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AMEX vs. CIBC vs. TD Aeroplan Platinum/Privilege Cards

This is a continuation of a question that I previously asked everyone about credit card comparisons. Feel free to continually add more suggestions to the comment section in that post. I previously compared the Gold and Infinite co-branded Aeroplan credit cards. Today, I will compare the Platinum and Privilege cards. 

Today, I will be comparing the American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card, CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Privilege and TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card. But first, below are the highlights of each respective cards and then provided my commentary on some of the key factors to compare.

American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card

  • $499 annual fee
  • $199 annual fee for a supplementary cardholder
  • $40,000 minimum annual personal income requirement
  • Earn 40,000 sign up bonus Aeroplan miles when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
  • Earn 1.25 Aeroplan mile for every $1 spent on all purchases on the first $25,000 purchases annually
  • Earn 1.5 Aeroplan mile for every additional $1 on purchases over $25,000 annually
  • Receive a 2-for-1 short-haul flight reward when redeeming 15,000 Aeroplan miles
  • Receive access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges and Arrival Lounges

CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Privilege

  • $399 annual fee
  • $99 annual fee for a supplementary cardholder
  • $200,000 minimum annual household income requirement
  • Earn 25,000 sign up bonus Aeroplan miles after you make your first purchase
  • Earn 3.75 Aeroplan miles for every $1 spent at a CIBC Bonus Rewards establishment
  • Earn 1.5 Aeroplan mile for every $1 spent on gas, groceries, drug stores and Air Canada purchases (excluding Air Canada Vacations packages)
  • Earn 1.25 Aeroplan mile for every $1 on all other purchases
  • Receive 6 annual Priority Pass lounge passes to be used any lounges worldwide
  • Receive 4 Maple Leaf Lounge One-Time Guest Access Benefits to the Maple Leaf Lounges
  • Receive first free checked bag on Air Canada flights (primary cardholder only)
  • Receive 1 annual 50% discount on companion tickets for eligible business class fares on Air Canada flights

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card

  • $399 annual fee
  • $99 annual fee for a supplementary cardholder
  • $200,000 minimum annual household income requirement
  • Earn 25,000 sign up Aeroplan bonus miles after your first purchase
  • Earn 1.5 Aeroplan miles for every $1 spent on gas, grocery, drug store, Air Canada purchases (excluding Air Canada Vacation packages)
  • Earn 1.25 Aeroplan miles for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive 6 annual Priority Pass lounge passes to be used any lounges worldwide
  • Receive 4 Maple Leaf Lounge one-time guest passes per year (when travelling on an Aeroplan reward flight operated by Air Canada)
  • Receive first free checked bag on Air Canada flights (primary cardholder only)
  • Receive 1 annual 50% discount on companion tickets for eligible business class fares on Air Canada flights

Annual Fees

AMEX charges $499 annual fee, plus $199 for supplementary cardholders. CIBC and TD both charge the same $399 annual fee and $99 for supplementary cardholders, so we have a tie here.

Winners: CIBC Aeroplan Privilege and TD Aeroplan Privilege

Annual Income Requirement

AMEX has 1/5 of the income requirement at $40,000, instead of $200,000 with CIBC and TD.

Winner: AMEX AeroplanPlus Platinum

Sign Up Bonuses

AMEX has a regular offer of 40,000 sign up bonus miles. But you will frequently see a 50,000 sign up bonus offer

With CIBC, the regular offer is 25,000 sign up bonus miles, but you will frequently see a 50,000 sign up bonus offer.

Finally, with TD, the regular offer is 25,000 sign up bonus miles, but you may see 55,000 or even 65,000 sign up bonus offers.

But the winner has to go to the company with the highest regular sign up bonus offer.

Winner: AMEX AeroplanPlus Platinum

Churn-ability

Both AMEX and CIBC currently have a once in a lifetime sign up bonus rule for their respective credit cards (mentioned in this post), but TD continues to have its 6 months waiting period rule. Therefore, TD comes out ahead.

Winner: TD Aeroplan Privilege

Referral Bonuses

This factor is very straightforward as AMEX is the only one that offers a 15,000 referral bonus (upon approval) when referring family and friends, up to a maximize of 15 referrals (or 225,000 bonus miles) per calendar year.

Winner: AMEX AeroplanPlus Platinum

Earning Ratios

The earning ratios between the 3 companies are very close, give or take 0.25 mile per dollar depending on the spending threshold or spend category. However, CIBC gets the edge because of its 3.75 Aeroplan miles for every $1 spent at CIBC Bonus Rewards establishments.

Winner: CIBC Aeroplan Privilege

Air Canada Lounge Access

AMEX cardmembers have access to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada rouge or under the Air Canada express banner. While CIBC and TD do offer 6 Priority Pass lounge access, along with 4 Maple Leaf Lounge Passes (on an Aeroplan reward flight), there is still that limit of 10 passes per month. The Priority Pass lounge access is definitely more valuable than the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, but I will use the limit as the tie breaker.

Winner: AMEX AeroplanPlus Platinum

Retention Bonuses

Based on my research, these higher premium credit cards do not offer any first year fee waivers. You may get a reduction on your annual fee or bonus miles at the time with renewal. Since most factors are equal on retention bonuses, I am going to give the edge to TD. Usually, when you get a premium bank account with them, they do offer clients some sort of reduction in their credit card annual fees. It is a case by case basis and you do have to ask for it. So it will take a little work.

Winner: TD Aeroplan Privilege

Conclusion

It is tough for me to pick one absolute winner between the three, because it depends on one’s financial situation. But if you are targeting one of these cards, the main thing you want to catch is a higher than normal sign up bonus. If you are already a TD banking client, then I would go for their card if you can qualify for it, during one of those 55,000 or 65,000 sign up bonuses, which is going to be the tie breaker. So if I had to choose one overall winner, it would be the TD Aeroplan Privilege.

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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