I’ve sported around the CIBC Aerogold® Visa Infinite* Card 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 up to 35,000 Aeroplan points as a welcome bonus.
- $120 per year (free for the first year)
- As a welcome bonus, get 20,000 Miles after your first purchase Plus, get a 15,000 Aeroplan® Mile anniversary bonus when you spend at least $10,000 in your first year
- 1.5 Aeroplan points on eligible gas, grocery, drugstores and aircanada.com purchases
- 1 Aeroplan points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Get priority airport services and lounge access when using an Aeroplan Flight Reward on flights operated by Air Canada
- Get coverage for out-of-province medical, trip cancellation or interruption and auto rental collision or damage
Here’s my review:
One of the perks is that you get 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 privileges 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 can earn up to 35,000 Aeroplan points in a short time period. This is pretty awesome considering that it’s enough for 1 long-haul roundtrip flight reward in Economy class within Canada or between Canada and the continental U.S.
The insurance is pretty good. Baggage delay is pretty awesome except there’s the hassle of filling out all the paperwork 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 cancelling 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.