Those focusing on the signup offer won’t be impressed by the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card, as it’s one of the lower ones considering the high annual fee.
That being said, it’s still a worthwhile proposition if you can hit the monthly spending requirements.
Bonuses & Fees
As CIBC’s top-tier Aeroplan co-branded credit card, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege currently offers 90,000 Aeroplan points as a signup bonus, divided into three parts:
- 20,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
- 40,000 Aeroplan points after spending $3,000 in the first four months
- 30,000 Aeroplan points after renewing the card for a second year
This offer currently matches the all-time-high, however the requirement to hold the card for a second year to get a sizeable chunk of the bonus may dissuade some to get this card.
As a Visa Infinite Privilege product, this card commands a high annual fee of $599. This can be reduced to $460 via a $139 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).
In terms of the returns on everyday spending, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege offers cardholders:
- 2 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations
- 1.5 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on groceries, gas, dining, food delivery, and travel
- 1.25 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on everything else
For a premium credit card, the earning rates are quite ordinary. After all, the mid-range CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite already offers 1.5x Aeroplan points on the same categories; it’s only the 1.25x earning rate on general purchases that’s higher on the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege.
I wouldn’t go out of my way to get this card for a $599 annual fee solely for its earning rates, but if you do have the card, then the 1.25x return on all purchases is pretty competitive in the “everything else” category.
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.
With the 108,000 points earned from this card (including the minimum spend requirement), you can fly one-way in business class around the world to anywhere you desire and even First Class on some routes.
Perks & Benefits
As Air Canada’s premium travel credit card, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege leans in heavily on the Air Canada travel benefits:
- Priority boarding, priority check-in, and a free first checked bag on all Air Canada flights, for the primary and supplementary cardholders
- Complimentary visits to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges within North America, 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
- The ability to rollover up to 200,000 SQMs and 50 eUpgrades per year
- The ability to earn an Annual Worldwide Companion Pass after spending $25,000 on the card per year
- Your Aeroplan points won’t expire for as long as you’re a cardholder
It’s worth noting that the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege, unlike its TD-issued counterpart, allows cardholders to bring one guest for free on their Maple Leaf Lounge visits within North America as an introductory perk until November 7, 2021.
(Otherwise, the benefits package is virtually identical to the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege.)
In addition to the Air Canada benefits, the card also offers a strong set of benefits through its Visa Infinite Privilege designation:
- A complimentary DragonPass membership with six annual complimentary visits per year, for the primary and supplementary cardholders
- Priority benefits (valet parking, fast track security, etc.) at select airports in Canada: Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto Billy Bishop
Finally, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege also offers a $100 NEXUS credit, which is always useful for getting a NEXUS card to make your journey across the US border much smoother.
As a high-end product, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege excels in the insurance department. Some examples of its strong coverage include:
- Emergency medical insurance: Up to $5 million of coverage for the first 22 days of your out-of-province trip (10 days if you or your spouse are aged 65 or older)
- Delayed and lost baggage Insurance: For delayed baggage, up to $500 of coverage per insured person if delayed more than 6 hours and combined total of up to $1,000. For lost baggage, up to $1,000 of coverage per insured person and a combined total of $2,500.
- Flight delay insurance: Up to $500 in coverage if your flight/trip is delayed more than 4 hours.
- Trip cancellation / trip interruption insurance: For Trip Cancellation, up to $2,500 of coverage per insured person, with a maximum of $10,000 for all insured persons on the same trip, and for Trip Interruption, up to $5,000 of coverage per insured person, with a maximum of $25,000 for all insured persons on the same covered trip.
- Auto rental collision/loss damage insurance: Comprehensive coverage for up to 48 consecutive days on cars for cars with an MSRP of up to $85,000, which can help you save on the insurance fees that the car rental company would otherwise charge.
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 Aeroplan 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 two additional years on top of the manufacturer’s warranty.