How Do the 11 Aeroplan Credit Cards Compare? [2021]

We’ve updated this comparison guide to reflect new information since Aeroplan’s relaunch in late 2020, as well as recent changes to the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card.

The Aeroplan loyalty program currently offers no less than 11 co-branded credit cards issued by TD, CIBC, and American Express.

While the credit cards by all three issuers are mostly similar to each other, there are a few notable differences in the products across each customer segment that aren’t necessarily apparent at first glance.

In this article, I’ve put together a few comparison charts for the TD, CIBC, and American Express Aeroplan credit cards to help you decide which issuer’s product is the best fit for you in any given customer segment.

As this article is intended to serve as a long-term guide, I haven’t incorporated the welcome bonuses on each card, which regularly change over time.

You can click on each card’s link to be directed to its information page and learn more about the current welcome bonus. As of mid-2021, the welcome bonuses are highly impressive, thanks in part to the ability to convert the Air Canada Buddy Pass into 30,000 Aeroplan points

In This Post

Entry-Level Aeroplan Credit Cards

We’ll begin with the entry-level (or “silver”) Aeroplan credit cards, which come with the most affordable fees but are also the most stripped-down in terms of perks and benefits. TD and CIBC will each issue one card in this segment:

The comparison chart is as follows. As in previous comparison charts, any clear winner in a category is highlighted in green.

TD Aeroplan
Visa Platinum

CIBC Aeroplan
Visa Card

Key information

Annual fee

$89

$0

Supplementary card
(with perks)

$39

$0

Supplementary card
(without perks)

Income requirement

$0

$0

Earning rates

Air Canada
Air Canada Vacations

1 point per $

1 point per $

Gas

1 point per $

1 point per $

Groceries

1 point per $

1 point per $

All other purchases

1 point per $1.5

1 point per $1.5

Benefits

Preferred pricing

No expiry of Aeroplan points

Insurance

Emergency medical

Trip cancellation

Trip interruption

Flight/trip delay

$500 on a 4-hour delay

Delayed baggage

$1,000
(per person)

Lost or stolen baggage

$1,000
(per person)

Common carrier accident

$500,000

$100,000

Hotel/motel burglary

$2,500

Auto rental collision/loss damage waiver

MSRP up to $65,000
Rental period up to 48 days

MSRP up to $65,000
Rental period up to 48 days

Mobile device

$1,000

Purchase security

90 days

90 days

Extended warranty

One additional year

One additional year

While TD has kept its entry-level product under the Visa Platinum banner, thereby commanding a light annual fee of $89 with a supplementary card fee, CIBC has instead chosen to issue a no-annual-fee Aeroplan credit card instead. This makes the CIBC Visa Aeroplan Card the only no-annual-fee Aeroplan co-branded card on the market. 

The earning rates and limited set of Aeroplan benefits are uniform between the two products. So what justifies the TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum’s higher annual fee?

Well, it offers a decent set of insurance benefits, including flight/trip delay, delayed and lost baggage, hotel/motel burglary insurance, and mobile device insurance, all of which are not offered by the CIBC Visa Aeroplan Card. However, as entry-level products, neither card offers the coverage that tends to matter the most to travellers: emergency medical insurance, trip cancellation, and trip interruption.

Overall, both the TD and CIBC cards do a good job of serving different subsegments of the market: TD provides some light travel insurance in exchange for a small annual fee, while CIBC caters towards Canadians who’d prefer not to pay any annual fee while still earning Aeroplan points on their spending. 

Entry-Level Aeroplan Credit Cards
Credit Card Best Offer Value
20,000 Aeroplan points $441 Apply Now
10,000 Aeroplan points
$0 annual fee
10,000 Aeroplan points $210 Apply Now

Core Aeroplan Credit Cards

The core (or “grey”) Aeroplan credit cards are geared towards the average Canadian traveller. TD, CIBC, and American Express will each issue one card in this segment:

The comparison chart is as follows.

TD Aeroplan
Visa Infinite

CIBC Aeroplan
Visa Infinite

American Express Aeroplan Card

Key information

Annual fee

$139

$139

$120

Supplementary card
(with perks)

$75

$50

$50

Supplementary card
(without perks)

$0

Income requirement

$60,000 annual /
$100,000 household

$60,000 annual /
$100,000 household

$0

Earning rates

Air Canada
Air Canada Vacations

1 point per $

1 point per $

2 points per $

Gas

1.5 points per $

1.5 points per $

1 point per $

Groceries

1.5 points per $

1.5 points per $

1 point per $

Dining & food delivery

1 point per $

1 point per $

1.5 points per $

All other purchases

1 point per $

1 point per $

1 point per $

Benefits

Preferred pricing

No expiry of Aeroplan points

Free first checked bag

Shared benefits with supplementary cardholders

1,000 SQM + 1 SQS per $10,000 spent

$100 NEXUS credit

Insurance

Emergency medical

$1,000,000
Age 0–64: 21 days
Age 65+: 4 days

$5,000,000
Age 0–64: 15 days
Age 65+: 3 days

Trip cancellation

$1,500
(per person)
$5,000
(combined)

$1,500
(per person)
$5,000
(combined)

Trip interruption

$5,000
(per person)
$25,000
(combined)

$2,000
(per person)

Flight/trip delay

$500 on a
4-hour delay

$500 on a
4-hour delay

$500 on a
4-hour delay
(aggregate, combined)

Delayed baggage

$1,000
(per person)

$500
(per person)
$1,000
(combined)

Lost or stolen baggage

$1,000
(per person)

$500
(per person)
$1,000
(combined)

$500
(combined)

Common carrier accident

$500,000

$500,000

$500,000

Hotel/motel burglary

$2,500

$2,500

$500

Auto rental collision/loss damage waiver

MSRP up to $65,000
Rental period up to 48 days

MSRP up to $65,000
Rental period up to 48 days

MSRP up to $85,000
Rental period up to 48 days

Mobile device

$1,000

$1,000

Purchase security

90 days

90 days

90 days, up to $1,000

Extended warranty

One additional year

One additional year

One additional year

As you can see, this segment of the market is where the trade-offs between the three issuers start to become more apparent.

The American Express Aeroplan Card comes with the cheaper annual fee at $120 instead of $139. Along with CIBC’s product, its supplementary card fee for shared perks is also lower, while it’s unique among the three issuers for offering a no-fee supplementary card that simply lets you earn points faster.

In terms of earning rates, American Express’s offering is stronger in the Air Canada and dining categories, while TD and CIBC’s products offer a stronger return on spending on gas and groceries. You’ll want to think about which set of bonus categories is more valuable to you based on your own spending profile.

The three cards’ benefits are virtually identical, with the only exception being the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite’s $100 NEXUS credit, which isn’t offered by either of the other two cards. 

Finally, the insurance packages generally follow an order of descending strength as you read the chart from left to right, with a few exceptions:

  • The American Express card provides car rental collision/loss damage waiver on more valuable car rentals
  • CIBC’s emergency travel insurance has a higher maximum claim amount than TD’s ($5MM vs. $1MM), although I’d personally place a higher value on TD’s longer coverage period instead

Notably, American Express has chosen not to include any emergency travel insurance on the core card, which definitely counts against it in this three-way comparison.

In my view, TD’s product is the strongest here, justifying its slightly higher annual fees for the primary and supplementary cardholders. American Express’s differentiated higher earning rates may outweigh its weaknesses for some individuals, while there’s relatively little to set CIBC’s core card apart. 

Core Aeroplan Credit Cards
Credit Card Best Offer Value
55,000 Aeroplan points $1,114 Apply Now
45,000 Aeroplan points $920 Apply Now
Up to 50,000 Aeroplan points $662 Apply Now

Premium Aeroplan Credit Cards

The premium (or “black”) Aeroplan credit cards are geared towards frequent Air Canada travellers that also tend to fall in the higher income and wealth brackets. TD, CIBC, and American Express will each issue one card in this segment:

The comparison chart is as follows.

TD Aeroplan
Visa Infinite Privilege

CIBC Aeroplan
Visa Infinite Privilege

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card

Key information

Annual fee

$599

$599

$599

Supplementary card
(with perks)

$199

$149

$199

Supplementary card
(without perks)

$0

Income requirement

$200,000 personal / household

$200,000 personal / household

$0

Earning rates

Air Canada
Air Canada Vacations

2 point per $

2 point per $

3 points per $

Other travel

1.5 points per $

1.5 points per $

1 point per $

Gas

1.5 points per $

1.5 points per $

1 point per $

Groceries

1.5 points per $

1.5 points per $

1 point per $

Dining & food delivery

1.5 points per $

1.5 points per $

2 points per $

All other purchases

1.25 points per $

1.25 points per $

1.25 points per $

Benefits

Preferred pricing

No expiry of Aeroplan points

Free first checked bag

Shared benefits with supplementary cardholders

1,000 SQM + 1 SQS per $5,000 spent

$100 NEXUS credit

Maple Leaf Lounge access within North America


(with one free guest until Nov 2021)

Priority Pass
lounge access


Annual membership with six free visits


Annual membership with six free visits


Annual membership only

Air Canada priority airport services

Annual Worldwide Companion Pass upon $25,000 spend

Rollover SQM and eUpgrades

Priority benefits at select airports

YVR, YUL, YOW, YTZ

YVR, YUL, YOW, YTZ

YYZ

Insurance

Emergency medical

$5,000,000
Age 0–64: 31 days
Age 65+: 4 days

$5,000,000
Age 0–64: 31 days
Age 65+: 10 days

$5,000,000
Age 0–64: 15 days

Trip cancellation

$2,500
(per person)
$5,000
(combined)

$2,500
(per person)
$10,000
(combined)

$1,500
(per person)
$3,000
(combined)

Trip interruption

$5,000
(per person)
$25,000
(combined)

$5,000
(per person)
$25,000
(combined)

$1,500
(per person)
$6,000
(combined)

Flight/trip delay

$1,000 on a
4-hour delay

$500 on a
4-hour delay

$1,000 on a
4-hour delay
(aggregate, combined)

Delayed baggage

$1,000
(per person)

$500
(per person)
$1,000
(combined)

Lost or stolen baggage

$2,500
(per person)

$1,000
(per person)
$2,500
(combined)

$1,000
(combined)

Common carrier accident

$500,000

$500,000

$500,000

Hotel/motel burglary

$2,500

$2,500

$1,000

Auto rental collision/loss damage waiver

MSRP up to $85,000
Rental period up to 48 days

MSRP up to $85,000
Rental period up to 48 days

MSRP up to $85,000
Rental period up to 48 days

Mobile device

$1,500

$1,500

Purchase security

120 days

180 days

90 days, up to $1,000

Extended warranty

Two additional years

Two additional years

One additional year

In the premium segment, all three cards’ fee structures are identical, and American Express has the major advantage of having no income requirement for their Aeroplan Reserve Card, compared to TD and CIBC’s more onerous $200,000 income threshold as Visa Infinite Privilege products.

Like the core segment, American Express has differentiated itself from TD and CIBC in terms of the earning rates, offering a stronger return on Air Canada and dining, but a weaker return on other travel spending, gas, and groceries.

(While the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card had initially launched with a weaker 1x earning rate on the “all other purchases” catch-all category, it has since bumped up the earning rate to 1.25x to match its competitors. In my opinion, this makes the Amex Aeroplan Reserve the strongest of the three in terms of the overall earning proposition.) 

The cards’ benefits are mostly uniform, with a few areas in which TD and CIBC excel.

Compared to American Express, these two issuers will offer a $100 NEXUS credit and six complimentary Priority Pass visits per year; moreover, CIBC is the only issuer that has indicated they will allow one free guest to accompany the cardholder into Maple Leaf Lounges until November 7, 2021. 

Also note that the Visa Infinite Privilege cards come with priority airport benefits at Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto Billy Bishop, whereas the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card delivers similar priority benefits at Toronto Pearson. If you tend to frequent one of these airports, you’d naturally place more weight on different products accordingly.

Finally, insurance. Here, CIBC and TD are more evenly matched, with the former’s 10-day emergency medical insurance for travellers aged 65+ and 180-day purchase protection benefit setting itself apart. Both are generally stronger than American Express’s insurance proposition by quite a clear margin.

Among the trio of premium cards, it’s pretty clear that TD and CIBC’s Visa Infinite Privilege cards are generally stronger than what American Express is putting out, in exchange for a very high $200,000 income threshold.

A natural point of comparison for the premium Aeroplan credit cards would be the American Express Platinum Cardyou can find our detailed comparison here.

Premium Aeroplan Credit Cards
Credit Card Best Offer Value
105,000 Aeroplan points $1,921 Apply Now
90,000 Aeroplan points $1,449 Apply Now
90,000 Aeroplan points $676 Apply Now

Small Business Aeroplan Credit Cards

The core small business Aeroplan credit cards are geared towards small business owners who aren’t necessarily frequent flyers with Air Canada, but would still like to earn Aeroplan points on their business spending. TD and CIBC will each issue one card in this segment:

The comparison chart is as follows.

TD Aeroplan
Visa Business

CIBC Aeroplan
Visa Business

Key information

Annual fee

$149

$180

Supplementary card
(with perks)

$49

$50

Supplementary card
(without perks)

Income requirement

$0

$35,000 personal

Earning rates

Air Canada
Air Canada Vacations

2 points per $

2 points per $

Other travel

1.5 points per $

1.5 points per $

Shipping, internet,
cable, phone

1.5 points per $

1.5 points per $

Dining

1.5 points per $

1.5 points per $

All other purchases

1 point per $

1 point per $

Benefits

Preferred pricing

No expiry of Aeroplan points

Free first checked bag

Shared benefits with supplementary cardholders

1,000 SQM + 1 SQS per $5,000 spent

$100 NEXUS credit

1 Maple Leaf Lounge guest pass per $10,000 spent
(up to 4 per year)

Insurance

Emergency medical

$2,000,000
Age 0–64: 15 days
Age 65+ 4 days

Trip cancellation

$1,500
(per person)
$5,000
(combined)

$1,000
(per person)
$5,000
(combined)

Trip interruption

$5,000
(per person)
$25,000
(combined)

$2,000
(per person)

Flight/trip delay

$500 on a 4-hour delay

$500 on a 4-hour delay

Delayed baggage

$1,000
(per person)

$500
(per person)
$1,000
(combined)

Lost or stolen baggage

$1,000
(per person)

$500
(per person)
$1,000
(combined)

Common carrier accident

$500,000

$500,000

Hotel/motel burglary

$2,500

Auto rental collision/loss damage waiver

MSRP up to $65,000
Rental period up to 48 days

MSRP up to $65,000
Rental period up to 48 days

Mobile device

$1,000

Purchase security

90 days

90 days

Extended warranty

One additional year

One additional year

This comparison results in a very clear victory for TD’s small business product over CIBC’s, and I’m almost a little bit surprised by that.

The TD card has the lower annual fee for both primary and supplementary cardholders, a lower income requirement, a $100 NEXUS credit, and a significantly more comprehensive insurance package.

It certainly feels like TD went the full distance to boost the value proposition of its small business Aeroplan card as part of this relaunch, whereas CIBC just kind of treated theirs as an afterthought.

Short of CIBC making big improvements to their card, there will be no reason for small business owners to choose CIBC’s product over TD’s. 

(Note that American Express’s small business Aeroplan co-branded credit card, the American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card, is in the “premium business” category all on its own. A natural point of comparison for this card would be the Business Platinum Card from American Express; you can find our detailed comparison here.)

Small Business Aeroplan Credit Cards
Credit Card Best Offer Value
Up to 90,000 Aeroplan points $1,921 Apply Now
Up to 60,000 Aeroplan points $735 Apply Now
60,000 Aeroplan points $661 Apply Now

Conclusion

While the 11 Aeroplan co-branded credit cards are largely in line with each other between the three issuers, there are several small but important differences worth noting within each customer segment. Do let me know if you think I’ve missed anything in the comparison charts above. 

In my view, TD’s cards are the strongest overall, and that perhaps reflects their larger slice of the pie in terms of the new Aeroplan co-brand contract compared to the other issuers.

Meanwhile, as the most independent-minded issuer of the three, American Express has already proven to be the most dynamic in terms refreshing their credit cards to keep them competitive, as we saw with the increased 1.25x earning rate on the Aeroplan Reserve

Combined with the lack of income requirements and unique cardholder perks like Amex Offers, and that might move the needle in favour of American Express for your next Aeroplan co-branded credit card. 

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