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The New Aeroplan Credit Cards by TD, CIBC, and American Express Ricky August 11, 2020

The New Aeroplan Credit Cards by TD, CIBC, and American Express

Prince of Travel is your home for learning about the brand-new Aeroplan loyalty program. We’ll be rolling out a comprehensive series of posts and videos guiding you through everything you need to know about the new Aeroplan. Check back frequently this week and subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed.

 

Air Canada leadership is reading every word of feedback from Aeroplan members to mould the program in preparation for launch. Click here to submit your feedback.

Air Canada’s new Aeroplan loyalty program will be launching on November 8, 2020. To coincide with the launch, Aeroplan’s trio of financial partners – TD, CIBC, and American Express – will all be refreshing their existing lineup of Aeroplan co-branded credit cards, and we will also be seeing a brand-new Aeroplan credit card being introduced to the market as well.

While not all details are confirmed – and in particular, we will have to wait to see the signup bonuses that these credit cards are sure to offer up – let’s delve into everything we know about the new Aeroplan credit cards and how they’ll help us rack up the Aeroplan miles and elevate our experience when travelling on Air Canada.

In This Post

Meet the New Aeroplan Credit Cards

With the launch of the new Aeroplan, all current co-branded credit cards will undergo a visual rebranding. Let’s begin by taking a look at the snazzy new card designs, shall we?

TD’s new Aeroplan credit cards will incorporate an eye-catching lattice design along the lower-left edges…

CIBC’s new Aeroplan credit cards draw upon the geometric design of the new Aeroplan symbol, forming a striking pattern across the middle of the card…

And American Express’s new Aeroplan credit cards will layer the new Aeroplan symbol across the card, resembling the contrails of an airplane taking off to the right-hand side…

Across all three issuers, the cards’ colour scheme will be uniform across their positioning in each market segments: entry-level cards will be light-coloured, core cards will be slate-coloured, premium cards will be black, and small business cards will take on each issuer’s respective colour identities.

This reflects Air Canada’s intention to differentiate the new Aeroplan credit cards primarily by market segment, rather than by issuer. The idea is for customers to think of their “Aeroplan slate card”, “Aeroplan black card”, etc. rather than focusing on choosing from one particular card issuer over the others.

The current status quo among Aeroplan’s co-branded credit cards sees TD acting as the primary issuer of the TD Aeroplan series of cards, with CIBC and American Express taking up secondary roles as issuers of the “Aerogold” and “AeroplanPlus” series of cards.

That will change with the introduction of the new program: all three issuers will take on key roles in the issuance of Aeroplan credit cards in all customer segments: entry-level, core, premium, and small business. All products will be branded as “Aeroplan” going forward.

TD’s four Aeroplan co-branded products will continue under their current identities:

CIBC’s four Aeroplan co-branded products will rebrand as follows:

American Express’s two Aeroplan co-branded products will rebrand as we follows:

The positioning of all 11 co-branded products in each consumer segment is summarized in the below chart:

Personal

Entry-level

TD Aeroplan
Visa Platinum

CIBC Aeroplan
Visa Card

Core

TD Aeroplan
Visa Infinite

CIBC Aeroplan
Visa Infinite

American Express
Aeroplan Card

Premium

TD Aeroplan
Visa Infinite Privilege

CIBC Aeroplan
Visa Infinite Privilege

American Express
Aeroplan Reserve Card

Business

Core

TD Aeroplan
Visa Business Card

CIBC Aeroplan
Visa Business Card

Premium

American Express
Aeroplan Business Reserve Card

In addition, American Express will also issue Aeroplan-branded corporate cards in both the core and premium markets.

Transition for Current Cardholders

As of today, TD, CIBC, and American Express have all announced details of the upcoming changes to their respective Aeroplan co-branded products, with further details to be communicated to cardholders over the upcoming weeks.

Cardholders can continue using their cards as normal, earning miles within the current Aeroplan program with each monthly statement that posts to their account before November 8.

November 8, the date of the new program’s launch, will also be the official date that the current Aeroplan credit cards transform into their new editions.

The new cardholder benefits will take effect as of this date, while the refreshed physical cards will be mailed out over the upcoming 12-month period as cardholders renew their cards. However, cardholders can always contact their banks to ask for their replacement card at an earlier date.

Details about the welcome bonus for new cardholders should arrive closer to November 8.

Air Canada indicates that we should anticipate “something amazing” here, with the possibility of multiple different signup bonuses on the same card aimed at different segments of prospective cardholders.

And given that the consortium of Air Canada, TD, CIBC, and Visa had forked over $450 million in cash to acquire the Aeroplan program, I’d certainly expect the banks to be putting out some incredible offers that we simply can’t refuse. 

New Credit Card Benefits – Summary

The most significant changes to the Aeroplan credit cards will be a renewed series of cardholder benefits, which will provide more meaningful rewards when redeeming Aeroplan points and when travelling with Air Canada on paid tickets.

Of course, this reflects the fact that the new Aeroplan is now under one roof with Air Canada, allowing the airline and the loyalty program to work more closely together to deliver reciprocal benefits for members.

Air Canada summarizes these benefits in the below charts:

Without further ado, let’s explore some of the most exciting new cardholder benefits in more detail.

New Credit Card Benefits – Earning Rates

The points-earning rates on TD’s and CIBC’s Aeroplan credit cards are undergoing slight improvements:

  • The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege and CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege will now offer 2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, increasing from 1.5x points before.
  • The TD Aeroplan Visa Business Card and CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Card will now offer 1.5 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on shipping, internet, cable, phone services and dining.
  • Drugstores will no longer be treated as a bonus category on the TD and CIBC core and premium cards.
  • American Express Aeroplan cards’ earning rates are subject to further confirmation; I’ll update this section when we know more.

Other than this, expect that the present-day earning rates will remain in place, even after the credit cards are relaunched.

New Credit Card Benefits – Preferred Pricing

As we know, the new Aeroplan’s flight rewards structure will include dynamic pricing on Air Canada flights. All Aeroplan co-branded credit card holders will be treated to “preferred pricing”, meaning that they are more likely to see reward prices at the lower end of the published price ranges in the Flight Reward Chart.

There are no published, predictable rules for how this preferred pricing will be reflected; rather, it’s all part of the dynamic pricing algorithm. Generally speaking, holders of the higher-tier premium credit cards will be treated to greater preferred pricing than holders of the core or entry-level cards, but this is not a hard-and-fast rule.

On this point, Air Canada emphasizes that engagement with the program via either co-branded cards or Elite Status will make a very meaningful difference to the dynamic reward prices that members see on Air Canada flights.

Indeed, cardholders who hold both a co-branded card and Aeroplan Elite Status will be treated to a double-boost in terms of preferred pricing. And as we’ll see below, one of the key themes across the new credit card benefits is a greater degree of integration and interaction between credit card benefits and Elite Status benefits.

New Credit Card Benefits – Free First Checked Bag

If you hold any of the core cards, premium cards, or small business cards, then you’ll benefit from a free first checked bag on Air Canada flights for yourself and up to eight passengers on the same reservation.

The benefit applies on all Air Canada flights, whether booked with cash or points, as long as your Aeroplan number is associated with the booking.

Air Canada normally charges $30 plus taxes for the first checked bag on domestic and transborder flights, so the value of this benefit can easily add up very quickly. If you regularly travel with your family of four within Canada, for example, and you each need to check-in a bag, then you’ll save $240 for every round-trip journey ($30 per passenger per direction of travel).

New Credit Card Benefits – Maple Leaf Lounge Access & Priority Airport Services

Holders of the premium personal and business cards will now have unlimited Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge access in North America as part of their cardholder benefits, when they are travelling on any Air Canada or Star Alliance flight in any class of service, booked with either cash or Aeroplan points.

The forerunner to the Amex product, the American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card, already comes with this perk. However, the TD and CIBC Visa Infinite Privilege cards will be receiving carte-blanche access to Maple Leaf Lounge as a brand-new benefit.

In addition to lounge access, these premium cards will also grant cardholders the standard set of priority airport services: priority check-in, boarding, and standby, as well as a higher priority on the upgrade list.

These benefits is certain to prove popular among premium-level cardholders, and will likely tempt many new cardholders into signing up in spite of the higher annual fee.

In addition, core small business cards will now offer the ability to earn one Maple Leaf Lounge pass per $10,000 of eligible spending, up to a maximum of four passes per year.

New Credit Card Benefits – Priority Pass

To broaden your airport lounge options even further, holders of the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege and the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege will receive a complimentary Priority Pass membership with six annual visits as part of their Visa Infinite Privilege benefits. However, the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card is excluded from this benefit. 

New Credit Card Benefits – Shared Benefits with Supplementary Cards

For the core, premium, and small business cards, all of the above benefits (preferred pricing, first free checked bag, lounge access, priority airport services) will be shared with supplementary cardholders in addition to the primary cardholder.

This has already been the case with a few of these cards’ forerunners, but has now been formalized into an official perk that allows cardholders to share their Aeroplan credit card benefits with their loved ones.

When registering a supplementary card, the primary cardholder will need to input the supplementary cardholder’s Aeroplan number in order for all of the card benefits to be shared across the account. This function will be enabled on the Air Canada website as of the new program’s launch.

New Credit Card Benefits – Aeroplan Elite Status Benefits

The new Aeroplan credit cards will offer a series of benefits that allow cardholders to maximize their Aeroplan Elite Status, both in terms of earning status and getting more out of their status benefits.

Core, premium, and small business cardholders will be able to earn additional Status Qualifying Miles (SQM) and Status Qualifying Segments (SQS) based on their annual spending on the credit card:

  • Personal core cardholders and all small business cardholders will earn 1,000 SQM and 1 SQS for every $10,000 in annual spending
  • Personal premium cardholders will earn 1,000 SQM and 1 SQS for every $5,000 in annual spending

As a reminder, qualification for Aeroplan Elite Status will require:

  • Aeroplan 25K: 25,000 SQM or 25 SQS, along with $3,000 Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD)
  • Aeroplan 35K: 35,000 SQM or 35 SQS, along with $4,000 SQD
  • Aeroplan 50K: 50,000 SQM or 50 SQS, along with $6,000 SQD
  • Aeroplan 75K: 75,000 SQM or 75 SQS, along with $9,000 SQD
  • Aeroplan Super Elite: 100,000 SQM or 100 SQS, along with $20,000 SQD

The fact that Aeroplan credit card spending can only earn SQM and SQS, but does not help you towards the SQD requirement, means that the usefulness of this benefit will likely be limited to those who genuinely travel frequently with Air Canada, rather than offering a meaningful shortcut to Elite Status in any way.

Nevertheless, I’m sure that Air Canada frequent flyers will appreciate the ability to bump themselves up with extra SQM or SQS to get closer to renewing our upgrading their status – especially since most current Altitude status members report that they usually have no trouble meeting the legacy AQD requirement, but often struggle to rack up enough AQM or AQS without going out of their way to do so.

In addition, premium personal and small business cardholders will receive two rollover benefits:

  • Any excess SQM you earned in a given calendar year, which did not help you achieve a higher status level that year, will rollover to the following qualifying year. For example, if you earned 70,000 SQM in 2021 as an Aeroplan 50K member, an extra 20,000 SQM would rollover into your 2022 qualifying year, since you had only “needed” 50,000 SQM to renew 50K status.
  • Up to 50 excess eUpgrade credits that are left over at the end of the year will rollover into the following benefit year.

The first rollover benefit makes it easier for Aeroplan Elite members to renew or upgrade their status every year, whereas the second benefit prevents eUpgrades from going to waste at the end of the year and ensures that you can maximize them for complimentary Air Canada upgrades to greatest effect.

New Credit Card Benefits – Annual Worldwide Companion Fare

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege, CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege, American Express Aeroplan Reserve, and American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve cardholders will earn an Annual Worldwide Companion Pass upon spending $25,000 on the card annually.

This companion pass applies to paid flights with Air Canada, and cannot be combined with an Aeroplan reward.

With the companion pass, Aeroplan members will be able to make a reservation for travel on Air Canada while paying full fare for the first passenger and only a fixed reduced amount of the second passenger, depending on the geographic zone:

  • $99 base fare for travel within Canada and continental United States (excluding Hawaii)
  • $299 base fare for travel to/from Hawaii, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
  • $499 base fare for travel to/from South America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa
  • $599 base fare for travel to/from Asia, Australia, and New Zealand
  • Taxes, fees, charges, and surcharges extra

New Credit Card Benefits – TD & CIBC NEXUS Rebate

Independently of Air Canada and Aeroplan, TD and CIBC will also be implementing an additional $100 NEXUS rebate to many of their core, premium, and small business products when they are refreshed on November 8. This benefit will cover your NEXUS application or renewal fee of US$50 once every four years.

On TD’s side, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege, TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite, and TD Aeroplan Visa Business Card will all come with this benefit. On CIBC’s side, only the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege will offer this benefit.

Annual Fees on the New Aeroplan Credit Cards

The annual fees on the new Aeroplan credit cards will look as follows: 

  • Entry-level cards:
    • CIBC’s entry-level card will be priced at $0 going forward. If you’re a current cardholder or you apply before November 8 and get charged the $39 annual fee, it will be refunded within three or four statement cycles.
    • TD’s entry-level card will be priced at $89, with supplementary cards available for $39 – the same as now.
  • Core cards:
    • TD and CIBC’s core cards will be priced at $139, an increase from today’s $120. TD’s supplementary card fee will be increasing from $50 to $75, while CIBC’s will remain level at $50.
    • American Express’s core card will remain level at $120, with a supplementary card fee of $50.
  • The three premium cards will be priced at $599, with supplementary card fees at $199 – an increase from today’s $399–499 and $99, respectively.
  • The two core small business cards will be priced as they are today: $180 (CIBC) and $149 (TD), with supplementary card fees at $50 and $49 respectively, as they are today.
  • The American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card will be priced at $599, with supplementary card fees at $199.

For the core and premium personal cards, the new annual fees represent an increase upon the current price points, and in the case of the premium cards, the $200 hike in annual fees is quite significant.

However, both of these annual fee increases are accompanied by significant improvements to the card benefits, as we’ve discussed above. Depending on the signup bonuses that we see on these cards, I can see even the steeply-priced premium cards justifying a place in frequent flyers’ wallets, similar to other premium credit cards in the Canadian market like the American Express Platinum Card.

Meanwhile, you might also wish to consider the strategy of signing up for one of the future cards’ predecessors prior to the official launch on November 8 – especially for the premium cards, which are significantly less likely to see a first-year fee waiver compared to the core cards.

For example, by signing up for the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege before November 8, you’ll only pay the current lower annual fee of $399 on your first statement, but that’ll allow you to sample almost a full year’s worth of new cardholder benefits after November 8 until you renew your card at the higher $599 annual fee one year later.

The downside to this strategy, however, is that you wouldn’t be eligible for the new-cardholder signup bonus after November 8 if you’re already holding onto the card. But hey, since there are three issuers offering 11 new Aeroplan products in total, it’s not like the signup bonuses will be in short supply.

Conclusion

The launch of the new Aeroplan program brings with it one of the biggest seismic shifts in the Canadian credit card market in recent years. 10 existing Aeroplan co-branded products from TD, CIBC, and American Express will be revamped and refreshed, while an all-new premium small business card from American Express will be arriving soon as well.

The focus of the credit card portfolio will be on the $139/year core Aeroplan cards, as well as the $599/year premium Aeroplan cards, both of which will deliver improved cardholder benefits for Aeroplan members as they fly with Air Canada, redeem Aeroplan points, and aim for Aeroplan Elite Status.

Even though what we know so far is already very exciting, I’m sure we’ll all be eagerly anticipating what kind of new signup bonuses we’ll see from the transformed Aeroplan credit cards. I have a feeling it’ll be worth the wait!

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74 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Paul

    Hi Ricky.

    With Standard base fares between Western Canada and Europe sitting at $200 or less of the $1,000 total ticket price is there any real value in the $499 Companion Fare to Europe apart from the Latitude e-upgrade route?

  2. Avatar
    K Cheung

    I also feel that the current benefits of priority check-in, priority boarding, and a one-time annual guest access to Maple Leaf Lounges are more beneficial to most cardholders. The free first checked bag is for US & domestic flights only so travellers on international flights are not benefit from this at all.

  3. Avatar
    Monique

    Ricky, do you think it’s worth it to sign up for the TD Aeroplan platinum card right now (I’m reading there is a 10,000 bonus up until Sept 8) or should I hold out until November 8 and see what possible bonus they might be offering when the new program rolls out??

    1. Avatar
      Rob

      I wouldn’t sign up… there’s going to be much better offers

  4. Avatar
    Rick

    Hey Ricky, great post! Just received an email from TD pre-approving me a Cash Back Visa Infinite card with annual fee waived and 10% C/B on any purchases done first 3 months.

    Spoke to TD today — the rep confirmed I could also go with the Aeroplan Visa Infinite if I so desire (also pre-approved).

    Would you go with the CB or Aeroplan at the moment? Or, how is going with the CB now, then PS to Aeroplan when the new offers start rolling in? Would that get me eligible for the new offers?

    Need to accept by Sep-15, 2020. Tia!

    1. Avatar
      Kyrie English

      You only get sign up bonus from PS after 6 months

  5. Avatar
    monte

    Ricky, will the AMEX premium and core be charge cards like the current Aeroplan Plus cards? Also will there be an income requirement for them as they currently don’t in current form (I know the premium CIBC and TD Aeroplan Visas have income requirements of 200k)

  6. Avatar
    Smsm

    You did great job analyzing Aeroplan. I’m wondering what do you think about this one.
    I currently have the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Privilege, I don’t know about CIBC product switch but I’m thinking if I should switch my card with
    CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privileg and come November with the new Aeroplan bonus, switch it back to CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Privilege.
    Again, I don’t know if CIBC has products switch policy and if they do, are they strict or flexible.
    Thanks for all the hard work.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      I think the safest play would be to switch it to the Aventura VIP and then apply as a new applicant for the Aerogold VIP when the new bonus comes out. You don’t want to risk not getting the bonus on that one.

  7. Avatar
    Stephane

    Hi Ricky,
    Is it a good idea to downgrade my current TD Aeroplan visa and reapply in the Fall to get the sign up bonus?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Sounds like a plan to me!

      1. Avatar
        Alfred Wong

        Hey Ricky, I have the TD Aeroplan Infinite, when you say downgrade. Can you elaborate? Move to the cash back and reapply for the core after November 8? I just received this card in Jan 2020 (I think) when they had the Aeroplan sign up bonus and first year free. Thanks in Advance!

  8. Avatar
    Jay*

    Most intrigued by the “preferred pricing” distinction between the core and premium cards (as well as the “double-boost” with AP status). That “very meaningful” difference to the dynamic reward prices, could potentially easily offset the increased AF on one trip alone.

  9. Avatar
    Alvin

    The cost of the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite might be steeper than you think. Current card holders already have the benefit of a free first checked bag, but they also get priority check-in, priority boarding, *and* a one-time annual guest access to Maple Leaf Lounges (see: https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/credit-cards/aeroplan/aeroplan-visa-infinite-card/). All these benefits are no longer mentioned for the core card *and* the annual fee is going up by $19.

    1. Avatar
      Kyrie English

      I think the annual fee is irrelevant at least at this moment: it is either first year free, or waived by maintaining $5000 balance

    2. Ricky
      Ricky

      At the same time, the free first checked bag is currently valid only on Aeroplan reward tickets, whereas in the future it’ll be valid on paid travel on Air Canada as well, making it a lot more valuable. Together with the NEXUS credit, expanded insurance, and ability to earn SQM/SQS via spend, I’d say it just about justifies the $19 increase.

  10. Avatar
    Churner 01090

    If the latitude fare holds up, then this companion fare quite good once you factor in the average cost for both. Do you think it’s better to apply for premium card now while it’s still at $399 rather than wait until after Nov 8.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Agreed, the possibilities there are worth exploring further.

      That depends on how much you value the signup bonus (which promises to be quite impressive) compared to the $200 savings in first-year annual fee. Given your username, I think you already know the answer. 😉

      1. Avatar
        Churner 01090

        Thanks Ricky, I didn’t realize there will be a change to the signup bonus.

  11. Avatar
    Keith W

    Hey Ricky,

    Thanks for summarizing all of the new information.
    I currently hold both the CIBC Aerogold VISA infinite and the TD Aeroplan VISA Business cards. Would you suggest canceling both these cards in hopes of receiving the welcome bonuses if I applied for the new ones coming out in November?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Applying as a new cardholder will be the only way to guarantee the bonus, so yes. Otherwise, if you’d prefer to keep the cards, remember that there are still 9 other cards whose bonuses you could apply for.

  12. Avatar
    Adam Cummings

    Ricky, do you know if the 1,000 SQM earned would also post as point, increasing the rate of the card.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      There’s no reason to believe they would. The new program has made a big effort to separate “miles” (as in SQM) from “points” (as in redeemable for rewards), so I’m gonna say no here.

  13. Avatar
    Frank

    If I presently hold the TD infinite privilege Card Due for renewal in January 2021. Will I be entitled to a sign up bonus On renewalof the new card or will I Have to move to the cibc or american express to receive same?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Barring any surprises, you wouldn’t receive a bonus for renewing. You could always sign up for the CIBC or Amex version when they launch to get those cards’ bonuses, though.

  14. Avatar
    Eric

    Ricky – Thank you for the great information as always. Do you know if the earn rate on the AMEX Aeroplan Reserve Card will be the same as the current AMEX AeroplanPlus Platinum? I wanted to know specifically whether the enhanced earn rate of 1.5 aeroplan points per dollar spent will continue to apply for spending over $25,000.00 CAD annually.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      The new Amex cards’ earn rates will be confirmed later in August, as I understand it.

  15. Avatar
    Michael

    Just as a disclaimer to the CIBC chart – they’re moving Credit Cards laterally as seen with 3 categories of personal and 1 for small businesses, but CIBC is also continuing with their grandfathered Aerogold VISA card that will be re-branded and re-designed (Source: https://www.cibc.com/en/special-offers/aeroplanbenefits.html#aerogoldgrandfathered). This means this will stay as it’s own product, and won’t be amalgamated into any of the Entry-Level, Core, and Premium products.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Wow, I had no idea this card existed. Was it from before 2014 by any chance (when CIBC held the main co-brand contract)? Thanks for the input.

      1. Avatar
        Michael

        It possibly could’ve been. It’s certainly not a product that is obtainable now so it’s interesting to see they are still re-branding and re-designing this old card. Ultimately, this will mean that CIBC will not just have 4, but 5 total new products as a result of the Aeroplan Program changes. From my own research, TD is still sticking with 4 products as of right now.

  16. Avatar
    aaron

    American express aeroplan reserve for me

  17. Avatar
    Mit

    Does Aeroplan credit card come to US?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      My understanding is that a US co-brand is coming eventually, but no details at the moment.

  18. Avatar
    Sergio Barona

    Hello Ricky, any news on how the American Express Platinum and American Express Gold will fit in with the new Aeroplan changes? Any chance MR transfer rate maybe goes up to 1:1.25, or some of the other benefits of the Premium Aeroplan Cards might also applied to the Platinum Card?

    At the moment it seems like a devaluation for the Platinum and Gold Cards in Canada, and I’m hoping they might be able to add some additional incentives on the non-Aeroplan branded cards.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      No news on the Amex MR cards, and to be honest I’d be surprised if they offered anything special since Amex will also have their own Aeroplan cards to focus on.

      I’d be very very surprised if we saw a higher MR transfer rate and would say the chances are fairly low. Would be delighted to be proven wrong though!

  19. Avatar
    Jerry Zhang

    Does anyone know if the extended eUpgrade credits from the premium cards apply to credit earned from the summer deal? I got 25K and my credits are set to expire on Feb 21. Thanks!

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      I don’t see why not!

  20. Avatar
    Pete

    I believe I read that after earning 100K of Aeroplan points (not miles anymore I guess) that you automatically qualify for bottom tier status. I wonder if the additional spend on the credit card will help qualify further or if it is an either or scenario. Any thoughts?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Yes, credit card spending will count towards Everyday Status Qualification (earning Aeroplan 25K status by earning 100,000 Aeroplan points per year). However, credit card signup bonuses and transferring credit card points (e.g., Amex MR points) will not count.

  21. Avatar
    Tom

    I cannot believe they are not adjusting the dumb earning rates on the core visa infinite cards.
    The only bonus categories are gas, groceries, and air canada purchases, and those earn just x1.5, and not even x2.
    Unless they improve the earning structure to match what the US banks offer (x2 to x5 for dining, groceries, gas, travel, utility, office supplies, gym, etc), I am just going to churn these cards without holding them long-term as there’s no value in retaining them for everyday usages.
    I actually find x1.5 very insulting…just give us x2 please…

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Fair enough – churners gonna churn, unless they’re given sufficient incentives to keep the cards in the long run. I’d encourage you to share your feedback with Air Canada, as you aren’t alone in wanting to see a stronger offering from the core and premium cards.

  22. Avatar
    Eric

    Great article! Thank you. Looking forward to the welcome bonus announcements. Wondering if when you hold multiple products (i.e., say a VIP and one of the new Amex). How are the Aeroplan benefits determined (i.e., by highest tier card?)

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Yes, highest-tier card I would imagine.

  23. Avatar
    andrew

    these seem pretty lame imo. Amex Gold still earns better at most categories then any of these cards. the status benefit is a big flop AQD/SQD is what it should be like the Delta and United cards earning there MQD and PQD respectively. i see very little reason to go from a Infinite to Infinite Privilege card too unless you would already be buying Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge access to make up for it but if that’s the case you probably already have it with status anyway and don’t need any of the credit card priority benifits

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      After spending some time with it, I too am a little underwhelmed by the cards’ positioning in their respective markets (especially core and premium) compared to other cards out there. While I suspect the welcome bonuses at launch will certainly justify the cards’ annual fees, I’d encourage you to share your feedback with Air Canada and let them know you’re expecting to see more from the credit cards.

  24. Avatar
    Jay

    $599 for the premium tier cards is an aggressive AF and puts it squarely in the sights of the Amex Personal Platinum. As a travel-rewards card, I feel like (at this price-point) one major perk that is missing from the Aeroplan Premium cards is the lack of any hotel status benefits.

    CIBC used to have a partnership with Fairmont on their VIP card that was discontinued after the Accor takeover… hopefully the respective banks will consider adding some hotel-specific perks going forward to make the card a stronger contender against the Amex Plat and to differentiate their offerings.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Good input, Jay. I’d encourage you to share your feedback with Air Canada, as the leadership team is reading every word of feedback and I suspect many others also might feel a little underwhelmed by the VIP cards (outside of what promises to be an impressive signup bonus).

  25. Avatar
    Jeff

    Hi Ricky, curious I recently opened my first CIBC Visa Infinite and met the MSR for the 20k, after it posts could I then PS to a lesser card in hopes of getting a new welcome bonus in a few months (essentially only holding the card for about 40 days? And applying around Jan/Feb?

    Or should I hold it longer and hope the bonuses are still good in later next yr?

  26. Avatar
    Anastasios Zafiriadis

    Hi Ricky, thanks for the update top notch as usual.

    My questions: I have been an American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card holder for years (also have the Gold version for my spouse). Is it worth cancelling or downgrading this card and then reapplying for the newer version of this card (American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card) to get the newer perks. Also I have just paid the $499 fee in July would I have to pay the new $599 fee on the new card when I apply? Thanks.

    1. Avatar
      A Z

      Ricky, Thanks for the reply. Just to confirm the new card sign up would not count towards Aeroplan status qualifications

      1. Ricky
        Ricky

        Confirmed, credit card welcome bonuses will not count towards Everyday Status Qualification (earning Aeroplan 25K status by earning 100,000 Aeroplan points per year).

    2. Ricky
      Ricky

      If you’re interested in getting the signup bonus on the new Aeroplan Reserve Card (which is likely to be quite tempting), then yes you’d cancel and reapply. But then you’d pay the $599 fee again.

      If you’re happy to just transition to the new card as a current cardholder, then you wouldn’t have to pay the $599 annual fee until next July.

  27. Avatar
    Annie

    CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Privilege is offering “Get a one-time annual fee rebate of the fee difference in the first year for the primary cardholder and each authorized user on the account as of November 7, 2020” (source: https://www.cibc.com/en/special-offers/aeroplanbenefits.html#infiniteprivilege) if anyone wants to open the card now for annual fee of $399 and 25k Aeroplan Mile.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Good spot. I’m interpreting this as a measure to ensure that anyone who applies for the CIBC Aerogold VIP (the current one, not the new CIBC Aeroplan VIP) will not be unfairly charged the higher annual fee if it happens to post after November 8 due to the way that statement dates work.

  28. Avatar
    A S

    Are the current income requirements for the “premium” cards going to stay the same?

    $200k annual income.. yeah, sorry, not me 🙁

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Time to grease some wheels at your local bank branch. 🙂

  29. Avatar
    Julian

    Hi Ricky, given that the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card will have a $599 annual fee, would you say that the Amex Platinum card which would net to $499 be a better overall premium travel card to consider applying for when considering the benefits and what is offered? I do not have Air Canada/Aeroplan status but wanted your opinion between these two cards. Thanks!

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      I’d be looking to see if the Platinum Card raises its signup bonus first. However, I’m pretty sure the new signup bonuses on the new Aeroplan cards will outstrip whatever the Platinum offers, so I’m tempted to go in that direction for the remainder of 2020/early 2021.

  30. Avatar
    Sophie

    Ricky, should I be using my partner ticket for 15,000 aeroplan from my AMEX AeroplanPlus Platinum before Nov 8th?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Hi Sophie, I don’t have this information right now but I imagine American Express will be communicating this to cardholders very shortly.

    2. Avatar
      jc

      I am wondering this too and I can’t find any info on what happens to the partner credit after the 8th.

  31. Avatar
    Leah

    CIBCs Platinum card annual fee is going down to $0 forever not just until nov 7

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Thanks for the corrections Leah.

    2. Avatar
      leah

      and the annual fee for authorized users for infinite will be staying at $50 not being increased to $75

  32. Avatar
    George

    Do these count entirely as “new” cards or if we’ve held an Aeroplan card in the past then we’d be considered a repeat customer and can’t get the new welcome bonuses?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      For the 10 products being rebranded, I imagine it’s more likely that we’ll be considered repeat customers; however, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the bonus. For example, TD’s terms state that customers are eligible for the bonus as long as they haven’t opened an account in the past 6 months.

  33. Avatar
    Alice

    Ricky, for the companion fare on the premium cards, is that just for economy tickets or is that extended to all fare types? $599 for a business companion ticket sounds like quite a deal to me.

    1. Avatar
      Himanshu

      Straight from the CIBC T&Cs for their CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card:

      “The Companion Pass entitles a companion to accompany the primary cardholder for a fixed base fare, when the primary cardholder books a published economy fare on a flight marketed and operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge or under the Air Canada Express brand.”

      1. Avatar
        Himanshu

        Spend $25,000 per year to get a companion pass that you get included by default with your WestJet credit card…what a deal…

    2. Ricky
      Ricky

      Seems like it’s economy class fares only.

    3. Ricky
      Ricky

      I will follow up on this.

      1. Avatar
        Churner 01090

        I wonder this applies to round-trip fares as well. Also, let say I booked a latitude fare, does that mean my companion is also booked on latitude?

        1. Ricky
          Ricky

          The listed prices are all for round-trip economy fares. Yes, I believe the Latitude equivalence will hold; some Elite Status members have strategized around redeeming eUpgrades this way.

          1. Avatar
            Churner 01090

            If the latitude fare holds up, then this companion fare quite good once you factor in the average cost for both. Do you think it’s better to apply for premium card now while it’s still at $399 rather than wait until after Nov 8.

Ricky

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