As most of you know, I have been a fan of collecting Aeroplan points for my ultimate goal of travel hacking with Canadian credit cards.  So far I am just under 100,000 Aeroplan points but still need to wait for these points to be credited to my account.  So when I posted my plan for travel hacking, I had some serious consideration of the Aeroplanplus American Express Gold Card because I was planning to get 20,000 Aeroplan points from it.  They are recently holding a promotion (thanks to Chris Myden of YVR Deals and also to a dedicated Youngandthrifty.ca reader) where you can earn 30,000 Aeroplan points instead of 20,000 points.

Twist my rubber arm, 30,000 extra points and a possibility to have sort of a pyramid scheme of referral points for 10,000 points?

Hell yeah.

Here is my review of the card so far:

Pros:

  • American Express Gold AeroplanPlus Card ReviewThe first year is free (A $120 value)
  • 25,000 to 30,000 Aeroplan points (depending on where you sign up) when you spend $500 in the first three months of having the card
  • You get 1 Aeroplan points for every $1 spent on your first $10,000
  • You get 1.25 Aeroplan points for every $1 spent after you spend $10,000 (So I guess they reward the big spenders of course)
  • You get two free supplementary cards (worth $50 each) so you can speed up your spending faster (good for a household or if you live with your partner)
  • American Express is accepted at Costco!
  • The pyramid scheme deal where you get 10,000 points for every referral you make is pretty snazzy though I’m not sure how quickly they credit your Aeroplan account once someone signs up.  I have sent the referral email to some friends but I don’t think they have signed up haha.
  • Lower income threshold amount than other cards, you only need to have a personal income of more than $20,000 to be eligible for this card
  • $500 flight delay and $500 baggage delay insurance (you have to charge your flight to the card)
  • $500 lost or stolen baggage insurance (you have to charge your flight to the card)
  • $500,000 Accidental death insurance if something terrible happens to you while you are on vacation
  • You get unrestricted access to any available seat on Market Fare flights, but only for Air Canada flights (this is offered with Aeroplan Distinction but I believe if you reach distinction- earning 25,000 Aeroplan points in one year- you will get access to flights on all of Star Alliance I believe)

Cons:

  • The Aeroplan points take a while to get credited to you like weeks to months (the massive initial 25,000 to 30,000 points that is)- the regular points get credited to your account quite quickly
  • It’s not very pretty to look at
  • It’s an American Express (e.g. no one accepts it!)
  • It costs $120 annually after the first year
  • You need to get the referral to get 30,000 Aeroplan points, otherwise if you just sign up through the American Express Canada website, you only get 25,000 Aeroplan points
  • It is a charge card, so if you don’t pay your card properly and on time you will get charged to high heaven in interest (50% more interest than the regular 19.99% interest)

My Take:

I have had my fair share of American Express cards this one is comparable to the other American Express Gold Rewards card I had (though not linked to Aeroplan for that one).  I will likely (90%) cancel this card once I almost hit the one year mark just because it gets tiring asking merchants if they accept American Express.  I would probably stick to a no fee American Express card just in case I ever get that Costco membership again.

Related: Is a Costco Membership Worth It?

 

The CIBC Aeroplan Infinite Visa is accepted in more places and it gave me a free Air Canada voucher for the fancy lounge (though I have yet to use it).  If I were to pay for a credit card with an annual fee attached to it, it would likely be an Inifinite card instead of an American Express.

If you want more information about the referral bonus you can check out this Flyertalk forum posting (Flyertalk is where travel hackers hang out online) about the extra 30,000 Aeroplan points.

Readers, do you have the American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Card? What do you think?

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