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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

American Express reveals the details for their new suite of Aeroplan cards

Air Canada's Aeroplan is somewhat unique in that they have three credit card partners offering co-brand payment cards for their program and when the new program was revealed earlier this month we two of the three issuers, TD and CIBC gave us the details of their new card offerings right away while American Express chose to wait until today. We now have all the details of American Express' new Aeroplan co-brand cards and are pleased to pass them along to you. 

For some background here are our past articles on the new Aeroplan program:

Now, back to the new American Express Aeroplan cards. Unlike the other two issuers American Express  will only be offering two personal card options versus three along with one small business card option. Amex will also be offering a corporate card for larger organizations of which the details haven't been fully revealed yet. These new cards will open up for new applications on November 8th while the current suite of AeroplanPlus cards are no longer available for new applications as of today. Existing cardholders will continue to be able to use their cards and will be able to transition to the new cards in November.

American Express has taken a new approach to generate some early buzz on the new cards and that is by creating a waitlist option that will give extra points over and above whatever the new welcome bonus offer will be on the cards. The Waitlist Offer is simple, you provide your email address and then you will be sent a special code once the cards are available.  The offer you'll receive will be as follows (remember this is over and above whatever the new welcome bonus will be)

The Waitlist Offer is valid for eligible applications received by American Express by December 31, 2020 through the link and RSVP code provided in the waitlist email.
  • To qualify for 10,000 Waitlist Bonus Aeroplan points, prospect must apply and be approved for the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card or the American Express® Aeroplan®* Business Reserve Card
  • To qualify for the 5,000 Waitlist Bonus Aeroplan points, prospect must apply and be approved for the American Express® Aeroplan®* Card 

Amex's Email sign up page
 

On top of this, if you do currently hold an AeroplanPlus Platinum or Reserve Card American Express and get yourself the new Reserve Card they have an exclusive offer for you in the first year of 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan points for every $1,000 in purchases, up to 10,000 points,2X the points on eligible grocery purchases, up to $5,000 and a $100 credit towards the annual fee for the Card.

Now to the details of the new suite of American Express Aeroplan cards:


 The NEW American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card, made from precision-cut and engraved 13 g metal, will offer:

  • 3X the points on eligible Air Canada® and Air Canada Vacations® purchases
  • 2X the points on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada
  • 1X the points on everything else
  • In addition to the above-mentioned accelerators, for the first year, existing American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum and Reserve Cardmembers will receive an exclusive offer as a thank you for their continued Cardmembership:
    • 1,000 Bonus Aeroplan points for every $1,000 in purchases, up to 10,000 points
    • 2X the points on eligible grocery purchases, up to $5,000
    • $100 credit towards the annual fee for the Card
  • Air Canada Travel Benefits: including Free First Checked Bag, Maple Leaf LoungeTM* Access and Air Canada Café access within North America, Annual Worldwide Companion Pass, Priority Airport Services, Status Qualification Boost and Preferred Pricing on flight rewards
  • Air Canada Elite Member Benefits: including Rollover Status Qualifying Miles, Rollover eUpgrade Credits and Priority Airport Upgrades
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport Benefits: an elevated airport experience with a range of benefits
  • Access to American Express Entertainment & Experiences: Access to presale and reserved tickets through Front of the Line®, insider access to events through Amex® Experiences, and tailored perks and discounts through Amex Offers*
  • Insurance Benefits: An array of insurances that can provide coverage on eligible travel or shopping close to home
  • $599 Annual fee and two options for additional cards $199 annual fee card with full benefits or $0 annual fee card to earn points only

The NEW American Express® Aeroplan®* Business Reserve Card, also made from precision-cut and engraved 13 g metal will offer business Cardmembers access to:

  • 3X the points on eligible Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations purchases
  • 2X the points on eligible hotel and car rentals
  • 1X the points on everything else
  • Air Canada Travel Benefits: including eligible Free First Checked Bag, Maple Leaf Lounge Access and Air Canada Café access within North America, Annual Worldwide Companion Pass, Priority Airport Services, Status Qualification Boost and Preferred Pricing on flight rewards
  • Air Canada Elite Member Benefits: including Rollover Status Qualifying Miles, Rollover eUpgrade Credits and Priority Airport Upgrades
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport Benefits: an elevated airport experience with a range of benefits
  • Access to American Express Entertainment & Experiences: Access to presale and reserved tickets through Front of the Line®, insider access to events through Amex® Experiences, and tailored perks and discounts through Amex Offers
  • Insurance Benefits: An array of insurance coverages to provide protection on business spending, business travel and employee misuse
  • $599 Annual fee and two options for additional cards $199 annual fee card with full benefits or $0 annual fee card to earn points only

 The NEW American Express® Aeroplan®* Card, created using 70% reclaimed plastic as part of American Express' commitment to sustainability, will offer: 

  • 2X the points on eligible Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations purchases
  • 1.5X the points on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada
  • 1X the points on everything else
  • Air Canada Travel Benefits: including Free First Checked Bag, Status Qualification Boost and Preferred Pricing on flight rewards
  • Access to American Express Entertainment & Experiences: presale and reserved tickets through Front of the Line, insider access to events through Amex Experiences, and tailored perks and discounts through Amex Offers
  • A suite of travel related insurance coverages: including Flight and Baggage Delay Insurance and Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance so Cardmembers have more confidence knowing you can be covered on eligible travels abroad
  • $120 annual fee on the primary card and two options for additional cards $50 annual fee card with full benefits or $0 annual fee card to earn points only

For the most part you can see that the base Aeroplan Card and the Aeroplan Reserve card are very similar to their counterparts from TD and CIBC. Some key differences are:

  • Lower primary card annual fee for the base Aeroplan card from American Express of $120 versus $139 fee as well as the no fee additional card options. 
  • Higher earn rates for Air Canada purchases for the American Express card options.
  • Additional earning accelerator on the Amex cards are for dining and food delivery only whereas TD and CIBC are Gas and Grocery on their mainstay cards and Gas, Grocery, Travel and Dining on their premium cards
  • To me this shows Air Canada is almost pushing the more frequent Air Canada traveller to the Amex cards while having the TD and CIBC cards geared more to the frequent spender based on the accelerators. Don't get me wrong, overall all the cards are more focused towards driving more traffic to Air Canada but the Amex Aeroplan Reserve now has the highest earn rate for Air Canada purchases out of any card in Canada and the base Aeroplan card at 2 points per dollar is matches cards like the Platinum Card from American Express and the American Express Gold Rewards card. Ideally those frequent Air Canada travellers will be carrying multiple Aeroplan cards, one from Amex and one from TD or CIBC.
  • It also appears that the Amex cards will not have the Nexus credit nor mobile device insurance as seen on the TD and CIBC cards. 
  • The American Express Aeroplan card is a charge card - that is the balance you owe on the card must be paid in full every month while the Reserve is a credit card and you can hold a balance (while paying interest of course)

 Now we just have to wait to see what the welcome offers will be on these and the TD and CIBC cards when they come out on November 8. With so much similarity between the cards from the trio of issuers it will come down to the welcome bonus for many of you. Will any of them offer first year free on their mainstay or base cards? Will there be some elite qualifying bonuses? These are all questions that we don't have the answers to just yet but there have been hints from Aeroplan that something awesome will be in store. Only time will tell if that will be the case!

Learn more about the new American Express Aeroplan cards here.

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