American Express SimplyCash Card: A Review

With a cashback rate of 1.25% on any purchase whatsoever and unlimited earning potential, The SimplyCash Card from American Express is hands down the best no-fee cashback card in the market today. Add in a welcome rate of 2.5% during the first three months of card membership that can earn you an extra $75, a preferential 1.99% interest rate on balance transfers for new Amex cardholders during the first six months, as well as purchase and travel accident insurance, and you’re probably wondering why you hadn’t applied for one before.

Tell your friends, show them why everyone should have an Amex SimplyCash Card in their wallets, and receive a $100 cashback bonus for every approved referral while you’re at it.

There’s so much to gain and absolutely nothing to lose because it’s free. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by

Pay for any purchase and get 1.25 cashback
Get cashback on any purchase with the No-Fee SimplyCash Card from American Express

This SimplyCash review is broken down into the following sections, to make it easier to read:

Pros and Cons of the SimplyCash Card From American Express

To give you a quick take on the most important aspects you’ll love and you won’t about the Amex SimplyCash Card, here’s our list of the pros and cons that come with it:

PROS CONS
• No Annual Fee
• A welcome cashback rate of 2.5% during the first three months
• The best cashback rate of any free cashback card in the market
• The same flat rate for all purchases
• Unlimited earning potential
• A low-interest rate of only 1.99% on balance transfer
• No balance transfer fees
• Referral bonus of $100 for every approved SimplyCash Card
• You only get the cashback you’ve earned once a year
• Cashback is only rewarded through a statement credit, no options for a check or a deposit  

Features and Benefits Of The Amex SimplyCash Card

Welcome Cashback Rate 2.5% up to a maximum of 3 months or $150 cashback
Base Cashback Rate 1.25% on all purchases
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
Additional Card Fee Up to 9 additional cards free of charge
Embedded Insurance Coverage • $100,000 Travel Accident Insurance policy
• Buyers Assurance Protection Plan
• Amex Purchase Protection Plan
Optional Balance Transfer Offer • Introductory Interest Rate of 1,99% for the first 6 months
• Transfer up to 50% or $7,500 of your assigned credit limit
• No Balance Transfer fee
Amex Front Of The Line
Type of Card Credit Card
Preferred Interest Rate • 19,99% on purchases
• 22,99% on funds advances
Eligibility • You must be a Canadian Citizen or Resident
• You must be the age of majority in your state or province of residence
• You must have a Canadian Credit File

Before we dive into all the details of each of these features and benefits that make this card great, let’s clear up some important facts:

How Does The SimplyCash Card’s Cashback System Work?

Cashback is the easiest to understand credit card rewards system. You simply use your card to pay for purchases, and Amex rewards you by giving you back part of the total purchase you made.

But, how does Amex give it back?

It’s very simple. When you use your card, you accumulate cashback and at the end of the year, American Express will give you all you have accumulated in the form of a statement credit. You can then use this statement credit to pay off your cards balance.

The only real downside to the SimplyCash Card is that you can only receive your cashback in the form of an annual statement credit. However, the good is really good, and it outweighs by far having to wait a year to receive your benefits.

Keep on reading to find out exactly why we claim the Amex SimplyCash Card is the best no-fee cashback card you’ll find today.

American Express SimplyCash Card Benefit #1: The Welcome Cashback Rate

There are many different cashback cards out there, and to compare which one is better, the first thing you have to look at is how much they’ll give you back.

When you sign up for the SimplyCash Card from American Express for the first time, you’re entitled to a welcome cashback rate of 2.5% during your first three months of cardmembership. This is a really good cashback rate, and it almost triples the nearest competing card, but it isn’t unlimited.

Besides the three-month limit, the welcome rate has a cap at $150 cashback. What this means is that you’ll earn 2.5% of whatever you spend during the first three months, but only until it adds up to $150. After you reach the cap, even if you’re only in your first month, the welcome rate ends and you start getting the base rate of 1.25% cashback.

Let’s see some numbers to better clear this up.

How much is the Welcome Rate Worth?

The maximum cashback of $150 represents 2.5% of $6,000

Therefore, having a cap at $150 cashback means that your welcome rate is limited to your first $6,000 in purchases. If you want to maximize your earnings with this card, you’ll want to charge at least an average $2,000/month during the first three months of cardmembership.

If, on the other hand, you charge less than that amount, than you’ll be losing out on potential earnings.

To calculate how much more you’re earning thanks to the welcome rate, let’s consider the alternative: having a flat earning rate of 1.25% from the get-go.

In this case, you would only earn 1.25% of the $6,000 in purchases that are eligible for the welcome rate, which means $75.

In other words, the welcome rate is earning you an extra

$150 – $75 = $75

As a consequence, this earning rate alone is worth $75 to you, but you’re getting it free of charge.

Amex SimplyCash Card Benefit #2: Base Cashback Rate of 1.25%

1.25% may not seem like a lot at first sight. The welcome rate alone is twice as much. However, you need to put things into perspective, because there are a number of key aspects to the base rate that you need to consider before making your judgment:

Flat rate on all purchases

The first advantage of the American Express SimplyCash Card’s base rate is the fact that it’s the same rate for all purchases. No need to worry about categories, types of merchants, and so on. As long as it can be classified as a purchase (which excludes funds advances, interests, fees, balance transfers, Amex cheques, and traveler’s cheques), it will earn you 1.25% cashback.

Other no-fee cards may offer higher cashback rates, but only for a very limited number of purchase categories. For all other purchases, you get appalling rates like 0.5%. This makes it a bit of a bother using those cards because you always have to worry about using your card in the right places.

Unlimited Earning Potential

In most of the few cases where a credit card does offer higher cashback rates, those rates are usually capped. The other great aspect of the Amex SimplyCash Card’s flat cashback rate is that there’s no earning limit. You could use this card to earn as little as a dollar or as much as ten thousand. It’s totally up to you how much you want to earn.

American Express SimplyCash Card Benefit #3: Optional Balance Transfer Offer

American Express is always looking for ways to attract new members, and their offers have always been great. If you’re not already an Amex cardmember (in other words, if you don’t have any charge or credit card issued by Amex Bank of Canada), then you’re eligible for the Optional Balance Transfer Offer.

What Is The Optional Balance Transfer Offer?

This is an exclusive offer for new American Express cardmembers, who can opt to transfer their debts from other credit cards to the SimplyCash card upon enrollment. So long as you don’t fall behind on your minimum payments, you’ll get a preferential interest rate of just 1.99% on all transferred balance during the first 6 billing cycles (read months).

In short, it’s a way of helping Canadians pay off their debts by lowering the interest incurred because of the balance they carry every month. It’s like taking a low-interest loan with Amex to pay for your other credit cards.

Debt recovery thanks to the SimplyCash Card from American Express
The American Express SimplyCash Card can help you pay off your other credit card’s balance and save on interests.

Some cash cards offer similar offers, and some even go the length of charging 0% interest and increasing the interest-free period to 1 year. However, the kicker with the SimplyCash Card’s offer is that Amex doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee, whereas the others do.

How To Opt For The Balance Transfer

Considering that you’re not already an Amex cardmember and are, therefore, eligible for this offer, all you need to do is opt-in for the offer when filling out your online application.

That being said, there’s a limit to how much balance you can transfer to your SimplyCash Card account.

How Much Of My Balance Can I Transfer To My New American Express SimplyCash Card

The maximum amount you can transfer is limited to $7,500 or 50% of your assigned credit limit, whichever is smaller.

Let’s look at the numbers of three simple examples to show you how this works:

  • Suppose you have a balance of $2,000 and a credit limit of $6,000. In this case, since 50% of your credit limit is $3,000 and this number is smaller than $7,500, then you can transfer a maximum of $3,000. In this particular case, you could transfer your whole balance of $2,000.
  • Now suppose that you have a balance of $8,000 and a credit limit of $20,000 (50% of which being $10,000). In this case, you can’t transfer your whole balance, because it’s higher than $7500. Furthermore, since $7,500 is less than $10,000, then you can transfer a maximum of $7,500.
  • Finally, suppose you have a balance of $8,000 but a credit limit of just $10,000 (50% of which is $5,000). You obviously can’t transfer the whole $8,000 balance for the same reason as above. However, since $5,000 y less than $7,500, then, in this case, you can’t transfer $7,500 either. You can only transfer a maximum of the said $5,000.

When Should You Opt For The Balance Transfer Offer

One very important thing to consider is that after the low-interest promotional period of 6 months expires, any unpaid transferred balance will be subject to the current funds advance interest rate. As of today, this means that from under 2%, the interest rate jumps up to 22.99%.

That’s an over 10-fold increase in interest rate.

You’ll also immediately lose the low preferential rate and get the funds advance rate if you fall behind on your payments, even during the first six months. Additionally, if you fall behind again, you’ll lose that rate as well and get 26.99%. The bottom line is that it hurts to pay late.

I’ll summarize all this information into simple actionable advice.

You should ONLY APPLY for the balance transfer if:

  • You’re financially responsible and never miss a payment, even if it is the bare minimum.
  • Your current interest rate is greater than 22.99%, no matter how long you plan to carry a balance
  • The current interest rate on your balance is greater than 1.99% but less than 22.99% but you think you can pay off the entire balance in 6 months or less.

You should definitely NOT APPLY for the balance transfer if:

  • You frequently find yourself missing payments or not paying the minimum on time.
  • If the current interest rate on your balance is actually lower than 1.99% (obviously)

If your current interest rate is lower than 22.99% but you can’t pay the debt by the end of six months, it may still make sense to transfer the balance to the SimplyCash Card from American Express. It all depends on the difference between the two interest rates, and how long you think it will take you to pay off the entire debt.

American Express SimplyCash Card Benefit #4: Insurance Coverage

You’d be wrong to think that the Amex SimplyCash Card doesn’t come with insurance, just because it’s free. Since you’re not paying a single cent, any sort of coverage is definitely a plus, and the SimplyCash Card comes with not one, nor two but three embedded insurance policies:

$100,000 Travel Accidents Insurance

Travel Accidents Insurance is an AD&D policy that will cover each insured person for up to $100,000. It’s underwritten by Chubb Life Insurance Company of Canada, and it will cover you, your spouse and any dependent children as well as any supplementary cardholder and his or her family while in transit in a common carrier. The only condition is that all tickets be paid in full with your SimplyCash Card from American Express.

Buyers Assurance Protection Plan

This policy, underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, automatically doubles the manufacturer’s warranty for up to one extra year, of any item paid in full with the Amex SimplyCash Card.

Let’s take a look at three different scenarios:

  • If you buy a new cellphone that has a 6-month warranty with the SimplyCash Card, then the Buyers Assurance Protection Plan will cover that cellphone for another 6 months (therefore doubling the warranty).
  • If you buy a camera that comes with a one-year warranty, then you’ll get one extra year thanks to your new SimplyCash Card (again, doubling the warranty)
  • However, if you purchase an item that has a two-year warranty, then the SimplyCash Card will give you only one extra year, therefore increasing your warranty period to three years.

Amex Purchase Protection Plan

This policy is also underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, and it covers any items you purchase with your SimplyCash Card, for up to 90 days, against any accidental physical damage or theft.

Of course, other Amex cards like The Platinum Card, the Business Platinum Card, the Amex Cobalt Card or the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express Card, will give you a lot more coverage. Nevertheless, keep in mind that in those cases you’re paying a fee. With the American Express SimplyCash Card, you’re getting all the mentioned coverage… FREE!

You can learn more about the embedded insurance that comes with the different cards, as well as stand-alone insurance plans in our post on American Express Travel Insurance.

If you’re looking for a cashback card with a better insurance plan, you can check out the American Express SimplyCash Preferred Card. This card will give you a great set of travel insurance policies including all the ones that the regular SimplyCash Card brings, but for a $99 annual fee.

There’s really nothing to lose, but so much to gain by signing up. Are you going to let this no-brainer pass you by?

American Express SimplyCash Card Benefit #5: Referral Bonus

Another way the American Express SimplyCash Card lets you build up your cashback balance is by giving you a bonus every time someone you refer to the Amex site is approved for a new SimplyCash Card.

When you sign up for the SimplyCash Card and become a cardmember, you’ll receive your own personal referral link. You can share this link with anyone you want (i.e. friends, family, co-workers, business-related acquaintances, etc.). If your referrals sign up to the Amex SimplyCash Card through your referral link, and Amex approves them, then you’ll get a bonus of $100 cashback at the end of the year.

Simple as that, no strings attached!

Conditions To Get The Referral Bonus

There are some rather obvious conditions for you to get the bonus once a person referred by you applies for the SimplyCash Card. These include:

  • Your referral has to be a new SimplyCash Card cardmember
  • He or she has to know you personally or through a business relationship
  • He or she has to know that he/she is signing up through your referral link (he will be asked to authorize Amex to give you the bonus, so you can’t trick people into signing up)
  • You can’t mislead referrals into signing up with false claims, only with information that Amex provides.

Other than that, you’re good to go!

The Cap On The Referral Bonus

This is a great benefit, but there’s a cap on the maximum number of referrals bonuses you can get each year. You can only get up to $1,500 cashback through referrals annually. Since the current bonus is $100 per approved referral, this translates into a maximum of 15 successful referrals every calendar year.

Additional SimplyCash Card Benefits

Front Of The Line

The Amex SimplyCash Card comes with American Express Invites, a benefits package for major public events like concerts and shows. This package includes the following benefits:

Front Of The Line Advance Access

This benefit lets you purchase or reserve tickets for highly sought after events, sometimes even before they’re on sale.

Front Of The Line Reserved Tickets

These are blocks of seats reserved by American Express exclusively for its cardmembers. With Reserved Tickets, you won’t be left out of any major event, even when tickets have sold out for the general public.

Front Of The Line E-Updates

This is a subscription email service that periodically sends you the listings of all the events you can access thanks to your American Express SimplyCash Card.

Other Amex Invites Benefits

Special Access and benefits at Budweiser Stage, Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall, including a separate entrance, lounges, and bars.

FAQs

If I have a co-branded Amex card issued by another bank, am I eligible for the Balance Transfer Offer?

Yes, you are, as long as you don’t own any other card issued by Amex Bank of Canada. Most banks issue their own credit cards but they use American Express’ global payment network, so their cards are co-branded. Even if the card does say American Express on it, Amex Bank of Canada really doesn’t issue it. The one that’s actually lending you the money is the other bank. Therefore, owning a co-branded card doesn’t make you an Amex cardholder, and, therefore, it doesn’t make you ineligible for the Balance Transfer Offer.

Can I get my cashback each month?

No, you can’t. The SimplyCash Card only gives you your cashback once per year in the form of a statement credit.

How does the SimplyCash Card look?

The SimplyCash Card is transparent, which distinguishes it from the other credit cards. To be honest, the card looks really sleek, and I always feel like a pro when paying my purchases with it.

La Carte de Platine American Express Canada: Test et avis

La carte de Platine American Express Canada inclut un accès aux salons dans les aéroports internationaux, un crédit de voyage annuel de 200$, une adhésion aux statuts Elites dans certaines chaînes d’hôtels, une assurance médicale de voyage, une élégante carte en métal et 50.000 points Amex MR, d’une valeur de 1.500 dollars.

C’est l’une de nos deux cartes préférées au Canada depuis des années et elle offre une valeur ajoutée exceptionnelle pour les voyageurs canadiens. Chaque Canadien qui voyage en avion une fois ou plus par an devrait posséder une carte de Platine American Express dans son portefeuille.

Ce test de la carte de Platine American Express Canada est découpé en 10 sections:

#1 Prestations et Avantages

Prime en Points de Bienvenue 50.000
Points gagnés pour 1$ Dépensé dans un Dîner 3
Points gagnés pour 1$ Dépensé dans un Voyage 2
Points gagnés pour 1$ Dépensé dans Tout Autre Achat 1
Tickets de réduction
Avantages Exclusifs dans les Beaux Hôtels et Resorts
Statut Elite dans les Hôtels
Service de Conciergerie Amex Platinum
American Express Invites
Assurance Voyage Incluses
Frais Annuels 699$

La carte comporte également les avantages supplémentaires d’American Express, inclus avec toutes les cartes American Express. Cela comprend le service Front Of The Line, qui offre aux détenteurs de cartes American Expresse un accès privilégié ou des billets pour des concerts, des événements sportifs et des spectacles au Canada.

#2 Quatre Avantages Supplémentaires Avec la Carte de Platine American Express

Avantage Supplémentaire Amex Platinum #1: Accès Aux Salons dans Les Aéroports Internationaux (Priority Pass)

En plus des 50.000 points de fidélité fournis avec votre carte de Platine Amex, vous recevez également un abonnement Priority Pass Prestige d’une valeur de 429$ par an. Votre abonnement Priority Pass vous permet d’accéder à plus de 1.200 salons d’aéroport dans le monde entier sans payer un centime. Tous les salons proposent de la nourriture gratuite (certains proposent des repas complets, d’autres des collations variées), des boissons (parfois des boissons alcoolisées, mais pas partout), et la plupart incluent des équipements supplémentaires tels que des chambres pour se reposer, des douches, des bibliothèques, des services d’impression et salles de jeux.

Le Priority Pass est sans aucun doute l’avantage Platine American Express que j’utilise le plus et il a complètement changé ma façon de voyager. Je ne peux sérieusement pas imaginer prendre un vol sans m’arrêter d’abord dans le salon American Express Platinum.

Où pouvez-vous utiliser votre avantage de salon Canadian Platinum au Canada? Qu’en est-il du SkyTeam Lounge ouvert 24 heures sur 24 à Vancouver (YVR)?

American Express Platinum Card for Canadians
Le salon SkyTeam à l’aéroport international de Vancouver (YVR)

Ou le National Bank Lounge à Montréal (YUL)?

American Express Platinum Card for Canadians
Vous bénéficiez d’un accès gratuit au salon National Bank World MasterCard Lounge à l’aéroport international de Montréal (YUL) grâce aux avantages du Priority Pass d’American Express Canada.

Toronto (YYZ) compte pas moins de sept salons Priority Pass, auxquels s’ajoute le salon American Express à Pearson – auxquels vous avez accès gratuitement.

Vous améliorez déjà vos conditions de voyage.

Avantage Supplémentaire Amex Platinum #2: 200$ de Crédit Voyages Annuels

C’est bien ce qui écrit : un crédit de 200$ à utiliser pour voyager, chaque année. Au cours des trois dernières années seulement, j’ai utilisé mon crédit de voyage de 200 dollars pour un vol à destination de l’Asie, un vol pour l’Amérique du Sud et un vol pour l’Europe.

La carte de Platine Amex est dotée d’un crédit de voyage annuel de 200 $ que vous pouvez utiliser dans le monde entier !

Conseil pro : Utilisez votre crédit de voyage annuel de 200$ sur la première réservation d’hôtel ou de vol effectuée avec votre carte de Platine. Ainsi, vous ne risquez pas de l’oublier!

Avantage Supplémentaire Amex Platinum #3: Statut Elite dans les hôtels

Votre Amex de Platine surclasse également votre statut dans certaines chaînes d’hôtels. Cela signifie que vous bénéficiez d’avantages spéciaux: réductions exclusives, enregistrement anticipé et départ tardif, petits-déjeuners gratuits, etc.

Voici le type d’avantages que vous pouvez attendre avec votre carte Amex Platinum:

Avantage Supplémentaire Amex Platinum #4 : American Express Front Of The Line

Le service Front of the Line offre aux titulaires de cartes American Express un accès exclusif aux préventes de billets et aux places pré-réservées lors de concerts, de comédies musicales, d’événements sportifs et bien plus encore.

Le mieux à propos de Front of the Line est d’avoir un accès aux billets des plus grands spectacles (pensez à Justin Bieber et Beyoncé) avant tout le monde. Ces spectacles sont connus pour voir leurs places être vendues en quelques secondes. Mais avec Front of the Line, vous obtiendrez toujours votre billet. Les spectacles passés auxquelles Front of the Line a donné accès en prévente comprennent Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Wicked, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Billy Elliot, West Side Story, Imagine Dragons, Le Roi Lion et bien d’autres.

Front of the Line propose toujours d’excellents sièges, très bien placés, lors de ces événements. Cela comprend également l’envoi de courriels périodiques pour vous informer de la venue d’artistes près de chez vous afin que vous ne manquiez aucun spectacle.

#3 Comment transformer 50.000 Points en 65.000 ?

Les 50.000 points de bonus de bienvenue qui accompagnent la Carte de Platine American Express sont très bien, mais vous pouvez les transformer simplement en 65.000 points.

Comment ? Au moins une fois par an, American Express offre un bonus de 30 % lorsque vous transférez vos points vers un programme tiers tel que British Airways Avios ou Aeroplan .

En transférant astucieusement vos points, les 50.000 points privilèges deviennent tout d’un coup 65.000 points Avios.

Vous venez de gagner 15.000 points supplémentaires, d’une valeur d’au moins 300$ si vous les utilisez à une valeur de 2 cents par point ou plus. Cela juste en étant bien informé.

Voici 3 scénarios réalistes de la valeur que vous pouvez obtenir avec l’Amex Platinum :

  Très facile Très facile Modérément difficile
Type de Remboursement Argent comptant (solde du compte) Vols Vols personnalisés
Valeur du Remboursement par Point 1 cent 2 cents 3 cents
Valeur Totale pour 65.000 Points 650$ 1.300$ 1.950$
Moins : Frais annuels (699$) (699$) (699$)
Plus: Crédit Voyage Annuel de 200$ 200$ 200$ 200$
Profit des Points -$50 $600 $1,250
Avantages Supplémentaires Oui Oui Oui

La plupart d’entre vous vont se retrouver dans les colonnes 2 ou 3, avec des profits de 801$ à 1.451$ de profits, puisque vous pouvez lire les autres billets de notre blog sur la façon de trouver des vols peu onéreux vers l’Asie et des vols pas chers vers l’Europe. Vous trouverez de très nombreux vols qui vous permettront d’obtenir une valeur 2 ou 3 cents par point.

Mais si vous êtes ambitieux et que vous voulez profiter encore plus de vos points, il est tout à fait possible de dépasser ce qui est mentionné ci-dessus avec une valeur de 3 centimes par point ou plus. Envoyez-nous simplement un courrier électronique et nous vous aiderons à passer en revue vos options afin de vous assurer de tirer le meilleur parti.

#4 Comment Utiliser Vos 65.000 Points ?

Étude de cas #1: Voyage en Asie

Supposons que vous souhaitiez faire un voyage à Hong Kong pour rendre visite à votre famille ou à vos amis. L’Amex Platinum est votre compagnon idéal, puisque l’un des meilleurs moyens d’utiliser vos 65.000 points Avios est de prendre des vols directs vers Hong Kong avec la compagnie Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific étant une compagnie aérienne haut de gamme, ses vols coûtent au moins 1.000$ au départ de Vancouver et davantage à partir de Toronto.

Les vols aller-retour de Vancouver à Hong Kong ne coûtent que 60.000 points Avios + 90$ en taxes et frais. Les vols aller-retour de Toronto à Hong Kong coûtent 70.000 points Avios + 100$, bien que vous puissiez aussi payer une partie en espèces (environ 50$) et ramener le nombre de points nécessaires à 65 000 si vous le souhaitez.

American Express Platinum Card for Canadians
Comment profiter d’un vol aller-retour à destination de Hong Kong pour 90$ ? Grâce à votre Carte de Platine Amex Canada.

Bien entendu, Hong Kong n’est pas la seule option. Tokyo étant un peu plus proche que Hong Kong, les vols entre Vancouver et Tokyo ne représentent que 50.000 points.

N’êtes-vous pas tenté ?

Étude de cas #2: Faire le Tour du Monde

Supposons que vous souhaitiez faire le tour du monde avec votre Carte de Platine American Express.

Aucun problème.

Si vous êtes à Vancouver, vous pouvez voyager de Vancouver à Hong Kong, de Dubaï à Londres, de Vancouver à Vancouver (ou dans la direction opposée) pour 74.700 points + 742$ de taxes et de frais.

Oui, 74.700, c’est un petit peu plus que les 65.000 points initiaux, mais ne vous inquiétez pas, vous gagnerez les 10.000 points supplémentaires (et plus encore!) après quelques mois d’utilisation de la carte.

Pour Toronto, cela fonctionne de la même manière.

Un vol de Toronto à Hong Kong, de Dubaï à Londres, de Londres à Toronto (ou l’inverse) ne coûte que 74.500 points + 761$ en taxes et frais.

Avez-vous déjà imaginé pouvoir faire le tour du monde pour 750$ ?

C’est le pouvoir de l’Amex Platinum.

Voyage Points Requis Taxes & Frais
Aller-Retour : de Toronto à Hong Kong 70,000 $100
Aller-Retour : de Vancouver à Hong Kong 60,000 $90
Tour du Monde : de Toronto à Hong Kong, Dubai, Londres et Toronto 74,500 $761
Tour du Monde : de Vancouver à Hong Kong, Dubai, Londres et Vancouver 74,700 $742

Ces voyages autour du monde offrent une valeur bien supérieure à 4 cents par point. Ainsi, les frais de 699$ que vous avez payés vous permettent d’économiser plusieurs milliers de dollars sur les vols.

#5 La Carte de Platine Amex Canada Vaut-Elle les 699$ De Frais Annuels ?

Absolument.

C’est la magie des frais annuels de 699 $: il est impossible de ne pas gagner d’argent en ayant cette carte, même après avoir payé les frais.

Étonnant, non?

Voici comment cela fonctionne.

Si vous utilisez vos 50.000 points de la pire des manières, ils vous rapportent tout de même 700 $. Pourquoi? Parce qu’American Express vous permet de récupérer vos points sur le solde de votre compte à une valeur d’un cent par point, soit 50.000 points = 500$. Ajoutez à cela votre crédit de voyage de 200$ pour 2019 et vous êtes à 700$.

Il est impossible de ne pas gagner d’argent avec la carte Amex Platinum.

Et cela ne tient même pas compte des autres avantages de la carte. L’assurance voyage / urgence / bagages et l’assurance pour les achats supplémentaires (en cas de vol / détérioration de vos biens personnels), l’accès aux salons des aéroports internationaux, les abonnements Premium. Et tout ce que vous voyez ici, n’est que la cerise sur le gâteau.

Ainsi, même si vous utilisez vos points de la pire façon possible – en les récupérant en tant en espèces sur votre compte – vous en sortez tout même gagnant.

Mais si vous les utilisez de la manière suggérée dans les sections 3 et 4 ci-dessus, vous pouvez raisonnablement vous attendre à économiser 800$ ou plus après la déduction des frais annuels.

#6 L’Assurance Voyage Amex Platinum

La Carte de Platine vient également avec une impressionnante police d’assurance voyage American Express. Voici ce que la police d’assurance comprend:

Avantage Description Limite de couverture
Assurance accident de voyage Vous, votre conjoint et vos enfants êtes couverts en cas de décès ou de mutilation accidentelle lors d’un voyage. 500.000$
Assurance vol et dommages pour voitures de location Dommage ou vol de votre voiture de location. 85.000$
Assurance retard de vol Frais d’hôtel, de motel, de restaurant et autres frais divers lorsque votre vol est retardé. 500$
Assurance retard de bagages Achats d’urgence raisonnables et nécessaires lorsque vos bagages sont retardés. 500$
Assurance bagages perdus ou volés Perte ou dommages de vos bagages ou effets personnels pendant le transit. 500$
Assurance cambriolage hôtel / motel Perte de la plupart des objets personnels si votre hôtel / motel est cambriolé. 500$
Assistance d’urgence en voyage Références médicales et juridiques par téléphone 24/7 N/A

Chaque carte American Express comporte également deux autres assurances :

  1. Le plan de protection d’assurance de l’acheteur qui double la garantie du fabricant sur vos achats et réparera / remplacera les articles défectueux ou endommagés jusqu’à hauteur de 10.000$.
  2. Le plan de protection des achats assure vos achats contre les dommages matériels accidentels et le vol pendant les 90 jours suivant l’achat, jusqu’à hauteur de 1.000$.

La protection contre la fraude, le remplacement de la carte d’urgence dans le monde entier et le service client express 24h / 24, 7j / 7 sont également inclus avec chaque carte American Express.

#7 La Carte de Platine Amex Business

L’ensemble de cet article concerne la carte de Platine Amex, bien qu’il existe également une Carte de Platine American Express Business pour les Canadiens. Il existe quelques différences essentielles entre les deux cartes :

  • 40.000 points de bonus de bienvenue pour la Carte de Platine Business (10.000 de moins)
  • Frais annuels de 499$ pour la carte de Platine Business (200$ de moins)
  •  Pas de crédit de voyage annuel de 200$ pour la carte de Platine Business

Les frais annuels plus élevés de la carte de Platine étant compensés par son crédit de voyage annuel de 200$, la plus grande différence entre les deux est que vous obtenez 10.000 points de bonus de bienvenue en moins avec la carte de Platine Business.

#8 Trois Autres Cartes Moins Chères à Considérer

Même si nous avons clairement montré comment vous pouvez économiser des milliers de dollars avec la carte de Platine, les frais annuels de 699$ ont tendance à toujours effrayer certaines personnes.

Voici donc quelques cartes moins chères et de grande valeur ajoutée que vous pouvez envisager à la place :

#1 La Carte Marriott Bonvoy™ Amex

Lancée en mars 2019, la carte American Express Marriott Bonvoy ™ est la meilleure carte de crédit de voyage disponible au Canada à l’heure actuelle. Elle offre 60.000 points de bonus de bienvenue pour un coût annuel de seulement 120$. Vous bénéficiez également d’une nuit d’hôtel gratuite par an après la première année d’utilisation de la carte – nuit que vous pouvez choisir de passer dans certains des hôtels les plus chics du monde. Tant que cette offre sera d’actualité, nous ne pourrons pas suffisamment recommander la carte Marriott Bonvoy ™ Amex.

# 2 La carte Amex Cobalt

La carte Amex Cobalt est la meilleure carte disponible actuellement pour les dépenses quotidiennes. Pourquoi? Parce que vous pouvez obtenir jusqu’à 10% de remboursement sur vos dépenses en utilisant la carte Cobalt dans les bars, cafés, restaurants et épiceries partout au Canada.

# 3 La carte Amex Gold Rewards

Vous pouvez considérer l’Amex Gold Canada comme la carte American Express classique. Elle est proposée avec 25.000 points bonus de bienvenue, ce qui est suffisant pour un vol aller-retour partout en Amérique du Nord. Avec ses frais annuels de 150$, la carte Gold Rewards offre un bon rapport qualité-prix depuis des années, bien que l’offre actuelle sur la nouvelle carte Marriott Bonvoy™ offre un rapport encore meilleur en ce moment.

#9 Comment Faire La Demande d’une Carte American Express Platinum ?

Pour faire la demande de la carte de Platine American Express, il suffit de cliquer sur le bouton ci-dessous, de prendre 3 minutes pour remplir le formulaire et d’attendre quelques jours que votre carte soit livrée!

Toutefois, il est important d’agir dès maintenant: la prime de bienvenue de points privilèges était auparavant de 75.000 sur cette carte, mais Amex l’a réduit plusieurs fois au cours des dernières années. Demandez la vôtre pendant que cette offre est encore disponible.

L’Amex Platinum Canada est-elle la meilleure carte de crédit de voyage au Canada?

Si ce n’est pas la meilleure, l’Amex Platinum est certainement l’une des toutes meilleures cartes de crédit canadiennes en 2019. Tandis que la Carte Marriott Bonvoy ™ Amex a récemment attiré beaucoup d’attention pour son incroyable bonus de bienvenue de 50.000 points avec une cotisation annuelle de 120$ seulement, la carte de Platine offre également un excellent rapport qualité-prix.

#10 Foire Aux Questions

À Quoi Ressemble La Nouvelle Carte De Platine En Metal d’American Express?

Honnêtement, elle est plutôt classe!

Si vous ne le saviez pas déjà, l’American Express Platinum est maintenant en métal. Elle pèse 19 grammes (par exemple, une carte de crédit American Express en plastique pèse 5 grammes). Vous êtes certains d’impressionner vos amis lorsque vous la posez « par inadvertance » sur la table en payant.

Tous les nouveaux détenteurs de la carte de Platine reçoivent maintenant la carte en métal, ce qui constitue un bonus intéressant en plus de tous les avantages dont nous avons parlé plus haut. Les titulaires ayant déjà une carte peuvent également demander à tout moment que leur ancienne carte en plastique soit remplacée par une carte en métal.

Comment fonctionne le parrainage pour obtenir une Carte de Platine American Express ?

Inscrivez-vous ici pour obtenir le meilleur bonus de points de bienvenue disponible, qui est actuellement de 50.000 points. Après vous être inscrit, vous pouvez parrainer vos propres amis à l’American Express Platinum pour bénéficier d’un bonus de parrainage supplémentaire de 15.000 points.

Quelle est la taux de change utilisé par American Express Canada ?

Tous les achats effectués l’étranger utilisent le taux de change d’American Express, qui suit de très près le taux bancaire, avec de légères fluctuations autour de ce taux. Une commission de 2,5% est appliquée en plus sur tous les achats à l’étranger, quelle que soit la devise.

Comment fonctionne American Express Travel au Canada?

American Express Travel est le portail de voyage en ligne d’Amex pour l’achat de billets d’avions, la réservation d’hôtels et de voitures de location, ainsi que pour bénéficier de l’un des meilleurs services de conciergerie de voyages du secteur.

Le crédit de voyage annuel de 200$ fourni avec votre Amex Platinum peut être utilisé directement via la plateforme American Express Travel ou comme un montant crédité sur votre compte après avoir effectué un achat lié à un voyage avec votre carte.

Qu’est-ce que le service de conciergerie Amex?

Le service de conciergerie Amex Platinum est certainement un avantage sous-estimé de la carte de Platine. C’est totalement gratuit aussi longtemps que vous détenez la carte. Ce service est disponible pour vous offrir une assistance 24h / 24 et 7j / 7 pour de nombreuses choses.

Besoin d’une table pour quatre dans un restaurant qui affiche déjà complet à Paris ou à New York ? Aucun problème. Vous cherchez le cadeau idéal pour un ami qui vous rend visite. Facile.

Le service de conciergerie

J’utilise principalement le service de conciergerie Platinum pour m’aider à établir des itinéraires de voyage lorsque je visite une nouvelle ville et ils ont toujours fait un travail remarquable. Après une minute ou deux au téléphone pour connaître mes préférences (est-ce que j’aime les restaurants chics ou les banlieues discrètes ? Est-ce que je préfère visiter des musées ou flâner dans les quartiers ?, etc.). Ils renvoient un document d’une trentaine de pages décrivant les restaurants et les bars à visiter, les attractions culturelles, les événements qui se déroulent pendant mon séjour et bien plus. Il leur faut 24 à 48 heures pour compiler toute l’information, ce qui est extrêmement rapide.

Vous pouvez également demander de l’aide par courrier électronique, même si je trouve qu’il est plus simple et plus facile de les appeler (il n’y a jamais d’attente).

Si vous avez apprécié ce test de la Carte de Platine Amex Canada, partagez-le avec vos amis ici.

The Amex Cobalt Card: A Review

With a welcome bonus of up to 30,000 MR points, a 5X earning rate on eligible eats & drinks (including groceries and food delivery) and a monthly fee of just $10, the Amex Cobalt Card is one of the best credit cards for most Canadians.

It’s probably our favourite card of 2019, and we can’t recommend it highly enough. Apply with confidence today.

The American Express Cobalt card has been receiving a lot of attention since its fall 2017 launch, and with good reason: it’s an extremely compelling offer. $10/month for a card that gets you 5x the points on eligible eats and drinks (including groceries and food delivery) in Canada and 2x the points on travel purchases anywhere in the world is an excellent deal.

But of course, as we’ve come to expect from American Express through their other offers—like the Platinum Card, the Business Platinum Card and the Business Gold Rewards Card—there’s much more to the Cobalt than meets the eye. Once you learn the ins and outs of this card, I’ll be surprised if you aren’t applying for one of your own by the end of this post.

The Cobalt Card is marketed at millennials and near-millennials. If you fit either of those descriptions, you’ll definitely want to give it a closer look.

Pros & Cons Of The Amex Cobalt Card

PROS CONS
• Monthly fee of just $10 with no annual fees
• Up to 30,000 MR welcome bonus points for using your card every month
• $100 in hotel credit annually
• Save up to 10% on your purchases during the first year of card membership
• One of the best and most flexible points earning rates of any credit card in Canada
• Points are easy to use
• Up to 9 additional additional Cobalt Cards for free
• $30,000 cap on the 5X earning rate (equivalent to 150,000 MR)

Amex Cobalt Features & Benefits

Welcome Bonus • 2,500 MR points every month you charge at least $500 to the Cobalt Amex Card, for a total of up to 30,000 MR points
Travel Benefits • $100 hotel credit for spa, restaurants and other amenities at The Hotel Collection participating properties
• Complimentary room upgrades at The Hotel Collection participating properties
Monthly Fee$10
Additional Card Fee Up to 9 free additional cards
Points Earned Per $1 Spent• 5X on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food delivery
• 2X on eligible travel & transit
• 1X on everything else
American Express Invites
Travel Coverage • $5,000,000 Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country)
• $250,000 Travel Accident Insurance
• Flight Delay Insurance
• Baggage Delay Insurance
• Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
• Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
• Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
Purchase Coverage • Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
• Purchase Protection Plan
Eligibility • Canadian citizens or residents
• A valid Canadian Credit file
• An account in good standing (recommended credit score of at least 650)
Type of Card Credit Card
Applied Interest Rate • 19.99% on purchases
• 22.99% on funds advances

The Amex Cobalt Card’s New Fee System

The Amex Cobalt Card is the first and only American Express card to offer a monthly fee in lieu of an annual fee. This makes the Cobalt Card extremely affordable for most Canadians, because you don’t have to pay one single, bulky annual fee. Instead, the annual fee gets split up across twelve more manageable payments, and those payments are just $10/month.

American Express Cobalt Card for Canadians
Where will you use your new American Express Cobalt Card?

Membership Rewards or Membership Rewards Select Points?

Before discussing the Cobalt Card’s bonus points, there’s something we need to clear up first:

What type of points does the American Express Cobalt Card earn on purchases?

The short answer is: Membership Rewards (MR) points, which are the tier points for American Express’ loyalty rewards program.

Why do we need to clear this up?

Because the Cobalt Card used to earn a different type of points. Back in 2017, when American Express launched the Cobalt Card, they introduced a new tier of points called Membership Rewards Select points. MR Select points were usable for just about everything that regular MR points (which you receive with the PlatinumBusiness Platinum and Gold Rewards Cards, among others) are, including hotel stays and travel purchases, though you couldn’t transfer them to other loyalty programs like Aeroplan or Avios.

What Changed In 2019?

This small difference in the flexibility of the MR Select points ended up hurting their valuation, and meant that some Canadians stayed away from the Amex Cobalt Card. However, in the first half of 2019, American Express phased out MR Select points and moved the Cobalt Card to the MR program, making it an even stronger card offer.

How Much Are Amex Membership Rewards Points Worth?

The short answer: 2-3 cents per point.

The long answer: The value of any loyalty program’s points depends on how you use them. Keeping this in mind, American Express offers a lot of flexibility regarding what you can do with your Memebership Rewards points.

The best way you can use your American Express MR points is on flights. You can transfer them to Avios at a 1:1 rate and get exceptional deals on both domestic and international flights, like those that we mention in our post on the Platinum Card.

An equally productive choice is to transfer them to Aeroplan miles (also at a 1:1 rate) and leverage Aeroplan’s great deals and impressive partners list to get awesome flights for a fraction of the price.

In both these cases you’ll get an average value of 2 or 3 cents per point.

However, you could end up getting even more with some creative flight hacking. Start by answering our 60-second quiz to find the best travel credit card for you – we’ll give you customized recommendations from there.

How To Use Your Amex Cobalt’s MR Points

There are four basic ways in which you can use your American Express Membership Rewards points:

  • For statement credits towards any purchase
  • For flights either with Amex’s Fixed Points Flight Rewards, or by transferring your MR points to partner airline programs like British Airways Avios or Air Canada Aeroplan
  • You can transfer them to Marriott Bonvoy™
  • For purchases at different retailers and Amazon.ca

#1 Using your MR Points As A Statement Credit

This is, by far, the easiest way to redeem your MR Select points. By exchanging 1,000 points, you’ll get a $10 statement credit towards eligible travel purchases. If you use the same amount of points towards any other purchase, you’ll get $7. This means your points are worth 0.7 – 1 cent per point.

This isn’t a great valuation, but it sure is the easiest type of redemption you can get. It’s absolutely hassle-free. All you have to do is:

  1. Log in to your Amex account through the Membership Rewards site.
  2. Choose to use your points.
  3. Select which purchase you want the statement credit to be used for.
  4. Choose how many MR points you want to use. The minimum is 1,000 points.

Here’s how it looked when I applied 4,000 of my MR Select points against two flights I’d recently redeemed my regular MR points for on Aeroplan:

Amex Cobalt Canada
Redeeming American Express Cobalt MR Points For Purchases At A Valuation Of One Cent Per Point

#2 Three Ways To Use Your Cobalt’s MR Points For Flights

You can get on different flights with your MR points in several different ways. The most direct approach is to use your MR points directly with American Express’ Fixed Points Flight Rewards. However, to get the highest possible value for every MR point, you should transfer them to British Airways’ Avios or to Air Canada’s Aeroplan miles.

#1 Fixed Points Flight Rewards

The 1 cent per point valuation I’ve suggested above is extremely easy to achieve: all you need to do is apply your points against the spending on your American Express statement, nothing more. However, American Express’ Fixed Points Flight Rewards offer value that’s up to twice as good. Here’s how to capitalize on that.

The table below shows the redemption costs for various destinations around the world using the Fixed Points system. As you can see at the very top, you can redeem 15,000 points to offset $300 (value of 2 cents per point) on short-haul routes like those between Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and New York, as well as between Vancouver and Calgary. Longer flights offer a slightly lower valuation (1.5-1.75 cents per point). However, if you choose your routes wisely, they can still save you hundreds of dollars more than what you’re already saving by applying your points directly against your American Express statement.

At the end of the day, you really can’t lose.

American Express Cobalt Card for Canadians
Redeeming Amex Cobalt MR Select Points For Amex Fixed Points Flight Rewards At A Valuation Of Two Cents Per Point

The upside to this redemption method is that you’ll get up to twice the value of the statement credit. It’s also a very easy way of using your points on flights. The downside is that you can only use it for round-trip tickets, and it’s not the best choice when it comes to flight hacking an exceptional route.

#2 Avios

British Airways’ Avios points are very valuable. They can be used in a broad number of ways to get on really fantastic flights. They don’t impose the condition of return fares only, like the Amex Fixed Points Flight Rewards. As such, you’ll have a lot more flexibility when choosing how you want to use your points.

You’ll find all the details on how to maximize your MR points by transferring to Avios in our post on the Platinum Card. However, here’s a little sneak preview of some of the great thing you can do, once you’ve got enough Avios points:

Round Trip Toronto to Hong Kong
70,000 points
$100 total taxes/fees
Round trip Vancouver to Hong Kong
60,000 points
$90 total taxes/fees
Round-the-world Toronto to Hong Kong to Dubai to London to Toronto
74,500 points
$761 total taxes/fees
Round-the-world Vancouver to Hong Kong to Dubai to London to Vancouver
74,700 points
$742 total taxes/fees

This may seem like a lot of points, but it’s really not. If you spent $1,000 in food and drinks on your Cobalt Card every month for the first year, you’d finish the year with 90,000 MR points – more than enough for a round-the-world trip!

#3 Aeroplan

Aeroplan is another great example of a partner loyalty program that’ll really boost you MR points’ value. By using our strategies for flying from Asia to North America for $75 or from Canada to Europe for $50, the sky is truly the limit.

#3 Using Your Points For Hotel Stays

MR points are redeemable for travel and hotel stays through American Express Travel services. However, those options aren’t really your best choice. A good alternative is to transfer your points to hotel loyalty programs like the Marriott Bonvoy™ program or Hilton Honors.

In the first case, you can transfer your points at a 1:1.25 rate (or 4:5). This means that for every 1,000 MR points you transfer, you’ll receive 1,250 Marriott Bonvoy™ points. Because Marriott Bonvoy™ points are valued at around 0.8 cents per point, transferring you MR points at this rate will still give you a final value of 1 cent per MR point:

1.25 MB/MR x 0.8 cents/MB = 1 cent/MR

That’s why we recommend using them for flights.

#4 Using Your Amex Cobalt Points For Other Purchases

The last way to spend your MR points is by using them to pay directly for gift cards and other merchandise at select retailers, and for purchases through Amazon.ca.

This is generally a poor way to use your points, giving you a value of just ~0.7 cents per point.

How To Save Up to 15% on your spending with the American Express Cobalt

Just like its monthly fee, the Cobalt Card’s welcome bonus is also split into 12 equal parts.

Most American Express cards come with a single welcome bonus that you get once you reach a minimum amount charged to the card. The same principle applies to the Amex Cobalt, only on a monthly basis:

You can earn 2,500 bonus Cobalt points, every month, during the first year of card membership. To get each bonus, you need to charge a minimum of $500 to your Cobalt Card, every month.

If you manage to get the 12 bonuses (which isn’t really hard, for most of us), you’ll have a total of 30,000 bonus points by the end of the year. If you use those points for flights like the ones we mentioned above, they’re worth $600 – $900 to you.

That’s one sweet deal!

And keep in mind those are only the bonus MR points you’ll earn. You’ll also be earning on whatever you spend those dollars on. If you spend $1,000 per month in food and drinks, your first year will look like this:

$1,000 x 5 points per dollar x 12 months = 60,000 points

2,500 bonus points x 12 months = 30,000 points

Total: 90,000 MR points (valued between $1,800 and $2,700)

Points Earning Rate Of The Amex Cobalt

You can access three different earning rates with the Cobalt Amex:

  • 5X on eligible eats & drinks (with a cap at $30,000 per year)
  • 2X on stand-alone gas stations, eligible travel purchases and local commuter transportation
  • 1X on all other purchases

The 5X earning rate (5 points per every $1) on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food delivery, is a truly exceptional earning rates. At 2 cents per point, you’re getting 10% back on every food and drink purchase. At 3 cents per point, it’s 15%.

Plus, American Express is very generous with their definition of food and drinks:

Restaurants, quick service restaurants, coffee shops and drinking establishments in Canada, stand-alone grocery stores in Canada, delivery of food and groceries in Canada…

The flexibility of the food & drink category makes it especially easy for anyone to access it, every day. This is exactly what makes the American Express Cobalt card one of the best everyday spending cards available in Canada today.

A Unique Benefit: 2X Earnings On Local Commuter Transportation

Other American Express cards also offer 2X on travel purchases and on gas stations in Canada, but on your everyday commute?

Only the Cobalt Card does it!

American Express is also very generous with their definition of “Commuter Transportation,” which includes:

“…subway, streetcar, taxi, limousine and ride sharing services…as long as it’s the merchant’s primary business”

Yes… You could even get the 2X earning rate on your Uber ride! Some people are even calling the Amex Cobalt Card the new Uber credit card in Canada.

It’s really tough to find so many great features and benefits packed into one card.

The American Express Cobalt Travel Insurance And Shopping Coverage

Insurance coverage is very important to most travelers, and the Cobalt Card delivers a very comprehensive set of embedded insurance policies, given how inexpensive this card is.

The Amex Cobalt’s Travel Coverage

The travel related insurance policies that come with your new Amex Cobalt Card are:

  1. $5,000,000 Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country): This policy will cover virtually any accident that needs medical attention, once you’re on your way. The coverage is for you, your spouse, any dependent children, any additional cardmember, his or her spouse and dependent children, for any number of trips with a maximum duration of 15 days.
  2. $250,000 Travel Accident Insurance: This is an AD&D life insurance policy that covers you and your family while you”re all traveling in a common carrier.
  3. Flight Delay & Baggage Delay Insurance: Two separate policies but with an aggregate maximum coverage of $500. Intended to cover you for unforeseen expenses due to your flight or baggage been delayed for a long time. It includes out-of-pocket money, money for food and even hotel stays.
  4. Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance:This policy can help you recover up to $500 in lost items and personal effects.
  5. Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance: Similar to the Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance, it protects you for up to $500 in stolen personal effects if your hotel gets burglarized, as long as your lodgings were paid with your Amex Cobalt Card.
  6. Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance: You can use this policy to waive the vehicle rental company’s own insurance policy and get up to $85,000 of coverage without paying a single dime.

Amex Cobalt Purchase Coverage

Regarding card purchase coverage, the Amex Cobalt Card comes with American Express’ two standard policies:

  • The Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan, which doubles the manufacturer’s warranty for up to one extra year, on any purchase paid in full with your American Express Cobalt Card.
  • The Purchase Protection Plan, which covers your Cobalt Card purchases against accidental damage and theft, to a maximum of $1,000.

Read our post on American Express Insurance to learn all the details regarding these and other insurance policies offered by American Express Canada.

Free Additional Cobalt Cards

Giving your family members (or employees) additional cards is a great way to boost your earning rate. While some additional cards require you to pay an additional fee, this is not the case with the Amex Cobalt.

You can request up to 9 additional cobalt cards for additional cardholders, free of charge.

The only condition is that the additional cardholder needs to be 13 years of age or older.

To give you a glimpse of how much this benefit is worth, take a look at the Gold Rewards Card. This card has a comparable annual fee and similar benefits, but each additional Gold Card costs an extra $50.

Therefore…

9 additional Cobalt Cards could cost $450 a year, but you get them for free!

American Express Front Of The Line

The Amex Cobalt Card comes with American Express Invites, a benefits package for major public events like concerts and shows. These benefits include:

Front Of The Line Advance Access

This benefit lets you purchase or reserve tickets for highly sought after events, sometimes even before they’re on sale.

Front Of The Line Reserved Tickets

These are blocks of seats reserved by American Express exclusively for its cardmembers. With Reserved Tickets you won’t be left out of any major event, even when tickets have sold out for the general public.

Front Of The Line E-Updates

This is a subscription email service that periodically sends you the listings of all the events you can access thanks to your Amex Cobalt Card.

Other Amex Invites Benefits

Special Access and benefits at Budweiser Stage, Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall, including a separate entrance, lounges and bars.

The Bottom Line

The Amex Cobalt is a truly impressive choice for Canadians who travel once or more per year. Its generous welcome bonus, sky-high earnings rates on food and travel purchases, and low monthly fee make it an excellent value for most Canadians.

We firmly believe the Cobalt Card is one of the top three, if not the absolute best, travel credit card in Canada. Apply with confidence today.

American Express Travel Insurance Canada: A Review

American Express Travel Insurance Canada offers a set of very flexible and broad insurance policies to protect you while you travel. Thanks to excellent partners like Royal & Sun Alliance and Chubb Life Insurance Company of Canada, Amex has developed three separate ways for you to obtain travel insurance.

The first one is a set of embedded insurance policies that come with most of the Amex cards. These insurance policies can cover you for virtually any difficult circumstance that may arise during a trip, and you still get the option to purchase special Top-Up plans to extend or increase your card’s coverage if you need to.

The second is a series of four stand-alone travel insurance plans that you can purchase with many options like individual or family insurance, single-trip and multy-trip plans, different trip durations and a broad range of covered amounts, all this to help you choose the right coverage for your trip and your budget.

Finally, you can also purchase different life insurance plans through Amex’s four Air Trip Insurance plans that offer perks like unlimited trips, family coverage at no extra cost, coverage for the first 21 days of every trip, and more.

All and all, years of experience make American Express an expert at helping people travel around the world worry free, and its travel insurance plans will always be a great choice.

Becoming an American Express cardmember comes with a lot of perks, no matter which card you choose. Beside great benefits like welcome bonuses, loyalty rewards programs, travel credit and more, travel insurance is one of those things that adds a lot of value to each Amex card. American Express Travel Insurance consists of a wide range of different products or insurance policies, each of which comes with its own set of terms and conditions that you have to be aware of, in the undesired case that you should happen to need it.

In this week’s post, I’ll teach you the A-B-C behind all of American Express’ most important insurance policies, especially those related to travel. You’ll learn everything from eligibility, coverage, options, exclusions, how to make claims, and much more.

To make this post easier to read, I’ve broken it down into the following sections:

What is American Express Travel Insurance?

American Express Travel Insurance refers to a set of insurance products and services that American Express Canada offers its cardholders and other travelers. This sometimes confuses people who are accustomed to associating the Amex brand strictly with credit cards. However, don’t go thinking that the fact that Amex offers insurance policies makes it an insurance company. In fact, what Amex really does is keep an eye out for great insurance products they think people like you will like, and then they will reach an agreement with that insurance company to develop policies they can then offer to customers like you.

In other words, all Travel Insurance policies that Amex offers are actually underwritten by big, trustworthy insurance companies. The main allies American Express Canada relies on for its insurance products are two of Canada’s biggest names in insurance: Chubb Life Insurance Company of Canada, and Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada.

Together with these insurance companies, Amex helps thousands of customers travel with peace of mind, wherever they go.

What Type Of Coverage Does American Express Travel Insurance Offer?

By the hand of the mentioned insurance companies, American Express has developed a very handsome set of insurance policies to cover different types of expenses you may incur in, if anything should go wrong during your trip. Amex offers these policies either as a part of the benefits package that comes with their different cards, or as a part of stand-alone Traven Insurance Plans.

To make things easier to follow, I’ll group or categorize the different policies according to the type of coverage it offers. In this sense, Amex Travel Insurance policies are designed to protect your personal health and well-being, the investment on your travel arrangements, your personal effects while you travel, products or items you purchase with your Amex cards and other insurance products and services.

Read on to find a complete break-down of each type of coverage Amex offers:

Personal Health and Well-Being Coverage In American Express Travel Insurance

Amex offers two different insurance policies to help keep you healthy or to help you or your loved ones in the worst of cases:

Out Of ProvinceTerritory Emergency Medical Insurance

Nothing eases your mind when you travel like having a good medical insurance policy to back you up. The Out of Province/Territory Emergency Medical Insurance Policy covers pretty much anything related to accidents that need medical attention, and comes into effect once you leave your province or territory of residence. The coverage is for up to $5,000,000, which is a very handsome figure that’ll be enough for almost any medical emergency. The expenses covered by this policy include:

  • Hospital & Medical Expenses including ambulance, air ambulance, hospitalization, diagnostics tests, medical treatment, and more.
  • Hospital Allowance for up to $500 for hospitalizations that last more than 48 hours.
  • Emergency Dental Expenses for up to $1,000 to replace and/or repair teeth that were damaged during an accident, and a maximum of $250 to relieve dental pain.
  • Physiotherapy and Other Professional Services
  • Return to your Departure Point
  • Return of Deceased to point of origin
  • Additional Hotel & Meal Expenses when your hospitalization exceeds your return date.
  • Bringing a bedside companion to your bedside when you are traveling alone and need to be hospitalized
  • The expenses needed to return a vehicle to a residential home or to a rental agency
  • Return of Dependent Children or Grandchildren
  • Return of Travelling Companion
  • Return to your Trip Destination
  • Return of your Dog or Cat
  • Return of your Excess Baggage, and more

You can purchase this coverage as a part of one of the stand-alone American Express Travel Insurance plans (read ahead), or you can get it along with some of American Express’ higher end cards, like the Platinum Card or the AeroplanPlus Reserve Card, to name only a couple of them.

In the first case, you can choose between an individual and a family policy, between a per-trip plan and a multy-trip plan, and between 10 days and 31 days of coverage. The insurance policies that come with the Amex cards, however, are about the best you can get, because they include coverage for you, your spouse, any dependent children, any additional cardmember, his or her spouse and dependent children, for any number of trips with a maximum duration of 15 days.

And here is the kicker: the premium is already included in your cards annual fee, so you won’t pay a single extra dime!

As you can see, the stand-alone options are much more flexible, and you can get a good price in the end, whereas the card insurance is already top-of-the-line, and the premium is included in the card’s annual fee.

PRO TIP:

It’s important to note that the Emergency Medical Insurance is an Excess Insurance Policy, which means that it only comes into effect after your medical expenses surpass the coverage of your Canadian Government issued health insurance plan (read below for eligibility).

Travel Accident Insurance

This is a life insurance policy (AD&D policy), which means that it will pay a sum of money to whoever is in the contract, in case you or any other insured person dies as a consequence of an accident during your trip, or in case your body is lost and not recovered during the following year after an accident. It will also cover you for accidental dismemberment and loss of sight on one or both eyes.

As with the previous medical policy, the terms and conditions and the amounts covered depend on how you acquire the coverage:

The Travel Accident Insurance that comes with Amex cards is underwritten by the Chubb Life Insurance Company of Canada and It covers you, your spouse and your children under the age of 23, as well as any additional cardmember and his or her spouse and children. The only condition is that you are all traveling in the same carrier (plane, ship, train or bus), and that all tickets were paid for in full with the eligible Amex card. The only downside is that this policy will only cover you while in transit, and not when you’re at your destination, but that’s what the Travel Emergency Medical Insurance policy is for.

The maximum insured amount in the case of Amex cards depends on which card you have. The lowest figure sits at $100,000 and the highest at $500,000.

The travel Accident Insurance that comes as a part of an American Express Travel Insurance Plan, on the other hand, is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company, and it will grant a maximum of $50,000. The difference in covered amount comes from the fact that this policy covers for any kind of accident that may happen during your trip, not just while you’re in transit. As a consequence, the insurance company is assuming a higher risk, therefore it pays less.

Trip Investment Coverage In American Express Travel Insurance

Sometimes, trips can get canceled before they begin for unforeseeable reasons like accidents or a simple change of plans. Other times, you may have to cut your trip short and return home. In both of those cases, if you have pre-paid travel arrangements, you could ask for a refund for the unused portion of your travel arrangements, but companies will seldom refund the whole price, so you’ll end up losing money.

Amex Travel Insurance offers separate insurance policies to help protect your prepaid travel investment:

Trip Cancelation Insurance

This policy covers you for the non-refundable portions of prepaid trips, in case your trip is canceled for a covered reason, before it even starts.

When it comes with an Amex card, the maximum sum covered is $1,500 per person for a maximum of $3,000 for all insured persons combined.

When you purchase it with an Amex Travel Insurance Plan, besides the standard individual/group and per-trip/multy-trip options, you can actually choose between different covered amounts, so as to make sure that it will be enough to cover your entire trip arrangements. The minimum coverage you can purchase is for $1,000 per person/$2,000 per family, and the maximum is ten times as much, covering for up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per family.

Trip Interruption Insurance

If, after you begin your trip, it is interrupted or you miss a connection or similar, the Trip Interruption Insurance policy that comes with some cards and with some of the American Express Travel Insurance plans will cover the non-refundable unused portion of your travel arrangements, as well as the most cost effective flight fares either to rejoin your tour, to your point of departure or to your next trip destination. It also covers pocket money for small daily expenses.

When it comes with an Amex card, the maximum coverage is for up to $3,000 per person and $6,000 for all insured persons combined. When purchased separately, you can choose different coverage options that range from $1,000 per person/$2,000 per family, all the way up to $10,000 per person/$20,000 per family. In case of a multy-trip insurance plan, the maximum amount covered is $20,000 per family per year, regardless of what coverage you purchased for every trip.

In the case of out-of-pocket money, the maximum is $100 a day per person, with a cap at $1,000 per person and $3,000 per family.

Personal Effects Coverage In American Express Travel Insurance

Losing personal effects because your baggage was stolen or it simply disappeared while in transit is something no one wants to go through. In these cases, American Express Travel Insurance has you covered with three separate insurance policies:

Lost Or Stolen Baggage Insurance

If your luggage disappears, gets damaged for some reason or someone steals it, the Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance policy can help you recover up to $500 or $1,000 worth in personal effects, when the coverage comes as a part of one of your Amex cards. If you have valuable items in your luggage, $1,000 of coverage may not be enough, so you can also purchase a Supplemental Plan to increase this coverage by $7,500.

Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance

This policy covers up to $500 in lost personal items in case your hotel is burglarized, as long as you paid for the room with your eligible American Express Card.

Baggage And Personal Effects Insurance

This is the equivalent to the Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance that comes with some Amex cards, but that you purchase in a separate American Express Travel Insurance Plan. It includes reimbursements for up to $1,000 per person ($3,000 per family) per trip for lost or damaged personal items and effects.

It also covers you for up to $400 in clothing and other necessary toiletries, in case your baggage is delayed for more than 12 hours, and it will reimburse any expense for up to $250 to replace lost passports, driver’s license, birth certificates or travel visas.

Card Purchase Coverage

Purchase Protection Plan

Regarding purchase coverage, almost all Amex cards come with the Purchase Protection Plan that covers your purchases against accidental damage and theft, for a maximum of $1,000. This is great for travelers who love to bring home souvenirs that can sometimes be fragile and delicate. Of course, products you buy will only be covered if they were paid in full with an eligible Amex card (see table below for a complete list of Amex cards and their included insurance policies).

Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan

This insurance plan is also really helpful to protect your purchases. The Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan doubles the manufacturer’s warranty on any purchase paid in full with an eligible Amex card, for a maximum of one extra year (see table below for a complete list of Amex cards and their included insurance policies).

Other Personal Insurance Products And Services

Baggage and Flight Delay Insurance

Flights can be delayed for long periods, and during this time, you may have unplanned expenses like eating at a restaurant or even staying at a hotel. Your baggage not arriving on time can be just as frustrating and can generate more expenses. Amex’s Flight Delay and Baggage Delay Insurance cover you for these, and other sundry expenses.

Flight Delay and Baggage Delay Insurance are actually two separate policies. However, the maximum covered amount is an aggregate amount for both policies taken together. This means that if you are covered for $500 on both policies, you won’t get a total of $1,000 of coverage, but actually a $500 limit after you add any expense arising from your baggage or flight being delayed.

As usual, the amounts covered depend on the insurance plan. If you’re a Cardmember, you can boast either a $500 or a $1,000 aggregate limit, depending on which card you have. On stand-alone Travel Insurance plans, the maximum covered amount is $400, and it comes included in the Baggage & Personal Effects Insurance, as mentioned above.

Car Rental Theft And Damage Insurance

This one only comes with Amex cards. When you rent a car, you’re required to buy a Theft and Damage policy which can cost anywhere from $16 to $23 per day! To give you an idea, if you were to rent a car for a one-week business trip, this could add up to as much as $161 just for the insurance (not counting the car rental itself).

If you pay for the car rental with an American Express Card that includes Car Rental Theft & Damage Insurance, you can waive the rental company’s own policy and use your card’s instead, without paying a single extra dime.

The coverage limit for this policy, regardless of which Amex card you own, is $85,000, so do try and stay away from Lamborghinis and Ferraris if you want Amex to cover it.

24/7 Travel Emergency Assistance

This is a service offered by Amex to travelers. It gives you access to legal and medical assessment over the phone during your trip, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This helps a lot, especially if you’re in a country whose laws you’re unfamiliar with.

StandbyMDSM Program: Travel Medical Concierge

This is a special service provided by Global Excel (the same company that handles claims for RSA) to Amex Platinum and Business Platinum cardholders only. As the name lets on, it’s the equivalent to the Platinum American Express Concierge service, only for medical care and advice, instead of lifestyle recommendations. It’s a program designed to reduce your inconvenience of having to search for medical assistance when you travel. It does so by providing 24/7/365 access to physician telephone consultations, as well as arrangement of house call visits when travelling almost anywhere in the world.

This service is incredibly useful to travelers, in particular if you’re visiting a country for the first time and you still don’t know your way around.

It’s pretty common to see that people sometimes purchase insurance policies but don’t read the fine print with a lot of care, or they simply don’t read it at all, so they really don’t know what to do in case of an emergency. It can be really scary to have an accident abroad and not know which way to turn to get help. The StandbyMD concierge is one phone call away, and he or she will immediately tell you what to do, give you professional medical advice, and even arrange for an ambulance to take you to the closest and most adequate medical institution, making sure that all expenses will be eligible for coverage by your Emergency Medical Insurance.

If the Amex Platinum Concierge takes the hassle out of planning your days when you travel, the StandbyMD concierge takes the stress out of seeking medical attention when you need it the most.

Read our posts on The Platinum Card and the Business Platinum Card from American Express to find out more about all the other great benefits that come with these cards.

Special Coverage For Small Businesses

Besides personal insurance policies, Amex also offers special insurance policies for companies and small businesses. These products are designed to protect owners and employees against permanent disability while they travel, and to protect the business against misuse of corporate cards by employees.

Disability Plan For Small Businesses

Amex partnered with AIG Insurance Company of Canada to offer their Corporate Cardmembers protection in case they suffer an accident that renders them unable to perform their duties in the company or Small Business they work at. This benefit covers sole proprietors of the business and his or her spouse, or any corporate cardholder of the business, proprietor or not. Depending on how long the card has been in effect, this disability plan will pay the permanently disabled person a total sum of $10,000, $25,000 or $50,000 if, after 12 months from the accident, the person is still disabled.

This disability plan also covers disabled employee replacement expenses for up to $10,000, overhead expenses to keep the business running for up to $5,000, in case the sole proprietor of the business is disabled, and even business closing expenses in case the business cannot keep going without the proprietor.

Employee Card Misuse Protection Program

Issuing one of your employees a credit card in the business’ name can seem risky to some. Those sort of cards are obviously for business related expenses only, but there’s always the risk that an employee will use it, without authorization, for personal expenses. The Employee Card Misuse Protection Program insures small businesses against this type of card use. If the purchase is not an Authorized Expense, Amex will waive the company’s liability in most cases, for up to a maximum of $100,000 per Amex card.

Which American Express Travel Insurance Policies Come With My Amex Card?

As you probably already know, American Express is famous for providing extensive and comprehensive travel and purchase coverage on all of its higher end credit and charge cards. Of course, that sort of coverage usually comes with heavy annual fees, but there are also many less expensive options that can give you enough coverage for you to enjoy the ride, worry free.

In the following tables, you’ll find the complete list of all 21 Amex cards for Canadians, and the insurance coverage you get when you sign up to any one of them.

The amounts shown refer to the maximum insured sums. I also included all the available Top-up plans or Supplemental Plans for each type of insurance. The Top-Up Plan for Emergency Medical Insurance extends your coverage for an extra 15 days, giving you a full month of coverage. The Supplemental Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance Plan increases your Card coverage up to a maximum of $15,000. In the case of the Supplemental Lost or Stolen Baggage policy, the coverage is increased to a maximum of $7,500.

  The American Express card insurance coverage The American Express Card



The American Express Gold Rewards card's insurance coverage American Express Gold Rewards Card


The American Express Business Gold Rewards card's insurance coverage American Express Business Gold Rewards Card

The Platinum card's insurance coverage The Platinum Card



The Business Platinum card's insurance coverage Business Platinum Card From American Express The Marriott Bonvoy American Express card's insurance coverage Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card's insurance coverage Marriot Bonvoy Business American Express Card
Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country) $5,000,000 – for the first 15 days X ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days) X ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days) ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days) X X
Travel Accident Insurance ✔ ($250,000) ✔ ($500,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($500,000) ✔ ($500,000) ✔ ($500,000) ✔ ($500,000)
Trip Cancellation Insurance X X X ✔ ($5,000 +Supplemental Plan for $15,000) ✔ ($3,000 +Supplemental Plan for $15,000) X X
Trip Interruption Insurance X ✔ ($6,000) X ✔ ($6,000 +Supplemental Plan for $15,000) ✔ ($6,000 +Supplemental Plan for $15,000) X X
Baggage Delay Insurance (aggregate with Flight Delay) X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500)
Flight Delay Insurance (aggregate with Baggage Delay) X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500)
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance X ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($1,000 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($1,000 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan for $7,500) ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan for $7,500)
Travel Emergency Assistance
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500)
Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance X ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000)
Standby MDSM Travel Medical Concierge X X X X X
Purchase Protection® Plan ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000)
Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan
Employee Card Misuse Protection Program X X ✔ (up to $100,000) X ✔ (up to $100,000) X ✔ (up to $100,000)
Disability Plan For Small Businesses X X ✔ ($10,000 to $50,000) X ✔ ($10,000 to $50,000) X ✔ ($10,000 to $50,000)
    Blue Sky Credit Card insurance coverage Blue Sky Credit Card


Essential Credit Card insurance coverage American Express Essential Credit Card Cobalt Card insurance coverage American Express Cobalt Card

AeroplanPlus Card insurance coverage AeroplanPlus Card


AeroplanPlus Gold Card insurance coverage AeroplanPlus Gold Card


AeroplanPlus Platinum Card insurance coverage AeroplanPlus Platinum Card


AeroplanPlus Reserve Card insurance coverage AeroplanPlus Reserve Card


Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country) $5,000,000 – for the first 15 days X X ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days) X X ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days) ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days)
Travel Accident Insurance ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($250,000) ✔ ($250,000) ✔ ($500,000) ✔ ($500,000) ✔ ($500,000)
Trip Cancellation Insurance X X X X X ✔ ($3,000 +Supplemental Plan available for $15,000) ✔ ($3,000 +Supplemental Plan available for $15,000)
Trip Interruption Insurance X X X X X ✔ ($6,000 +Supplemental Plan available for $15,000) ✔ ($6,000 +Supplemental Plan available for $15,000)
Baggage Delay Insurance (aggregate with Flight Delay) X X ✔ ($500) X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000)
Flight Delay Insurance (aggregate with Baggage Delay) X X ✔ ($500) X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000)
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance X X ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) X ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($1,000 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($1,000 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500)
Travel Emergency Assistance X X X
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance X X ✔ ($500) X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000)
Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance X X ✔ ($85,000) X ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000)
Standby MDSM Travel Medical Concierge X X X X X X X
Purchase Protection® Plan X ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000)
Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan X
Employee Card Misuse Protection Program X X X X X X X
Disability Plan For Small Businesses X X X X X X X
  Air Miles credit card insurance coverage American Express Air Miles Credit Card

Air Miles Platinum credit card insurance coverage American Express Air Miles Platinum Credit Card Air Miles Reserve credit card insurance coverage American Express Air Miles Reserve Credit Card

Air Miles for business credit card insurance coverage American Express Air Miles For Business Card

Air Miles Gold Business credit card insurance coverage American Express Air Miles Gold Business Card

SimplyCash Card insurance coverage SimplyCash Card from American Express

SimplyCash Preferred Card insurance coverage SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country) $5,000,000 – for the first 15 days X X ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days) X X X ✔ (Top-Up Plan available for over 15 days)
Travel Accident Insurance ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000) ✔ ($100,000)
Trip Cancellation Insurance X X X X X X X
Trip Interruption Insurance X X X X X X X
Baggage Delay Insurance (aggregate with Flight Delay) X X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500) X X ✔ ($500)
Flight Delay Insurance (aggregate with Baggage Delay) X X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500) X X ✔ ($500)
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance X X ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500) X X ✔ ($500 + Supplemental Plan available for $7,500)
Travel Emergency Assistance X X X X X X X
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance X X ✔ ($500) ✔ ($500) X X ✔ ($500)
Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance X ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) ✔ ($85,000) X X ✔ ($85,000)
StandbyMDSM Travel Medical Concierge X X X X X X X
Purchase Protection® Plan ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000) X ✔ ($1,000) ✔ ($1,000)
Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan X
Employee Card Misuse Protection Program X X X ✔ (up to $100,000) X X X
Disability Plan For Small Businesses X X X ✔ ($10,000 to $50,000) ✔ ($10,000 to $50,000) X X

Stand-Alone American Express Travel Insurance Plans

If you’re not an Amex cardholder, or if your Amex card doesn’t have all the coverage options you want for your next trip, American Express Travel Insurance offers the possibility to purchase separate insurance policies as a part of four different Insurance Plans: The Basic, Essential and Ultimate Travel & Medical plans, and the Select Travel Plan.

Before we dive into the details of each one of these four American Express Travel Insurance Plans, let’s discuss the different options you can choose from when you decide to enroll. First of all, for each one of these travel insurance plans, you can choose either an individual policy for yourself or a group policy for you and your entire family. Secondly, you can also choose to buy a separate policy for every trip (Per-Trip policy), or you can also purchase a year-long policy for an unlimited number of trips (Annual Multy-Trip policy) in case you plan to travel more than once in the following year. Finally, each plan comes with different options regarding the maximum insured amount (read above for more info), which has a direct impact on the overall premium you have to pay for the Insurance Plan you choose.

Per-Trip Policy Vs. Multy-Trip Policy

If you’re not a frequent flier, or if you only plan to travel once in the following year, it doesn’t make sense to pay for Travel Insurance that covers more than one trip. For this case scenario, Amex offers Per-Trip Travel Insurance Policies, which you purchase prior to your planned trip. However, you might plan to travel more than once, and you may even be a frequent flier and may end up traveling several times during a year.  In that case, it may make better sense to purchase an Annual Multy-Trip Travel Insurance Policy that will cover you (and your family, if you pay the premium) for an unlimited number of trips during a period of one year.

Group Policy Vs. Individual Policy

For a Premium, Amex and its partners (the insurance companies that underwrite all of the American Express Travel Insurance policies) offer the possibility to extend the coverage of each of their policies to your family. By “Family” they mean you, your spouse (legally married or in a conjugal relationship of at least one year) and any dependent children (under 21 if not a student, under 26 if a full time student).

It’s only obvious that family coverage is more expensive than an individual policy (you have to pay a premium), but the premium is always cheaper than buying individual insurance policies for each family member.

One thing to consider when choosing group travel insurance policies is that, if you choose a single trip policy, your family will only be covered if you all travel together. In the case if a Multi-Trip family policy, since it covers any number of trips per insured person, all members of the family may travel separately, any number of times, and will still be covered.

Let’s now dive into the details behind the four American Express Travel Insurance Plans:

The Basic Travel & Medical Plan

As its name suggests, the Basic Travel & Medical Plan only offers the most basic coverage you might need while abroad. In fact, this insurance plan only comes with the Out of Province/Territory Emergency Medical Insurance coverage, which, as mentioned above, cover you for up to $5,000,000 in emergency medical expenses and other expenses related to any medical treatment you might need because of an eligible accident.

As you can see, this plan doesn´t offer any protection for the investment made on prepaid trip arrangements, nor for any other travel related incidents like burglary, trip or baggage delays, loss or theft, rental car insurance, etc.

This is an attractive option for many adventure seekers who seldom worry about purchasing travel insurance but who, nevertheless, travel to tropical countries where there is a high risk of certain diseases and unforeseeable accidents.

The Select Travel Plan

The Select Travel Plan is the complete opposite of the abovementioned Basic Travel & Medical Plan. It includes everything the latter lacks:

  • Trip Cancelation Insurance (up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per family)
  • Trip Interruption Insurance (up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per family)
  • Trip Delay Insurance (up to $1,000 per person or $3,000 per family)
  • Baggage and Personal Effects Insurance (including up to $3,000 for lost or stolen baggage and $250 for replacing documents like ID, Passport, Driver’s License and birth certificates)
  • $400 for expenses related to baggage delay.
  • Up to $50,000 for Flight & Travel Accident Insurance

The last item is an AD&D policy, like in the case of the Travel Accident Insurance policies mentioned before (the ones that cover from $100,000 to $500,000). As stated before, the difference in the insured sum, is that this policy covers you for any accident during the whole trip, not just while in transit.

Essential Travel & Medical Plan

This is one of American Express Travel Insurance’s comprehensive insurance plans. Why? Because it covers medical emergencies, your trip investment and your personal effects, all in one package. This is almost an all-inclusive insurance plan. It gives you the Emergency Medical Insurance that comes with the Basic Travel & Medical Plan, and all but the Trip Cancelation Insurance that comes with the Select Travel Plan.

In other words, the Essential Travel & Medical Plan includes:

  • $5,000,000  of coverage in Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Trip Interruption Insurance (up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per family)
  • Trip Delay Insurance (up to $1,000 per person or $3,000 per family)
  • Baggage and Personal Effects Insurance (including up to $3,000 for lost or stolen baggage and $250 for replacing documents like ID, Passport, Driver’s License and birth certificates)
  • $400 of coverage for expenses related to baggage delay.
  • Up to $50,000 for Flight & Travel Accident Insurance

The Ultimate Travel & Medical Plan

As far as stand-alone Travel Insurance Plans go, The Ultimate Travel & Medical Plan has it all. It basically combines the Basic & Medical Plan and the Select Travel Plan to make the most comprehensive Travel Insurance Plan that American Express Travel Insurance offers. It includes:

  • $5,000,000  of coverage in Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Trip Cancelation Insurance (up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per family)
  • Trip Interruption Insurance (up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per family)
  • Trip Delay Insurance (up to $1,000 per person or $3,000 per family)
  • Baggage and Personal Effects Insurance (including up to $3,000 for lost or stolen baggage and $250 for replacing documents like ID, Passport, Driver’s License and birth certificates)
  • $400 of coverage for expenses related to baggage delay.
  • Up to $50,000 for Flight & Travel Accident Insurance

Amex Air Trip Insurance

If you’ve read our reviews of the different Amex cards and their insurance coverage, you’ll notice that, in virtually all cases, you have to pay for the entire trip itinerary with your eligible Amex card in order for you to be covered. In some cases, if you pay for your trip with frequent flyer points like Aeroplan miles, your trip won’t be covered, even though you earned the points by charging your Amex card.

Amex Air Trip Insurance is a life insurance product offered by American Express that could give you and your family coverage for an unlimited number of trips, during flights and for up to 21 days after you reach your destination, regardless of which payment method you use for your itinerary. This is great news if you’re not already an Amex cardmember, or if your Airline or Travel Operator doesn’t accept American Express.

Contrary to the American Express Travel Insurance plans, which are underwritten by RSA Insurance Company, Amex’s second biggest ally in the insurance world, The Chubb Life Insurance Company of Canada, underwrites the Air Trip Insurance Plans. Just like in the former case, there are four Air Trip Insurance plans: The Basic, Essential, Deluxe and Ultimate Plans. Common benefits across all four plans include the flexibility to choose between a single annual premium and monthly premium payments, and coverage for an unlimited number of trips during a 365 days period. Read on to learn the key benefits that you’ll get with each Air Trip Insurance Plan:

Basic Amex Air Trip Insurance Plan

As its name clearly indicates, this is only the most basic of plans and it only offers one benefit for yourself:

  • $250,000 accidental death coverage when you fly.

Essential Amex Air Trip Insurance Plan

In this case, you get twice the life insurance coverage and more benefits such as:

  • Coverage for you and your family at no extra cost (no family premium)
  • $500,000 of accidental death coverage when you fly (for all family members)
  • $50,000 ground and cruise accidental death coverage for the first 21 days of your trip

Deluxe Amex Air Trip Insurance Plan

This is basically twice the Essential plan, granting you the following benefits:

  • Coverage for you and your family at no extra cost (no family premium)
  • $1,000,000 of accidental death coverage when you fly (for all family members)
  • $100,000 ground and cruise accidental death coverage for the first 21 days of your trip

Ultimate Amex Air Trip Insurance Plan

The Ultimate Plan is the highest coverage in life insurance that Amex offers. It will give you:

  • Coverage for you and your family at no extra cost (no family premium)
  • $1,500,000 of accidental death coverage when you fly (for all family members)
  • $100,000 ground and cruise accidental death coverage for the first 21 days of your trip
  • An additional $200,000 coverage for the first 21 days of your trip, if the accident occurs on a bus, boat or taxy.

Eligibility For The American Express Travel Insurance

The eligibility depends on if the insurance is embedded in an Amex card or if it’s part of a stand-alone American Express Travel Insurance Plan.

  • For card-embedded insurance policies, the first condition to be eligible for coverage is to be a basic cardholder, his or her spouse or dependent child, or to be a supplementary cardholder, his or her spouse or dependent child. In other words, you have to be a Canadian citizen or resident, client of Amex Bank of Canada or of Amex Canada Inc., or a family member of a client.
  • For American Express Travel Insurance Plans, you will be automatically eligible if you are a client of Amex Canada or a family member of a client (considering that you paid the family premium), more than 15 days old, and under 60 years old.

If you are 60 years old or older, but under 79, you will first need to answer a medical questionnaire to give all required information on pre-existing medical conditions. Based on the answers given, you will fall into one of 5 different categories. In that case, you will only be eligible for coverage if any prior illness, heart or lung condition has been stable for the stability period defined for you category.

Another condition is that, since the Emergency Medical Insurance is an excess insurance policy, YOU MUST HAVE A CANADIAN GOVERNMENT INSURANCE PLAN to cover the initial expenses of your medical treatment, otherwise you won’t be eligible for the Amex Travel Insurance.

How Much Does American Express Travel Insurance Cost?

The cost of card embedded insurance policies come included with the cards annual fee, so it’s not possible to estimate it accurately. In the case of stand-alone insurance plans, the final premium you have to pay depends on many options like per-trip or multy-trip plans, individual or family policies, the age of each insured person, gender, pre-existing conditions, and, above all, the insured amounts you decide to choose.

You can get an exact quote either by calling the American Express Travel Insurance enrollment center at 1-844-200-8959, or you by filling out an online form here.

I won’t lie to you. If you were to compare prices with other travel insurance companies, you can find cheaper options. However, the quality of service, the extensive coverage and the reliability that Amex and its affiliate companies offer make the American Express Travel Insurance be well worth the price.

I Need To Use My Insurance, What Do I Do?

If you ever suffer an accident in the middle of a trip, your flight is delayed or, in general, if anything bad happens to you that is covered by any of the American Express Travel Insurance policies, then you absolutely need to make a claim as soon as possible. Making a claim means contacting American Express, or, to be more precise, the insurance company that underwrites the specific policy, to inform them of the event.

Of course, it may happen that you are unable to contact them immediately, either because you are medically unable (you might be unconscious), or because there is no way to communicate from where you are. If this is the case, Don’t panic! American Express understands that this could happen. Someone else can contact the insurer for you, or you can contact them as soon as you are able, and there will be no harm done.

In order to make sure that your claim is legitimate, the insurer is authorized by contract to request any necessary documentation related to your accident or incident. Insurance companies will also often put clauses in the contract that seek to make sure they minimize their losses, while still being able to give you the service they promise. In this sense, you have to always remember that it’s your responsibility to keep your side of the bargain, if you expect the insurer to do the same.

In this post, I’ve shown you the most important aspects of American Express Travel Insurance as of today. However, the underwriting insurers may decide to change their master policies at any given time, and Amex may decide to change their insurance plans, or even switch to another insurance company. For this reason, no matter how thorough I may be, it is still imperative that you

read you contract or certificate of insurance very carefully

and clear up any doubts that may come up with Amex and the underwriting insurance company before you commit, and, most importantly, before you actually travel.

As general advice, if you need to make a claim, re-read your contract first, before you actually call or contact the claims department.

How To Make A Claim

Each insurance company has its own claims department, and in some cases, they use a separate company to handle claims. As a consequence, making a claim will depend on which travel insurance policy or plan you have.

  • For claims related to card embedded  insurance coverage you can fill out an online claims form here. This includes claims related to the Purchase Protection Plan, the Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan and the Car Rental Theft and Damage insurance policy.
  • For all insurance products underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada for the different Amex Travel Insurance Plans, claims are made through Global Excell by calling 1-844-780-0501 toll-free from the U.S. & Canada, or +819-780-0501 collect from anywhere in the world.
  • For life insurance included in the Travel Accidents Insurance available with some Amex cards, you or a family member is required to contact Chubb Life Insurance Company of Canada in order to make a claim.

FAQs

What Is A Top-Up Plan?

A Top-Up Plan is an extension of coverage you purchase through the Amex Travel Insurance Enrolment Center, to cover for a part of your trip that is not completely covered by your primary insurance policy. For example, if you purchased the Out of Province/Territory Emergency Medical Insurance that will cover you for 10 consecutive days, but your trip lasts 20 days, then you need to purchase extra coverage for the extra 10 days that your primary policy doesn’t cover. This extra coverage is an example of a Top-Up plan.

If I paid my premium and receive my Certificate of Insurance, and I decide to back down and cancel it, will I get a refund?

You will get a full refund if you do so within the first ten days from the emision of your certificate of insurance. If the certificate is sent via mail, you’ll get 15 days from the day it was posted. You have to notify the insurer as soon as posible, or else you might have to pay a $15 administrative fee, and you’ll probably lose part of the premium you paid.

You can even cancel your insurance coverage after you started on your trip, as long as you haven’t made any claims, and you will be refunded a fraction of the premium you paid minus administrative fees.

If I purchase a Per-Trip policy and my trip is cancelled, will I lose the prime I paid?

You can cancel your policy during the ten consecutive days following the emision of the certificate of insurance and you will receive a full refund. If more than 10 days have already passed, you can still cancel it and receive a refund for part of your primium but you also have to pay $15 for administrative expenses.

However, if you purchased an insurance plan with trip cancelation coverage, and the reason for which the trip was canceled is covered by the policy, it probably makes beter sense to keep your policy and make a claim to recover the prepaid trip arrangements.

What Does “Underwritten” Mean And What Does It Imply?

An underwritten policy is an insurance policy ofered by one company (in our case, American Express Canada), as a part of a group master policy issued to that company by another insurance company, which is referred to as the underwriter (in our case RSA or Chubb Life).

What this implies is that the company that offered you the insurance is not really the one that’s insuring you. When you sign your contract and when you need to make a claim, it’s the underwriting company that’s liable, not the company that ofered the policy.

The American Express Gold Rewards Card Canada: A Review

American Express Gold Rewards Card
American Express Gold Rewards Card

The American Express Gold Rewards Card is a great choice for a Membership Rewards (MR) points earning card on a medium budget. With $100 USD in hotel credit (~$130 CAD), a free additional card worth another $50, and loads more benefits like great travel insurance, complimentary room upgrades and more, you’ll be making money just by signing up and keeping it in your wallet, even after paying the $150 annual fee. In addition, the flexibility of MR points means that you’ll allways find a great way to spend them, and even if you don’t, you can always redeem them for a statement credit.

The 25,000 MR points welcome bonus makes the American Express Gold Rewards Card an excellent value.

The American Express Gold Rewards Card is one of Amex Canada’s best choices for most Canadians. By signing up to it, you effectively trade-off Amex benefits like the Concierge service, for a moderate fee that’s easily affordable by most, but you still get some of the best insurance policies Amex has to offer, hotel credit on over 600 properties worldwide and more.

Even though choosing the right credit card can seem daunting at times, given the number of options available, it really doesn’t have to be. It all comes to breaking down all the information, crunching some numbers and then making an educated decision, which is exactly what you’ll be able to do by the end of this post.

Read on to find out about the good and the bad with the American Express Gold Rewards Card, all of the card’s benefits, how and when to use them to your best advantage and, in general, if it’s a good fit for your lifestyle.

I’ve broken the post down into the following sections for your convenience:

Let’s begin!

A Quick Glance at the Overall Pros and Cons of the Amex Gold Canada

Here’s a quick glance at the things you’ll love and things you won’t about the American Express Gold Rewards Card:

PROS CONS
Welcome bonus of 25,000 MR points
$100 USD in hotel credit and complimentary room upgrades at The Hotel Collection properties
Afordable annual fee
Extensive travel insurance, including out of province emergency medial insurance
Good earning rate on many common, everyday expenses like fuel, food, drink and medicines.
Points transferable to Aeroplan, Avios and other loyalty rewards programs at a 1:1 rate.
No Amex Concierge
No additional travel benefits like lounge access
Charge card, not a credit card
High interest rate applied on unpaid balance

Basic Features and Benefits

The American Express Gold Rewards Card comes with a generous welcome bonus and excellent travel benefits, as you’ll soon find out. Here is the list of the most relevant and important features and benefits that come with the card:

Welcome Bonus 25,000 MR points
Travel Benefits $100 USD in Hotel credit
Complimentary room upgrades in eligible Hotels
1 car class upgrade on Hertz car rentals of 5+ days.
1 Additional driver fee waived for Hertz car rental
Annual Fee $150
Additional card Annual Fee The first one is free
$50 each additional card
Points Earned Per $1 Spent on eligible purchases2 MR points + 1 additional MR point if you purchase through Amex Travel.
Points Earned Per $1 Spent everywhere else1 MR points
American Express Invites
American Express Concierge X
Travel Coverage $5,000,000 Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country)
Trip Interruption Insurance
$500,000 Travel Accident Insurance
Flight Delay Insurance
Baggage Delay Insurance
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
Purchase Coverage Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
Purchase Protection Plan
Eligibility Canadian citizens or residents
A valid Canadian Credit file
An account in good standing (credit score of at least 650)
Type of Card Charge Card
Applied interest rate 30% on any unpaid balance

Above: The American Express Gold Rewards card’s features and benefits.

Ok! Now, let’s take a closer look at all the features and benefits and crunch some numbers so I can show you how much they’ll really be worth to you:

Features Explained

The Annual Fee

Most credit or charge cards, especially those that come with great benefits like this one, require paying a fee. As far as fees go, the lower-end fees might be of a couple of tens of dollars, and high-end cards come with heavy fees that can reach almost $1,000.

There are credit cards that don’t come with an annual fee, but in those cases, the only way to reek the benefits of the card is to use it frequently.

As you can see, the Gold Rewards Card’s annual fee of $150 could be considered as somewhat middle ground. It’s safe to say that most Canadians will be able to afford it, and will do so gladly after seeing that the fee is actually an investment that could end up saving you a lot of money, as we’ll show you with real-life examples in this post.

Points Earning Rate

The American Express Gold Rewards card will earn you Membership Rewards points for any purchase you charge to it. Read on to learn the What, the What for and the How regarding MR points and the Gold Rewards card.

What are Membership Rewards points?

Membership Rewards points, or MR points for short, are the points you earn per every dollar of purchases when you charge those purchases to some of the Amex cards, such as the American Express Gold Rewards Card, the Business Gold Rewards Card or the Amex Platinum Card, to name a few.

Membership Rewards is American Express’ own loyalty program, and it “rewards” you for signing up and using the Amex cards. Some Amex cards don’t earn you MR points even though they are from American Express, but that’s only because they’re associated with other third-party loyalty programs like the Marriott Bonvoy Card that earns you Bonvoy points, or the AeroplanPlus card family that’ll earn you Aeroplan miles.

How much are Membership Rewards points worth?

As with all loyalty programs, the value of your MR points depends on how you redeem them. The good thing about MR points is that they’re about the most flexible points out there, and you can use them virtually on anything you might possibly want.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do with your MR points:

· Using MR points for a Statement Credit

The absolute easiest way to redeem your points is through a statement credit, which is pretty much like getting your cash back after the purchase.

When you use your points directly against your card’s statement, you’ll get a value of 1 cent per point. That’s $10 for every 1,000 MR points.

· The Amex Fixed Points Travel Program

Amex MR points can be used to pay for return airfares offered through American Express Travel Services Canada or americanexpress.ca/travel. The good thing about this program is that you can use it to pay for flights on any carrier, on any date and to any destination whatsoever. The only drawbacks are that only return flights are eligible and that Amex puts a cap on the base price covered by the program.

The images below are the flight charts for the Fixed Points Travel Program. The first one shows the points and the maximum base price for Economy Class fares and the next one shows the same for Business class fares.

Fixed Points Travel Program flight chart for Economy class flight rewards - Amex Gold Canada
Flight Chart for the American Express Fixed Points Travel Program in Economy Class
Fixed Points Travel Program flight chart for business class flight rewards - Amex Gold Canada
Flight Chart for the American Express Fixed Points Travel Program in Business Class

As you can see from the charts above, the best case scenario with this type of redemption would be using your MR points for the most popular Short-haul trips inside Canada and Continental USA, like the Montreal-New York route. In that case, you can trade in 15,000 MR points to offset a maximum of $300 of the base ticket price, which sums up to 2 cents per MR point.

The worst you can do with this type of redemption is 1.5 cents per MR point, which you get for other short-haul Economy Class flights, and with Canada-Europe trips.

I always try to use my points for flights instead of a statement credit, because, no matter what flight I use them for, I will always get more value from my points.

Summarizing:

When you use your points on the Fixed Points Travel Program, you can get a value of up to 2 cents per point. That’s $20 for every 1,000 MR points.

· Transfering your MR points to other loyalty programs

Another way to use your points wisely is to transfer them to other loyalty programs like Avios, or Aeroplan at a 1:1 rate. The final valuation of your MR points in those cases will depend on how you take advantage of those loyalty programs.

For example, if you were to transfer your points to Aeroplan miles, you will get, on average, 2.5 cents per mile (therefore per MR point as well), and if you fly creatively, you could even get up to 4 cents per mile, as we explain in our post on The AeroplanPlus card family.

Another great benefit of transferring the points is that sometimes (at least once a year) American Express offers transfer bonuses of up to 25% for every 20,000 points you transfer. This means that by transferring the welcome bonus’ 25,000 MR points, you’ll get 5,000 extra miles for a grand total of 30,000 Aeroplan miles.

· Using MR points to pay for consumer goods

Almost all rewards programs offer the possibility to use your reward points for online purchases through an online store. The American Express Membership Rewards program offers it too.

Through their online store (which you’ll find here) you can use your points to buy all sorts of products that span many categories like electronics, kids products, kitchenware and many more.

Even though this turns out to be a very practical and easy way to spend your MR points, keep in mind that it comes at the price of lower points value.

Let’s run some numbers to show you what I mean:

There is a very popular laptop computer offered at the Amex Membership Rewards e-store for almost 190,000 MR points. Both the manufacturer and Amazon.ca sell the exact same computer for $1,200.

So in this purchase, the 190,000 points will offset $1,200, giving you a value of only 0.63 cents per point. This is a very poor valuation by any standard.

My advice is: use your MR points on travel, and not on purchases.

PRO TIP: If you’re keen on buying something with your points, you’re better off buying it with your American Express Gold Rewards Card, and then using your points for a statement credit.

The Bottom Line for MR Points Value:

“MR Points will be worth anything from about 1 to 4 cents per point, with an average value of about 2.5 cents per point.”

The points earning rate on the Amex Gold Canada

Now that we know what they are and how much they’re worth, we can discuss how fast your American Express Gold Rewards card will earn you MR points.

There are three different earning rates you can access with this card:

· 2 MR points per every 1$ on eligible everyday and travel purchases

This is one of the high notes of the American Express Gold Rewards card.

Two MR points per every dollar may seem little, but it’s actually a very good earning rate for any card, considering the value of the MR points. You could be tempted to think, for example, that the Marriott Bonvoy Card’s earning rate is a lot better, as it will give you 3 to 5 points per dollar. However those points are actually worth about a third of what MR points are worth, so by comparison, the most you could get out of the Marriott Bonvoy card (which by the way is also an excellent choice) would be the equivalent to 1.67 MR points per dollar.

Other Amex cards offer similar earning rates compared to the Gold Rewards Card. One example is the AeroplanPlus Reserve Card that will give you 2x miles for every $1 of Air Canada purchases made directly through aircanada.com. On the other hand, what sets the Gold Rewards Card apart is that it’s much easier to access the same 2x earning rate than with other cards.

So how do you get the 2x earning rate?

Piece of cake! All you need is to know what “eligible purchase” means for the Gold Rewards Card, and you’ll see that it’s a very broad deffinition. There are four kinds of eligible purchases for the 2x rate: Stand-alone Canadian gas stations, drug stores, grocery stores and travel purchases (including travel services, bookings, lodgings and transportations, so long as it’s not local).

The first three types of purchases are clearly every-day expenses that most Canadians have, so there’s a high probability that you will be getting 2 points per dollar, most of the time. All you have to do is avoid stores whose primary business isn’t one of the four mentioned categories, like in the case of superstores, wholesale clubs, etc.

· Earn 1 extra MR point per dollar (which can add up to 3MR/$) on eligible hotel and car rental bookings

In this case, to access the extra mile per dollar, you have to book your hotel or rent your car through the American Express Travel website. Since Amex Travel is a stand-alone travel merchant, and travel purchases like lodgings and transportation are eligible for the 2x earning rate, booking through their website can get you 3 points per every $1 in purchases: 2 MR points for the eligible purchase, and 1 extra MR point for booking through Amex Travel.

You can get 3 MR points per $1 if you book travel arrangements through American Express Travel’s website.

· 1 MR point per every $1 on any other purchase

This is the absolute lowest earning rate you can get with this card. It’s the basic earning rate you’ll get on any purchase not eligible for the other mentioned rates.

Amex Gold Canada Rewards Card Eligibility

Since the American Express Gold Rewards Card is for Canadians only, the first condition to be eligible is to be a Canadian citizen or at least a Canadian resident.

The Gold Rewards Card is a charge card, not a credit card, so it’s easier to be eligible for it. All you need is:

  • A valid Canadian credit file with a good to excellent credit score (most recommend at least 650, others above 700)
  • To be of the age of majority in your state or province of residence.

If you like this card and you fit the bill then don’t let this opportunity pass!.

The Perks Explained

All right. Now that we know how the Gold Rewards Card works, let’s uncover all of the great benefits that come with it:

Benefit #1: The Welcome Bonus

Welcome bonuses are a great reason to sign up to any American Express card for the first time, and the Amex Gold Canada Rewards Card is not the exception. This card comes with a welcome bonus of 25,000 MR points, which is very generous given the low annual fee.

The only condition to be eligible for the bonus is that you charge a minimum of $1,500 to your new American Express Gold Rewards Card during the first three months of cardmembership. This adds up to approximately $500/month, or roughly $125 per week. There are no conditions on these purchases, only that you charge them to your new Gold Rewards Card, so it really shouldn’t be too much trouble reaching the minimum.

If you use your card wisely, those $1,500 can earn you 3,000 to 4,500 MR points, so that by the time you get your bonus , you’ll have close to 30,000 points.

What can you do with the welcome bonus?

Membership Rewards points are about the most flexible loyalty points in existence. Therefore, there are literally hundreds of things you can do with your 25,000 points welcome bonus.

As I mentioned earlier, the easiest way to spend them is to use the points for a statement credit to help you pay for card purchases. In this case, valued at 1 cent per MR point, the 25,000 points will turn into $250. If you don’t mind losing out on the opportunity to earn an extra couple of hundred dollars, then it’s definitely an option to consider.

A much smarter way to redeem your points is for flights, either by way of the American Express Fixed Points Travel Program or by transferring your points to Aeroplan or Avios. All with the intention of getting the most out of your bonus.

How does the Fixed Points Travel Program work?

This is a flight rewards program, but it works a little bit differently compared to other popular loyalty programs. Instead of using your points to pay for flights directly, as you would with Aeroplan miles or Avios, in this case you actually trade the points in for credits on your card’s statement after you’ve charged the full price of the airfare to your American Express card.

As you saw on the travel charts shown in the MR points value section above, the Fixed Points Travel Program lets you trade in a fixed number of MR points to offset the return flight airfare for up to a maximum base ticket price. The base ticket price is the price of the flight ticket without counting any fees, taxes and surcharges imposed either by the airline or by the airport itself.

The fixed number of miles will cover the entire base ticket price, as long as it is equal or less than the maximum base ticket price in the table shown above. Tickets that cost more than that, will only be covered up to the said maximum. It sound confusing but it’s actually really simple. To illustrate this better, let’s see a couple of examples of a short-haul domestic flight reward in economy class:

  • Example 1: If your return flight costs $200 without the fees and surcharges (in other words, has a base price of $200), you can pay 20,000 MR points along with the $200 charged to your card, and you’ll receive a credit in your card’s statement for the $200, since it is less than the $300 maximum base ticket price.
  • Example 2 If, on the other hand, the ticket costs $380, then you can pay the same amount of points as before (that’s why it’s called Fixed Points), charge the $380 to your American Express Gold Rewards Card, and you will receive a credit in your statement for $300 (not $380), since it is the maximum the 20,000 points will give you.

If you decide to transfer the bonus to Aeroplan miles, you’ll get enough miles for a long-haul round trip ticket in Economy Class, or for a one-way long-haul flight in Business Class.

Benefit #2: The Hotel Collection $100 USD Hotel Credit

Apart from the handsome welcome bonus, being an American Express Gold Rewards cardmember gives you access to The Hotel Collection program by American Express. The Hotel Collection is a carefully curated group of over 600 hotels and resorts spread around the globe in more than 30 countries, where you’ll get amazing benefits just by booking your stay of two or more days through American Express Travel, with your brand new Amex Gold Canada Rewards Card.

One of the benefits you’ll receive is a $100 USD credit for dinning, spa, golf and pretty much anything other than the room itself, taxes, any gratuities and fees. Only the basic cardholder is eligible, everything has to be paid for with the Gold Rewards Card, and bookings and other travel arrangements must be made through http://americanexpress.ca/travel or http://americanexpress.ca/thc.

Other than that, you’re good to go!

Where can you enjoy this benefit?

There are over 600 properties you can stay at where you can enjoy delicious dining, relaxing massages at a spa and many more perks. You’ll find a complete list of eligible hotels at The Hotel Collection’s website. More hotels are added periodically, and Amex visits every last one of them on a yearly basis to make sure they keep up with their quality standards.

One of the most recently added properties to The Hotel Collection is none other than the iconic Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Get Hotel credit and  complimentary room upgrades at the Cesar Palace thanks to your Amex Gold Canada Rewards Card
Enjoy, get some rest and hit the casinos at the famous Cesar Palace , thanks to your American Express Gold Rewards Card

As I said, everything has to be charged to your Gold Rewards Card, but far from that being a problem, it’s actually a blessing, because on these purchases you could be accessing the 3x earning rate, which is great for building up your point balance.

If you read the small letters in the terms and conditions, you’ll see that it says that you’re limited to one credit per room, per stay, which means that you can get the $100 USD credit every time you stay at one of the eligible hotels.

This turns the American Express Gold Rewards Card into a gold mine with the potential to save you over $100 (CAD) every time you decide to stay at a partner hotel.

Benefit #3: The Hotel Collection Complimentary Room Upgrade

This is yet another benefit of signing up to the Amex Gold Canada Rewards Card and being a part of American Express’ The Hotel Collection program.

If there are rooms available, you will get a room upgrade the minute you check-in to your hotel.

In fact, in case you’re traveling with friends and family, you can get up to three rooms upgraded, per stay, as long as all the original rooms were paid for with your Gold Rewards Card.

Benefit #4: Hertz Car Rental Benefits

Once you sign up to the Gold Rewards Card, you become eligible for more benefits with Amex partner Hertz rent-a-car. When renting a car for five or more consecutive days and after charging the car rental in full to your American Express Gold Rewards Card, you will receive:

  • Complimentary one car class upgrade for a standard vehicle

This doesn’t include any vehicle of the Hertz’s fleet like collection cars, vans, green, fun, Prestige, Family, Dream and Supercar vehicles; only standard vehicles are eligible. There are also certain limitations regarding location.

  • Complimentary additional driver

As long as he or she is included in the rental agreement, the fee for one additional driver will be waived.

Things you should do before requesting your benefits:

In order to get these benefits, you first have to sign up to Hertz’s loyalty program, which is called Gold Plus Rewards. It only takes five minutes and you can sign up online, for free, here. Upon filling the application, you have to provide the promotional code CDP 705500 for the Hertz-American Express benefits. Once this is done, you’re good to go.

Benefit #5: Extensive Travel and Purchase Coverage

Having the right insurance policy can make a world of difference in your traveling experience. The American Express Gold Rewards Card comes with a good set of comprehensive travel insurance policies that’ll ease your mind when abroad. It brings in most of the policies that come with the Platinum Card and the AeroplanPlus Reserve Card, including, among other policies, Emergency Medical Insurance, Travel Accidents Insurance, Trip Interruption Insurance and more.

Keep reading to find out more about the travel coverage that comes with the Gold Rewards Card:

· $5,000,000 Travel Emergency Medical Insurance

Nothing eases your mind like having a good medical insurance policy. Many travel cards come with travel accident insurance or similar, but that only covers you while in transit, and not while you’re actually at your destination. The travel medical insurance, on the other hand, does.

The Travel Emergency Medical Insurance policy is a group policy issued by Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Company, and it will cover you as the basic cardholder, your spouse and any dependent children, as well as any supplementary cardholder, his or her spouse and children, during the first 15 days of your trip. The coverage is for up to $5,000,000 per person under the age of 65, and comes into effect once you leave your Canadian state or province of residence.

· $500,000 Travel Accident Insurance

This is an AD&D policy underwritten by the Chubb Life Insurance Company, which covers you, your spouse and your children under the age of 23, as well as any additional cardmember, his or her spouse and children. The only condition is that you are all traveling in the same carrier (plane, ship, train or bus), and that all tickets were paid for in full with the American Express Gold Rewards Card. The only downside is that this policy will only cover you while in transit, and not when you’re at your destination, but that’s what the Travel Emergency Medical Insurance policy is for.

· Trip Interruption Insurance

Sometimes, you may have to cut your trip short and return home. In that case, if you have pre-paid travel arrangements, you could ask for a refund for the unused remainder of your trip, but companies will seldom refund the whole price, so you’ll end up losing money.

This policy covers you for the non-refundable portions of unused prepaid travel arrangements, as well as the most cost-effective flight fares either to rejoin your tour, to your point of departure or to your next destination. It also covers pocket money for small daily expenses.

The maximum sum covered is $1,500 per person for a maximum of $6,000 for all insured persons combined.

In the case of out-of-pocket money, the maximum is $100 a day per person, with a cap at $1,000.

· Flight and Baggage Delay Insurance

Flights can be delayed for long periods, and during this time, you may have unplanned expenses like eating at a restaurant or even staying at a hotel. Your baggage not arriving on time can be just as frustrating and can also generate more expenses. Amex’s Flight Delay and Baggage Delay Insurance cover you for up to $500 of these, and other sundry expenses.

· Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance

If your baggage disappears altogether, is damaged or stolen while in transit, you’re covered for up to $500.

· Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance

This policy covers up to $500 in lost personal items in case your hotel gets burglarized, as long as you paid for the room with your American Express Gold Rewards Card.

· Car Rental Theft or Damage Insurance

This one is a money saving jewel. When you rent a car, you’re required to buy a Theft and Damage policy which can cost anywhere from $16 to $23 per day!

To give you an idea, if you were to rent a car for a one-week business trip (perhaps with Hertz so as to take advantage of the other benefits mentioned above), this could add up to as much as $161 just for the insurance (not counting the car rental itself). If you pay for the car rental with your Amex Gold Canada Rewards Card, you can decline the company’s own policy and use your card’s instead, without paying a single dime, therefore saving you the $161. Keep in mind that this insurance policy will cover any rental car with a MSRP of up to $85,000, so don’t go renting a Ferrari.

A downside to the Gold Rewards Card’s insurance package is that it doesn’t come with trip cancelation insurance, which is something that many people cherish.

· Purchase Coverage

Regarding purchase coverage, you’ll get the Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan, which doubles the manufacturer’s warranty on any purchase paid in full with the Gold Rewards Card for a maximum of one extra year. You’ll also get the Purchase Protection Plan that covers your purchases against accidental damage and theft, for a maximum of $1,000.

All this coverage for a card that only costs $150 a year?

Sounds like a plan!

If you want to learn more, you can read our post on American Express Travel Insurance where you’ll find all the details about how to use your coverage, the other insurance options Amex offers and how to make claims.

Additional Benefits

Other than the card specific benefits I explained above, the Gold Rewards Card also brings in other American Express benefits that are common to all other Amex cards. These include:

  • American Express Invites, which includes Front of The Line Advance Access, Reserved Tickets, and E-Updates.
  • Access through the American Express Entrance and access to the American Express Lounge at Budweiser Stage.
  • AMEX Priority Line at The Royal Alexandra Theatre and exclusive Priority Bars at Princess of Wales and Ed Mirvish Theatres.
  • Emergency Card Replacement, anywhere in the world, in case you get burglarized or you accidentally misplace your card.

Do the benefits justify the annual fee?

Absolutely, and not just because of the welcome bonus!

With the American Express Gold Rewards Card, the welcome bonus alone will be worth a lot more than the annual fee itself. In the worst of cases, if you decide to use the points against your balance as a statement credit, the 25,000 MR points will be worth $250, giving you $100 of profit, just for signing up and using it to pay for purchases during the first three months of card membership.

On the other hand, if you go pro and do some flight hacking, you could get, at the very least, $375 for your bonus, and in the best of cases, as much as $1,000!

I’ll bet you’re thinking: All that, and you haven’t even begun with the other benefits?

YUP! That was my exact reaction when I first heard about the Gold Rewards Card. Trust me when I say that I didn’t hesitate for one second, I signed up immediately and have had it in my wallet ever since

Will this be a good deal after the first year?

After trying out many different credit cards, I reached a simple conclusion:

Signing up to any Amex card for the first time will always be a good deal during the first year, because of the welcome bonus.

However, some cards are better than others when you consider the long term benefits. Let’s start our analysis of the Gold Rewards Card by estimating how much each benefit is worth.

How much is the hotel credit really worth?

The most valuable long-term benefit that the Gold Rewards Card has to offer is the $100 USD in hotel credit. As I mentioned before, the limit for this benefit is one $100 USD credit per room, per stay! Yes, you read correctly. Notice I didn’t say a limit of one credit per year of card membership.

What this actually implies is that you’ll get this benefit EVERY TIME you book a room for two or more consecutive nights in any of The Hotel Collection properties, AND if you book more than one room in a single stay, you’ll get the credit for each room you book as well.

 $100 USD are worth roughly around $130 CAD, so let’s take a look at how this benefit could multiply itself, depending on how you use it:

Example Case 1: Booking a room for two nights only once during the year

If you book a room all to yourself for two nights, the benefit is clearly worth $130, provided you spend that much on dinning, spas and the like.

Example Case 2: Booking several rooms for two separate stays in affiliated hotels

Suppose you were to book three rooms for you and your friends for the Easter Holidays at a beach resort, and two rooms in another hotel for a couple of days on Christmas. In this case, you can receive the hotel credit FIVE TIMES DURING THE SAME YEAR. That’s 3 times for the first three rooms you booked during the first stay, and another two for the other two rooms you booked for the second stay.

That’s a value of up to $750!

How much is the hotel room upgrade worth?

This one obviously depends on the hotel you stay at and the type of room you originally booked. Since there are over 600 eligible properties and each has its own price list, there’s no way we can actually give you an exact value for this benefit. However, I will show you how much it could be worth in a specific hotel, during a specific time of year, just to give you an idea.

One weekend at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

A standard, 1 king sized room at the Caesars costs on average $164 USD per night, and a Palace Premium room of the same size costs an average $195 USD during low season (when it’s most probable that you’ll find available upgraded rooms). Consequently, in this case the complimentary room upgrade for the two nights will be worth  

(2 x $195)-(2 x $164) = 62 USD (approximately $80 CAD)

There is a limit of three room upgrades per cardmember, per stay, so you could save up to $240 in the Caesars Palace if you booked all three rooms and got the complimentary upgrade for each.

How much are the Hertz car rental benefits worth?

Depending on location, renting a standard car for five days can cost an average $250. Renting a car of a superior class like a full size for the same five days can cost an average $275. The fee for an additional driver runs for about $13.5 USD ($17.55 CAD) per day, adding up to $67.5 USD ($87.75 CAD) for the five-day rental. In the end, the Hertz benefits could be worth roughly around $100 or more, depending on the particular car you actually choose.

Actually being able to take advantage of these savings implies having the income necessary to spend on hotels and car rentals. Perhaps your lifestyle doesn´t allow you to travel three times a year and stay at award-winning hotels all the time, but as long as you can use these benefits at least once in a year, they make having the Gold Rewards Card a great idea, as you can see in the following table where I add up all the benefits that come with the card for the minimum value of each benefit:

The Hotel Collection hotel credit (per room, per stay) $130
Complimentary room upgrade (1 room for 2 nights at the Ceasars Palace) $80
Hertz 5 day car rental one class upgrade $25
Hertz additional driver fee $88
1 Free Additional Gold Rewards Card $50
Total Benefits $373
Annual Fee ($150)
Total Profit $223
Additional Benefits Yes

That’s over $200 in profit for a single hotel stay and a single car rental, all without adding in the other benefits

The numbers speak for themselves. It’s no wonder why so many people consider the American Express Gold Rewards Card as one of the best travel cards for Canadians today.

How does the Gold Rewards Card compare to other Amex Cards for Canadians?

The Gold Rewards Card is an excellent choice for a travel card, as it has a good balance between annual fee andboth short and long-term benefits. Nonetheless, it’s not the only option. In the same price range, we can mention the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card that also gives you excellent travel benefits. The Amex Platinum Card is a higher end card with a heavy annual fee, but it hauls great benefits the Gold Rewards lacks, and if flight hacking is your thing, you could also consider Amex cards that’ll earn you Aeroplan miles directly like the AeroplanPlus Platinum, or the AeroplanPlus Reserve.

The Amex Cobalt Card is also a great contender and it’s gained a lot of ground amongst millenials thanks to its high flexibility when earning points.

The following table shows a comparison of the most relevant features and benefits of the mentioned alternatives and the Gold Rewards Card.

Comparison of the Amex Gold Canada Rewards Card with the Aeroplan Platinum Card, the Gold Rewards Business Card, The Amex Platinum Card and the Amex Cobalt Card
Gold Rewards Card vs other Amex alternatives comparison chart

As you can see, only the Marriott Bonvoy Card and the Cobalt Card have lower fees and they’re both credit cards with lower interest rates. The Platinum and AeroplanPlus Platinum cards are both charge card with very high annual fees, but they bring a lot more benefits.

If you can afford it, I definitely recommend getting the American Express Platinum Card. If not, then the Gold Rewards Card is a sure bet.

How to Apply

If you decide that the American Express Gold Rewards Card is the one for you, applying is as simple as clicking the link below and filling out the application form. It only takes about 5 minutes, and you’ll get a response almost immediately. All you need to be eligible is to be an adult Canadian resident with an account in good standing.

FAQs

How long will it take to receive my welcome bonus?

There are two things to consider: First of all, in order to get the Gold Rewards Card’s bonus you have to reach a minimum of $1,500 in purchases (any purchase) charged to your new card in the first 90 days of card membership. This could take a while.

After you hit that goal, you have to allow up to 8 weeks for the bonus to be available in your account.

Consequently, we estimate that the soonest you could get your bonus is in about 8 weeks if you really rush your spending and charge the $1,500 in a very short time. For an average Canadian it could take anywhere from four to five months after signing up.

You might get it earlier, but it’s better to play it safe. If you plan on using the points towards a trip, be very careful not to sign up any later than 20 weeks prior toit!

How much are Membership Rewards (MR) points worth?

Depending on how you decide to redeem them, MR points can be worth:

  • Less than 1 cent per point if redeemed for merchandise in the online store
  • 1 cent per point if used for a statement credit
  • 1.5 to 2 cents per point if you use them on the Membership Rewards’ Fixed Points Travel Program
  • Up to 4 cents per mile if you transfer them to Aeroplan miles

We estimate that, on average, each point will be worth 2-2.5 cents.

What’s the highest points earning rate I can get with the American Express Gold Rewards Card?

The highest earning potential is 3 MR points per 1$ if you book hotel stays or car rentals through American Express Travel Canada’s website.

How do I transfer my MR points to Aeroplan or other loyalty programs?

There are 4 steps needed to transfer your MR points to any affiliated third party loyalty program like Aeroplan or AVIOS for the first time:

Step 1: Log into your Amex online account and select your American Express Gold Rewards Card

Step 2: Click on Explore Rewards and then, under your Points Balance section open the drop-down menu, select “Transfer Points” and click GO

Step 3: Link you Aeroplan, AVIOS or other loyalty program account to you Gold Rewards Card by choosing it from the list and filling in all the required information.

Step 4: Transfer your points in 1,000 points increments.

How long does it take to transfer my MR points to Aeroplan or Avios?

It’s very quick! Transfers to Aeroplan are made immediately, though you may need to log out of your Aeroplan account and log back in for the points to show up. Transfers to British Airways’ Avios program can take up to 5 business days, though we’ve noticed they tend to take about 2 business days on average. Be sure to transfer your points in advance if you need to urgently book a flight!

The American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card: A Review

This post is about the American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card. You can read our separate posts on the other three members of this card family, the Amex AeroplanPlus® Card, the AeroplanPlus® Gold Card and the AeroplanPlus® Platinum Card. Also, you can read our post on the comparison of the four cards here, where you’ll find all the information you need to choose which one is right for you.

The American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve card is a high-fee, high-reward travel card for Canadians. It comes with Maple Leaf Lounge and Priority Pass airport lounge access, a $200 annual travel credit, a complimentary annual partner ticket worth up to 25,000 Aeroplan miles, and Amex Concierge.

With its impressive 50,000 miles welcome bonus, it’s easy to see why so many Canadians are signing up for this card.

Travel cheap or travel with style. You have to choose one or the other… or do you?

With the American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve card, you may not have to!

I know what you’re thinking: How can you possibly say that, after seeing the card comes with an $899 annual fee?

In this post, I’ll show you that, if you’re a frequent flyer, this credit card will help you save much more than the $899 you have to pay for it by giving you access to cheaper flights. On top of that, benefits like Air Canada Priority Check-in, complimentary valet and Priority Security Lane at Toronto’s Pearson Airport (YYZ), unlimited Maple Leaf and Priority Pass lounge access, and the Amex concierge will make you feel like a true VIP while you travel.

All this and much more make the AeroplanPlus® Reserve card a strong option for a travel card, even after you’ve burned through the welcome bonus of 50,000 Aeroplan miles.

Of course, if you only plan to travel a couple of times during the next year, or if you don’t plan to fly at all, you shouldn’t bother with this card. In that case, you’re better off with an everyday spending card like the Amex Cobalt (if you don’t plan to travel even once), or a less expensive card that’ll still earn you Aeroplan miles, like the Gold Rewards Card.

Benefits Summary: Pros & Cons of the American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card

Here’s a quick glance at the things you’ll love and things you won’t about the American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card:

PROSCONS
• 50,000 Aeroplan miles welcome bonus
• $200 annual travel credit
• Annual Complimentary partner ticket worth up to 25,000 miles
• Amex Concierge
• Unlimited access to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges and Priority Pass lounges worldwide
• Excellent travel insurance coverage
• $899 annual fee
• High fee on additional cards ($299)
• Not the best miles earning rate
• You’ll only truly see the benefits if you travel frequently

AeroplanPlus® Reserve’s Basic Features and Benefits

The American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card is loaded with excellent benefits, as you’ll soon find out. Here is the list of the most relevant and important features and benefits that come with the card:

Welcome Bonus 50,000 Aeroplan miles
Travel Benefits • $200 annual travel credit
• Annual complimentary partner ticket worth up to 25,000 Aeroplan miles
• Unlimited access to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf lounges
• Unlimited access to over 1200 Priority Pass lounges
Annual Fee $899
Additional card annual fee $299 per card
Miles Earned Per $1 Spent On Partner Brands • Minimum 2.25 miles on all partners
• Minimum 3 miles on eligible Air Canada purchases
Miles Earned Per $1 Spent On All Other Purchases 1.25 miles
American Express Invites
American Express Concierge
Travel Coverage • $5,000,000 Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country)
• Trip Cancellation Insurance
• Trip Interruption Insurance
• $500,000 Travel Accident Insurance
• Travel Emergency Assistance
• Flight Delay Insurance
• Baggage Delay Insurance
• Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
• Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
• Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
Purchase Coverage • Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
• Purchase Protection Plan
Eligibility • Canadian citizens or residents
• A valid Canadian Credit file
• An account in good standing (credit score of at least 650)
• Minimum personal income of $60,000
Type of Card Credit Card
Applied interest rate • 19.99% on purchases
• 22.99% on cash advances

Above: The American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card’s features and benefits.

OK! Now, let’s take a closer look at everything separately to see how much these benefits are really be worth to you.

Features Explained

The Annual Fee

If you don’t want to pay a fee for your credit card, this is not the card for you.

The annual fee on the American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card is one of the first things that stand out. You get a lot of perks with this card, but it comes at a cost of $899 a year. Many might find this to be too much and, unless you’re a frequent flyer, it won’t make much sense to pay for it. Even the additional cards, which you can give to family members or business associates, come with a hefty fee of $299. Of course, the fee is a direct indication of the benefits that come with the Reserve Card, and after you’ve finished reading this post, you’ll see why, if you use the card smartly, it can be an excellent deal.

However, as with all credit cards options, whether it’s a good idea to sign up or not is a matter of lifestyle. The AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card is a great choice for anyone who travels frequently throughout the year, and it can turn out to be a great way to save significant money, provided you have the income necessary to be able to take advantage of all its benefits.

Miles Earning Rate

This card comes with a basic 1.25x earning rate on all purchases, which is 25% more than the 1 mile per dollar you receive on most cards.

The only other card to offer that same basic earning rate on any purchase is the AeroplanPlus® Platinum Card. One slight drawback the AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card has compared to the Platinum card is that, in the latter case, you can boost your earning rate to 1.5 miles per dollar on any purchase if you charge more than $25,000 to it during the year. You don’t get that option with the Reserve Card.

Most cards also offer an increased earning rate on specific, eligible purchases, and the Reserve Card is no exception, doubling your earning rate on eligible Air Canada purchases. An “eligible” Air Canada purchase means you bought your ticket directly with Air Canada, or through the American Express Travel service.

However, if you really want to ramp up your earning rate, the best way to do so is to access the increased earning rates that Aeroplan’s partners offer, because…

“You can earn miles twice with the AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card if you shop at a partner brand: once for the card purchase and once for the Aeroplan partner!”

There are over 150 Aeroplan partners, each one of which has its particular reward scheme. Air Canada, for example, will reward up to 150% of the miles you actually fly.

Insight: If you fly with Air Canada frequently, the AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card is an excellent way to earn free flights much, much faster.

What’s the highest earning rate you can get?

Let me give you a sneak peek at the one of the highest earning rates you can get with the AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card:

If you purchase a round-trip ticket from Toronto to Vancouver in Standard Plus class and pay the $800 fare with your AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card, you’d earn 1,600 miles from the card purchase (assuming you booked directly with Air Canada or Amex Travel). If you give your Aeroplan number, you’d also receive 1 mile for every mile flown. That’s 4,156 miles for the round trip! In the end, you would come out with 5,756 miles for an $800 purchase.

That’s an incredible 7.20 miles per dollar!

American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card Canada - Flying from Toronto to Vancouver with Air Canada
American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card – Flying from Toronto to Vancouver with Air Canada

Valued at an average of 2.5 cents per mile, those 7.20 miles are worth 18 cents.

The bottom line: When you pay for Air Canada flights with your AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card, you can get more than 7 miles per dollar, saving up to 18% of the purchase price!

Aeroplan’s Partner Brands

You’ll find the complete list of Aeroplan’s partners in the following table. You will also find more examples of great rewards like the example shown above, as well as details regarding miles earning rates, promotions and more on Aeroplan’s partners’ list here.

Airlines • Air Canada
• Adria Airways
• Aegean Airlines
• Air China
• Air Creebec
• Air India
• Air New Zealand
• ANA
• Asiana Airlines
• Austrian Airlines
• Avianca
• Avianca Brazil
• Bearskin Airlines
• Brussels Airlines
• Canadian North
• Cathay Dragon
• Cathay Pacific
• COPA Airlines
• Croatia Airlines
• Egyptair
• Ethiopian Airlines
• EuroWings
• Eva Air
• First Air
• GOL
• Juneyao Airlines
• LOT Polish Airlines
• Lufthansa
• Olympic Air
• Scandinavian Airlines
• Shenzhen Airlines
• Singapore Airlines
• South African Airways
• Star Alliance
• Swiss
• TAP Air Portugal
• Thai Airways
• Turkish Airlines
• United Airlines
Hotels
and
Lodgings
• Le Club Accorhotels
• Ac Hotels by Marriott®
• Adagio
• Adagio Access
• Aloft Hotels
• Americinn® by Wyndham
• Angsana
• Ascend Collection®
• Banyan Tree
• Baymont® by Wyndham
• Best Western International
• Cambria Suites®
• Candlewood Suites®
• Cassia
• Chelsea Hot • el, Toronto
• Choice Hotels®
• Clarion
• Coast Hotels
• Comfort Inn®
• Comfort Suites®
• Cordis Hotels and Resorts
• Conrad Hotels and Resorts™
• Country Inn & Suites by Radisson
• Courtyard by Marriott®
• Crowne Plaza®
• Days Inn® by Wyndham
• Delta Hotels and Resorts
• Dazzler® by Wyndham
• Dolce Hotels and Resorts® by Wyndham
• Doubletree by Hilton(Tm)
• Eaton Hk
• Econo Lodge®
• Element Hotels
• Embassy Suites Hotels®
• Esplendor® • Boutique Hotels by Wyndham
• Even® Hotels
• Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®
• Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
• Four Points by Sheraton
• Gaylord Hotels®
• Gouverneur Hotels
• Grand Mercure
• Hampton by Hilton™
• Hawthorn Suites® by Wyndham
• Hilton Hotels & Resorts®
• Canopy by Hilton™
• Curio – a Collection by Hilton™
• Hilton Garden Inn™
• Hilton Grand Vacations™
• Hilton Honors™
• Holiday Inn Express®
• Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts
• Home2 Suites by Hilton™
• Homewood Suites by Hilton™
• Hotel Indigo™
• Howard Johnson
• Hualuxe® Hotels & Resorts
• Ibis
• Ibis Styles
• Intercontinental® Hotels and Resorts
• Jw Marriott®
• Kerry Hotels
• Kimpton® Hotels and Restaurants
• The Langham Hotels and Resorts
• La Quinta® by Wyndham
• Le Meridien Mainstay Suites®
• Mama Shelter
• Marriott Autograph Collection®
• Marriott Edition®
• Marriott Executive Apartments®
• Marriott Hotels®
• Marriott Bonvoy™
• Marriott Vacation Club®
• Mercure
• Mgallery
• Microtel® by Wyndham
• 21c Museum Hotel
• Novotel
• Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts
• Park Inn® by Radisson
• Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts
• Parkroyal Hotels & Resorts
• Pullman
• Quality®
• Radisson®
• Radisson Blu®
• Radisson Red®
• Raffles
• Ramada® by Wyndham
• Regent Hotels®
• Renaissance® Hotels
• Residence Inn by Marriott®
• Rixos
• Rocketmiles
• Rodeway Inn®
• The Sebel
• Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts
• Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
• Sleep Inn®
• Sofitel Hotels & Resorts
• Sofitel Legend
• Splash Beach Resort, Mai Khao, Phuket
• Springhill Suites by Marriott®
• Staybridge Suites® by Holiday Inn
• St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
• Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®
• Super 8® by Wyndham
• Swissotel
• Thalassa Sea & Spa
• The Luxury Collection
• Towneplace Suites by Marriott®
• Trademark Collection® by Wyndham
• Traders Hotels
• Travelodge® by Wyndham
• Tryp® by Wyndham
• Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts™
• Westin Hotels & Resorts
• W Hotels
• Wingate® by Wyndham
• Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
Car
Rental
• Avis
• Budget
• Hertz
• Payless® Car Rental
   
Parking • Aéroports De Montréal
• Park & Jet Calgary
• Park’n Fly
• Vancouver International Airport Parking 
   
Online
Retailers
• Aircanada.com
• Home Hardware
• Costco
• Magellan’s
   
Aeroplan
e-store
Partners
• Aeroplan Estore
• Aldo
• Amazon.ca
• Apple Store Canada
• Banana Republic
• Bass Pro Shops
• Bloomingdale’s
• Bogs
• Chapters.indigo.ca
• Clearly
• Club Monaco
• Crocs
• Dell Canada
• Ebay.ca
• Footlocker
• Gap Canada
• Hudson’s Bay
• Indochino
• Lands’ End
• L.l.bean
• Luisaviaroma
• Macy’s
• Microsoft Store
• National Geographic
• Norton by Symantec
• Old Navy
• Rakuten Kobo
• Revolveclothing.com
• Roots
• Rosetta Stone
• Saks.com
• Sephora
• Shoes.com
• Shop Disney
• Sierra Trading Post
• Strawberrynet
• The Body Shop
• Toms Canada
• Tsc
• Under Armour
• Weightwatchers.ca
• Well.ca
• Yves Rocher
• Nordstrom

Above: Complete list of Aeroplan’s partner brands

AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card Eligibility

Since the Amex AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card is for Canadians only, the first condition to be eligible is to be a Canadian citizen – or at least a Canadian resident.

The American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card is a credit card, so to be eligible you need to have two things:

  • A valid Canadian credit file with a good to excellent credit score (most recommend at least 650, others above 700)
  • A minimum personal income of $60,000 or more.

By now, you can tell that it’s not as easy to get the Reserve Card as it is to get any one of the charge cards American Express Canada has to offer. In those cases, using your credit cards frequently and taking good care not to fall behind on your payments is about enough to be approved.

If you meet the requirements and you like what you’ve seen so far, then give it a go.

The AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card’s Perks Explained

Let’s dive deeper into everything you can get out of this card.

Benefit #1: The Welcome Bonus

The AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card comes with one of the biggest welcome bonuses of any card anywhere. The only possible way to get a bigger bonus is by signing up the Amex Platinum Card, which gives you a 50,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus that you can turn into 65,000 Aeroplan miles.

This bonus is 10,000 miles bigger than that of the AeroplanPlus® Platinum Card, and you can use it for all sorts of redemptions. Of course, you want to get the most out of your miles, so the best thing you can do is to trade them in for flight rewards.

Let’s take a look at some of the great things you could do with the 50,000 miles:

#1 Round-trip from Vancouver to Hawaii for $77

Whether you want to hit the Pacific surf at the Big Island, see some of the world’s most breath-taking active volcanoes or take a tour and enjoy award-winning Kona coffee straight from its origin, Hawaii is an absolute must on any traveler’s bucket list.

American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card - Hit the Pacific surf in Hawaii thanks to the 50,000 welcome points bonus on the Amex AeroplanPlus Reserve Card
Go surfing in Hawaii

As you can see from the following snapshots of flight rewards booked on Aeroplan, you could visit this incredible destination for 44,400 miles + $77 in taxes and fees.

American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card - Booking a round-trip from Vancouver to Hawaii in Air Canada economy class with Aeroplan
Round-trip to Hawaii booked with Aeroplan

The same exact flight plan would cost $745 paid in cash with Air Canada directly (see below), so in the end, you would be saving almost $670

American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card - Booking a roundtrip from Vancouver to Hawaii in economy class in cash with Air Canada costs much more than Aeroplan
Round-trip to Hawaii booked with Air Canada, in cash

The great thing is that you would still have over 5,000 miles left over in the end.

#2 Round-trip from Vancouver to Paris for $186

Yet another popular destination at barely a fraction of the price, visit the City of Light and save almost $700 when paying with the miles in your welcome bonus.

American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card - Enjoying the night scenery in Paris, thanks to the 50,000 welcome points bonus with the Amex AeroplanPlus Reserve Card
Paris, at night

As you can see from the two images below, the round trip will cost 60,000 miles + $186 if you pay for it with your Aeroplan miles.

American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card - Booking a round-trip from Vancouver to Paris in Air Canada economy class with Aeroplan
Round-trip to Paris with Aeroplan

If you were to book the flight directly with United Airlines, the total cost would be $864.

American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card - Booking a round trip from Vancouver to Paris in economy class, in cash, with United Airlines
Same itinerary, same flights, booked directly with United Airlines, in cash.

For this trip you have to commit more miles than the welcome bonus alone will give you. But with all of the spending bonuses working in your favour on the Reserve card, plus the increased earning rates that Aeroplan partners will give you, you can easily earn those extra 10,000 miles in a month or two.

#3 Round-trip from Vancouver to LA for $191 (Business Class!)

If getting the most value out of your miles is what’s most important to you, then use your bonus on business class flights within Canada or the USA. A great example is this round-trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles.

American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card - Booking a round trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles in business class with Aeroplan
Round-trip ticket to LA in business class, booked with Aeroplan

Book the exact same flights with the exact same seats in cash, and you’ll end up paying over $1,300:

American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card - Flying from Vancouver to Los Angeles with Air Canada in business class
American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card – Flying from Vancouver to Los Angeles with Air Canada in business class

Those are just three very popular, faraway destinations you can access, at an incredibly low price, just for signing up to the AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card. There are hundreds of other options to choose from, and if you take our advice on how to get cheap flights with Aeroplan, there’s no telling where you’ll end up with the 50,000 miles welcome bonus.

In addition, sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can even find Market Fare flight rewards to the same destinations but for less miles. Sometimes the difference isn’t too great, and you’ll end up saving 500 or 1,000 miles, but sometimes you can get tickets at almost half the miles of a regular fixed mileage flight reward, saving you tens of thousands of miles.

Benefit #2: An Annual Complimentary Partner Ticket

This is a benefit you’re certain to love! Once a year, if you redeem 15,000 or 25,000 miles for a short- or long-haul round-trip, fixed mileage flight reward ticket in economy class, you’ll get a second ticket for the exact same itinerary for FREE! You still have to pay for taxes and surcharge fees, but if you’ve followed our advice, that’s peanuts compared to the full price of the ticket.

The great thing about this benefit is that you receive it every single year, and it’s worth a big portion of the $899 annual fee. Just keep in mind that your annual complimentary ticket isn’t cumulative, so if you don’t use it before your anniversary date, you lose it.

At an average value of 2.5 cents per mile, your extra 25,000 miles are $625 – every single year.

Two things to consider when looking for flights to use this benefit on:

#1 Only round-trip economy class tickets are eligible.

This means you can’t use it on one-way flight rewards, no matter what type of cabin, and you can’t use it or on any business class flight, either.

#2 You can only choose fixed mileage flight rewards.

This means it’ll be either a short-haul round-trip ticket for 15,000 miles, or a long-haul round-trip ticket for 25,000 miles. You can’t take extra advantage of lower rates on market fare flight rewards.

All in all, it’s still a great excuse to take a quick weekend trip for two, at least once a year.

Benefit #3: Annual $200 Travel Credit

The $200 annual travel credit is another important benefit that takes a serious chunk out of the $899 annual fee. You can use this credit towards any kind of travel-related booking (flights, hotel rental, car rental, etc.) as long as you book through American Express Travel services and you charge the entire booking to your AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card.

There are a couple of footnotes that deserve mentioning:

#1 You can only get the travel credit towards a single travel booking of $200 or more.

This means that you can’t spread the $200 across more than one travel arrangement. For example, you can’t use $100 of credit towards one trip, and the other $100 towards another. All $200 have to be credited towards the same, single travel booking. Additionally, the booking has to cost a total of at least $200. If you book a flight that costs $199, you won’t be able to use your credit.

#2 If you cancel your booking, you lose the $200 credit.

If you use your $200 annual credit towards a particular travel booking, you can’t back down. It’s your decision whether to request the travel credit or not, but once you do, if you cancel your booking, you won’t get the credit back until next year. The $200 travel credit renews every year on your membership anniversary date.

In summary: if you want to take advantage of the $200 travel credit, don’t ask for it until you’re absolutely sure you’re going to go through with your trip.

Benefit #4: Unlimited access to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges and Priority Pass Lounges worldwide

The AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card comes straight out of the box with an Air Canada Maple Leaf Club membership that grants you full, unlimited access to any of the Maple Leaf Lounges around the world. These include 17 lounges spread across 11 airports within Canada, 3 lounges in the US (Newark (EWR), La Guardia (LGA) and Los Angeles (LAX)), and 3 other lounges in key international locations: Frankfurt (FRA), London Heathrow (LHR) and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG).

For example, you could sit back and drink a good cup of coffee at the Calgary International Airport Maple Leaf Lounge.

American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card - The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at Calgary International Airport (YYC), thanks to the AeroplanPlus Reserve Card
The Maple Leaf Lounge at Calgary International Airport (YYC)

This membership is equivalent to the Maple Leaf Club Canada membership plan, which has a value of $375.

In addition to the Maple Leaf Club membership, when you sign up to the AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card you also receive a Priority Pass Prestige membership, which grants you access to over 1,200 lounges around the world.

A great example of the Priority Pass lounges is the “Sala VIP Internacional” lounge in Quito’s International Airport (Ecuador), which won the 2018 Lounge of the Year Award.

American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card - The Sala VIP Internacional lounge is available through your Priority Pass Prestige membership.
Above: Quito International Airposrt’s award-winning “Sala VIP Internacional” lounge, available through your Priority Pass Prestige membership with your American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card.

Unlike the Maple Leaf Club membership, which you’re automatically signed up for with your Reserve Card, you’ll need to quickly apply for your Priority Pass membership separately. The $429 USD fee (about $575 CAD) will be waived, and you’ll get the membership free of charge, every year, for as long as you keep your AeroplanPlus® Reserve card.

Now, you may be wondering:

OK, they look great and seem really comfy, but what’s all the fuss about airport lounges anyway?

In other words…

Why would I want lounge access?

Well, these sleek establishments offer complimentary refreshments (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages), snacks, high-speed Wi-Fi access, phone-free quiet zones, a broad selection of newspaper and magazines, and business centers where you can print, make copies or fax anything you need. Many of them even have showers so you can freshen up right before you hop on your plane.

Some of the higher-end Priority Pass lounges, like the one at Quito shown above, even have dedicated sleeping areas for long layovers…and massage rooms!

If this isn’t your definition of waiting for your flight in style, I don’t know what is!

I’m at the airport. How do I get into the lounge?

Both Maple Leaf and Priority Pass lounge access is completely free of charge for the basic cardholder (not for supplementary cardholders), but you can bring guests with you for a fee. In the case of Maple Leaf lounges, the fee is $20 per person (children under 12 are free), and in the case of Priority Pass lounges, it’s $32 USD per guest (around $40 CAD). Guests used to be free with Priority Pass Prestige, but unfortunately not anymore.

The only condition to access any Maple Leaf lounge is that you present your AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card, along with a confirmed, same-day ticket for an Air Canada flight (or one of their airline partners).

In the case of the Priority Pass lounges, you have to present the valid Priority Pass card you receive upon approval of your membership, along with a confirmed, same-day airline ticket. In this case, you’re not restricted to Air Canada or its partners – a ticket from any airline is valid.

I can guarantee you that once you start flying with lounge access, you won’t ever want to go back.

Benefit #5: American Express Concierge

Sometimes planning a trip can be a hassle, so having an expert to back you up and get things sorted out for you is just what you need to be able to really relax and enjoy the ride. Other times, the day-to-day stress of work and other obligations don’t leave enough time to plan something original for that special occasion you’ve been thinking of.

Whether you need to book tickets for a show you want to see, send a gift and you just don’t have the time to look for one, or you need advice on what to do at your city of destination, an American Express concierge will be there to help.

Having the Amex Concierge service is pretty much like having a 24/7 personal assistant, travel planner and lifestyle counselor, all rolled into one.

How Does Amex Concierge Work?

It’s really simple.

Whenever you have a requirement, all you have to do is contact a concierge anytime, from anywhere in the world, by phone or by email, to let him or her know what you need. Any one of the more than 5,000 lifestyle counselors that work with American Express will ask you a series of questions to get to know you a little better, get to know your likes and dislikes, and what you expect out of the service.

A little while later, they’ll let you know if they can do what you ask, and will get to work on it immediately. The service is completely free of charge to AeroplanPlus® Reserve Cardholders, but there may obviously be charges required to book and pay for tickets, packaging and courier services, etc. In any of those cases, the concierge will call you or write to inform you of the charges, and if you approve them, they will be charged to your AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card.

Sample tasks you can outsource to an American Express Concierge

Your Amex Concierge is there to make your life easier. So, knowing what sort of things a concierge will or will not be able to do for you is something you always want to keep in mind, if you’re an AeroplanPlus® Reserve Cardmember. Here’s a short list of tasks that a concierge is sure to be able to perform to the highest standards:

Send a gift

This is especially helpful for birthdays when you’re far away, special dates like anniversaries and the like, or simply to let someone know that they’re on your mind, regardless of how busy you are.

Get tickets to sold-out events

You can get your concierge to be on the lookout for tickets to events as soon as they go on sale, so that you don’t miss it. However, for certain big events, American Express reserves a whole block of tickets exclusively for its cardmembers, so even if tickets get sold-out for the general public, your concierge wills still be able to get you in.

Get reservations at exclusive restaurants

Just like with tickets to sold-out shows, American Express Concierges have superhuman abilities to secure restaurants at many of the world’s top restaurants. If you call somewhere and they tell you getting a table is impossible, call your concierge and watch the magic happen.

Plan a trip itinerary

You can ask your concierge to research events, good restaurants, spas, to book flights and hotel stays, to rent cars and more, so that everything will be planned out before you arrive. If you’re a busy person who doesn’t enjoy the nitty-gritty of planning your trip, this benefit alone will be worth getting this card.

Help plan an event

Whether you need to look for available venues or even catering services, the Amex Concierge can help.

Find special service providers near you and much, much more!

You can get pretty creative with the concierge service. If you’re in doubt, all you have to do is ask. You’d be surprised of the things they’ll be able to help you with.

Benefit #6: Air Canada Priority Check-in

The AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card makes your life easier at the airport by saving you time when checking in. Skip the regular check-in line and pass through Air Canada’s priority check-in.

Benefit #7: VIP Treatment at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ)

If you’re flying from Pearson International Airport (YYZ), having an AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card will ensure you’re pampered from the moment you arrive.

Start off with complimentary valet parking service from Terminals 1 and 3 just by flashing your card. You can also get a discount for parking rates and car care if you pay for them with your AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card.

Once you’re inside the airport and taken advantage of Air Canada’s priority check-in, you’ll save more time by bypassing the regular security line and going through the Pearson Priority Security Lane during peak hours.

All this will leave you with a lot of leisure time, which you can enjoy at the Maple Leaf Lounge.

Benefit #8: Extensive Travel and Purchase Coverage

The American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card comes with one of the most extensive travel insurance coverage of any Amex card. It brings in all the policies that come with the AeroplanPlus® Platinum Card, which includes Trip Cancellation Insurance, Trip Interruption Insurance, Emergency Medical Insurance and more.

Keep reading to find out more about the travel coverage that comes with the AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card:

$5,000,000 Travel Emergency Medical Insurance

Nothing eases the mind like having a good travel medical insurance policy. Many travel cards come with travel accident insurance or similar, but that only covers you while in transit, and not while you’re actually at your destination.

The Travel Emergency Medical Insurance policy is a group policy issued by Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Company, and it will cover you as the basic cardholder, your spouse and any dependent children, as well as any supplementary cardholder, his or her spouse and children, during the first 15 days of your trip. The coverage is for up to $5,000,000 per person under the age of 65, and comes into effect as soon as you leave your Canadian state or province of residence.

$500,000 Travel Accident Insurance

This is an AD&D policy underwritten by the Chubb Life Insurance Company, which covers you, your spouse and your children under the age of 23, as well as any additional cardmember, his or her spouse and children. The only condition is that you are all traveling in the same carrier (plane, ship, train or bus).

24/7 Travel Emergency Assistance

This gives you access to legal and medical assistance over the phone during your trip. This can be an exceptionally helpful benefit, especially if you’re in a country whose laws you’re unfamiliar with.

Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance

Sometimes, trips can get canceled for unforeseeable reasons like accidents. Other times, you may have to cut your trip short and return home. In both of those cases, if you have pre-paid travel arrangements, you could ask for a refund, but companies will seldom refund the whole price, so you’ll end up losing money.

This policy covers you for the non-refundable portions of prepaid trips, in case your trip is canceled before it even starts. If, after you begin your trip, your trip gets interrupted or you miss a connection or something else, the policy will cover non-refundable unused travel arrangements, as well as the most cost effective flight fares either to rejoin your tour, to your point of departure or to your next destination. It also covers pocket money for small daily expenses.

The maximum sum covered is $1,500 per person for a maximum of $3,000 for all insured persons combined in the case of trip cancellation, and a maximum of $6,000 for all insured persons combined in the case of trip interruption.

In the case of out-of-pocket money, the maximum is $100 per day per person, with a cap at $1,000.

Flight Delay & Baggage Delay Insurance

Flights can be delayed for long periods, and during this time, you may incur unplanned expenses like eating at a restaurant or even staying at a hotel. Your baggage not arriving on time can be just as frustrating and can also generate more expenses. Amex’s Flight Delay and Baggage Delay Insurance covers you for up to $500 of these, and other sundry expenses.

Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance

If your baggage disappears altogether, is damaged or stolen while in transit, you’re covered for up to $500. If the value of your luggage was more than $500, you can make a claim with the airline itself.

Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance

This policy covers up to $500 in lost personal items in case your hotel gets burglarized, as long as you paid for the room with your AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card.

Car Rental Theft or Damage Insurance

This one is a money-saving jewel. When you rent a car, you’re required to buy a Theft and Damage policy which can cost anywhere from $15 to $30 per day!

To give you an idea, if you were to rent a car for a one-week trip, this could add up to about $200 just for the insurance (not counting the car rental itself). If you pay for the car rental with your AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card, you can decline the rental company’s policy and use your card’s instead, without paying a single dime, saving you the $200. Keep in mind that this insurance policy will cover any rental car with a MSRP of up to $85,000, so don’t go renting a Ferrari.

Purchase Coverage

Regarding purchase coverage, you’ll get the Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan, which doubles the manufacturer’s warranty on any purchase paid in full with the AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card for a maximum of one extra year. You’ll also get the Purchase Protection Plan, which covers your purchases against accidental damage and theft, for a maximum of $1,000.

As you can see, if feeling safe and secure while you travel is essential to you, the AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card is definitely a great choice.

If you want to learn more, you can read our post on American Express Travel Insurance where you’ll find all the details about how to use your coverage, the other insurance options Amex offers and how to make claims.

Additional Card Benefits

Complimentary first-checked bag

For both the basic cardmember as well as for any supplementary cardholder, your first standard size and weight bag will be checked in, free of charge, for any Air Canada flight. You can use this benefit up to 5 times a year.

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Membership

This is Hertz’s loyalty rewards program, and it earns you 1 point per dollar. The points can be redeemed for free car rentals.

Aeroplan Priority Booking

You get priority access to Aeroplan’s Contact Center, where you can book your travel arrangements and more.

Emergency Card Replacement

In case you lose your card, or it’s stolen while you’re abroad, it’s good to know you can call Amex any time and get a new one sent to you, wherever you are, ASAP.

Do The Benefits Justify The $899 Annual Fee?

Depending on how often you travel, the Reserve Card can definitely pay for itself year after year.

You can see that the first year is a no-brainer. The 50,000 Aeroplan miles welcome bonus alone (worth $1,250 at a 2.5 cent valuation per mile) more than covers the $899 fee and more, plus you still get a bunch of other benefits that make it a winning deal. Add in the other benefits and you come out well ahead the annual fee.

After the first year, things will still look great, as long as you travel frequently. Let’s add up all the long-term benefits:

Annual travel credit $200
Complimentary annual round-trip partner ticket, worth up to 25,000 miles $625
Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Canada membership $375
Priority Pass Prestige membership $575
Toronto Pearson Airport Valet $25
Total Benefits $1,600
Annual Fee ($899)
Total Profit $700
Additional Benefits Yes

In the end, the long-term benefits will get you an extra $700 in value, after accounting for the annual fee, and that’s without even counting the value of the full insurance coverage, which is hard to estimate, and the Amex Concierge service, which can also prove invaluable to many cardholders.

The greatest part of the benefits comes from the two lounge access memberships, which together are worth more than the annual fee itself. Of course, you should only count that as a benefit if you’re a frequent flyer, and you actually use those lounges a lot.

If you fly multiple times per year, the AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card can be a great long-term choice.

Alternative Ways To Build Your Aeroplan Balance

Though any of the AeroplanPlus® cards are great candidates for earning Aeroplan miles, they’re not your only options. There are other Amex cards that also offer great welcome bonuses, good miles earning rates and excellent benefits year after year.

Here are our personal recommendations of alternative ways to earn miles:

#1 The American Express Platinum Card

One of the best cards for Canadians, the American Express Platinum Card is the absolute best way to bulk up your Aeroplan miles and travel around the world in style. It comes with an annual fee of $699, but also a whopping 50,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points welcome bonus you can transfer to Aeroplan miles at a 1:1 rate. Alongside the AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card, 50,000 is the biggest welcome bonus you can get, and when you use them wisely, these miles alone will be worth $1,250 or more.

But the Platinum Card isn’t the best choice just for the welcome bonus. The points earning rate is also the best one around. You’ll get 2x points on travel purchases and even 3x at eligible dining in Canada. This flexibility makes it a lot easier to access great earning rates and maximize your rewards. Give your Aeroplan number on selected purchases on a partner brand, and you’ll crank it up even more (refer to the “Miles Earning Rate” section above for more details).

It’s easier to access a higher points earning rate with the Platinum card than with any of the Aeroplan cards!

Add in long-lasting benefits like the $200 annual travel credit and Priority Pass Prestige and you’ll see why every Canadian traveler ought to have this card.

#2 The American Express Gold Rewards Card

Another great way to earn Aeroplan miles is using the American Express Gold Rewards Card. The Gold card comes with a very decent welcome bonus of 25,000 MR points, are transferable to Aeroplan miles at a 1:1 rate, and only costs $150 a year. That’s a 37.5% smaller bonus compared to the Aeroplan Platinum card, but it costs 70% less, so it’s a much better deal. You’ll also receive $100 annually in hotel credit, and many other benefits that make the Gold Card a smart choice year after year.

You can get the same bonus for a bit less money and many more benefits with the Marriott Bonvoy™ Card, but the Gold Rewards card has a much better points earning rate if you plan to transfer the points to Aeroplan miles. You’ll get 2x points on travel and a lot of everyday purchases, which is a much easier and more flexible way to earn points than with the Marriott Bonvoy™ Card. This card is an Aeroplan winner with a very modest fee.

#3 The Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express Card

If you transfer your 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy™ points welcome bonus to Aeroplan Miles at a 3:1 rate, you’ll earn an extra 15,000 Marriott Bonvoy™ points when doing so. If you transfer those as well, you’ll get 25,000 Aeroplan miles just for signing up to the Marriott Bonvoy™ Card, worth around $625. All this for a card that’ll only cost you $120 a year, and gives you great long-lasting benefits like one free night a year at a 5-star hotel.

With the American Express Marriott Bonvoy™ Card, you’ll get the same welcome bonus as with the Gold Rewards Card + additional benefits for an even lower fee.

These miles are enough for a long-haul round trip in economy class or a one-way flight in business class.

The only downside to using the Marriott Bonvoy™ Card as a means to earn Aeroplan miles is the earning rate. The best rate you can get is 5x points on participating Marriott Bonvoy properties, which when transferred to miles at the 1:3 ratio translates into 1.67 miles per dollar. It’s not bad, but you’re limited to Marriott Bonvoy™ properties alone, and the other cards we mentioned will get better rates on more flexible spending. On every other purchase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Card will earn 2 points to a dollar, or 0.67 Aeroplan miles, which is not a good earning rate.

How To Apply

If you decide that the American Express® AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card is the one for you, applying is as simple as clicking the link below and filling out the application form. It only takes about 2 minutes, and you’ll get a response almost immediately. All you need to be eligible is to be an adult Canadian resident with an account in good standing.

FAQs

How much are my Aeroplan miles really worth?

You can get anything from 0.7 cents per mile to more than 4 cents per Aeroplan mile, depending on how you redeem them.

Remember, maximizing the value of your miles relies upon flying with airlines that don’t impose fuel surcharges. That’s the basis of our posts that explain a $75 flight to Asia and how to get cheap flights to Europe.

Is my Aeroplan number the same as my American Express® AeroplanPlus® Card number?

No, it isn’t. Your Aeroplan number is the one you get when you sign up to Aeroplan itself at www.aeroplan.com. It’s actually your Aeroplan account number (where your miles are saved), and it’s the one you should give whenever you’re purchasing at a partner brand in order to earn more miles, regardless of your payment method.

Your AeroplanPlus® Card number, as you may have already guessed, is the actual American Express Aeroplan credit card number printed on your card.

If I already have an American Express® AeroplanPlus® Card, am I still eligible for the welcome bonus if I sign up to a different one?

Yes, you are. The welcome bonus is meant for anyone who signs up for any Amex card for the first time. If you have already signed up to the AeroplanPlus® Gold Card, for example, and claimed its welcome bonus, you can still sign up to any one of the other three AeroplanPlus® cards and get its bonus, because they are all different cards.

How long do I have to wait to get my welcome bonus?

This is very important question if you plan to use your bonus to pay for a trip. You won’t get the bonus right away after signing up for the card.

First of all, in order to get the AeroplanPlus® Platinum Card’s bonus you have to reach a minimum of $3,000 in purchases (any purchase) charged to your new card in the first 90 days of cardmembership. This could take a while.

After you hit that goal, American Express can take up to 8 weeks to transfer the bonus to your Aeroplan account.

Consequently, we estimate that you will receive your bonus about 10 to 20 weeks (2-5 months) after signing up, depending on how quickly you reach the $3,000 spending requirement.

You might get it earlier, but it’s better to play it safe. Be very careful not to sign up any later than 20 weeks prior to your planned trip!

What will happen with my unused miles after Air Canada’s takeover of Aeroplan in 2020?

It’s common knowledge that Air Canada closed a deal to buy-back Aeroplan and turn it into a brand new loyalty rewards program. This has many Aeroplan members worried about what will happen to their unused miles after the sale comes into effect next June 2020. There’s a bit of uncertainty around Aeroplan’s future.

However, Air Canada is assuming liability for all unclaimed miles, so it’s a fact that you won’t lose them. However, many experts agree that Air Canada is bound come up with a way to devalue the miles in order to soften the blow, so it’s likely that after June 2020 your miles won’t be worth as much as they are now.

On the bright side, you don’t have to worry about clearing out your Aeroplan account on any unplanned trip just yet.

The American Express® AeroplanPlus® Gold Card: A Review

This post is about the American Express® AeroplanPlus® Gold Card, one of a family of American Express Aeroplan cards. You can read our separate posts on the other three members of this card family, the AeroplanPlus® Card, the AeroplanPlus® Platinum Card and the AeroplanPlus® Reserve Card. You can also read our post on the comparison of the four American Express Aeroplan cards, where you’ll find all the information you need to choose which one is right for you.

Gold card

The American Express Aeroplan Gold Card, also known as the AeroplanPlus® Gold Card, is the second member of the AeroplanPlus® cards family, a series of credit and charge cards that earn Aeroplan miles that go straight to your Aeroplan balance without having to convert your reward points.

Aeroplan was originally Air Canada’s loyalty rewards program, but it spun off into a separate company. As of today, it counts almost 200 partner brands with which you can earn and redeem your miles for travel, lodgings, car rental and much, much more.

If you’re looking for a travel rewards card that won’t reward you just for traveling, but for your everyday spending as well, the American Express® AeroplanPlus® Gold Card could be a good choice for you. It offers a great miles earning rate on any purchase whatsoever, but you can quickly multiply your rewards by taking advantage of Aeroplan’s partner brands. Couple that with a fairly decent welcome bonus, extensive travel insurance coverage and all the perks that come with joining the American Express cardholders family, and you’ll see yourself traveling for less in no time flat.

Of course, as always, things aren’t as simple as they seem at first sight. Making a conscious decision when choosing the right card for your lifestyle means weighing the pros and cons of every option, and that’s exactly what you’ll learn in this post. We’ll show you what all the small letters and footnotes mean and we’ll teach you how to do the math and reach your own conclusions regarding this card. We’ll also give you our own professional advice on when this card is the best option for you, and when it’s best to let it pass.

To help you navigate this post, I’ve broken it down in the following sections:

Basic Features & Benefits

Here are the main features and benefits you’ll get with the Amex AeroplanPlus® Gold card:

Welcome Bonus15,000 Aeroplan miles (after you charge $1,500 in purchases to it in the first 3 months)
Annual Fee$120
Additional card2 free additional cards (worth $100)After that, every additional card will cost $50 a year (up to 9 additional cards)
Miles Earned Per $1 Spent On Partner Brands2+ miles for the first $10,000 charged to the card (1 for the card and 1+ for the partner brand)2.25+ miles for every 1$ above $10,000 charged to the card (1.25 for the card and 1+ for the partner brand purchase)
Miles Earned Per $1 Spent On All Other Purchases1 mile for the first $10,000 charged to the card After that, boost you earning rate to 1.25 miles for every additional 1$
American Express Invites
Travel Coverage$500,000 Travel Accident InsuranceTravel Emergency AssistanceFlight Delay InsuranceBaggage Delay InsuranceLost or Stolen Baggage InsuranceHotel/Motel Burglary InsuranceCar Rental Theft or Damage InsuranceEmergency Card Replacement
Purchase CoverageBuyer’s Assurance Protection PlanPurchase Protection Plan
EligibilityCanadian residents with an account in good standing
Type of CardCharge card (not a credit card)
APR on any unpaid balance30% purchases30% cash withdrawals

Above: The American Express Aeroplan Gold card’s features and benefits at a glance.

Let’s break it all down:

Welcome Bonus

As with all American Express cards, signing up for the AeroplanPlus® Gold card for the first time can earn you a welcome bonus. Notice I wrote “can” and not “will” earn you the welcome bonus. This is because you have to use your card, and charge a minimum of $1,500 to it before the first 3 months of cardmembership in order to receive it. This would mean charging on average $500 a month to your card. If you don’t believe you can manage that, then it’s probably best that you steer clear of this card, because without the welcome bonus things don’t really add up.

Having gotten the elephant out of the room, the Aeroplan Gold card’s welcome bonus of 15,000 miles is decent enough. The bonus alone will cover a one-way ticket in economy class for a long haul domestic flight inside Canada or the US, and you’ll still have 2,500 miles left over. Here’s a pair of examples of recently booked flight rewards to show you what I mean:

D:\Documentos\UpWork\Jordan Bishop\Yore Oyster\Aeroplan Cards Comparison\Example 2 - Vancouver-Montreal Areoplan reward.png
D:\Documentos\UpWork\Jordan Bishop\Yore Oyster\Aeroplan Cards Comparison\Example 2 - Vancouver-Montreal in Cash with air Canada.png

Above: One-way flight from Vancouver to Montreal booked with Aeroplan and the same flight booked with Air Canada

D:\Documentos\UpWork\Jordan Bishop\Yore Oyster\Aeroplan Cards Comparison\Seatle-New York Aeroplan.png
D:\Documentos\UpWork\Jordan Bishop\Yore Oyster\Aeroplan Cards Comparison\Seatle-New York in Cash with United Air.png

Above: One-way flight from Seattle to New York booked in Aeroplan and the same flight booked with United Airlines.

As you can see, any one of those flights is enough to offset the annual fee (read bellow for more details). With those miles, you can fly from Vancouver to Montreal paying only $72 instead of the regular $518 in cash. Compared to the “Regular” AeroplanPlus® Card, this card’s bonus is three times bigger for only twice the annual fee, so it’s definitely a better deal.

Having said that, it isn’t the best bonus you can get, not even for a comparable annual fee. Both the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Card and the Amex Gold Rewards Card can earn you bigger bonuses for the same or slightly higher fees (read on to see how this card compares to other Amex cards).

Annual Fee

The Aeroplan Gold card will cost you $120 a year. This is a manageable sum for most Canadians. However, there are people who simply don’t want to pay a fee for their credit cards, even if the benefits clearly outweigh it. If you’re dead-set on avoiding a fee, then this card is not for you. However, if your more open minded, keep reading and I’ll show you that the fee is actually a really good deal, at least for the first year, when you count in all the benefits that come with the card.

As far as credit card fees go, $120 is somewhere in the middle-low segment. You can find cheaper fees like the $60 fee on the regular Aeroplan card, and there are credit cards that you can even have for free. On the other end, you’ll also find fees up to eight times higher. As a general rule in credit cards, a higher fee implies a lot more benefits. Whether you will be able to take advantage of those benefits depends entirely on your lifestyle and income.

An important benefit with the Aeroplan Gold card is that with the $120 fee, you won’t just receive your own card, but you’ll also get two additional supplementary cards for any two people 13 or more years old. This is a great way to earn miles faster if you have friends or family members who you wish to share your account with. These two cards alone would cost you an extra $50 each, but you’ll get them at no extra cost.

If you feel that you can afford the annual fee and are keen on earning miles, then give it a try today and start building up your Aeroplan balance.

Sign up now!

Miles Earning Rate

The miles earning rate is definitely one of the most important features of the AeroplanPlus® Gold card. The card comes with a basic earning rate of 1 mile per $1 spent on any purchase below a total of $10,000 charged to the card. This is the same earning rate you get with the regular AeroplanPlus® Card. However, if before the year is done you manage to reach a total of $10,000 charged to your card, the earning rate boosts up to 1.25x on every dollar spent thereafter. This is actually a pretty good earning rate for an everyday spending card.

Moreover, if you happen to shop at an Aeroplan partner brand, that’s when things really take off because, if you give your Aeroplan number, you’ll earn extra miles. Since Aeroplan is a loyalty rewards program, it will reward you handsomely for being loyal to its partners. The least you’ll get is an additional mile, apart from the 1x or 1.25x you get from using your AeroplanPlus® Gold Card. Some partners will give you tons of miles. When you add them all up, in some cases, you could be raking in more than 5x miles on those particular purchases. Considering that an Aeroplan mile is worth, on average, about 2.5 cents, earning 5 miles per every dollar is equivalent to getting more than 10% of you money back, if you spend your miles wisely.

You can earn miles twice with the Aeroplan Gold card if you shop at a partner brand, once for the card purchase and once for the Aeroplan partner

There are over 150 Aeroplan partners, each one of which has its particular rewarding scheme. Air Canada for example, Aeroplan’s main partner, will reward up to 150% of the miles you fly.

Let’s look at a real example to give you a better idea!

If you purchase a round-trip ticket from Toronto to Vancouver in Standard plus class, and pay the $800 fare with your Aeroplan Gold card, you would earn 1,000 miles from the card purchase (assuming you already surpassed the $10,000 mark). If you give your Aeroplan number, you would also receive 1 mile for every mile flown. That’s 4,158 miles! In the end, you would come out with 5,158 miles for spending $800. That’s an astounding 6.45 miles per dollar!

When you pay for Air Canada flights with your AeroplanPlus® Gold card, you can easily get more than 6 miles per dollar!

You’ll find the complete list of Aeroplan’s partners in the following table. You can also find more examples of great rewards like the example shown above, as well as details regarding miles earning rates, promotions and more on Aeroplan’s partners list here.

Airlines • Air Canada
• Adria Airways
• Aegean Airlines
• Air China
• Air Creebec
• Air India
• Air New Zealand
• ANA
• Asiana Airlines
• Austrian Airlines
• Avianca
• Avianca Brazil
• Bearskin Airlines
• Brussels Airlines
• Canadian North
• Cathay Dragon
• Cathay Pacific
• COPA Airlines
• Croatia Airlines
• Egyptair
• Ethiopian Airlines
• EuroWings
• Eva Air
• First Air
• GOL
• Juneyao Airlines
• LOT Polish Airlines
• Lufthansa
• Olympic Air
• Scandinavian Airlines
• Shenzhen Airlines
• Singapore Airlines
• South African Airways
• Star Alliance
• Swiss
• TAP Air Portugal
• Thai Airways
• Turkish Airlines
• United Airlines
Hotels
and
Lodgings
• Le Club Accorhotels
• Ac Hotels by Marriott®
• Adagio
• Adagio Access
• Aloft Hotels
• Americinn® by Wyndham
• Angsana
• Ascend Collection®
• Banyan Tree
• Baymont® by Wyndham
• Best Western International
• Cambria Suites®
• Candlewood Suites®
• Cassia
• Chelsea Hot • el, Toronto
• Choice Hotels®
• Clarion
• Coast Hotels
• Comfort Inn®
• Comfort Suites®
• Cordis Hotels and Resorts
• Conrad Hotels and Resorts™
• Country Inn & Suites by Radisson
• Courtyard by Marriott®
• Crowne Plaza®
• Days Inn® by Wyndham
• Delta Hotels and Resorts
• Dazzler® by Wyndham
• Dolce Hotels and Resorts® by Wyndham
• Doubletree by Hilton(Tm)
• Eaton Hk
• Econo Lodge®
• Element Hotels
• Embassy Suites Hotels®
• Esplendor® • Boutique Hotels by Wyndham
• Even® Hotels
• Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®
• Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
• Four Points by Sheraton
• Gaylord Hotels®
• Gouverneur Hotels
• Grand Mercure
• Hampton by Hilton™
• Hawthorn Suites® by Wyndham
• Hilton Hotels & Resorts®
• Canopy by Hilton™
• Curio – a Collection by Hilton™
• Hilton Garden Inn™
• Hilton Grand Vacations™
• Hilton Honors™
• Holiday Inn Express®
• Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts
• Home2 Suites by Hilton™
• Homewood Suites by Hilton™
• Hotel Indigo™
• Howard Johnson
• Hualuxe® Hotels & Resorts
• Ibis
• Ibis Styles
• Intercontinental® Hotels and Resorts
• Jw Marriott®
• Kerry Hotels
• Kimpton® Hotels and Restaurants
• The Langham Hotels and Resorts
• La Quinta® by Wyndham
• Le Meridien Mainstay Suites®
• Mama Shelter
• Marriott Autograph Collection®
• Marriott Edition®
• Marriott Executive Apartments®
• Marriott Hotels®
• Marriott Bonvoy™
• Marriott Vacation Club®
• Mercure
• Mgallery
• Microtel® by Wyndham
• 21c Museum Hotel
• Novotel
• Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts
• Park Inn® by Radisson
• Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts
• Parkroyal Hotels & Resorts
• Pullman
• Quality®
• Radisson®
• Radisson Blu®
• Radisson Red®
• Raffles
• Ramada® by Wyndham
• Regent Hotels®
• Renaissance® Hotels
• Residence Inn by Marriott®
• Rixos
• Rocketmiles
• Rodeway Inn®
• The Sebel
• Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts
• Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
• Sleep Inn®
• Sofitel Hotels & Resorts
• Sofitel Legend
• Splash Beach Resort, Mai Khao, Phuket
• Springhill Suites by Marriott®
• Staybridge Suites® by Holiday Inn
• St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
• Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®
• Super 8® by Wyndham
• Swissotel
• Thalassa Sea & Spa
• The Luxury Collection
• Towneplace Suites by Marriott®
• Trademark Collection® by Wyndham
• Traders Hotels
• Travelodge® by Wyndham
• Tryp® by Wyndham
• Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts™
• Westin Hotels & Resorts
• W Hotels
• Wingate® by Wyndham
• Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
Car
Rental
• Avis
• Budget
• Hertz
• Payless® Car Rental
   
Parking • Aéroports De Montréal
• Park & Jet Calgary
• Park’n Fly
• Vancouver International Airport Parking 
   
Online
Retailers
• Aircanada.com
• Home Hardware
• Costco
• Magellan’s
   
Aeroplan
e-store
Partners
• Aeroplan Estore
• Aldo
• Amazon.ca
• Apple Store Canada
• Banana Republic
• Bass Pro Shops
• Bloomingdale’s
• Bogs
• Chapters.indigo.ca
• Clearly
• Club Monaco
• Crocs
• Dell Canada
• Ebay.ca
• Footlocker
• Gap Canada
• Hudson’s Bay
• Indochino
• Lands’ End
• L.l.bean
• Luisaviaroma
• Macy’s
• Microsoft Store
• National Geographic
• Norton by Symantec
• Old Navy
• Rakuten Kobo
• Revolveclothing.com
• Roots
• Rosetta Stone
• Saks.com
• Sephora
• Shoes.com
• Shop Disney
• Sierra Trading Post
• Strawberrynet
• The Body Shop
• Toms Canada
• Tsc
• Under Armour
• Weightwatchers.ca
• Well.ca
• Yves Rocher
• Nordstrom

Above: Complete list of Aeroplan’s partner brands

Since you are limited to a specific set of travel related partner brands, it may be difficult to achieve the highest miles earning rate with this card unless you’re traveling, and unless you carefully plan your itinerary. This may become cumbersome, to say the least, so it’s much more probable that you’ll end up accessing the 1x or 1.25x earning rate, most of the time.

Also, if you consider the fact that you can give your Aeroplan number at a partner brand and earn extra miles, regardless of what payment method you use (whether you pay with an AeroplanPlus® Gold card or not), it’s definitely wiser to use a card that offers more flexibility and better earning rates for your everyday expenses. The American Express Gold Rewards Card is a good choice since it earns you MR points, which you can transfer later to Aeroplan miles at a 1:1 rate. This card gives you the same 1x earning rate on any purchase, but it will give you 2x MR points on eligible travel purchases, which include most of Aeroplan’s partners, as well as others. In that case, you could be looking at 3-7+ miles per $1, which is an almost unrivaled earning rate.

Finally, another positive note on the Aeroplan Gold Card’s rewards is that Amex doesn’t put a cap on the maximum amount of miles you can earn. You can use it all you want and it’ll keep earning you miles.

Travel and Purchase Coverage

Having an insurance policy when you travel will surely help you enjoy the trip more and worry less, even if it is a business trip. As if choosing the best itinerary and planning everything down to a T wasn’t enough on your mind, adding the need to decide on a travel insurance policy among the many options available could also add some unneeded stress to the whole affair.

Signing up to the American Express® AeroplanPlus® Gold Card provides an easy way out of this conundrum, as it already comes with very decent set of travel insurance policies that’ll cover you on every trip you take after becoming a member, as long as you purchase all your tickets with the card. These policies include:

$500,000 Travel Accident Insurance

This is an AD&D policy underwritten by the Chubb Life Insurance Company, which covers you, your spouse and your children under the age of 23, as well as any additional cardmember, his or her spouse and children. The only condition is that you are all traveling in the same carrier (plane, ship, train or bus). The only downside is that this policy will only cover you while in transit, and not when you’re at your destination.

24/7 Travel Emergency Assistance

This gives you access to legal and medical assessment over the phone during your trip. This helps a lot, especially if you’re in a country whose laws you’re unfamiliar with.

Flight And Baggage Delay Insurance

Flights can be delayed for long periods, and during this time, you may have unplanned expenses like eating at a restaurant or even renting a room at a hotel. Your baggage not arriving on time can be just as frustrating and can also generate more expenses. Amex’s Flight Delay and Baggage Delay Insurance cover you for up to $500 of these, and other sundry expenses.

Lost Or Stolen Baggage Insurance

If your baggage disappears altogether, is damaged or stolen while in transit, you’re covered for up to $500.

Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance

This policy covers up to $500 in lost personal items in case your hotel gets burglarized, as long as you paid for the room with your AeroplanPlus® Gold card.

Car Rental Theft Or Damage Insurance

This one is a money saving jewel. When you rent a car, you’re required to buy a Theft and Damage policy which can cost anywhere from $16 to $23 per day! To give you an idea, if you were to rent a car for a one-week business trip, this could add up to as much as $161 just for the insurance(not counting the car rental itself). If you pay for the car rental with your Aeroplan Gold card, you can decline the company’s own policy and use your card’s instead, without paying a single dime, therefore saving you the $161. Keep in mind that this insurance policy will cover any rental car with a MSRP of up to $85,000.

Emergency Card Replacement

In case you lose your card or it is stolen while you’re abroad, it’s good to know you can call any time and get a new one sent to you, wherever you are, ASAP.

Regarding purchase coverage, you’ll get the Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan, which doubles the manufacturer’s warranty on any purchase paid in full with the AeroplanPlus® Gold card. You’ll also get the Purchase Protection Plan that covers your purchases against accidental damage and theft.

The insurance coverage of the Aeroplan Gold card clearly leaves the “regular” Aeroplan card well behind, as the latter only offers half the AD&D coverage and the purchase coverage. If you plan on traveling any time soon, adding this card to your wallet could definitely be worth it.

If you want to learn more, you can read our dedicated post on American Express Travel Insurance where you’ll find all the details about how to use your coverage, the other insurance options Amex offers and how to make claims.

Eligibility

Since the Amex AeroplanPlus® Gold Card is for Canadians only, the first condition to be eligible is to be a Canadian citizen or at least a Canadian resident.

The American Express Aeroplan Gold Card is a charge card, not a credit card. This translates into two things:

  1. You’re meant to pay your balance in full every month, or else get a 30% APR on any unpaid balance.
  2. American Express doesn’t impose a minimum income to become eligible, only that you have a Canadian credit file and that your account be in good standing. American Express doesn’t specify exactly what they mean by “account in good standing”, but some say that you need a minimum credit score of 650.

This makes it easy for you to take advantage of the benefits of American Express and Aeroplan, even if you don’t make a lot of money. Couple that with an accessible fee and this card becomes a great choice of a rewards card on a budget.

Sign up today and give it a go.

Overall Pros and Cons

We analyzed all the card’s features and benefits and came up with the following list of pros and cons for the American Express Aeroplan Card:

PROSCONS
Not a particularly high annual feeDecent welcome bonusGood miles earning rateTwo free supplementary Aeroplan Gold cardsNo cap on earnable milesGreat travel and purchase coverageNo minimum income requiredHigh APR on unpaid balanceNo Amex conciergeNo airport lounge accessNo other long term benefits to offset the annual fee

Do The Benefits Justify The Annual Fee?

If you were to sign up and use this card only for the welcome bonus, the benefits would clearly justify the fee for the first year, but not for the long run. As you can see in the following table where I’ve summarized the most important short-term and long-term benefits, the bonus itself is worth on average $375, and the two additional cards are worth another $100. Even if you were to claim your miles in the worst possible way, you’d still come out winning in the end.


Annual FeeBenefits(Welcome Bonus + other benefits)Value in the  Worst Case Scenario:1 cent/mile(balance)Value in the  Worst Case Scenario:4 cents/mile (balance)Average Value:2.5 cents/mile(balance)
First Year$12015,000 miles+ 2 additional cards (worth $100)$150 + $100 (additional cards) = $250(net win of $130)$600 + $100 (additional cards) = $700(net win of $580)$375 + $100 (additional cards) = $475(net win of $355)
Long Term2 additional cards (worth $100)$100(net loss of $20)$100(net loss of $20)$100(net loss of $20)

Above: Comparison of benefits and the annual fee.

On average, the welcome bonus and other benefits will more than triple the annual fee during the first year.

After the first year, things don’t look so bright. Unless you use your card to earn miles and to take advantage of the travel and purchase coverage that come with it, the only real lasting benefits are the two additional cards, which are worth $100. However, even this benefit will be sterile if you don’t use them either.

There are other credit cards like the Amex Marriott Bonvoy and the Amex Platinum card whose benefits will outweigh the annual fee just for having it in your wallet. Benefits like the annual free night at a five stars hotel, or complimentary access to first class airport lounges around the world, are worth much more than the respective annual fees, and are a much smarter choice than this card for the long term.

How Does The AeroplanPlus® Gold Card Compare To Other American Express Cards?

As we explained above, the lack of long lasting benefits to help offset the annual fee, even if it is a manageable sum like $120, makes the AeroplanPlus® Gold card a bad deal after the first year, unlike other options like the Marriott Bonvoy Card, the Amex Platinum Card and the Amex Gold Rewards Card.

The Marriott Bonvoy Card, for example, has the same fee as the AeroplanPlus® Gold Card, but its benefits heavily outweigh the $120 annual fee. The yearly Free Night Award alone could be worth $300-$500, which more than doubles the annual fee, and that’s without counting all the other long-term benefits that come with it. It is hands down the best credit card option for Canadians today, in our opinion.

Compared to the regular AeroplanPlus® card, it’s a much better deal, even if costs twice as much. However, if you’re looking for the cheapest fee on an American Express card the can reward you miles, than the “regular” AeroplanPlus® card is the one for you. The other two members of the AeroplanPlus® card family let you rake a lot more benefits, but they also come with heavy annual fees of $500 and more.

If you want to learn more about this card family, you can read our full comparison of the four American Express® AeroplanPlus® cards here.

Alternative Ways To Build Your Aeroplan Balance

Even though any of the AeroplanPlus® cards would seem like the likely candidates if you want to earn Aeroplan miles, they’re actually not the only choices, nor even the best cards for the task. Other Amex card options will give you much better welcome bonuses, better miles earning rates and much better long lasting benefits.

Here are our personal recommendations of alternative ways to earn miles:

The American Express Platinum Card

One of the best cards for Canadians, the American Express Platinum card is the absolute best way to bulk up your Aeroplan miles and travel around the world in style. It comes with a heavy annual fee of $699 but also with a whopping 50,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points welcome bonus you can transfer to Aeroplan miles at a 1:1 rate. That’s the biggest welcome bonus you can get! Using them wisely, these miles alone will be worth over $1,250.

But the Platinum Card isn’t the best card for earning Aeroplan miles just for the welcome bonus. The points earning rate is also the best one around. You can get 2x points on travel purchases and even 3x at eligible dinning in Canada. Give your Aeroplan number on selected purchases on a partner brand, and you could crank it up to more than 4x (read the “Miles Earning Rate” section for more details).

It’s easier to access a higher points earning rate with the Platinum card than with any of the Aeroplan cards!

Add in long lasting benefits like $200 in travel credit and complimentary access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across the globe (valued at almost $500 a year) and you’ll see why you definitely need this card if you like to travel.

Sign up to the Amex Platinum Card

The American Express Gold Rewards Card

This is also a better alternative to earn Aeroplan miles. This card comes with a welcome bonus of 25,000 MR points that are transferable to Aeroplan miles at a 1:1 rate, and will only cost you $150 a year. You’ll also receive $100 in hotel credit and many other benefits that’ll make this a smart choice, year after year.

You could get the same bonus for less money and many more benefits with the Marriott Bonvoy card, but the Gold Rewards card has a much better points earning rate, if you plan to transfer the points to Aeroplan miles. You could get 2x points on travel and everyday purchases, and 1x on all other purchases, which is a much easier and more flexible way to earn points (read miles) than the Marriott Bonvoy card. This card is an Aeroplan winner at a modest fee.

The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

Even though we don’t really recommend doing so, you can transfer your Marriott Bonvoy’s 60,000 points welcome bonus to Aeroplan Miles at a 3:1 rate, and even earn an extra 15,000 Bonvoy points when doing so. If you transfer those as well, you could be getting as much as 25,000 Aeroplan miles just for signing up to the Marriot Bonvoy American Express card, which are worth around $625. All this for a card that’ll only cost you $120 a year, and gives you great long lasting benefits like one free night a year at a five stars hotel.

With the American Express Marriott Bonvoy card, you can get a 67% larger welcome bonus + much better benefits, for the exact same fee as the AeroplanPlus® Gold card.

These miles are enough for a round trip in economy class or a one-way flight in business class.

Sign up now to the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card

The only downside to using the Marriott Bonvoy card as a means to earn Aeroplan miles is the earning rate. The best rate you can get is 5x points on participating Marriott Bonvoy properties, which when transferred to miles at the 1:3 ratio translates into 5÷3=1.67 miles per dollar. It’s not bad, but you’re limited to Marriott Bonvoy properties alone, and the other mentioned cards will get better rates on more flexible spending. On every other purchase, the Marriott Bonvoy card will match 2 points to a dollar, or 0.67 miles, which is not good at all.

How To Apply

If you decide that the American Express Aeroplan Gold card is the one for you, applying is as simple as clicking in the link below and filling out the application form. It only takes about 5 minutes, and you’ll get a response almost immediately. All you need to be eligible is to be an adult Canadian resident with an account in good standing.

Sign up to the Amex AeroplanPlus® Gold Card now!

FAQs

How Much Are My Aeroplan Miles Really Worth?

You can get anything from 0.7 cents per mile to more than 4 cents per mile, depending on how you redeem them. To get the best value from your miles, just follow our pro tips:

Tip #1: Only redeem your miles for flights

Tip #2: Use your miles for domestic flights with Air Canada

Tip #3: When flying international, choose airlines that don’t impose fuel surcharge fees

Tip #4: Fly in Business class instead of Economy class

These tips probably won’t get you the cheapest possible fares, but they’re sure to get you the highest possible value per every beloved mile.

Is My Aeroplan Number The Same As My American Express® AeroplanPlus® Card Number?

No, it isn’t. Your Aeroplan number is the one you get when you sign up to Aeroplan itself at www.aeroplan.com. It’s the equivalent to your Aeroplan account number (where your miles are saved), and it’s the one you should give whenever you’re purchasing at a partner brand in order to earn more miles, regardless of your payment method.

Your AeroplanPlus® number, as you may have already guessed, is the actual American Express Aeroplan credit card number (the one printed on your card).

If I Already Have An American Express® AeroplanPlus® Card, Am I Still Eligible For The Welcome Bonus If I Sign Up To Another One?

Yes, you are. The welcome bonus is meant for anyone who signs up for any Amex card for the first time. If you already signed up to the AeroplanPlus® Platinum card, for example, and claimed its welcome bonus, you can still sign up to any one of the other three AeroplanPlus® cards and get its bonus, because they are all different cards.

How Long Do I Have To Wait To Get My American Express Welcome Bonus?

This is very important question if you plan to use your bonus to pay for a trip. You won’t get the bonus right away after signing up for the card.

First of all, in order to get the Aeroplan Gold card’s bonus you have to reach a minimum of $1,500 in purchases (any purchase) charged to your new card in the first 90 days of cardmembership. This isn’t too hard to do for most Canadians, but it may still take a bit of time.

After you hit that goal, American Express can take up to 8 weeks to transfer the bonus to your Aeroplan account.

As a consequence, we estimate that the soonest you could be getting your bonus would be in about 12 weeks (or three months) after signing up, considering you manage to charge the $1,500 to your card in less than a month.

Be very careful not to sign up any later than 12 weeks prior to your planned trip!

What Will Happen With My Unused Miles After Air Canada’s Takeover Of Aeroplan In 2020?

It’s common knowledge that Air Canada closed a deal to buy-back Aeroplan and turn it into a brand new loyalty rewards program. This has many Aeroplan members worried about what will happen to their unused miles after the sale comes into effect next June 2020. There’s a bit of uncertainty around Aeroplan’s future.

However, Air Canada is assuming liability for all unclaimed miles, so it’s a fact that you won’t lose them. However, many experts agree that Air Canada is bound come up with a way to devalue the miles in order to soften the blow, so it’s likely that after June 2020 your miles won’t be worth as much as they are now.

On the bright side, you don’t have to worry about clearing out your Aeroplan account on any unplanned trip just yet.

The American Express® AeroplanPlus® Platinum Card

This review covers the benefits, costs and little-known tricks of the American Express® Aeroplanplus®® Platinum Card. You can read our separate posts on the other three members of this card family, the regular Aeroplanplus® Card, the Aeroplanplus® Gold Card and the Aeroplanplus® Reserve Card. You can also read our post on the comparison of the four cards here, where you’ll find all the information you need to choose which one is right for you.

American Express<sup>®</sup> Aeroplanplus<sup>®</sup> Platinum Card
The American Express® Aeroplanplus®® Platinum Card.

The Aeroplanplus® Platinum card is one of American Express’ best Aeroplan miles earning cards for your everyday purchases. It’s a travel card that comes with a huge 40,000 miles welcome bonus, and long lasting benefits like an excellent miles earning rate, travel and purchase insurance coverage for every trip, a complimentary partner ticket for a short-haul round-trip flight every year, and more. All these benefits will more than likely help you overlook the high annual fee. The welcome bonus alone easily makes this card a winning deal for the first year because it can be worth over $1,000, as you’ll learn in this post.

Get pampered at Pearson Airport thanks to complimentary valet service and save time with Pearson Priority Security Lane and Air Canada Priority Check-in. Travel with style with unlimited access to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge wherever available, as well as with a Priority Pass membership to access some of the most amazing airport lounges across the globe.

In the following post, I’ll show you all the numbers to help you make sense of all of the Aeroplan Platinum card’s benefits, so you can decide for yourself if this card is the right fit for you. If you do decide to sign up, or if you’re already a cardholder, you’ll find out how to get the best out of your card and turn the high annual fee into a smart investment.

To help you navigate this post, I’ve broken it down in the following sections:

Basic Features & Benefits

The American Express® Aeroplanplus®® Platinum Card is loaded with excellent benefits, as you’ll soon find out. Here is the list of the most relevant and important features and benefits that come with the card:

Welcome Bonus40,000 Aeroplan miles
Annual Fee$499
Additional card$199 for additional Aeroplanplus® Platinum cards
.$50 for additional Aeroplanplus® Gold cards.
Miles Earned Per $1 Spent On Partner Brands2.25 miles or more for the first $25,000 charged to the card
2.50 miles or more for every 1$ above $25,000 charged to the card
Miles Earned Per $1 Spent On All Other Purchases1.25 miles for the first $25,000 charged to the card1.50 miles for every additional dollar
American Express Invites
Travel Coverage$5,000,000 Emergency Medical Insurance (Out of province/country)
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Trip Interruption Insurance
$500,000 Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Emergency Assistance
Flight Delay Insurance
Baggage Delay Insurance
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
Purchase CoverageBuyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
Purchase Protection Plan
EligibilityCanadian citizens or residents with an account in good standing
Type of CardCharge card (not a credit card)
APR on any unpaid balance30% on purchases
30% on cash withdrawals

Above: The American Express Aeroplan Platinum card’s features and benefits at a glance.

Ok! Now, let’s take a closer look at all these benefits separately so I can show you how much they’ll really be worth to you:

The Welcome Bonus

The Aeroplanplus® Platinum card’s welcome bonus is simply HUGE! The only card that offers a higher bonus is the Aeroplanplus® Reserve Card, but that one will cost you an extra $400 (almost twice) and its bonus is only 25% bigger than the Platinum’s. However, you may be wondering exactly how big a 40,000 miles bonus really is. To answer that, you need to know how much each mile is worth.

As with all loyalty rewards programs, Aeroplan miles (what Aeroplan calls its reward points) are redeemable for a variety of different rewards. Depending on how you decide to spend them, you can get different values for every mile. If you follow our advice on how to get the most out of your every mile in this post (or in the FAQ section at the end of this one), you could get as much as 4 cents or more for every mile. This means that the 40,000 miles could be worth as much as $1,600.

That’s over three times the annual fee!

Getting that sort of value isn’t hard, and is very realistic, provided that you have flexible travel dates. It would seem obvious to try to squeeze out as much as possible from every mile, but if you don’t want to stress yourself out with maximizing your return on the $499 investment, it’s incredibly easy to get an average value of 2,5 cents per mile, which still traduces to $1,000 -twice the annual fee. Heck, even if, for some strange reason, you decided to make an effort and get the least amount of value, you would almost come out even in the end, without counting all the other benefits.

Let’s take a look at some of the great things you could do with the 40,000 miles:

Two roundtrip tickets from Toronto to Miami for only $71 CAD each!

Get away from the cold for a while and take a partner with you. You could visit the cosmopolitan city of Miami and bask in the sun in some of Florida’s best beaches.

Resultado de imagen para miami
Fly roundtrip from Toronto to Miami for just $71 with the American Express® Aeroplanplus®® Platinum Card.

As you can see from the next image, each round-trip ticket costs 22,800 miles + $71 CAD for taxes and fees. Therefore, both tickets will cost a total of 45,600 miles + $142. That’s a little over the 40,000 miles of the welcome bonus, but don’t worry, the extra miles will already be in your account by the time you receive the bonus.

Why?

Well, it’s actually very simple: In order to get the bonus, you have to charge a minimum of $3,000 of purchases to your card in the first three months of cardmembership. If you spend that money wisely (i.e. shopping at an Aeroplan partner brand and getting more than 2.25 cents per mile, for example), those $3,000 will turn into more than 6,750 miles, giving you more than enough to cover the extra 5,600 miles needed to afford the whole trip.

In the following image, you can see the same itinerary booked directly with Air Canada. In that case, each round-trip ticket would cost $367 for a total of $734 for both you and your partner. Since you’re still paying $142 for taxes and fees, the miles in the welcome bonus are saving you $734 – $142 = $592.

That was quite an easy to plan itinerary, and with it, you come out winning almost $100 after subtracting the annual fee. This particular trip will only get you roughly 1.30 cents per mile, which is actually a very poor valuation for your miles (but it’s a great destination).

Here’s another example of recently booked flight reward that could get you a heck of a lot more for you bonus:

Three one-way, long-haul tickets from Vancouver to Montreal

If you plan to cross the country with a pair of friends or family members, you should really consider signing up to the Aeroplanplus® platinum card. As you can see from the snapshot below, each Economy class fare would be $519 if booked with Air Canada. That sums up to a total of $1,557 for three tickets. That’s not exactly pocket change.

D:\Documentos\UpWork\Jordan Bishop\Yore Oyster\Aeroplan Cards Comparison\Example 2 - Vancouver-Montreal in Cash with air Canada.png
One-way flight from Vancouver to Montreal booked with cash on Air Canada.

If, on the other hand, you use your welcome bonus, you would only be paying 12,500 miles + $73 for taxes and fees for each ticket (see image below). In other words, all three tickets would cost 37,500 miles + $219.

D:\Documentos\UpWork\Jordan Bishop\Yore Oyster\Aeroplan Cards Comparison\Example 2 - Vancouver-Montreal Areoplan reward.png
The exact same one-way flight from Vancouver to Montreal booked using Aeroplan points from your American Express® Aeroplanplus®® Platinum Card.

Have you done the math already?

Numbers don’t lie… You’re saving $1,557 – $219 = $1,338.

Since a penny saved is a penny earned, that means you come out winning almost $840, after counting in the annual fee. That’s just for signing up and getting the bonus, AND you’ll still have, in the absolute worst of cases, 6,250 miles left over (that’s the 2,500 miles left form the welcome bonus itself + the miles earned from charging $3,000 to the card at its worst possible earning rate of 1.25 miles/$).

Convinced? Sign up now and start saving money on flights.

The Annual Fee

The annual fee is the ugly side of the Aeroplanplus® Platinum Card. You don’t need me to tell you so… $499 is a lot of money, and not everyone has the budget for it. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a low budget card, this is not the one for you. However, when you stop to consider the benefits you can get out of signing up, the $499 start looking more like an investment than like a non-refundable fee.

Either way, this is obviously not a card you want to sign up to just to, keep it in your wallet. You have to use it at least as much as to get the welcome bonus, in order for it to make sense to sign up. So, if you do plan to sign up, remember to have the $499 at your disposal and to be able to manage the average $1,000 of monthly purchases needed to reach the minimum before the first three months. In other words,

Make sure you’ll be able to get the welcome bonus before you sign up!

If the fee and the minimum purchase are manageable for you, and if you intend to travel at least once in the following year, then I definitely recommend you get it now.

American Express gives you options regarding additional cards. You can choose between additional Aeroplan Platinum cards or Aeroplan Gold cards. In the first case, each card would cost you $200 per year, and would include the benefits of the Platinum Card regarding insurance coverage and miles earning rates.

You can also opt for an additional Gold card instead, which is much cheaper ($50 a year) but won’t include all the benefits that come with the Platinum card, only the ones available for the Aeroplanplus® Gold card. Amongst other things, the earning rate will be lower (1x for any purchase) and you don’t get the same coverage or travel benefits.

Miles Earning Rate

The platinum card comes with the highest miles earning rate (per every dollar on any purchase) of the American Express® Aeroplanplus®® card family. You start off at a rate of 1.25 miles per dollar for the first $25,000 in purchases, and after that, the rate boosts to 1.5x. To give you some perspective, with the gold card you’d have to charge $10,000 to be able to actually get 1.25 miles per dollar; before that, you would be getting a rate of 1x. That means that by choosing the Aeroplan Platinum card instead of the Aeroplan Gold card, you will have an extra 2,500 miles in your account by the time you reach the $10,000 mark.

Once you boost your earning rate to 1.5x, there’s simply no competition.

You could say that other cards can give you better rates like the Reserve Card, which can get you 2x miles per dollar, or the Amex Platinum Card that can give you up to 3x on eligible dinning in Canada. The difference is that in those cases, you only get the highest rate for very specific eligible purchases, and only 1x for the rest, whereas the 1.5x rate mentioned here is for any purchase whatsoever.

That’s a thumbs-up for the Aeroplan Platinum card.

Of course, you only get that after you actually spend $25,000, which is not a meager sum. The basic 1.25x earning rate is really not so bad, but if you really want to ramp up your earning rate without having to spend a fortune to do so, the best way is to access the increased earning rates that Aeroplan’s partners offer.

Here’s how:

After signing up for your Aeroplanplus® Platinum card, you also need to sign up to Aeroplan itself. That’s where your miles will actually be stored when you earn them, and that’s where you have to go to redeem them. Whenever you decide to shop at an Aeroplan partner brand, you can give your Aeroplan number (this is your Aeroplan account number, which is not the same as the Aeroplanplus® card number) and you’ll earn miles for your purchase.

Notice I never said that you have to pay with your Aeroplanplus® Platinum card, just that you have to give your Aeroplan number. What payment method you use doesn’t matter. If you do use your Aeroplan Platinum card, then you will ALSO earn miles with it. This means that

You can ear miles twice with the Aeroplan Platinum card if you shop at a partner brand, once for the card purchase and once for the Aeroplan partner!

In fact, you could even earn miles a third time on the same purchase, if you decide to shop at the partner brand through the Aeroplan.com e-store.

There are over 150 Aeroplan partners, each one of which has its particular rewarding scheme. Air Canada for example, Aeroplan’s main partner, will reward up to 150% of the miles you actually fly (that’s why they called them miles in the first place).

Let me give you a sneak peak at the one of the highest earning rates you can get with the Aeroplanplus® Platinum card:

If you purchase a round-trip ticket from Toronto to Vancouver in Standard plus class, and pay the $800 fare with your Aeroplan Gold card, you would earn 1,200 miles from the card purchase (assuming you already accessed the 1.5x earning rate). If you give your Aeroplan number, you would also receive 1 mile for every mile flown. That’s 4,156 miles for the round trip! In the end, you would come out with 5,356 miles for an $800 purchase.

That’s an astounding 6.70 miles per dollar!

Valued at an average 2.5 cents per mile, those 6.70 miles are equal to 16.75 cents.

Conclusion: When you pay for Air Canada flights with your Aeroplanplus® Platinum card, you can easily get almost 7 miles per dollar and save almost 17% of the purchase price!

That’s one of the best-case scenarios, but Aeroplan has over 150 partners for you to choose from, so that you’re not limited to using your card with Air Canada if you want a good earning rate.

You’ll find the complete list of Aeroplan’s partners in the following table. You can also find more examples of great rewards like the example shown above, as well as details regarding miles earning rates, promotions and more on Aeroplan’s partners list here.

Airlines • Air Canada
• Adria Airways
• Aegean Airlines
• Air China
• Air Creebec
• Air India
• Air New Zealand
• ANA
• Asiana Airlines
• Austrian Airlines
• Avianca
• Avianca Brazil
• Bearskin Airlines
• Brussels Airlines
• Canadian North
• Cathay Dragon
• Cathay Pacific
• COPA Airlines
• Croatia Airlines
• Egyptair
• Ethiopian Airlines
• EuroWings
• Eva Air
• First Air
• GOL
• Juneyao Airlines
• LOT Polish Airlines
• Lufthansa
• Olympic Air
• Scandinavian Airlines
• Shenzhen Airlines
• Singapore Airlines
• South African Airways
• Star Alliance
• Swiss
• TAP Air Portugal
• Thai Airways
• Turkish Airlines
• United Airlines
Hotels
and
Lodgings
• Le Club Accorhotels
• Ac Hotels by Marriott®
• Adagio
• Adagio Access
• Aloft Hotels
• Americinn® by Wyndham
• Angsana
• Ascend Collection®
• Banyan Tree
• Baymont® by Wyndham
• Best Western International
• Cambria Suites®
• Candlewood Suites®
• Cassia
• Chelsea Hot • el, Toronto
• Choice Hotels®
• Clarion
• Coast Hotels
• Comfort Inn®
• Comfort Suites®
• Cordis Hotels and Resorts
• Conrad Hotels and Resorts™
• Country Inn & Suites by Radisson
• Courtyard by Marriott®
• Crowne Plaza®
• Days Inn® by Wyndham
• Delta Hotels and Resorts
• Dazzler® by Wyndham
• Dolce Hotels and Resorts® by Wyndham
• Doubletree by Hilton(Tm)
• Eaton Hk
• Econo Lodge®
• Element Hotels
• Embassy Suites Hotels®
• Esplendor® • Boutique Hotels by Wyndham
• Even® Hotels
• Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®
• Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
• Four Points by Sheraton
• Gaylord Hotels®
• Gouverneur Hotels
• Grand Mercure
• Hampton by Hilton™
• Hawthorn Suites® by Wyndham
• Hilton Hotels & Resorts®
• Canopy by Hilton™
• Curio – a Collection by Hilton™
• Hilton Garden Inn™
• Hilton Grand Vacations™
• Hilton Honors™
• Holiday Inn Express®
• Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts
• Home2 Suites by Hilton™
• Homewood Suites by Hilton™
• Hotel Indigo™
• Howard Johnson
• Hualuxe® Hotels & Resorts
• Ibis
• Ibis Styles
• Intercontinental® Hotels and Resorts
• Jw Marriott®
• Kerry Hotels
• Kimpton® Hotels and Restaurants
• The Langham Hotels and Resorts
• La Quinta® by Wyndham
• Le Meridien Mainstay Suites®
• Mama Shelter
• Marriott Autograph Collection®
• Marriott Edition®
• Marriott Executive Apartments®
• Marriott Hotels®
• Marriott Bonvoy™
• Marriott Vacation Club®
• Mercure
• Mgallery
• Microtel® by Wyndham
• 21c Museum Hotel
• Novotel
• Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts
• Park Inn® by Radisson
• Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts
• Parkroyal Hotels & Resorts
• Pullman
• Quality®
• Radisson®
• Radisson Blu®
• Radisson Red®
• Raffles
• Ramada® by Wyndham
• Regent Hotels®
• Renaissance® Hotels
• Residence Inn by Marriott®
• Rixos
• Rocketmiles
• Rodeway Inn®
• The Sebel
• Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts
• Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
• Sleep Inn®
• Sofitel Hotels & Resorts
• Sofitel Legend
• Splash Beach Resort, Mai Khao, Phuket
• Springhill Suites by Marriott®
• Staybridge Suites® by Holiday Inn
• St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
• Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®
• Super 8® by Wyndham
• Swissotel
• Thalassa Sea & Spa
• The Luxury Collection
• Towneplace Suites by Marriott®
• Trademark Collection® by Wyndham
• Traders Hotels
• Travelodge® by Wyndham
• Tryp® by Wyndham
• Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts™
• Westin Hotels & Resorts
• W Hotels
• Wingate® by Wyndham
• Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
Car
Rental
• Avis
• Budget
• Hertz
• Payless® Car Rental
   
Parking • Aéroports De Montréal
• Park & Jet Calgary
• Park’n Fly
• Vancouver International Airport Parking 
   
Online
Retailers
• Aircanada.com
• Home Hardware
• Costco
• Magellan’s
   
Aeroplan
e-store
Partners
• Aeroplan Estore
• Aldo
• Amazon.ca
• Apple Store Canada
• Banana Republic
• Bass Pro Shops
• Bloomingdale’s
• Bogs
• Chapters.indigo.ca
• Clearly
• Club Monaco
• Crocs
• Dell Canada
• Ebay.ca
• Footlocker
• Gap Canada
• Hudson’s Bay
• Indochino
• Lands’ End
• L.l.bean
• Luisaviaroma
• Macy’s
• Microsoft Store
• National Geographic
• Norton by Symantec
• Old Navy
• Rakuten Kobo
• Revolveclothing.com
• Roots
• Rosetta Stone
• Saks.com
• Sephora
• Shoes.com
• Shop Disney
• Sierra Trading Post
• Strawberrynet
• The Body Shop
• Toms Canada
• Tsc
• Under Armour
• Weightwatchers.ca
• Well.ca
• Yves Rocher
• Nordstrom

Above: Complete list of Aeroplan’s partner brands

More Platinum Benefits

This is where things start to get interesting on the long run. If you read our posts on the Aeroplanplus® Gold and Regular Aeroplanplus® cards, you’ll see that those are only worth it for the first year, because they lack long lasting benefits to counterweigh the annual fee.

The Aeroplanplus® Platinum card includes all of the benefits the other mentioned cards have (only better, i.e. better bonus, better earning rate, better coverage, etc.). However, it includes some benefits that are only available for Platinum cardholders (and Reserve cardholders as well).

These benefits include:

  • An Annual Complimentary Partner Ticket

This is a benefit you’ll love! Once a year, if you redeem 15,000 miles for a short-haul round trip ticket, fixed mileage flight reward ticket in economy class, you can get a second ticket for the exact same itinerary, free of charge. You would still have to pay for taxes and surcharge fees, but Hey! That’s peanuts compared to the full price of the ticket.

The great thing about this benefit is that you get it annually, so it helps soften the blow of the high annual fee. A couple of things to take into account are that this benefit is not cumulative, which means that if you don’t use it before your anniversary date, you lose it; it’s not transferable, so don’t go thinking you can sell the tickets to get some extra cash; it’s not redeemable for cash either.

All and all, it’s still a great excuse to take a quick weekend trip, at least once a year.

  • Unlimited access to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge

With the Aeroplan Platinum card, you can relax before your flight at any of the 17 stylish Maple Leaf Lounges across Canada and all other Maple Leaf Lounges available worldwide like in Paris, Frankfort and London, to name a few.

For example, you could sit back and drink a good cup of coffee at the Calgary International Airport Maple Leaf Lounge.

Related image

Above: Calgary International Airport Maple Leaf Lounge

Or enjoy a cup of wine while reading in a cell free zone in the Charles de Gaulle Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge

Image result for charles de gaulle maple leaf lounge

Above: CDG Maple Leaf Lounge

These sleek establishments offer complimentary refreshments (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages), snacks, high-speed Wi-Fi access, cell-free quiet zones, a broad selection of newspaper and magazines and business centers where you can print, make copies or fax anything you need. Most of them even have showers so you can freshen-up right before you hop on your plane.

There’s nothing to it. All you have to do is present your Aeroplanplus® Platinum card at the entrance, along with a confirmed Air Canada (or a partner airline) departing ticket for the same day, and you’re in.

The complimentary access to the lounge only applies to you as the main cardholder and to any additional Platinum cardholders as well (that’s probably why they charge a fee for it). But don’t worry about having to leave your kids or your friends in the hall while you sit back and relax. You can bring guests with you for a fee that ranges from $20 to $30 per guest.

  • Priority Pass Membership

In the case in which your itinerary doesn’t include departure from an airport with a Maple Leaf Lounge, you can still access over 700 lounges around the world thanks to the Priority Pass membership you can get with your Aeroplanplus® Platinum card.

You can see that by owning this card, there’s a high probability that you will be able to enjoy the benefits of a lounge wherever you go.

Two important facts deserve mentioning:

The first one is that the Priority Pass membership doesn’t come with the card right off the bat. You have to apply for it (which implies the possibility of being rejected) and, if you’re approved, they waive the membership fee.

Second, unlike the case with the Maple Leaf Lounges, the Priority Pass membership isn’t unlimited. You’ll get the Standard membership that grants you access to all its lounges, but not free of charge. You have to pay an entrance fee for yourself and any guests you bring with you.

  • Air Canada Priority Check-ins

The Aeroplan Platinum card makes your life easier at the airport by saving you time when checking in. Where available, you can skip the regular check-in line and pass through Air Canada’s priority check-in.

For obvious reasons, this only applies to same day flights that are operated by Air Canada. It also applies whether you paid for your ticket in cash or whether it’s an Aeroplan flight reward.

  • Special treatment at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ)

If you’re flying from Pearson International Airport, having an Aeroplan Platinum card will get you pampered as soon as arrive.

Start off by getting complimentary valet parking service from terminals 1 and 3 just by flashing your card. You can also get a discount for parking rates and car care if you pay for them with your Aeroplanplus® Platinum card.

Once you’re inside the airport, and once you’ve taken advantage of Air Canada’s priority check-in (if you’re flying Air Canada obviously), you can save more time by bypassing the regular security check line, and going through the Pearson Priority Security Lane during peak hours.

All this will leave you with a lot of leisure time, which you can enjoy at the Maple Leaf Lounge

  • Emergency Medical Insurance (I’ll get back to that in a minute in the next section)

Apart from all the insurance policies included with the Aeroplanplus® Gold Card, the Platinum comes with a $5,000,000 medical insurance policy that covers you when you’re out of your state or province. Get more details up ahead.

Travel and Purchase Coverage

The American Express® Aeroplanplus®® Platinum card comes with one of the most extensive travel coverage of any Amex card. It brings in all the policies that come with the Aeroplan Gold card and adds more benefits like Trip Cancelation Insurance , Trip Interruption Insurance and Emergency Medical Insurance.

Keep reading to find out more about the travel coverage that comes with the Aeroplan Platinum card:

$5,000,000 Travel Emergency Medical Insurance

Nothing eases your mind like having a good medical insurance policy. Many travel cards come with travel accident insurance or similar, but that only covers you while in transit, and not while you’re actually at your destination.

The Travel Emergency Medical Insurance policy is a group policy issued by Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Company, and it will cover you as the basic cardholder, your spouse and any dependent children, as well as any supplementary cardholder, his or her spouse and children, during the first 15 days of your trip. The coverage is for up to $5,000,000 per person under the age of 65, and comes into effect once you leave your Canadian state or province of residence.

$500,000 Travel Accident Insurance

This is an AD&D policy underwritten by the Chubb Life Insurance Company, which covers you, your spouse and your children under the age of 23, as well as any additional cardmember, his or her spouse and children. The only condition is that you are all traveling in the same carrier (plane, ship, train or bus). The only downside is that this policy will only cover you while in transit, and not when you’re at your destination, but that’s what the Travel Emergency Medical Insurance policy is for.

24/7 Travel Emergency Assistance

This gives you access to legal and medical assessment over the phone during your trip. This helps a lot, especially if you’re in a country whose laws you’re unfamiliar with.

Trip Cancelation and Interruption Insurance

Sometimes, trips can get canceled for unforeseeable reasons like accidents. Other times, you may have to cut your trip short and return home. In both of those cases, if you have pre-paid travel arrangements, you could ask for a refund, but companies will seldom refund the whole price, so you’ll end up losing money.

This policy covers you for the non-refundable portions of prepaid trips, in case your trip is canceled before it even starts. If, after you begin your trip, your trip gets interrupted or you miss a connection or similar, the policy will cover non-refundable unused travel arrangements, as well as the most cost effective flight fares either to rejoin your tour, to your point of departure or to your next destination. It also covers pocket money for small daily expenses.

The maximum sum covered is $1,500 per person for a maximum of $3,000 for all insured persons combined in the case of trip cancelation, and a maximum of $6,000 for all insured persons combined in the case of trip interruption.

In the case of out-of-pocket money, the maximum is $100 a day per person, with a cap at $1,000.

Flight and Baggage Delay Insurance

Flights can be delayed for long periods, and during this time, you may have unplanned expenses like eating at a restaurant or even staying at a hotel. Your baggage not arriving on time can be just as frustrating and can also generate more expenses. Amex’s Flight Delay and Baggage Delay Insurance cover you for up to $500 of these, and other sundry expenses.

Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance

If your baggage disappears altogether, is damaged or stolen while in transit, you’re covered for up to $500.

Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance

This policy covers up to $500 in lost personal items in case your hotel gets burglarized, as long as you paid for the room with your Aeroplanplus® Platinum card.

Car Rental Theft or Damage Insurance

This one is a money saving jewel. When you rent a car, you’re required to buy a Theft and Damage policy which can cost anywhere from $16 to $23 per day!

To give you an idea, if you were to rent a car for a one-week business trip, this could add up to as much as $161 just for the insurance (not counting the car rental itself). If you pay for the car rental with your Aeroplan Platinum card, you can decline the company’s own policy and use your card’s instead, without paying a single dime, therefore saving you the $161. Keep in mind that this insurance policy will cover any rental car with a MSRP of up to $85,000, so don’t go renting a Ferrari.

Emergency Card Replacement

In case you lose your card or it is stolen while you’re abroad, it’s good to know you can call any time and get a new one sent to you, wherever you are, ASAP.

Regarding purchase coverage, you’ll get the Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan, which doubles the manufacturer’s warranty on any purchase paid in full with the Aeroplanplus® Platinum card for a maximum of one extra year. You’ll also get the Purchase Protection Plan that covers your purchases against accidental damage and theft, for a maximum of $1,000.

If feeling safe while you travel essential, than the Aeroplanplus® Platinum card is definitely a great choice.

If you want to learn more, you can read our post on American Express Travel Insurance where you’ll find all the details about how to use your coverage, the other insurance options Amex offers and how to make claims.

American Express Card Eligibility

Since the Amex Aeroplanplus® Platinum Card is for Canadians only, the first condition to be eligible is to be a Canadian citizen or at least a Canadian resident.

The American Express Aeroplan Platinum Card is a charge card, not a credit card. This translates into two things:

  • 1st: you’re meant to pay your balance in full every month, or else get a 30% APR on any unpaid balance.
  • 2nd: American Express doesn’t impose a minimum income to become eligible, only that you have a Canadian credit file and that your account be in good standing. American Express doesn’t specify exactly what they mean by “account in good standing”, but some say that you need a minimum credit score of 650.

This makes it easy for you to be eligible and take advantage of the benefits of American Express and Aeroplan, even if you don’t make a lot of money. Couple that with an accessible fee and this card becomes a great choice of a rewards card on a budget.

Sign up today and give it a go.

Overall Pros and Cons

We’ve analyzed all of the card’s features and benefits, and came up with the following list of pros and cons for the American Express® Aeroplanplus®® Platinum Card:

PROSCONS
Huge welcome bonusComplimentary partner ticketExcellent miles earning rateAwesome travel insurance coverageAir Canada Priority Check-inUnlimited access to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf LoungesStandard Priority Pass membership to access over 700 airport lounges worldwideComplimentary valet service and Priority Security Lane at Terminals 1 and 3 of Toronto’s Pearson International AirportVery high annual feeHigh APR on purchases and cash withdrawalsYou’ll only see the benefits if you travel at least once a yearCharge card, not a credit card

Do the benefits justify the annual fee?

Yes, they do.

As I showed you with the two examples of how you could use your welcome bonus, the 40,000 miles alone are more than enough to offset the high annual fee, and you’ll come out well ahead if you maximize your miles’ value. And that’s without even counting the value of any of the other benefits.

Let’s count those in:

  • The complimentary short-haul, round-trip annual partner ticket is worth 15,000 miles
  • The annual Maple Leaf Club Canada membership that grants you access to the Maple Leaf Lounges and includes Air Canada’s priority check-in is worth $337.5.
  • The Standard annual Priority Pass membership costs $99 USD. To access any lounge, you would normally have to pay an additional entrance fee of $32 for yourself and for any guest you decide to bring with you. However, besides waiving the membership fee, the lounge access fee is also reduced to $27 USD, so you also save an extra $5 per person per visit. So, if you were to travel alone only once, you would be saving $104 USD, which is equivalent to $139 Canadian dollars.
  • The valet fee at Pearson Airport is worth $25
  • The worth of the full insurance coverage is hard to estimate, but it could very easily surpass a couple of hundred dollars per trip, especially if you travel with your family and rent a car.

In the end, the long-term benefits will add up to a minimum of 15,000 miles + roughly around $500, not counting the insurance.

In the following table, I summarize all this information and show you what you can get out of signing up for the Aeroplan Platinum card:


Annual FeeBenefits(Welcome Bonus + other benefits)Value in the  Worst Case Scenario:1 cent/mile(balance)Value in the  Best Case Scenario:4 cents/mile (balance)Average Value:2.5 cents/mile(balance)
First Year$49955,000 miles + $500$1,050(net win of $551)$2,700(net win of $2,201)$1,875(net win of $1,376)
Long Term15,000 miles + $500$650(net win of $151)$1,100(net win of $601)$875(net win of $376)

Above: Comparison of benefits and the annual fee for the Aeroplan Platinum card.

Conclusion: These numbers speak for themselves. There’s no way to turn signing up to the Aeroplan Platinum card into a bad deal. You’ll come out winning every time, but specially during the first year, when you could be getting an average of $1,875 in value for the $499 fee.

For the first year, the bonus and the partner tickets are benefits that anyone can take advantage of, and that turns the $499 fee into a bargain, regardless of your lifestyle.

After the first year though, the benefits will only justify the annual fee if you are a frequent flyer, and your lifestyle allows you to pamper yourself with lounge access and the like.

Think of it this way: You wouldn’t pay over three hundred dollars for a Maple Leaf Club membership and another hundred for a Priority Pass membership if you weren’t going to use them, would you? In that case, the $499 fee isn’t really saving you any money on those memberships, because you wouldn’t buy them either way.

However, if you do want lounge access, and especially if you plan to travel more than once a year, then this card is a great choice for the long term as well!

Three other credit cards for building your Aeroplan balance

Even though any of the Aeroplanplus® cards would seem like the likely candidates if you want to earn Aeroplan miles, they’re actually not the only choices. There are other Amex card options that will also give you great welcome bonuses, good miles earning rates and much better long lasting benefits.

Here are our personal recommendations of alternative ways to earn miles:

The American Express Platinum Card

One of the best cards for Canadians, the American Express Platinum card is the absolute best way to bulk up your Aeroplan miles and travel around the world in style. It comes with a heavy annual fee of $699 but also with a whopping 50,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points welcome bonus you can transfer to Aeroplan miles at a 1:1 rate. That’s the biggest welcome bonus you can get! Using them wisely, these miles alone will be worth over $1,250.

But the Platinum Card isn’t the best choice just for the welcome bonus. The points earning rate is also the best one around. You can get 2x points on travel purchases and even 3x at eligible dinning in Canada. This flexibility makes it a lot easier to access great earning rates most of the time, and all that without having to charge the card with more than $25,000 to do so. Give your Aeroplan number on selected purchases on a partner brand, and you’ll crank it up even more (refer to the “Miles Earning Rate” section for more details).

It’s easier to access a higher points earning rate with the Platinum card than with any of the Aeroplan cards!

Add in long lasting benefits like $200 in travel credit and complimentary access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across the globe (valued at almost $500 a year) and you’ll see why you definitely need this card if you like to travel.

Sign up to the Amex Platinum Card today.

The American Express Gold Rewards Card

This is also a better alternative to earn Aeroplan miles. This card comes with a very decent welcome bonus of 25,000 MR points that are transferable to Aeroplan miles at a 1:1 rate, and will only cost you $150 a year. That’s a 37.5% smaller bonus compared to the Aeroplan Platinum card, but it’ll cost you 70% less, so it’s a much better deal. You’ll also receive $100 in hotel credit and many other benefits that’ll make this a smarter choice, year after year.

You could get the same bonus for a bit less money and many more benefits with yet another option, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Card, but the Gold Rewards Card has a much better points earning rate, if you plan to transfer the points to Aeroplan miles. You could get 2x points on travel and a lot of everyday purchases, which is a much easier and more flexible way to earn points (miles) than with the Amex Marriott Bonvoy™ Card. This card is an Aeroplan winner at a modest fee.

Sign up now to the Gold Rewards Card

The Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express Card

Even though we don’t really recommend doing so, you can transfer your 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy™ welcome bonus points to Aeroplan Miles at a 3:1 rate, and even earn an extra 15,000 Bonvoy points when doing so. If you transfer those as well, you would get 25,000 Aeroplan miles just for signing up to the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express card, which are worth around $625. All this for a card that’ll only cost you $120 a year, and gives you great long lasting benefits like one free night a year at a five stars hotel.

With the American Express Marriott Bonvoy™ card, you can get the same welcome bonus as with the Gold Rewards Card + much better benefits, for an even lower fee.

These miles are enough for a long-haul round trip in economy class or a one-way flight in business class.

The only downside to using the Marriott Bonvoy™ Card as a means to earn Aeroplan miles is the earning rate. The best rate you can get is 5x points on participating Marriott Bonvoy™ properties, which when transferred to miles at the 1:3 ratio translates into 5÷3=1.67 miles per dollar. It’s not bad, but you’re limited to Marriott Bonvoy™ properties alone, and the other mentioned cards will get better rates on more flexible spending. On every other purchase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Card will match 2 points to a dollar, or 0.67 miles, which is not good at all.

How to Apply

If you decide that the American Express Aeroplan Platinum card is the one for you, applying is as simple as clicking in the link below and filling out the application form. It only takes about 5 minutes, and you’ll get a response almost immediately. All you need to be eligible is to be an adult Canadian resident with an account in good standing.

Sign up to the Amex Aeroplanplus® Platinum card now!

FAQs

How much are my Aeroplan miles really worth?

You can get anything from 0.7 cents per mile to more than 4 cents per mile, depending on how you redeem them. To get the best value from your miles, just follow our pro tips:

Tip #1: Only redeem your miles for flights

Tip #2: Use your miles for domestic flights with Air Canada

Tip #3: When flying international, choose airlines that don’t impose fuel surcharge fees

Tip #4: Fly in Business class instead of Economy class

These tips probably won’t get you the cheapest possible fares, but they’re sure to get you the highest possible value per every beloved mile.

Is my Aeroplan number the same as my American Express® Aeroplanplus®® card number?

No, it isn’t. Your Aeroplan number is the one you get when you sign up to Aeroplan itself at www.aeroplan.com. It’s actually your Aeroplan account number (where your miles are saved), and it’s the one you should give whenever you’re purchasing at a partner brand in order to earn more miles, regardless of your payment method.

Your Aeroplanplus® number, as you may have already guessed, is the actual American Express Aeroplan credit card number (the one printed on your card).

If I already have an American Express® Aeroplanplus®® card, am I still eligible for the welcome bonus if I sign up to a different one?

Yes, you are. The welcome bonus is meant for anyone who signs up for any Amex card for the first time. If you already signed up to the Aeroplanplus® Gold card, for example, and claimed its welcome bonus, you can still sign up to any one of the other three Aeroplanplus® cards and get its bonus, because they are all different cards.

How long do I have to wait to get my welcome bonus?

This is very important question if you plan to use your bonus to pay for a trip. You won’t get the bonus right away after signing up for the card.

First of all, in order to get the Aeroplan Platinum card’s bonus you have to reach a minimum of $3,000 in purchases (any purchase) charged to your new card in the first 90 days of cardmembership. This could take a while.

After you hit that goal, American Express can take up to 8 weeks to transfer the bonus to your Aeroplan account.

Consequently, we estimate that you could get your bonus in about 16 to 20 weeks (or four to five months) after signing up.

You might get it earlier, but it’s better to play it safe. Be very careful not to sign up any later than 20 weeks prior to your planned trip!

What will happen with my unused miles after Air Canada’s takeover of Aeroplan in 2020?

It’s common knowledge that Air Canada closed a deal to buy-back Aeroplan and turn it into a brand new loyalty rewards program. This has many Aeroplan members worried about what will happen to their unused miles after the sale comes into effect next June 2020. There’s a bit of uncertainty around Aeroplan’s future.

However, Air Canada is assuming liability for all unclaimed miles, so it’s a fact that you won’t lose them. However, many experts agree that Air Canada is bound come up with a way to devalue the miles in order to soften the blow, so it’s likely that after June 2020 your miles won’t be worth as much as they are now.

On the bright side, you don’t have to worry about clearing out your Aeroplan account on any unplanned trip just yet.

The American Express AeroplanPlus Card: A Review

This post is about the Regular American Express® Aeroplanplus® Card. You can read our separate posts on the other three members of this card family: the AeroplanPlus Gold Card, the AeroplanPlus Platinum Card and the AeroplanPlus Reserve Card. You can also read our post on the comparison of all four Aeroplan cards here, where you’ll find all the information you need to choose the one that’s right for you.

https://icm.aexp-static.com/Internet/internationalcardshop/en_ca/images/cards/AeroplanPlus_Card.png

The American Express Aeroplan Card, also known as the AeroplanPlus Card, is a loyalty rewards card that earns miles per every dollar of card purchase, and adds them directly to your Aeroplan balance, without the need to convert your reward points.

It’s a great and easy way for you, as a Canadian or a resident of Canada, to build up your Aeroplan balance, and take advantage of Air Canada’s loyalty program to gain access to the more than 1,300 destinations that the mentioned airline and the Star Alliance offer, at a fraction of the price. Simply put, it’s a great way to save money, fly cheaper and enjoy life abroad without any hassle.

Read on to learn all you need to know about the regular AeroplanPlus card, what its most important features and benefits are, and how these benefits counterweight the annual fee. To help you navigate through this post, I’ve broken it down in the following sections:

Basic Features & Benefits

The “Regular” American Express Aeroplan card is the most basic of all four members of the family. Consequently, you would expect things like not-too-great benefits but at a low annual fee, and that’s pretty much what it offers.

Here are the main features and benefits you’ll find with the Amex AeroplanPlus card:

Welcome Bonus5,000 miles (after charging $500 in purchases to the card)
Annual Fee$60
Additional card$20
Miles Earned Per $1 Spent On Partner Brands2+  miles (1 for the card purchase and 1 or more for the partner brand)
Miles Earned Per $1 Spent On All Other Purchases1 mile
American Express Invites
Travel Coverage$250,000 Travel Accidents Insurance
Travel Emergency Medical Assistance
Purchase CoverageBuyer’s Assurance Protection PlanPurchase Protection Plan
EligibilityCanadian residents with an account in good standing
Type of CardCharge card (not a credit card)
APR30% purchases30% cash withdrawals

Let’s break it all down:

Welcome Bonus

When you think about signing up for an American Express card for the first time, you immediately look at the welcome bonus because American Express has always been generous in that department. This bonus alone is usually enough to offset the annual fee, and this is not the exception, as you’ll soon discover (read on). The only downside is that you’ll only get it once, for obvious reasons.

If you look at the welcome bonus on the American Express Aeroplan card, which is 5,000 miles, you could think that it’s not so bad. However, when you consider that the best way to spend your miles is in flights, and that the minimum any flight will cost is 12,500 miles, you’ll quickly realize that you won’t be able to do much with the welcome bonus until you use your card a lot.

To give you an idea, in the best of cases you would need to charge a minimum of $3,750 worth of purchases at one of the 150 partner brands, or $7,500 in any other purchases to earn the extra 7,500 miles needed to be able to afford the cheapest fixed-mileage flight reward.

Even so, the bonus does give you a good head start to be able to redeem your first flight reward so, as always, a bonus is still a bonus.

Annual Fee

Annual fee is another big issue when you consider signing up to a credit card, especially if you’re considering it for the long term. The $60 fee on the American Express Aeroplan card is accessible for most Canadians, and, at least for the first year, is a good deal. This is because the welcome bonus, along with the other benefits, will outweigh the $60 and let you come out winning in the end (keep reading for more details).

This happens to be the second lowest annual fee of any Aeroplan miles rewards card, anywhere,

So, if you’re looking for the lowest fee on an Aeroplan card that’ll give you some of the great benefits that come with American Express credit cards, the AeroplanPlus card is the one for you.

Want to give it a try?

Miles Earning Rate

As we mentioned above, with the Amex AeroplanPlus card you’ll earn miles per every $1 in purchases, that’ll go directly to your Aeroplan balance. When signing up to the AeroplanPlus card, you’ll also sign up (if you’re not already a member) for an Aeroplan account, and you’ll receive your own Aeroplan number (which is not the same as the AeroplanPlus card number). If you give your Aeroplan number when shopping at any one of the 150 Aeroplan partner brands, you’ll immediately earn additional miles per every $1 in that purchase.

What does all this mean?

You’ll earn miles twice if you use your AeroplanPlus card at a partner brand.

That’s once for the AeroplanPlus Card purchase at the card’s normal earning rate of 1x, and once for the partner brand, at Aeroplan’s earning rate (which is usually more than 1 mile per $1 in purchase). In the end, you’ll get 2+ miles per $1 in purchases at a partner brand, which is a fantastic earnings rate.

You’ll find the complete list of Aeroplan’s partners in the following table. For details regarding miles earning rates, promotions and more visit Aeroplan’s partners list here.

Airlines
AIR CANADAADRIA AIRWAYSAEGEAN AIRLINESAIR CHINAAIR CREEBECAIR INDIAAIR NEW ZEALANDANAASIANA AIRLINESAUSTRIAN AIRLINESAVIANCAAVIANCA BRAZILBEARSKIN AIRLINESBRUSSELS AIRLINES

CANADIAN NORTHCATHAY DRAGONCATHAY PACIFICCOPA AIRLINESCROATIA AIRLINESEGYPTAIRETHIOPIAN AIRLINESEUROWINGSEVA AIRFIRST AIRGOLJUNEYAO AIRLINESLOT POLISH AIRLINESLUFTHANSA

OLYMPIC AIRSCANDINAVIAN AIRLINESSHENZHEN AIRLINESSINGAPORE AIRLINESSOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYSSTAR ALLIANCESWISSTAP AIR PORTUGALTHAI AIRWAYSTURKISH AIRLINESUNITED AIRLINES
Hotels and Lodgings
LE CLUB ACCORHOTELSAC HOTELS BY MARRIOTT®ADAGIOADAGIO ACCESSALOFT HOTELSAMERICINN® BY WYNDHAMANGSANAASCEND COLLECTION®BANYAN TREEBaymont® by WyndhamBEST WESTERN INTERNATIONALCAMBRIA SUITES®CANDLEWOOD SUITES®CASSIACHELSEA HOTEL, TORONTOCHOICE HOTELS®CLARIONCOAST HOTELSCOMFORT INN®COMFORT SUITES®CORDIS HOTELS AND RESORTSCONRAD HOTELS AND RESORTS™COUNTRY INN & SUITES BY RADISSONCOURTYARD BY MARRIOTT®CROWNE PLAZA®Days Inn® by WyndhamDELTA HOTELS AND RESORTSDAZZLER® BY WYNDHAMDOLCE HOTELS AND RESORTS® BY WYNDHAMDOUBLETREE BY HILTON(TM)EATON HKEcono Lodge®ELEMENT HOTELSEMBASSY SUITES HOTELS®ESPLENDOR® BOUTIQUE HOTELS BY WYNDHAMEVEN® HOTELSFAIRFIELD INN & SUITES BY MARRIOTT®FAIRMONT HOTELS & RESORTSFOUR POINTS BY SHERATONGAYLORD HOTELS®GOUVERNEUR HOTELSGRAND MERCUREHAMPTON BY HILTON™HAWTHORN SUITES® BY WYNDHAM

HILTON HOTELS & RESORTS®CANOPY BY HILTON™CURIO – A COLLECTION BY HILTON™HILTON GARDEN INN™HILTON GRAND VACATIONS™HILTON HONORS™HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS®HOLIDAY INN® HOTELS AND RESORTSHOME2 SUITES BY HILTON™HOMEWOOD SUITES BY HILTON™HOTEL INDIGO™HOWARD JOHNSONHUALUXE® HOTELS & RESORTSIBISIBIS STYLESINTERCONTINENTAL®HOTELS AND RESORTSJW Marriott®KERRY HOTELSKIMPTON® HOTELS AND RESTAURANTSTHE LANGHAM HOTELS AND RESORTSLA QUINTA® BY WYNDHAMLE MERIDIENMAINSTAY SUITES®MAMA SHELTERMARRIOTT AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION®MARRIOTT EDITION®Marriott Executive Apartments®MARRIOTT HOTELS®MARRIOTT BONVOY™MARRIOTT VACATION CLUB®MERCUREMGALLERYMICROTEL® BY WYNDHAM21C MUSEUM HOTELNOVOTELPAN PACIFIC HOTELS & RESORTSPARK INN® BY RADISSONPARK PLAZA® HOTELS & RESORTSPARKROYAL HOTELS & RESORTSPULLMANQUALITY®RADISSON®

RADISSON BLU®RADISSON RED®RAFFLESRAMADA® BY WYNDHAMREGENT HOTELS®Renaissance® HotelsRESIDENCE INN BY MARRIOTT®RIXOSROCKETMILESRODEWAY INN®THE SEBELSHANGRI-LA HOTELS AND RESORTSSHERATON HOTELS AND RESORTSSLEEP INN®SOFITEL HOTELS & RESORTSSOFITEL LEGENDSPLASH BEACH RESORT, MAI KHAO, PHUKETSpringHill Suites by Marriott®STAYBRIDGE SUITES® BY HOLIDAY INNST. REGIS HOTELS & RESORTSSUBURBAN EXTENDED STAY HOTEL®SUPER 8® BY WYNDHAMSWISSOTELTHALASSA SEA & SPATHE LUXURY COLLECTIONTownePlace Suites by Marriott®TRADEMARK COLLECTION® BY WYNDHAMTRADERS HOTELSTRAVELODGE® BY WYNDHAMTRYP® BY WYNDHAMWALDORF ASTORIA HOTELS & RESORTS™WESTIN HOTELS & RESORTSW HOTELSWINGATE® BY WYNDHAMWYNDHAM HOTELS AND RESORTS
Car Rental
AVISBUDGETPAYLESS® CAR RENTAL


Parking
AÉROPORTS DE MONTRÉALPARK & JET CALGARYPARK’N FLYVANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT PARKING


Other Partners and Online Retailers

Aircanada.comHOME HARDWARECOSTCOMagellan’s



Partner Online retailers Accessed exclusively through the online Aeroplan e-store
AEROPLAN ESTOREALDOAMAZON.CAAPPLE STORE CANADABANANA REPUBLICBASS PRO SHOPSBLOOMINGDALE’SBOGSCHAPTERS.INDIGO.CACLEARLYCLUB MONACOCROCSDELL CANADAEBAY.CAFOOTLOCKERGAP CANADAHUDSON’S BAYINDOCHINO

LANDS’ ENDL.L.BEANLUISAVIAROMAMACY’SMICROSOFT STORENATIONAL GEOGRAPHICNORTON BY SYMANTECOLD NAVYRAKUTEN KOBOREVOLVECLOTHING.COMROOTSROSETTA STONESAKS.COMSEPHORASHOES.COMSHOP DISNEYSIERRA TRADING POSTSTRAWBERRYNET

THE BODY SHOPTOMS CANADATSCUNDER ARMOURWEIGHTWATCHERS.CAWELL.CAYVES ROCHERNORDSTROM

Above: A complete list of Aeroplan’s partner brands

Since you are limited to a specific set of travel related partner brands, it may be difficult to achieve the highest miles earning rate with this card unless you’re traveling, and unless you carefully plan your itinerary. This may become cumbersome, to say the least, so it’s much more probable that you’ll end up accessing the 1x earning rate, most of the time.

Also, if you consider the fact that you can give your Aeroplan number at a partner brand and earn extra miles, regardless of what payment method you use (whether you pay with an AeroplanPlus card or not), it’s definitely wiser to use a card that offers more flexibility at the same 1x rate.

There are a couple of options listed at the end of this post, but if miles earning rate is what you value the most, we recommend the American Express Gold Rewards card that earns you MR points, which you can transfer later to Aeroplan miles at a 1:1 rate. This card gives you the same 1x earning rate on any purchase, but it will give you 2x MR points per $1 on eligible travel purchases, which include most of Aeroplan’s partners. In that case, you could be getting 3+ miles per $1, which is an almost unrivaled earning rate.

Travel, Purchase & Insurance Coverage

There is no way to travel absolutely risk-free, so having an insurance policy to back you up definitely helps take your mind off any unexpected dangers. Choosing the right travel insurance policy can be a daunting task, with so many options out there. However, if you’re looking for the cheapest travel insurance, you’ll discover that it’ll be difficult to find even the most basic one, for less than $30 per trip! (This is only a rough estimate, as the actual price depends on coverage, insurance company, age, gender, origin, destination, carrier and duration).

The AeroplanPlus Card comes with the standard American Express travel and purchase coverage, as do all of its cards. This includes a $250,000 travel accident insurance policy (an AD&D policy) underwritten by the Chubb life insurance company, which covers you, your spouse and your children under the age of 23, as well as any additional cardmember, his or her spouse and children. The only condition is that you are all traveling in the same carrier (plane, ship, train or bus), and that all the tickets where paid for, in full, with the AeroplanPlus card.

This card also comes with 24/7 Travel Emergency Assistance, which gives you access to legal and medical assessment over the phone during your trip.

All this is could be a good deal, for $60 a year, particularly if you travel more than once in that period of time. The downside is that it will only cover you during the actual trip (while you’re on the road, in the air or on the sea) but not while you’re at your destination (for example, if you’re at your hotel and have an accident, this policy won’t cover it).

Of course, if you’re a young and bold Canadian planning a to go backpacking around Europe on a budget next summer, chances are you’ll do without any extra insurance, so having this coverage is more than a plus.

Regarding purchase coverage, you’ll get the Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan, which doubles the manufacturer’s warranty on any purchase paid in full with the AeroplanPlus card. You’ll also get the Purchase Protection Plan that insures your purchases against accidental damage and theft. All this adds up simply for being a part of the American Express cardholders family.

Read our dedicated post on American Express Travel Insurance to learn everything you need to know about all the coverage options Amex offers, the coverage that comes embedded with each card, everything you need to know about claims and more.

Eligibility

We’re talking about American Express cards for Canadians here, so the first condition to be eligible is to be a Canadian resident.

The American Express Aeroplan Card is a charge card, not a credit card. This translates into two things:

  1. You’re meant to pay your balance in full every month, or else get a 30% APR on any unpaid balance.
  2. American Express doesn’t impose a minimum income to become eligible, only that you have a Canadian credit file and that your account is in good standing.

This makes it easier for you to take advantage of the benefits of Aeroplan, even if you don’t make a lot of money. Couple that with the low annual fee and this card becomes a great choice of a rewards card on a budget.

Overall Pros and Cons

We analyzed all the card’s features and benefits and came up with the following list of pros and cons for the American Express Aeroplan Card:

Pros

  • One of the lowest annual fees of any Aeroplan miles rewards card
  • No cap on earnable miles. Use it all you want and you’ll never stop earning miles.
  • No minimum income requirements to become eligible

Cons

  • Small welcome bonus (5,000 miles)
  • Not the best miles earning rate when compared with other options
  • No other travel benefits like airport lounge access or priority check-ins

These pros and cons are really self-explanatory, but I will elaborate a bit on the second item in the pros list. Some cards actually give you a great points earning rate, but put a cap on the maximum amount of points you can earn. This means you’ll earn points faster and get more for your buck, but you won’t be able to earn all the points you want. You won’t have this limitation with the AeroplanPlus Card.

Of course, if you did have the income to cap out another rewards card, you’d probably still choose that card because, chances are, it’ll give you a lot more benefits than this one.

Do the benefits justify the annual fee?

For the first year, definitely.

It sound silly to ask this about such a low annual fee, but we’re here to help you save money, not lose it (not even a little), so we’ll be as thorough as ever.

The following table shows how the card’s benefits balance the annual fee for the first year if you redeem them in the, worst and best way possible, as well as in an average way. We estimate that an Aeroplan mile is worth a little under 1 cent in the worst case, over 4 cents in the best of cases, but on average, you’ll get around 2.5 cents per mile.


Annual FeeBenefits(Welcome Bonus * other benefits)Value in the  Worst Case Scenario:1 cent/mile(balance)Value in the  Worst Case Scenario:4 cents/mile (balance)Average Value:2.5 cents/mile(balance)
First Year$605,000 miles$50 (net loss of $10)$200(net win of $140)$125(net win of $65)

As you can see, even though the welcome bonus isn’t very useful all by itself, it still helps make paying the annual fee a good deal. At an average value of 2.5 cents per mile, the 5,000 miles bonus will be worth about $125. In other words,

“The card will pay for itself twice over within the first year of cardmembership, and that’s without counting any of the other benefits.”

If you add the travel and purchase coverage and Amex Invites, you’ll have no problems keeping well within green numbers, even if you only use it to reach the minimum of $500 to get the bonus, so it turns out to be a good investment.

For the second year onward, since you won’t get the bonus any more, the fee surpasses the value of the only long lasting benefits this card has to offer. In that case, the only way to justify the annual fee would be to use it a lot to earn points and save money, but that’s true for any rewards card.

How does the AeroplanPlus card compare to other American Express cards?

This card only has the basic benefits that Amex offers its Canadian cardmembers. Amex Invites and Front of the Line are common benefits across all American Express cards, and so are its purchase coverage plans.

If we compare this card with other Amex rewards cards, it comes out short every time. Comparing it with the other AeroplanPlus cards, you would probably choose this one only if you were dead set on the lowest possible annual fee. The AeroplanPlus Gold card, for example, will more than triple your benefits at only double the annual fee. Looking at the AeroplanPlus Platinum and Reserve Cards, even though the annual fees are really high ($499 and $899 respectively) their welcome bonuses are huge compared with the Regular card, or with any other Amex card for that matter.

The lack of long lasting benefits to help offset the annual fee, even if it is small, makes the regular AeroplanPlus card a rather lame deal after the first year, unlike other options like the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card, the American Express Platinum card or the American Express Gold Rewards card.

The long lasting benefits that come with the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card, for example, surpass by far the incredibly modest fee of just $120. The yearly Free Night Award alone could be worth $300-$500, which more than doubles the annual fee, and that’s without counting all the other long-term benefits that come with it. It is hands down the best credit card option for Canadians today, in our opinion.

Three other cards for building your Aeroplan balance

Even though the AeroplanPlus card would seem like the obvious choice if you want to earn Aeroplan miles, it actually isn’t the only one, nor even the best card for the task. Other Amex card options (besides the other cards in the AeroplanPlus family) will give you much better welcome bonuses, better miles earning rates and much better long lasting benefits than this card:

The American Express Platinum Card

One of the best cards for Canadians, the American Express Platinum Card is the absolute best way to bulk up your Aeroplan miles and travel around the world in style. It comes with a heavy annual fee of $699 but also with a whopping 50,000 MR points welcome bonus you can transfer to Aeroplan miles at a 1:1 rate. Using them wisely, these miles can be worth over $1,250.

But the Platinum Card isn’t the best card for earning Aeroplan miles just for the welcome bonus. The points earning rate is also the best one around. You can get 2x points on travel purchases and even 3x at eligible dinning in Canada. Give your Aeroplan number on selected purchases on a partner brand, and you could crank it up to more than 4x.

Add in long lasting benefits like $200 in travel credit and complimentary access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across the globe (valued at almost $500 a year) and you’ll see why you definitely need this card if you like to travel.

The American Express Gold Rewards Card

This is also a better alternative to earn Aeroplan miles. This card comes with a welcome bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points that are transferable to Aeroplan miles at a 1:1 rate, and will only cost you $150 a year. You’ll also receive $100 in hotel credit and many other benefits that’ll make this a smart choice year after year.

You could get the same bonus for less money and many more benefits with the Marriott Bonvoy card, but the Gold Rewards card has a much better points earning rate, if you plan on transfer the points to Aeroplan miles. You could get 2x points on travel and everyday purchases, and 1x on all other purchases, which is a much easier and more flexible way to earn points (read miles) than the Marriott Bonvoy card. This card is an Aeroplan winner at a moderate fee.

The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

Even though we don’t really recommend doing so, you can transfer your Marriott Bonvoy’s 50,000 points welcome bonus to Aeroplan Miles at a 3:1 rate, and even earn an extra 15,000 Bonvoy points when doing so. If you transfer those as well, you could be getting as much as 25,000 Aeroplan miles just for signing up to the Marriot Bonvoy American Express card, which are worth around $625. All this for a card that’ll only cost you $120 a year, and gives you great long lasting benefits like one free night a year at a five stars hotel.

With the Marriott Bonvoy card, you can get 5 times the welcome bonus + other great benefits, for only twice the AeroplanPlus card’s annual fee.

These miles are enough for a round trip in economy class or a one-way flight in business class.

How to Apply

If the fees on the other cards are too steep for you and you prefer the regular American Express Aeroplan card instead, applying is as simple as clicking in the button below and filling out the application form. All you need to be eligible is to be an adult Canadian resident with an account in good standing.

FAQs

How much are my Aeroplan miles worth?

You can get anything from 0.7 cents per mile to more than 4 cents per mile, depending on how you redeem them. To get the best value from your miles just follow these tips:

Tip #1: Only redeem your miles for flights

Tip #2: Use your miles for domestic flights with Air Canada

Tip #3: When flying international, choose airlines that don’t impose fuel surcharge fees

Tip #4: Fly in Business class instead of Economy class

These tips probably won’t get you the cheapest possible fares, but they’re sure to get you the highest possible value per every beloved mile.

Is my Aeroplan number the same as my American Express® Aeroplanplus® Card number?

No, it isn’t. Your Aeroplan number is the one you get when you sign up to Aeroplan itself at www.aeroplan.com. It’s the equivalent to your Aeroplan account number (where your miles are saved), and it’s the one you should give whenever you’re purchasing at a partner brand in order to earn more miles, regardless of your payment method.

Your AeroplanPlus number, as you may have already guessed, is the actual American Express Aeroplan credit card number (the one on your card).

How long do I have to wait to get my welcome bonus?

This is very important question if you’re planning to sign up for the card and use your bonus to pay for a trip. You won’t get the bonus right away after signing up for the card.

First of all, in order to get the bonus you have to reach a minimum of $500 in purchases (any purchase) charged to your new card in the first 90 days of cardmembership. This isn’t too hard to do for most Canadians, but it may still take a bit of time.

After you hit that goal, American Express can take up to 8 weeks to transfer the bonus to your Aeroplan account.

As a consequence, we estimate that the soonest you could be getting your bonus would be in about 12 weeks (or 3 months) after signing up, considering you manage to charge the $500 to your card in less than a month.

Be very careful not to sign up any later than 12 weeks prior to your planned trip!

What will happen with my unused miles after Air Canada’s takeover of Aeroplan in 2020?

It’s common knowledge that Air Canada closed a deal to buy-back Aeroplan and turn it into a brand new loyalty rewards program. This has many Aeroplan members worried about what will happen to their unused miles after the sale comes into effect next June 2020.

Air Canada is assuming the liability for all unclaimed miles, so it’s a fact that you won’t lose them. However, many experts agree that Air Canada is bound to come up with a way to devalue the miles in order to soften the blow, so it’s likely that after June 2020 your miles won’t be worth as much as they used to.

What does that mean?

There’s no better time to take advantage of this offer than now.

The American Express Platinum Canada: A Review

“Worldwide lounge access, a $200 annual travel credit, platinum hotel memberships, extra insurance, a metal card and I get 50,000 points on top of all that? Are you serious???”

That was my reaction when a friend first told me about the American Express Platinum Card for Canadia

ns.

Needless to say, I was more than a little intrigued…

And now that it’s been over 4 years since I’ve had my own Platinum Card, I can’t tout it highly enough.

Are you ready to learn why?

This American Express Platinum review is broken down into the following 10 sections:

#1 The Basics & Benefits

Welcome Bonus Points50,000
Points Earned Per $1 Spent On Dining3
Points Earned Per $1 Spent On Travel2
Points Earned Per $1 Spent On All Other Card Purchases1
Companion Tickets
Fine Hotels & Resorts Exclusive Benefits
Hotel Elite Statuses
Amex Platinum Concierge
American Express Invites
Comprehensive Travel Insurance
Annual Fee$699

The card also comes with additional American Express benefits that come with all of their cards. These include Front Of The Line, which offers cardholders advanced access/tickets to concerts, sporting events and shows across Canada.

#2 Three More Special Amex Platinum Canada Benefits

Special Benefit #1: Worldwide Airport Lounge Access

On top of the 50,000 Membership Rewards points that come with your Amex Platinum Card, you also receive a Priority Pass Prestige membership, which holds a value of $429 USD per year. Your Priority Pass membership gets you into more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world without paying a dime. All of the lounges have free food (some offer full meals, while others have an array of snacks), drinks (many, though not all, offer alcoholic drinks as well), and many include additional amenities like nap rooms, showers, libraries, printing, and games rooms.

My Priority Pass is definitely the American Express Platinum benefit that I use the most, and it’s completely changed the way that I travel. I seriously can’t imagine flying anywhere without stopping in the lounge first now.

Where can you use your Canadian Platinum lounge benefit in Canada? How about the 24-hour SkyTeam Lounge in Vancouver (YVR)?

American Express Platinum Card for Canadians
The SkyTeam Lounge at Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

Or the National Bank Lounge in Montreal (YUL)?

American Express Platinum Card for Canadians
You get free access to the National Bank World MasterCard Lounge at Montreal International Airport (YUL) thanks to your Canadian Platinum lounge benefit

Toronto (YYZ) has a whopping seven Priority Pass lounges—and you’ll be able to access all of them for free.

You’re stepping up your travel game already.

Special Benefit #2: $200 Annual Travel Credit

This is exactly what it sounds like: $200 for you to use on travel, every single year. In the past 3 years alone, I’ve used my $200 travel credit on a flight to Asia, a flight to South America, and a flight to Europe.

The Amex Platinum Card comes with a $200 annual travel credit you can use anywhere in the world!

Pro Tip: Use your $200 annual travel credit on the first hotel or flight booking you make with your Platinum Card. You don’t want to forget to use it!

Special Benefit #3: Hotel Elite Statuses

Your Amex Platinum also upgrades your statuses with a handful of hotel chains. This means you get special benefits: exclusive discounts, early check-in and late check-out, complimentary breakfasts and more.

These are the sort of status upgrades you can expect with your Amex Platinum Card:

#3 How To Turn 50,000 Points Into 65,000 Points

The 50,000 welcome bonus points that come with the American Express Platinum are great, but if you know what you’re doing, you can actually turn them into 65,000 pretty simply.

How? At least once per year, American Express offers a 30% transfer bonus when you transfer your points to a program like British Airways Avios or Aeroplan. Just by transferring your points smartly, 50,000 Membership Rewards points all of a sudden become 65,000 Avios points.

You just gained another 15,000 points—worth at least $300 if you use them at a value of 2 cents per point or above—just for being in the loop.

Here are 3 realistic scenarios of the value you can achieve with the Amex Platinum:

Very EasyVery EasyModerate Difficulty
Redemption TypeCash (against statement balance)FlightsFlights with creativity
Redemption Value Per Point1 cent2 cents3 cents
Total Value Of 65,000 Points$650$1,300$1,950
Less: Annual Fee($699)($699)($699)
Plus: $200 Annual Travel Credit$200$200$200
Profit From Points-$50$600$1,250
Additional BenefitsYesYesYes

Most of you will find yourselves in columns 2 or 3 in the $801-$1,451 profit range, since you can just read our other blog posts like how to get cheap flights to Asia and how to get cheap flights to Europe to find tons of flights that get you 2-3 cents per point of value.

But if you’re ambitious and want to push your points even further, it’s completely possible to surpass what’s listed above with a value of 3 cents per point or more. Just send us an emailand we’ll help you sift through your options to ensure you get a great bang for your buck.

#4 How To Use Your 65,000 Points

Case Study #1: Visiting Asia

Suppose you want to take a trip to Hong Kong to visit family or friends. The Amex Platinum is your perfect companion, since one of the easiest, best ways to use your 65,000 Avios points is on direct flights to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific.

Since Cathay Pacific is a premium airline, these flights normally cost at least $1,000 from Vancouver, and even more from Toronto. You won’t be paying anywhere close to that.

Roundtrip flights from Vancouver to Hong Kong cost just 60,000 Avios points + $90 in taxes and fees. Roundtrip flights from Toronto to Hong Kong cost 70,000 Avios points + $100, though you can pay a little bit more in cash (~$50) and drop the points down to 65,000 if you want.

American Express Platinum Card for Canadians
How does a $90 roundtrip flight to Hong Kong sound? It’s yours with the Amex Platinum for Canadians.

Of course, Hong Kong isn’t your only option. Tokyo is a bit closer than Hong Kong, so flights between Vancouver and Tokyo are just 50,000 points.

Are you getting excited yet?

Case Study #2: Going Round-The-World

Let’s suppose you want to go around the world using your Platinum card.

No problem.

If you’re in Vancouver, you can fly from Vancouver to Hong Kong to Dubai to London to Vancouver (or the opposite direction) for 74,700 points + $742 in taxes and fees.

Yes, 74,700 is a bit more than 65,000, but don’t worry—you’ll earn the extra 10,000 points (and more!) after a few months of using the card.

Toronto works just the same.

Flying from Toronto to Hong Kong to Dubai to London to Toronto (or the opposite direction) costs just 74,500 points + $761 in taxes and fees.

Did you ever imagine you could fly around the world for $750?

That’s the power of the Platinum Card.

RoutePoints NeededTaxes & Fees
Roundtrip: Toronto to Hong Kong70,000$100
Roundtrip: Vancouver to Hong Kong60,000$90
Round-the-world: Toronto to Hong Kong to Dubai to London to Toronto74,500$761
Round-the-world: Vancouver to Hong Kong to Dubai to London to Vancouver74,700$742

These round-the-world trips offer a value of well over 4 cents per point, meaning the $699 fee you paid just saved you several thousand dollars on flights.

#5 Is The Amex Platinum Canada Worth The $699 Annual Fee?

Absolutely.

Here’s the magic in the $699 annual fee: it’s impossible not to make money by having this card, even after paying the fee.

Huh? Sounds confusing, right?

Here’s how it works.

If you use your 50,000 points in the worst way possible, they’re worth $700 to you. Why? Because American Express allows you to apply your points against your statement balance at a value of one cent per point, which means 50,000 points = $500. Add in your $200 travel credit for 2019 and you’re at $700.

It’s impossible not to make money with the Amex Platinum Card.

And that’s not even considering the other benefits you get from the card. The travel/emergency/baggage insurance and additional purchase insurance (for theft/damage of your items), the worldwide airport lounge access, the premium hotel memberships, and everything else you see hereeverything else you see here are all just cherries on top.

So even if you use your points in the worst way you could—by applying them to your statement balance as a cash equivalent—you still come out way, way ahead.

But if you use them in the ways we’ve suggested in sections #3 and #4 above, you can reasonably expect to save $800 or more after accounting for the annual fee.

#6 Travel Insurance

The Platinum Card also comes with an impressive travel insurance policy. Here’s what it includes:

BenefitDescriptionCoverage Limit
Travel Accident InsuranceYou, your spouse and your children are covered in the case of accidental death or dismemberment while traveling$500,000
Car Rental Theft and Damage InsuranceDamage or theft of your rental car$85,000
Flight Delay InsuranceHotel, motel, restaurant expenses and other sundry items when your flight is delayed$500
Baggage Delay InsuranceReasonable and necessary emergency purchases when your baggage is delayed$500
Lost or Stolen Baggage InsuranceLoss or damage to your luggage or personal effects while in transit.$500
Hotel/Motel Burglary InsuranceLoss of most personal items if your hotel/ motel is burglarized.$500
Travel Emergency AssistanceMedical & legal referrals by phone 24/7N/A

Every American Express card also comes with two other insurance benefits:

  1. Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan doubles the manufacturer’s warranty on your purchases and will repair/replace faulty or damaged items up to $10,000.
  2. Purchase Protection Plan insures your purchases against accidental physical damage and theft for the 90 days after purchase, up to $1,000.

Fraud protection, global emergency card replacement and 24/7 express customer service are included with every American Express card, too.

Read our post on American Express Travel Insurance to learn the ins and outs regarding all the coverage options Amex has to offer, including card embedded insurance and stand-alone insurance plans.

#7 The Amex Business Platinum Card

This entire review has been about the Amex Platinum Card, though there’s also an American Express Business Platinum Card for Canadians, too. There are a few key differences between the two cards:

  • 40,000 welcome bonus points for the Business Platinum Card (10,000 less)
  • $499 annual fee for the Business Platinum Card ($200 less)
  • No $200 annual travel credit for the Business Platinum card

Since the Platinum Card’s higher annual fee is offset by its $200 annual travel credit, the biggest difference between the two is that you get 10,000 fewer welcome bonus points with the Business Platinum Card.

#8 Three Less Expensive Cards To Consider

Even though we’ve clearly shown how you can save thousands of dollars with the Platinum Card, the $699 annual fee still rubs some people the wrong way.

So here are a few less expensive, high-value cards you can consider instead:

#1 The Marriott Bonvoy™ Amex Card

Released in March 2019, the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express Card is the best travel credit card available in Canada right now. It comes with an incredible 60,000 welcome bonus points at an annual fee of just $120. You also receive a free hotel night every year after the first year with the card, which you’re able to use at some of the swankiest hotels in the world. While this current offer lasts, we can’t recommend the Marriott Bonvoy™ Amex Card highly enough.

#2 The Amex Cobalt Card

The Amex Cobalt Card is the best everyday spending card available right now. Why? Because you can get up to 10% cashback on your spending when you use the Cobalt Card at coffee shops, restaurants, bars and grocery stores coffee anywhere in Canada.

#3 The Amex Gold Rewards Card

You can think of the Gold Rewards Card as the classic American Express card. It comes with 25,000 welcome bonus points, which is enough for a roundtrip flight anywhere in North America. With its $150 annual fee, the Gold Rewards Card has offered good value for years, though the current offer on the new Marriott Bonvoy™ Card provides better value right now.

#9 How To Apply For The American Express Platinum Card

Applying is as simple as clicking the button below, taking 3 minutes to fill in the application form, and waiting a few days for your card to arrive!

It’s important to take action now, though—the welcome points bonus used to be 75,000 on this card, but Amex has reduced it several times over the past few years. Grab yours while this sweet offer is still available.

#10 FAQs

What Is The New American Express Platinum Metal Card Like?

Honestly—it’s pretty cool!

If you didn’t already know, the American Express Platinum is now made of metal. It has a significant heft to it, weighing in at 19 grams (for reference, a typical plastic credit card weighs 5 grams). It’s sure to impress your friends when you “accidentally” drop it on the table as you pay.

All new Platinum cardholders now receive the metal card, so that’s a nice bonus on top of all the other benefits we’ve talked about above. Existing cardholders can also request to have their old plastic card exchanged for a metal card at any time.

How Can I Sign Up With An American Express Platinum Referral?

To get the best available welcome points bonus, which is currently 50,000 points, sign up here. After you’ve signed up, you can refer your own friends to the American Express Platinum for a referral bonus of 15,000 points.