I just got back from the CIBC branch, and I have exciting news to share. The “hidden” CIBC Aerogold for Business signup bonus is back for another round, and this time there’s 35,000 Aeroplan miles up for grabs with the annual fee of $180 waived for the first year.
Many of you will remember the previous promotion which ended on October 31. Back then, you could get 30,000 Aeroplan miles, so this represents an even higher signup bonus compared to last time. Indeed, it appears to me that the Aerogold for Business offers tend to match those on the Aventura for Business, which is likewise currently offering 35,000 Aventura points with the first year fee waived.
As with the Aventura for Business, the exact bonus structure has changed a little bit. You’ll receive 20,000 Aeroplan miles upon first purchase, together with 15,000 bonus miles upon spending $3,000 in the first four statement periods. The first-year fee waiver is also valid for up to three supplementary cards added at the time of application, which would ordinarily run you $50 each.
35,000 miles for no money out-of-pocket is probably the best deal I have ever seen on an Aeroplan co-branded credit card. It’s well worth making a beeline to your nearest CIBC branch to take advantage of it, even if you may need to jump through a few hoops…
Getting the Aerogold for Business In-Branch
I say this offer is “hidden” because it’s not available on the CIBC website – indeed, the card’s online application page only displays the standard offer of 20,000 Aeroplan miles with no fee waiver.
On the other hand, you will see this offer if you go in-branch. Whether or not it’s available over the phone is kind of unclear – in theory, the phone reps should be following the same application process as what’s done in-branch, but you never know with this stuff.
During the last promotion, a handful of people successfully got the offer over the phone, while others had to grapple with obstinate agents who insisted that the offer wasn’t available.
It might be worth a few phone calls to see if the agent can find the offer for you, but I’d recommend going in-branch for best results.
Having said that, even branch representatives might struggle to find this offer. It’s as though CIBC has done everything they can to hide this offer and promote their Aventura products instead. That makes sense in light of the recent uncertainty surrounding Aeroplan, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see CIBC’s Aeroplan cards take up more of the limelight again now that the future of their partnership has been secured.
Anyway, when I visited the branch this morning, my representative was able to find the offer on some of CIBC’s internal marketing material, but not on the small business promotions section of the internal CIBC portal (which is where the previous offer of 30,000 miles had appeared).
Instead, we decided to simply go for an application – credit check and all – and only midway through the application process did the offer terms show up:
If you go in the branch and ask if they can see the offer of 30,000 miles + First Year Free on the CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for Business, there’s a good chance the representative might not be able to find it.
However, if you straight-up apply for the card, then the representative will click through to Small Business Products, choose between Aventura and Aeroplan (you want the latter), and then arrive at a screen confirming the credit check. Only after this screen are the terms of the offer specified, as above.
If you don’t want to run the risk of “wasting” a credit inquiry, remember that CIBC allows you to reuse an existing credit inquiry within 90 days for a new credit application when you apply in-branch. Thus, you can take this opportunity to apply for some of the bank’s other products, like the Aventura Visa Infinite (20,000 Aventura points) or the Aventura Visa Card for Business (35,000 Aventura points) – those ones are well-advertised throughout the branch and online, so they should be a sure thing.
Can You Apply If You Don’t Have a Registered Business?
The general answer to this question is yes, since you can always apply for small business credit cards as a sole proprietor. Nevertheless, there are some reports of CIBC branches being a little stubborn about this sort of thing.
In my experience, I was able to enter my SIN as a Business Registration Number, as my representative had confirmed with the credit department that this was a fully standard practice for sole proprietors. If your branch insists that you enter a valid Business Registration Number, it’s worth noting that these can be obtained freely and easily on the CRA website.
As before, I’m happy to help out Toronto-based readers by referring you to a representative who can get this done easily. Alas, my contact is no longer able to help out for now, since the volume of new referrals has been overwhelming. If anyone has a contact they'd like to share, feel free to get in touch with me.
When Does This Offer Expire?
Neither I nor my CIBC branch representative was able to find a published end date to the offer along the application process, so I’ll mark this one as “ongoing, and you should get in on it ASAP”.
Some of the marketing material had specified an end date of October 31, 2019, but that seems awfully far into the future. Instead, I would venture to say that an end date of February 28, 2019 might be a reasonable guess.
That’s because the movement of the signup bonus on the Aerogold for Business seems to mirror that of the Aventura for Business, and the webpage for that credit card stipulates the following in the terms and conditions:
So it seems as though the end of February might see these offers switched up for something else. But again, this is mostly guesswork, and you should really aim to nab those 35,000 Aeroplan miles as soon as you can given how lucrative of a deal it is.
Other Perks & Benefits
In addition to a mouth-watering 35,000 miles for no money out-of-pocket, there are a few other factors that make the CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for Business a card that’s worth keeping around in your pocket.
The card will earn you 1.5 Aeroplan miles per dollar spent on travel and gas purchases, and 1 Aeroplan mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. While that isn’t world-beating, it definitely makes this a good Visa card to keep around for when Amex isn’t accepted, since Aeroplan miles are some of the most versatile points you can collect here in Canada if your end goal is to travel internationally.
Meanwhile, the card offers a few specific perks when you redeem Aeroplan miles for travel on Air Canada, like a free checked bag, priority boarding, and one-time access to an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge. A large portion of my domestic and North American travel these days is done through Aeroplan, so I’ve been able to take advantage of this quite a few times, such as on my recent Canadian hopper trip.
Lastly, the Aeroplan-branded credit cards are one of the few products that will extend their travel insurance benefits if you’re redeeming Aeroplan miles and you pay for the taxes and fees using the card, making this card a good option if you often travel on Aeroplan miles and would like to cover your bases using travel insurance.
The CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for Business is the gift that keeps on giving, and the opportunity to earn a free 35,000 Aeroplan miles is certainly worth a quick trip to your local CIBC branch. Registered small business owners should find the application process a breeze, while sole proprietors can also get in on the action. Combine this offer with a few new Amex cards, and you’ll be well on your way to your next big Aeroplan redemption!
(Special shout-out to Prince of Travel reader Stacey for bringing this to my attention!)