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The Ultimate Aeroplan Credit Card Portfolio
Last Updated: February 5, 2016

 

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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.

What is Rewards Canada's Ultimate Aeroplan Credit Card Wallet? It is the following three cards

Visa - TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

MasterCard - mbna Best Western MasterCard®

American Express - American Express® Gold Rewards Card

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card is an obvious choice as it is the primary card out there for Aeroplan. You could also get the CIBC version but seeing that TD is the primary issuer for Aeroplan we go with that card. The mbna Best Western MasterCard, seems an odd fit in the mix but it is the only MasterCard in Canada that gives you an Aeroplan option. Best Western Rewards points can be converted to Aeroplan at a rate of 1 BW Rewards Points to 0.3 Aeroplan Miles. The final card filling in the American Express spot is the American Express Gold Rewards Card. While Amex has a large Aeroplan card portfolio the American Express Gold Rewards Card is in fact the strongest Aeroplan mile earning card on the market when you use it properly at select merchants.

Related: Which credit card earns the most Aeroplan miles?

How to maximize your Aeroplan earning with these cards

Let's look at category bonuses first. Both the American Express Gold Rewards card and the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card give you extra miles at Grocery Stores, Drug Stores and Gas Stations. How much extra? The Amex Gold Rewards gives 2 miles per dollar while the TD card provides 1.5 miles per dollar. So if the retailer you are at in these three categories accepts American Express, put that purchase on the Gold Rewards Card to earn the full 2 miles per dollar. If they don't, then of course put it on the TD Aeroplan card. The other category bonus is travel, the American Express Gold Rewards card offers 2 miles per dollar on travel purchases. You should try to funnel all your travel purchases onto this card.


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.

Related: Which credit cards can be used to cover award ticket taxes, fees and surcharges?

The Ultimate Aeroplan Credit Card Portfolio:

Card Card Features

TD Aeroplan
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
• Receive a Welcome Bonus of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles with  your first Purchase                                                   
• 100% Fee Rebate (Primary Cardholder only) for the first year – that’s $120 in savings
• Offer Valid until Feb 29, 2016
• Earn 1.5 miles for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery, drugstore and aircanada.com Purchases made with your Card.
• Earn 1 mile for every $1 you spend on all other Purchases on your Card.
• Earn miles twice7 when you pay with your TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card and present your Aeroplan Membership Card at over 150 Aeroplan partner brands and with 100 online retailers
• Your Aeroplan miles will not expire as long as you are a TD Aeroplan Credit Cardholder                                                                                                
• Enjoy an extensive suite of travel insurances8 for peace of mind on your next getaway.

Air Canada Benefits:
o Your 1st checked bag is complimentary when travelling on an Aeroplan flight reward operated by Air Canada (for Primary Cardholder)
        o You get Priority Check-in when travelling on an Aeroplan flight reward operated by Air Canada (for Primary Cardholder)
        o You’ll enjoy Priority Boarding when travelling on an Aeroplan flight reward operated by Air Canada (for Primary Cardholder)


mbna Best Western Rewards MasterCard

Best Western MasterCard® Credit Card
• Earn 1 Best Western Rewards® point for every $1 in eligible purchases‡
• Earn 5 Best Western Rewards® points for every $1 in eligible purchases at Best Western properties‡
• Earn 20,000 Best Western Rewards® points†† on your first purchase – enough for a free night stay
• You will be awarded "Gold Status" upon first use of your credit card and "Diamond Status" when you spend $10,000 in eligible purchases within one year◊◊
• No limit to the Best Western Rewards® points that can be earned using the credit card in a year
• Use your Best Western Rewards® points in many ways – hotel stays, elite status upgrades◊◊, dining, airfare, gift cards and more.
• 1.99% promotional annual interest rate† (AIR) on balance transfers✪ for the first 10 full months
Apply now for the Best Western MasterCard® Credit Card

American Express Gold Rewards Card
American Express Gold Rewards Card

American Express Gold Rewards Card
• New American Express® Gold Rewards* Cardmembers can earn a Welcome Bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards® points just by making $1,500 in purchases in the first three months of Cardmembership. • No Annual Fee for the first year; $150 Annual Fee thereafter* • That’s enough to redeem for a round-trip Fixed Mileage Flight Reward TM* to almost anywhere in North America.
• Transfer your points to frequent flyer programs, or 1:1 to Aeroplan®* and Avios
• Earn double points on eligible travel and everyday purchases
• Charge any travel to your Card then pay for it with points
• 1 Free Supplementary Gold Rewards Card (a $50 value*) to help you earn points faster
• American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now  link.
• *As a Charge Card, the balance must always be paid in full each month. 30% annual interest rate applies to balances not paid in full.
Conditions apply
Apply Now
* Canadian Residents Only

Related: American Express Gold Rewards Card Review / TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card Review

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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