Bank Nerd » Blog Archive Credit Card Match 2: TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite vs. CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite » Bank Nerd
Tuesday Feb 21, 2017

Credit Card Match 2: TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite vs. CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite

10 June 2009

It is about time for the second match to commence and today we have two great competitors; TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite and the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite.

As to the match rules, the winner will be based on three categories; which earn more rewards, travel features, and any bonus features.

Which card earns more rewards?

The TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite is among the new line of travel visa’ introduced by TD and this is the best they offer giving you 3 TD Points with every $1 you spend. Once you reach 10,000 TD points you can begin redeeming the rewards. Also, you are able to earn 9 TD points – triple the rewards – for every $1 when you book through the TD Visa Travel Rewards Centre.

Now the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite gives you 1 Aventura point for every $1 you spend and 1.5 Aventura points for every $1 you spend at gas stations, grocery and drug stores. You can convert Aventura points into Aeroplan Miles in which 1 Aventura Point = 1 Aeroplan Mile.

Now for this category it is a hard to choose just one, some people would want the Aeroplan Miles while others are satisfied with the TD points. I will have to say it is a draw so far; onto the next test.

What are the travel features on these credit cards?

The travel features for the TD First Class Travel Visa includes everything the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite offers such as lost baggage insurance, auto rental collision insurance, etc. However the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite wins due to the fact it offers more days of coverage for its travel medical insurance; that is to say it offers 15 days for travellers age 64 and under, compared to 8 days by the TD First Class Travel Visa.

What bonuses are available?

The bonuses for both cards are you receive bonus reward points when you make receive the card. For the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite you get 20,000 TD Points and the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite you receive 15,000 Aventura Points. Seeing as both cards get bonus points it does make the decision harder; but seeing as 20,000 TD Points = $100 off the cost of travel purchases compared to 15,000 Aventura Points = $150. Aventura wins by $50 helping you save more on your flight.

Now with the facts at hand it can be safely said that it is a draw right now, but that is not how things are done here. We will decide on a winner, the winner for today’s match is the…CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite. If you are wondering why they won it was the Aeroplan Mile conversion. More people use it and would be swayed to getting the card because of that option. There you have it Match 2 is complete, until next time; where the next match will surely shock you.


The travel features for the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite has been updated, making it win the category.

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About the Author


My favorite weapon of choice is the samurai sword. I use it to cut my chicken during dinner, cut my hair and periodically carve my name into stone when I am bored. I love meditating on top of a 15ft high pole and eating those sushi’s with smoked salmon on top. I love everything there is about Canada and everything financially related to Canadians. I write deily posts from Canadian Banks to Credit Card information.

Comments (17 )

Isabelle Wrote:

Hello Sensei,
What do you think about TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite vs RBC Avion (either category..platinum or higher?) Looking into gettting either/or and i would like the more “bang for my $$” as they say. Thank you,

Sensei Wrote:

I would have to say the RBC Visa Infinite Avion is your best choice to get the most for your money or as you put it “bang for your $$”. It has great benefits and a great rewards program. You can read up on it in more detail here:

If you have any more questions feel free to email me and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

Aslam Wrote:

Thank you for the article, however I think your comparison of points values is rather simplistic and needs a bit more depth. Since the primary reason for having these cards is to accumulate points in order to take trips, can I respectfully suggest that you put more due diligence into this aspect of the comparison.

Here’s the formula I recently used when deciding whether to stay with my trusty CIBC AeroGold or move to the TD First Class Infinite.

1. I picked a set of travel days that started more than two weeks from now so that I can take advantage of 14-day advance booking discounts. The dates have no major public holiday in them so as to avoid the inevitable increase in price and decrease in seat availability for such dates.
2. I set my departure early on a Friday morning and returned on the following Sunday evening because those are dates that one would take off from work and realistically travel for a mini vacation.
3. I chose to fly from Vancouver (where I live) to Toronto for my pseudo-vacation (we can debate the merits of spending my hard earned vacation time in Toronto as opposed to somewhere warm like Miami or Mexico in another thread :)
4. I got a points price from Aeroplan and a retail dollar price from Air Canada using Tango fares for that same trip
5. I then compared how much spending on the AeroGold card I would need in order to accumulate the points necessary to buy the trip versus how much spending I would need on the TD First Class Infinite to build up the points to buy the trip.

To illustrate, I did that again right now for a trip departing July 17, 2009 either at 06:00 or 07:00 and returning July 26th, 2009 around 20:00 and here’s what I got:

Aeroplan: 63,500 points
Air Canada Tango Retail Fare: $586.25

CIBC AeroGold: 63,500 points at the current rate of 1.5 points per dollar equates to $42,333 of spending on the card to accumulate enough points to buy that travel
TD First Class Infinite: at $50 per 10,000 points redeemed it would cost 117,250 TD points to pay for the trip and at 3 points earned per dollar spent it would cost 39,083 of spending on the card to accumulate enough points to buy that travel

That means the TD First Class Infinite is the clear winner. And if you consider that Aeroplan was going to charge me another $51.80 in Airport Taxes which I would have to pay cash for, it means that TD is even more clearly the winner. And then add your good point of the free medical insurance as well as the ability to pick an airline other than Air Canada (which I despise with a passion) then the decision was a no-brainer.

I think a comparison similar to this is much fairer and more realistic.


P.S. I have no beneficial relationship with any of the companies involved in this analysis other than being a consumer of their products. I made this comparison purely for my own personal decision making process and am sharing it for the greater public benefit.

Sensei Wrote:

Aslam: I want to thank you for reading this post and for your feedback. I would like to start of saying that what you have said is correct, however I did a similar calculation but I took into account the bonus points awards to you on your first purchase. Mainly because I was looking from a standpoint on a person who is looking to getting one of these cards, as a new credit cards or themselves. In this case, using your numbers, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite would cost $32,333 while the TD First Class Infinite would cost $32,416. Including the $51.60 Aeroplan would charge the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite is still the choice for the winner. My other posts have been done the same way, I just decided it would be too much for anyone to read about. I also, took it from a view on which rewards program is more popular. I am very glad to see you put so much effort into your comment and must say one thing about your choice in destination lol. Toronto is definitely not the right choice at the moment, I hear there is a lot of garbage around these days, I kid, well there is but it is definitely still a great choice. I hope to hear from you soon,



Aslam Wrote:


Thanks for the response. Yes you are correct. I did ignore the initial bonus points in my calculation. And that is because I was looking more at the long term value of the cards over and above the first trip redeemed. However you are correct in that for the first trip redeemed the Aventura’s bonus would even the playing field a bit. Over the long term, though, I still feel the Aventura/Aeroplan combination is the weaker travel points plan. Partly because it locks you into Air Canada and doesn’t let you take advantage of seat sales from WestJet or any of the American carriers which will soon be operating more frequently in Canada.

I also can’t resist making a comment about your use of the word “popular” to describe Aeroplan. It is certainly the most widespread but almost every Aeroplan Super Elite Member that I’ve spoken to, certainly doesn’t love Aeroplan or Air Canada. Unfortunately, it is the only choice for Canadians who travel frequently. So popular as in number of members, certainly… popular as in well loved by most of its members, I suspect not. Just my little dig at Air Canada whom I seem to have grown a love for hating. :)


P.S. Yes Toronto is certainly not my first choice vacation destination. However I also chose it because I was trying to give Air Canada/Aeroplan the advantage. Since AC runs so many flights per day from Vancouver to Toronto, I figured it would be easier to find a cheaper seat (either via points or view cash) on that route. Alas, that didn’t turn out to help them much since the figure ended up still being in favour of TD (if you ignore the initial bonus).

Newmgmt Wrote:

Hey Sensel/Aslam,

I just want to say that I’ve spent the past 3 weeks researching all these credit cards, and read all of your articles, Sensel. Great work! In the end, it also came down to TD vs. CIBC Aventura. After reading this correspondence, i’m going to get the TD, based on the flexibility, trip cancellation and medical insurance and the fact we’re talking about very little difference in price spent. The RBC Avion Infinite is not as great as it’s advertised. Turns out you need to book at least 14 days ahead of time, round trip, or the value of your points is drastically reduced. RBC doesn’t have Trip Cancellation, either. RBC’s biggest bonus was the annual 2500 points they give their customers. National Bank of Canada would be, in my opinion, the hands down winner, but they do not give any bonus points upon signing up. So, for the flexibility and all the insurance offers, I think TD is the winner, by a hair.

Aventura Wrote:

I believe you are mistaken about the Aventura Infinite Card and Travel Medical Insurance. I pulled this from CIBC’s website:

Access premium benefits and rewards with the CIBC Aventura VISA INFINITE Card:

Enjoy the flexibility to spend over your credit limit4 without having to pay an overlimit fee
Out-of-Province Travel Medical Insurance8 for the first 15 days of a trip for primary cardholders age 64 and under
Trip Interruption Insurance8 to protect you from the costs that arise when sickness, injury or another unexpected event disrupts your travel plans
Enjoy the CIBC VISA INFINITE Travel Concierge Service5, a full-service travel planning and booking agency – whatever your travel needs are, simply call 1-866-748-5204 or visit the CIBC VISA INFINITE website and they’ll take care of everything!
Choose from over 100 airlines with Aventura Airline Travel Rewards with no blackout periods, fees or restrictions12
Redeem your Aventura Points for various travel options (choose from thousands of hotels, major car rental agencies, cruise lines and tour packages)
Exceptional service – from redemption to customer care
Use your Aventura Points for 100% of travel services booked with the CIBC Aventura Rewards Centre; if you are redeeming for an Airline Travel Reward, our Top Up feature allows you to use your Card to purchase up to 20% of the Points required for the flight13

Sensei Wrote:

I have just reviewed the article, and looked at the information provided. It seems I overlooked it while writing the article. I apologize for this; having been so many months ago, I can not recall what might have happened to bring about this mistake, however it is now corrected.

I would like to note that the fact that the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite is still the winner of the match regardless of this, in fact it only makes it the winner by a larger margin.

anom Wrote:

What about the fact that the TD First Class includes Trip Cancellation Insurance (which I believe CIBC does not), this is a clear advantage that went unmentioned.

bankguru Wrote:

Anom… Newmgmt above in the comment section mentioned the advantage of the TD First Class Trip Cancellation.

Looking at this article i am noticing a lot of TD employees and CIBC employees commenting. Obviously supporting there employer’s card (I would be doing the same lol).

Jeff Wrote:

WOW – The CIBC card is kind of ok but that is it. The two best cards hands fdown are TD Travel Visa and RBC Avion. However, with the RBC Avion you get shafted by having to book through their own travel centre whereas with TD you can book with anyone and thus can obviously get the best deal. Have to agree with an earlier post. What on earth do you mean Aeroplan is popular??? It is arguably the most hated points program in Canada and the points expire unlike TD Visa’s and I think RBC Avion. As for the route from Vancouver to Toronto that is more than fair as that is a pretty main route. Also, have you ever tried booking with Aeroplan points. I booked a trip about a year ago to honolulu 6 months out and had a difficult time finding a flight at the “Standard” point requirement. AND THAT IS 6 MONTHS BEFORE THE TRIP! With the TD and RBC cards you can book at the last minute and if there is a seat you get it at the stated price. You can book 8 hours before the flight takes off and on top of that you can use points for whatever you want. ie – trains, planes and automobiles + hotels. Ever try using Aeroplan pts for a Train in Europe? Didn’t think so. Bad article here – sorry. Aslam is dead on with his argument. Aeroplan is a relic of a points program no one likes. The CIBC Visa Aeroplan holders really don’t know any better and most were sucked into the card 10 or 5 years ago when they and the now extinct Canadian Airlines RBC Visa were the only Visa Travel cards in Canada. Canadian got bought out by Air Canada and every body migrated to the CIBC card. It was good at the time but only because it was the only one. Now on a scale of 1 to 10 it is probably a 5 or maybe 6 for the die hard loyal fans of Aeroplan.

Bissy Wrote:

First I do not work for any bank.
I live in Windsor ON, which allows me to travel both from Toronto or Detroit or even Cleveland (People living in the GTA could also fly from Buffalo.) I love the flexibility of the TD visa. I can book airfare, and hotels at any location or with any airliner. I have booked 4 trips with the TD travel center, they beat the price of Orbitz, Expedia and RedFlag. etc. Plus I get 9 additional points for booking with them.
I do have out of province coverage with my job so I did place less importance on the out of province coverage.
I also have both MBNA ; AMEX SPG which I use for work and are considered GREAT cards. The TD visa is by far the best credit card in Canada and it is “what is in my wallet”.

I also want to point out that a “TRIP” according to ANY of these cards starts when you leave your home province; therefore trip interuption is very important. OR if you are trying to make a cruise and flights are cancelled during a stop/connecting flight due to weather- Trip Cancelation will not cover it. Trip interuption is the more important.

DH Wrote:

I enjoyed reading this article as it provided some great insight, but even more so I enjoyed reading the comments of experienced users, who shared their own experience with different cards/programs and really elaborated the merits of each. I have also decided to go with TD Visa Infinite. I love freedom of choice, that TD offers, and not to mention, TD even waived the annual fee for me because of my other assets with them. I don’t want to be caught dead with an Aeroplan card in my wallet. Air Canada should shut down, its horrible and doesn’t hold a candle to other European/Asian airlines.

Thanks very much Aslam & bissy for sharing.

cas Wrote:

I look for clear conditions and rules for trip cancellation/trip interruption on my CIBC aerogold -Visa-Infinite but cannot get the rules.I am 65yrs and my wife is 62yrs old.
Also my wife has a TD first Class Travel Visa Infinite Card and we have the same problems for clear rules regarding trip cancellation /trip interruption.
Can you help

Bissy Wrote:

My Mistake- A quick update

I only get 6 additional points when booking with TD travel- I would get the additional 3 points no matter where I booked. For the total of 9.

“I have booked 4 trips with the TD travel center, they beat the price of Orbitz, Expedia and RedFlag. etc. Plus I get 9 additional points for booking with them.”

John Meaney Wrote:

This is a great case study. Well presented Aslam!

Thanks for crunching the numbers and not just focusing on features and benefits.
You remind me of another guy I follow Ramit Sethi @

Thanks to you and Sensei both for addressing this comparison and saving me some time!


Bissy Wrote:

The TD travel center has been replaced by a 3rd party and the prices are not as good. I still use the TD first class; however I think i will be switching.

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