American Express® Gold Rewards Card

TD-Aeroplan-Visa-Infinite

An excellent card to earn Aeroplan Miles or Avios Points

$

240

in free travel

Flytrippersvaluation
of Welcome Bonus alone
($1,500 in 3 months minimum spend***)

via American Express secure application

Flytrippers                    Opinion

Our Flytrippersvaluation of the Welcome Bonus is a net of $240.

Often, the offer is $315 free travel, but if you need Miles Aeroplan immediately, it’s still not a bad offer. 

This card remains the best way to earn Aeroplan Miles or Avios Points.

Read our American Express Gold Rewards Card review or scroll down for our point-by-point analysis.

Our Flytrippers Highlights

(read our detailed analysis below)

  • ≈ $240 in free travel
  • Additional spend bonus offered as well
  • High potential value of Scotia Points
  • Good category bonus on earn rate
  • Excellent insurance coverage
  • One annual AC Lounge pass

American Express Official Highlights

(read full details on the American Express website)

  • Earn up to 30,000 Scotia Points1
  • First year no Annual Fee1 (for the primary cardholder)
  • Enjoy Air Canada® benefits while travelling3
  • Extensive suite of travel insurance
  • Offer ends March 2, 2020
  • Offer not available in Quebec
    (click here for Quebec offer)
  • Sponsored advertising

Rates & Fees

(read why you should skip this section)

  • Interest (Purchases): 20.99%
  • Interest (Cash Advances): 22.99%
  • Annual fee: $120 (first year free)
  • Authorized Users: $50
  • Certain conditions apply*

Our Detailed Analysis

Who This Card Is For

TBD

Welcome Bonus

This card has a two-part Welcome Bonus. The first part requires $0 minimum spend and is a bit less valuable, but since most cards usually require an easy $1,500 in 3 months, I’ve covered that easy to reach scenario in the next section, along with the even higher potential of the additional spend bonus.

Unlocking the American Express Gold Rewards Card’s Welcome Bonus will earn you ≈ $240 in free travel per our Flytrippersvaluation.

Here’s the breakdown:

$375 (estimated value of 1.5 ¢/pt) Points accumulated on the $1,500 minimum spend
+ $15 (minimum value) Card Fee
– $150 (deducted from the total of free travel)
≈ $240 in free travel by getting the card (minimum value of $115) + all points accumulated with your regular purchases

How to unlock the Welcome Bonus:

  • There is a $1,500 minimum spend in 3 months requirement to unlock this Welcome Bonus; you will get it after your first purchase
  • The annual fee will be charged then credited back
  • See next section for second part of the Welcome Bonus

Additional Spend Bonus

Usually, what we call Additional Spend Bonuses aren’t very lucrative, because of the opportunity cost of putting a lot of spend on one card. But this one is good, especially since the regular “basic” Welcome Bonus requires no minimum spend. Scotiabank calls this second part the “Welcome Earn Bonus”.

You can earn an additional spend bonus of up to 15,000 Scotia Points (worth another ≈ $225) thanks to an increased earn rate in the first 3 months, but you have to spread it out evenly in each month to maximize it (it’s capped at 5,000 Miles per month).

You get an extra 5 Aeroplan Miles per dollar. So you will earn 6.5 Aeroplan Miles on grocery, gas, drugstore and aircanada.com purchases (bonus categories) and 6 Aeroplan Miles everywhere else (non-bonused categories). 

Let’s first look at a scenario where you would spend $1,500 in 3 months like you would for most cards, and entirely in the bonused categories (easy with our tips, it’s barely over $100 a week). You can also max it out with a combination of bonused and non-bonused spend. That would be $1,500 multiplied by 6.5 Miles, for a total of 9,750 Miles (5 Bonus Miles and 1.5 Miles regular earn rate).

Here’s the full breakdown of your free travel then:

≈ $225 (Welcome Bonus of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles worth ≈ 1.5¢ per Mile)
≈ $112 (Additional Spend Bonus of 7,500 Aeroplan Miles worth ≈ 1.5¢ per Mile)
≈ $34 (Regular earn rate of 2,250 Aeroplan Miles worth ≈ 1.5¢ per Mile)
– $0 (Annual Fee waived the first year)

=
≈ $371 in free travel

 

You could also unlock the full Additional Spend Bonus by spending $3,000 in the bonused categories in 3 months ($1,000 every month).

That would give you one of the most lucrative Welcome Bonuses possible:

≈ $225 (Welcome Bonus of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles worth ≈ 1.5¢ per Mile)
≈ $225 (Additional Spend Bonus of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles worth ≈ 1.5¢ per Mile)
≈ $68 (Regular earn rate of 4,500 Aeroplan Miles worth ≈ 1.5¢ per Mile)
– $0 (Annual Fee waived the first year)

=
≈ $518 in free travel

 
You can read our detailed analysis to see if this additional spend bonus makes sense for you.

Regular Earn Rate

After your $240 Welcome Bonus and additional spend bonus, for each dollar you spend you will earn:

 

  • 2 AMEX MR Point (3.0%) per $ in grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment and public transportation
  • 1 AMEX MR Point (1.5%) per $ everywhere
You can read our article about maximizing earn rates on your spending

How To Use American Express Membership Rewards Points

American Express Membership Rewards Points are hybrid (fixed-value or variable-value) and transferable. 

Variable value: Points can be transferred to Aeroplan, Avios, Delta and others (and potentially give you more for your money, but this requires more flexibility). They can also be used via American Express’s fixed-priced award chart directly. 

Fixed value: Points can also be applied to other travel expenses via the AMEX portal, which gives you more flexibility but can not give you more for your money.

More details coming soon in the Travel Hacking section.

Aeroplan Miles are variable-value points, which means that how you use them will determine how much value you’ll get out of them. It is a complex program but you can find amazing redemptions if you understand how the program works. Keep in mind it will be entirely revamped in Q3 2020.

We estimate the 25,000 Miles to be worth $375. Like other variable-value points with award charts, you’ll get the best value out of Aeroplan Miles by using them when cash prices are expensive. You’ll also get the best value if you live in cities served by Star Alliance airlines other than Air Canada.

Here are just a few great uses of your Aeroplan Miles:

  • 25,000 Miles: roundtrip flight to anywhere in North America (≈ $100 taxes on United; ≈ $200 taxes and surcharges on Air Canada)
  • 25,000 Miles: roundtrip flight to the US for only $14 in taxes by departing from a US airport (on United)
  • 25,000 Miles: multi-destination flight in North America with 2 cities (≈ $100 taxes on United; ≈ $200 taxes and surcharges on Air Canada)
  • 15,000 Miles: roundtrip flights to short-haul destinations (≈ $200 taxes and surcharges; discounted short-haul pricing is only on Air Canada)
  • 30,000 Miles: one-way flight to anywhere in Europe (≈ $70 taxes on select Star Alliance carriers; ≈$130 taxes and surcharges on Air Canada)
  • 20,000 Miles: one-way flight to anywhere in Mexico or the Caribbean (≈ $100 taxes on select Star Alliance carriers; ≈ $100 on Air Canada)
  • 55,000 Miles: one-way business class flight to Europe (≈ $130 on Star Alliance carriers; ≈$200 taxes and surcharges on Air Canada)

You can read our detailed articles about the Best Aeroplan Miles Uses and How To Maximize The Value Of Aeroplan Miles.

Air Canada Benefits

You get Air Canada travel benefits only when you travel using an Aeroplan Flight Reward redeemed from your Aeroplan account and only when you travel on flights operated by Air Canada®, Air Canada Rouge® or under the Air Canada Express® banner.

The benefits are:

  • One annual One-Time Guest Access Benefit to an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge™
  • Priority check-in and priority boarding
  • One complimentary first checked bag
You can read our review of the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Air Canada benefits.

Insurance Coverage

This card has very good coverage, and to be insured for my Aeroplan flights I use this card to pay for taxes.

You get extensive travel insurance coverage:

  • Medical travel insurance 15 days (64 years and under)
  • Flight delay insurance ($500, 4h minimum)
  • Car rental insurance
  • Baggage & personal effects insurance
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Hotel burglary insurance
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty 

You also get the standard retail protections:

  • Purchase Security (90 days)
  • Extended Warranty (up to 1 additional year)
You can read our detailed article about credit card insurance coverage.

Other Benefits

You get benefits exclusively for Scotiabank Visa cardholders:

  • Complimentary Visa Infinite Concierge
  • Visa Infinite Luxury Collection Hotels
  • Visa Infinite Food and Wine Experiences

Complete Card Benefits Table

Download our Flytrippers comprehensive data table with 50+ lines of facts about the American Express Gold Rewards Card.

Eligibility Requirements

Income requirement: no minimum.

Restriction: if you have opened a Soctiabank in the last 6 months, you will not be eligible for this offer.

Get the American Express Gold Rewards Card and earn Scotia Points

via American Express secure application

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Complete List Of American Express Gold Rewards Card Content

Here are our other articles about the American Express Gold Rewards Card:

  • American Express Gold Rewards Card Review

Here are our other articles about the American Express Program:

  • Ultimate Guide: Aeroplan Program
  • Best Scotia Points Uses
  • How To Maximize The Value Of Scotiabank
  • How To Earn Scotia Points

Other Travel Rewards Resources

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