The Ultimate Aeroplan Credit Card Portfolio

Last Updated on January 23, 2023




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:
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®


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

Why these three?

A quick overview as to why these three cards make up this portfolio:

  • American Express Cobalt Card: Your primary Aeroplan points earner providing up to 5 Aeroplan points per dollar spent
  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card: Your benefits card, it provides discounted Aeroplan flight award pricing and your first checked bag free on Air Canada flights
  • HSBC World Elite Mastercard: Your lounge access card and card with No Foreign Transaction Fees (for purchases made in currencies other than C$), plus your card to use at Costco.

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 is the highest earning Aeroplan points card in Canada. For the Mastercard portion of the portfolio this card has recently changed due to the discontinuation of the MBNA Best Western Mastercard. There is no longer a Mastercard option in Canada that earns Aeroplan points (either directly or via conversion) so we fill the spot with the best Mastercard in Canada, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard.

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
  • No Foreign Transaction fees with the HSBC Card

TIP: If you are looking to maximize your benefits and travel in style with Air Canada check out The Ultimate Air Canada Credit Card Portfolio

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 HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
Air Canada Purchases 2 points 1.5 points 6 points (not Aeroplan)
Other Travel Purchases / Transit / Ride Share 2 points 1 point 6 points - travel only (not Aeroplan)
Grocery 5 points 1.5 points 4 points (not Aeroplan)
Dining / Food Delivery 5 points 1 point 2 points (not Aeroplan)
Select Streaming Services 3 points 1 point 2 points (not Aeroplan)
Gas 2 points 1.5 points 4 points (not Aeroplan)
All other spending 1 point 1 point 2 points (not Aeroplan)
 

TLDR: Use the American Express Cobalt Card for all purchases unless Amex isn't accepted then use the TD card. Only use the HSBC card at Costco and foreign transactions that are not eats and drinks

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 HSBC World Elite Mastercard for those purchases. For transactions in foreign currencies you'll use this card to save the 2.5% charged by the Amex and TD cards. However in terms of eats and drinks the Cobalt Card will earn 5x points globally so you'll want to use it as even with a 2.5% fee you are coming out ahead.

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.

The same goes for the HSBC Card, it is a safe place to hold points as you can redeem for any travel or convert to airline programs like British Airways Executive Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

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 have 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 HSBC World Elite Mastercard provides you with No Foreign Transaction fees, an annual $100 travel enhancement credit which can be used towards things like seat selection, lounge fees and more. It also provides a lounge access membership with Mastercard TravelPass by DragonPass which is perfect for this portfolio as the other two cards do not provide lounge access.

Earn 85,000 Aeroplan points + 80,000 HSBC Rewards points with the welcome bonuses in the first year

All three of these cards do have welcome bonus offers that will increase your points balances 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 Infinte Card awards up to 55,000 Aeroplan points when you apply for the card by May 28, 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 30,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $5,000 within 180 days of Account opening†
  • Plus, earn an additional 15,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $7,500 within 12 months of Account opening†

Finally the HSBC World Elite Mastercard offers up to 80,000 HSBC Rewards points in the first year of having the card. Those points are worth $400 towards travel so you could book an Air Canada flight with this card, redeem those points against the charge and still earn your Aeroplan points on the actual flight.

If you do end up getting yourself this Ultimate Aeroplan Credit Card Portfolio you'll have a nice little stash of 85,000 Aeroplan points + 80,000 HSBC Rewards Points. 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 Top Overall Travel Rewards Credit Card Top Hybrid Travel Credit

American Express Cobalt® Card

2023 Overall Top Travel Rewards Card
2023 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

Top Airline Credit Card for 2023

Special Offer
Earn up to 55,000 Aeroplan points†. Plus, first year no Annual Fee†. Conditions Apply. Must apply online by May 28, 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 $1,500 in value† including up to 55,000 Aeroplan points, no annual fee for the first year and additional travel benefits. Must apply by May 28, 2023.

  • Earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase with your new card†
  • Earn 30,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $5,000 within 180 days of Account opening†
  • Plus, earn an additional 15,000 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†
  • Plus, share free first checked bags with up to 8 travel companions†
  • 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 May 29, 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.




HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®

Top No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Card for 2023

Earn up to 80,000 Points* PLUS a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year*

Primary Cardholder Annual Fee: $149 (1st year annual fee rebate*)
Authorized User Annual Fee: $0 Per Card
Annual interest rate: 20.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances and balance transfers.
$80,000 personal or $150,000 household annual income

Special offer: Earn up to 80,000 points* ($400 travel value) PLUS a full annual fee rebate for the primary cardholder for the first year* ($149 value) and receive a $100 annual travel enhancement credit*. Must apply by February 28, 2023. Conditions apply.

• Welcome bonus of 20,000 points* ($100 travel value)
• Earn 40,000 points* when you spend $6,000 within 6 months of account opening ($200 travel value)
• Earn 20,000 points* as an anniversary bonus ($100 travel value)
• First year annual fee rebate for the primary cardholder* ($149)
• Receive a $100 annual travel enhancement credit*

• With the HSBC World Elite Mastercard you earn 6 points for $1 in Net Purchases which are Travel Purchases, 4 Points for $1 in Net Purchases that are Gas, Grocery and Drugstore Purchases and 2 Points for $1 in Net Purchases, other than Travel, Gas, Grocery and Drugstore Purchases.
• Save on all your foreign currency purchases (even online) with no additional foreign currency conversion charges.
• Enjoy maximum flexibility and redeem your Points on your terms for:

• Travel
• Gift cards and valuable merchandise
• Financial rewards
• Rewards for miles

Apply Now

*Terms and Conditions apply
®/TM Mastercard and World Elite are registered trademarks, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Used pursuant to licence

This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer)








Other Card Options:

As Membership Rewards points can be converted to Aeroplan you have a variety of cards you could actually choose from for the American Express option in your portfolioe 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.

As we already mentioned with Mastercard there are no options to earn Aeroplan points. So you could consider other travel rewards Mastercards like the MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard® . You could also consider a cash back card such as the Rogers World Elite Mastercard to also earn some healthier returns.

† 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.

This feature was first posted on February 5, 2016 and is updated frequently

 

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