|American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card: At a Glance|
|Sign-up bonus points: 15,000 Aeroplan Miles||Qualifying annual income: None|
|Annual fee: $120||Recommended credit score: Unknown|
|Purchase interest rate: 30.00%||Rewards: Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every $1 in purchases up to $10,000; 1.25:$1 after that |
With no minimum qualifying income, the American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card is an accessible travel and rewards credit card tied into the Aeroplan Miles rewards program. It looks good on paper – but is it worth signing up for this credit card? We take a look at whether it’s one of the best rewards credit cards in Canada.
American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card Rewards
With the American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card, cardholders earn 1 Aeroplan Mile per $1 in card purchases up to $10,000, and 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every additional $1 in card purchases over $10,000 annually. You also get two free supplementary cards (a $100 value), which can help accelerate earning opportunities, and Aeroplan Miles double when you pay with the credit card and flash your Aeroplan number at over 150 Aeroplan Partner brands.
- 15,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $1,500 in the first three months of card membership
- 1:$1 on the first $10,000 you spend annually
- 1.25:$1 after you spend over $10,000 annually
- Earn Aeroplan Miles twice when you pay with your American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card and provide your Aeroplan Number at over 150 Aeroplan Partner brands
Aeroplan Miles redemption is not as simple as with some other loyalty programs. For flight rewards, you first have to navigate two redemption tiers: Fixed Mileage and Market Fare. The amount of Miles you need to cash in depends on which type of fare you want, and the whole thing is variable based on the season and other options. Flights can be booked online or by telephone. Other rewards, like activities and merchandise, can be redeemed with your Miles online.
Other Perks of the American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card
The American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card comes with the following perks:
- Travel coverage including $500,000 travel accident insurance, flight delay, baggage delay, lost or stolen baggage, hotel/motel burglary, and car rental theft or damage insurance.
- Two free supplementary cards (a $100 value)
- Front Of The Line® advance access, which gives cardholders the opportunity for advance ticket selection, reserved tickets, and special offers
- Buyer’s Assurance Protection, which doubles the manufacturer’s warranty up to a year when you charge the full purchase price to your American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card
- Purchase Protection, which insures eligible purchases against accidental physical damage and theft when you use your American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card.
Pros and Cons of American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card
On the plus side, with no minimum annual income, this card is not restrictive. It comes with 15,000 Miles as a sign-up bonus (after you spend $1,500 in the first three months), and two free supplementary cards that will help you accumulate faster. Miles are redeemable for flight rewards, but also car rentals, hotel stays, and vacation packages. There’s a catalogue of activities and merchandise as well.
There are a few cons to consider. Other cards, such as the closely-related American Express® Gold Rewards Card, out-earn what’s offered here. The annual fee is also steep, the introductory bonus is average (the AMEX Gold Rewards Credit Card offers 25,000 Aeroplan Miles to this credit card’s 15,000), and if the credit card’s balance is not paid in full each month, the interest is a whopping 30%.
The Aeroplan Miles Rewards Program: How It Works
The Aeroplan Miles program is a rewards system with a focus on travel with Air Canada. Miles can also be redeemed for vacation packages, rental cars, and hotel stays, as well as activities and entertainment and some retail merchandise.
Air Canada and its partner airlines operate in over 190 countries worldwide. With Aeroplan Miles, you can travel in different classes—economy to first-class—or with Market Fare Flight rewards you have unrestricted access to any available seat. Round-trip flights start at 15,000 Miles and cost up to 280,000 Miles; one-way trips cost half of that. With the “Around the World” flight option, you have a maximum of five stopovers and one crossing for both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
In addition to other travel-related purchases like hotels, vacations, or car rentals, Aeroplan Miles can also be spent on merchandise through the Aeroplan store.
One important caveat to note: the Aeroplan program is being completely overhauled and relaunched in 2020. Right now, we don't know how that will affect the rewards system, so it's food for thought if you're looking to apply for a credit card that's geared at racking up Aeroplan Miles.
The Verdict: Is the American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card Worth It?
The American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card is geared towards frequent travellers, those who are planning to charge major purchases, and those who shop at stores/websites that offer Aeroplan rewards. With a $120 annual fee and 30% interest charge, the American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card may not be the most competitive card on the market, but it doesn't necessarily make it a bad choice. For instance, if you're seeking a card with no minimum income requirement, the American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card may fit the bill. Before taking the plunge, consider your circumstances, do a little research, and weigh the pros and cons.
Read more: The Best Aeroplan Credit Cards in Canada