Bonuses & Fees
You can earn a total of 20,000 Aeroplan points by applying for the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business, awarded in two parts:
- 10,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
- Additional 10,000 Aeroplan points + Air Canada Buddy Pass after spending $3,000 in the first four months
The signup bonus of 20,000 points is a decent offer compared to others we’ve seen on this card. If you’re primarily looking to earn Aeroplan points for high-value redemptions, now would be a good time to apply with the $180 annual fee waived for the first year.
Some travellers might also find value in the Air Canada Buddy Pass, which is essentially a buy-one-get-one voucher for paid Air Canada economy class flights within North America. If you travel as a couple or a family, that makes this good offer even more appealing.
You now also have the option to convert your Buddy Pass into an additional 30,000 Aeroplan points. If you fly solo or prefer business class or overseas travel, that would be a better choice, bringing your total haul to 50,000 Aeroplan points. That’s a great offer, surpassing the best we’ve seen on this card.
Whether you use the Buddy Pass for flights or points, you’ll only earn one business Buddy Pass every 12 months between this card and the TD Aeroplan Visa Business. If you’re planning on applying for both cards, keep that in mind as it will limit your potential welcome bonuses.
Supplementary cards may be added for an annual fee of $50 apiece, although the first three supplementary cards enjoy a first-year annual fee waiver under the current promotion.
In terms of the return on everyday spending, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business offers:
- 2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations
- 1.5 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on shipping, internet, cable, phone, dining, and travel
- 1 Aeroplan point per dollar spent on everything else
The earn rates are identical to the TD Aeroplan Visa Business, and are on par with the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite geared towards consumers. While the return on bonus categories is decent, there are also arguably better choices on the market, too.
Having said that, if you’re a small business owner who spends a lot on shipping, internet, cable, and phone purchases, then this card might be the right fit, since there aren’t many other products offering bonus earn rates on these categories.
Perks & Benefits
As with the personal variant, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business delivers a strong set of Air Canada travel benefits. As a cardholder, you’ll receive:
- Free first checked bag on Air Canada flights, for the primary and supplementary cardholders
- Preferred pricing when redeeming Aeroplan points for Air Canada flights
- The ability to earn 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles (SQM) and 1 Status Qualifying Segment (SQS) for every $5,000 you spend on the card
- Your Aeroplan points won’t expire for as long as you’re a cardholder
Alas, 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), so unlike the TD version of this card, there’s no NEXUS credit to add to the Air Canada travel benefits.
The insurance benefits on the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business are decent, with quite a comprehensive suite of important insurances, such as:
Flight and baggage delay insurance of up to $500 per person for delays of at least 4 hours and for baggage delays, there is a combined total of $1000
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 insurance of $1,000 per person or $5,000 combined
Trip interruption insurance of $2,000 per person
However, the card notably lacks emergency travel medical insurance, which falls short of the standard set by TD’s version of this card.
It’s worth noting that as far as I’m aware, the CIBC Aeroplan credit cards are among the few cards that will extend their travel insurance benefits to tickets redeemed with Aeroplan points.
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.