Redeem on 25+ Star Alliance airlines
As of November 8, 2020, this card will be rebranded as the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege, along with all-new benefits to coincide with the new Aeroplan loyalty program.
Read more about the new Aeroplan credit cards by TD, CIBC, and American Express.
As CIBC’s top-tier Aeroplan co-branded credit card, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege currently offers 25,000 Aeroplan miles as a signup bonus upon making your first purchase on the card.
According to the Aeroplan Reward Chart, 25,000 Aeroplan miles would be enough for a round-trip flight within North America in economy class or a one-way flight within North America in business class. You could also use the miles towards a larger redemption, such as an Aeroplan Mini-RTW in business class starting at 150,000 Aeroplan miles.
In the past, this card has offered higher signup bonuses as well (up to a peak of 50,000 Aeroplan miles), although currently it’s at a relative low point along with its fellow CIBC products: the mid-range CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite and the entry-level CIBC Aero Platinum Visa Card.
As a Visa Infinite Privilege product, this card also commands a relatively high annual fee of $399. However, this can be reduced to $279 via a $120 rebate if you hold CIBC’s Smart Plus Account (which itself requires a minimum balance of $6,000 to waive the monthly maintenance fees of $29.95).
25,000 Aeroplan miles in exchange for an effective annual fee starting at $279 is a decent enough deal, but not truly outstanding. I’d only recommend applying for the CIBC Aerogold VIP if you’ve exhausted the better offers on the market; otherwise, I’d wait for an improved offer in the future before considering it.
In terms of the returns on everyday spending, the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Privilege offers cardholders:
For a premium credit card, the earning rates are quite ordinary. After all, the mid-range CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite already offers 1.5x Aeroplan miles on the same categories; it’s only the 1.25x earning rate on general purchases that’s higher on the CIBC Aeroplan VIP.
I wouldn’t go out of my way to get this card for a $399 annual fee solely for its earning rate, but if you do have the card, then the 1.25x return on all purchases is pretty competitive in the “everything else” category.
The CIBC Aeroplan VIP also offers a few extra benefits to talk about. As a cardholder, you’ll enjoy priority boarding, priority check-in, and a free first checked bag on all Air Canada flights; meanwhile, you’ll also get up to four annual complimentary visits to a Maple Leaf Lounge, but only when you redeem Aeroplan miles for an Air Canada flight.
The card also offers a second form of lounge access: a complimentary Priority Pass membership with six annual complimentary visits per year. Both the Maple Leaf Lounge and Priority Pass benefits can be shared to any number of guests (for example, the six Priority Pass visits can be used for six separate visits for one passenger, three lounge visits as a couple, one visit as a six-person group, etc.), so between the two benefits, the CIBC Aeroplan VIP should cover a fair chunk of your annual lounge-hopping needs.
Finally, the card offers a 50% off companion voucher for a full-fare Air Canada business class ticket. While the savings from that companion voucher can be significant for a high-rolling couple, I don’t imagine that many readers will be in the position to shell out for full-fare business class tickets in the first place.
(It’s worth noting that this card’s earning rate and benefits packages are virtually identical to its TD-issued counterpart, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege.)
As a high-end product, the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Privilege excels in the insurance department. Some examples of its strong coverage include:
It’s important to note that these benefits would also apply on Aeroplan reward tickets, as long as you charge the taxes and fees of your booking to your CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Privilege.
Additionally, the card also offers Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Protection, covering most eligible items you’ve purchased with your card should they be stolen or damaged within 120 days of purchase, as well as a doubled warranty period compared to the manufacturer’s warranty.
As a Visa Infinite Privilege product, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege requires a minimum household annual income of $200,000 to be eligible. You'll also need to be approved for a credit limit of at least $10,000.
Follow the below link (not an affiliate link) to the CIBC website to learn more about this card and submit an application.