On January 1, 2014, TD finally came out with its new Aeroplan credit card products. I will start with analyzing their highest version, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card. Below are the highlights of the credit card:
- $399 annual fee
- $99 annual fee for supplemental cardholders
- Earn 25,000 Aeroplan points after your first purchase
- Earn 1.5 Aeroplan point for every $1 spent on gas, grocery, drug store, Air Canada purchases (excluding Air Canada Vacation packages)
- Earn 1.25 Aeroplan point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Earn 4 Maple Leaf Lounge one-time guest passes per year (when travelling on an Aeroplan reward flight operated by Air Canada)
- Earn 1 free checked bag on Air Canada flights (primary cardholder only)
- Earn 1 annual 50% discount on companion tickets for eligible business class fares on Air Canada flights
The $399 annual fee may seem high, but compared to the American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card with a $499 annual fee, this could be more reasonable.
The 25,000 sign up bonus is quite low, but there is no minimum spend requirement. If you are not in a rush to get this credit card, then I would wait for a higher sign up bonus. What I do find impressive is that the sign up bonus will count towards your Aeroplan Distinction status. That is what is being advertised on the Aeroplan website and if it is true, then this is great deal because the 25,000 already bumps you up to dSilver status. More about the Distinction program here.
Keep in mind that they have the 2-for-1 round trip short-haul promotion that expires on
May 9, 2014. This offer is valid only to new TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Accounts. The 2-for-1 offer must be redeemed by December 31, 2014. The primary cardholder who redeems for a short-haul reward (round-trip ClassicFlight on Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge to anywhere in North America) in either Economy Class or Business Class, the companion will travel for free on the same itinerary. Aeroplan booking fee will be waived, but taxes, fees and surcharges will still apply.
If you can take advantage of the sign up bonus and the 2-for-1 round trip short haul reward flight, you will easily get back the $399 annual fee.
In terms of whether it is worth it to keep this card beyond the first year, you need to determine what perks you can get out of the $399 annual fee. The only perks that have any value are the: 4 guest passes to Maple Leaf Lounges per year for a reward flight, 1 free checked bag and 1 annual 50% discount on companion tickets.
The deal breaker really is whether you can maximize the value of the 50% discount on the companion ticket. The more expensive the flight, the more value you are getting in return.
You can only use the guest passes to the lounge when you book a reward flight. Which means you need to have 4 flights that are rewards tickets per year.
Recommendations to TD: I would have liked to see more lounge access, 4 is definitely too little, especially considering that you can only use the lounge passes with a reward flight. There is lots of room for improvement in terms of lounge access.
Most of the perks are only for the primary cardholder, so why are we paying a $99 fee for the supplementary cardholder? At the very least, I would have hoped that the supplementary cardholder can take advantage of the 1 free checked bag.
Overall: I think this card is a good start because the perks are quite good and I am glad they have a lower annual fee than the AMEX AeroplanPlus Platinum Card. That should put some pressure on AMEX. However, there is always room for improvement. I am eagerly waiting to see what they have in store after May 9, 2014, when the 2-for-1 short haul promotion expires.