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Comparing American Express, CIBC and TD Infinite Business Cards

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We continue our series on comparing Aeroplan credit cards that were introduced to the market on November 8, 2020. Today’s post focuses on all the business cards. Unlike our previous comparison posts, where we picked similar cards to look it, this post has a wider range of annual fee.

I went ahead with this post anyway as there are only 3 co-branded Aeroplan business cards to compare overall anyway. You can technically count the CIBC Business Plus card as a 4th one, but it depends on the type of business to qualify for that card, so for the purposes of this post, I will only include 3, but mention how the Plus card works too.

Besides, I think it would be fun to mix things up a bit rather than only comparing similar cards. Let’s see how a wider variety matches up against each other. But first, as usual, let’s start with the highlights of each card before we get into the unpacking the benefits and picking a winner.

American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card

  • $599 annual fee
  • $199 annual fee for supplementary cardholders
  • Earn 65,000 sign up Aeroplan bonus points (earn 35,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months and another 5,000 points per month by spending $2,000 monthly in the first six months)
  • Receive $100 statement credit (after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months)
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations purchases
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on hotel and car rental purchases
  • Earn 1 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive Air Canada Benefits:
    • Receive unlimited access to select Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges and Air Canada Cafes in North America (with a same day ticket on a departing Air Canada or Star Alliance flight)
    • Receive free first checked bag (up to 8 additional companions)
    • Receive priority airport check-in, priority boarding, priority baggage handling, priority standby, priority upgrade (on Air Canada flights)
    • Earn 1,000 status qualifying miles and 1 status qualifying segment for every $5,000 spent
  • Receive Annual Worldwide Companion Pass after spending $25,000 annually (based on anniversary date)
  • Receive unlimited Priority Pass lounges access
  • Receive exclusive benefits at Toronto Pearson Airport (e.g. expedited security line, complimentary valet, save on parking, save on car care)
  • Receive access to American Express Experiences and Front of the Line

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Card

  • $180 annual fee (first year fee waived if you apply before January 31, 2021)
  • $120 annual fee (for the Business Plus version) (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 spending $3,000 in the first 4 months)
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Air Canada
  • Earn 1.5 point per $1 spent on shipping, internet, cable, phone services, travel and dining purchases
  • Earn 1 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive Air Canada Benefits:
    • Receive 4 Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge passes
    • Receive free first checked bag (up to 8 additional companions)
    • Receive Preferred Pricing on flight rewards (from time to time)
    • Earn 1,000 status qualifying miles and 1 status qualifying segment for every $5,000 spent
    • Receive an Air Canada bonus Companion Pass after spending $3,000 in the first 4 months (if you apply before January 31, 2021)

TD Aeroplan Visa Business Card

  • $149 annual fee (first year fee waived if you apply before January 17, 2021)
  • $49 annual fee for supplementary cardholders
  • Earn 10,000 sign up Aeroplan bonus points (after the first purchase)
  • Earn 2.25 points per $1 spent at participating Starbucks locations (purchases before November 7, 2021)
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Air Canada purchases
  • Earn 1.5 point per $1 spent on shipping, internet, cable, phone services, travel and dining purchases
  • Earn 1 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive Air Canada Benefits:
    • Receive 4 Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge passes
    • Receive free first checked bag (up to 8 additional companions)
    • Receive an Air Canada bonus Buddy Pass after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days (if you apply before January 17, 2021)
  • Receive $100 NEXUS application credit once every 48 months (applies to supplementary cardholders too)

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.

Annual Fee

This category might seem a little ridiculous for the purpose of this post, since it is not really a fair comparison. So when picking the overall winner, it will be based on annual fee versus value of benefits. For the purpose of this specific category, the winner goes to TD. Even though CIBC does offer an option to have a lower annual fee, the Business Plus card is not as easily accessible to people. So I am really comparing the $149 from TD versus the $180 from CIBC. Even if you average out the $180 + $120 = $300. And then divided $300 / 2, it’s $150, still $1 more than the TD card.

Winner: TD

Sign Up Bonus

There isn’t much competition here either with American Express offering more than 6 times the sign up bonus. And it’s not 6 times the annual fee. However, other benefits needs to be factored in before deciding the overall winner.

Winner: American Express

Earning Ratios

I am fairly disappointed with the earning ratios with American Express, considering the high annual fee. TD and CIBC have virtually the same earning ratios. So the ties break is going to TD because they have a lower annual fee for the same earning ratios. Not to mention that TD is currently offering the Starbucks promotion. But temporary offers are not factored in unless I run out of tie-breakers to consider.

Winner: TD

Air Canada Benefits

The Air Canada Benefits are definitely correlated to the annual fees, since the higher annual fee card has more benefits. The elite qualifying spending bonus is a nice touch with these co-branded Air Canada cards. Glad to see it. It can really help someone give an elite status boost instead of depending on mileage runs.

CIBC has some decent benefits considering the much lower annual fee than the American Express card. The major difference is the unlimited lounges passes (American Express) versus only 4 pass (CIBC). It was a close call, because an argument can be made that CIBC has more value than American Express, dollar for dollar, if someone does not optimize the benefits of the American Express card. The reason I give the slight edge to American Express is because if we have unlimited lounge access, there is more opportunity/potential to get much more value from the card, while CIBC has a cap on the value.

Winner: American Express

Other Benefits

This factor is tough for CIBC and TD to compete with as they have much lower annual fees. American Express takes it by a long shot with unlimited Priority Pass access alone.

Winner: American Express

Overall Winner

As we are a travel / rewards blog, we need to consider which card gives the most value. It is fair to say that if someone does not optimize all the potential of a card, then they are better getting the lower annual fee card. But we are about maximize rewards. So for this reason, the winner goes to American Express. Even with its higher annual fee, there is the opportunity to receive well beyond $599 worth of benefits if leverage optimally.

Stay tuned for at least one more 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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