Monday, August 12, 2013

It's Official! TD Bank Group and Aimia (Aeroplan) confirm agreement; TD to be the new primary issuer of Aeroplan credit cards

Here is the an excerpt from today's press release from TD Bank confirming what I have (and most other people) have thought would happen:

TD Bank Group and Aimia confirm agreement

  • Enhances TD's position as a leading North American credit card provider
  • Offers more travel rewards choices for customers
  • Will add significant growth to the premium travel segment of TD's credit card portfolio
  • Discussions are underway regarding current portfolio of Aeroplan credit card accounts
TORONTO, Aug. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - TD Bank Group (TD) (TSX and NYSE: TD) and Aimia Inc. (Aimia) (TSX: AIM) today announced that TD will become the primary credit card issuer for Aeroplan, a loyalty program owned by Aimia, starting on January 1, 2014.

New choices for customers
"We are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Aeroplan to offer even more choice to our customers, and to grow the premium travel segment of our credit card portfolio," said Michael Rhodes, Executive Vice President, North American Credit Cards and Merchant Services, TD Bank Group. "The co-branded Aeroplan credit cards will complement TD's already strong line-up of cards, and allow our customers to select from an even wider range of options for earning great travel rewards."
Beginning in January 2014, TD will offer a full suite of co-branded Aeroplan Visa credit cards, giving customers several ways to earn miles for flights and enjoy other features and benefits of the Aeroplan program, including benefits within Aeroplan's new Distinction recognition program that launches in January. Customers will be able to choose from enhanced premium, premium and mid-market co-branded Aeroplan credit cards, each providing different benefits and earn rates. It is expected that the new co-branded credit card line-up will also include a credit card for U.S. residents and a credit card for Canadian small business owners.
"The new suite of co-branded credit cards will bring together Aeroplan's premier loyalty program with TD's award-winning customer service and convenience to build on our position as a leading North American credit card provider," added Rhodes. "We look forward to providing more information about these cards in early 2014."

Ongoing Discussions
There are ongoing active discussions among TD, Aimia and CIBC about a broad framework that would see CIBC retain cards held by their franchise banking customers which are about half the portfolio and TD acquire the remainder. The parties will work vigorously to try to reach agreement, complete due diligence and finalize definitive documentation by August 26, 2013. There can be no assurances that an agreement will be reached.
TD previously advised that the Aeroplan arrangement would not have a material impact on 2014 earnings and would make a solid contribution to 2015 earnings. TD does not expect a significant change in that outlook as a result of the proposed deal but will provide additional disclosure if an arrangement is reached.

Now we just need to wait and see as to what TD's offerings will be on these new cards! Based on this line "enhanced premium, premium and mid-market co-branded Aeroplan credit cards" it is likely we'll see a Visa Infinite, Visa Platinum and base level Visa Aeroplan card.  There will also be a new card for the US market which I can only assume will replace the current MBNA Aeroplan card offered to US residents.

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