wandering amphibia

Excellent American Express Gold and Aeroplan Gold deals!

I am an addict of American Express cards, and they have just issued a double-whammy of phenomenal deals for this Labour Day. Both the Gold and the Aeroplan Gold cards have been updated and improved. I have all but written off the Amex Aeroplan products, as they had steep annual fees, mediocre bonuses and a paucity of features; but this has just been modified.

  • The American Express Gold (this is the regular Membership Rewards version) has seen its welcome bonus jump from 15,000 (or 20,000 via referral) to 25,000 points – no referral needed. One is still appreciated, of course, since the person who refers you gets 10,000 points… but this opens the door for first-time users who know no one. My referral link is here, should you be in need of one: http://tinyurl.com/cqspmgs. The card remains free for the first year, and has double points on gas/grocery/pharmacies and so on.
  • The American Express Aeroplan Gold card is the wildcard here. The $120 annual fee for the first year has been dropped (!), the welcome bonus went from 15,000 to 20,000 (or 30,000 by referral!!!), which now makes it a VERY good card to consider for the welcome bonus. If you need a referral, grab one here: http://tinyurl.com/mrw5rq5

It’s looking like a good season for Aeroplan point collection! Let’s now hope we are able to grab them faster than Aeroplan devalues the program 😛

4 thoughts on “Excellent American Express Gold and Aeroplan Gold deals!

  1. Terry

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your referral link for American Express Aeroplan Gold card. I am thinking if I should get one for 30,000AP points given that I already own a American Express Gold card.

    What worries me is the ridiculous surcharge to book Air Canada flight on aeroplan.com. For example, a 22-27 Dec 2013 YYZ-Chicago-YYZ short haul which causes me 15,000AP points on aeroplan.com, the surcharge per is over $170!

    From Redflagdeas forum, I noted that you have a post to explain how to call to book partner airlines instead. I am sorry that I cannot find that post. Could you please let me know the link of that post? Much appreciated!


    1. pseudo Post author

      Hi there – thanks for checking in. Yep, Air Canada surcharges tend to be quite excessive. What you need to do is find some flights that are not flown by them – look for partner airlines – and you will be able to escape the ridiculous surcharges. For travel to Chicago, look for United Airlines; you should also look for US Airways, which incur no surcharges. The series of posts where I talk about booking Aeroplan redemptions with no surcharges are here: post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4. The only challenge here is that you want to fly a very short route – Toronto – Chicago – Toronto, which is a little bit more difficult to arrange than the RTW (round-the-world) routings I discuss, because there are simply fewer carriers that fly it; also, Christmas is a tough season. But worth looking – might be able to find something.

  2. Terry

    Morning Pseudo,

    Thanks for the prompt reply.

    If I find suitable flights on United Airlines or US Airways (it should be their award flights for redemption, but not the general flights for sales, right?), I jot the date and flight number and call aeroplan to order? The question in my mind is how I know if the flight will consume me 15,000 or 25,000 aeroplan points? Is the call-to-ask the only way?

    I heard that the best value of aeroplan point is to redeem round the world trip. However, I cannot afford this luxury due to work commitment. The longest flight I can afford is Toronto – HKG – one stopover at western coast like San Francisco/Vancouver – Toronto. In this case, is redeeming north american short haul and long haul considered the best use of aeroplan points?

    Sorry for so many silly questions. I am new to Toronto and not familiar to the miles award system in Canada. Thanks again!

    1. pseudo Post author

      Hey – no worries, people fly these things for years and still don’t always have it sorted, so ask away 🙂

      Ok, so you raise a few possible vectors of approach here. You don’t need to call in, btw, unless you are booking a round-the-world itinerary, as most of what you are asking should be available online.

      1. 15K vs 25K: easy. 15K is only on Air Canada and “small domestic partners”, and from Ontario can fly to: Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nunavut.
      Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington DC, Wisconsin. (from https://www3.aeroplan.com/FlightRewardChart.do#shorthaul). The moment you are NOT on AC or the other ones, you are falling into 25K territory.

      2. If you find a suitable flight, you should be able to book it online on http://www.aeroplan.com. It is correct that the “general” flights do not work – you must have availability within the “reward” class of seats, which is usually very limited. Typically, there is some possibility flights open up closer to departure, but it is usually for the less popular flights, such as early morning, late night, or early morning on the last day on a long weekend (i.e. making you either sacrifice the last day of the long weekend, or fly the next working day and so on).

      3. This is actually a really good question. I made this into a post here, because I think this is worth discussing in more detail 🙂