I’ve recently come across a compelling offer on the CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for Business that’s available in-branch only, and I think it’s worth bringing it to everyone's attention.
A while back, this card used to have a generous no-questions-asked offer of 25,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase with a first-year fee waiver, but that’s been old news for some time now... or so I thought, until my recent visit to a CIBC branch.
You can earn a total of 30,000 Aeroplan miles by signing up for this card before October 31, 2018. The usual annual fee of $180 is waived for the first year.
The miles are awarded as follows: 20,000 Aeroplan miles upon first purchase, and a further 10,000 miles after completing $1,000 in spending on the card within the first three months.
That makes this one of the best Aeroplan offers that are currently available outside of the American Express Membership Rewards cards.
As I mentioned, this offer is available in-branch only, so you won’t see anything about it online. Indeed, the CIBC webpage for this card only indicates the “standard” offer of 20,000 welcome miles, with no fee waiver.
However, branch representatives can view this offer under the “Travel Rewards Cards for Small Business” section of their credit card promotions portal, where it’s listed alongside an equivalent offer for the Aventura Visa Card for Business (which gives you 30,000 Aventura points instead of Aeroplan miles).
One thing to note about the in-branch application process is that your “Business Registration Number” is a required field. Since it’s possible to get business credit cards as a sole proprietorship, you just need to explain to the representative that you’re applying as a sole proprietor. Accordingly, putting your SIN, or even “N/A” (as I did when applying for the card), in the Business Registration Number field will work fine.
The last thing that’s particular to the in-branch offer is the fact that you can add up to three supplementary cards at no additional cost at the time of the application. If you were to add these cards afterwards, they’d be subject to an annual fee, so that’s something to bear in mind.
Rewards and Benefits
The card’s earning structure is fairly standard, in that you earn 1.5 Aeroplan miles per dollar spent on travel and gas purchases, and 1 Aeroplan mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Needless to say, there are better options for your everyday spending – for example, the American Express SPG Card for general purchases or the Cobalt Card for food and drink. If you’re shopping at places that don’t accept Amex, though, the CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for Business is a solid choice to have in your wallet, because at the very least, Aeroplan miles are easy to redeem for solid value (moreso than, say, CIBC’s in-house Aventura points).
In terms of other bells and whistles, CIBC’s focus as a bank these days seems to be on their Aventura program rather than on Aeroplan (it’s been this way ever since they lost the big Aeroplan contract to TD back in 2014). That means that the extra perks you find on the Aventura Visa Card for Business – the $120 travel credit and the unlimited free UP Express rides in Toronto – sadly aren’t available on this card.
This card does come with a few additional Aeroplan-related perks, although they’re of limited value, since they can only be used on Aeroplan reward bookings on Air Canada flights. These include priority check-in and boarding and a complimentary first checked bag, as well as a one-time Maple Leaf Lounge pass.
Since these are only usable on Air Canada flights redeemed with Aeroplan, though, you’ll probably only find them useful when redeeming miles for travel within North America (as redeeming miles for long-haul Air Canada flights is usually horrible value).
The insurance benefits on the CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for Business are quite good. It’s lacking the emergency medical insurance that you’ll find on premium credit cards like the American Express Platinum Card, but has quite a comprehensive suite of other important insurances, such as:
- Flight and baggage delay insurance of up to $1,000, which comes in handy if you need to replace your incidentals due to a delay
- Car rental theft and damage insurance, which can replace the insurance fees that car rental companies are infamous for charging
- $500,000 Common Carrier Accident insurance, which protects you in case of a travel-related accident
- Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance of up to $1,000 per insured person, which protects against unforeseen factors affecting your travel plans
It’s worth noting that as far as I’m aware, the CIBC Aeroplan credit cards (i.e., this card, plus the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite and the Infinite Privilege) are among the few cards that will extend their travel insurance benefits to tickets redeemed with Aeroplan miles.
Many credit cards in the marketplace consider award travel to be ineligible for travel insurance – you have to put the full revenue ticket cost on the card in order for it to count. The CIBC Aeroplan cards, to my knowledge, only require you to charge the taxes and fees of your Aeroplan booking to the credit card in order for the travel insurance to kick in.
If you prefer to cover your bases using travel insurance, yet also frequently travel on points, that makes this card worthwhile to keep around.
The card requires a minimum personal annual income of $35,000 to apply. As I’ve mentioned before, applying as a sole proprietorship is fine.
There’s also footnotes in this card’s terms and conditions indicating that you won’t be eligible for a signup bonus if you’ve had the card before; however, my recent experience indicates that this isn’t enforced.
You can find more information on the card at the below link, although in order to get the best offer (20,000 Aeroplan miles upon first purchase and 10,000 Aeroplan miles after spending $1,000 in the first three months, plus a first-year waiver of the $180 annual fee), you’ll have to go to your nearest CIBC branch to sign up.
It came as a pleasant surprise to me when I saw that the CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for Business came back with an appealing offer. While it’s a bit of a hassle to complete the application in-branch, 30,000 Aeroplan miles for $0 out-of-pocket is a fantastic deal, and represents one of the best ways to add to your Aeroplan balance at this moment.