved for primary cardholders.

Lastly, grey tier members can earn 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles (SQMs) and one Qualifying Status Segment (SQS) for every $10,000 spent on the card annually.

Black

While enjoying everything in the lower tiers, black tier members can also access Maple Leaf Lounges across North America. Plus, cardholders can bring a guest if they have a same-day ticket on an Air Canada or Star Alliance flight.

Additional airport perks include:

  • Priority airport services: Members can enjoy priority check-in, priority boarding, and priority baggage handling.
  • Priority airport standby: Cardholders and up to eight of their travelling companions get priority for standby on Air Canada flights.
  • Priority airport upgrades: Similarly, cardholders with Elite Status and up to eight travelling companions get priority for upgrades on Air Canada flights.
  • Annual worldwide companion pass: When cardholders spend at least $25,000 per year, they can get an annual round-trip companion pass from as low as $99 (plus taxes and fees).

Additional membership perks include:

  • Qualification boosts: Members will earn 1,000 SQMs and one SQS for every $5,000 they spend in eligible purchases on the card. That is $5,000 less than the grey tier.
  • Rollover status: Cardholders with Aeroplan Elite Status can roll over up to 200,000 SQMs (not including the points used to qualify that year) to meet the next qualification period requirements.
  • Rollover eUpgrade credits: Members with Aeroplan Elite Status who requalify for the following year can roll over up to 50 eUpgrade credits.

Existing Aeroplan cardholders

As for current cardholders, you can expect to hear from your credit card issuer with detailed information about the changes; however, some of the new benefits will activate automatically during the second week of November. More program features will be available in stages, with a full release in the spring of 2021.

Let’s take a look at some of the changes coming to popular personal Aeroplan credit cards.

TD® Aeroplan® Cards

Credit Card

New Benefits

Aeroplan Tier

Annual Fee

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

  • NEXUS application fee rebate
  • Enhanced insurance
  • Mobile device insurance

Grey

$139

American Express® Aeroplan®* Cards

Charge Card or Credit Card  

New Benefits

Aeroplan Tier

Annual Fee

American Express® Aeroplan®* Card

  • Travel insurance
  • Air Canada benefits

Grey

$120

American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card

  • Extended travel insurance
  • Toronto Pearson International Aiport benefits 

Black

$599

CIBC Aeroplan® Cards

Credit Card

New Benefits

Aeroplan Tier

Annual Fee

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card

  • NEXUS application fee rebate
  • Mobile device insurance
  • New Air Canada benefits
  • Secondary cardholder perks

Black

$599

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

  • Enhanced insurance
  • Mobile device insurance
  • Secondary cardholder perks

Grey

$139

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa* Card

  • No annual fee (previously $39)

Silver

$0

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa* Card for Students

  • No annual fee (previously $39)

Silver

$0

TD® Aeroplan® Cards

Cardmembers can rest assured their card number, personal identification number (PIN) and statement date will remain the same; however, details regarding earn rate, annual fee and insurance coverage may differ.

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

The TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card will see an annual fee increase, as well as a few other changes.

Previous card details

New card details

Annual fee: $120
Supplementary cardholder annual fee: $50

Annual fee: $139
Supplementary cardholder annual fee: $75

Earn rate:

  • 1.5 miles per $1 spent on purchases made on aircanada.com
  • 1.5 miles per $1 spent on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases
  • 1 mile per $1 spent everywhere else you shop

Earn rate:

  • 1.5 points per $1 spent on Air Canada purchases
  • 1.5 points per $1 spent on eligible gas and grocery purchases
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all eligible purchases made with your card

Previously cardholders could earn an accelerated rewards rate on drugstore purchases, which is no longer the case. However, cardholders will soon earn extra rewards on all Air Canada purchases, not strictly on aircanada.com.

Additionally, cardholders will see a few upgrades to both their perks and insurance coverage.

Perks:

Receive a rebate of up to $100 for a NEXUS application fee or renewal fee per cardholder on the account.

Insurance:

Previously, some insurance coverages were only available when the trip’s full cost was charged to the card. Now, only 75% of the cost of the trip must be charged to the card to benefit from the following:

  • Delayed and lost baggage insurance
  • Extended warranty and purchase security
  • Flight/trip delay insurance
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption

In addition to the insurance coverage already on the card, members will now have access to hotel/motel burglary insurance, as well as mobile device insurance.

American Express® Aeroplan®* Cards

American Express chose to discontinue the American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card and the American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Reserve Card, offering members new earn rates and benefits.

A unique feature lies within the additional cardholders. Members can choose to share some of the card benefits with supplementary cardholders for an annual fee or simply add an authorized user for $0 and earn rewards quicker.

American Express® Aeroplan®* Card

Cardmembers of the new American Express® Aeroplan®* Card can enjoy all the Aeroplan silver tier benefits, as well as exclusive Amex experiences.

Charge card details

Annual fee: $120
Supplementary cardholder annual fee:

  • $50 to share select benefits and earn rewards quicker
  • $0 to earn points faster

Earn rate:

  • 2 points per $1 spent on Air Canada purchases
  • 1.5 points per $1 spent on dining and food delivery purchases
  • 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else you shop

This card also features a line of insurance, including:

  • Flight delay insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost or stolen baggage insurance
  • Hotel burglary insurance
  • Car rental theft and damage insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel emergency assistance
  • Buyer’s assurance (extended warranty)
  • Purchase protection

This card is a charge card, which means balances must be paid in full at the end of each month or a 30% annual interest rate does apply.

American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card

Cardmembers of the new American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card can enjoy all the Aeroplan black tier benefits, as well as exclusive Amex experiences.

Credit card details

Annual fee: $599
Supplementary cardholder annual fee:

  • $199 to share select benefits and earn rewards quicker
  • $0 to earn points faster

Earn rate:

  • 3 points per $1 spent on Air Canada purchases
  • 2 points per $1 spent on dining and food delivery purchases
  • 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else you shop

This card also features a full suite of insurance, including:

  • Out of province/country emergency medical insurance
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Trip interruption insurance
  • Flight delay insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost or stolen baggage insurance
  • Hotel burglary insurance
  • Car rental theft and damage insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel emergency assistance
  • Buyer’s assurance (extended warranty)
  • Purchase protection

Members can also access Toronto Pearson International Airport benefits, including the expedited security lane, complimentary valet service, and discounted parking rates.

CIBC Aeroplan® Cards

CIBC is switching things up with new card names and details and will no longer offer the CIBC Aero Classic® Visa* Card or CIBC Aerogold® Visa Card.

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card

The CIBC Aerogold® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card will become the CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card.

Previous card details

New card details

Annual fee: $399
Supplementary cardholder annual fee: $99

Annual fee: $599
Supplementary cardholder annual fee: $149

Earn rate:

  • 1.5 miles per $1 spent on gas, grocery, drugstore and aircanada.com purchases
  • 1.25 miles per $1 spent everywhere else you shop  

Earn rate:

  • 2 points per $1 spent on Air Canada purchases
  • 1.5 points per $1 spent on gas, grocery, drugstore, travel and dining purchases
  • 1.25 points per $1 spent everywhere else you shop

Cardholders will now be able to earn rewards in two additional categories, including travel and dining. Plus, users can take advantage of black tier benefits at the airport, a NEXUS application fee rebate every four years, and the new mobile device insurance.

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

The CIBC Aerogold® Visa Infinite* Card will become the CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card.

Previous card details

New card details

Annual fee: $120
Supplementary cardholder annual fee: $50

Annual fee: $139
Supplementary cardholder annual fee: $50

Earn rate:

  • 1.5 miles per $1 spent on gas, grocery, drugstore and aircanada.com purchases
  • 1 mile per $1 spent everywhere else you shop  

Earn rate:

  • 1.5 points per $1 spent on gas, grocery and Air Canada purchases
  • 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else you shop

Although cardholders will see a slight increase in the annual fee, they will soon be able to share some benefits with secondary cardholders and access mobile device insurance and enhanced trip cancellation insurance.

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa* Card

The CIBC Aero PlatinumTM Visa* Card will become the CIBC Aeroplan® Visa* Card.

Previous card details

New card details

Annual fee: $39
Supplementary cardholder annual fee: $0

Annual fee: $0
Supplementary cardholder annual fee: $0

Earn rate:

  • 1 mile per $1.50 spent on the card

Earn rate:

  • 1 point per $1 spent on gas, groceries and Air Canada purchases
  • 1 point per $1.50 spent everywhere else

Cardholders will notice the annual fee has dropped to $0, which means existing cardholders will get an annual fee rebate if charged between August 24 and November 7.

Also, instead of a general earn rate of one mile per $1.50 spent, cardholders will earn points in select categories, including gas, groceries, and Air Canada purchases. It is unclear if cardholders will earn a lower rate on purchases made outside of these categories.

CIBC Aeroplan® Visa* Card for Students

The CIBC Aero PlatinumTM Visa* Card for Students will become the CIBC Aeroplan® Visa* Card for Students.

Previous card details

New card details

Annual fee: $39
Supplementary cardholder annual fee: $0

Annual fee: $0
Supplementary cardholder annual fee: $0

Earn rate:

  • 1 mile per $1.50 spent on the card

 

Earn rate:

  • 1 point per $1 spent on gas, groceries and Air Canada purchases
  • 1 point per $1.50 spent everywhere else

Cardholders will no longer have to pay the $39 annual fee and will get an annual fee rebate if charged between August 24 and November 7.

Cardholders will earn points in select categories, including gas, groceries, and Air Canada purchases instead of a general earn rate of one mile per $1.50 spent like before. It is unclear if cardholders will earn a lower rate on all other everyday purchases.

Rates, product information, and rewards estimates are subject to change at any time and do not constitute financial advice. Information in this article is accurate as of the date of this posting, October 28, 2020.

Hayley Vesh

Hayley Vesh is a creative, resourceful, and knowledgeable content producer who is passionate about financial literacy, storytelling, and generating ideas. She writes about credit cards, savings, debt management, and personal finance. In her spare time, Hayley can be found wandering in the woods, hunting for second-hand treasures, or curled up with a steeped tea and a good podcast.

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