CIBC Infinite Aerogold Visa Review

I’ve sported around the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite for a few months (really just less than 2 months I believe) and have been pretty happy so far.  I got this Visa primarily because the first year is free (I have this terrible rule where I refuse to pay for a credit card, though Amex got me this year because I forgot to cancel it and got charged $60) and because I had the potential to earn 20,000 Aeroplan points.

The specs:

  • $120 per year (free for the first year)
  • 15,000 Aeroplan points on the first purchase
  • 5000 extra Aeroplan points once you spend $500 in three months (that is ridiculously easy to do, sometimes I spend that in 1 week haha).
  • 1 Aeroplan points for $1
  • 1.5 Aeroplan points at gas stations, grocery stores, and drug stores
  • CIBC Infinite Aerogold VisaWhen traveling with Air Canada you get priority boarding and priority baggage
  • Free first checked bag when traveling with Air Canada
  • Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Delayed Baggage and Lost Baggage insurance (only if you book your flight on your card, of course)

Here’s my review:

The looks:

Personally I was a little hesitant to sign up for this card just because it is so ubiquitous and I like being a bit unconventional.  A lot of cashiers used to comment on my SPG MBNA Mastercard because it was so pretty (that brilliant blue is so pretty), and a lot of people still comment on my MBNA World Points World Mastercard because they have never seen it before even though it is plain and not very attractive or sleek looking.

I like the grey on black pattern of the Aerogold card, but it’s nothing to be wow’d at I don’t think.

The perks:

One of the perks of the CIBC Infinite Aergold Visa is that they give you one free Maple Leaf Lounge Guest Pass each year.  This is a like a $25 value and you get to act pretentious because you are part of the elite club and have special priviliges like free wifi and free drinks, free food, and comfortable seating.  Personally I am quite excited to use this because I rarely get to go to fancy lounges- the voucher expires after one year of receiving it though.

Another perk is that you get 20,000 Aeroplan points in a short time period, like 3 months.  This is pretty awesome considering a short haul flight with Air Canada is around 20,000 Aeroplan points, though you have to pay the taxes.

The Insurance is pretty good.  My MBNA World Points World Mastercard does not have baggage delay insurance and although I get some great 2% cash back on it, I may consider charging my flight purchases to my Aeroplan just because of the added protection.  Baggage delay is pretty awesome except there’s the hassle of filling out all the paper work and the worry of wondering whether the purchases you made will be considered an “essential item”.

The cons:

Well I guess Aeroplan points are a dual edged sword, because of their high taxes and fees.  For example, I looked up a flight from Vancouver to London and I think including taxes and fuel surcharges etc. the total cost of the flight was $700 after spending 60,000 Aeroplan points.  Haha!  That is ridiculous.

However, there is a way around this by using different carriers within the Star Alliance group that don’t charge heavy immense fees.

Another downside is the annual fee.  For most people this is  not a con, but for me it is.  To be honest I plan on canceling this card before the year is up (unless of course they offer me another free year haha when I try to cancel).

My Verdict

I say this card is pretty great considering all the perks, especially if you are Canadian and fly Air Canada.  Although Air Canada isn’t the best airline (it’s the Canadian in us, eh? I am already apologizing on behalf of Air Canada) some of the domestic and United States flights are pretty cheap once you collect sufficient Aeroplan points.  For example, last year I flew to Denver Colorado for only $90 (taxes only) and some Aeroplan points.  For big international flights though, like to London, you have to shell out 60,000 Aeroplan points and another $700-800 worth in taxes and fees.

Readers, what do you think? Do you have the CIBC Aerogold Infinite VIsa?

About

Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

9 Responses to CIBC Infinite Aerogold Visa Review

  1. I have used this card exclusively since like 2005. I have earned a LOT of points and it has been worth the $120 each year (actually $170 because of the second card). Great card, very good for travelling.

      • Japan and Thailand on one trip for like $220 (many years ago), Czech Republic and Italy for a month for $199 in February, New Zealand, also one trip to Malatsia, Singapore and Indonesia 2 years ago, etc.
        The points are not worth it for short/regular flights (like Paris or Norht America) but are really worht it for long hauls and even more for layover.. You stay one week the first place, then one week the second place, then back.

  2. The only comment I have, is over the last 20 years I have switched cards once… you need to just pick one and go with it. My current card (only 1) is a American Express/Costco TrueEarnings Card. Why? because it works for me and the family. Interesting thing about the card, is there is no security chip like many today, but rather a picture of me on back, and serves as my Costco membership card too. – Cheers.

  3. Honestly, I’m not a fan of credit card, but when I started reading some personal finance blogs, I’m planning now to sign up for a credit card because of its advantages. My hubs do travel a lot, and getting an airline ticket is very difficult for us because we don’t have a credit card.

  4. I don’t have much time to read blogs these days but whenever I decide to visit you’re always talking about credit cards as I have been lately too. Seems like we’re on the same wavelength.

    You like to avoid annual fees and, usually, so do I but I’ve decided to do a much crazier thing and sign up for the American Express Platinum Rewards card that has a $700 fee but if done right, it gives you a whopping 75,000 Aeroplan miles. I decided to take the quick route to more miles instead of collecting them 15-25k at a time with the free first year options.

    I get about $700 worth of real value for 25,000 miles flying from New Brunswick to Vancouver to visit my sister. It costs about $150 in taxes and fees for the flight instead of $850 at the regular price. I’m willing to pay $700 to get $2100 in flights. The $400 in free travel credits I can use before I cancel the card help as well. I got the card last week and wrote an article about it like you. So far so good.

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