Happy Canada Day!
As of today, CIBC has put on a few new promotional offers on their Aerogold line of credit cards, which make these cards pretty valuable for earning Aeroplan miles on the side. To my knowledge, these offers are valid from July 1 through to October 31, so you have quite a bit of time to get in on the action.
I say “earning miles on the side” because the quickest way to rack up Aeroplan miles would still be via the Amex MR credit cards as well as the TD Aeroplan, but if you’ve exhausted those offers then these CIBC Aerogold offers might well be worth considering.
CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite: 20k Aeroplan Miles + $120 Gift Card
The CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite now offers 20,000 Aeroplan miles upon signing up for the card, which are distributed as follows:
15,000 Aeroplan miles upon first purchase
5,000 Aeroplan miles upon spending $1,000 in the first four monthly statement periods
I’ve added a page for the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite in the Credit Cards section, and you can check it out here.
The card has an annual fee of $120, which is effectively offset by a $120 Air Canada eGift card that you also earn when signing up for the card. This gift card will be delivered to you within 6–8 weeks of opening the card, and doesn’t have a set expiry date; therefore, as a frequent traveller based in Canada for whom flying with Air Canada is very much an inevitability, I’d value it as equivalent to $120 in cash.
(Unfortunately, you can’t redeem this eGift card towards taxes and fees on Aeroplan bookings, but rather only bookings made directly with Air Canada, which feels like a bit of a missed opportunity for CIBC. Nevertheless, I think their choice of an Air Canada eGift card to sweeten the deal on these Aeroplan-branded credit cards is very much a result of Air Canada’s impending takeover of Aeroplan in 2020.)
The $120 gift card offering brings the personal Aerogold credit card in line with CIBC’s more heavily-promoted product, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite (which comes with a $120 travel credit instead). With the gift card cancelling out the annual fee, you’re looking at a net gain of 20,000 Aeroplan miles (which I’d value at 2.2 cents per mile at a cool $440), and that’s one of the best offers we’ve seen on this card since CIBC lost the bulk of the Aeroplan credit card contract to TD back in 2014.
Keep in mind that the CIBC Aerogold had previously offered an unpublished first-year fee waiver when you applied through the kiosk at certain Canadian airports, although those offers only came with 15,000 Aeroplan miles. If anyone’s swinging through a CIBC airport branch anytime soon, see if you can negotiate a fee waiver on this current offer to get an even better deal!
You could also look into CIBC’s new Smart Plus Chequing Account, a premium version of their popular Smart Chequing Account that’s designed to challenge similar products offered by their Big 5 competitors. The Smart Plus Chequing Account has no monthly fee if you maintain a minimum balance of $6,000, and one of the new features on the account is an annual fee waiver on one of six premium CIBC credit cards, of which the CIBC Aerogold is one.
Therefore, if you were to open or upgrade to the Smart Plus Chequing Account, you’d earn 20,000 Aeroplan miles on this offer, get the annual fee waived, and then pocket the $120 Air Canada eGift card as extra change!
CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for Business: 35k Aeroplan Miles + $120 Gift Card
An even more compelling offer might be found on the CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for Business, which is currently offering 35,000 Aeroplan miles to new applicants, distributed as follows:
20,000 Aeroplan miles upon first purchase
15,000 Aeroplan miles upon spending $3,000 in the first four monthly statement periods
The card has an annual fee of $180, which is again partially offset by a $120 Air Canada eGift card. If you plan on travelling with Air Canada at least once in the future, then this offer is basically equivalent to earning 35,000 Aeroplan miles for a net $60, which is a fantastic deal in anyone’s books. Indeed, I’d value the 35,000 Aeroplan miles at $770, and therefore the overall offer at $710.
As recently as February 2019, this card used to offer 35,000 Aeroplan miles + First Year Free, which was a great deal back when it was around. However, one key factor with that offer was that it was available over the phone or in-branch only, meaning that people had drastically different experiences getting the card depending on which agent they spoke to.
Some agents or representatives were happy to process the application with no trouble at all, even for applicants who didn’t have a small business in the traditional sense and were applying under their own name as a sole proprietorship.
Meanwhile, other representatives would ask you for all sorts of documentation, like business registration numbers, financial statements, and tax returns, making your life extremely difficult just for applying for a credit card.
On the other hand, the online application for the CIBC Aerogold for Business has always been smooth sailing for me, so I expect that most of you would be able to take advantage of this outstanding offer by applying directly online. As usual, simply put your own name as the business name if you’re applying as a sole proprietorship.
With the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite offering a healthy bonus of 25,000 Aeroplan miles with the First Year Free, these new CIBC Aerogold offers are a welcome development, and provide you with another pathway to racking up the Aeroplan miles.
If you were to apply for both the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite and the CIBC Aerogold for Business, you’d end up with a total of 55,000 Aeroplan miles. There are $300 in annual fees, but you can consider $240 of that as a prepayment towards your next flight with Air Canada, meaning that you’re really only out $60 for those miles you’ve earned. And if you can get the annual fee on the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite waived, either through sweet-talking a CIBC airport branch or getting the CIBC Smart Plus Chequing Account, you can even come out $60 ahead!