The $899 annual fee on the American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card is the most hefty annual fee out of all the Canadian credit cards. So it would be interested to calculate whether it is actually worth it. But first, here are the highlights of the credit card:
- $899 annual fee
- $299 for supplementary cardholders (maximum of 9)
- Earn 50,000 sign up bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on Air Canada purchases
- Earn 1.25 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Receive a $200 Annual Travel Credit
- Receive a Partner Ticket benefit for a short-haul or long-haul flight reward when you redeem up to 25,000 Aeroplan Miles
- Unlimited access to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges and Priority Pass Lounges
- Receive up to 5 complimentary first checked bag annually on flights operated by Air Canada
First of all, I value Aeroplan points at 1.8 cent a piece, meaning the 50,000 is worth $900. However, you only get the sign up bonus once, so let’s illustrate the analysis without factoring the sign up bonus.
The $200 Annual Travel Credit is only for the primary cardholder. The credit can only be redeemed at time of booking through American Express Travel Services or at americanexpress.ca/travel.
So this credit covers: $899 – $200 = $699
To maximize the value of the Partner Ticket, it is better to redeem for a long-haul round-trip ClassicFlight reward ticket with Aeroplan. Long-haul flights cost 25,000 miles, which means you should be able to get at least $500 in value or more, depending on when you fly.
So this brings us to: $699 – $500 = $199
The 5 free checked bags per year saves you another $25 x 5 = $125, if you take full advantage.
That brings us to: $199 – $125 = $74
The rest of the value will come from the unlimited lounge access. Essentially, the more lounges you visit, the more valuable the credit card becomes.
There is also a host of insurance coverages that is value able will come in handy, as well as other smaller benefits. The ones listed above as essentially the most valuable ones.
There is no question that the $899 is steep. However, the analysis shows that it is possible to maximize $899 worth of value with the credit card, but it pretty much requires you to take advantage of every single perk.