When it comes to low interest credit cards there are plenty of options to choose from, each and every one with different annual fees, interest rates and benefits to suit your specific needs. That’s why in this article, we have laid all the options for you to evaluate and consider accordingly. However, the MBNA True Line ® Mastercard ® is a great option for virtually anyone. With no annual fees, very low competitive interest rates and global customer service, this credit card is the perfect starting point for anyone.

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Low interest credit cards are the perfect option for people who are just starting to build their credit score, want to apply for a credit card for the very first time, or are simply looking for a way to cover their expenses without generating more debt than they can handle.

According to statistics gathered by the Bank of Canada back in 2017, the average Canadian has a credit card debt of over $2,000, with only 57% of them being able to fully pay off this debt monthly. This means that the remaining 43% has accumulated debt, owning credit cards with such high interest rates that do nothing but add to this debt. 

That’s when considering getting a low-interest credit card comes in handy, and today we’re going to give you all the information you need to know about these cards, and how to pick the right one for you.

This post will be broken down into 5 sections.

What Are Low Interest Credit Cards?

A low interest credit card is just a regular credit card that happens to have a low interest rate. These types of cards usually offer a very low rate (some even go as low as offering a 0% interest rate for a period of time), that goes anywhere from five to ten percent.

Another very important characteristic of these types of cards is that they tend to have very low annual fees, which ultimately contributes to lower down the debt and allow you to save more money in the long run.

Why You Should Go For Low Interest Credit Cards

Owning a credit card means you have to pay off your debt sooner or later, and with the average Canadian owning two credit cards and 41% percent of them having one with a credit limit over $10,000, debt can accumulate fast.

Going for a low interest credit card takes a weight off your shoulders. If you carry debt from one month to another, having a card with low interests can save you money (instead of just adding to the debt!).

What You Should Keep In Mind When Looking For Low Interest Credit Cards

The first thing you should know is that picking a low interest credit card is just as important as picking a regular credit card. However, this time, instead of paying attention to the credit card limit, you’ll need to pay attention to the interest rates.

This doesn’t only apply to purchase rates, but also to balance transfer and even cash advances (all features you will use from time to time). Ideally, you’d want a credit card with low interest on these three aspects, but it’s most likely cash advances will always have a higher interest rate than most.

To put it shortly: Pay attention to the interest rates and fees the credit card might charge you and make sure they balance off and complement each other.

How To Choose A Low Interest Credit Card

Low interest credit cards have a purpose: To let you pay off your debt in an easier way. That’s why there are some steps you should follow and consider before picking your favorite card from the list below.

#1: Define what you need it for

Some people use these types of credit cards as a back-up plan for emergency expenses, others use them to slowly manage and build their credit score, and some simply want them as a way to be able to purchase/cover an expense and be able to pay the debt slowly.

So, it is extremely important for you to define what you need it for, and then consider how long it would take to pay off your balance. 

#2: Go for a 0% APR

APR or annual percentage rate is the percentage the credit card will charge you on the remaining balance on your account. Ideally, you should either go for a low interest credit card or one that offers you 0% for a least six months to a year.

#3: Pay attention to all the interest rates

We mentioned this just before, but you should definitely take into consideration the interest rates on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances, specially the first two.

Most low interest credit cards offer a low interest rate that goes from 8.99% to 12.99% for both purchases and balance transfers, plus, some give you a welcome offer for even lower rates for a short period of time on balance transfers. It might not seem like much at first, but it can be a real benefit in the long run.

Although we would like to say “the lower the interest rate the better”, it’s actually a better idea to recommend you to look at how these interest balance off with the benefit each card includes and then make a decision. 

#4: Go for no annual fee

Here’s the thing: Low interest credit cards usually have an annual fee that goes anywhere from $29 to $50, so it might be hard to find one without any annual fee (and if you do, the interest rates might be higher).

So, what we recommend is to look for any credit card that offers you six months up to a year of $0 annual fee instead.

#5: Consider the benefits

Last, but not least, don’t overlook the benefits your low interest credit card might offer you. It’s not all about getting the card with the lower rates and fees, it’s about making the most out of the benefits, and options these cards give you.

The Best Low Interest Credit Cards In Canada

When looking for a low interest credit card you need to have options, so we have put together a list (in no particular order) to show you the different credit cards you can apply for, and what they have to offer you.

#1: RBC® RateAdvantage® Card

RBC RateAdvantage Visa, a No-fee and  low interest credit card
APR on Purchases4.99% to 8.99%
APR on Cash Advances4.99% to 8.99%
APR on Balance TransferN/A
Annual Fee0
Ideal forIncrease your credit score.

As advertised on the RBC website, they offer lower interest rates, higher savings. The interest rate of this card variates according to your personal credit score, but it can go from 4.99% to 8.99% (on both purchase and cash rate). Of course, the better your score, the lower the rate you can get.

It doesn’t charge an annual fee, or for an additional card, and it comes with purchase security and extended warranty insurance that protects you against any loss or damage for up to 90 days.  This is a credit card thought for people who already know how to manage their credit and have a high credit score that could get them a lower rate.

In summary: A very low interest rate that can vary depending on your credit score, no annual fees, and purchase security. 

Check out and apply to obtain this credit card now

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#2: MBNA True Line Mastercard

The MBNA True Line Mastercard One of the best low interest credit cards in Canada today
APR on Purchases12.99%
APR on Cash Advances24.99%
APR on Balance Transfer12.99%
Annual Fee0
Ideal forPeople who are looking to get their first-ever credit card / need it as a backup plan.

This low interest credit card is a catch. The MBNA offers whoever applies for this credit card a 0.00 annual fee, and an incredibly low interest for purchases of 12.99%. The interest for cash advances are 24.99% and the balance transfer are also 12.99%.

But get this: The MBNA has a welcome offer that gives you a 0% balance transfer rate for the first 12 months, which is by far the longest promotion a bank has to offer. 

This is the perfect low interest credit card for anyone, regardless if they are looking to get their very first credit card ever, or want this one as a backup plan.

In summary: The MBNA True Line Mastercard has a purchase rate of 12.99%, no annual fees and the option to spend a whole year with a 0% interest rate on balance transfers.

Read more about the side benefits and apply to obtain this credit card now.

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You may also like our post on the Best Mastercard Credit Cards in Canada for this 2020

#3: No-fee Scotiabank Value® Visa

Another No-fee  low interest credit card option for Canadians, the No-Fee Scotiabank Value Visa
APR on Purchases16.99%
APR on Cash Advances16.99%
APR on Balance Transfer16.99%
Annual Fee0
Ideal forUse during emergencies.

Although this card has an interest rate of  16.99% on both purchases and balance transfers, which might not be considered low, it is still below the regular 19,99% rate most credit cards offer. Plus, the No-Fee Scotiabank Value Visa comes with a 0.00 annual fee.

As of this date, the card comes with a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months, and multiple benefits, amongst which you’ll find additional purchase protection and insurances for unpredictable events.

We recommend going for this credit card if you’re not planning on making big expenses that could generate significant debt. Although the benefits are worth it, this is not the card you want if you really need very low interest rates. 

In summary: The interest rates for purchases and balance transfers are 16.99% (which is higher than most credit cards on the list). It doesn’t charge annual fees and comes with several benefits regarding protection.

Read more about the side benefits and apply to obtain this credit card now.

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Related: You may also be interested in our post on Best Student Credit Cards.

#4: American Express EssentialTM Credit Card

Amex's runner for a No-fee  low interest credit card
APR on Purchases12.99%
APR on Cash Advances12.99%
APR on Balance Transfer12.99%
Annual Fee0
Ideal forAnything. Perfect to use during emergencies, to build credit score or manage debt.

With a 12.99% interest rates on both purchases and balance transfers, and the option to benefit of a 1.99% interest rate on the last one for half a year, the Essential is a top lower interest credit card competitor on this list

It comes with no annual fee, and many benefits such as: Around the clock, global customer service, emergency card replacement, and many benefits such as special access for shows, movies, restaurants and more.

This low interest credit card is an excellent option for literally anyone. The interest rate is manageable, the no annual fee options allows you to save up, and the benefits are just a great plus.

In summary: The American Express Essential Credit Card has no annual fees, a 12.99% interest rates on purchases and balance transfers (with the option of enjoying a 1.99% interest during the first 6 months on balance transfers), World wide customer service and purchase protection.

Read more about the side benefits and apply to obtain this credit card now.

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#5: Scotiabank Value® Visa

The Scotiabank Value Visa, a low interest credit card with a mild annual fee. A good option for Canadians
APR on Purchases12.99%
APR on Cash Advances12.99%
APR on Balance Transfer12.99%
Annual Fee$29
Ideal forExisting Scotiabank users, lower and more manageable debts.

We come across another Scotiabank credit card, but this time, it comes with an annual fee of $29. However, the interest rates on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers is still considerably low, standing at 12.99%.

Although to get this low interest credit card you will have to meet certain requirements like having an income that reaches the $12,000 per year, the benefits that come with this card are worth it. Scotiabank Value Visa offers their users financial protection, deals and discounts with car rentals and around the clock customer service.

If you are already a Scotiabank user, applying to this credit card might be the perfect choice for you.

In summary: The Scotiabank Value Visa has a lower interest rate of 12.99% on both purchases and balance transfers, an annual fee of $29 (with a 0,99% introductory interest rate during the first six months), and extended benefits.

Read more about the benefits and apply to obtain this credit card now.

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#6: Modulo Visa

The Modula from Desjardins has the lowest interest rate of them all, but at a price of $50 a year
APR on Purchases10.99%
APR on Cash Advances10.99%
APR on Balance Transfer10.99%
Annual Fee$50
Ideal forManaging accumulated debt/use as an emergency credit card.

The Desjardins low interest credit card has a lot to offer. Although the annual fee rises up to $50 (considerably more than most cards on the list), the interest rate on purchases is only 10.99%, which is a really good offer.

On top of that, the Modulo Visa card comes with a handful of benefits including rewards on bonusdollars that you exchange for gifts or even trips, travel insurance and even mobile device insurance. This is a very good credit card for anyone who hasn’t had a credit card before and wants to start building their score.

In summary: The Modulo Visa has a high annual fee of $50, but makes up to it with a very low interest rate on purchases of 10.99%, travel insurance, and the opportunity to turn 1% of your expenses in gifts and trips.

Read more about this credit card and apply now.

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#7: MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard®

APR on Purchases8.99%
APR on Cash Advances24.99%
APR on Balance Transfer8.99%
Annual Fee$39
Ideal forKeeping your debt under control.

This credit card has the lowest interest rate on the whole list. With an 8,99% interest rate on purchases and balance transfers, the MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard is a strong competitor. You will have to face a $39 annual fee, but it’s still arguably low when you consider the balance in your account will be interest-free for the first six months.

If you’re considering getting your first low interest credit card –or any credit card in general-, and are interested in keeping your debt under control, this is your option. The MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard also offers a 0% annual interest rate on balance transfer for the very first year, giving you even more time to save up.

As to the benefits, you can expect word class customer service no matter where you are, purchase protection and discounts on car rentals.

In summary: This is a great low interest credit card with a very low interest rate of 8.99%, an annual fee of $39 and many benefits for their users.

Read more about this credit card and apply now.

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The Bottom Line Of The Best Low Interes Credit Cards in Canada

To wrap this up, there’s no wrong way to choose a low interest credit card. The fact that you are already going for a credit card with a lower interest rate than most is a sign of a smart financial move, regardless of what you end up choosing.

If you already have an account in one of the banks mentioned above,  we recommend you to go for that option, since you already have a record there. If, on the contrary, it’s your very first time applying for a credit card, then follow up on the steps mentioned above, evaluate the options on the list, and apply to whichever fits you best.

Regardless of this, we believe that the MBNA True Line Mastercard is one of the best options for most Canadians since it offers a competitive rate with no annual fee, plus one of the best balance transfer offers on the market with a 1-year interest-free grace period.

Are you going to miss out? Get yours today!

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After combing through over a hundred Canadian credit cards, we’ve narrowed our recommendations for University of Guelph students down to just two:

  1. The American Express Cobalt Card: 30,000 welcome bonus points, up to 10% back in rewards on spending on all food and drinks (including groceries, food delivery, restaurants, cafes and bars), and just a $10 monthly fee make this card the most rewarding to students by far. Bonus: It’s also our overall favourite card of 2020.
  2. The Tangerine Money-Back Card: With a rotating set of generous welcome bonuses and no annual fee, this card is the best free option available to students in Canada.

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So you’re thinking about getting a credit card for your time at University of Guelph? Well, you’re in luck. Whether you’re a current student at University of Guelph or you’re gearing up to start there soon, this post will show you the best credit cards available to you.

University of Guelph: The Basics

University of Guelph is based in Guelph, Ontario with additional campuses in Toronto, Alfred, Ridgetown, and Kemptville. Here’s how the school is described by The Globe and Mail:

“The University of Guelph opened in 1874 as an agricultural school on a 500-acre farm. Now it has expanded to deliver undergraduate and graduate programs in the physical and life sciences, arts and humanities, social sciences, business, agricultural and veterinary sciences.

Though tuition at Guelph is among the highest in the province, graduates hold the lowest average debt in Ontario. Co-op options are available in 40 per cent of programs. In 2017, more than 3,000 students across 35 disciplines participated, and U of G biochemistry student Brianna Guild was named co-op student of the year by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education.

Those who want to get out into nature can head to the Arboretum, 400 acres of plant collections, gardens, walking trails and diverse natural environments next to the main campus. It serves as a living lab for many undergraduates and is vital to the university’s agricultural research.”

Now that you’re more familiar with University of Guelph, let’s look at why you may want to get a student credit card while you’re studying there.

The Best Credit Cards for University of Guelph Students

University of Guelph

What Are Student Credit Cards?

Student credit cards are just credit cards targeted at, or made especially available to, students.

They’re just like any other credit card in that you still need to pay them off every month, though they do carry a few minor differences: they’re easier to be approved for, they carry lower fees (or no fees at all), and they offer rewards designed for students.

Let’s dig into each of these.

#1 Student Credit Cards Are Easier To Be Approved For

Student credit cards have lower approval requirements than other credit cards, making them the perfect way to build a credit score in your late teens and early twenties and set yourself up for future financial success.

For example, when you want to get an auto loan or a mortgage in your twenties or thirties, the first thing banks will look at is your credit history.

And what’s the best way for a student to develop a strong, reliable credit history?

Getting a student credit card (or two) and paying off the statement balance in full each month.

Most student credit cards do not require you to be earning an income, do not require you to prove your assets (even if you don’t have any assets), and don’t really ask for much from you at all

That’s why we say they’re so easy to be approved for! 

#2 Student Credit Cards Carry Low (Or No) Annual Fees

It’s no secret that students are very careful with their money, which is why student credit cards either carry a low annual fee or are completely free. 

For example, of the five cards we mention below, one of them costs just $10/month, and the other four don’t charge any monthly or annual fees at all.

This sits in stark contrast to premium credit cards like the American Express Platinum Card, which costs $699/year. Of course, you don’t get perks like airport lounge access or hotel elite statuses with free cards, but you can access an impressive amount of benefits with just a small monthly fee, as we show you with the Cobalt Card below.

#3 Student Credit Cards Offer Student-Centric Rewards

The third characteristic of student credits card are their rewards, because when you’re choosing which card to apply for, rewards will often be the deciding factor.

Many student credit cards offer cashback as their primary reward, which can be a great way to put a small percentage of your spending—generally 1-2%—back in your pocket.

But if you want to earn even more, cards that offer a different style of rewards—rewards like movie tickets, flights, or something else—can be a better fit. This is part of the reason we like the Cobalt Card so much: rather than giving you cashback, it rewards you with American Express MR points, which you can redeem for a handful of travel and other purchases at much more favourable rates. 

Now, let’s dive into the cards themselves.

#1 American Express Cobalt Card

Best For: Rewards & Exceptional Value

The American Express Cobalt Card isn’t only an excellent student credit card: it’s also our favourite Canadian credit card of any type in 2020.

Why is the Cobalt Card so good? A few reasons.

First, it comes with an exceptional welcome bonus of up to 30,000 MR points, which you can redeem for rewards worth $600 or more.

But the welcome bonus isn’t all that you get with the Cobalt Card. You also receive $100 USD in annual hotel credit, which you can use at participating The Hotel Collection properties around the world, as well as complimentary room upgrades at those properties, boosting regular hotel stays into luxurious ones.

But perhaps the most exciting perk of the Cobalt Card are its earn rates, because they’re the ticket to supercharging what you earn. Here’s what you’ll earn on your spending with the Cobalt Card:

And that’s still not everything that comes with the Cobalt Card. You’re also backed by a handful of American Express insurance policies, including their emergency medical insurance, flight and baggage delay insurance, car rental insurance, the Amex purchase protection plan, and more.

So before you dismiss the Cobalt Card because of its $10 monthly fee, think about this: would you rather have a free card that gives you next-to-nothing in return, or a $10/month card that gives you all of these bonuses and more?

We’re confident that the Cobalt Card is the best student credit card in Canada. Get yours while this limited-time offer still lasts.

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#2 Tangerine Money-Back Card

Best For: Outstanding Cashback

The Tangerine Money-Back Card allows you to choose 2 spending categories—categories like groceries, restaurants and entertainment—that earn 2% cashback. And if you withdraw that cashback into your Tangerine bank account, you’ll unlock a third category for a total of 3 spending categories earning you 2% cashback. 

2% cashback makes the Money-Back Card one of the best cashback credit cards in Canada, and it’s a great deal given that the card doesn’t carry any annual fee. 

Here’s the full list of spending categories eligible for 2% cashback with the Tangerine Money-Back Card:

Purchases that don’t fall into your chosen spending categories will earn 0.5% cashback instead of 2%.

Here are some other features of the Tangerine Money-Back Card:

The Tangerine Money-Back Card is a great option for many students, which is why it’s our #2 pick overall. You’ll get quite a bit more value out of the Cobalt Card, but if you’re just looking for a cashback card with no strings attached, the Tangerine Money-Back Card is still a great choice.

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#3 BMO CashBack Mastercard

Best For: A Killer Welcome Bonus

The BMO CashBack Mastercard takes third place on our list for its generous welcome bonus and overall simplicity. Here are the main features of the card:

After you’ve held this card for 3 months, your cashback rate will return to its regular 1% level, so we suggest getting this card just before you need to make a series of small purchases. Back-to-school shopping or Christmas both seem like a great fit.

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#4 BMO AIR MILES Mastercard

Best For: Frequent Travelers

Does going home for the holidays mean stepping onto a plane, not just taking a long drive? If so, you might want to consider the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard, which earns you AIR MILES Reward Miles with every dollar you spend. Here are the main features:

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#5 Scotiabank SCENE Visa

Best For: Movie-Lovers

The Scotiabank SCENE Visa is designed for one group and one group only: movie-lovers. With a 5x earn rate on Cineplex spending and all of your rewards going toward movies, this card is only for diehard film fanatics.

We only recommend this card if you’re a serious moviegoer—you’ll have to be at the cinema at least a few times a month to make this one worth your while. With that said, though, it could make a great second card to the Cobalt Card or the Tangerine Money-Back Card: by putting your Cineplex spending on here and all of your other spending on those cards, you’ll maximize your rewards every step of the way.

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Our Recommendation: Get the Cobalt Card

After comparing these student credit cards and many more, we highly recommend the American Express Cobalt Card. Its 30,000 points welcome bonus is worth $600 or more, and the card’s $100 USD annual hotel credit, international travel insurance, and generous earn rates make it a clear winner. If the Cobalt Card’s $10 monthly fee seems unnecessary, we’re certain the value you’ll get from the card will exceed it multiple times over every month.

If you’re still unwilling to pay a monthly fee, though, opt for the Tangerine Money-Back Card. It’s the best no-fee card available right now, and while it doesn’t offer the perks and bonuses of the Cobalt Card, it’s still a solid second choice.

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Monitoring your credit score is important, and Credit Verify is a service that let’s you do it online. It also let’s you access your credit reports instantly and as many times as you want. The catch is that you have to pay a premium of $19.95 per month. You get up to $25 in rewards for being a premium member, though. In addition to that, potential members get to spend a trial week with the service for $1.

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yoreoyster credit verify

If you don’t keep tabs on your credit score from time to time (daily is recommended), you’ll be left in the dark. You won’t have a clear idea of your financial standing. Furthermore, you’ll be at risk of identity theft. So, it’s always a good idea to have a credit monitoring service – if not Credit Verify, then you should pick one of your choice. In this post, we give you a full overview of Credit Verify and what it has to offer.

Getting To Know Credit Verify

Credit Verify helps you keep track of your credit score and your credit reports.

That’s the gist of it.

Now, there’s a lot more to know about it, what it offers, and why you would want it in the first place. After all, a lot of Canadians get by without it. The devil’s in the details, but don’t worry, we’ll get there in a moment.

Credit Verify provides you with instant access to your credit score at all times, as long as you’re paying for it.

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Why You Need To Know Your Credit Score

It’s not simply about knowing thy credit score. It’s about everything that comes along with giving your credit reports a peep every so often.

Being financially literate is important, and being credit savvy is at the heart of achieving that. Every loan you’ll ever get, every mortgage you want to apply for, and every car you want to buy throughout your life … they are all neatly intertwined with your credit score and if you’re not familiar with it, you’ll experience some nasty bumps down the road sooner or later.

Additionally, there’s something many people tend not to know: Your credit reports will often have an occasional mistake in them! If you don’t check your reports regularly, these doozies will slip right under the rug and your score (which you’re not checking, by the way) will be negatively affected. Keeping track of your score will help you avoid anything like this.

Your credit score can change often – even daily – so having a tool like Credit Verify can be highly beneficial. It’ll help you realize which activities reflect negatively or positively on your score, which will assist you in making better daily choices.

Identity Theft Is Not A Joke

If you got the reference from The Office, give yourself a pat on the back. Now, let’s focus.

Identity theft is a massive problem, and it appears to be growing. It’s when an imposter pretending to be you, takes control of your financial life to any degree.

In 2018, Canadians lost $21.2 million due to identity theft, which is a much bigger figure than the $11.7 million from 2017. These are some really massive amounts, and the fact that the crimes are growing so rapidly in a country like Canada shows that this is no laughing matter.

One of the best and most obvious ways to protect yourself from identity theft is to make sure you’re keeping your personal information and details about your identity a secret from strangers. Your phone numbers, your credit card information, and every other detail should be kept with only the people who they’re concerned with.

One can never be too safe, however, and that’s where Credit Verify comes in. It helps you keep track of your credit score in real-time, around the clock. That means that you’ll notice any anomalies in the score right away. Any changes in the score that weren’t caused by you will be immediately obvious. You’ll know that someone else has access to your finances, which will allow you to take action before it’s too late.

Credit Verify: How It Works

Before You Sign Up

Credit Verify is not a free service, which might be a turn-off for many potential customers. Take note that you’ll have to give your credit card details when you sign up.

However, you won’t have to empty the bank just to test this product out. Credit Verify offers you a trial week for just $1. However, once your trial week is over, you’ll automatically be charged $19.95 every month until you decide to cancel your subscription.

You’ll likely know if this product is for you within the first trial week, so there isn’t much to worry about. Also, to offset the monthly price, you’ll receive up to $25 in reward points for each month you’re a paying member of Credit Verify, which should help bring down the price somewhat. These points can be spent on plenty of outlets, like brands such as Nike, or restaurants like McDonald’s and Subway, among many, many others.

If you’re looking for credit cards that offer rewards, you may want to check out the Amex Gold Rewards Card.

The Process

It literally takes 5 minutes to set up an account on Credit Verify. The process comes in two parts.

1. Personal Information

The first step of the process is to give your personal details.

yoreoyster credit verify info

You’ll even be asked to provide a reason for creating your account, but it’s nothing serious. There’s even an option that says “just curious”, so anything goes.

2. Verification

The second step asks for all your information needed for the verification of your account, which means your address and credit card info.

yoreoyster credit verify home info

On the same page, you’ll also create your password:

credit verify login yoreoyster

With all of that done, you’ll be able to log into your account and get to know your credit score. You’ll be charged $1 when you sign up for your trial week, and you’ll be able to opt-out at any given time.

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What Credit Verify Offers You

  1. Informational services: You won’t be alone while you’re using this service. Credit Verify will let you know everything you need to know about your credit score.
  2. Constant credit score monitoring: You’ll be the first person to know if there’s any change in your credit score as it’ll be monitored at all times.
  3. Instant access to credit score and reports: Whenever you want, you’ll be able to access your score and credit report – there’s no limit to how many times you can see them.
  4. Credit Score Simulator: If you’re planning on getting a mortgage or a loan for a car, you can give the simulator a test run to observe how your credit score will be affected. This gives you a heads up on what to expect.
  5. Guidance on disputes: You’ll receive guidance on what to do in the unfortunate case of any errors in your credit reports.

Does Credit Verify Affect Your Credit Score?

A lot of people have the concern (and rightfully so) that checking their credit scores might have a negative impact on it. That’s partially true, and that’s because there are two different types of checks that you can make. Hards checks and soft checks.

Hard checks are performed mainly by lenders who want to check your credit history. Their objective is to go through every detail in order to determine whether you’re suitable for a loan. Too many hard checks reveal that you’re applying for too many loans and aren’t doing too well – which results in your credit score being damaged.

Soft checks, on the other hand, are performed frequently by yourself, lenders, and bureaus, to keep track of your performance. These have no effect on your credit score no matter how many times they’re performed.

Credit Verify uses soft checks to keep track of your score and has no negative effects on it whatsoever.

If you feel like your credit score is lower than you’d like, there are cards that can assist you in pulling it back up.

The Upsides Of Credit Verify

Quick sign-up: It takes little more than 5 minutes to have your account up and running. You’ll be able to see your results instantly after that.

Trial week: The trial week provided by Credit Verify lets you know if you’re interested in the service at all, without wasting any extra money. You’ll be able to have a full experience during the trial week, which will give you a good idea of whether you want to continue or not.

Constant monitoring: The instant updates to your credit score are a big plus as you’ll be able to see the effects of your activities in real-time and reflect upon them. Also, it allows you to react faster should anything go wrong.

Unlimited checks: You won’t have to be careful about how many times you check your score, which is a huge plus.

The Downsides

The cost: Being a premium member costs $19.95 per month, and while there are rewards to offset those costs, they’re still there. You’ll have to provide a credit card in order to access the benefits that Credit Verify brings.

Credit Verify Uses TransUnion

There are two main credit bureaus in Canada, namely TransUnion and Equifax. Credit Verify works with TransUnion and gets all its information from them.

If you’re registered with Equifax and want to see your credit score online, you may want to check out Borrowell.

Alternatives To Credit Verify

For those who aren’t fully bought on Credit Verify, we have two alternatives that you might like.

1. TransUnion

Yes, that’s the bureau that Credit Verify draws its information from. It also offers its own credit score tracking online and offers some powerful features which we can’t find with Credit Verify. In addition to everything you’re getting with Credit Verify (as well as costing the same), TransUnion also offers:

2. Credit Karma

Credit Karma is a great option for those not interested in Credit Verify because it has one overwhelming advantage: It’s completely free.

That’s right. You don’t need to provide any credit cards, there’s no beating about the bush with payments and monthly rewards; you just log in and see your score and report for free – instantly … as many times as you want.

3. Borrowell

Customers registered with Equifax are sure to enjoy Borrowell. It gets you your credit score and reports free of cost, but this tool has various other tricks up its sleeve. It also allows you to borrow loans digitally at extremely reasonable interest rates.

Should You Use Credit Verify?

Credit Verify gets you your credit score and reports online, instantly, for a monthly fee of $19.95. It gives rewards of up to $25 which you can redeem and various stores.

However, the question is, should you get it? Is it worth the money? The answer depends on who you are and what you need.

Credit monitoring is a great service that everyone should use. However, to use Credit Verify specifically, you should be:

A lot of people wouldn’t want to pay for a premium service when one is available for free. Credit Verify isn’t recommended since Credit Karma stands out more. However, if you’re interested, you can sign up to Credit Verify using the button below:

APPLY NOW

New to credit cards? Check our list for the best credit cards for beginners.

After combing through over a hundred Canadian credit cards, we’ve narrowed our recommendations for Athabasca University students down to just two:

  1. The American Express Cobalt Card: 30,000 welcome bonus points, up to 10% back in rewards on spending on all food and drinks (including groceries, food delivery, restaurants, cafes and bars), and just a $10 monthly fee make this card the most rewarding to students by far. Bonus: It’s also our overall favourite card of 2020.
  2. The Tangerine Money-Back Card: With a rotating set of generous welcome bonuses and no annual fee, this card is the best free option available to students in Canada.

APPLY NOW

So you’re thinking about getting a credit card for your time at Athabasca University? Well, you’re in luck. Whether you’re a current student at Athabasca University or you’re gearing up to start there soon, this post will show you the best credit cards available to you.

Athabasca University: The Basics

Athabasca University is based in Athabasca, Alberta with additional campuses in Calgary and Edmonton. Here’s how the school is described by The Globe and Mail:

“Athabasca University is an open-admission distance-education university based in Athabasca, Alta. The school offers more than 850 courses in more than 55 undergraduate and graduate programs, and classes are available to students around the world. These courses can be put toward a degree from Athabasca, or credits can be transferred as part of a degree at another institution.

The university has many options available. Students can take group-study courses at one of the school’s four campuses, or work from anywhere through online courses designed for individualized study. The majority of students work while completing their degrees, and half are supporting dependents.

Stefanie Ruel, who received her doctorate in business administration from Athabasca last year, has taken her learning into space, as Canada’s only female mission manager and a leader in the field of women in STEM. Kaetlyn Osmond, a bachelor of professional arts student (communications), is one of more than 40 past and present AU students who have participated in the Olympics. She brought home three Olympic medals in figure skating and the women’s singles world championship.”

Now that you’re more familiar with Athabasca University, let’s look at why you may want to get a student credit card while you’re studying there.

The Best Credit Cards for Athabasca University Students

Athabasca University

What Are Student Credit Cards?

Student credit cards are just credit cards targeted at, or made especially available to, students.

They’re just like any other credit card in that you still need to pay them off every month, though they do carry a few minor differences: they’re easier to be approved for, they carry lower fees (or no fees at all), and they offer rewards designed for students.

Let’s dig into each of these.

#1 Student Credit Cards Are Easier To Be Approved For

Student credit cards have lower approval requirements than other credit cards, making them the perfect way to build a credit score in your late teens and early twenties and set yourself up for future financial success.

For example, when you want to get an auto loan or a mortgage in your twenties or thirties, the first thing banks will look at is your credit history.

And what’s the best way for a student to develop a strong, reliable credit history?

Getting a student credit card (or two) and paying off the statement balance in full each month.

Most student credit cards do not require you to be earning an income, do not require you to prove your assets (even if you don’t have any assets), and don’t really ask for much from you at all

That’s why we say they’re so easy to be approved for! 

#2 Student Credit Cards Carry Low (Or No) Annual Fees

It’s no secret that students are very careful with their money, which is why student credit cards either carry a low annual fee or are completely free. 

For example, of the five cards we mention below, one of them costs just $10/month, and the other four don’t charge any monthly or annual fees at all.

This sits in stark contrast to premium credit cards like the American Express Platinum Card, which costs $699/year. Of course, you don’t get perks like airport lounge access or hotel elite statuses with free cards, but you can access an impressive amount of benefits with just a small monthly fee, as we show you with the Cobalt Card below.

#3 Student Credit Cards Offer Student-Centric Rewards

The third characteristic of student credits card are their rewards, because when you’re choosing which card to apply for, rewards will often be the deciding factor.

Many student credit cards offer cashback as their primary reward, which can be a great way to put a small percentage of your spending—generally 1-2%—back in your pocket.

But if you want to earn even more, cards that offer a different style of rewards—rewards like movie tickets, flights, or something else—can be a better fit. This is part of the reason we like the Cobalt Card so much: rather than giving you cashback, it rewards you with American Express MR points, which you can redeem for a handful of travel and other purchases at much more favourable rates. 

Now, let’s dive into the cards themselves.

#1 American Express Cobalt Card

Best For: Rewards & Exceptional Value

The American Express Cobalt Card isn’t only an excellent student credit card: it’s also our favourite Canadian credit card of any type in 2020.

Why is the Cobalt Card so good? A few reasons.

First, it comes with an exceptional welcome bonus of up to 30,000 MR points, which you can redeem for rewards worth $600 or more.

But the welcome bonus isn’t all that you get with the Cobalt Card. You also receive $100 USD in annual hotel credit, which you can use at participating The Hotel Collection properties around the world, as well as complimentary room upgrades at those properties, boosting regular hotel stays into luxurious ones.

But perhaps the most exciting perk of the Cobalt Card are its earn rates, because they’re the ticket to supercharging what you earn. Here’s what you’ll earn on your spending with the Cobalt Card:

And that’s still not everything that comes with the Cobalt Card. You’re also backed by a handful of American Express insurance policies, including their emergency medical insurance, flight and baggage delay insurance, car rental insurance, the Amex purchase protection plan, and more.

So before you dismiss the Cobalt Card because of its $10 monthly fee, think about this: would you rather have a free card that gives you next-to-nothing in return, or a $10/month card that gives you all of these bonuses and more?

We’re confident that the Cobalt Card is the best student credit card in Canada. Get yours while this limited-time offer still lasts.

APPLY NOW

#2 Tangerine Money-Back Card

Best For: Outstanding Cashback

The Tangerine Money-Back Card allows you to choose 2 spending categories—categories like groceries, restaurants and entertainment—that earn 2% cashback. And if you withdraw that cashback into your Tangerine bank account, you’ll unlock a third category for a total of 3 spending categories earning you 2% cashback. 

2% cashback makes the Money-Back Card one of the best cashback credit cards in Canada, and it’s a great deal given that the card doesn’t carry any annual fee. 

Here’s the full list of spending categories eligible for 2% cashback with the Tangerine Money-Back Card:

Purchases that don’t fall into your chosen spending categories will earn 0.5% cashback instead of 2%.

Here are some other features of the Tangerine Money-Back Card:

The Tangerine Money-Back Card is a great option for many students, which is why it’s our #2 pick overall. You’ll get quite a bit more value out of the Cobalt Card, but if you’re just looking for a cashback card with no strings attached, the Tangerine Money-Back Card is still a great choice.

APPLY NOW

#3 BMO CashBack Mastercard

Best For: A Killer Welcome Bonus

The BMO CashBack Mastercard takes third place on our list for its generous welcome bonus and overall simplicity. Here are the main features of the card:

After you’ve held this card for 3 months, your cashback rate will return to its regular 1% level, so we suggest getting this card just before you need to make a series of small purchases. Back-to-school shopping or Christmas both seem like a great fit.

APPLY NOW

#4 BMO AIR MILES Mastercard

Best For: Frequent Travelers

Does going home for the holidays mean stepping onto a plane, not just taking a long drive? If so, you might want to consider the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard, which earns you AIR MILES Reward Miles with every dollar you spend. Here are the main features:

APPLY NOW

#5 Scotiabank SCENE Visa

Best For: Movie-Lovers

The Scotiabank SCENE Visa is designed for one group and one group only: movie-lovers. With a 5x earn rate on Cineplex spending and all of your rewards going toward movies, this card is only for diehard film fanatics.

We only recommend this card if you’re a serious moviegoer—you’ll have to be at the cinema at least a few times a month to make this one worth your while. With that said, though, it could make a great second card to the Cobalt Card or the Tangerine Money-Back Card: by putting your Cineplex spending on here and all of your other spending on those cards, you’ll maximize your rewards every step of the way.

APPLY NOW

Our Recommendation: Get the Cobalt Card

After comparing these student credit cards and many more, we highly recommend the American Express Cobalt Card. Its 30,000 points welcome bonus is worth $600 or more, and the card’s $100 USD annual hotel credit, international travel insurance, and generous earn rates make it a clear winner. If the Cobalt Card’s $10 monthly fee seems unnecessary, we’re certain the value you’ll get from the card will exceed it multiple times over every month.

If you’re still unwilling to pay a monthly fee, though, opt for the Tangerine Money-Back Card. It’s the best no-fee card available right now, and while it doesn’t offer the perks and bonuses of the Cobalt Card, it’s still a solid second choice.

APPLY NOW

After combing through over a hundred Canadian credit cards, we’ve narrowed our recommendations for Mount Allison University students down to just two:

  1. The American Express Cobalt Card: 30,000 welcome bonus points, up to 10% back in rewards on spending on all food and drinks (including groceries, food delivery, restaurants, cafes and bars), and just a $10 monthly fee make this card the most rewarding to students by far. Bonus: It’s also our overall favourite card of 2020.
  2. The Tangerine Money-Back Card: With a rotating set of generous welcome bonuses and no annual fee, this card is the best free option available to students in Canada.

APPLY NOW

So you’re thinking about getting a credit card for your time at Mount Allison University? Well, you’re in luck. Whether you’re a current student at Mount Allison University or you’re gearing up to start there soon, this post will show you the best credit cards available to you.

Mount Allison University: The Basics

Mount Allison University is based in Sackville, New Brunswick . Here’s how the school is described by The Globe and Mail:

“Tucked away in a town with about 5,500 residents, Mount Allison University is a small, primarily undergraduate university focused on an interdisciplinary approach to the liberal arts and sciences. All of its five degree programs provide interdisciplinary learning opportunities, and students can choose their degree paths from more than 40 program options.

Class sizes are small: In first year, they average 65, while upper-year classes average just 14, which allows students to develop one-on-one relationships with professors.

A career mentorship program pairs students in their final year with alumni mentors to help graduates transition into life after university. Last year, it matched 61 students with mentors in a wide range of programs and fields.”

Now that you’re more familiar with Mount Allison University, let’s look at why you may want to get a student credit card while you’re studying there.

The Best Credit Cards for Mount Allison University Students

Mount Allison University

What Are Student Credit Cards?

Student credit cards are just credit cards targeted at, or made especially available to, students.

They’re just like any other credit card in that you still need to pay them off every month, though they do carry a few minor differences: they’re easier to be approved for, they carry lower fees (or no fees at all), and they offer rewards designed for students.

Let’s dig into each of these.

#1 Student Credit Cards Are Easier To Be Approved For

Student credit cards have lower approval requirements than other credit cards, making them the perfect way to build a credit score in your late teens and early twenties and set yourself up for future financial success.

For example, when you want to get an auto loan or a mortgage in your twenties or thirties, the first thing banks will look at is your credit history.

And what’s the best way for a student to develop a strong, reliable credit history?

Getting a student credit card (or two) and paying off the statement balance in full each month.

Most student credit cards do not require you to be earning an income, do not require you to prove your assets (even if you don’t have any assets), and don’t really ask for much from you at all

That’s why we say they’re so easy to be approved for! 

#2 Student Credit Cards Carry Low (Or No) Annual Fees

It’s no secret that students are very careful with their money, which is why student credit cards either carry a low annual fee or are completely free. 

For example, of the five cards we mention below, one of them costs just $10/month, and the other four don’t charge any monthly or annual fees at all.

This sits in stark contrast to premium credit cards like the American Express Platinum Card, which costs $699/year. Of course, you don’t get perks like airport lounge access or hotel elite statuses with free cards, but you can access an impressive amount of benefits with just a small monthly fee, as we show you with the Cobalt Card below.

#3 Student Credit Cards Offer Student-Centric Rewards

The third characteristic of student credits card are their rewards, because when you’re choosing which card to apply for, rewards will often be the deciding factor.

Many student credit cards offer cashback as their primary reward, which can be a great way to put a small percentage of your spending—generally 1-2%—back in your pocket.

But if you want to earn even more, cards that offer a different style of rewards—rewards like movie tickets, flights, or something else—can be a better fit. This is part of the reason we like the Cobalt Card so much: rather than giving you cashback, it rewards you with American Express MR points, which you can redeem for a handful of travel and other purchases at much more favourable rates. 

Now, let’s dive into the cards themselves.

#1 American Express Cobalt Card

Best For: Rewards & Exceptional Value

The American Express Cobalt Card isn’t only an excellent student credit card: it’s also our favourite Canadian credit card of any type in 2020.

Why is the Cobalt Card so good? A few reasons.

First, it comes with an exceptional welcome bonus of up to 30,000 MR points, which you can redeem for rewards worth $600 or more.

But the welcome bonus isn’t all that you get with the Cobalt Card. You also receive $100 USD in annual hotel credit, which you can use at participating The Hotel Collection properties around the world, as well as complimentary room upgrades at those properties, boosting regular hotel stays into luxurious ones.

But perhaps the most exciting perk of the Cobalt Card are its earn rates, because they’re the ticket to supercharging what you earn. Here’s what you’ll earn on your spending with the Cobalt Card:

And that’s still not everything that comes with the Cobalt Card. You’re also backed by a handful of American Express insurance policies, including their emergency medical insurance, flight and baggage delay insurance, car rental insurance, the Amex purchase protection plan, and more.

So before you dismiss the Cobalt Card because of its $10 monthly fee, think about this: would you rather have a free card that gives you next-to-nothing in return, or a $10/month card that gives you all of these bonuses and more?

We’re confident that the Cobalt Card is the best student credit card in Canada. Get yours while this limited-time offer still lasts.

APPLY NOW

#2 Tangerine Money-Back Card

Best For: Outstanding Cashback

The Tangerine Money-Back Card allows you to choose 2 spending categories—categories like groceries, restaurants and entertainment—that earn 2% cashback. And if you withdraw that cashback into your Tangerine bank account, you’ll unlock a third category for a total of 3 spending categories earning you 2% cashback. 

2% cashback makes the Money-Back Card one of the best cashback credit cards in Canada, and it’s a great deal given that the card doesn’t carry any annual fee. 

Here’s the full list of spending categories eligible for 2% cashback with the Tangerine Money-Back Card:

Purchases that don’t fall into your chosen spending categories will earn 0.5% cashback instead of 2%.

Here are some other features of the Tangerine Money-Back Card:

The Tangerine Money-Back Card is a great option for many students, which is why it’s our #2 pick overall. You’ll get quite a bit more value out of the Cobalt Card, but if you’re just looking for a cashback card with no strings attached, the Tangerine Money-Back Card is still a great choice.

APPLY NOW

#3 BMO CashBack Mastercard

Best For: A Killer Welcome Bonus

The BMO CashBack Mastercard takes third place on our list for its generous welcome bonus and overall simplicity. Here are the main features of the card:

After you’ve held this card for 3 months, your cashback rate will return to its regular 1% level, so we suggest getting this card just before you need to make a series of small purchases. Back-to-school shopping or Christmas both seem like a great fit.

APPLY NOW

#4 BMO AIR MILES Mastercard

Best For: Frequent Travelers

Does going home for the holidays mean stepping onto a plane, not just taking a long drive? If so, you might want to consider the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard, which earns you AIR MILES Reward Miles with every dollar you spend. Here are the main features:

APPLY NOW

#5 Scotiabank SCENE Visa

Best For: Movie-Lovers

The Scotiabank SCENE Visa is designed for one group and one group only: movie-lovers. With a 5x earn rate on Cineplex spending and all of your rewards going toward movies, this card is only for diehard film fanatics.

We only recommend this card if you’re a serious moviegoer—you’ll have to be at the cinema at least a few times a month to make this one worth your while. With that said, though, it could make a great second card to the Cobalt Card or the Tangerine Money-Back Card: by putting your Cineplex spending on here and all of your other spending on those cards, you’ll maximize your rewards every step of the way.

APPLY NOW

Our Recommendation: Get the Cobalt Card

After comparing these student credit cards and many more, we highly recommend the American Express Cobalt Card. Its 30,000 points welcome bonus is worth $600 or more, and the card’s $100 USD annual hotel credit, international travel insurance, and generous earn rates make it a clear winner. If the Cobalt Card’s $10 monthly fee seems unnecessary, we’re certain the value you’ll get from the card will exceed it multiple times over every month.

If you’re still unwilling to pay a monthly fee, though, opt for the Tangerine Money-Back Card. It’s the best no-fee card available right now, and while it doesn’t offer the perks and bonuses of the Cobalt Card, it’s still a solid second choice.

APPLY NOW

After combing through over a hundred Canadian credit cards, we’ve narrowed our recommendations for University of Waterloo students down to just two:

  1. The American Express Cobalt Card: 30,000 welcome bonus points, up to 10% back in rewards on spending on all food and drinks (including groceries, food delivery, restaurants, cafes and bars), and just a $10 monthly fee make this card the most rewarding to students by far. Bonus: It’s also our overall favourite card of 2020.
  2. The Tangerine Money-Back Card: With a rotating set of generous welcome bonuses and no annual fee, this card is the best free option available to students in Canada.

APPLY NOW

So you’re thinking about getting a credit card for your time at University of Waterloo? Well, you’re in luck. Whether you’re a current student at University of Waterloo or you’re gearing up to start there soon, this post will show you the best credit cards available to you.

University of Waterloo: The Basics

University of Waterloo is based in Waterloo, Ontario with additional campuses in Cambridge, Kitchener, and Stratford. Here’s how the school is described by The Globe and Mail:

“The University of Waterloo is known for its co-op programs, and has about 60 per cent of undergraduates enrolled in more than 120 co-op programs. The university works with more than 6,700 employers in about 60 countries to give students experience in their fields while they pursue their academic goals.

Founded in 1957, Waterloo was built on the pillars of science, math and engineering. Now students can choose from an array of programs in six faculties, including arts, environment and applied health sciences.

The university has directed substantial resources into researching quantum technologies, artificial intelligence, energy and advanced manufacturing. This year, it launched an institute to advance innovation into every aspect of AI technology, from foundational to operational.”

Now that you’re more familiar with University of Waterloo, let’s look at why you may want to get a student credit card while you’re studying there.

The Best Credit Cards for University of Waterloo Students

University of Waterloo

What Are Student Credit Cards?

Student credit cards are just credit cards targeted at, or made especially available to, students.

They’re just like any other credit card in that you still need to pay them off every month, though they do carry a few minor differences: they’re easier to be approved for, they carry lower fees (or no fees at all), and they offer rewards designed for students.

Let’s dig into each of these.

#1 Student Credit Cards Are Easier To Be Approved For

Student credit cards have lower approval requirements than other credit cards, making them the perfect way to build a credit score in your late teens and early twenties and set yourself up for future financial success.

For example, when you want to get an auto loan or a mortgage in your twenties or thirties, the first thing banks will look at is your credit history.

And what’s the best way for a student to develop a strong, reliable credit history?

Getting a student credit card (or two) and paying off the statement balance in full each month.

Most student credit cards do not require you to be earning an income, do not require you to prove your assets (even if you don’t have any assets), and don’t really ask for much from you at all

That’s why we say they’re so easy to be approved for! 

#2 Student Credit Cards Carry Low (Or No) Annual Fees

It’s no secret that students are very careful with their money, which is why student credit cards either carry a low annual fee or are completely free. 

For example, of the five cards we mention below, one of them costs just $10/month, and the other four don’t charge any monthly or annual fees at all.

This sits in stark contrast to premium credit cards like the American Express Platinum Card, which costs $699/year. Of course, you don’t get perks like airport lounge access or hotel elite statuses with free cards, but you can access an impressive amount of benefits with just a small monthly fee, as we show you with the Cobalt Card below.

#3 Student Credit Cards Offer Student-Centric Rewards

The third characteristic of student credits card are their rewards, because when you’re choosing which card to apply for, rewards will often be the deciding factor.

Many student credit cards offer cashback as their primary reward, which can be a great way to put a small percentage of your spending—generally 1-2%—back in your pocket.

But if you want to earn even more, cards that offer a different style of rewards—rewards like movie tickets, flights, or something else—can be a better fit. This is part of the reason we like the Cobalt Card so much: rather than giving you cashback, it rewards you with American Express MR points, which you can redeem for a handful of travel and other purchases at much more favourable rates. 

Now, let’s dive into the cards themselves.

#1 American Express Cobalt Card

Best For: Rewards & Exceptional Value

The American Express Cobalt Card isn’t only an excellent student credit card: it’s also our favourite Canadian credit card of any type in 2020.

Why is the Cobalt Card so good? A few reasons.

First, it comes with an exceptional welcome bonus of up to 30,000 MR points, which you can redeem for rewards worth $600 or more.

But the welcome bonus isn’t all that you get with the Cobalt Card. You also receive $100 USD in annual hotel credit, which you can use at participating The Hotel Collection properties around the world, as well as complimentary room upgrades at those properties, boosting regular hotel stays into luxurious ones.

But perhaps the most exciting perk of the Cobalt Card are its earn rates, because they’re the ticket to supercharging what you earn. Here’s what you’ll earn on your spending with the Cobalt Card:

And that’s still not everything that comes with the Cobalt Card. You’re also backed by a handful of American Express insurance policies, including their emergency medical insurance, flight and baggage delay insurance, car rental insurance, the Amex purchase protection plan, and more.

So before you dismiss the Cobalt Card because of its $10 monthly fee, think about this: would you rather have a free card that gives you next-to-nothing in return, or a $10/month card that gives you all of these bonuses and more?

We’re confident that the Cobalt Card is the best student credit card in Canada. Get yours while this limited-time offer still lasts.

APPLY NOW

#2 Tangerine Money-Back Card

Best For: Outstanding Cashback

The Tangerine Money-Back Card allows you to choose 2 spending categories—categories like groceries, restaurants and entertainment—that earn 2% cashback. And if you withdraw that cashback into your Tangerine bank account, you’ll unlock a third category for a total of 3 spending categories earning you 2% cashback. 

2% cashback makes the Money-Back Card one of the best cashback credit cards in Canada, and it’s a great deal given that the card doesn’t carry any annual fee. 

Here’s the full list of spending categories eligible for 2% cashback with the Tangerine Money-Back Card:

Purchases that don’t fall into your chosen spending categories will earn 0.5% cashback instead of 2%.

Here are some other features of the Tangerine Money-Back Card:

The Tangerine Money-Back Card is a great option for many students, which is why it’s our #2 pick overall. You’ll get quite a bit more value out of the Cobalt Card, but if you’re just looking for a cashback card with no strings attached, the Tangerine Money-Back Card is still a great choice.

APPLY NOW

#3 BMO CashBack Mastercard

Best For: A Killer Welcome Bonus

The BMO CashBack Mastercard takes third place on our list for its generous welcome bonus and overall simplicity. Here are the main features of the card:

After you’ve held this card for 3 months, your cashback rate will return to its regular 1% level, so we suggest getting this card just before you need to make a series of small purchases. Back-to-school shopping or Christmas both seem like a great fit.

APPLY NOW

#4 BMO AIR MILES Mastercard

Best For: Frequent Travelers

Does going home for the holidays mean stepping onto a plane, not just taking a long drive? If so, you might want to consider the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard, which earns you AIR MILES Reward Miles with every dollar you spend. Here are the main features:

APPLY NOW

#5 Scotiabank SCENE Visa

Best For: Movie-Lovers

The Scotiabank SCENE Visa is designed for one group and one group only: movie-lovers. With a 5x earn rate on Cineplex spending and all of your rewards going toward movies, this card is only for diehard film fanatics.

We only recommend this card if you’re a serious moviegoer—you’ll have to be at the cinema at least a few times a month to make this one worth your while. With that said, though, it could make a great second card to the Cobalt Card or the Tangerine Money-Back Card: by putting your Cineplex spending on here and all of your other spending on those cards, you’ll maximize your rewards every step of the way.

APPLY NOW

Our Recommendation: Get the Cobalt Card

After comparing these student credit cards and many more, we highly recommend the American Express Cobalt Card. Its 30,000 points welcome bonus is worth $600 or more, and the card’s $100 USD annual hotel credit, international travel insurance, and generous earn rates make it a clear winner. If the Cobalt Card’s $10 monthly fee seems unnecessary, we’re certain the value you’ll get from the card will exceed it multiple times over every month.

If you’re still unwilling to pay a monthly fee, though, opt for the Tangerine Money-Back Card. It’s the best no-fee card available right now, and while it doesn’t offer the perks and bonuses of the Cobalt Card, it’s still a solid second choice.

APPLY NOW

If you are an avid traveler, you may have heard about Aeroplan. If you are considering getting a credit card for your travels, it’s worth getting one that helps you get the most out of this frecquent flyier loyalty program. In this article, we explore Canada’s top 4 Aeroplan credit cards to add value to your money.

With an acceptable annual fee, a handsome 40,000 miles welcome bonus and lots of other perks, we beleive that the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card is the best overall for 2020. However, there are other options that might be just the right fit for you.

APPLY NOW

Are you a frequent flyer? Do you want to earn points and rewards each time you swipe your card when you travel? 

If you’ve answered YES to both these questions, then getting yourself an Aeroplan credit card is what you are after. 

Chances are you’ve heard about it but do not know the finer details of this program. We don’t blame you because there are plenty of cards out there and choosing one can be a little overwhelming. 

You’re also probably wondering ‘Do I really need an Aeroplan credit card ?”

Aeroplan Credit Cards

Aeroplan credit cards extend your purchasing power by letting you earn miles that you can redeem for hotels, flights, car rentals, entertainment, and vacation packages. Each time you engage the services of Aeroplan’s affiliated partners and show your card, you will earn twice as many miles. 

So not only can you earn points, but you also save a lot. Plenty of Canadian travel enthusiasts find these cards valuable which is why we have broken down the details for the best Aeroplan credit cards so you can choose the one that best fits your needs. 

But first, let’s get to know Aeroplan and what it’s all about. In this post you’ll find:

What Is Aeroplan?

The most popular travel rewards program in Canada, Aeroplan is a multifaceted traveler rewards program. It boasts five million members and counting since its launch in 1984. Created by Air Canada, members can earn miles primarily through swiping certain credit cards at affiliated businesses. As of 2012, 2.3 million rewards had been redeemed by members, including 1.6 million flights.  

How Does Aeroplan Work?

While you can accumulate Aeroplan miles by flying with Air Canada and other partner airlines, the majority of Aeroplan members are not frequent flyers but they are frequent spenders. Aeroplan has partnerships with over 150 partners that you can earn miles with such as:

So, basically, Aeroplan works by rewarding its members with points (which are called Aeroplan miles), and then members redeem those points for flights, merchandise or gift cards.

The Aeroplan Rewards Chart

With the Aeroplan program, members can benefit from round-trip Aeroplan flight rewards on Air Canada (including Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge), Star Alliance Airlines (Air China, Air India, EgyptAir, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines) as well as partners such as Middle East Airlines and Calm Air.  These flight rewards are known as Round-Trip Fixed Mileage Flight Rewards and to be eligible for the trips on the Aeroplan rewards chart, all members need to do is accumulate at least 50% of the miles in the chart below. 

Rewards Card from Aeroplan.com

Figure 1: Image of Rewards Chart from Aeroplan.com (See the full chart here)

How to redeem Aeroplan Rewards

Once you have sufficient miles, you can head to their website to redeem them but remember to read any terms and conditions that come with your redemption, for example:

Now that we have some of the basics covered, let’s get into the best Aeroplan credit cards you can choose from! 

The Aeroplan Credit Card with the Best Welcome Bonus: The American Express Platinum Card

The Platinum Card from American Express. Not formally an Aeroplan card, but you can transfer you MR points to miles and make the most of this program.

In terms of the best welcome bonus, you will be hard-pressed to find a better card than the American Express Platinum Card. However, this card is not an Aeroplan card. It earns you Membership Rewards which you can then use to transfer to Aeroplan miles.

This card is for frequent flyers who want elite status benefits such as:

This card offers premium perks especially if you are a frequent traveler. For new cardholders, you receive a 50,000 welcome bonus as soon as you hit $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of the Cardmembership, enough to redeem for a $500 statement credit. Plus, you can receive an additional 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after six months of Cardmembership. You can earn up to 60,000 points in the first six months, as we explain in our review of the Platinum Card.

You also get a $200 annual travel credit that can be used to make a single travel booking of $200 charged to the Platinum Card via American Express Travel Online or via Platinum Card Travel service.

You’ll like this card because:

It offers luxury travel benefits for travelers with plenty for valuable perks and discounts from hotels. You’ll also earn:

This card also does not have any foreign transaction fees when you swipe on foreign currencies. 

This card may not be ideal for you if:

If luxury benefits are not your go-to holiday style, then this card may not be the perfect fit. Plus, this card has an annual fee of $699 and if this doesn’t suit your budget, there are plenty of other options for you to consider. 

Income Eligibility: N/A

Annual Fee: $699/year

The Aeroplan Credit Card With The Cheapest Annual Fee: CIBC Aero Platinum Visa Card

CIBC Aero Platinum Visa Card, one of the cheapest Aeroplan credit cards

If paying a high annual fee is not your cup of tea, then the CIBC Aero Platinum Visa Card may just be the card for you. Costing you only $39 a year, this card also comes with a low minimum personal income requirement of $15,000/year. You get 5,000 miles as a welcome bonus which gives you a value of $125 to redeem for flights. Other benefits for travelers include:

You will like this card because:

For a really low annual fee, you get pretty decent rewards and insurance coverage (up to $100,000), making it the most accessible Aeroplan credit card. You can also earn:

For the average traveler looking to earn points without all the fuss and frills, this entry-level card is straightforward and simple in its rewards system. 

This card may not be ideal for you if:

If you have a higher budget in terms of annual fees, if you are a seasoned and frequent traveler, then you might want to check out other cards that come with added travel benefits. This card is best suited for travelers signing up for their first credit card and to Aeroplan for the first time. 

Income Eligibility: N/A

Annual Fee: $39/year

The Aeroplan Card with the best Perks: TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card

If perks, perks, and more perks are what you are looking for in a card, then the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card would satisfy that requirement. This card gives you the best Air Canada perks and an increased base Aeroplan earning rate. You also get:

But that’s not all the perks you get. Get ready to fly to more than 1,300 destinations around the world with Air Canada and its partner airlines and receive perks such as:

Want more? While traveling and spending with Visa Infinite Privilege, you get these perks:

You will like this card because:

Of all its perks. This card was designed for people who want all the thrills and frills that come with a card. This card is ideal for travelers, not only frequent flyers, who are keen on keeping with their rewards and points and getting the most out of every purchase they make. Bear in mind that with great rewards, come high annual fees. You need to pay $399 for primary cardholders, $99 for authorized users and there’s also an income requirement of $200,000 a year. 

This card may not be ideal for you if: 

The annual fees and the income requirement may put you off. Plus, since this card comes with plenty of perks, it is important for you to keep updated and know what you are eligible for and what you are not, so you can use it and claim your rewards as when possible. 

Income Eligibility: $200,000/year in household income

Annual Fee: $399/year

The Best Overall Aeroplan Credit Card: TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card. One of the best Aeroplan Credit Cards to earn perks

What does the best overall Aeroplan credit card give you? Essentially, it includes good rewards, good Aeroplan miles, and its fees are not extremely high. With the Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card, you get a welcome offer of 40,000 miles and your fee is waived for the first year. You also benefit from:

You will like this card because:

Apart from the amazing welcome bonus, this card comes out as an overall winner in Aeroplan credit cards because of its travel benefits. Many people sign up for credit cards with Aeroplan simply because of the miles they can accumulate, which makes spending while traveling all the more valuable. With this card, you also get:

This card may not be ideal for you if: 

Well, there’s nothing much to not like about this card. It gives you a good range of rewards and miles and its perks extend to just travelers. It may not be something for you unless you’re not into rewards and don’t travel at all. But even if you still want to earn value on your credit cards by doing daily purchases, then a card without an Aeroplan would be more beneficial for you.

Annual Fee: $120

Income requirement: $60,000/year

Concluding Remarks

There are plenty of credit cards with their own travel rewards program available in the market, which makes the search for the right one a little hard. This article not only helps make finding the right card easier but it also answers the question of “Do I really want a credit card with Aeroplan?”. To have the flexibility to buy flights, redeem merchandise and earn rewards easily are some of the reasons why Aeroplan is Canada’s most popular travel rewards program. So if you travel and use your credit card to make purchases, you can make your money work a little harder by signing up for an Aeroplan credit card, and your best overall choice is the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card.

If you’re looking for a referral link with the best available welcome bonus offer for the Amex Platinum Canada Card (currently 50,000 points as of February, 2020, plus a 10,000 MR points bonus after 6 months), you’ll find that here.

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The American Express Platinum Card offers exceptional value for any Canadian traveler. There’s a 50,000 Amex MR points welcome bonus—which we show you here how to turn into $1,500 worth of travel rewards—worldwide airport lounge access with Priority Pass, a $200 annual travel credit, upgraded hotel memberships, extensive purchase coverage and travel insurance, all included with your card. Plus, you can receive an additional 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after six months of Cardmembership. You can earn up to 60,000 points in the first six months. Here’s a quick breakdown of the card benefits.

Amex Platinum: Basics & Benefits

Welcome Bonus Points50,000
+ 10,000 after 6 months
Annual Travel Credit$200
Points Earned Per $1 Spent On Dining3
Points Earned Per $1 Spent On Travel2
Points Earned Per $1 Spent On All Other Card Purchases1
Upgraded Hotel Statuses
Travel Insurance
Metal Card
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.

How To Maximize Your American Express Platinum Points

As good as 50,000 American Express points sounds, 65,000 points sounds even better. Later in this post, we show you exactly how to turn your 50,000 points welcome bonus into 65,000 Avios or Aeroplan miles.

Let’s look at a few different examples of what those points can do for you whenever you please. This isn’t magic – it’s just smartly-applied knowledge.

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
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The Amex Platinum’s $699 Annual Fee

The Platinum Card comes with a $699 fee.

It’s true. And no, there’s no getting around it.

But here’s the magic in it.

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 the 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 annual $200 travel credit and you’re at $700.

The only catch with that is that you can only apply these points toward travel expenses, but you’d be surprised how widely that term applies. Flights and hotels are obvious, but Amex even categorizes a variety of other expenses like Uber rides as a travel expense, meaning they can be paid using your points as well.

Plus, that’s not even considering the other benefits you get from the card. The travel/baggage insurance and additional purchase insurance (for theft/damage of your items), the worldwide airport lounge access, the platinum hotel memberships, and everything 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 still, wouldn’t you rather do better than the absolute worst? I thought so.

Let’s Book Some Cool Flights

If you prefer to double or triple the value of your points, it’s actually quite easy. Every flight suggestion you see on our blog gets you at least 2 cents per point – double the value you receive when using your points as cash – and often that value is much, much higher.

3-4 cents per point is completely attainable once you start to know what you’re doing.

In fact, the round-the-world trips I mentioned above offer a value of well over 4 cents per point, meaning the $699 fee you paid just saved you several thousand dollars on flights.

And here’s the secret to turning your 50,000 points into 65,000: at least once per year, American Express offers a 25-30% transfer bonus when you transfer your points to a program like British Airways Avios. Just by transferring your points smartly, 50,000 points all of a sudden become 65,000 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 could achieve by getting the Platinum card, from least valuable on the left to most valuable on the right.

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)
Profit From Points-$50$600$1,250
Additional BenefitsYesYesYes

Most of you will find yourselves in columns 2 or 3 in the $600-$1,250 profit range, since you can just read our other blog posts 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, and we’d love to help you get there. Just send us an email and we’ll help you sift through your options to ensure you get a great bang for your buck.

And since I alluded to them earlier, here’s a partial list of some of the benefits you get with the Platinum Card (most of them are also offered with the American Express Business Platinum Card, and some with the Marriott Bonvoy™ Card and the American Express Cobalt Card): 

Worldwide airport lounge access with Priority Pass Select ($399 USD value)$200 annual travel creditUpgraded hotel memberships (Marriott International, Radisson Hotel Group, etc.)
Platinum rental car memberships (Hertz Club Gold, Avis Preferred)Sleek metal cardEmergency travel medical insurance
Extended purchase insuranceTheft/damage insurance on your possessionsTrip cancellation insurance

In Summary

The Amex Platinum Card for Canadians offers truly exceptional value for its $699 annual fee. This makes it a great vehicle for referring friends, making them happy with the great value and bringing in up to 225,000 additional points for you.

We haven’t included all of the card details on this page, so if you want to learn more, read our full Amex Platinum review.

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Amex Platinum FAQs

How many friends can I refer to the Amex Platinum Card for Canadians?

Once you’ve successfully activated your Amex Platinum Card, you can refer up to 15 friends for 15,000 Amex Membership Rewards points each, bringing your annual referral limit to 225,000 points.

How many friends can I refer to my other American Express cards?

Here’s a list:

How do I refer a friend to the Amex Platinum Card?

  1. Once you’ve activated your Amex Platinum card, log in to American Express and click “Refer A Friend.”
  2. Enter your friend’s email address, or copy the link and share it with them directly.
  3. When your friend’s application has been approved, you’ll receive 15,000 points!

Will I receive a referral bonus for inviting friends to the American Express SPG Card?

Yes. Amex’s SPG Card has been re-branded as the Marriott Bonvoy™ Card, but you’ll still receive a 10,000-point bonus for each friend you invite, up to an annual maximum of 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy™ points.

Here’s our full post on SPG American Express referrals in Canada.

The American Express Gold Rewards Card is a great choice for a Membership Rewards (MR) points earning card on a modest budget.

With $100 USD in hotel credit (~$130 CAD), a free additional card worth another $50, complimentary room upgrades, and American Express’ excellent travel insurance, it’s hard to lose money with this card, even after paying the $150 annual fee.

The 25,000 MR points welcome bonus makes the American Express Gold Rewards Card an excellent value for just about every Canadian.

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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
Affordable 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 additional travel benefits like lounge access or Amex Concierge

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 Bonus25,000 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 FeeThe 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 CoverageBuyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
Purchase Protection Plan
EligibilityCanadian citizens or residents
A valid Canadian Credit file
An account in good standing (credit score of at least 650)
Type of CardCharge Card
Applied interest rate30% 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:

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

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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:

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:

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.

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:

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.

APPLY NOW

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 to it!

How much are Membership Rewards (MR) points worth?

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

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!

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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 member of this card family, the AeroplanPlus® Gold Card, or a comparison between the two cards here.

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, 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.

Related: 3 Trips You Need To Take With Your AeroplanPlus Platinum Card

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 Brands • 2.25 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 Purchases • 1.25 miles for the first $25,000 charged to the card
• 1.50 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 Coverage • Buyer’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 balance • 30% 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

At 40,000 miles, the AeroplanPlus® Platinum Card’s welcome bonus is simply HUGE! But 40,000 miles doesn’t mean very much if you don’t know how much each mile is worth.

As with all loyalty rewards programs, Aeroplan miles 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 3x 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 American Express Platinum Card that can give you up to 3x on eligible dining 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 AeroplanPlus 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 peek at the one of the highest earn 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 post on the AeroplanPlus® Gold Card, you’ll see that it’s only worth it for the first year, because it lacks the long-lasting benefits to counterbalance the annual fee.

The AeroplanPlus® Platinum Card includes all of the benefits the other mentioned cards have (only better, i.e. better bonus, better earn rates, better coverage, etc.). However, it includes some benefits that are only available for Platinum Cardholders.

These benefits include:

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.

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.

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 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

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.

Airport Lounge Access

Relax before you fly with unlimited access to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge™ where available, in major airports across Canada and key international locations. Plus, receive complimentary membership in Priority Pass™– one of the world’s largest independent airport lounge programs.

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 those in Paris, Frankfurt 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.

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Above: Calgary International Airport Maple Leaf Lounge

Or enjoy a glass of wine while reading in a phone-free zone in the Maple Leaf Lounge at Charles de Gaulle (CDG) in Paris.

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.

In the case in which your itinerary doesn’t include departure from an airport with a Maple Leaf Lounge, you can still access over 1,200 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.

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 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:

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 bonus
• Complimentary partner ticket
• Excellent miles earning rate
• Awesome travel insurance coverage
• Air Canada Priority Check-in
• Unlimited access to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges
• Standard Priority Pass membership to access over 700 airport lounges worldwide
• Complimentary valet service and Priority Security Lane at Terminals 1 and 3 of Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
• Very high annual fee
• High APR on purchases and cash withdrawals
• You’ll only see the benefits if you travel at least once a year
• Charge 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 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 Term$49915,000 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 AeroplanPlus 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 especially 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 whopping 50,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points welcome bonus you can transfer to Aeroplan miles at a 1:1 rate. Plus, you can receive an additional 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after six months of Cardmembership. You can earn up to 60,000 points in the first six months – the biggest welcome bonus you can get! Using them wisely, these miles alone will be worth $1,200 – $1,800.

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.

APPLY NOW

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.

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:

  1. Only redeem your miles for flights
  2. Use your miles for domestic flights with Air Canada
  3. When flying international, choose airlines that don’t impose fuel surcharge fees
  4. Fly in Business class, not Economy class

These tips will help you to get the highest possible value for every Aeroplan 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.