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Comparing American Express, CIBC and TD Aeroplan/Infinite Cards

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Time really does fly. It’s been almost 4 years since I wrote this post: AMEX vs. CIBC vs. TD Aeroplan Gold/Infinite Cards. I reference that post because those Aeroplan co-branded cards are the closest comparisons to the current new co-branded Aeroplan cards. I will be writing another post regarding the business cards and the reserve/privilege cards too. I will be starting with the more commonly accessible cards offered by the 3 companies first and go from there.

For today, I will be comparing 3 new credit cards that were introduced to the market on the exact same day (November 8, 2020). For my comparison posts, I try to make it more competitive by choosing winners of individually categories and then an overall winner, while providing my review of the cards. Let’s start with the highlights, before the commentary and winners.

American Express Aeroplan Card

  • $120 annual fee
  • $50 annual fee for supplementary cardholders
  • Earn 15,000 sign up Aeroplan bonus points (earn 9,000 points after spending $1,500 and another 1,000 points per month by spending $500 monthly in the first six months)
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations purchases
  • Earn 1.5 point per $1 spent on dining and food delivery in Canada
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive Air Canada Benefits:
    • Receive free first checked bag (up to 8 additional companions)
    • Receive an Air Canada bonus Buddy Pass after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months
    • Earn 1,000 status qualifying miles and 1 status qualifying segment for every $10,000 spent
  • Receive access to American Express Entertainment & Experiences

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

  • $139 annual fee (first year fee waived if you apply before January 31, 2021)
  • $50 annual fee for supplementary cardholders
  • Earn 10,000 sign up Aeroplan bonus points (after the first purchase)
  • Earn 1.5 point per $1 spent on Air Canada, gas and grocery purchases
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Save 3 cents off per litre at participating gas stations with Journie Rewards
  • Receive Air Canada Benefits:
    • Receive free first checked bag (up to 8 additional companions)
    • Receive Preferred Pricing on flight rewards (from time to time)
    • Receive an Air Canada bonus Companion Pass after spending $3,000 in the first 4 months (if you apply before January 31, 2021)
    • Earn 1,000 status qualifying miles and 1 status qualifying segment for every $10,000 spent
  • Receive Infinite Visa offers and services

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

  • $139 annual fee (first year fee waived if you apply before January 17, 2021)
  • $75 annual fee for supplementary cardholders
  • Earn 10,000 sign up Aeroplan bonus points (after the first purchase)
  • Earn 1.5 point per $1 spent on Air Canada, gas and grocery purchases
  • Earn 1.5 point per $1 spent at participating Starbucks locations (purchases before November 7, 2021)
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive Air Canada Benefits:
    • Receive free first checked bag (up to 8 additional companions)
    • For outside Quebec residents: Receive an Air Canada bonus Buddy Pass after spending $1,000 in the first 4 months (if you apply before January 17, 2021)
    • For Quebec residents: Receive an Air Canada bonus Buddy Pass after keeping account active in good standing for 90 days (if you apply before January 17, 2021)
    • Earn 1,000 status qualifying miles and 1 status qualifying segment for every $10,000 spent
  • Receive $100 NEXUS application credit once every 48 months (applies to supplementary cardholders too)
  • Receive Infinite Visa offers and services

Annual Fee

If you read our other comparison posts (which you can find using our search function tab), we base our factors on permanent offers, rather than temporary offer to choose a winner. So even though CIBC and TD offer first year fee waived promotions, American Express has the lowest annual fee, so they are declared the winner.

Winner: American Express

Sign Up Bonus

Same train of thought for all the subsequent factors, we only take into consideration the permanent offers, because we are trying to pick a winner for the long run. That being said, temporary promotions are important to consider in the moment.

For this criteria, American Express has the highest base sign up offer at 15,000 points, so they also win this one.

Winner: American Express

Earning Ratios

This one is a little trickier to pick a winner. TD does offer the temporary promotion with Starbucks at 1.5 point per dollar, so they would be a current winner for some. But if you spend more on gas (at Journie Reward participating stations), then you may prefer the CIBC 3 cent off instead, which is also a permanent offer.

On the surface, American Express may have the edge with the 2 points per dollar on Air Canada purchases, but they do not offer 1.5 point per dollar on gas and grocery that the TD and CIBC cards offer. They give the bonus to food services instead.

For this reason, I am naming CIBC as the winner since I would say that gas and groceries applies more to every day spending than food services. Furthermore, the permanent offer with Journie Rewards pushes them ahead of TD.

Winner: CIBC

Air Canada Benefits

For the most part, the Air Canada benefits between the 3 cards are relatively the same, give or take a few minor things. However, what makes American Express above both is that their Buddy (Companion) Pass offer is a permanent offer.

Winner: American Express

Other Benefits

In terms of American Express experiences versus Visa Infinite offers, I would say it is more of a toss up, depending on personal preferences. But TD gets the edge this time because of their NEXUS card fee rebate offer, which is also a permanent offer.

Winner: TD

Overall Winner

Even though all 3 cards feel very similar to each other, I would say there are enough unique differences between each card to declare a winner.

Once again, keep in mind, leaving out current offers (e.g. first year fee waived promotions, which makes TD and CIBC cards more attractive than American Express at the moment), when considering permanent features and benefits only, I would say the overall winner is: American Express!

Stay tuned for subsequent Aeroplan co-branded credit card comparison posts.

Please let us know your thoughts on the winner in the comment section below!

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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