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Comparison between TD, CIBC and RBC Travel Cards

We received a question from Pointshogger reader, Bernard, asking us to do a comparison of the TD First Class, CIBC Aventura and RBC Avion cards.

For this post, I will compare one credit card from each company that is the most similar. The highlights of each are are as follows, and I will write up the analysis afterwards:

  • $120 annual fee (first year fee waived if you apply before June 30, 2017)
  • $50 annual fee for a supplementary cardholder (maximum of 3 cards)
  • Earn 15,000 sign up bonus CIBC Aventura points after first purchase
  • Earn 3 points at select CIBC bonus rewards Establishments
  • Earn 2 points on purchases made with the CIBC Aventura Rewards Centre
  • Earn 1.5 point for every $1 spent on gas, groceries and drug stores
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • $120 annual fee
  • $50 annual fee for a supplementary cardholder
  • Earn 15,000 sign up bonus RBC Avion points upon approval
  • Earn up to 5 points for every $1 spent on the RBC Rewards eMall
  • Earn 1.25 point for every $1 spent on eligible travel related purchases
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases

TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card

  • $120 annual fee
  • $50 annual fee for a supplementary cardholder
  • Earn 20,000 sign up bonus TD Reward points after the first purchase
  • Earn 9 points for every $1 spent on travel online through Expedia
  • Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Annual Fees

All 3 cards have the same annual fee. However, I will give the tie-breaker to CIBC, as they are the only one who frequently waives the first year annual fee.

Winner: CIBC

Sign Up Bonuses

The TD card may seem like they have a higher sign up bonus, but 1 TD Reward point is only worth 0.5 cents. So 20,000 points is worth $100. While RBC and CIBC points can be leveraged for well over 1 cent per point. I will have to give the edge to RBC, because Avion points are much more valuable because they can transfer to multiple partners. Also watch for frequent transfer bonuses to further increase the value of each point!

Winner: RBC

Earning Ratios

TD actually gives a decent multiplier bonus for booking travel on Expedia. The 9 points per dollar spent comes out to a 4.5% return. However, its limited multiplier bonus option is not as good as CIBC’s multiplier bonus on more categories, especially with CIBC bonus rewards Establishments.

Winner: CIBC


Other factors such as travel insurance, minimum income requirements are either the same or too similar to make it a deal breaker for comparison purposes.

Even though it may seem like the CIBC card has the edge, what I recommend is that you should go for the card that gives you the best opportunity to waive the annual fee on a continuous basis, especially if you are an existing banking client.

Please let me know in the comment section below what other credit cards you would like me to compare!


    1. The question from our reader was for those 3 specific cards. I am more than happy to do other ideas!

  1. Hi Matt.

    Great info, thank you.. We have the TD Infinite card and collected points; recently redeemed about 500,000 pts as cash to be applied against our credit card which was done quickly. However, within a few days our points balance was deducted the equivalent of 6,000 points (the amount collected from the cash value redeemed) as TD policy dictates this very stupid policy which we did not know about and were not told the day we called to redeem points. Only told when we called and the rep admitted it was unfair but couldn’t do a thing about it. Am now obtaining another c/c and will leave TD.

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