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American Express Canada Unveils More Details on New Aeroplan Cards

We have had plenty of hints on new changes to the Aeroplan co-branded cards. Today, American Express (AMEX) has released more details on the new co-branded Aeroplan cards it will be offering from November 8, 2020 onward.

The most notable enhancement is the 3x the Aeroplan points on Air Canada purchases. Furthermore, AMEX released its new designs too:

American Express Canada-American Express Aeroplan

Also note that prior to the November 8, 2020 launch, people interested in these new cards can join a wait list to hear about the new products and when they will be available as well as receive up to 10,000 additional bonus Aeroplan points once approved. That’s in addition to any welcome bonus available at launch. So watch for that wait list!

Now the fun stuff. Below are some of the highlights of their cards, along with my commentary below.

American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card

  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations purchases
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on dining and food delivery in Canada
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive exclusive first year offers for existing American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum and Reserve Cardmembers:
    • Earn 2 points per dollar on grocery purchases (up to $5,000 in spending)
    • Receive $100 credit towards the annual fee
    • Receive 1,000 bonus Aeroplan points for every $1,000 in purchases (up to 10,000 bonus points maximum)
  • Receive Air Canada Travel Benefits (e.g. free first checked bag, Maple Leaf lounge access, Air Canada Café access within North America, annual worldwide Companion Pass, priority airport services, status qualification boost and Preferred Pricing on flight rewards)
  • Receive Air Canada Elite Member Benefits (e.g rollover status Qualifying Miles, Rollover eUpgrade credits and priority airport upgrades)

Commentary

As mentioned in my introduction, the most notable addition is the 3x the points on Air Canada purchases. We have never seen such a high multiplier bonus in Canada with Air Canada. So that’s a nice bump upwards.

The 2 points per dollar spent on dining, food delivery and groceries cannot be overlooked either (except for the $5,000 limit on groceries which is not great), as that is a nice bump from the previous 1.25 point per dollar. However, that means there is a decrease from 1.25 to 1 point on all other purchases. This could be a good trade off for some.

The transition offers (from existing co-branded AeroplanPlus Platinum and Reserve cardholders) are a gesture of appreciation. Part of me feels like a disguise to avoid people from churning the cards instead. But with American Express clamping down on churners, I would recommend existing cardholders retain their cards and take full advantage of the transition bonuses.

The Air Canada travel and elite benefits are enhanced. It’s just hard to put a value on it at the moment due to travel restrictions. But they are nice to see!

American Express® Aeroplan®* Business Reserve Card

  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations purchases
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on hotel and car rentals
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive Air Canada Travel Benefits (e.g. free first checked bag, Maple Leaf lounge access, Air Canada Café access within North America, annual worldwide Companion Pass, priority airport services, status qualification boost and Preferred Pricing on flight rewards)
  • Receive Air Canada Elite Member Benefits (e.g rollover status Qualifying Miles, Rollover eUpgrade credits and priority airport upgrades)

Commentary

Most of my comments on this card are the same as the card mentioned above as they have very similar benefits, minus any transition offers.

The bigger difference is the 2 points per $1 multiplier bonus, whereby this card puts much more emphasis on travel rather than dining and food services.

Depending on the annual fee, it would could have been nice to also include 2x the points on all airline purchases too. But if they keep the annual fee lower, it would be fine to leave it be as they want more emphasis on Air Canada flights, which is totally understandable.

American Express® Aeroplan®* Card

  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations purchases
  • Earn 1.5 point per $1 spent on dining and food delivery in Canada
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive Air Canada Travel Benefits (free first checked bag, status qualification boost and Preferred Pricing on flight rewards)

Commentary

Depending on the annual fee, the 1.5 point per dollar on dining and food delivery is attractive.

However, it would have been nice to see more every day spending multiplier bonuses.

That being said, if the card stays as is, I am hoping that this will be a no annual fee card, which might be too much to ask. Perhaps a first year fee waived offer?

Conclusion

On a side note, I am glad to see Aeroplan and Air Canada being more fully integrated. Having two separate programs, Aeroplan for miles and Air Canada Altitude for elite status, never seem right.

I did not go into detail on the American Express Entertainment & Experiences, nor the travel insurance coverage as they are similar to the current offers. I was more concerned with the multiplier bonuses on spending, as well as the travel benefits.

The annual fees will play a big role on the value of each card. For now, assuming that the annual fees are not going to be outrageous, I feel that overall these are positive changes on the 2 Reserve cards. Not so such about the American Express regular card.

What are you thoughts about the new cards? Please let us know in the comment section below!

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