Not Just for Air Canada Flyers

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In late 2020, Chase announced a new partnership with Air Canada Aeroplan entailing two major benefits:

Aeroplan officially became a Chase transfer partner in August 2021 — so our anticipation has since been centralized on this upcoming airline credit card.

The new Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card is finally available to new applicants — and it’s significantly better than we had imagined. For example:

  • You’ll earn two Welcome Flight Reward Certificates worth up to 100,000 points and Aeroplan 25K Elite status
  • Its earning rates are strong for popular categories such as dining and grocery stores
  • You can earn elite status purely through credit card spending
  • You and up to eight companions will receive a free checked bag on Air Canada flights
  • You’ll get up to $100 reimbursement for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS every four years
  • You can even use your points through Chase Pay Yourself Back

That’s not bad for a card with a $95 annual fee.

If you don’t fly Air Canada, this card may sound like a nonstarter for your travel strategy. But it’s actually been crafted for anyone who enjoys travel. You can use Aeroplan points for flights on 45+ different airlines — and its loyalty program is one of the best in the industry, with lots of fun sweet spots and tricks to get big value from your rewards. And the many incentives to spend on the Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card means it’s not a sock drawer card.

Here’s what you need to know.

Chase Aeroplan credit card details

Featured Reward

two Welcome Flight Reward Certificates worth up to 100,000 points and Aeroplan 25K Elite status

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Generous welcome bonus worth up to 100,000 points which you can use for Air Canada and Star Alliance partner award flights
    • Free first checked bag on Air Canada flights for cardholder and up to eight companions
    • Automatic Aeroplan 25K Elite Status for the remainder of the first calendar year, plus the following calendar year (priority check-in, early boarding, upgrades on Air Canada flights)
    • Redeem points toward any travel purchase at 1.25 cents each through Pay Yourself Back
    Cons
    • After the first two calendar years, you’ll need to requalify for 25K elite status by spending $15,000 in a calendar year
    • Card doesn’t offer airport lounge access or passes
    • 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)

    Welcome bonus

    The Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card offers a welcome bonus of two Welcome Flight Reward Certificates worth up to 100,000 points and Aeroplan 25K Elite status.

    These two Welcome Flight Reward Certificates are worth up to 50,000 points each. That means:

    • If you use a certificate for flights that cost less than 50,000 points, you’ll forfeit the remaining value. For example, if you book a domestic coach flight for 12,500 miles, you’ll miss out on 37,500 points.
    • If you use a certificate for flights that cost more than 50,000 points, you’ll have to pay the difference with Aeroplan points. For example, if you book an international business class flight to Europe for 55,000 points, you’ll need to redeem an additional 5,000 Aeroplan points to book the ticket.
    • You can only use one certificate per booking. You can’t book a trip costing 100,000 points by combining certificates. However, you can skirt this rule by booking two one-way flights instead of a round-trip.

    Insider estimates Aeroplan points value to be 1.5 cents on average, meaning each of these certificates is worth around $750 in flights — though they can be worth much more depending on how you redeem them. Read our guide to maximizing Air Canada Aeroplan miles to see how powerful they can be.

    These certificates won’t expire as long as the card is open, so there’s no rush to use them if you have no travel plans. You can even use them to book travel for someone else.

    Waitlist bonus

    Anyone who signed up for this card’s waitlist by November 8, 2021, is eligible for an additional 10,000 Aeroplan points (worth about $150), as well as 10 eUpgrade credits.

    You can redeem eUpgrade credits for upgrades to a more premium cabin, whether you booked your flight with cash or with points.

    Read more: Guide to the best airline credit cards

    Earning rates

    The Chase Aeroplan Card earns rewards at the following rates:

    • 3 points per dollar on dining, takeout, and eligible delivery services
    • 3 points per dollar at grocery stores (not including Walmart, Target, warehouse clubs)
    • 3 points per dollar with Air Canada
    • 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases

    You’ll even get a bonus of 500 points for every $2,000 you spend in a calendar month, up to a maximum of 1,500 points per calendar month. That’s potentially 18,000 bonus points per year.

    Redemption options

    Air Canada and partner flights

    Air Canada has the most partners of any airline program at a whopping 45. This includes 26 Star Alliance partners and other partners like Etihad, GOL Airlines, and Oman Air (coming soon).

    Cardholders get preferred pricing on flight rewards. You can often book flight rewards for even fewer points as the primary cardholder. Air Canada also will not restrict award availability. If there’s a seat for purchase, it can also be reserved with points.

    Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize Air Canada Aeroplan points

    Pay Yourself Back

    Chase Pay Yourself Back has become one of the most popular ways to redeem credit card rewards. It allows you to use points to erase select purchases from the past 90 days at a rate significantly higher than had you simply cashed your points out for a statement credit.

    Until now, this benefit has only been offered on Chase Ultimate Rewards earning cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®. But beginning in early 2022, Aeroplan cardmembers can use their Aeroplan points to offset any eligible travel purchases at a rate of 1.25 cents each, up to a maximum of 50,000 points per year (up to $625 in value). Qualifying purchases include:

    • Airfare (with any airline)
    • Hotels
    • Car rentals
    • Cruises
    • Travel agencies
    • Discount travel sites
    • Campgrounds
    • Trains
    • Buses
    • Taxis/limousines
    • Ferries
    • Toll bridges/highways
    • Parking lots/garages

    In other words, the Chase Aeroplan Card benefits anyone who travels — not just Air Canada loyalists.

    Read more: It’s time for Chase to make its much-loved Pay Yourself Back feature permanent

    Elite status and Air Canada benefits

    Automatic Aeroplan 25K elite status

    Aeroplan publishes five elite status tiers:

    Part of the Chase Aeroplan Card sign-up bonus is automatic 25K elite status valid for the remainder of the calendar year, as well as the following calendar year. If you apply in December 2021, though, your 25K status will be valied through December 31, 2023.

    Elite 25K status comes with benefits like:

    • Priority check-in/boarding
    • 2 one-time Maple Leaf Lounge passes
    • Priority seat selection
    • 50% discount on preferred seats
    • eUpgrade credits

    You can requalify for 25K elite status each calendar year in which you spend $15,000 or more. And if you already have Aeroplan elite status, you’ll receive a one-level status boost for the next year after you spend $50,000 in a calendar year.

    If you’re a big spender, you’ll benefit from a spending bonus of $100,000 in a calendar year. Air Canada says this will provide “unprecedented Aeroplan redemption benefits,” which will include 50% off Priority Rewards and companion benefits.

    If you manage to spend $1 million in a calendar year, you’ll receive a GLOBAL+1 benefit (valid for the year you earn it plus the following calendar year). This gives you an unlimited-use companion pass that refunds you 100% of the points you use to bring a travel buddy along your travels. It’s valid for travel anywhere on earth, for any cabin.

    Read more: Airline credit cards from Delta, Southwest, and more can help you earn elite status — in some cases, you can qualify without setting foot on a plane

    Free first checked bag on Air Canada flights

    With the Chase Aeroplan Card, you and up to eight travel companions on the same itinerary will receive one free checked bag.

    Air Canada charges $30 CAD for the first checked bag, meaning if you travel on the airline even a couple times per year, this benefit alone could offset the card’s annual fee. And if you do in fact travel with eight companions, you could save up to $540 CAD per round-trip.

    Read more: Airline checked bag fees can eat into your travel budget — here’s how to avoid them with the right credit cards

    Travel and purchase benefits

    Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS application fee credit

    Trusted Traveler Programs are one of the biggest ways you can improve your travel experience. Here are three wildly popular programs for US travelers:

    • TSA PreCheck — You can keep your shoes, belt, and light jacket on when you pass through TSA airport security checkpoints. You also can leave your laptop and approved toiletries in your carry-on bag.
    • Global Entry — You can skip the winding immigration line when returning to the US from abroad. Global Entry also comes with TSA PreCheck.
    • NEXUS — You’ll get expedited processing between the US and Canada, whether you’re entering by land, air, or sea. NEXUS comes with Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. 

    Many travel credit cards offer a statement credit worth up to $100 to offset application fees for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85). The Chase Aeroplan Card does that, too — but it also activates for NEXUS applications ($50).

    This NEXUS credit is completely unique among US credit cards. And though it charges the lowest application fee, it’s actually the best program because it grants you membership to all three programs.

    The Chase Aeroplan Card provides this statement credit worth up to $100 every four years.

    Read more: The best credit cards with Global Entry and TSA PreCheck credits

    Travel insurance

    The Chase Aeroplan Card also comes with a range of travel protections, including:

    Read more: The best travel credit cards with trip delay insurance can get you up to $500 in reimbursement when your flight is delayed

    World Elite Mastercard benefits

    The Chase Aeroplan Card is a World Elite Mastercard, which comes with its own built-in benefits such as:

    • Complimentary 24/7 concierge service
    • Access to Mastercard Priceless® Experiences
    • Exclusive offers from popular brands for services like ride-sharing, food delivery, and online shopping

    No foreign transaction fees

    Some cards charge a fee (often 3%) for spending abroad. You may even be charged a fee for making an international purchase online while you’re still in the US.

    The Chase Aeroplan Card does not charge this fee. 

    Read more: Guide to the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

    Carbon offsets

    For primary cardholders of the Chase Aeroplan Card and all travel companions on the same reservation, Air Canada will purchase carbon offsets for any flight segments on Air Canada, Air Canada Express, and Air Canada Rouge.

    Bottom line

    Air Canada Aeroplan is one of the most dynamic airline loyalty programs, and a strong tool to help you achieve your bucket-list travels.

    Yes, you can transfer points to Aeroplan from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express
    , and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card — but you can now earn points directly with the new Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card.

    You’ll earn two Welcome Flight Reward Certificates worth up to 100,000 points and Aeroplan 25K Elite status. You’ll earn bonus points on everyday spending. You can even use those points to offset just about any travel purchase — even if it’s completely unrelated to Air Canada.

    With a $95 annual fee, this may be the new best co-branded airline credit card.

    Featured credit cards from our partners

    Featured Reward

    60,000 points

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    3 free nights (each valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases and 10x total points on eligible purchases in select categories

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    $200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

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