The CIBC Aeroplan Visa card is CIBC’s “basic” Aeroplan offering, with a meagre welcome bonus and no annual fee.
Seasoned Aeroplan collectors might gloss over this card, but its’ a great option for students or newcomers to Canada to boost their credit file and collect a valuable currency.
Bonuses & Fees
As CIBC’s entry-level Aeroplan co-branded credit card, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card currently offers 10,000 Aeroplan points as a signup bonus upon making your first purchase on the card. The card has no annual fee.
10,000 Aeroplan points is actually one of the higher welcome bonuses we’ve seen on this card in the past – so if you’re looking to a no-fee “keeper card” to boost your credit history in the long run, this may be an attractive offer.
Supplementary cards are free.
In terms of the returns on everyday spending, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card offers cardholders 1 Aeroplan point per dollar spent on Air Canada, and Air Canada Vacations, gas, and groceries. Otherwise, the card offers 1 Aeroplan point for every $1.5 spent on all other purchases.
As you can probably tell, this earning rate isn’t very competitive at all, which is to be expected for an entry-level card like this. Indeed, it’s pretty shocking that the earning rate is actually lower than 1 point per dollar spent, which is widely considered a “baseline” for the minimum points-earning rate that a good credit card should offer.
The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card is best-suited for those who are interested in collecting Aeroplan points while building up a relatively new credit file or restricting themselves to lower annual fees and credit limits. I wouldn’t recommend putting your daily spending on this card, compared to the numerous stronger cards out there (such as the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite, to name just one).
Aeroplan remains the program of choice for the vast majority of Canadians aiming to redeem their points for high-value international business and First Class redemptions.
Redeeming Aeroplan points follows the Aeroplan Flight Reward Chart, and can cost as little as 55,000 points one-way from Vancouver to Tokyo in business class.
From the East Coast, 60,000 Aeroplan points (or often fewer, thanks to Air Canada’s preferred pricing if you hold Elite Status or a credit card) would unlock a transatlantic flight to most parts of Western Europe.
Closer to home: short-haul flights within North America that are under 500 miles only cost 6,000 Aeroplan points one-way.
Indeed, that’s the best attractive option with the signup offer on this card, although you can also use it to boost your Aeroplan balance towards a larger redemption.
Perks & Benefits
As an entry-level Aeroplan co-branded offering, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card offers a limited set of Aeroplan-related benefits, including:
- Preferred pricing when redeeming Aeroplan points for Air Canada flights
- Your Aeroplan points won’t expire for as long as you’re a cardholder
The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card could be a good choice to hold onto as a no-annual-fee card due to the “preferred pricing” benefit. Even if you aren’t holding any other Aeroplan cards, simply having the no-fee CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card could still fetch you a meaningful discount on the number of Aeroplan points required for Air Canada flights.
As a basic card, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card’s insurance proposition is also quite weak. One of its provisions is auto rental collision/loss damage insurance, which includes coverage on cars with a MSRP of up to $65,000 for up to 48 consecutive days; this can help you save on the insurance fees that the car rental company would otherwise charge.
However, the card does not offer emergency medical insurance, trip cancellation & trip interruption insurance, or flight & baggage delay insurance, all of which are significant benefits that you’ll find on many of the higher-end products out there.
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 90 days of purchase, as well as a doubled warranty period compared to the manufacturer’s warranty.
Can I get this card and the 10,000 point welcome bonus and then product switch to the CIBC visa infinite with the first year fee waived and get the 20,000 points and buddy pass? Or would it be best to just go for the visa infinite for the first year and then product switch down to this free card? Would downgrading give me the lower bonus too?
Please ensure there are no annual fees