Air Canada Aeroplan Credit Card: Is It Worth It?

Air Canada Aeroplan Credit Card: Is It Worth It?

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The TD Aeroplan Visa Signature® from Air Canada and TD Bank will not be worth the annual fee for most customers ($95). At the same price-point, travelers would be better off signing up for one of the top travel credit cards. These can be far more rewarding both in the short-term and long-term, with better reward structures on everyday spending and higher welcome bonuses.

Pros

  • Individuals who very frequently travel with Air Canada — airfare purchases are rewarded with a 3.6% rate
  • Those who want special airline perks, including priority boarding, or free checked baggage

Cons

  • Earning rewards on everyday purchases
  • Use outside of the United States. The card comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee
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Review: Our Thoughts On The TD Aeroplan Visa Signature®

Given the lack of features for loyal Air Canada customers, the TD Aeroplan Visa Signature® from TD Bank is a hard sell. On average, you'll be getting a 3.6% rewards rate on Air Canada purchases and a 1.8% rate on all other shopping. When it comes to everyday spending, a general travel rewards credit card, like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, will provide users with better overall savings. Unless you are frequently flying with Air Canada for business purposes, and charging thousands of dollars annually to the card on airfare, we recommend looking at other options.

The top airline credit cards typically come with additional perks and benefits that make them worthwhile, especially to the frequent flyers they're trying to target. Things like priority boarding, or free checked baggage benefits are what separate these offers from general travel credit cards. Since the TD Aeroplan Visa Signature® has no such added features, even if you fly frequently with the airline, you might actually be better off choosing a general travel credit card instead. The best ones have significantly higher signup bonuses and better rewards on general spending that can help to make up the deficit.

The other thing to keep in mind is that the TD Aeroplan Visa Signature® comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee. That means every time you use the card to make purchases outside of the United States, it will come with an added charge. If you are frequently abroad, and would like the ability to use your credit card, we recommend looking for cards that are better suited for international use -- that is those that don't charge a foreign transaction fee.

**Bottom Line: ** Unless you fly with Air Canada for business, and are on a plane close to every month, there is very little reason to consider the TD Aeroplan Visa Signature®. Most consumers will be better off sticking to a general travel credit card.

TD Aeroplan Visa Signature® Benefits & Features

The TD Aeroplan Visa Signature® has one chief benefit – earning extra Air Canada miles. Using the card to pay for tickets with the affiliated airline earns users two miles per dollar, and all other shopping awards one mile per dollar. When buying Air Canada tickets with this card, the miles you earn are in addition to the base ones you'd normally receive for just booking flights. Given we value Aeroplan Miles at 1.8 cents, this puts the card's rewards rate at anywhere between 1.8% and 3.6%, depending on how your spending breaks down.

When you first open your TD Aeroplan Visa Signature® account, you also have the chance to earn 25,000 bonus miles. To qualify, you must spend at least $1,000 on purchases during the first 3 billing cycles after the account is opened. The key there is the term "purchases". Transferring a balance to the card or taking out cash advances will not count towards the $1,000 threshold. We estimate the value of the welcome offer to be approximately $450 (25,000 x $0.018).

The Value of Aeroplan / Air Canada Miles

As noted above, we value Aeroplan miles at approximately 1.8 cents each. Everyone's experience, however, is likely to vary depending on the date and destination of their redemption. In order to arrive at the average figure, we sampled dozens of itineraries through Air Canada's website, looking at different dates, times, and routes. Then, for each one, we divided the price in USD by the price in miles, as determined by the airline's award chart. All the flights we sampled originated from cities in the United States. The table below shows a sample of our findings.

From
To
Price in USD
Price in Miles
USD per Mile
New YorkCalgary$563.8520,000$0.028
Los AngelesToronto$512.3140,000$0.013
HoustonMontreal$548.4520,000$0.027

Note the stark variation in price between the different entries. It is entirely possible to get redemptions significantly better or worse than the average. Before you book a flight using Air Canada miles, it is a good idea to check the redemption value for the award flight. You can do this by dividing the price in dollars by the price in points. If the result is significantly below 0.018, we recommend looking for another flight if you're looking to get decent value. Otherwise, you are not using your points optimally.

How Does The TD Aeroplan Visa Signature® Compare To Other Credit Cards?

In order to better understand our conclusions regarding the TD Aeroplan Visa Signature®, it will help to see it against the backdrop of other available credit card offers.

TD Aeroplan Visa Signature® vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the overall best credit cards, and can also be very rewarding if you fly with Air Canada –- or any other airline for that matter. The card awards Ultimate Reward (UR) 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases. The points can be transferred to one of Chase's hotel and airline partners at a 1:1 ratio. The list includes airlines belonging to all three of the major airline alliances, including Air Canada.

Another major selling point of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is its generous welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

TD Aeroplan Visa Signature® vs Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

When it comes to flexible travel credit cards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is king. The card provides users with 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. If your budget leans heavily towards things that aren't airfare, hotels, or dining, this card might be your best bet. The reward miles you earn through the card can be redeemed as statement credit against your bill. That means if you charge a Air Canada ticket using this card, you can expect to get a 2% rewards rate on it – versus the 3.6% you'd get with the Aeroplan credit cards. While the latter offers a better rate, you would not be able to use the rewards until you redeem them for a flight. With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, the miles you earn can be redeemed against all sorts of travel purchases you charged to it.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).