So You’re Ready To Dump Aeroplan: Now What?

Disgruntled Aeroplan customers – now is the perfect time to shop for a new travel rewards card.  Several banks and credit card companies have spent the better part of a year revamping their travel programs to vie for space in your wallet.

CIBC and TD fought for the right to issue Aeroplan credit cards last summer and when the dust settled the two banks split the business down the middle.  CIBC got to keep the customers with broader ties to the bank while the rest were shipped over to TD, which launched a new suite of Aeroplan credit cards in January.

CIBC’s Aventura program got a facelift and the bank pushed out an aggressive marketing campaign to target its lost Aeroplan customers.  BMO’s World Elite MasterCard also saw an overhaul with an increased sign-up bonus and a better rate of return on spending.

The entire travel rewards landscape is full of rich incentives today, with many premium credit cards handing out juicy sign-up bonuses and/or offering to waive the annual fee in the first year.

The card that best suits you depends on how you like to travel.  Some cards give you points when you fly on preferred airlines or stay with a certain hotel chain, while others offer travel points and let you choose how to redeem them.

Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard

When it comes to the top travel cards on the market, Capital One’s Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard is worth a look.  This card offers two miles for every dollar spent, plus a generous 10,000 point bonus on your first purchase.

With Capital One’s no hassle rewards, you book your own trip – including hotel, airline, or rental car of your choice – then redeem your reward miles for your travel expenses.   You’re able to use your miles to pay for any taxes on your travel, and there are no blackouts or hidden fees.

Click here to sign up for the Capital One Aspire World MasterCard

BMO World Elite MasterCard

The BMO World Elite MasterCard comes in second with a two percent return on all purchases, plus a 30,000 point sign-up bonus and no annual fee in the first year (if you apply by June 1st).

Redeem your rewards anytime with no blackout periods or seat restrictions.  BMO rewards points cover all flight charges including taxes and fees.

Click here to sign up for the BMO World Elite MasterCard

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

Rounding out the top three is Scotiabank’s Gold American Express card, which offers four points for every dollar spent on groceries, gas, dining, and entertainment.  The card offers a 15,000 point sign-up bonus and waives your annual fee in the first year.

Flexible point redemption means you can purchase travel from any provider and then redeem your points online.

Click here to sign up for the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card.

American Express Gold Rewards Card

The American Express Gold Rewards card might be the most flexible of the bunch.  A cross between an airline or hotel points card and a travel points card, American Express Gold Rewards offers a 25,000 sign up bonus, two points per dollar spent for gas, groceries, drug store and travel purchases, and one point per dollar on all other spending.  The annual fee is waived in the first year.

You can book travel how you want and then redeem membership rewards points against that charge on your monthly statement.

Membership rewards are a hidden gem in that you can convert points instantly 1:1 to Aeroplan and Avios and you can also transfer points to other frequent flyer and hotel rewards programs like Delta SkyMiles, Asia Miles, and Starwood Preferred Guest.

Your points can cover taxes and fees, and you can also redeem points towards a travel charge up to 12 months after your trip or purchases.

Click here to sign up for the American Express Gold Rewards Card.

Final thoughts

There’s no doubt that long-time Aeroplan and Air Miles collectors have grown frustrated with their rewards program – particularly when it comes to redeeming points for flights.

The best travel programs not only help you earn points faster, but they let you redeem your points when and how you want to without any annoying fees, surcharges, restrictions, and blackouts.

So what are you waiting for?  Now is the time to weigh your options and switch to a more rewarding program.


  1. DEBt DEBs on April 4, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Are the above cards only for travel rewards? The reason I ask is that there are other cards I would recommend but do not see on the list but they are not travel rewards but rather cashback cards. I’m not interested in travel rewards right now. It’s all about the cash, baby!

  2. Bernie on April 4, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Is there a way to convert Aeromiles to Air Miles?

    • Robb on April 4, 2014 at 11:15 am

      @Bernie – No, but you could try a point swapping website like or just redeem your Aeroplan miles for gift cards and be done with it.

  3. Susan on April 5, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Any info on where westjet MasterCard sits in the ranking? Thx. Susan

  4. Richard on April 18, 2014 at 10:21 am

    I found Aeroplan points still have good value. Many of the other flexible programs have 1 point = 1 cent, or even worse (like 10000 points = any amount up to $100, even if you use less). With Aeroplan I usually get 1 point = 1.8 cents (even after fees) for an economy ticket or up to 8 cents for a first class ticket.

    For example I just booked a trip where an economy ticket cost 60,000 points (round-trip) and first-class was 90,000. The total fees were around $1000. A round-trip economy ticket was $1,600+ so in the worst case this is about the same as 160,000 points on a more flexible program. This seemed like a big of an unusual situation because buying a one-way ticket cost more than a round-trip here. Usually I find that Aeroplan points have a higher value.

    But in this case, for 50% more points (total of 90,000 Aeroplan points + $1000) I got a first class ticket that would take 750,000 points on a flexible program.

    I can’t always find a ticket on Aeroplan but I know that I will for some flights so I just save the points for the ones where I get good value. Otherwise I’ll just buy the ticket and get points from my credit card and from the flights too. I have yet to find a situation where Aeroplan consistently does worse than a program where you can spend points on any travel costs.

  5. KJ on May 12, 2014 at 9:58 am

    What about the TD First Class card? It’s returns are better than Scotia’s card and their accelerated earn on Expedia is pretty rich. I have a friend who used the Aspire card and they got screwed on their different redemptions levels…he has to ask payments be split out to maximize his return, not exactly a great experience.

Join 3,500 Canadian Subscribers!

Sign up today to learn all about the best cash back and travel rewards credit cards, plus how to maximize your rewards and loyalty programs.