With its exclusive perks and features, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is considered one of the best credit cards for frequent fliers. In this American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card review, I’ll go over all of the details you need to know to help you decide if it’s the right travel credit card for you.
It’s the benefits that make the Aeroplan Reserve worth it. Despite the fee you need to pay every year, its slightly higher earn rates make it better than the lower-fee American Express Aeroplan Card or Amex ($120). The earn rate of the Aeroplan Reserve is 2.78%, while the Amex is 2.17%.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Read more about the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card, specifically its standard features, fees, requirements, and key benefits.
About the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
Aeroplan is a loyalty program that’s owned by Canada’s flag carrier, Air Canada. By partnering with Aeroplan, American Express gives you access to a wide range of premium perks from them and Air Canada.
Among all of the program’s credit cards, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is considered a top-tier option because of its high earn rate and impressive perks and benefits.
Aesthetics of the Card
First, let’s talk about the aesthetics of this card. If you like the feel of a metal credit card, you’ll enjoy the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card. It’s made of 13-gram metal that’s precisely cut and engraved. To complete the luxurious look, it features a matte, black-on-black format:
The welcome bonus of the Aeroplan Reserve should be enough to pique your curiosity. You can earn up to a maximum of 90,000 points and a bonus Buddy Pass (conditions apply), which are more generous than what other partners of the Aeroplan loyalty program are offering.
The welcome bonus breaks down further as follows:
- Get 30,000 points and a Buddy Pass if you spend $3,000 in the first three months of card issuance.
- Get 5,000 points after spending $1,000 for every monthly billing period. You should make these purchases on your card within the first twelve months of card membership.
Important: The welcome bonus is only valid for the first year.
You earn points for every purchase you make with Air Canada, Air Canada Vacations, and other Aeroplan partners. In addition to the earn rates, American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card can also increase your reward points through its spend multipliers:
- For every qualified purchase you make from Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, you can earn thrice the points per dollar.
- Except for groceries, you can earn twice the points per dollar on qualified dining and food delivery services.
- Other qualified purchases will earn you 1.25 points per dollar.
Get the best value for your Aeroplan points by exchanging them for the best possible flight cost per mile (CPM). However, it’s important to note that it’s your responsibility to research your options to determine specific areas or routes that offer the best CPM value ($0.02 or higher is a good deal).
Again, what does the American Express Aeroplan Reserve offer? While the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card’s fees are slightly higher, its earn rate of around 2.78% makes it worth it. This rate is higher than Amex (2.17%).
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card Terms and Fees
The American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card has a yearly fee of $599, which is a hefty amount compared to the annual fee of other credit cards on the market. The APR (the annual cost of your loan, including fees) of the card is the usual 19.99%, while the cash advances have an interest rate of 21.99%:
Other Fees and Conditions
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.5%
- Minimum Salary Required: none
- Minimum Household Income Required: none
- First Additional Card: $199 (If you don’t want the benefits and only want to collect points, then the additional card doesn’t cost anything extra)
- Other Additional Card: $199
Requirements for Eligibility
- Must be a resident of Canada
- You must have reached the age of majority (depending on which province you live in)
- Must have a good to excellent credit score (between 660 and 724)
- Make sure you have your Social Insurance Number (SIN) on hand.
- Go to the web page of the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card, and then click ‘Apply Now’.
- Read the privacy information. If you agree to their terms, click ‘agree and begin’.
- Fill out all of your personal information (e.g., name, address, birthday, and SIN). Review the information before submitting it.
- According to the website, you’ll know if they’ve accepted or denied your application in just sixty seconds.
Key Benefits of the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
Despite its pricier annual fee, the Aeroplan Reserve offers a ton of reasons why you should get it. Think about the following benefits before signing up for this card:
1. Comprehensive Travel Insurance Coverage
Out of Province/Country Emergency Medical Insurance
The insurance (maximum of $5,000,000) covers any eligible emergency medical expenses sustained by insured people younger than 65.
Flight Delay Insurance
You can receive a maximum compensation of $1,000 for necessary expenses (accommodation, food, and sundry items) when your flight is delayed, or you’re denied boarding for four hours or longer.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
You can receive up to $1,500 (per insured person, per trip) to cover the unused portion (non-refundable and non-transferable) of your travel arrangements that you purchased before your departure date.
Trip Interruption Insurance
For interrupted or delayed flights due to a covered reason, you can claim up to $1,500 (per insured person, per trip) or a maximum of $6,000 for all insured people.
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
You’ll receive a total of $1,000 per trip if your carry-on baggage and personal effects (e.g., laptop, suitcase, and backpack) are lost or damaged during transit.
Baggage Delay Insurance
Baggage delay coverage is typically around $1,000. However, it’s only available if the delay takes six hours or longer during the outbound part of your trip.
Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
This insurance covers your rental car (worth up to $85,000) from damage, loss, and theft if you rent it for forty-eight days or less.
Hotel Burglary Insurance
When you fully charge your accommodation to your American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card, you can claim up to $1,000 for lost personal items (except cash) due to burglary.
Travel Emergency Assistance
Eligible cardholders can access out-of-town, worldwide emergency medical assistance services and legal referrals through calls—24/7, all year round.
You can receive up to $500,000 in case of accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D).
This insurance can be further broken down into two: the Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan and the Purchase Protection Plan. The former helps extend the original warranty up to a year, while the latter insures accidentally damaged or stolen eligible items for 90 days from the date of purchase.
2. Excellent Welcome Bonus
The Aeroplan Reserve has always had the best sign-up bonus on the market. The American Express Platinum Card is a good starting point if you want a different card to compare it with.
American Express vs Aeroplan Reserve’s Sign-up Bonus
American Express is offering a sign-up bonus of 100,000 points for new Platinum cardholders when you make purchases worth $6,000 within the first six months of your card membership.
As you’ve learned earlier, the Aeroplan Reserve comes with a sign-up bonus of 90,0000 points and a Buddy Pass when you make purchases worth $1,000 (in the first twelve months) and $3,000 (in the first three months).
In this case, the Platinum Card offers slightly higher rewards points than the Aeroplan Reserve. This card also gives you the flexibility to transfer your points to Aeroplan.
However, the benefits of the Aeroplan Reserve Card are truly what make it stand out. If you’re going to take full advantage of those top-notch perks, it could help you experience the best of what the world has to offer.
3. Great Travel Benefits
The Aeroplan Reserve has a long list of incredible shopping and travel privileges. Not only will you and a companion enjoy access to airport lounges around the world, including the Maple Leaf Loungest in North America and the Air Canada Café, but you’ll also get the following perks:
- Preferred pricing for Aeroplan redemptions
- Priority airport check-in, boarding, and baggage handling for you and eight of your travel companions
- Access to priority list for boarding and eUpgrades
- Every $5,000 worth of net purchases could earn you one Status Qualifying Segment (SQS) and 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles (SQMs)
- Roll over unused Status Qualifying Miles (up to 200,000)
- 15% parking discount at the Express Park Garage and Terminal 3 Daily Park at the Toronto Pearson International Airport
- 15% off on auto maintenance services at the Toronto Pearson International Airport
- Book flights to over 1,300 destinations through partner airlines and more than 200 destinations on Air Canada
- Redeem points for car rentals, hotel accommodations, merchandise, vacation packages, and more
These are just a few benefits of using the Aeroplan Reserve card. If you want the complete list, please visit the American Express website.
Conclusion – American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
The American Express Reserve Card is worth the consideration if you frequently fly Air Canada or their partners. Sure, the annual fee is high, but the excellent travel benefits and perks make it all worth it.
Remember: The best travel credit card is the one that best fits your travel style. So, perform thorough research before applying for any travel credit card, like the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card.