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.
- $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
- When 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:
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.
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”.
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).
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?