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In this feature of Rewards Canada' Ultimate Credit Card Portfolios we look at the ultimate one for earning Aeroplan Miles. We have always recommended that you should carry a Visa, a MasterCard and an American Express card in your wallet. The reason why is that there benefits, promotions and earning potential unique to each brand of credit card. We won't go into detail here as you can read all about it in our feature on how to Maximize your Miles and Points but here we outline one card from each brand that will help you build up those Aeroplan miles faster than ever. Ultimately there are various options that could be utilized for an Aeroplan portfolio but we look at one card from each issuing family that won't totally break the bank on annual fees but will provide strong Aeroplan mile earning along with very strong insurance benefits.
MasterCard - mbna Best Western MasterCard®
The only place you'll really look at using the Best Western Rewards MasterCard is at retailers that only accept MasterCard. The best known of those retailers in Canada is Costco. Use your Best Western card here and in reality nowhere else as you'll earn more miles with the other two cards. Can you get better value out of other MasterCards at Costco? Absolutely but if you are only focused on Aeroplan miles, then the BW card is the way to go.
All the other spending you have will be at non-category bonus retailers so those purchases can be put on either your TD Aeroplan Card or the American Express Gold Rewards Card. We would recommend the latter if they accept Amex. Why? You are building a balance in your American Express Membership Rewards account (which of course transfer instantly 1:1 to Aeroplan) but you can utilize Amex's TripFlex feature to pay for your taxes and fees on those Aeroplan award tickets when you redeem for them! That's right, you've now earned tons of miles utilizing these three cards but don't need to boost your Aeroplan balance more so now you can use the flexibility of Amex's Membership Rewards points to cover other travel charges like the fees on Aeroplan award tickets.
The Ultimate Aeroplan Credit Card Portfolio:
Other Card Options:
You can boost your earning even more if you are willing to pay higher annual fees on some of the cards or add on extra cards. For example if you take on the the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card at $399 per year compared to the $120 per year for the Infinite you'll be able to boost your basic spending earning (non-category bonus) to 1.25 Aeroplan Miles per dollar. The same goes for American Express, you can grab the American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card at $499 per year to earn 1.25 Aeroplan Miles per dollar on all spending up to $25,000 then 1.5 miles per dollar after $25,000. Still you can see where the Gold Rewards Card may just come out ahead with it's 2 miles per dollar in its category bonuses. Of course we aren't really taking into consideration the additional benefits that come with the Infinite Privilege or the AeroplanPlus Platinum Cards.
Talk to us!What do you find works best for you for earning the most Aeroplan miles? Do you use these three cards exactly as laid out above or do you use a different combination? Tell us in the comments section below or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!
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