We don’t discuss U.S. based credit cards very often here on Rewards Canada but one card that we have watched a little more closely and discussed here on Rewards Canada is Aeroplan’s new U.S. co-brand card. That card, the Chase Aeroplan® World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card is officially here now and open to applications. So if you are a Canadian playing the U.S. credit card game you’ll definitely want to check this card out as it brings several items to the table you won’t get on Canadian Aeroplan co-brand cards like instant 25K elite status.
The Welcome Bonus
When you are approved for the card you can earn two Flight Reward Certificates valued at up to 50,000 Aeroplan points each, when you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. As Mark Nasr from Air Canada explained at the launch event, think of these certificates as a coupon. You can get a discount on Aeroplan flight rewards of up to 50,000 points with each certificate. Booking a reward flight for 120,000 points? You can use the certificate and 70,000 points to book it. They state up to 50,000 points because if you book a reward flight for 40,000 points and use the certificate you don’t retain the difference. Ideally you’ll only want to use the certs for any redemptions of 50,000 points or more. And there’s no limitations on class of service, airline partners and so on. If you can redeem points for a flight within Aeroplan you can use the certificate.
Earning Aeroplan Points
The new Chase Aeroplan card earns points as follows:
- 3X points for every dollar spent on dining, takeout, and eligible delivery services
- 3X points for every dollar spent at grocery stores
- 3X points for each dollar spent directly with Air Canada
- 1 point for each dollar spent on all other purchases
- Plus, 500 bonus points for every $2,000 spent in a calendar month (up to a maximum of 1,500 points per calendar month)
All new primary cardholders will automatically receive Aeroplan 25K status for the calendar year in which the card account is opened and for the following calendar year. That means if you get the card this month you’ll have status for the rest of 2021 and all of 2022. If you apply for it in 2022 you”ll receive that status for 2022 and all of 2023! So you may want to time your application based on your future travels. After that if you spend $15,000 per year on the card you will maintain 25K status.
For those who may already have Aeroplan status (perhaps from the recent status match offer) Air Canada is offering Elite Status Level Up. You can get a boost to the next level of elite status for the following calendar if you spend $50,000 on the card. That is, if you spend $50,000 on the card in 2022 you” get the next higher elite level in 2023.
We won’t go into details of redeeming with Aeroplan for reward flights – that’s your pretty standard frequent flyer process but the card provides some benefits to that process and some other redemption options:
- Aeroplan Reward Flight preferred pricing: Just like the Canadian Aeroplan co-brand cards when you have the Chase Aeroplan card you’ll receive preferred (discounted) points pricing when you redeem for reward flights. The discount varies by redemption but can be quite significant. On top of this if you have elite status you’ll receive a further discount and since this card provides automatic status well you’ll be receiving both the credit card and the elite status discount on those redemptions.
- Chase Pay Yourself Back: As this is a U.S. based card and Air Canada doesn’t have flights within the U.S. beyond what you can redeem for with United the card will offer Chase Pay Yourself Back starting in 2022. This means cardmembers will be able to apply their Aeroplan points toward travel purchases on any airline, including hotel, car rental, and more at a rate of USD 1.25 cents per point up to 50,000 points per year (US$625 of value)
- 50% off promo rewards: Have the ability to spend a lot on your card? You’ll be rewarded with 50% off priority rewads when you hit $100,000, $250,000, $500,000 and $750,000 on the card annually.
- Unlimited Global+1: Hit the one million mark in spending on the card annually and you’ll get the Unlimited Global+1 benefit. This provides a 100% points rebate for companions on all flight rewards booked for two people. This is available across all cabins and airline partners. Think of this way – redeem for one first class ticket on an Aeroplan partner airline you get the second for free (I’m assuming you do have to pay the taxes and fees though but the good news there is Aeroplan doesn’t charge carrier surcharges anymore)
Travel & Other Benefits
Here are some of the additional benefits this new card provides:
- Free 1st checked bag for the primary cardmember and up to 8 companions on the same Air Canada reservation
- No Foreign Transaction fees
- $100 credit toward Global Entry, TSA Precheck or NEXUS every four years (as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card)
- Protection benefits, including
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
- Baggage Delay Insurance
- Trip Delay Reimbursement
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
- Roadside Assistance
- 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. 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
Overall it’s a pretty decent new card offering for the U.S. market and it has to be to compete with the likes of the big U.S. carrier’s co-brand cards and of course all the proprietary card programs that are in the market. This card will definitely fit the bill for a niche space in the U.S. market and I would say will become a very popular card with those here in Canada who can get or are willing to go through the process of getting U.S. based credit cards