Redeem on 25+ Star Alliance airlines
As of November 8, 2020, this card will be rebranded as the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite, 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.
The CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite currently offers 20,000 Aeroplan miles as a signup bonus, awarded as follows:
Earn 15,000 Aeroplan miles upon first purchase
Earn a further 5,000 Aeroplan miles after spending $3,000 in the first four months
The $120 annual fee is currently waived for the first year. Otherwise, if the first-year fee waiver were not available, then it can be waived if you have a CIBC Smart Plus Chequing Account.
20,000 Aeroplan miles could be redeemed for a round-trip short-haul flight within North America, a one-way flight to the Caribbean, or partway towards a larger redemption like the Aeroplan Mini-RTW.
The card’s earning structure is fairly standard, in that you earn 1.5 Aeroplan miles per dollar spent on gas, groceries, drugstores, and eligible aircanada.com purchases, and 1 Aeroplan mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
If you’re shopping at places that don’t accept Amex, though, the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite could be a solid choice to have in your wallet, since at the very least, Aeroplan miles are pretty easy to redeem for a good value.
Overall, 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 Infinite, such as the $120 travel credit, the Priority Pass benefits, and the NEXUS fee waiver, 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 CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite includes all the insurance benefits that you’d expect from a premium travel credit card, such as:
Emergency medical insurance of up to $5,000,000 on the first 15 days of an out-of-province trip
Flight and baggage delay insurance of up to $500, 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 agencies will try to upsell when renting a car
$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 $1,500 per insured person, which protects against unforeseen factors affecting your travel plans
One thing that’s worth noting is that the CIBC Aeroplan credit cards (i.e., this card, plus the Infinite Privilege and the Visa for Business) 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. Meanwhile, the CIBC Aerogold cards 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 Aeroplan miles, that makes this card worthwhile to keep around.