The names are similar but there are big differences between the two passes. As a bonus, we tell you how to get four!
Examples of welcome offers with two types of companion pass
Used properly, Air Canada Buddy Passes can save you a lot of money.
For example, a new offer has been available for a few days with the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card.
For this welcome offer, you can earn up to 90,000 Aeroplan points and an Air Canada Buddy Pass.
Here is the welcome offer:
- 30,000 Aeroplan points and a Buddy Pass after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months,
- 5,000 Aeroplan Points per month, after $1,000 in purchases per month for the first 12 months, or 60,000 Aeroplan Points.
The same is true for the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card, whose welcome offer is as follows:
- A welcome bonus of 20,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase with your new card
- 45,000 additional Aeroplan points and a bonus Buddy Pass (different rules depending on your province of residence)
Also, the fine print explains that you will get another pass, on one condition:
Receive one Annual Worldwide Companion Pass when you spend $25,000 in net purchases prior to your Card anniversary date; This pass entitles you to purchase a companion ticket in economy class from Air Canada at a fixed base fare between $99 CDN and $599 CDN inclusive (excluding taxes, fees and surcharges).American Express Canada
Cardholders will receive a Buddy Pass if they carry more than $25,000 in net purchases (less refunds and credits) to their card in the 12 months preceding the card renewal. The primary cardholder can only use the pass once for a trip of their choice (i) in Canada or the continental United States (excluding Hawaii) at the base rate of $99 CDN; ii) to or from Hawaii, Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean at the base rate of $299.00 CAD; iii) to or from South America, Europe, the Middle East or Africa at the base rate of $499.00 CAD; iv) to or from Asia, Australia or New Zealand at the base rate of $599.00 CAD.TD Canada Trust
Air Canada Bonus Pass, Annual Worldwide Companion Pass: here are the differences between the two passes.
The Bonus Buddy Pass
The Buddy Pass is part of the welcome offer.
You buy a ticket and with this pass you get a second ticket for free. Only taxes must be paid.
It is valid for:
- All Air Canada operated roundtrip flights within North America (including Hawai and Mexico).
- Any economy class fare (including discount fares).
The Pass will be deposited by the issuer (TD, American Express, CIBC) into the primary cardholder’s Aeroplan account. The delay can be 8 to 10 weeks after the net purchase target is reached (especially on the TD side).
All other conditions are detailed in this article.
The Annual Worldwide Companion Pass
This is an offer from the issuer, linked to the card.
You earn this pass when you make $25,000 in net purchases (not including the annual fee) before your card’s anniversary date.
You purchase a round-trip ticket for yourself and this pass provides a second ticket at a flat base fare of $99 to $599 for your companion in Air Canada economy class. Taxes and other surcharges must be paid.
The cost of the ticket depends on your destination for a basic fare:
- $99 in Canada or the continental United States (excluding Hawaii),
- $299 for Hawaii, Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean,
- $499 for South America, Europe, Middle East or Africa,
- $599 for Asia, Australia or New Zealand.
The terms and conditions state that this pass will be deposited into the Aeroplan account 8 to 10 weeks after the anniversary date of the card membership. However, according to some lucky people, it may arrive earlier.
The time frame may vary greatly if the issuer is American Express, CIBC or TD. If you reach the $25,000 net purchase threshold near the end of your membership year, you may have to pay the 2nd year fee before receiving this pass.
In addition, you cannot convert this Annual Worldwide Companion Pass into Aeroplan Points.
Having multiple companion passes
Before going any further, you need to determine your goal. You shouldn’t collect passes for the sake of it. If necessary, review the guide to define your strategy.
You can get only one Buddy Pass per type of card (consumer, premium, corporate), for a total of 3 maximum.
|Consumer||Premium||Small Business (corporate)|
|American Express® Aeroplan®* Card||TD®Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card||TD® Aeroplan® Visa Business*|
If you want to maximize and hunt for Passes, you can get:
A Buddy pass via ONE of these consumer cards :
|American Express® Aeroplan®* Card||After $1,500 in purchases in the first three months||$120|
|TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card||No minimum purchase for Quebec ($1,000 elsewhere)||$0 (first year)|
|CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card||After $1,000 of purchases in the first three months||$0 (first year)|
A Buddy pass via ONE of these Corporate cards :
|TD® Aeroplan® Visa Business*||After $1,000 of purchases in the first three months||$0 (first year)|
|CIBC Aeroplan® Visa* Business Card||After $3,000 in purchases in the first three months||$0 (first year)|
#3 and #4
A Buddy Pass AND an Annual Worldwide Companion Pass via ONE of these premium cards for a $599 annual fee:
|Buddy Pass #3||Annual Companion Pass #4|
|TD®Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card||No minimum purchase for Quebec ($1,000 elsewhere)||After $25,000 in net purchases|
|American Express®* Aeroplan® Reserve Card||After $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months||After $25,000 in net purchases|
|American Express® Aeroplan®* Business Reserve Card||After $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months||After $25,000 in net purchases|
It’s up to you whether or not to convert your Buddy Pass(es) to 30,000 Aeroplan Points each before November 30, 2021.
By having fun with the calculations and the cards, you can get, with $599 annual fee for 3 cards and $26,000 – $30,000 in purchases in 12 months:
- 4 passes (3 Buddy Passes + 1 Annual Worldwide Companion Pass)
- or 90,000 Aeroplan points (if you convert your 3 Buddy Passes before November 30, 2021) + 1 Annual Worldwide Companion Pass
Is it worth it? If you have a high volume of purchases, it can be advantageous for you. Otherwise, you may be better off focusing on reaching bonuses from other credit cards.
For another low-cost, fast-earning Aeroplan points strategy, see the article here.
It’s up to you to do the math. Then, all you have to do is find your lucky travel companion!