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Air Canada Aeroplan which launched its new program last month just announced that:
- They will issue a U.S. credit card with Chase in “late 2021”
- It will be a Mastercard
- And also in late 2021 they will become a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner
We’ve know Aeroplan planned to issue a U.S. card. They promise it’ll be “innovative and rewarding.” But there aren’t any details yet, so that’s not really the big news. I have to trust they’ll do more than offer a “3-2-1” value proposition and modest travel benefits like free checked bags when flying Air Canada.
What’s a really big deal on the business side about this announcement is that it will be a Mastercard. Chase issues almost exclusively Visa products (they lease Visa’s network for a flat fee) and Visa helped fund Air Canada’s reacquisition of the program from Aimia. Air Canada co-brands are Amex and Visa cards in Canada.
Mastercard must be offering a lot to break in with Air Canada and further with Chase, whose only current Mastercards you can apply for that I’m aware of are the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and Chase Freedom FlexSM.
And what’s huge for consumers is becoming an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. They currently partner with American Express Membership Rewards, and are the easiest Amex partner to book Star Alliance awards with since transfers are instant and nearly all bookings can be made online. We can assume that transfers from Chase will be instant, too, since this has been a requirement for new programs onboarded with Ultimate Rewards for the last several years.
This makes Chase Sapphire Reserve®, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card more valuable, along with no annual fee Chase cards that earn in various categories at al accelerated rate and whose points can be combined into the accounts of these three cards.
Once Air Canada Aeroplan is onboarded, Chase’s transfer partners will include:
- Star Alliance: United, Air Canada, Singapore
- oneworld: British Airways, Iberia
- SkyTeam: Air France KLM
- Non-alliance: Emirates; Aer Lingus, JetBlue, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic
- Hotels: Hyatt, IHG, Marriott
Air Canada Aeroplan has eliminated fuel surcharges on award tickets, and they’ve been adding partner airlines that can be combined with Star Alliance airlines (like United, Lufthansa, Turkish and others) in the same award itinerary. With this announcement Aeroplan further promises “more partners and additional features” in “the coming months.”
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® Earn 65,000 AAdvantage miles.