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TD Infinite vs RBC Avion Infinite vs CIBC Aerogold Infinite vs Starwood MBNA

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  • Jun 11th, 2009 6:03 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
May 4, 2009
15 posts

TD Infinite vs RBC Avion Infinite vs CIBC Aerogold Infinite vs Starwood MBNA

Hey everybody,

I've been using the same vancity credit card for nearly 6 years.. since I graduated - I now have a **** load of points to find out vancity rewards are really not that good.. so i need to make the jump to one of the new infinite travel cards on the market.

To profile myself:

- good credit / earn > 60k
- want benefits travel related - i do most of my traveling within North America
- i'll probably only be spending approx 12,000 annually on the credit card

Can someone please tell me the key differences between the infinte travel cards between RBC, CIBC and TD - i don't bank with any of them so there is absolutely no bias.

Secondly, based on my spending profile vs annual fee perspective does it make sense for me to get a 120/year fee card with only spending 12k annually? If it doesn't the Starwood MBNA is my contingency plan.

Lastly! Does anyone know if you can convert Vancity Member points to any form of airline credit or point system?

Thanks in advance everyone, im sure everyone will benefit from this!
32 replies
Member
Mar 27, 2009
264 posts
46 upvotes
Seems to me like you're spending too little to make any of these cards worthwhile.

I have a Citizens Bank Visa, and it seems to me that the Travel Rewards redemption option is the exact same as the TD Travel Rewards for my TD visa Infinite.

As far as I understand it, the RBC Avion's best feature is being able to transfer points over to British Airways when theirs a special promotion. Don't know how easy it would be to use those points to fly within North America afterwards, but it may be a bit of a a waste.

The CIBC Aerogold is Aeroplan. Not much more to say.

The TD Visa Infinite's best feature is the ability to get it for free through TD's Select Service chequing account. There's probably no reason to have this card if you don't have Select Service. And as i said, I'm pretty sure the Vancity/Citizens Bank travel rewards are the same as the TD travel rewards.

At $12k per year, you're not spending enough on any of those cards to compensate for the annual fee.

The SPG is fee free, which is great, but from my understanding you really need to hit that $30k sweet spot to get the most out of it.

Maybe even your best bet is that new MBNA Smart Cash. Since you're spending so little, maybe you're better off with a good solid cashback card.
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Feb 9, 2005
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PaterFamilias wrote:
May 5th, 2009 9:37 am
The SPG is fee free, which is great, but from my understanding you really need to hit that $30k sweet spot to get the most out of it.
Actually, the sweet spots for the SPG card are $10k, $20k, $30k. Each time you reach one of those you get 5k bonus points for 1 SPG point/$1, plus every 20k SPG points you exchange for airline points gets you a 5k bonus of airline points, so it works out to 1.25 airline points/$1 which is arguably better than most of the expensive cards you listed. There is also the Nights & Flights where 60k points gets you 50k airline points and five free nights at a Category 3 hotel or resort.

I just signed up for the Avion Infinite but mainly because I was looking into travel insurance, and the $120 yearly fee is less than what I'd have to pay for the 15 day medical. After closer inspection I found the points on the Avion weren't really that great, though I believe if you exchange to BA miles during a promotion and fly overseas that changes things.
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Jan 16, 2007
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Actually I'd say TD's Infinite card's best feature is that you can book with any travel agent you want (expedia, hotwire, flight centre, private agent, etc.) and redeem your points for cash rebate towards your bookings. You get free travel medical for up to 8 days, free trip cancellation/interuption too. I've got the card and I love it.
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Mar 23, 2004
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Markham
AllWheelDrift wrote:
May 5th, 2009 1:53 pm
Actually, the sweet spots for the SPG card are $10k, $20k, $30k. Each time you reach one of those you get 5k bonus points for 1 SPG point/$1, plus every 20k SPG points you exchange for airline points gets you a 5k bonus of airline points, so it works out to 1.25 airline points/$1 which is arguably better than most of the expensive cards you listed. There is also the Nights & Flights where 60k points gets you 50k airline points and five free nights at a Category 3 hotel or resort.
i cant wait to get my spg, i wish all those cashback cards do that as well, bonus $50 for reaching certain goals :lol:
「もし、奇跡を起こせたら……」
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Greek_physique wrote:
May 6th, 2009 3:46 am
Actually I'd say TD's Infinite card's best feature is that you can book with any travel agent you want (expedia, hotwire, flight centre, private agent, etc.) and redeem your points for cash rebate towards your bookings. You get free travel medical for up to 8 days, free trip cancellation/interuption too. I've got the card and I love it.
RBC and CIBC give you free travel medical for up to 15 days (both underwritten by RBC :lol: .)

Also, the TD card works out to 1.5% return. The others are a bit harder to measure but in general I'd say they give a better return at the expense of flexibility. There is really no "best" card, it all depends on which one works best for you.
Sr. Member
Aug 17, 2003
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Toronto
The old Gold Travel had much higher rewards, I think it was 4% on travel.

I loved the negative option upsell they did last year.
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Feb 9, 2003
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Langley
If it's only medical insurance you need, GMS.ca offers travel insurance for $1.10/day, or $29/year if you're under 34 (for unlimited trips under 15 days).

Depending on your age, that could be cheaper then the credit card fee.

OP: I don't think you spend enough to justify the fees on the Infinite cards. I spend $30k a year and I don't think it's worth it for me to get one. Although since RBC sent me a free Avion card, I put everything on that.
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i6s1 wrote:
May 6th, 2009 7:18 pm
If it's only medical insurance you need, GMS.ca offers travel insurance for $1.10/day, or $29/year if you're under 34 (for unlimited trips under 15 days).
Nice, even adding a spouse only doubles that to $58/year. RBC was quoting something around $130 for myself and my spouse.

I guess if you have a family the CC way may still be cheaper, since it covers the cardholder, spouse, and any dependent children. Also, the 15000 signup points are worth at minimum a $125 (since you can redeem them for a $125 RRSP contribution voucher).

I'm thinking I may simply "switch" between the Avion and Aerogold on a yearly basis for the signup bonuses and medical insurance. (I'd alternate between upgrading one and downgrading the other between a no fee card with the same institution to avoid any credit hits.) My primary card is still my SPG card.
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The Ivory Actuary wrote:
May 6th, 2009 7:51 pm
Usually sign-up bonuses are for new applications only. Switching an existing RBC card to an Avion card wouldn't qualify (unless you're exceptionally charming). Having not spent much on the no-fee card in the previous year also won't help your case.
Actually, I just did switch from a no fee RBC Rewards Gold card to the RBC Visa Infinite and while they do have a long list of cards which will not generate the bonus upon switching,
Supplementary cards, as well as existing RBC Royal Bank Visa Platinum Avion, RBC Visa Infinite Avion, RBC Royal Bank British Airways Visa Platinum, RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum, RBC Royal Bank Visa Platinum Preferred and RBC Royal Bank Visa Gold Preferred cardholders as of the offer eligibility dates, are not eligible for this offer.
the RBC Rewards Gold is not one of them. I did not have to haggle at all to get the 15000 bonus points. I did try to haggle for them to waive the anual fee for the first year but after taking a look at my account, they said I could either have the bonus points, or the fee waived for the first year, but not both.

Looks like it may not work for the Aerogold though:
Welcome Bonus cannot be combined with any other offer and applies to new, approved primary cardholders only; it may not apply if you convert your existing CIBC Visa card, or if your existing CIBC Visa card is converted into this card.
The term "may not" isn't very definitive though, but probably should be interpreted as "will not" to be safe.
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May 23, 2004
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one thing i noted too though is that RBC provides the out of province travel insurance even if you are traveling without booking the trip on the card, compared to TD where you ONLY are eligible for the insurance if you book the trip on the card
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Sep 19, 2004
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Waterloo
Lord Denning wrote:
May 6th, 2009 12:34 pm
The old Gold Travel had much higher rewards, I think it was 4% on travel.

I loved the negative option upsell they did last year.
I don't agree

It's 1.5% for everyday spending (3 pts for $1)
but it's 1.5% x 3 (9 pts for $1) IF you book via the TD travel centre, just like before, about the same return

Anyway, +100 for another TD Travel lover here
Jerry's List of Credit Cards with $200+ Welcome bonus/Aeroplan & AMEX Churning FAQ
AMEX Personal 60K || Business Platinum 75K || Biz Gold 40K || SPG 20K
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Greek_physique wrote:
May 6th, 2009 3:46 am
Actually I'd say TD's Infinite card's best feature is that you can book with any travel agent you want (expedia, hotwire, flight centre, private agent, etc.) and redeem your points for cash rebate towards your bookings. You get free travel medical for up to 8 days, free trip cancellation/interuption too. I've got the card and I love it.
Yeah but what is the point in being able to "redeem anywhere" when your return is less?

IE, flight my wife went on 3 weeks aghgo form here to Victoria. When we were booking it back in February, the cheapest option available was almost $1400 round trip. I got it for 20,000 SPG points (20,000 in spending). Thats a return of nearly 7%.
To be nobody but yourself - in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. -- E. E. Cummings
Jr. Member
Apr 13, 2007
152 posts
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Hi

As for the TD Infinite card, if I book Air Canada ticket from TD travel centre, am I also be able to collect the Aeroplan point ? Thanks
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