When it comes to getting high value travel rewards, Aeroplan is one of the best programs available in Canada.

To get even more out of the program, do your wallet a favour and get yourself a top Aeroplan card ‒ so you can earn miles on every purchase AND redeem them sooner.

Thankfully, the Aeroplan program has plenty of great cards to choose from. Today, we’ll review the top 2 side by side – the and the .

Both cards have their pros and cons. And while we do have one ranked better than the other, which card is really better also depends on you.

So here’s everything these 2 cards have to offer, and you can be the judge of which is the best.

Related: Credit Card Faceoff: Amex AeroplanPlus Platinum vs. Amex AeroplanPlus Reserve

Summary of the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite and American Express Gold Rewards cards

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite American Express Gold Rewards
Welcome Bonus * 15,000 miles after your first purchase
* 5 bonus miles per $1 spent in the first 3 months (terms)
* Offer ends March 2, 2020
* 25,000 points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months (terms)
Earn Rates * 1.5 miles per $1 on gas, groceries, drugstores, and aircanada.com
* 1 mile per $1 on everything else
* 2 points per $1 on gas, groceries, drugstores, and travel
* 1 mile per $1 on everything else
Travel Point Value * Up to 2.5 cents on Aeroplan rewards flights
* 1 cent for Air Canada gift cards
* 0.73 cents for hotels
* 0.64 cents for car rentals
* Up to 2.5 cents on Aeroplan rewards flights
* 1.75 cents for Fixed Points Travel Program
* 1.16 cents when transferred to Marriott Bonvoy
* 1 cent for travel booked any way
Annual Fee $120, first year free $150
Insurance Coverages 10 types 10 types
Apply Now Apply Now
Plus up to 4% cash back.
Ends December 18, 2019.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite overview

Our top rated Aeroplan-branded card, the earns up to 1.5 miles for every $1 you spend.

And when you redeem your miles for flights on Air Canada, you’ll get some great benefits to make your free flight even sweeter.

Related: TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Or The BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard – Which Is Better?

American Express Gold Rewards card overview

Our overall top rated Aeroplan card is the . And while it earns Amex Membership Rewards, they can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Aeroplan.

So, in addition to having the full suite of Aeroplan redemption options, you can redeem within the Amex program as well if you find something interesting.

Related: American Express Gold Rewards Card Review

Earn rates in detail

Let’s start with the basic earn rates.

For the , you’ll earn:

  • 2 points per $1 on gas, groceries, drugstores, and eligible travel, and
  • 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

“Eligible travel” in this case includes flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more.

The , on the other hand, earns you:

  • 1.5 miles per $1 on gas, groceries, drugstores, and aircanada.com purchases (up to $80,000 annually), and
  • 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases.

So as you can see, the TD card earns fewer miles.

But how many miles would you be missing out on over the course of a year?

Here’s how they stack up side by side, based on a typical $2,000 monthly spend, including $100 per month on aircanada.com purchases.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Amex Gold Rewards
Monthly spend Earn Rate Miles Earned Annually Earn Rate Miles Earned Annually
Gas, Groceries, Drugstores $650 1.5 miles per $1 11,700 2 points per $1 15,600
aircanada.com $100 1.5 miles per $1 1,800 2 points per $1 2,400
Other Travel $100 1 mile per $1 1,200 2 points per $1 2,400
Other Purchases $1,150 1 mile per $1 13,800 1 point per $1 13,800
Total Miles Earned 28,500 34,200

Based on these numbers, the comes out ahead by 5,700 miles.

Welcome bonus

We can’t forget about those welcome bonuses. And they’re vastly different in how they’re earned.

The keeps it simple – earn 25,000 points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months.

It’s more complicated with the . It has a couple of things you need to do to get the bonus:

  • 15,000 miles after your first purchase, and
  • 5 bonus miles per $1 spent in the first 3 months, up to 15,000 miles earned.

Based on the spending above, the welcome bonus is worth 22,120 miles.

But it does waive the annual fee for the first year, making it easier to try it out.

Point comparison

Now that you know what you could earn for miles, what can you use them for? Here’s a brief overview of both Aeroplan and Membership rewards.

Aeroplan program overview

When redeeming miles in Aeroplan, your best value is redeeming for flights within Canada and to the U.S – with an average mile value of 2.5 cents.

Why only here?

Unless you’re on the right airline, taxes and fees are very high on Air Canada and many other partner airlines. On flights to Europe for example, you could easily stand to pay more than half of the actual cost just in taxes and fees on economy class flights. Most flights to Europe result in a mile value of less than 1 cent, with only somewhat better value for the rest of the world.

Unless you’re redeeming for a business class seat (which offer great value no matter where you’re travelling), sticking to flights in Canada or to the U.S. gives the best value possible.

But that’s not the only way to redeem your miles for travel. Here are some other options you can use as well:

  • Air Canada gift cards – 1 cent per mile (CPM),
  • Air Canada vacation packages – 0.83 CPM,
  • hotels – 0.73 CPM, and
  • car rentals – 0.64 CPM.

Amex Membership rewards overview

If you have the , you not only get all the Aeroplan redemption options, but those of the Amex Membership Rewards program as well.

Here are a few other ways you can redeem for travel with your Gold Rewards card:

  • transfer to 5 other airlines (varying transfer ratios and value by airline),
  • Fixed Points Travel Program – 1.75 cents per point (CPP),
  • transfer to Marriott Bonvoy – 1.16 cents per point, and
  • redeem for any travel – 1 CPP.

At the end of the day, you’ll get more options, and are guaranteed a value of at least 1 cent per point, no matter what you end up deciding to book.

Perks comparison

When it comes to perks, both cards have plenty to offer.

In the case of the , it’s all the ways you can redeem your points. There’s an option to suit everyone.

The , however, offers great benefits when travelling on an Aeroplan rewards flight operated by Air Canada:

  • priority check-in,
  • free first checked bag,
  • priority boarding, and
  • Maple Leaf lounge access (once per year).

These are great benefits that can save you money, and make your travelling life easier.

Purchase and travel insurance

When it comes to insurance, they’re very similar cards.

Both have 10 types of insurance, but the amounts for the are larger.

One other advantage it has? The insurance of the TD card covers you on Aeroplan rewards tickets.

Since the isn’t an Aeroplan-branded card, the insurance only covers you if you redeem your points in the Membership Rewards program. Transfer the points to a different program and you lose the coverage.

Card acceptance

Finally, we can’t talk about about Amex cards without talking about the elephant in the room – acceptance.

Much is made about Amex acceptance, but it’s really not that bad.

That being said, there are 2 large merchants in Canada that don’t accept Amex cards:

  • Loblaws banner stores, which includes Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Atlantic Superstore, and No frills to name a few (but excludes Shoppers Drug Mart), as well as
  • Costco ‒ but they don’t accept Visa cards either (only online).

So if you shop frequently at these stores, it’s good to have a no-fee card that pairs well with your Amex. (Like the .)

Related: Shop At More Places Than Ever With An American Express Card

The verdict

As long as you have a no-fee Mastercard, the is the better Aeroplan card. You’ll earn more points, and have more options to choose from when you redeem your points.

But if you’re a frequent shopper at Loblaws stores, or find the Air Canada benefits appealing, then the may be for you. Or if you have the TD All-Inclusive bank account, it’s almost always your better choice because you’ll get the card’s annual fee waived as part of the plan’s benefits.

My personal experience

I’ve personally had both cards and used them to their full potential. I have a preference for the for the simple fact that there are more ways to use your points.

I booked a trip to Europe using points, and the Aeroplan value just wasn’t there. Instead, I was able to use my points to pay for the flights of my choosing with my Amex (and earned miles while flying as well).

But the benefits the provides on Air Canada flights make for a great redemption, and the rather large check-in line I was able to bypass at Toronto-Pearson airport was very satisfying.

I currently still have this card though, but that’s because I have the TD All-Inclusive account, and not paying the annual fee makes it a better card for me.

Either way, you can’t go wrong with either of these cards.

Your turn

What are your thoughts on these cards?

Do you have a preference for which one you prefer?

Let us know in the comments below.