Below you will find the complete review of the card as seen on the main Rewards Canada site.
If you have paid any attention to loyalty
programs in the news since June of 2013 then you most definitely have
heard of the whole Aeroplan (Aimia) – TD – CIBC debacle or as some have
called it Love Triangle. We won’t go into the details of that story
here, you can read about it on our blog
but ultimately in the end we have TD Canada Trust issuing four new
Aeroplan co-brand Visa cards. Of which, the most popular or common one
is the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite hence the review of that card. The
others are the Platinum (lower fee version with less rewards and
benefits), the Visa infinite Privilege (higher annual fee, more rewards,
more benefits) and a small business/corporate card.
The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card hit the market on
January 1st, 2014 although details were leaked a few weeks prior to
date. Prior to that there was lots of hype surrounding the card and how
it would be a much stronger Aeroplan card offering than the CIBC
Aerogold Visa Infinite it was essentially replacing. Unfortunately there
is not much difference between the two with the TD only adding a few
select benefits that Aeroplan members may not even make use of on a
yearly basis. That being said, the card will do well and is probably the
best airline co-brand credit card on the market, not because of the
strength of the card but rather because of the strength of the Aeroplan
program as a whole.
Sign up Features
The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card comes with a 15,000
Aeroplan Miles sign up bonus that is awarded upon approval. They are
also offering a 2 for 1 Short Haul Flight benefit if you apply for the
card by May 9, 2014. The sign up bonus also counts towards Aeroplan
The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card comes with a $120 Annual fee which is the same as most cards that offer a similar level of rewards and benefits. Supplementary
cards run $50 which is the same for the majority of the Infinite/Platinum/Gold
travel credit card offerings from other banks. The interest rate
on the card is 19.99% which is also in line with most of the cards at this
level. Income requirements for the card are $60,000 Personal or $100,000 Household.
The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card earns 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar spent on the card for purchases with an increased earning
of 1.5 miles at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores (On your first $80,000
in total annual account spending). You can take advantage of more Aeroplan mile earning by Double Dipping which is done by using the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
in conjunction with your Aeroplan membership card when purchasing
products or services from Aeroplan partners. This is the first point
where the strength of the Aeroplan coalition program helps this card out
in becoming one of the better airline cards on the market. The miles
earn on the card also count towards Aeroplan Distinction status. For
comparison the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card ups your base earning to 1.25 miles per dollar and keeps the 1.5 miles at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores.
Being a co-brand card redemption is actually done via Aeroplan not
TD Travel Rewards. This is where the strength of the Aeroplan program
comes through again and makes the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
shine. Aeroplan offers numerous redemption options but of course having
routes from being a frequent flyer program, the primary redemption
option which most people look at are award flights on Air Canada and
Aeroplan partner airlines In total there are 25 major partner airlines
outside of Air Canada ranging from Adria Airways to United Airlines,
most of whom comprise the Star Alliance of which Air Canada was founding
member. Air Creebec, Bearskin Airlines,Calm Air, Canadian North and
First Air make up the minor Canadian airline partners that you can also
redeem Aeroplan miles with. Overall you can redeem Aeroplan miles to
over 1,000 destinations Worldwide which is one of the reasons Aeroplan
is so popular.
For redemptions on Air Canada and most of
the other partners there are numerous options depending on
availability. Much like many other frequent flyer programs, award seats
are limited at the lower redemption level (Aeroplan calls this level
ClassicFlight) but you can use more miles to get an ‘any seat any time’
award ticket (Aeroplan calls this Market Fare Awards) as long as the
flight still has seats available. Flight redemptions start as low as
7,500 miles for a short haul one way economy class ClassicFlight Award
and go as high as 290,000 Miles for a round trip flight in First Class
to Asia on a Aeroplan partner airline. With the new half price awards in
place you can see that redemptions can come quite easily. Even for
round trip flights you are only looking at 15,000 to 25,000 miles for
travel in North America. These levels are easily achieved with credit
card spend alone. For a complete listing of ClassicFlight award levels
see Aeroplan’s latest Reward Flight Chart
rare cases when flights are relatively empty or are available as a seat
sale you may see the Market Fare Price be lower than the ClassicFlight
amount. This is especially holds true for those Aeroplan member who hold
Distinction status and get a discount on Market Fare awards. One recent
search for a dBlack member showed the ClassicFlight level at 60,000
miles for a flight between Toronto and Paris while the Market Fare price
was only 55,000 miles.
Related: To learn more about Aeroplan flight awards see this helpful page on Aeroplan.com.
Other flight reward options with Aeroplan include Around the
World rewards which run 200,000 miles in Economy, 300,000 for Business
or 400,000 for First Class. You can also use Aeroplan miles to
upgrade flights on Air Canada and its Star Alliance partners to Business
or First Class when you travel on an eligible fare.
Overall Aeroplan has been well known for their flight awards
as the mileage requirements on ClassicFlights tend to be competitive
despite recent devaluations in certain categories and the fuel surcharge
issue on some carriers like Air Canada themselves. The “Mini Round The
World” award (AKA Mini-RTW) is an example of a well-known and good value
flight award by maximizing the two stopover or one stopover and open
Finally Aeroplan miles can also be used for many non-flight
award options as the Aeroplan reward catalog has expanded greatly over
the years. Most of these other redemption options tend to represent a
poor value when compared to redeeming for flights however they are a
good option for those who may not have enough miles for the flights they
want or for those people who more miles than what they know what to do
with them! These other options include using miles for hotel stays, car
rentals, gift cards and merchandise. You can also transfer miles to
another Aeroplan member (at a cost), donate them to charity, even use
them for exclusive ‘Money Can’t Buy’ awards like autographed photos,
activities and events.
Features and Benefits
The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
comes with the usual slate of Visa Infinite insurance and benefits plus
some benefits only afforded to the TD Aeroplan cards. On the insurance
side the card comes with wide range of coverage as seen with most
Infinite cards including travel accident insurance, flight delay, trip
interruption and cancellation insurance, travel medical insurance,
lost/damaged baggage insurance, car rental CDW coverage, hotel burglary
insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty.
Non-insurance benefits include an Annual Maple Leaf Lounge One
Time Guest Pass when travelling on an Aeroplan flight reward operated
by Air Canada, priority check-in and boarding when travelling on an
Aeroplan flight reward, concierge service and enhanced hotel/dining
For comparison the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card
includes Airport Angel business class lounge membership with 6 free
visits and 4 annual Maple Leaf Lounge One-Time Guest Passes when
travelling on an Aeroplan flight reward operated by Air Canada along
with priority check in and boarding on all Air Canada operated flights.
What is good about this card
Being the primary co-brand credit card for the Aeroplan
program is what makes this card good. Essentially Aeroplan is what is
the best about the card. The ability to redeem for Aeroplan one way
awards, a great return when you redeem for flights in business or first
class when compared to redeeming a comparable travel points card’s
points, a great variety of short haul awards that don’t take long to
achieve with credit card spend and a great selection of airline partners
to redeem on are all good benefits of the card. The ability to Double
Dip with Aeroplan partners to further accelerate your balance is also a
key determining factor for many. Tie this in with the category bonuses
on earning Aeroplan miles at gas stations, grocery stores and drug
stores and you can see why it is now one of the top airline co-brand
cards in Canada.
The insurance package that comes with the card is also very
strong although it is pretty much standard these days for a premium card
like this. The Aeroplan reward flight benefits are nice perk if and
when they can be utilized by the cardholder.
The sign up bonus along with limited time 2 for 1 short haul flight award are another good feature of the card.
What is not so good about this
What makes this card good (Aeroplan) is also what can make
this card not so good. As with any credit card tied into a frequent
flyer program comes the dreaded availability issues and any extra taxes
and fees on award tickets. Aeroplan is notorious on all of these
aspects especially for flights on our home grown airline Air Canada.
However the new Market Fare awards do seem to be promising in some cases
especially when you have Aeroplan Distinction status. The issue of
availability is always a consideration that needs to taken into account
when choosing a card like this. If you can be flexible in your dates,
airlines and routing (ie making connections vs. direct) then this is
less of an issue.
When the 2 for 1 bonus is removed the low 15,000 mile sign
up bonus is mediocre in today’s competitive market when you consider
other cards that award or can transfer into Aeroplan have offers ranging
from 25,000 to 60,000 miles.
The card also lacks the CreditSmart feature that is seen on
its CIBC equivalent.
While some people may consider a small negative to this card
when being switched over from CIBC to TD some like the reader of ours
who alerted us to this makes the TD card seriously deficient for them.
Unfortunately the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
does not live up to the hype that was being touted before being
launched. Don’t get us wrong, if Aeroplan is your primary loyalty
program, or are a frequent Air Canada traveller then this is best
mid-level premium credit card out there for you. It takes over from the
CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite card as the primary Aeroplan co-branded card
in Canada even though the CIBC card is still available to the public.
We have to stress that this card is strong because of the Aeroplan
program not so much what the card itself offers. If Aeroplan is not a
program of your choice or flights in business class are not your cup of
tea and you bank at TD and want to keep your credit card with TD you are
better off with the TD Visa First Class Infinite card for the utmost in
flexibility for travel.
Related: Options outside of Aeroplan
However if you want flights in business or first class at the best
possible return on your credit card spending (business and first class
redemptions made via a frequent flyer program represent the best
possible value out of any loyalty program),
you collect a lot of Aeroplan miles from sources other than credit card
spend getting this card is a good choice and even better if you pair it
with an Aeroplan card from American Express’ suite of cards that offer
Overall this card will become the mainstay Aeroplan credit
card for the foreseeable future as nearly half a million Canadians have
been transferred to it automatically from CIBC. The question is will the
card break the one million mark like its CIBC predecessor? Not likely
for a few years but there is no doubt that a certain percentage of
cardholders who were kept by CIBC have or will get this card as well for
their credit card portfolio and then determine sometime down the road
which one works better for them.
Care to comment? Do you agree or disagree with us? Tell us what think
about the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card by commenting below!
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card on
Other cards to consider would come from the Airline Card category, Hotel Card category or the Hybrid Card category: