Priced as one of Canada’s mid to upper-range travel reward Cards, the AeroplanPlus Platinum Card comes with some surprising benefits. We’ll take a look at each one of this card’s features, and see if the annual fee of $499 is worth it for you.
We’ll also dive into how you can earn Aeroplan miles faster, how to determine the value of your Aeroplan miles, and what airlines you can use your 40,000 welcome bonus miles towards.
Let’s get started with the basics of what this Card has to offer you…
AeroplanPlus Platinum Card Details
|Welcome Bonus||40,000 Aeroplan miles plus a $150 Air Canada eGift Card.|
|Minimum Spend||$3,000 in the first three months of Cardmembership to earn the 40,000 Aeroplan miles. $6,000 in the first 6 months of Cardmembership to earn the $150 Air Canada eGift Card.|
|Card Type||Travel Rewards Charge Card|
|Annual Fee (Additional Card)||$199 per card (or $50 for an AeroplanPlus Gold Card)|
|APR On Any Unpaid Balance||30%|
|Funds Advance Rate||30%|
|Miles Earned Per $1 Spent On Aeroplan Partner Brands||Earn 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every $1 in Card purchases on the first $25,000 annual spend. Accelerate your earn rate to 1.5 miles for every dollar in purchases over $25,000 annually. Plus earn a minimum of 1 additional mile per dollar spent at Aeroplan partner brands.|
|Miles Earned Per $1 Spent On All Other Purchases||1.25 Aeroplan miles on gas, groceries, dining, and all other purchases on the first $25,000 annual spend. Earn 1.5 miles per $1 spent beyond $25,000.|
|Eligibility||A Canadian resident with a Canadian credit file.|
|Age of majority in the province or territory where you live.|
|Insurance Coverage||Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country)|
|Trip Interruption Insurance and Trip Cancellation Insurance|
|Flight Delay Insurance|
|Baggage Delay Insurance|
|Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance|
|Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance|
|$500,000 Travel Accident Insurance|
|Travel Emergency Assistance|
|Emergency Card Replacement|
|Buyer's Assurance Protection Plan|
|Purchase Protection Plan|
|Entertainment Access||American Express Invites, including Front Of The Line Advance Access|
|American Express World Class Service||24/7 Customer Service|
|Emergency Card Replacement|
|Fraud Protection Guarantee|
|Manage your account online|
|Travel Benefits||Annual Partner Ticket Benefit (worth up to 15,000 Aeroplan miles - enough for a shorthaul flight to a neighbouring province or state.)|
|Unlimited Lounge Access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges.|
|A Standard PriorityPass Annual Membership (a $99 USD value)|
|Air Canada Priority Check-In|
|Access to Toronto Pearson International Airport's Priority Security Lane|
|Free valet service and a 15% discount on parking at Toronto Pearson International Airport|
|Complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Membership|
The welcome bonus of 40,000 Aeroplan miles will give you the majority of the miles you need for you and a travel guest to fly anywhere in the continental United States or Canada. You’ll need a total of 50,000 Aeroplan miles to have enough miles for those two flights, but once you meet the minimum spend requirement of $3,000 in the first 3 months, and $6,000 total in the first 6 months, you’ll be almost there.
Aeroplan Miles Earning Structure
Unlike other travel reward cards that offer spending bonuses for specific categories like travel and dining, the AeroplanPlus Platinum Card offers a base earning rate of 1.25 Aeroplan miles for every $1 spent. Once you’ve spent $25,000 annually on your Card, your earning rate will increase to 1.5 Aeroplan miles earned for every $1 spent.
If you’re savvy with your spending, that can add up really fast.
The earning structure is simple. You’ll earn those points on all types of purchases, not just specific categories – which is a win when you charge everyday purchases like gas and groceries to your Card.
If you’re thinking about signing up for the AeroplanPlus Platinum Card, consider your spending habits, and where American Express is accepted across Canada to see if this Card makes sense for you.
To get the maximum value out of this Card and earn a minimum of 1.5 Aeroplan miles per $1 spent on all purchases, you’ll need to spend an average of just over $2,000 per month. Otherwise, you’ll still earn a very respectable 1.25 miles per $1 spent for the first $25,000 annual spend.
Travel Reward Benefits
Airport Lounge Access Worldwide
Maple Leaf Lounge Locations:
I love airport lounges. A safe place away from the noise and stress of a busy airport terminal, to enjoy free food and booze before the excitement of jet setting off to the next destination. What’s not to love? Did someone say all you can eat buffet and open bar? I’ll be right there.
For me, this is one of the best perks of travelling, and something not only to look forward to as a frill benefit but worth planning my trip around. Once you start travelling with airport lounges, there’s no going back. Food and booze in the airport restaurant are generally expensive because there’s nowhere else to go, so the thought of experiencing an open bar and all you can eat buffet behind those doors is an opportunity not to be missed.
Beyond food and drinks, the Maple Leaf Lounge is a place to unwind in comfortable seating, charge your devices, connect to free WiFi, and in some lounges, even freshen up and take a shower. And for the business traveller, there are business centers with computer workstations and printers for you to take advantage of.
You’ll enjoy unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges around the globe, no matter what class of ticket you book on an Air Canada (or Air Canada partner) flight. As long as you have a same-day boarding pass and your AeroplanPlus Platinum Card, you’re good to go.
If you’d like to bring along your travel guest, you’ll need to pay a guest entry fee, per person, per visit, of $20 before 11 am, and $30 after 11 am. This is where considering an additional card at signup, may come in handy for you.
Check out the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Locations Worldwide:
- London (Heathrow) – Queens Terminal
- Los Angeles
- New York
- New York – Newark
- St. John’s
Standard Priority Pass Membership
If you love lounge access as much as I do, this may be the time to tell you, this Card might not be for you to solely rely on.
Download the Lounge Buddy app, or visit the website and discover what lounges you’ll have access to based on your travel rewards Card, Priority Pass membership and flight details. You may even have access to several lounges within one airport – giving you the opportunity to lounge hop.
Set a reminder for once you’ve got your Card, to register separately and get your Priority Pass membership by phoning American Express Card Services and letting them know to add a Priority Pass membership to your account. Make sure to do this as soon as you’ve applied for, and received your AeroplanPlus Platinum Card. It’s a separate membership so it can take several weeks for your membership card to be mailed to you, and your name to be reflected in the system.
Learn more about the Priority Pass membership levels and their fee structure.
Air Canada Priority Check-in
On Air Canada operated flights, you’ll be able to skip the regular line and access the Air Canada Priority Check-in line, so you can spend less time waiting in line, and more time in the Maple Leaf lounge or Priority Pass partnered airport lounge before your flight.
Luxury Benefits at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
Valet Parking at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
Get the $25 valet fee waived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport terminals 1 and 3, when you show your AeroplanPlus Platinum Card. Keep in mind you’ll still be subject to daily/weekly parking rates, but you can let the valet staff deal with the hassle of parking your car for free.
Fast-Track The Security Line at Pearson Airport
Zoom through the security line so you can spend more time where it really matters – in the Maple Leaf Lounge, eating and drinking to your heart’s content before your flight!
Just by being an AeroplanPlus Platinum Cardmember, you’ll have access to the Pearson Priority Security Lane during peak hours, located at the departure level of Terminal 1 & 3 at the Toronto Pearson International Airport.
See you at the bar!
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In addition to valet parking, you’ll also receive a 15% discount on Car Care detailing services and parking at the Toronto Pearson International Airport Express Park in Terminal 1 and Daily Park in Terminals 1 and 3 just by showing your AeroplanPlus Platinum Card.
Complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Membership
Being a Gold Plus Rewards member with Hertz means you can skip the line-up when you’re picking up or dropping off, and get a better selection of fleet vehicles to choose from. This membership is free to sign up for.
Annual Partner Ticket Benefit
Beyond the welcome bonus of 40,000 Aeroplan miles, the annual partner ticket is the highlight benefit of this Card!
The Annual Partner Ticket will allow you to redeem up to 15,000 Aeroplan miles for a short-haul round trip Fixed Mileage Flight Reward in economy class when you’ve purchased a ticket on the same flight. A short-haul flight will get you to the neighbouring province or state, so it’s a good opportunity to use this benefit if you’re visiting family, a quick weekend getaway or an extended business trip.
How to Earn Aeroplan Miles
You’ll earn 1.25 miles for every $1 spent on everyday purchases for the first $25,000 of annual spend on your Card. That means gas, groceries, restaurants, everywhere American Express is accepted you should be using your Card. The earning structure is simple, nonrestrictive and easy to take advantage of.
After you’ve spent $25,000, your earnings will increase to 1.5 miles per every $1 spent.
And don’t forget to double-dip on the points with Aeroplan partners and through the Aeroplan eStore. You’ll earn Aeroplan miles with partners, as well as the miles you’ll earn just for charging the purchase to your Card. This is where earning miles can add up quickly!
- Earn 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every $1 of Card purchases up to $25,000 annually
- Accelerate your earn rate to 1.5 miles for every dollar in purchases over $25,000 annually
- Earn Aeroplan Miles twice when you use your American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card and provide your Aeroplan Number at over 150 Aeroplan Partner brands
The standout here for me is to use the shopping portal for all Amazon purchases. Not that the earning structure is that impressive compared to the other retailers, but it’s the most practical retailer in the catalogue for charging daily purchases.
Consider putting together a shopping strategy to buy your cleaning, pantry items, and household items you use frequently from Amazon.ca. This will allow you to earn twice the Aeroplan miles on those frequent items you may not otherwise be earning from your local grocery store.
And if you’re considering purchasing a computer, phone, tablet, Xbox, or another device in the near future, going through the Aeroplan eStore is a must! You’ll earn 1 mile per $1 spent at the Apple Store, and 3 miles per $1 spent at the Microsoft Store on top of the miles you’ll earn by charging your purchase to your AeroplanPlus Platinum Card.
Aeroplan also offers frequent promotions within the shopping portal where bonus miles are awarded for certain retailers. You can follow Aeroplan on Twitter to watch for those announcements.
You’ll also earn even more miles with Aeroplan status:
Members with Aeroplan diamond status will receive 3x the miles per $1 spent.
Members with Aeroplan black and Aeroplan silver status will receive 2x per $1 spent.
Using the Aeroplan eStore will allow you to double-dip on points. You’ll earn miles by charging purchases to your AeroplanPlus Platinum Card, as well as earn miles just from clicking through to a retailer’s website using the Aeroplan eStore. With this strategy, you’ll be able to earn plenty of Aeroplan points in no time!
Check out the full list of Aeroplan partners here. A few of my favourites are:
- Amazon.ca: 1 mile per $1 by clicking through the Aeroplan eStore
- The Bay: 3 miles per $1 by clicking through the Aeroplan eStore
- The Microsoft Store: 3 miles per $1 by clicking through the Aeroplan eStore
- Sephora: 2 miles per $1 by clicking through the Aeroplan eStore
Hotels Around The World:
Make sure to give your Aeroplan number next time you stay at most major hotels around the world, so you can redeem Aeroplan miles on top of your hotel loyalty points and travel reward card points. Points can add up really fast on hotel stays, especially if you have climbed the ranks of the loyalty tier.
Check out Aeroplan’s partners and narrow your search by “Hotels”. You can earn Aeroplan miles with most major brand hotels.
Paid Fare Flights
You’ll earn Aeroplan miles on paid-fare flights on Air Canada, and its partner airlines. Remember, you’ll only earn Aeroplan miles on paid flights, so if you’re redeeming miles, you won’t be earning miles on that flight.
But if you’re booking a paid flight, you’ll earn 1.25 to 1.5 miles per $1 spent Aeroplan miles on your AeroplanPlus Platinum Card itself, plus when you enter your Aeroplan number at the time of booking, you’ll earn Aeroplan miles there too.
If you’re collecting Aeroplan miles, now is the time to start thinking differently about how you shop. Familiarize yourself with all of Aeroplan’s partners, and be sure to include your Aeroplan rewards number for every purchase, as well as pay with your AeroplanPlus Platinum Card so you can start earning several times the Aeroplan miles.
How to Redeem Your Aeroplan Miles
Fixed Mileage Flight Rewards
Your best bet for redeeming your Aeroplan miles is to use them for flights. That’s where the most value is.
The easiest way to redeem your Aeroplan miles is by using Fixed Mileage Flight Rewards. You can take a look at the Reward Chart here to see how many Aeroplan miles it will take you to get to your destination.
Market Fare Flight Rewards
If you have some time to invest in searching for some deals, you can also redeem your miles for Aeroplan’s Market Fare Flight Rewards.
You’ll be able to redeem your miles for any available seat on an Air Canada operated flight at market price. That means that if a flight is more desired, you’ll pay more miles. But if a flight isn’t as full, and has maybe a less desirable destination, or an overnight flight with connections, you could find yourself a better deal.
You can decide if it works for you to be flexible in exchange for a better deal using your miles.
Every Airline You Can Redeem Aeroplan Miles For
There are a lot of destinations you can fly using your Aeroplan miles for thanks to airline alliances and partnerships.
Airlines like Air Canada have strategic agreements with other airlines, that allow you to use your travel rewards for them, and vice versa. This opens up a world of possibilities, so don’t think you are just restricted to using Aeroplan miles for only Air Canada flights. Not even close!
Air Canada is a member of the Star Alliance, which means they have a cooperative agreement to work together with other airlines in the same alliance, and they’ll allow you to use your Aeroplan miles to redeem flights on their airlines. Aeroplan also has other partners outside of the Star Alliance that you can redeem Aeroplan miles for, including smaller Canadian operated airlines that fly to Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.
One of my favourite travel planning tools is FlightConnections.com. This online map tool is going to help you easily see what airlines you can fly from what airports. For example, if I wanted to see what airlines I can use my Aeroplan miles on, flying from Vancouver, BC (YVR), I can simply enter “Vancouver” in the “From” field, and select “Star Alliance” from the “Alliance” drop-down menu. This gives me access to all the flight routes for airlines under the Star Alliance.
Isn’t Aeroplan Ending in 2020?
As you may have heard, Air Canada is taking over the Aeroplan loyalty program from Aimia Inc. in June 2020.
So does it still make sense to get this Card?
If you’re planning on travelling before then, I’d say absolutely, yes.
If you don’t have any travel plans before that date, don’t worry, your miles will not disappear. They’re still yours to use, but because the loyalty program is changing, keep in mind that could mean the value of your miles may change too.
Aeroplan has already announced they will continue to have co-branded American Express credit cards moving forward.
Learn more about the future of Aeroplan, and check back for announcements to changes for the loyalty program.
Not only will you be earning valuable Aeroplan miles when you charge purchases to your card, but you’ll also receive world-class insurance coverage. Here are the highlights:
- Emergency Medical Insurance (out of province/country)
- Trip Interruption Insurance and Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Flight Delay Insurance
- Baggage Delay Insurance
- Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
- Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
- $500,000 Travel Accident Insurance
- Travel Emergency Assistance
- Emergency Card Replacement
- Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
- Purchase Protection Plan
How to Get The Value Out of Your Welcome Bonus Miles
The Value Of Your Aeroplan Miles
Note: The below valuation of Aeroplan Miles is solely based on PointsWise’s opinions and research.
The value of an Aeroplan mile can vary based on the redemption. When redeeming for flights (where you’ll get the most value), an Aeroplan mile can be worth 1.2 to 2.5 cents per mile on average, however redemption’s for international first class flights can easily exceed 10 cents per mile.
However, the calculation for how much an Aeroplan mile is worth is subjective because it depends on how you earned those miles, your travel preferences, and what you’re redeeming your miles for.
What do you value an Aeroplan mile at? It may make sense for you to do the simplest calculation which would be to divide the annual fee on this card by the number of welcome bonus points earned. $499 / 40,000 miles = 1.2 cents per mile. But keep in mind you’re receiving and paying for other travel benefits on this card, so there’s more to that total cost.
Redeeming miles for anything less than our base value would be a poor redemption. Fortunately, there are lots of opportunities to redeem your Aeroplan miles for much more than this.
We can comfortably say that our Aeroplan miles have a baseline value of 1.2 to 2.5 cents per mile. Our lifelong mission is now to extract more value out of that.
First, we’ll have to gather the necessary information. We can get the retail price of our flight from Google Flights.
To get the taxes and fees, we can do a fake booking on Aeroplan, and the checkout page will show the taxes and fees required.
And we can look at the reward chart or market fare value on Aeroplan to determine the number of miles necessary.
We can then figure out our CPM (cost per mile) on a retail price ticket by using this formula:
Retail price – taxes and fees / points * 100 = CPM (cost per mile)
It’s important to include the taxes and fees in your calculation since you’ll need to pay these even when redeeming your Aeroplan miles, and they’re an important factor in determining the CPM.
Using this formula will allow you to see if redeeming your miles is a good deal, or if you should hold off for a better redemption and pay cash. This is a good habit to get into if you’re wanting to get the most out of your miles.
So now that we’ve talked about all of the benefits Canadian travellers can receive with this Card, let’s breakdown the cost of these benefits individually and see if we’ll come out on top after paying the $499 annual fee:
|Travel Benefit||Value (CAD)||Notes|
|Welcome Bonus of 40,000 Aeroplan miles||$480.00||Calculated at a baseline value of 1.2 cents per mile.|
|Annual Partner Travel Benefit valued at 15,000 Aeroplan miles||$180.00||Calculated at a baseline value of 1.2 cents per mile.|
|Annual PriorityPass Standard Membership||$129.28||The annual fee is $99 US. 1 USD = 1.30595 CAD. $32 USD per person, per visit still required.|
|Annual Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Access||$354.11||As an AeroplanPlus Platinum Cardmember, you'll have access to 17 Maple Leaf Lounges worldwide.
Our Valuation Logic: Because the "Canada" Maple Leaf Lounge annual membership is offered at $375 with access to 18 lounges, we've divided the annual cost of that membership by the number of lounges you'll have access to ($20.83). $20.83 x 17 lounges = $354.11 (not including taxes). https://www.mapleleafclub.ca/en/service/memberships/
|Valet parking fee waived at Toronto's Pearson International Airport||$25.00||$25 per valet use. Daily/weekly parking rates are in addition to. Value determined for one annual use.|
|Other benefits we couldn't quite put a dollar value on:|
|Air Canada Priority Check-in||-||Skip the long check-in with Air Canada Priority Check-in.|
|Priority security-line during peak times at Toronto's Pearson International Airport||-||Get access to the priority security line during peak times at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.|
|Travel insurance||-||Receive a variety of travel insurance coverage.|
|Front of the Line advance access to presale concert tickets on Ticketmaster||-||Receive first access to the hottest live entertainment tickets with Front of the Line presale access on Ticketmaster|
|Special offers and experiences for all Cardmembers||-||American Express holds a variety of exclusive events throughout the year, and as a Cardmember, you're eligible for an invite. Visit amexinvites.ca to learn more.|
|15% discount on parking at Toronto's Pearson International Airport||-||Receive 15% discount on daily/weekly parking charges at Toronto's Pearson International Airport|
|Complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® Membership||-||Skip the line-up when you’re picking up or dropping off, and get a better selection of fleet vehicles to choose from.|
|Total value in Travel Benefits||$1,168.39|
|Annual Fee on the AeroplanPlus Platinum Card||$499.00|
|Your Savings (Or More!)||$669.39|
Final Thoughts – Is This Card Worth Getting?
We just did the math and can see that the travel benefits far outweigh the annual fee on the AeroplanPlus Platinum Card.
If you’re new to travel rewards programs in Canada, then think of this Card as an investment. The welcome bonus of 40,000 Aeroplan miles itself alone justify the cost of the annual fee, and with little effort, you’ll be able to redeem them for a couple short haul flights, or one long haul flight. With the welcome bonus alone, you’ll almost have enough for that flight to Mexico or Hawaii, and by charging your everyday purchases to your Card, you should be able to cover the remaining 5,000 points needed for that trip in no time (45,000 Aeroplan miles total).
The welcome bonus of 40,000 Aeroplan miles, as well as Maple Leaf Lounge Access are the most notable benefits of this Card.
If you frequently fly Air Canada, are looking to use miles towards flights to the Northwest Territories or Nunavut, or fly Air Canada’s partners in the Star Alliance (there are a lot!), then you should be considering this Card to help fund your travels.
Quick Links To Help Plan Your Next Trip
- Create an Aeroplan account
- Aeroplan Rewards Chart
- Aeroplan Partners
- Aeroplan eStore
- Star Alliance Route Network
- Google Flights
- Apply Now for the AeroplanPlus Platinum Card!
Before you apply for the AeroplanPlus Platinum Card, make sure you’re a Canadian resident, and are comfortable paying off the entire balance each month. Remember, this is a charge card, so you can’t carry a balance, or you’ll be subject to 30% interest charges – which no one needs.
Also, make sure you can meet the minimum spend requirement of $3,000 in the first 3 months of card ownership to receive a welcome bonus of 40,000 Aeroplan miles.