Is the American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Credit Card really one of the best rewards credit cards in Canada?
|American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Credit 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; after that, earn 1.25 miles for every additional $1 in Card purchases|
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.
- 1 The Aeroplan Miles Rewards Program: How It Works
- 2 American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Card Review: The Rewards
- 3 Other Perks of the American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Card
- 4 Pros and Cons of American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Card
- 5 The Verdict: Is the American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Card Worth It?
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.
American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Card Review: The Rewards
With the American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Credit Card, cardholders earn on a Miles to dollars ratio of 1:$1 up to $10,000; annual spends over that amount earn at a rate of 1.25:$1. This card offers two supplementary cards at no charge, which can help accelerate earning opportunities, and Miles double when you pay with the card and also give your Aeroplan number.
- 15,000 bonus Miles when you spend $1,500 in the first three months of membership
- 1:$1 on the first $10,000 you spend annually
- 25:$1 after you spend $10,000
- Double your Miles when you pay with the credit card and offer your Aeroplan number
- Earn even more Miles when shopping at partner stores like Indigo, Costco, and the Apple Store.
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 booked online or by telephone.
Other rewards, like activities and merchandise, can be purchased with your Miles online. While there is a broad catalogue to choose from, the store itself feels a little dated. There aren’t the deep descriptions, images, and reviews that are standard now on most eCommerce sites, and the result is a lack of confidence in the product offerings.
Other Perks of the American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Card
The American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Credit 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)
- American Express Invites™ and Front Of The Line® access which give 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, and Purchase Protection, which insures eligible purchases against damage and theft
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.
The cons, however, far outweigh the pros for this credit card and loyalty program. Other cards, such as the closely-related American Express Gold Rewards Credit Card, far out-earn what’s offered here. The annual fee is steep, the introductory bonus is average at best (the AMEX Gold Rewards Credit Card offers 25,000 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 Verdict: Is the American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Card Worth It?
The AMEX AeroplanPlus Gold Card is geared towards frequent travellers, those who are planning to charge major purchases, and those who shop at stores/websites that accept American Express. For everyone else, there are far better options for those wanting to earn Aeroplan Miles. Plus, this Aeroplan rewards credit card, along with others in this category, will be affected when the Aeroplan program changes in 2020.
Our advice? With its $120 annual fee and 30% interest charge, the AMEX AeroplanPlus Gold Credit Card may not be the right credit card for you. Instead, you may want to check out these other best travel rewards credit cards in Canada. You can do better!