CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card Review

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If you’re looking for an Aeroplan credit card, you will come across the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card. Even though the card is nearly identical to other Aeroplan credit cards from TD and American Express, the CIBC version doesn’t seem to get as much respect. Keep reading my CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card review now and find out why this card could potentially stand out from others.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

  • $139 annual fee – First year free
  • 10,000 Aeroplan points after your first purchase
  • 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $6,000 in the first 4 months
  • 20,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $15,000 in the first 12 months
  • 1.5 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on gas, groceries, and Air Canada purchases
  • 1 Aeroplan point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • First bag checked free on Air Canada flights

Welcome bonus and earn rate

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card has consistently had a welcome bonus of around 50,000 Aeroplan points. This welcome bonus is in-line with similar Aeroplan cards, but occasionally, CIBC also offers an anniversary bonus when you spend a certain amount in the first year.

As for the earn rate, you’ll earn 1.5 Aeroplan points on gas, electric vehicle charging, groceries, and Air Canada purchases per dollar spent. All other purchases earn you 1 point per dollar spent. Note that you can earn additional Aeroplan points when you link your Uber account, make purchases at LCBO, and at more than 170 retailers when shopping through the Aeroplan eStore.

Benefits and perks

It’s time to address the benefits in my CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card review. You’re getting great Air Canada travel and purchase benefits for a card with an annual fee of $139 (often rebated for the first year).

Air Canada benefits

  • Free first checked bag – The primary cardholder and up to eight guests on the same itinerary get their first checked bag free when flying with Air Canada.
  • Reach Aeroplan status more easily – When you charge $10,000 to your card, you’ll earn 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles and one Status Qualifying Segment.
  • Aeroplan discounts – Cardholders automatically get a discount when redeeming Aeroplan reward flights.

The key benefit of this card is the free checked bag. Typically, checking a bag will cost you at least $50 each way. That means this card pretty much pays for itself after three flight segments.

Travel insurance

  • Travel medical – $5,000,000 for 15 days / 3 days if aged 65+
  • Trip cancellation – up to $1,500 per person / $5,000 total
  • Trip interruption – up to $2,000 per person / $5,000 total
  • Flight delay – up to $500 / 6 hours
  • Delayed and lost baggage – up to $500 / 6 hours
  • Hotel/motel burglary – $2,500
  • Auto rental collision/ loss damage – $65,000 / 48 days
  • Common carrier accident insurance – $500,000

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card has an excellent travel insurance policy. The travel medical payout is higher than most cards in a similar tier. That said, you’re only covered for 15 days if you’re under the age of 65 and just three days for those aged 65+. Also note that flight delay and delayed baggage insurance only kick in after six hours, whereas other policies start at four hours.

Mobile device insurance

When purchasing a mobile device, including tablets, with your CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card, you’re insured up to $1,000. You need to charge the device’s full price to your card for the policy to be valid. Note that depreciation will apply if you ever need to make a claim.

Purchase insurance

  • Purchase security – 90 days
  • Extended protection – Up to one additional year

With purchase security, purchases charged to your CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card are protected from loss, theft and damage for 90 days. Your manufacturer’s warranty is doubled for extended protection, up to one additional year.

Visa Infinite benefits

  • Concierge service – With the Visa Infinite Concierge, you’ll have access to someone 24/7 who can help you make your dinner reservations or find the perfect gift.
  • Luxury Hotel Collection – Rooms booked through Visa’s Luxury Hotel Collection are eligible for room upgrades and on-site credits such as dining and spa treatments.
  • Dining Series – As a cardholder, you’ll get special invites to culinary experiences such as menu tastings and celebrity chef events.
  • Wine Country program – Enjoy merchandise discounts at over 85 participating wineries in British Columbia, Ontario and Sonoma Valley.
  • Entertainment access – Cardholders may access advanced movie screenings, exclusive theatre tickets, and more throughout the year.
  • Troon Golf – Get Troon Rewards Silver Status and 10% off green fees, merchandise and lessons.

While Visa Infinite benefits are a nice perk, I find only the Luxury Hotel Collection to be of any use. Even then, it’s only advantageous at certain properties. 

How to redeem your points

Since you’ll be earning Aeroplan points with the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card, you’ll be bound by the program’s rules. Fortunately, Aeroplan is pretty straightforward to understand.

You can redeem your points for any available seat on Air Canada. In addition, Aeroplan has 45+ partners where you can redeem your points (assuming there’s space available). The number of points required for a redemption depends on where you’re flying from, where you’re flying to, the distance you’re flying and what cabin class you need a seat in. This is all outlined in the Aeroplan flight reward chart

Although the chart is easy to read, Aeroplan uses dynamic pricing. That means the price of an Aeroplan flight changes based on supply and demand. When flights are more popular, it’ll cost you more points. On the other hand, when there’s less demand, you can get some great deals.

Realistically speaking, it’s effortless to get an economy class seat at a reasonable price. However, business class seats have become increasingly more expensive. That’s not to say there’s no longer value in the program. Things have just changed, so you need to manage your expectations.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card eligibility 

  • You’re a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
  • You’re at least the age of majority in the province or territory in which you reside
  • You have a minimum annual personal income of $60,000 or a household income of $100,000

The outlined eligibility for the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card is listed above. What’s interesting is that CIBC has recently been confirming the income status before approving many new applications. You’ll notice that there’s no credit score listed as one of the requirements. That said, you likely want your credit score to be at least 660, which will put you in good standing before applying for the card.

How the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card compares

There are a lot of Aeroplan and travel credit cards out there, so the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card has a lot of competition. That said, I recommend focusing on other Aeroplan and American Express cards that earn you Membership Rewards points.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card vs. TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card is almost identical to the CIBC Card. Both cards offer the same earning rate, and the welcome bonus is usually very similar. The major difference is that the TD card comes with mobile device insurance, whereas the CIBC card has slightly better travel insurance.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card vs. American Express Aeroplan Card

The other card worth comparing is the American Express Aeroplan Card. With the Amex card, you get 2 points per dollar spent on Air Canada purchases and 1.5 points per dollar spent on dining and food delivery. So, the CIBC card has a better earning rate on groceries, but the Amex gives you more on Air Canada purchases.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card vs. American Express Platinum Card

It may not be fair to use the American Express Platinum Card as a comparable, but I think it’s worth a mention for anyone who likes to travel. With the Platinum Card, you get unlimited airport lounge access for you and a guest, hotel status upgrades, an annual $200 travel credit, an annual $200 dining credit, and benefits at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The welcome bonus is usually worth about 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. Those points can be transferred to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio. The downside is that the American Express Platinum Card has an annual fee of $799.

Final thoughts

My CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card review is positive. When it comes to Aeroplan credit cards, many people think about CIBC last. I’m not sure why that is since the card is excellent for the following people:

  • You want to earn Aeroplan points – The welcome bonus is usually worth about 50,000 Aeroplan points and has a low minimum spending requirement.
  • You want Air Canada benefits – Get your first checked bag free for the primary cardholder and up to eight people travelling on the same itinerary.
  • You want travel insurance – This card has one of the better travel insurance policies but only covers you for 15 days of travel.

Although this card has an annual fee of $139, it’s often waived for the first year. This makes it an ideal credit card for travel hacking since it’s incredibly easy to earn the welcome bonus. 

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

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