Battle of the Best Credit Cards: TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite vs. CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite

Jordann Brown
by Jordann Brown June 17, 2015 / No Comments

Aeroplan is one of the most popular travel rewards programs in Canada, and it’s easy to see why. With a eight cards to choose from, you’ll get stellar rewards no matter what your spending habits are. Choosing an Aeroplan credit card means you’ll have your pick of the best credit cards in Canada.

But which Aeroplan credit card will earn you the most rewards? The answer to that question is not so simple because it depends on how/where you spend your money. Let’s take an in-depth look at two of the most popular Aeroplan cards: the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite and the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite and see if either of these credit cards is right for you.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite
Annual Fee $120

(receive annual fee rebate of $120 for the first year)

$120
Value of Sign-Up Bonus 15,000 Bonus Miles with first purchase = $180

5,000 Bonus Miles when you add an Authorized User = $60

Total Value = $240

15,000 Welcome Bonus Miles = $180
Value of 1 Mile $0.0120 $0.0120
Annual Income Requirement $60K individual or $100K household $60K individual or $100K household
Interest Rate 19.99% 19.99%
Special Features Earn double miles when you present your Aeroplan Membership Card at partner brands Earn even more miles when you present your Aeroplan Membership Card

These are two of the top Aeroplan credit cards and they’re very competitive with each other. Both the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite and CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite have a $120 annual fee and have a Welcome Bonus of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles (value of $180). However, the TD Aeroplan card offers an annual fee rebate for the first year and offers an additional 5,000 Aeroplan Miles (value of $60) when you add an Authorized User to the account by September 2, 2016. This suggests that when looking at the sign-up offers the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite credit card comes out on top. Since they’re both Aeroplan cards, the average value of 1 mile is the same for both cards, and so is the interest rate and annual income requirement. So, aside from the introductory offers, do they basically offer the exact same benefits?

Monthly Spending Profile
$400 on groceries
$300 on gas
$100 on pharmacy
$2,200 on everything else
Total per month: $3,000
Total per year: $3,000 x 12 = $36,000

Let’s look at how many travel rewards you’ll earn with each of these cards, using the detailed spending profile below.

1. TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

td-aeroplan-visa-infinite

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  • Receive up to 20,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles
  • $120 annual fee rebate for the first year when you apply before September 2, 2016
  • Earn 1.5 Aeroplan Miles for every $1 spent on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases, and eligible purchases on aircanada.com
  • Earn one Aeroplan Mile for every $1 you spend everywhere else

 

Annual Fee Sign-Up Bonus Spending Rewards Monthly Spending First Year Return Subsequent Years Return
$120 $240 1.5 miles for $1 spent on gas, groceries, & pharmacy

1 mile per $1 on everything else

1.5 miles x $800 on gas, groceries, & pharmacy= 1,200 miles

1 mile x $2,200 on everything else = 2,200 miles

Value of 1 mile = $0.0120

3,400 x 0.012 = $40.80/month

Sign-up: $240

Spending Rewards: $40.80 x 12 = $489.60

Annual Fee: $0

Total: $240+$489.60-0 = $729.60

$489.60-$120= $369.60

This credit card rewards your spending with 1.5 miles per $1 spent on gas, groceries and at the pharmacy, and a flat 1 mile per $1 spent on everything else. Depending on the destination of the flights you are redeeming for, the average value of an Aeroplan Mile is $0.0120. Using the monthly spending profile above, you’ll earn $729.60 in rewards in the first year and $369.60 in subsequent years.

2. CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite

CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite

cibc-aerogold-visa-infinite

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  • 15,000 Aeroplan Miles Welcome Bonus
  • Earn 1.5 Aeroplan Miles for every $1 spent on gas, groceries, pharmacy and on purchases at aircanada.com
  • Earn 1 Aeroplan Miles for every $1 spent elsewhere
  • Extensive suite of travel protection, including trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance and auto rental collision/loss damage insurance

 

Annual Fee Sign-Up Bonus Spending Rewards Monthly Spending First Year Return Subsequent Years Return
$120 $180 1.5 miles for $1 spent on gas, groceries, & pharmacy

1 mile per $1 on everything else

1.5 miles x $800 on gas, groceries, & pharmacy= 1,200 miles

1 mile x $2,200 on everything else = 2,200 miles

Value of 1 mile = $0.0120

3,400 x 0.012 = $40.80/month

Sign-up: $180

Spending Rewards: $40.80 x 12 = $489.60

Annual Fee: $120

Total: $180+$489.60-$120 = $549.60

$489.60-$120= $369.60

The CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite offers the same rewards as the credit card above: 1.5 miles per $1 spent on gas, groceries and at the pharmacy, and 1 mile per $1 spent on everything else. So using the monthly spending profile we outlined above, the net rewards on these two cards would be exactly the same.

So is it really a tie? It seems like these two cards are virtually the same, but there is one significant difference between the introductory offers made in the first year. In fact, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite will grant you an additional $180 return in the first year as compared to the CIBC Aerogold Visa Card. Another contributing factor may be that you can earn double miles with the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite when you shop with over 150 partner brands. This could help boost the number of miles you earn. Conversely, you can also earn double miles with the CIBC Aerogold Visa Card when you shop at CIBC bonus rewards restaurants and spas, and triple miles when you shop at high-end CIBC bonus rewards restaurants.

By checking which retailers qualify for these extra bonus miles, and comparing them to the restaurants, spas, and stores you frequent, it should be easy to see which of Canada’s best travel credit cards is ideal for your specific spending profile.

Flickr: Doug