It's not often that I plug a travel rewards card. In fact I don't think I ever have. When a travel blogger posts about such things, it's usually just a thinly disguised attempt to earn some referral income or benefit from the credit card companies. And I suppose this post is no different as you will soon find out.
But I can honestly say that this is one of the best travel rewards card offers I've ever seen, and one of the very few that's actually compelled me to sign up and share it with friends and family.
The free flight offer
American Express is offering a staggering 30,000 Aeroplan bonus points to anyone who signs up for their AMEX Aeroplan Plus Gold Card.
As you can see from the Aeroplan rewards chart, this is enough for a free flight to anywhere in Canada or the Continental USA and still have 5,000 points left over.
In fact, if it's a short haul flight (anywhere between Newfoundland and New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, or Quebec) - it's actually enough for 2 free flights!
But another interesting thing about this offer is that after you've signed up, you will receive a referral link of your own, and for every person that signs up for the card through your link you receive another 10,000 Aeroplan points on top of the 30,000 !
So basically, for every 3 friends or family that signs up for the card through your link, you receive another free flight. There doesn't appear to be a limitation on how many people you can refer and how many points or free flights you can earn.
If you send it to 7 people, and they all sign up for the card, you'd earn an additional 70,000 Aeroplan points, which is enough for a free trip anywhere in the world! And really, it wouldn't be that difficult to convince 7 people to sign up, considering they're each guaranteed a free flight of their own when they do.
Ok, what's the catch? Is there an annual fee?
Amazingly, American Express is waiving the annual fee for the first year, so this is truly a free offer at no cost to you. Of course, they are hoping that you'll keep the card beyond the first year, at which point there is an annual fee for the card.
*But*, you can cancel the card at any time and keep the 30,000 points without ever having to pay a dime! Just be sure to set up a reminder in your calendar to cancel the card before the 1 year is up.
The only other condition to note is that you need to spend a minimum of $500 (total) with the card within the first 3 months, to receive the 30,000 Aeroplan point bonus.
How do I get the 30,000 free Aeroplan points?
1. Go to the following offer page at the American Express website:
The offer is the first one at the top, titled 'The American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card'
2. Put a checkmark beside 'I have read and accept the referral program terms'
3. Hit the Apply Now button
Fill out the application, and you're done!
*Note* You do need to use the offer link above to receive the bonus 30,000 Aeroplan points. If you search for the offer on the American Express website without going through the link above, it will only show a bonus of 20,000 Aeroplan points.
Is it really a truly 'free flight' ?
Not entirely. Airlines can still charge the 'taxes & fees' when booking an Aeroplan flight, meaning the flight is not entirely free. Typically you end up paying around $100-$150 to redeem your 'free roundtrip flight' with Aeroplan points no matter how they were earned.
Certain airlines do not charge some of these extra fees when redeeming Aeroplan points, such as United, SWISS, and Air New Zealand. Air Canada definitely does though! I usually avoid redeeming with Air Canada, if possible, for this reason.
Here's a good article
Here's a good articleon how to redeem Aeroplan points with airlines other than Air Canada.
I'm going to get my significant other to sign up for this as well so we can get 60,000 points between us. Is it possible to pool the points together into one Aeroplan account?
No, you will each need to sign up separately to each earn the 30,000 points. And each of those 30,000 bonus points will need to be linked to a separate Aeroplan account.
One thing you can do though, is have one person sign up (earning 30,000 points), and then send your referral link to your significant other to sign them up. Your significant other will receive 30,000 points of their own, and you'll receive 10,000 extra points for signing them up. Meaning you will receive 70,000 free points between the two of you. Not too shabby!
Where do I find my referral link after signing up?
Log into the American Express website and click on the 'Rewards' tab. Then click on 'refer a friend' to send them an e-mail with your referral link.
Beware that the referral e-mail may end up in the SPAM folder of the e-mail account of the people you're trying to refer. At least, it did for me, in my Gmail account.
To avoid this, you may want to try to find your actual referral link and send that link to your friend's and family in a more personal e-mail. For example, my referral link is:
Yours will be identical, except for the part in bold, which should be different.
How many points can I accumulate with this card using it normally?
In addition to the 30,000 point bonus for signing up, you will receive...
1 Aeroplan mile for every dollar spent, up to the first $10,000 annually
1.25 Aeroplan miles for every dollar spent over $10,000 annually
Seems crazy not to sign up. What's to stop people from cancelling the card as soon as they redeem their 30,000 bonus Aeroplan points for the free flight?
Nothing, people do it all the time. American Express is just hoping a certain percentage of people will keep the card beyond the first year. They know that the vast majority will cancel the card, and from what I've heard, it's very painless, with just one phone call, to an American Express agent that cancels hundreds of these cards a week and doesn't try to convince you to keep it.
Does it impact your credit score if you cancel the card before the first year is up?
And you are receiving a 10,000 point referral bonus from American Express when I sign up?
Yes, to be very transparent about this, when American Express gives you your free 30,000 Aeroplan points, they also give me a 10,000 point bonus for referring you, assuming you signed up using one of the links on this page.
I already have enough Aeroplan points of my own for a few flights, but could always use the extra points to buy some gift cards through the Aeroplan store to help pay for server hosting & e-mail fees, and other costs associated with running the site.
Or if you would rather see those 10,000 points donated to a charity just pick one from the Aeroplan Donation Page and then give me a shout by e-mail or through the contact page after you have submitted your application to let me know which one to donate them to. I'll send you back a screenshot of the donation after it is made.
Okay, okay, I'm convinced. What's the signup link again?
This offer is open to residents of Canada only.
I still have a question!
Comment below and I'll try to answer it as best I can.
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