|Rewards Rating:||3.1 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||3.0|
|Issuer Customer Experience||3.7|
In a Nutshell:
You won’t have trouble earning a free flight in your first year with this premium airline card: The TD AeroPlan Visa Signature card offers a substantial sign-up bonus in the card’s first year; but you’ll have to fly to Canada often after the card’s first year to make up for its pricey annual fee.
Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
TD Bank Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, Visa Signature benefits, lost luggage insurance, purchase security, concierge services, exclusive dining, entertainment events, shopping discounts, free credit VantageScore
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Just like all of its U.S. cousins, the Air Canada frequent flier program has undergone severe devaluation. Fortunately for most travelers, however, the bulk of the bad news chiefly concerns premium-class passengers. By contrast, everyone else will still find a great value with Aeroplan. While the TD Aeroplan Visa credit card doesn’t come with a huge bonus or exceptional earning scheme, it’s the only way U.S.-based Air Canada passengers can earn some extra miles outside of flying.
Note: Air Canada recently announced that it is ending its partnership with Aeroplan to launch its own loyalty program on June 29, 2020. Once the deadline passes, Aeroplan members will no longer be able to redeem their miles for flights with Star Alliance partners, though they still will be able to redeem their miles for Air Canada flights.
25,000-mile sign-up bonus
The card starts you off with 25,000 bonus miles for signing up. While the 25,000 sign-up bonus might seem a little small compared to some U.S. airline co-branded cards, it still gets you a round-trip flight anywhere in the continental U.S. and Canada. You need to spend $1,000 in the first three months to receive the bonus.
Typical airline rewards scheme
You get 2 miles per dollar for money spent on Air Canada ticket purchases, and 1 mile per dollar for other purchases. This is average for an airline card, although some general rewards cards offer much better rewards rates. Taking into account the sign-up bonus and the fairly high value of Air Canada miles, we estimate this card can earn you some valuable rewards, despite the low rewards rate.
The annual fee is waived for the first year
The $95 annual fee is a little higher than that of most travel cards, but on a par with U.S. airline co-branded cards. If you spend a sufficient amount on the card, the rewards value outweighs this fee. If Air Canada is your preferred airline, you may find the fee well worth it.
Savvy travelers know that using miles to fly on an airline’s partners often yields a better deal than flying on the airline itself. This is especially true with Air Canada. In most cases, Air Canada – just like most other foreign airlines – adds a so-called “fuel surcharge” to your “free” ticket. Essentially, that makes it not so free anymore.
However, Air Canada doesn’t add a fuel surcharge to some of its international partners’ flights. You pay only airport taxes and government fees when using Aeroplan miles to fly on United Airlines, Air China, Brussels Airlines, EVA Air, Singapore Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines and Turkish Airlines. Note that Air Canada’s South American partners Avianca El Salvador and Copa Airlines do not add a fuel surcharge to begin with.
Good redemption options
Thanks to Aeroplan’s large partner network – which includes 27 Star Alliance partner airlines – you have many options for redeeming miles outside of flights on Air Canada. Aeroplan also has some of the most generous routing rules in the industry, allowing you two free stopovers in addition to your destination on a round-trip award ticket. For example, you can visit three European cities, three Asian cities or three Caribbean/Central American cities for the price of one award ticket. You can even make a mini around-the-world trip with only one award. Note that you can only book the two-stopover award by phone, which requires a $30 booking fee.
Low change and cancellation fees
While most airlines charge $150-$200 for any changes or cancellations, Air Canada charges a reasonable $90 cancellation fee.
Visa Signature benefits
Unfortunately, the card doesn’t offer any of the perks that often come with airline cards, such as priority boarding or free baggage. There are, however, some Visa Signature benefits that travelers might find useful, such as free around-the-clock concierge service, access to exclusive events and special shopping discounts.
Why get the TD Aeroplan Visa card?
- You use Air Canada for most of your travel or want to use the Aeroplan miles to fly on Star Alliance partner airlines.
- You want to take advantage of the annual fee waiver for the first year to see if the card is right for you.
- You value Visa Signature benefits.
How to use the TD Aeroplan Visa card
- Always make Air Canada purchases with the TD Aeroplan Visa Credit Card to get 2 miles per dollar.
- Try to redeem award seats at the “saver” level and on partner airlines that don’t add a fuel surcharge.
- If you want to visit more than one city, try to work up to two stopovers into your award ticket.
- Avoid using the TD Aeroplan Visa credit card overseas, due to the 3 percent foreign transaction fee.
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