The design on the CIBC Aerogold Infinite Visa Card has changed and there is a higher than normal bonus sign up from 15,000 to 20,000 points.
Below are the highlights of the credit card:
- $120 annual fee
- Earn 15,000 sign up bonus points after the first purchase
- Earn 5,000 bonus points when after spending $500 in purchases during first 3 months (if you apply before
December 31, 2014)
- Earn 3 points for every $1 spent at participating CIBC Bonus Rewards restaurants, hotels, inns and spas
- Earn 1.5 point for every $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, drug stores and at aircanada.com (excluding Air Canada Vacation packages)
- Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Receive 1 Maple Leaf Lounge One-Time Guest Pass each year to access Air Canada’s award-winning Maple Leaf Lounges when traveling on an Aeroplan flight reward
- Priority check-in
- Priority boarding
- Complimentary 1st checked bag on Air Canada flights
First of all, the 20,000 sign up bonus definitely covers the $120 annual fee that you would pay on the first year. The first 15,000 will be given after your first purchase and the 5,000 additional points will be given after $500 in purchases within the first 3 months. As usual, the $500 in purchases does not include cash advances, interest, fees, balance transfers, payments, CIBC Convenience Cheques or Aeroplan Miles redemptions. The bonus points will be award 8 weeks after you complete the $500 in spending.
The earning ratios are decent. The 1.5 points per $1 spent at grocery stores, service stations/automated gas dispensers, drug stores and at aircanada.com (excluding Air Canada Vacation packages) is available for the first $80,000 in spending in a calendar year. Thereafter you will continue to earn 1 point per $1 spent.
Keep in mind that Aeroplan points need to be active once every 12 months or else they will expire. So having a credit card associated with your account makes it very easy to keep your account active.
Beyond the first year, you can take advantage of some of the benefits of the credit card, the $120 annual fee can be worthwhile before the first year if you value the lounge pass, priority check-in, priority boarding and the complimentary 1st checked bag.
The complimentary checked bag is up to 23kg (50lbs) whenever traveling on an Aeroplan reward flight (ClassicFlight or Market Fare Flight Reward) operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express or Air Canada Rouge. So there are a few limitations to the benefit because flights operated by other airlines are not eligible.
The Maple Leaf Lounge One-Time Guest Pass is only valid for same-day boarding pass for travel with your Aeroplan flight reward on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express or Air Canada Rouge only. The lounge pass also has an expiry date, so watch out for that.
Overall, I like this credit card and the $120 can be justified if you can make use of the benefits.