CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Review

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The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege is CIBC’s top of the line Aeroplan credit card.

The creme de la creme you can say.

But the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege comes with a high annual fee to go along with the premium benefits it offers.

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege has an annual of $599, and the standard sign-up bonus is only 20,000 Aeroplan points. That’s a pretty steep fee to be paying, so you need to make sure the extra benefits that come with the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege make it worth paying the annual fee.

It all comes down to what perks you get value out of compared to the price of the card.

Because, let’s face it, you’re expecting a lot out of a credit card that costs $599 a year to hold!

In this post, we’re covering everything you need to know about the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege.

You’ll be in a much better position to decide whether it is the right Canadian travel credit card for you or not by the end of the post!

Highlights

As with every premium travel credit card, there are a lot of perks we need to cover.

The good news is that the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege has a wide range of perks and benefits.

The bad news is that a lot of them are designed for domestic travellers rather than international travellers.

It is important to keep that in mind when deciding what premium travel card to add to your wallet!

Here are the top perks of the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege you need to know about:

  • Earn up to 20,000 Aeroplan points as a sign-up bonus
  • Receive first bag checked for free for you and up to 8 guests booked on the same reservation
  • Select airport perks like priority boarding
  • Free Maple Leaf lounge access in Canada
  • $100 NEXUS credit every 48 months
  • Six complimentary Priority Pass lounge visits per year
  • Complimentary Buddy Pass
  • Earn 2 Aeroplan points for every $1 spent with Air Canada
  • Earn 1.5 Aeroplan points for every $1 spent on gas, grocery, travel and dining
  • Earn 1.25 Aeroplan points for every $1 spent on everything else
  • Ability to earn Aeroplan points twice when shopping through the Aeroplan shops website
  • Oftentimes the sign-up bonus includes a Buddy Pass
  • Strong set of travel insurances built into the card

I told you there were quite a few perks that come along with this card!

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege

Pros and Cons of the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege

Pros

  • Ability to earn Aeroplan points quickly
  • Low minimum spend requirement
  • Complimentary domestic lounge access

Cons

  • High minimum income requirement
  • High annual fee
  • No international lounge access

Points

I know I’m not going to shock anybody with this information, but you earn and redeem Aeroplan points with the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege.

Air Canada upgraded the Aeroplan program in November of 2020 and made it much more user friendly.

You can now fully book just about any redemption online just as easily as you book a normal flight.

This includes fight redemptions for partner airlines!

The only time you’ll have to call Aeroplan to book your redemption is when it is very complicated. Most people don’t have super complicated redemptions and won’t ever have to call.

Overall, I think Air Canada did a great job refreshing the Aeroplan program.

It isn’t perfect, but it is significantly better than it used to be!

Sign-Up Bonus

The standard sign-up bonus on the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege is 20,000 Aeroplan points and a Buddy Pass.

You only have to spend $3,000 in the first three months of holding the card to earn the full sign-up bonus, so it is very attainable for the average person.

Most people can easily meet the minimum spend requirement without much effort with just their normal, everyday spending.

Especially considering the high minimum income requirement to be approved for this card.

CIBC often runs promotions on the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege so be on the lookout for those!

The highest sign-up bonus to date was 75,000 Aeroplan points!

It is in your best interests to sign-up for this card during one of those promotional event if you can.

You will earn a significantly higher sign-up bonus and make the card even more valuable in the first year!

Airplanes at Airport

What the Heck is a Buddy Pass?

A Buddy Pass is similar to the Alaska Airlines and Westjet companion passes where you can bring a second guest with you on a flight for free!

You don’t get a Buddy Pass every year like you do with some other credit cards.

It is a one-time perk rather than an ongoing one.

One important thing to note about the Buddy Pass is that it can only be redeemed for economy flights within North America. You’re also still on the hook for any associated fees and taxes.

The Buddy Pass is a bit limiting, but it is still a free flight for a friend or family member!

Earning Points

The points earning on this card are quite generous and much better than points earning on the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite.

You earn:

  • 2x the points on Air Canada purchases
  • 1.5 the points on eligible gas, dining, grocery, and other travel-related expenses
  • 1.25x the points on every other $1 spent on the card
  • Ability to earn points twice when shopping through the Aeroplan shops website

Those are really good points earning categories and are on par for the other premium Aeroplan credit cards in Canada.

You’ll be impressed by how quickly you earn Aeroplan points with this card.

Especially since gas, grocery, and travel are all earning you a higher number of points than the average purchase!

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Redeeming Points

Redeeming Aeroplan points is easier than ever thanks to the November 2020 upgrade!

As I mentioned above, pretty much every redemption the average person will make is able to be done through the Air Canada website.

You simply log into your Aeroplan account and then search for a flight like you normally would.

The only difference is that you need to toggle the button from pay with CAD to pay with points before you search for your flight.

Your search results will show you the price of the flight in Aeroplan points rather than Canadian dollars.

Once you select your flight, you’ll be able to easily book your redemption flight with just a few clicks!

Seoul, South Korea

Best Way to Redeem Aeroplan Points

From my point of view, there are two ideal ways to redeem your Aeroplan points:

  • For flights between North America and the Pacific region
  • Flights within North America

Those two flight patterns arguably give you the best value per point whether you book economy, premium economy, business, or first class.

However, I always suggest you find the best value per point that works within your travel plans and dreams.

There is no sense earning a bunch of Aeroplan points and never being able to enjoy them because you travel to Europe more often than Asia and are waiting to redeem your Aeroplan points until you fly to the Pacific region.

I always think it is better to redeem your points for whatever your dream trip is even if it technically isn’t the best value per point.

Your points are supposed to elevate your travel game, so make them work for you however you want!

Worst Way to Redeem Aeroplan Points

Without a doubt the worst way to redeem Aeroplan point is for merchandise or gift cards.

You get a terrible value per point, and it is essentially the same as flushing your points down the toilet in my eyes.

Sorry for the harsh words!

I think it is always, always, always better to wait to redeem your Aeroplan points until you can redeem for a flight.

No matter where you fly, you’ll get a better value per point than if you were to redeem for merchandise or gift cards.

The only time I see if being acceptable to redeem your points for merchandise or gift cards is if it is a last resort to prevent your points from expiring.

Other than that scenario, it is best to resist the urge and wait to use your Aeroplan points to redeem for a flight!

Overcome your fear of travelling alone

Annual Fee

The annual fee on the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege is a whopping $599!

That’s a lot of money, and you really need to consider whether the benefits that come with the card are worth paying that much for.

If you check luggage and visit domestic lounges on a regular basis, the annual fee probably pays for itself in perks.

But if you don’t do either of those things, you probably want to reconsider getting the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege.

Couple Travel Hacking

Qualifications

It is pretty tough to be meet the requirements for the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege.

You need a minimum personal income of at least $150,000 or a household income of at least $200,000.

That takes most Canadians out of the running to be approved for this card.

I know it is Visa placing these minimum income requirements on their cards, but I really wish banks pushed back against them and pushed to get them removed.

They discriminate about single people, women, and the average person who is underpaid by their employer.

Your income simply doesn’t determine whether or not you are responsible with credit. Isn’t that what a credit score is for?!

And that’s an entirely different rant I’m resisting going on!

Anyways, the moral of my story is don’t let a bank make you feel bad because you don’t meet their absurdly high minimum income requirements.

There are plenty of credit cards (every American Express card in fact) that don’t have minimum income requirements that you can (and should) apply for!

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Who Should Apply for the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege is a great card for people who travel within Canada on a regular basis.

You get a lot of value out of being able to check your first bag for free and access domestic Maple Leaf lounges free of charge.

If you fly within Canada multiple times per year, you will definitely get back what you pay in annual fees from the perks that come with the card.

It is also a great credit card for business travellers.

You can earn a ton of Aeroplan points and have a comfortable airport experience while jetting around the country for work.

It hardly gets better than that!

Who Should NOT Apply for the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege

I do not recommend the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege for people who travel internationally on a regular basis.

The perks that come with this card are more beneficial to domestic travellers, and you don’t get much value out of the card if you’re an international traveller.

I would recommend looking into the American Express Platinum card if you’re an international traveller looking for a premium credit card with lounge access.

Woman waiting in airport

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Conclusion

Whew! You’ve made it to the end of my review of the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege.

It is a pretty good credit card and comes with a lot of great perks.

The major downside of the card is that you only get complimentary lounge access when you’re travelling within Canada.

That is a huge downside for people who travel internationally and can turn a lot of travellers off.

But, if you don’t travel outside of Canada that often, you may want to add this card to your wallet.

I do recommend you look into the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege before you make your final choice though!

The sign-up bonus on that card is slightly different, so you want to make sure you’re picking the right premium travel credit card for you!

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege ReviewCIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege ReviewCIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Review

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