New Aeroplan and TD Bank Credit Card Partnership
I was up in Toronto on Monday filming an appearance on a CTV show called "The Social", which you can watch there, where I talked about how Canadians can maximize their points and miles, and since then, my mind has been on news from our neighbor to the north since a lot has been going on up there.
Back in July when Aeroplan announced major changes to its award redemption chart and the institution of new revenue-based elite benefits that will start January 1, 2014, there was some speculation as to whether it would also be partnering with a new credit card issuer. Back then, the official line from Aeroplan was: “On June 27th, Aeroplan announced that TD will become Aeroplan’s new credit card partner effective from January 1, 2014, replacing CIBC, unless CIBC chooses to exercise its contractual right to match the terms of the agreement (my emphasis). Nothing changes this year and members can continue to use their Aerogold credit cards throughout the rest of the year.”
Well, it looks like this point has finally been decided and that effective January 1, 2014, TD Bank will become Aeroplan’s primary financial services partner and credit card issuer and CIBC will continue to offer its line of Aerogold cards. Here is the official announcement page.
As part of the deal, TD is acquiring a portion of CIBC's Aeroplan credit card portfolio, so some CIBC cardholders will keep their current cards while others will transition to TD cards. In either case, your Aeroplan account shouldn't be affected.
Although they haven't said specifically which CIBC cards would evolve into TD products, per the official announcement, "The agreement includes the transition of approximately 50 per cent of CIBC’s Aerogold credit card portfolio to TD, primarily consisting of credit card only customers holding only an Aerogold credit card. This transition would take place in 2014. CIBC would retain the Aerogold credit card accounts held by clients with broader banking relationships." So if you're just a credit cardholder with CIBC, chances are you'll be getting a new card in the mail come January, but if you have other accounts with the bank, you might hang onto your CIBC card a bit longer.
Though they are promising new sign-up bonuses and other perks with the new family of TD cards, there’s no telling what those will be, so if you’ve been thinking about getting an Aeroplan credit card, get in on them now before they go away.
No word on whether Aeroplan is still in talks with its other credit card partner, American Express, but according to this article in the Global News from yesterday, Amex Canada's VP of advertising and communications, David Barnes, said, "We are excited at the tremendous opportunity this creates for American Express, particularly as CIBC customers weigh their options...We believe the strength of these products represent a great opportunity for American Express to win new customers and dramatically grow its business in Canada." So it looks like Amex will maintain its portfolio of Aeroplan co-branded cards and the program should remain an Amex Membership Rewards transfer partner for now.
Though they are promising new sign-up bonuses and other perks with the new family of TD cards, there’s no telling what those will be, so if you’ve been thinking about getting an Aeroplan credit card, get in on them now before they go away because the current CIBC Aerogold cards offer the following perks: 50% more Aeroplan Miles at gas, grocery and drug stores. 1.5 Aeroplan miles for every dollar you spend at any Fairmont Hotels & Resorts worldwide (available on your first $80,000 in total annual account spending). Earn 50% more miles at select CIBC Bonus Rewards establishments. Car rental discounts of up to 25% at participating Avis and Budget locations with your CIBC credit card. In the meantime, here are their current bonus offers.
Aerogold Visa Infinite: 15,000 Aeroplan Miles upon first purchase.
Aerogold Visa: 15,000 Aeroplan Miles upon first purchase.
Aerogold Business: Receive a Welcome Bonus of 1.5 Aeroplan Miles for every dollar you spend at travel establishments.
Aero Classic: An everyday card with the benefit of travel rewards, including a Welcome Bonus of 2,500 Aeroplan Miles.
And then if you're interested in a competing American Express card, here are the two most lucrative Aeroplan co-branded Amex cards on the market at the moment.
Aeroplan Platinum American Express: 51,000 points when you spend $1,000 in 3 months. $499 annual fee. Earn 1.25 points per $1 up to $25,000 per cardmember year, then 1.5 points per $1 after that. Aeroplan has short-haul awards that start at 15,000 miles roundtrip and business class to Western Europe is only 90,000 miles (for now), so this card could easily pay for itself many times over. Note: Aeroplan now imposes hefty fuel surcharges on many Star Alliance awards.
Aeroplan Gold American Express: 30,000 points when you spend $500 in 3 months. Annual fee of $120 waived the first year. Earn 1 points per $1 up to $10,000 per cardmember year, then 1.25 points per $1 after that.
Check out this post for the Best Canadian Credit Cards and Current Deals and for more information on the upcoming changes to Aeroplan, check out my post on Aeroplan Major Miles Devaluation, New Credit Cards and Elite Spending.