Bonuses & Fees
As CIBC’s top-tier Aeroplan co-branded credit card, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege currently offers up to 75,000 Aeroplan points as a signup bonus, divided into three parts:
- 20,000 Aeroplan points upon first purchase
- Additional 25,000 Aeroplan points after spending $3,000 in the first four months
- Additional 2,500 Aeroplan points each month after spending $2,000, for the first year
If you plan on meeting the monthly spend requirement each month, this offer is by far the best we’ve seen on this card. However, the comparable American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card offers the same total bonus with lower monthly spend requirements, higher monthly payouts, and half the time until you receive the full bonus.
If you only plan on meeting the initial minimum spend requirement, you can earn 45,000 Aeroplan points, which is still a competitive bonus for a premium card. It’s close to the highest we’ve seen, although the annual fee has gone up since then.
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).
75,000 Aeroplan points in exchange for an annual fee of $599 is a great deal, and on par with other premium Aeroplan and transferable cards. 45,000 Aeroplan points for $599 is still good value if you need a quick top-up for an upcoming redemption.
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 Aerogold 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.
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 50,000 SQMs and 20 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 Aerogold 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 Priority Pass 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 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 two additional years on top of the manufacturer’s warranty.