The best Aeroplan credit card in the migration from CIBC to TD

After months of confusing media reports, MoneySense clears the air on what affected CIBC clients can expect from the Aeroplan credit card migration.

  26 Premium content image

by

Online only.

  26 Premium content image

td_cibc_aero_cards_182Ever wonder how it feels to be traded like an NHL player? Thousands of Canadians will soon find out thanks to a deal struck between CIBC and TD. Under a recently finalized agreement, about half of CIBC’s Aerogold credit card holders will be transferred into one of TD’s new Aeroplan credit cards. Current CIBC Aerogold cardholders who have other business with the bank—say through a personal savings account—will stay CIBC red while the rest will be sporting TD green.

For affected CIBC Aerogold cardholders the only thing that will really change is the look of the card: The fees are identical and points on the TD cards and CIBC cards tied to the Aeroplan program are awarded and redeemed exactly the same way. This assumes, of course, Aerogold customers are transferred into TD’s Aeroplan Visa Infinite card. That’s important, since TD has rolled two additional Aeroplan cards that aren’t nearly as generous. A cheaper $89 version called TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Platinum will save you $31 on the annual fee but will result in a drop of almost $90 worth of points a year for someone putting $1,000 a month on their card. TD also offers a more expensive version, TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege, but that one only pays off if you’re piling on more than $66,000 a year onto your card.

CIBC Aerogold cardholders should be wary of retooled Aventura

CIBC is also upping the competition in the travel card space by retooling its Aventura credit card program. But think twice about switching over if you’re a CIBC Aerogold cardholder who isn’t being involuntarily switched over to TD. While CIBC’s Aventura and Aerogold cards rack up points at a similar clip, the Aventura points simply aren’t worth as much.

Moreover, the way Aventura points are redeemed also lacks the transparency of the Aeroplan program when it comes to explaining how many points you actually need for a given flight. Steve Tyers, who works on card product management at CIBC, says this is partially due to promotions that allow cardholders to book flights for a reduced number of points on some of the most popular routes. He adds that with Aventura cards you can use your points to get a flight on any seat on any airline, with no blackout periods plus you can use your points to cover your taxes and fees. Aventura cards also beef up purchase security and travel medical insurance.

As part of CIBC’s move to retool and promote its Aventura card, the bank is dropping its MasterCard option for these cards.

CREDIT CARD CHART2

TD Aeroplan a better value for new cardholders

If you’re in the market for a new travel card, now’s the time to sign up. With CIBC and TD fighting for your business, new cardholders are the ones who come out ahead. The competition is fierce, with both issuers waiving the first year fees on select Aeroplan and Aventura cards, and super-sizing sign-up bonuses to entice you to enroll.

TD’s Aeroplan cards—specifically the Infinite and Privilege versions of the card—are offering a free two-for-one round-trip flight (on top of their standing sign-up bonuses of 15,000 and 25,000 points, respectively), although it’s only good for a short-haul route or enough to get you from Toronto to Ottawa and back. CIBC’s Aventura cards are responding by offering with an additional 5,000 bonus points on top of their regular 15,000-point sign-up offer. If you do the math the Aventura bonus works out to the equivalent of a flight of $315, before tax.

But act quickly—both these promotions are around only for a limited time. If you’re down to a choice between a travel card from TD or CIBC,  the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card is the way to go. The TD bonus is a short-haul flight instead of points that you can spend anywhere but the offer is a little bit richer, but only until May 9 when flight promotion expires.

Bear in mind too that all credit-card companies are trying to win your business right now. The ads are everywhere and they’re offering some pretty attractive sign-up bonuses, especially in the travel space. Many card companies are offering enough points for a free flight.

The best travel card overall in Canada, according to MoneySense’s annual credit card ranking, is the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard.

26 comments on “The best Aeroplan credit card in the migration from CIBC to TD

  1. As a user of most of the travel rewards at one time or another the most important thing a collector has to do is make a list of all the reward card you have & write down how & where you get award points I use CIBC Aeroplan for all groceries drug stores & gas plus airlie hotels car rentals My BOM Airmiles are used for monthly utilities Shell gas Rona & misc expenses such as house & medical insurance My TD Plat inum Travel card is used for a bit of everything because I want the flexibility to use on any airline or travel expense All cards are paid in full each month By using this method I have had several full free flights & several partially paid flights One has to know the rules CiIBC after over 20 yrs has notified me I will be transferred to TD since I have no other accounts with them so they willl lose all my spending & I will not take out another of their travel cards so TD will become my most used card There must be many out there just like me

    Reply

    • Terron, I have the same situation as you. After looking at this article, it seems that apply for a new TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card is a better deal than got transferred to TD because you have nothing in terms of bonus if you just being transferred from CIBC to TD. But if you cancel the existing CIBC card and apply the new TD you will have all the TD bonus identified in this article. In my case, I just being charged by CIBC for the annual renewal fee in January/2014, so if I cancel, will I get my annual fee reimbursement fron CIBC? Any other comment ia appreciated.

      Reply

      • Joel — It seems to me that if you obtain a new credit card from TD Canada Trust, your Aeroplan points from CIBC will not be carried over to the new account. Then, if you cancel your present CIBC card, you will have a limited time to use your Aeroplan points from that card. If you wait for the transfer from CIBC to TD, all your previous points should carry over to the new card; however, you will not receive any bonus points. For myself, the hassle of having two Aeroplan accounts to manage is quite inconvenient; so I will wait for the transfer. Good luck!
        Regarding reimbursement from CIBC if you close your account, it is my understanding that you will be credited for the unused portion of the annual fee toward your current credit card debt.

        Reply

        • There should be no problem with “transferring” of points. Your points accumulate in your Aeroplan account. You will not lose your points if you cancel an Aeroplan affiliated credit card! We are currently CIBC cardholders and are set to transition to TD. Like “terron” suggests, I have signed up for a TD card in advance of transition to get the most bonus points, waived fees, etc. Once the TD card is received, bye bye to CIBC!

          Reply

    • Yes, I discovered that I was no longer a CIBC Visa customer when a recent transaction at a gas station was declined. I called Visa & was informed that I was now a TD client. Shorty thereafter I informed TD that I wasn’t interested in doing business with them and CIBC would not reinstate my card without going thru a new application process. We were away most of the winter so had not received any communication from anyone in this transition debacle. So goodbye to Aeroplan & are now researching our options.

      Reply

      • Well, I new it was coming, but it still came at a bad time for me. I was traveling when my CIBC credit card went dead and, of course, I was not at home to collect my new TD card so I had no VISA card for two weeks of travel. In addition, TD bank didn’t carry over any of my records for years of transactions with CIBC that I used to be able to access through online banking. CIBC locked me out of my online account and TD only has the transactions since the 16th. TD says they will eventually have the last six months of CIBC transactions, but when I was with CIBC I could access years in the past. I don’t like being bumped out of my bank, having no card for weeks, and not given a choice to transfer. I feel like both CIBC and TD have done a disservice to me and I will be looking for another bank option. Aeroplan is pretty restrictive. When I started, they were super helpful and had no seat restrictions or limitations on flights. Now it is very restricted, unless you spend a considerably larger amount of your airmiles. I would rather have a card that does not limit which airline I use. I always thought of my $120 annual fee as a type of forced savings plan towards future travel with airmiles, but it is getting so restrictive that maybe I should just save the money myself and have more options when booking! Furthermore, Aeroplan recently tried to start taking my airmiles away with their seven-year expiry plan for points. As someone who has collected for more than a dozen years towards doing some large world trips, that was quite disappointing. They have since changed their mind about the seven year plan, but now will remove your points if the credit card is inactive for more than a year. Hmm, trying to force clients to stay after dissatisfaction with their forced exodus? Seems like they can do what ever they want with the points that “I earned.” Anyway, all this stuff makes me want to look for other options.

        Reply

      • Good luck to TD in pursuing the idea that a person’s business can be purchased rather than earned. I dealt with TD years ago and abandoned them because their service was atrocious. Like you, a.mazur, when I learned my card was being transferred, I told them I had no intention of doing business with them. I cancelled the card they issued me and applied for (and got) a new CIBC Aerogold card. If it weren’t for the fact that I’ve come to rely on the Aeroplan points, I’d join you in abandoning the whole program. Aeroplan’s treatment of consumers in this episode has been ridiculous.

        Reply

        • Just had my first experience as a TD card holder which I did not make choice to be. PAP’s was informed in writing from TD that we had till Sept. 30/2014 to change is a untrue statement as I was notified 10 days after being transferred to TD my card was declined!!! to me this is a unacceptable “gliche” in the system. It is my credit they are messing with!!! All I got was “I am sorry this happened” from individuals that had no more control over the matter than I did. Wonder how TD would react to my payment to them being declined due to another institutions improper programing! Beware you may not have till Sept. to change PAPs I didn’t.

          Reply

          • Last year around the first of July 2014, Customers of CIBC Aeroplan Credit Cards were reassigned to either stay with CIBC or were transferred to Toronto Dominion Infinite Credit Cards. What criteria was used to decide this I do not know but I assume that TD customers that had a TD account were summarily changed over. I do know that I was not given a chance to stay with CIBC rather than be changed to the TD Infinite Account.

            The charge for these accounts are the same whether one is with CIBC or TD i.e. $120 + $50 for a spouse per year.
            I am a customer of TD so I was changed over, with a few differences at first I decided the TD card met my needs.
            However after going to Florida for our usual six months every winter I noticed early in November that our US purchases were given on-line in Canadian dollars only without any conversion rates, I called the TD Call Centre and was told that “wait until your statement comes in and it will show all that information” I replied that I do not want to wait for more than a month to find what the conversion rates were for purchases made behind me for over a month. The TD representative said “You are not the first to complain about that, we are working on a change on that issue”

            I also have contacted the TD Communications line through my TD Account several times and have been given the run around on this.

            I am “Pasting” my last communications to a TD Forum in hopes I might get some results.
            My concern is my renewal (which is automatic) comes due on July 1st, 2015 and I must resolve this prior to that ie move back to CIBC or stay with TD.
            There are many TD Customers that are in this same predicament and the technical change that TD should make is in my opinion very small.
            Also when the change was being formulated the word from TD was it “will be seamless” that seems now to be almost a joke.

            Here is my submission to TD:
            We are Canadian Snowbirds spending six months (182 Days-The Maximum allowed) in the USA. We spend $50,000 a year thru our credit cards.
            This method used by TD to show only the Canadian exchange WITHOUT the exchange rate UNTIL the statement comes in much later is the worst thing we have encountered with the change over from our former & happily satisfied CIBC account and I might add I had no input in the changeover.
            I have contacted TD through their “Communications Channel” on my TD Account page several times over the past year and the answer is the same i.e. we will send your concern up the ladder or something to that effect. I have ZERO confidence that this issue is being addressed by TD and the answers are simply nice platitudes to hopefully get rid of my issue. Well the ladder is getting too long for me. My renewal date is July 1st 2015 for this TD Infinite card +/- 1.5 months away and since TD cannot fix this “easy fix” I shall move back to CIBC.
            I might add I have a “Presidents Account” with TD Webbroker and I may move it along with my Credit Cards as I am thinking if they can’t solve a problem as simple as this what if I had a serious problem with my Portfolios….scary eh?…..a very dissatisfied customer…..

  2. Does the chart in the article reflect the annualized cash value of rewards for just the first year? It would be interesting to see how this was calculated. Is this based on the value of a flight that could be redeemed with the points?

    With the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card, if you spend 4000/month you would earn somewhere between 64000 and 87000 points (according to http://www.tdcanadatrust.com/products-services/banking/credit-cards/view-all-cards/aeroplan-infinite-card.jsp ) in a year depending on if that money is spent on gas, groceries, drug stores or at other places. If you would rather redeem your points for gift cards than flights that equates to a dollar value of about $500 to $670 (at 6500 points for a $50 gift card). If you add on the 15000 bonus points that’s another $115 value, then if you count the waiving of the annual fee of $120 that brings you up to a best case of $905. That is still quite a bit short of the almost $1200 value stated in the chart in this article. I suppose the value of the 2-1 flight might be making up that difference. After the first year you would be down to earning about $380 to $550 in gift cards per year, not really much better than the $480/yr you’d get in groceries using a PC Financial card.

    Reply

  3. For years, I have had the CIBC Aerogold Infinite card. I am trying to figure out whether it is better for me to apply for the new TD equivalent card or WAIT until I am issued one. I believe it is better to be proactive BEFORE one arrives in the mail. Can someone please clarify this? Thanks.

    Reply

    • Went to a TD bank this morning to change my PIN# and asked how I could go about getting on line to monitor my new TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card. Was told that this would not be available to me unless I was an actual TD bank customer and not just a credit card holder as this service was being managed for TD by Visa and that no TD link was in place for this service. I have no intention of opening a TD account. At CIBC this was available (I am not a CIBC client) and I used the online access daily having been scammed before with charges to my card. If TD cannot provide me with the exact same account access on line which I had with CIBC I’m done with the new card. Any help here?

      Reply

      • I have no accounts with TD other than the Aeroplan credit card. No problems setting up online access with TD with the same functionality I had with CIBC.

        Reply

  4. I’m one of the cardholders being transfrered to TD. I was offered $120 credit not to cancel “at this time” Suggest everyone in the same boat call to enquire and collect back 120 of their fees paid to maintain the card.

    Reply

  5. My Aeroplan card is being transferred from CIBC to TD. What I object to most in all this is being told who I will be doing business with. I have been very happy with CIBC, and now I learn from this article that the platinum TD card they have selected for me is not as good as my CIBC gold, so I will be taking steps…likely apply for a card of my choice and cancel the CIBC card before they transfer me, though I’ve left it kind of late. I’ve also noticed a very unwelcome amount of promotional junk from TD, emails mostly, that I never had to endure with CIBC.

    Reply

    • What I find most annoying is that they transition the card but don’t offer any bonus milage. I’m given a card I didn’t ask for, and denied the welcome bonus of said card. I’m going to request the welcome points before activating the card. Otherwise you might as well just cancel and then reapply. A totally redundant system.

      Reply

    • All the above letters are about T.D. versus C.I.B.C. What you should concentrate on is wether to stay with AEROPLAN or change to another cars, Adventura is a good one. Read the comments and criticism about Aeroplan and you will change you mind, I did,

      Reply

  6. Default card is not the infinite & u have to wait til nis month to change it.

    Reply

  7. My wife and I are among the “chosen few” to get TD cards in lieu of CIBC. I am confused . We just paid the annual fe on the CIBC card , as we were assured it was part of the transfer arrangement and we would not be double billed . Since ,we have received TD disclosure agreement wit[h cards , which states fees will be charged on the first statement after card issue. To my knowledge this issue has not been dealt with in transparent fashion. Also, if we apply for ne Infinity card for TDBank and decline the “transferred” card will we in fact retain our existing Areoplan points . The responses to the article seem to support two views .Mark Brown – which is correct ?

    Reply

  8. I too was one of the ‘lucky’ ones to transfer from CIBC to TD. I had called TD prior to be left off their transfer list, but was denied. I have never been a fan of TD but was going to wait and see on this one. So on the first day my card was active (Jun 16) I called TD to see what they would offer to keep me as a customer. After waiting over an hour and half on hold I got ahold of someone who could do nothing other than tell me I was entitled to double miles for a short period of time. When I said fine, let me talk to a retention specialist none of them could be bothered with my request, since no bonus miles were offered I cancelled my card and re-applied for the same CIBC Aeroplan card I had. If they try and move me at some point in the future I will no longer be an Aeroplan member! Oh, and thanks TD for reminding and reaffirming to me why I never wanted to deal with you.

    Reply

  9. My CIBC Aerogold fee of $120 had already been paid early in the year. The TD card they sent me was the Platinum – the $89 dollar one. When I phoned their “help” line all the person could do was tell me that the fee would be charged after June 16. She barely spoke English and couldn’t understand what I was asking and told me to call back after June 16. I wonder if TD even bothered to train their customer service people about the change over.

    Why is TD putting everyone on the default Platinum card for $89, when we have all paid $120 for our cards? It is not the same card. Who gets to keep the $31 difference? There was no notice from TD they were giving us a cheaper card and no offer to credit the difference.

    Reply

  10. now that I am ready to claim my ‘two free round trip flights’ I am told that these were not part of the deal, rather the 15000 points is all that I have as an entitlement. anyone else frustrated???

    Reply

  11. There is no TD Bank in Nunavut. When I wanted to make my payment, that’s when I learned how little regard TD has for Nunavut card holders. There is no ability to set up the TD Visa Aerogold as a payee with Royal Bank, which does have branches in Nunavut. The payment options TD provides are: Pay at TD (Can’t, no branch in the territory); Send a cheque (Seriously? Who does this? From Nunavut where mail can take forever?); or use one of their various TD phone web options (utterly useless, unless one has an account with them, which I don’t because there are no branches in Nunavut.) If TD had no intention of providing Nunavut customers with options to make payments, they should never have forced us to switch from CIBC.

    Reply

  12. Like most of you, I received notification in the mail that I was being switched from CIBC to TD. My aeroplan points will be transferred to the new VISA so I didn’t worry too much about it. However, the information that I received clearly states that I have until September 30 to notify businesses with which I have set up automated payments of my new number. I have already received statements from three different businesses claiming that I have outstanding bills because my CIBC card was denied. I am not too impressed with that as I have never been late on a payment in my life, let alone have to pay interest for late payment!

    Reply

  13. The note in the article that says the only difference in the cards is the look is not quite true. With CIBC I would pay the full balance on line through ING (Tangerine) ON the actual due date, and it would be processed by CIBC with no interest. My first statement with TD, I get dinged with interest because they need the payment to be processed “about 3 days” before the due date, meaning it’s coming out of my account 3 days earlier than before. Not pleased with this at all, and is just another in a long line of reasons I left TD long ago. Sigh

    Reply

  14. Am a TD VISA infinite Privilege card holder. On a recent trip to the USA was not permitted access to the fast track security line despite presenting my card to the TSA official and showing her the written documentation (TD VISA Infinite Privilege welcome package) supporting access to the fast track line. Had no problems with priority check in or boarding. Called and emailed TD customer support and am being given the run around. Anyone else with this issue?

    Reply

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *