The Ultimate Aeroplan Credit Card Portfolio

Last Updated on October 4, 2022
First posted on February 5, 2016



No Fee Aeroplan

In this feature of Rewards Canada' Ultimate Credit Card Portfolios we look at the ultimate one for earning Aeroplan Points. 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 Points 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 some good benefits and strong insurance coverage.

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

Visa: TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

American Express: American Express Cobalt® Card

Mastercard: mbna Best Western Mastercard®


Be sure to also check out The Ultimate No Fee Aeroplan Credit Card Portfolio

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card is the obvious choice in this portfolio since it is the most popular Aeroplan card in Canada. For American Express it's the Cobalt Card which has taken over the spot in this portfolio from the Gold Rewards Card. That was thanks to changes in August of 2021 where you can now convert the Membership Rewards points earned on this card directly to Air Canada Aeroplan. For the Mastercard portion of the portfolio is a long standing card in our market that actually fulfills the Mastercard role in several of these portfolios and that's the mbna Best Western Mastercard. It earns points in the Best Western Rewards program which can be converted to Aeroplan.

Key benefits of this portfolio

  • Lots of Aeroplan points earning potential
  • Preferred pricing on Aeroplan reward flights
  • First Checked bag free when flying on Air Canada
  • Earn Aeroplan points for in store purchases at Costco

How to maximize your Aeroplan earning with these cards

Before we jump into maximizing your Aeroplan earn with these cards let's look at how their earn rates in Aeroplan points per dollar spent (we'll discuss the conversion rates below).

  American Express Cobalt® Card TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card mbna Best Western Mastercard®
Air Canada Purchases 2 points 1.5 points 0.2 points
Other Travel Purchases / Transit / Ride Share 2 points 1 point 0.2 points
Grocery 5 points 1.5 points 0.2 points
Dining / Food Delivery 5 points 1 point 0.2 points
Select Streaming Services 3 points 1 point 0.2 points
Gas 2 points 1.5 points 0.2 points
Best Western stays 2 points 1 point 1 point
All other spending 1 point 1 point 0.2 points
 

TLDR: Use the American Express Cobalt Card for all purchases unless Amex isn't accepted then use the TD card. Only use the Best Western Card at Costco

Right away from the chart you can see that the card that gives you the best earn rates is the American Express Cobalt Card. The card earns Membership Rewards points that convert 1:1 to Aeroplan. With earn rates of one to five Membership Rewards points per dollar spent that equates to one to five Aeroplan points per dollar spent. No other card matches this Aeroplan earn rate. You want to try to funnel as much spending as you can ont this card. Do note there is an annual cap of $30,000 on the 5x points earning for eats and drinks. If you hit that you can move your grocery spend to the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card. There is no cap on the Cobalt card's 2x points earning categories.

Recommended reading: Which credit card earns the most Aeroplan Points?

Your second choice of card to pull out would be the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card and I would only pull it out for places that don't take American Express. So the TD card becomes your go to card for places like the Loblaw family of grocery stores, Wendy's (if you don't use the app) and other retailers that don't accept American Express. Since this card earns Aeroplan points directly there is no conversion rate however it's earn rates are 1.5 points per dollar for Air Canada, Gas and Grocery purchases. All other purchases are 1 Aeroplan point for every $1 spent.

Likewise if you are shopping where the place only accepts Mastercard (which is pretty much only Costco) you would pull out your MBNA Best Western Mastercard for those purchases. You don't really want to use it anywhere else since its Aeroplan point earn rate is really low compared to the other cards. Best Western Rewards points convert to Aeroplan at a rate of 5 to 1 so it earns a very meager 0.2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent except on Best Western purchases.

There is also one additional reason to try to funnel as much spending onto the Amex Cobalt Card beyond earning the most points and that is the card's other redemption options. In the world of points and miles it is always good to keep a stash of points in a flexible or hybrid rewards program which American Express Membership Rewards is. By doing so you are not limiting yourself to one program (even though we are focusing on Aeroplan here) as you can redeem for travel via Membership Rewards, use your points for statement credits and even convert to other airline and hotel programs. Essentially you're keeping your options open with the Cobalt Card and with transfers to Aeroplan being almost instant you don't have to convert points until the last minute when you are booking an Aeroplan Award ticket.

Additional benefits from the cards in this portfolio:

This is where the most popular Aeroplan card in Canada comes in handy. The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card has several benefits that can make travelling with Air Canada better and save you some point on Aeroplan redemptions.

The primary benefit is the first checked bag free for the cardholder and up to eight travelling companions on the same reservation. With checked baggage fees now running $30 and up this benefit alone pays for the card itself. The next major benefit is Aeroplan award ticket preferred pricing. By having the card you'll receive a discount on the number of Aeroplan points required when you redeem for flights. The card also provides a NEXUS credit once every 48 months, has really good insurance coverage and more.

The American Express Cobalt Card does not have a lot of travel benefits outside of its decent insurance coverage. However It does Amex Offers, which are offers provided to cardmembers throughout the year where you can receive statement credits or bonus points for shopping with specific retailers and it also has American Express Experiences which include Front of the Line concert tickets and other special event offers.

Finally, the mbna Best Western Mastercard provides you with automatic Gold Elite status in Best Western Rewards. It doesn't get you much but it's better than having nothing. Also if you spend $10,000 on the BW card they'll give you Diamond Elite Status (which again doesn't do too much)

Earn 84,000 Aeroplan points with the welcome bonuses in the first year

All three of these cards do have welcome bonus offers that will increase your Aeroplan points balance in the first year.

The American Express Cobalt Card offers up 30,000 welcome bonus points over the course of 12 months. It is awarded as 2,500 bonus points for each month that you spend $500 or more on the card.

The TD Aeroplan Visa Card Infinite awards up to 50,000 Aeroplan points when you apply for the card by January 3, 2023. This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.

The bonus is broken down as follows:

  • Earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase with your new card†
  • Earn 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $1,500 within 90 days of Account opening†
  • Plus, earn an additional 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $7,500 within 12 months of Account opening†

Finally the mbna Best Western Mastercard offers 20,000 Best Western Rewards points on the first purchase which translates to 4,000 Aeroplan points.

So if you do end up getting yourself this Ultimate Aeroplan Credit Card Portfolio you'll have a nice little stash of 84,000 points added to your balance over the course of the year. And that doesn't include the points you earn on your actual spending.

Here are further details on these three cards:



American Express Cobalt® Card
2022 Overall Top Travel Rewards Card
2022 Top Hybrid Travel Rewards Card

This is the best overall credit card in Canada!

Monthly Fee $12.99/month of Cardmembership ($155.88 annually) Additional Cards: $0
Annual interest rate 20.99% on purchases and 21.99% on funds advances

• In your first year as a new Cobalt Cardmember, you can earn 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in net purchases on your Card. This could add up to 30,000 points in a year. That’s up to $300 towards a weekend getaway or concert tickets

• Earn 5x the points on eligible eats and drinks in Canada, including groceries and food delivery
• Earn 3x the points on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada
• Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible transit & gas purchases in Canada and eligible travel purchases. That's 2X the points on purchases that get you from point A to B 
• Earn 1 point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else. We won't tell you where to spend, we'll just reward you on your Card purchases

• Transfer points 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs
• Cobalt Cardmembers receive regular Perks such as bonus reward offers and access to great events
• Access Front Of The Line® Presale & Reserved Tickets to some of your favourite concerts and theatre performances and special offers and events curated for Cardmembers with American Express® Experiences
• American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details, current product information and Terms and Conditions, click the Apply now link. Conditions Apply

Apply Now






TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card

Online exclusive
Earn up to 50,000 Aeroplan points†. Plus, first year no Annual Fee†. Conditions Apply. Must apply online by January 3, 2023.

Annual Fee $139
Additional Cards: $75 †
Annual interest rate 20.99% on purchases and 22.99% on funds advances
$60,000 personal or $100,000 household annual income

Limited Time Offer
Earn up to $1,400 in value† including up to 50,000 Aeroplan points, no annual fee for the first year and additional travel benefits. Must apply by January 3, 2023.

  • Earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase with your new card†
  • Earn 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $1,500 within 90 days of Account opening†
  • Plus, earn an additional 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $7,500 within 12 months of Account opening†
  • Enroll for NEXUS and once every 48 months get an application fee rebate†, and share free first checked bags†
  • Plus, get an annual fee rebate for the first year†.
  • To receive the first-year annual fee rebate, you must activate your Card and make your first Purchase on the Account within the first 3 months after Account opening and you must add your Additional Cardholders by January 4, 2023.
Earning Aeroplan Points
  • Earn 1.5 points† for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery and direct through Air Canada® purchases (including Air Canada Vacations®) made with your card
  • Earn 1 point† for every $1 spent on all other Purchases made with your Card
  • Earn points twice when you pay with your Card and provide your Aeroplan number at over 150 Aeroplan partner brands and at 170+ online retailers via the Aeroplan eStore (www.aeroplan.com/estore).
  • Your Aeroplan Points do not expire as long as you are a TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Cardholder in good standing
  • Earn big rewards on the little things: Earn 50% more Aeroplan Points and 50% more Stars at participating Starbucks® stores. Simply link your TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card to your Starbucks® Rewards account. Conditions apply. Learn more.
Card Benefits
  • Travel lightly through the airport and save on baggage fees† : Primary Cardholders, Additional Cardholders, and travel companions (up to eight) travelling on the same reservation will all enjoy their first checked bag free (up to 23kg/50lbs) when your travel originates on an Air Canada flight.
  • Complimentary Visa Infinite Concierge† : On-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Visa Infinite Concierge can help with any Cardholder request — big or small, to help you get the most out of life whenever you travel, shop and use your Card.
  • Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection†: Receive seven exclusive benefits when you book your stay through the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection featuring over 900 of the world’s most intriguing properties.

Apply Now

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here.

† Terms and Conditions apply.

Sponsored advertising. The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete and current information on any TD product, please click the Apply Now button.



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mbna Best Western Mastercard®

This card is no longer available to new applicants. MBNA will continue to support the card for existing clients.








Other Card Options:

As Membership Rewards points can be converted to Aeroplan you have a variety of cards you could actually choose from as another American Express option like the Gold Rewards Card or The Platinum Card. However we would recommend the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card as it has really good Aeroplan points earn rates and an amazing benefits package that will make travelling with Air Canada even better including access to Maple Leaf lounges and Priority Boarding.

On the Visa side you also have quite a few options. You could go with the CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card which is essentially the same as the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card, just with a different welcome bonus. However just like the Amex options we would recommend going with the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card. This is the Ultra Premium version of the card that increases your Aeroplan points earn rates and also brings many additional benefits to the table for flying with Air Canada.

With Mastercard there are no other options to earn Aeroplan points. With that being said the earn rate on the Best Western card is not very good at all so you may want to consider the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® so that you can have a No FX Fee card for your travels outside of Canada. Or you could consider a cash back card such as the Rogers World Elite Mastercard to also earn some healthier returns. Both cards won't provide Aeroplan points but you can use them for other travel rewards or cash back towards anything you like.

† Terms and Conditions apply.

Sponsored advertising. The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete and current information on any TD product, please click the Apply Now button.

 

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