CIBC Aeroplan Visa Review

   (Editor Rating)

cibc aeroplan visa

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Review
  • Annual Cost
  • Earn Rate
  • Perks and Rewards
  • Customer Service
3.6

CIBC Aeroplan Review Summary:

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa is the only Aeroplan credit card in Canada that is 100% free. The earn rate is lower than premium Aeroplan cards, but it allows cardholders to collect points more quickly than an Aeroplan loyalty card alone.

In this CIBC Aeroplan review, we dive into the details of this no-fee Aeroplan credit card. We also compare CIBC’s various Aeroplan Visas to see how the benefits increase along with the fees and how they stack up against the Best Aeroplan Cards in Canada.

Pros

  • $0 Annual fee
  • Low required minimum income
  • Basic travel insurance
  • Several perks
  • Earn points twice at Aeroplan partners

Cons

  • Earn rate is lower than other Aeroplan Visa cards
  • Travel insurance and perks are less impressive than a paid card

Want to start collecting Aeroplan Points while avoiding a hefty annual fee? Not to worry—there’s one Aeroplan Visa card that’s absolutely free! Our CIBC Aeroplan Visa review digs into what a no-fee Aeroplan card will give you (it’s not as much as a paid card, but it’s still a great start!). We also compare the different tiers of CIBC Aeroplan Visas, so you can see the return on investment you get for a range of annual fees.

Only three companies in Canada offer Aeroplan cards. Besides CIBC, which we’ll look at here, your options are TD and American Express:

  • TD offers Infinite, Infinite Privilege, and Business Aeroplan Visa cards only—no free Aeroplan cards. Here’s our TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite review.
  • Amex has a few Aeroplan options, but their lowest annual fee is $120, and it’s a charge card (for information about the differences between charge cards and credit cards, see our Amex Gold Rewards card review).

That’s what makes the CIBC Aeroplan Visa so special… if you want a no-fee option, it’s the only one.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Review: The Numbers

Annual Fee: $0 ($0 per additional card)

Minimum Income: $15,000 household

Interest Rate: 19.99% on purchases until October 2021 (then 20.99%), 22.99% on cash advances (21.99% for Quebec residents)

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Welcome Bonus:

Earn 10,000 Aeroplan Points on your first purchase.

Earn Rate:

  • Earn 1 point per dollar spent on gas, groceries, and with Air Canada directly. 
  • Earn 1 point per $1.50 spent everywhere else. 
  • As with all Aeroplan cards, cardholders can earn points twice at Aeroplan partner stores.

Travel Insurance Coverage

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa offers minimal insurance coverage but considering that many no-fee cards offer no coverage at all, it’s not bad.

Coverage includes:

  • Car rental collision/loss damage coverage (up to $65,000)
  • Common Carrier accident insurance (up to $100,000)

CIBC Aeroplan Perks & Benefits

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa card offers a few excellent perks. Of course, the number and quality of perks increase along with the annual fee, but for a free card, these perks are quite good.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa cardholders receive:

  • Up to 25% off car rentals at participating Avis and Budget locations worldwide
  • Save 3 cents per litre at Chevron, Ultramar, or Pioneer gas stations
  • Purchase security up to 90 days
  • Extended Warranty up to 1 additional year

CIBC’s Aeroplan Visa Tiers Compared

CIBC offers three tiers of personal Aeroplan Visa cards, plus a business version. For the purposes of this CIBC Aeroplan Visa card review, we’ve opted to look at the personal options only.

Every CIBC Aeroplan card offers the standard Aeroplan program features. These include:

  • 100% Air Canada seat availability (every seat on an Air Canada flight that’s available to book with cash is also available to be booked with Aeroplan points)
  • Preferred pricing for flight rewards (flight rewards are often available for even fewer points)
  • No additional airline surcharges (flights booked with Air Canada using Aeroplan points are not subject to any additional fees)
  • Aeroplan family sharing (household members can pool their points to earn rewards faster)
  • Flexible payment options (you can use Aeroplan points to pay for part of a ticket, and then pay for the rest in cash. You can also use points to cover extra charges like taxes and other fees).

In terms of perks, each tier of CIBC Aeroplan Visa cards builds on the next, so the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite gives cardholders the same perks as the no-fee CIBC Aeroplan Visa, as well as a selection of additional perks. The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege builds on the Visa Infinite’s perks. You can see all the differences in the chart below.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Cards Quick Comparison

Card Name:CIBC Aeroplan VisaCIBC Aeroplan Visa InfiniteCIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege
Fee$0$139$599
Interest rate(purchases/ cash advances)20.99%/22.99% (21.99% in Quebec)20.99%/22.99% (21.99% in Quebec)20.99%/22.99% (21.99% in Quebec)
Minimum Income$15,000 household$60,000 personal/$100,000 household$150,000 personal/$200,000 household
Welcome bonus10,000 Aeroplan PointsUp to 20,000 Aeroplan Points, plus a Buddy PassFirst year fee rebateUp to 75,000 Aeroplan Points, plus an Annual Worldwide Companion Pass 
Earn rate1 pt/$1 on gas, groceries, Air Canada travel0.67 pt/$1 on everything else(1 pt/$1.50 spent)1.5 pts/$1 on gas, groceries, Air Canada travel1 pt/$1 on everything else1.5 pts/$1 on gas, groceries, travel, dining2 pts/$1 on Air Canada travel1.25 pts/$1 on everything else
PerksUp to 25% off car rentals at participating Avis and Budget locations worldwide. Save 3 cents per litre at Chevron, Ultramar, or Pioneer gas stations. Purchase security up to 90 days. Extended Warranty up to 1 additional year. CIBC Aeroplan Visa base perks plus:First checked bag free (authorized users plus 8 companions). Visa Infinite Concierge. Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection benefits. Visa Infinite Dining. Visa Infinite Wine Country. Mobile Device insurance (up to $1,000, 2 years) CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite perks plus: Priority check-in, boarding, baggage handling, Exclusive Visa airport benefits, One NEXUS fee rebate every 4 years. Complimentary MapleLeaf Lounge access (cardholder and authorized users), Global lounge access with 6 complimentary visits per year. Visa Infinite Privilege Concierge. Purchase security up to 180 days. Extended Warranty up to 2 additional years. Mobile Device insurance (up to $1,500, 2 years)
InsuranceCar rental collision/loss damage coverage (up to $65,000). Common Carrier accident insurance (up to $100,000) Emergency Travel Insurance (up to $5 million, 15 days/3 days if 65+)Trip Cancellation ($1,500, $5,000 total), Trip Delay ($2,000), Hotel burglary ($2,500 combined), Flight Delay ($700), Baggage Delay ($500/$1,000 max), Baggage Loss ($500/$1,000 max), Car rental collision/loss damage coverage (up to $65,000), Common Carrier accident insurance (up to $500,000)Emergency Travel Insurance (up to $5 million, 31 days/10 days if 65+)Trip Cancellation ($2,500, $10,000 total), Trip Delay ($5,000, $25,000 total), Hotel burglary ($2,500 combined maximum), Flight Delay ($700), Baggage Delay ($500/$1,000 max), Baggage Loss ($1,000/$2,5000 max), Car rental collision/loss damage coverage (up to $85,000), Common Carrier accident insurance (up to $500,000)

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Review: Do Your Research

Although the CIBC Aeroplan Visa is the only no-fee Aeroplan card in Canada, it still pays to do some research before you sign up. If you’re new to Aeroplan, it helps to have some information about how the program works. You can learn more about it in our selection of the Best Aeroplan Credit Cards.

It can also be helpful to check whether you qualify for the Visa Infinite card—earn rates are higher and, depending on your spending habits, they could be well worth the annual fee. Our favourite of the available Aeroplan Visa Infinite cards is the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite, which is featured in our best Aeroplan Credit Cards list (linked above) and won our Best Aeroplan Visa nod in our best Travel Credit Cards in Canada list. It shares a number of similar features with the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite, but when we put them head to head for our TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite review, TD’s card came out on top.

How to apply for the CIBC Aeroplan Visa

Personal Requirements: You can apply for this card if you are a Canadian resident who has reached the age of majority in your province/territory of residence.

Required Minimum Income: $15,000 household annual income

Predicted Credit Score Requirement: 760-900 (Good to Excellent)

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Review: Final Verdict

If you’re looking to collect Aeroplan points and an Aeroplan Visa Infinite isn’t in reach for you just now, our CIBC Aeroplan Visa Review illustrates why this card is a great starting point. Our editorial team appreciates a card that fills a gap in the market, and as the only no-fee Aeroplan card – period – the CIBC Aeroplan Visa certainly has substantial value to that group of Canadians. It offers cardholders some excellent benefits and a decent earn rate, plus travel accident and rental car insurance. For a no-fee card, this is a fantastic package.

Meg Goodmanson

Meg is a writer, editor, virtual assistant, credit card expert, and lifelong learner-of-things. A self-proclaimed nerd, Meg’s favourite thing is collecting information and presenting it in an interesting and helpful way—especially if it helps her travel for free!
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Steve
26 days ago

You state that you “Save 3 cents per litre at Chevron, Ultramar, or Pioneer gas stations” but these stations do not operate in Western Canada. It seems that Parkland is the parent company of all. Do you not get a discount at FasGas in Western Canada?