If you’re signed up for Aeroplan emails you likely received a notice recently telling you it’s your last chance to maximize your earning potential by signing up for the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite by June 2nd. That’s because there is currently a promotion that would give you 30,000 miles. There are quite a few credit cards out there with good sign-up bonuses so it’s wise to figure out the value you can reasonably get from those miles before you apply.
The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite awards the new holder of the card 15,000 miles upon first purchase and then another 15,000 miles after spending $1000 in the first 90 days after approval. There is a full rebate of the first year annual fee of $120. The minimum personal income requirement is $60,000 or household income of $100,000.
I should also mention the TD Aeroplan Platinum Visa. This one has a lower minimum income requirement. The sign-up bonus is 10,000 Aeroplan miles upon first purchase and 5000 after meeting the $1000 spending requirement in 90 days. Full first year fee rebate.
Alternatively, there’s a promotion for the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite. This card awards the holder 20,000 TD points upon first purchase and 60,000 points with the same spending requirement as above. The 80,000 total gives you $400 toward travel booked through the ExpediaForTD website. Minimum income $60,000 personal or $100,000 household. Full first year fee rebate.
Again, these offers are slated to end June 2nd, 2019.
Where can you go with 30,000 Aeroplan miles?
There are a number of great opportunities to use miles if you’re prepared to stalk the Aeroplan website to find availability that works for you. Here are some examples I found while searching today. I’ve included the current airfare in parenthesis for those exact flights for comparison purposes. However, the fare might not represent the lowest available option on those dates.
North America Return
A return flight to anywhere in continental North America is 25,000 miles. Flights from Maritime airports to western Canada can be quite expensive so this is a great use of miles. I recently visited Victoria, BC and enjoyed strolling around the wonderful Butchart Gardens. If you decide you’d like to fly out there to smell the roses here is an example of what you could save.
Aug. 12 Moncton – Victoria (via Montreal)
Aug. 18 Victoria – Moncton (via Toronto)
Aeroplan Fees: $162.01
North America Return with a Stopover
A great thing about these 25,000 mile North America Aeroplan redemptions is the ability to include a stopover of any length if you’re booking a return flight. You can get quite creative with this and unlike the international 2 stopover routings that must be booked by phone, you can do this online. Here are a couple of examples.
Mar. 21 Moncton – Orlando (via Toronto)
Mar. 26 Orlando – Vancouver (via Denver)
April 4 Vancouver – Moncton (via Toronto)
Aeroplan Fees: $282.24
Mar. 11 Halifax – Calgary (via Montreal)
Mar. 15 Calgary – Phoenix
Mar. 28 Phoenix – Halifax (via Montreal)
Aeroplan Fees: $247.67
North America Open-Jaw
If you plan, for example, to fly to Los Angeles and drive or take the train to San Francisco, you can fly into one city and out of the other.
Nov. 4 Sydney – Los Angeles (via Toronto)
Nov. 21 San Francisco – Sydney (via Toronto)
Aeroplan Fees: $209.05
North America One-Way in Business Class
If you can get a decent one-way paid fare to Vancouver, you might want to use your 25,000 miles to book a business class ticket that includes a segment on a wide-body plane with lie-flat seats to Toronto on the way back. This would make the trip home a bit more comfortable on an overnight flight. The caveat with this is that you have no guarantee the aircraft type on your booking will be the one you actually fly.
Dec. 7 Halifax – Vancouver (via Toronto)
Dec. 14 Vancouver – Halifax (via Toronto)
Aeroplan Fees: $77.10
Short-Haul North America for 2
You can book a short-haul return flight for only 15,000 miles (or one-way in business class) so this means you can get flights for you and a friend. As with the above example, including a stopover can stretch the value of your miles and make for an interesting trip. Note these flights must be on Air Canada, not a partner airline like United. I used this redemption opportunity a number of years ago to stop in Montreal on my way to Washington. (If you like museums, especially free museums, Washington is a great place to go. The key for getting a cheap hotel is to aim for US holiday periods like Thanksgiving when everyone leaves town).
Nov. 23 Saint John – Montreal
Nov. 26 Montreal – Washington
Nov. 30 Washington – Saint John (via Montreal)
Aeroplan Fees: $247.21
30,000 Aeroplan miles will only get you over or get you back. Not both. But you can get creative to maximize those miles. First you need to find a reasonably priced one-way ticket to go along with your Aeroplan booking. Next you need to find transatlantic availability on an Air Canada partner airline that doesn’t charge excessive fees. Here are a couple of examples I found with a bit of searching. I did not include a corresponding airfare for the Aeroplan flight because one-way fares on mainline carriers to Europe are typically disproportionately high in comparison to a return flight. They are not something a leisure traveller would likely purchase.
Fly into Brussels and home from Amsterdam
Sept. 28 Halifax – Brussels (via Toronto, Air Canada & Brussels Airlines)
Aeroplan Fees: $77.93
Oct. 10 Amsterdam – Halifax (via Frankfurt, Lufthansa & Condor)
Fly into Paris and home from Zurich
Oct. 1 Halifax – Paris (WestJet)
Oct. 16 Zurich – Halifax (via Boston, SWISS, Air Canada)
Aeroplan Fees: $76.70
Oct. 16 Zurich – Halifax (via Newark, United)
Aeroplan Fees: $76.70
Should you sign up?
Before you apply for this card consider your travel plans. Do you typically travel around holidays to popular destinations? Are non-stop flights important to you? Those preferences or requirements will make booking an Aeroplan flight more difficult. You need some flexibility and often a bit of patience to keep checking the website to find your flights. Luck also helps.
It’s also worth considering the uncertainty surrounding the Aeroplan program’s return to Air Canada control in 2020.
As is the case with any decision, weigh your options carefully. Look at other credit card offers out there and choose what will work best for your circumstances and travel plans.