American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card Review (Feb 2024)

January 21, 2024
Reviews

The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is a travel credit card with an annual fee of $599 issued by American Express, one of the largest credit card networks in Canada. It offers an attractive Aeroplan earn rate on travel-related purchases, plus a very generous welcome bonus of up to 90,000 Aeroplan points.

With this card, you will have access to exclusive frequent flyer programs, comprehensive travel and medical insurance, and travel benefits like access to airport lounges, priority check-in, and an Annual Worldwide Companion Pass. You can also upgrade to the Aeroplan Elite status and access even more perks.

What Is The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card?

The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is a travel credit card used to earn points and redeem rewards from Air Canada. This card is issued by American Express, one of the largest multinational credit card networks with operations worldwide.

With this card, you'll have access to the Aeroplan program, a rewards program established by Air Canada, the largest airline in Canada, in partnership with American Express. Cardholders can earn bonus points on most travel-related purchases, plus a flat rate on all other categories.

In general, travel credit cards are some of the most expensive credit cards in terms of annual fees. The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card has an annual fee of $599, and an estimated credit score requirement of 660, which is reasonable for the best credit cards in Canada. In this sense, this card is on par with other premium Canadian cards like the Platinum card from Amex.

Features of American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card  

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card possesses many features that cardholders can take advantage of. Aside from the rewards, the card has features that allow you to access special programs and services. The following are the notable features.

#1 Earn Up To 90,000 Aeroplan Points

Similar to other rewards cards, American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card earns Aeroplan points from purchases of eligible products in Air Canada. Frequent flyers who often seek ways to expand the benefits they can get may consider acquiring this travel credit card. 

  • Earn 7,500 Aeroplan points for each monthly billing period you spend $2,000 in net purchases on your card for the first 6 months of cardmembership (up to 45,000 Aeroplan points)
  • Earn 5,000 Aeroplan points for each additional Aeroplan Reserve Card added to your account at time of application, up to 2 additional cards (up to 10,000 Aeroplan points)
  • You'll also earn 35,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $6,000 in net purchases between 13 and 16 months of Cardmembership
  • Earn 3 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on Air Canada Vacations and Air Canada bookings
  • Earn 2 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on eligible food delivery and dining purchases 
  • Earn 1,25 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on all other purchases

Additionally, you can earn double the points at more than 150 partner brands and 170 online retailers. 

#2 Aeroplan Benefits

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card holders can access exclusive Aeroplan perks and discounts for Air Canada flights, plus the chance to upgrade to Aeroplan Elite status. Here’s what you can earn:

  • Earn 1 Status Qualifying Segment and 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles per $5,000 spent using your American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
  • 1 Annual Worldwide Companion Pass per year if you spent at least $25,000 the previous year
  • A $100 NEXUS credit card statement every four years if you pay the renewal fee using your American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card.
  • Earn a free checked bag for up to 23 kilograms when your flight originates on Air Canada. This benefit covers up to eight travelling companions 

#3 Air Canada Benefits

With this card, you will have access to Air Canada benefits. These include priority services, upgrades, and access to airport lounges. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Access Maple Leaf Lounges. Credit cards with airport lounge benefits like this one offer a private space with facilities to use while waiting for your flight. The reserve grants access to Air Canada's exclusive lounges all over Canada.
  • Priority boarding, priority airport check-in, and priority baggage handling. This includes up to 8 travel companions that also reserved flights with Air Canada. 
  • Priority seating before passengers that don’t have the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card. This includes up to 8 travel companions with the same flight reservations.
  • Accumulate Status Qualifying Miles and upgrade to Aeroplan Elite Status

#4 Access to American Express Experiences

The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card includes access to the American Express Experiences program. This program offers exclusive access to: 

  • American Express Entrance
  • American Express Lounge at Budweiser Stage
  • e-Updates from American Express offering presale tickets
  • Front Of The Line presale tickets, which you can buy earlier before they’re sold to the public

#5 Airport Lounge Access

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card provides cardholders access to over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide. You won’t pay an annual fee ($99) for the first year, and you’ll have complete access. However, you are required to pay the usage fee on each visit, depending on the rate of the specific airport lounge.

Call American Express at 1-800-263-1616 to register for the Priority Pass membership and waive the fee using your credit card. 

#6 Additional Benefits At The Toronto Pearson International Airport

If you are an American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card holder, you can acquire exclusive benefits at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. The perks include parking discounts, priority lanes, and: 

  • Complimentary valet service at the airport.
  • Access to the Pearson Priority Security Lane.
  • 15% off Car Care Services at the airport.
  • 15% discount on parking fees if you park at Daily Park or Express Park in the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

#7 Insurance Coverage

American Express offers insurance coverage to protect cardholders in case of a medical or travel emergency. Each insured category is independent of the other, and here’s the breakdown:

  • Emergency Medical Insurance covers you for $5,000,000 on medical-related expenses of insured individuals below 65 years old. 
  • Car rental theft and damage insurance cover MSRP for up to $85,000 for 48 rental days.
  • Lost or stolen baggage insurance covers a maximum of $1,000 per trip in case your baggage is lost or stolen.
  • Flight delay Insurance offers $1,000 coverage within 48 hours.
  • Hotel Burglary Insurance provides $1,000 in coverage in case of burglary.
  • Baggage delay insurance receives up to $1,000 in coverage.
  • Travel Accidental Insurance for accidental death and dismemberment $500,000.
  • Trip interruption insurance provides $1,500 coverage per insured person for a maximum of $6,000.
  • Trip cancellation insurance provides $1,500 coverage per insured person for a maximum of $3,000.
  • Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan offers a one-year extension of the item’s warranty.
  • Purchase Protection Plan covers up to $1,000 in case of accidental physical damage or theft.

Related: Besides car insurance, you can add roadside assistance within Canada by getting the no-fee Canadian Tire Triangle card.

Pros & Cons of American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card 

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card has excellent features for travellers or frequent flyers of Air Canada. However, a credit card also bears some disadvantages that can highly impact the cardholders. Before you apply for this Aeroplan card, make sure to read the following pros and cons.

Pros

  • High point earn rates on Air Canada purchases
  • Airport lounge access and travel perks
  • Access to exclusive American Express Experiences
  • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance
  • Very generous welcome bonus of up to 90,000 Aeroplan points
  • No blackout dates to redeem flights or hotel stays

Cons

  • High annual fee ($599)
  • Insurance coverage is not available for senior citizens over the age of 65

Pricing

The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card has an introductory annual fee and charges a flat fee of $199 for additional cards. Here’s a summary of all the fees:

FeesCost/Rate
Annual Fee for Basic Card$599
Supplementary Cards Annual Fee$199 each
No Fee Supplementary Cards $0
Funds Advance$2.75 each
Dishonoured Payment$25 each
Statement Reprint$3 each
Aeroplan Points Reinstatement$20 each through online services
Overlimit (each subsequent billing period)$29 
Balance Transfer / American Express Cheque3% amount of each balance transfer
Installment Program 1.2% monthly fee 

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card vs. American Express Aeroplan Card

The American Express Aeroplan Card is a travel charge card that works similarly to American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card. When it comes to fees, the Aeroplan Reserve Card is considerably more expensive and consequently offers some additional perks. Here’s a side-by-side comparison:  

Annual Fees

The annual fee for the basic card of American Express Aeroplan Card is $120, plus $50 for each supplementary card, slightly lower than other cards like the Amex Cobalt. It's also significantly lower than the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card’s $599 annual fee and $199 fee for supplementary cards.

Points Earnings

With the American Express Aeroplan Card you will earn: 

  • 2 points on eligible purchases
  • 1.5 on food delivery and dining
  • and 1 point on everything else

This is significantly lower than the rates for the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card, and is definitely one of the factors you should consider if you’re planning for the long term. Here’s how many points you can earn with the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card: 

  • 3 points on eligible 
  • 2 points on food delivery and dining 
  • 1.25 points on everything else

Welcome Bonus

Regarding the welcome bonus, the American Express Aeroplan Card offers up to 40,000 points, which is the same as the Amex Gold. However, it's considerably lower than the American Express Aeroplan Reserve's welcome bonus, which can give you up to 90,000 points. The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card provides higher points which is a significant advantage for cardholders, at least during the first year.

In Summary

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card offers substantial benefits and perks to its cardholders. Individuals who frequently fly in Air Canada can take advantage of the points back. You can acquire points you can redeem for rewards while you spend on eligible purchases on your travel.

When choosing a travel card, you must consider several factors impacting your fees and benefits. It all comes down to what you want to get out of your card the most. If you prefer having access to great hotels at a discount, an option like Amex's Marriott Bonvoy card may make better sense. But if you want to save on airfare and significantly improve your airport experience, the Aeroplan Reserve might be better. Make sure you acquire the card most convenient and advantageous to you.

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card FAQs

How Much Does an American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card Cost?

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card costs $599 annually. The supplementary cards cost $199 annually each, and it's among the credit cards in Canada that require a fair credit score.

Is American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card Worth It?

Yes, American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is worth it because it offers a high earning rate specifically for purchases in Air Canada. It targets those who frequently fly and travel, helping them earn benefits while spending more. 

Is American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card Safe?

Yes, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is safe because it's backed by a dependable name in the credit card industry. American Express started operating in 1850, and so far, there have been no reports that it ever been infiltrated by hackers or the like, and it offers extensive insurance coverage, making all Amex cards a great bet in terms of security.

Is American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card Legit?

Yes, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is legit because it was used by many individuals and is considered one of Canada's competing travel credit cards. The credit card offers numerous exclusive benefits, perks, and even discounts on Air Canada purchases. American Express is a reputable and well-established credit card network with operations worldwide. 

Is the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card Metal?

Yes, the American Express Aeroplan reserve card is made from precision cut and engraved 13 g metal. This type of credit card is usually considered a status symbol because they require a good to excellent score to qualify. It’s also more durable than plastic cards, making them an excellent option if you travel often.  

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