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Comparing Aeroplan Credit Cards – TD, CIBC, American Express – Which is Best?

Comparing Aeroplan Credit Cards 2014 - CIBC, TD, American ExpressTD, CIBC and American Express continue their fight to offer the strongest Aeroplan credit card program in the country. Our analysis shows that of the Aeroplan credit card options, the American Express Gold Rewards card (hybrid) is currently the best Aeroplan offering in the marketplace today because of its 1st year annual fee waiver and 25,000 point welcome offer.

Below is a quick comparison of the sign-up bonus, annual fee, point accumulation and insurance coverages offered by each Aeroplan credit card currently in the market. Although not officially an Aeroplan credit card, we included the Amex Gold rewards card because you’re able to transfer its Amex points 1:1 to Aeroplan, giving cardholders significant flexiblity to book through Aeroplan or Amex at their option.

Aeroplan Credit card American Express Gold Rewards
American Express Aeroplan Plus CIBC Aero
CIBC Aerogold Infinite TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite American Express AeroplanPlus Gold TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum
Annual Fee $0 1st Yr   $150 After $60 $39 $120 $120 $120 $89 $399 $499
Supplementary Card $0 $20 $50 $50 $50 $0 $35 $99 $99-$199
Signing Bonus Points 25,000 5,000 5,000 15,000 15,000 15,000 10,000 25,000 40,000
Basic Rewards 1 pt : $1 1 pt : $1 1 pt : $1.5 1 pt : $1 1 pt : $1 1 pt : $1 .66 pt : $1 1.25 pt : $1 1.25 pt : $1
Accelerated Rewards 2 pt : $1 (gas, grocery, drugstore & travel) 1 pt : $1 1 pt : $1.5 1.5 pt : $1 (gas, grocery, drugstore) 1.5 pt : $1 (gas, grocery, drugstore & Air Canada) 1.25 pt : $1 on spend > $10K 1 pt : $1 (gas, grocery, drugstore) 1.5 pt : $1 (gas, grocery, drugstore) 1.5 pt : $1 on spend > $25K
Insurance Auto Rental, Travel Accident, Flight Delay, Baggage, Trip Interruption, Out of Province Travel Medical, Hotel/Motel Burglary Travel Accident Auto Rental,
Travel Accident
Auto Rental, Travel Accident, Flight Delay, Baggage, Trip Interruption, Out of Province Travel Medical Auto Rental,
Travel Accident,
Flight Delay,
Trip Interruption
Out of Province Travel Medical
Trip Cancellation

Auto Rental, Travel Accident, Flight Delay, Baggage, Hotel/Motel Burglary Auto Rental Auto Rental, Trip Cancellation, Travel Accident,
Flight Delay,
Trip Interruption,
Out of Province Travel Medical
Auto Rental, Trip Cancellation, Travel Accident, Flight Delay, Baggage, Trip Interruption, Out of Province Travel Medical, Hotel Motel Burglary
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What the above chart clearly shows, is that the Amex Gold Rewards card (transfer Amex points to Aeroplan 1:1 for free) has the heftiest up-front bonus of 25,000 Aeroplan points among the infinite cards, and is the only one to offer an attractive first year annual fee waiver.

TD’s current Aeroplan Infinite Privilege offer gives you 25,000 Aeroplan miles as well, but the annual fee of $399 can be a little off-putting. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for first-class treatment at luxury hotels and royal airport lounges (just read about their Visa Infinite Privilege Benefits here) – this card is definitely worth the seed money.

We think the combination of a high welcome bonus with no minimum spend requirement and no cost in the first year (at least with the Amex Gold Rewards in the mix) make great opportunities to jump start your Aeroplan miles at virtually no cost. You’re getting a round-trip, coach class ticket to anywhere within North America for free. That’s a great opportunity. Get both cards and you have two free tickets.

The American Express Gold Rewards card is the richest Aeroplan credit card in Canada. Here’s why: Because the American Express Gold Rewards card allows users to transfer its points 1:1 to Aeroplan miles, it effectively offers 2 Aeroplan miles per $1 spent on gas, groceries, drugstore and travel, and 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else. CIBC only offers 1.5 points on gas, groceries and drugstore, which is 25% less than the Gold Rewards earn rate, and they only offer 1 point per $1 spent on travel (TD offers 1.5 points on online Air Canada bookings). The Gold Rewards card gives 2 points per $1 spent on all travel expenses (flights, hotels, cruises, car rental, taxis, etc…), which not only makes it a great travel redemption card, but also a great travel earn card!

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite and Amex Gold Rewards cards also offer the highest welcome bonuses of 25,000 points to start, while the CIBC card only offers 15,000 points currently. The Amex Gold Rewards card also waives the first year annual fee, a value of $150, making it virtually risk free to try-out. It also makes the 25,000 point sign-up bonus free. CIBC is now charging the first year annual fee, although they have been making annual fee waiver offers to select applicants. Lastly, with an insurance package that is as good or better than the competition, we think the Amex Gold Rewards Card has the best value among any Aeroplan credit cards currently being offered in Canada.

Aside from the economic value of the Gold Rewards card, what really distinguishes it from the other Aeroplan cards, is that if you can’t find the flight you’re looking for with Air Canada, you can transfer your Amex points to Avios 1:1, or use them as Amex points for ANY travel expense, making it the most flexible option among the Aeroplan credit cards. CIBC used to allow cardholders to transfer points from Aventura to Aeroplan, but has discontinued that point exchange program unfortunately. We love the flexibility, and with Aeroplan’s black-out dates, we think it’s a very valuable one.

There are several nice value added features on the TD Aeroplan cards as well: free checked bag, priority check-in, priority boarding and 1 free Maple Lounge pass per year on Aeroplan flights operated by Air Canada. Plus, up to 35% fewer miles needed for Market Fare Flight Rewards as an Aeroplan Distinction member. Also, get faster access to Distinction status, Aeroplan’s recognition program that offers a range of Distinction benefits such as exclusive flight rewards, bonus mile offers and privileges.

Summary of Best Aeroplan Credit Card Offers in Canada

Aeroplan Credit Card Welcome Bonus Annual Fee Min Income
American Express Gold Rewards 25,000 miles 1st year free, $150 thereafter $0
American Express AeroplanPlus Gold 15,000 miles $120 $0
CIBC Aerogold Infinite 15,000 miles $120 $60K
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite 15,000 miles $120 $60K
American Express Aeroplan Platinum 50,000 miles $499 $0
TD Aeroplan Privilege 25,000 miles $399 $200K

All in all, we think the American Express Gold Rewards Card is the best Aeroplan credit card offer in Canada right now. It comes with a 25,000 mile sign-up bonus and no annual fee in the first year. Given the no annual fee promo, we recommend giving the Amex card a try, and jump starting your Aeroplan Miles with 25,000 points – enough for a round-trip ticket to anywhere in North America!

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