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Comparing American Express, CIBC and TD Infinite Privilege/Reserve 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 the more premium personal cards. The most recent comparative post was: AMEX vs. CIBC vs. TD Aeroplan Platinum/Privilege Cards.

From last time’s post, note that American Express has discontinued its Platinum version of the card, so the Reserve card is the closest comparison to the CIBC and TD Visa Infinite Privilege versions.

Let’s start with the highlights of each card before we get into the unpacking the benefits and picking a winner.

American Express Aeroplan 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 $1,000 in the first 3 months and another 5,000 points per month by spending $1,000 monthly in the first six months)
  • Receive $100 statement credit (after spending $3,000 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 dining and food delivery in Canada
  • 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
    • Rollover up to 200,000 unused Status Qualifying Miles (SQMs) from prior years
  • 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 Infinite Privilege Card

  • $599 annual fee
  • $149 annual fee for supplementary cardholders (up to 9 cardholders)
  • Earn 20,000 sign up Aeroplan bonus points (after the first purchase) (if you apply before January 31, 2021)
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Air Canada purchases
  • Earn 1.5 point per $1 spent on dining, gas, grocery and travel purchases
  • Earn 1.25 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 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, and priority baggage handling (on Air Canada flights)
    • Receive an Air Canada bonus Buddy 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 $5,000 spent
  • Receive Annual Worldwide Companion Pass after spending $25,000 annually (based on anniversary date)
  • Receive 6 Priority Pass lounges passes
  • Receive $50 Nexus application fee rebate every 4 years
  • Receive Visa Infinite Privilege offers and services

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card

  • $599 annual fee
  • $199 annual fee for supplementary cardholders
  • Earn 50,000 sign up Aeroplan bonus points (if you apply before January 17, 2021)
    • Earn 20,000 after the first purchase
    • For outside Quebec residents, earn 30,000 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
    • For Quebec residents, earn 30,000 after holding the card for 90 days in good standing
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Air Canada purchases
  • Earn 1.5 point per $1 spent on dining, gas, grocery and travel purchases
  • Earn 1.5 point per $1 spent at participating Starbucks locations (purchases before November 7, 2021)
  • Earn 1.25 point 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)
    • 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)
  • Receive 6 Priority Pass lounges passes
  • Receive $100 Nexus application fee rebate every 48 months
  • Receive Visa Infinite Privilege offers and services

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 was a real close one as they all offer the same annual fee. However, the first tie-break goes to the annual fee of the supplementary cardholders, which gives the edge to CIBC as it costs $50 less.

Winner: CIBC

Sign Up Bonus

There is very little doubt here that American Express set itself apart from the other two companies by a fair margin.

Winner: American Express

Earning Ratios

American Express gave it a nice tough for offering 3 points per dollar in Air Canada purchases and 2 points per dollar on dining and food services. TD is offering a nice bonus for Starbucks purchases.

But CIBC is my winning pick as they offer better multiplier bonus for every day spending and the Journie Rewards partnership gives them the advantage in terms of every day spending.

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 things. However, what makes American Express above the other two is the rollover benefits to fast track elite status.

Winner: American Express

Other Benefits

Both American Express and CIBC offer the Worldwide companion pass (after spending $25,000 in an anniversary year), which puts them above TD. The tie-break goes to American Express for offer unlimited Priority Pass lounge access.

Winner: American Express

Overall Winner

For a hefty $599 annual fee, each card has done its part to offer a host of benefits. Each card also offer their own unique features and benefits, which is nice to see, so that there is more distinction between each card. However, the overall winner is American Express mainly due to the unlimited Priority Pass lounge access. The Pass may not feel useful today, but we are picking a long term winner, not a short term winner.

That being said, just because American Express is the winner overall, you should still choose the card that suits your personal needs the best. Other factors that can come into play is if you are a long term and good standing client of CIBC and TD for other products.

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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