I have recently discovered that you are able to get an Aeroplan credit card through American Express here in Canada.
I do already own one of their Air Miles cards which worked out great as it had no fees. I would be tempted to switch to one of these, since they provide some decent looking cards. Unfortunately, I do not see any “no fee” cards, so for infrequent usage or if you do not want the added insurance benefits, you may want to stick the American Express Air Miles options.
If you look at the American Express Aeroplan credit card options there are a few cards listed there starting at $60/year and up. If you are doing it to strictly collect the points, then you need to do the math on each one to see if you will recoup the annual fees.
They do come with a few different travel insurance offerings which may more than make up for the fee if you travel a bit.
How Much Money Should You Spend
The big question with these cards is how much money do you need to put through on them before you recover the annual fee you paid. For example, if I’m paying $100/year for a credit card that earns Aeroplan points, then I want at least $100 worth of points back each year before I even consider it.
Like I mentioned though, the insurance packages are good on some of these, so if you are spending more than the annual fee in travel insurance from other providers then it is almost a no brainer that you at least recover your money.
The formula I use for determining how much money I need to spend to at least recover the annual fee is: “Annual Fee” divided by the “Rate of Accumulation” and then divide that result by the “Value of an Aeroplan Point”. I personally value an Aeroplan point at around 1.6 cents/point. You can can read about how I value an Aeroplan point for further details. It does vary if you use it for different things or are picky.
At the time of this writing there are 5 cards listed on the American Express site and here is the breakdown of annual spending on the cards to just break even on points (at 1.6cents a point).
|Credit Card||Annual Fee||Earning Rate||Breakeven Spending|
|American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card||$499||1.5 points/$||$24,950|
|American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Card||$120||1.25 points/$||$6,000|
|American Express AeroplanPlus Card||$60||1 point/$||$3,750|
|American Express Gold Rewards Card||$150 *||1 point/$ (double points in select locations)||$9,375 or $4,688 **|
|Platinum Card||$399||1.25 points/$||$19,950|
* The fee for the first year is waived, but it does cost thereafter.
** This varies depending on where you spend your money. Since you can earn double points at some stores, you could earn at a higher rate.
Which Card for Me?
First of all, answer if you use Aeroplan points or not. Second, look at the other features of the cards like insurance, interest rates, and so on. Third, you can compare your spending habits and what you think you can get out of each card in terms of points. Just ballpark what you would put through a year (i.e. $20,000), multiply for the earning rate, and then multiply by $0.016 (my value on a point). So for the AeroplanPlus Card, I would earn $20,000 x 1 point/$ x $0.016 = $320. So subtracting the fee of $60, you are $260 in the plus for the year. Do it against the rest of the cards to get a comparison for the returns.