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Comparison: American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card vs. TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege

To the point Here's our comparison of two very similar cards: the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card and the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card.

American Express Canada and TD offer two cards for frequent flyers:

Welcome bonus

The welcome bonus offered by each of these cards varies according to the promotions.

Here is how the current offer is structured:

With this welcome offer for the American Express®* Aeroplan® Reserve Card, you can earn up to 85,000 Aeroplan points.

Here’s how:

  • 25,000 Aeroplan points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months
  • Up to 60,000 Aeroplan Points, or 5,000 Aeroplan Points per month, after $1,000 in purchases each month for the first 12 months of membership

With this welcome offer for the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card, you can earn up to 105,000 Aeroplan points.

Here’s how:

  • 20,000 Aeroplan points after first purchase
  • 85,000 Aeroplan Points, or 8,500 Aeroplan Points per month, after $1,000 in purchases each month for the first 10 months of membership
Advantage: TD

The first 20,000 Aeroplan points are earned through a simple purchase, and the requirement after that is “only” for ten months.

So it’s easier to get the full welcome offer with the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card. Much more generous than American Express.

Minimum income

The American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card requires no minimum income.

The TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card requires a $150,000 annual individual income or a $200,000 annual household income.

Advantage: American Express

Like the vast majority of American Express cards, this Card requires no minimum income.

If this is important to you, the American Express card is easier to get because the TD card requires much more.

Annual fee

It's a tie !

There is no argument on this subject! The annual fees are exactly the same.

Earning points

The two cards offer different point earning rates.

Earning rates

With the American Express®* Aeroplan® Reserve Card, you earn:

  • 3 points per dollar on eligible Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations purchases
  • 2 points per dollar on restaurant, bar and food delivery purchases
  • 1.25 points per dollar on everything else

With the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card, you get different levels:

  • 2 points per dollar for purchases with Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations
  • 1.5 points per dollar on eligible gas, grocery, travel and restaurant purchases
  • 1.25 points per $1 on all other purchases
Advantage: TD

The American Express®* Aeroplan® Reserve Card restricts its highest earning rate to Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations. If you do a lot of spending with these companies, this will benefit you.

The 2 points per dollar earning rate at restaurants give this card an edge. Therefore, you will get more points with it than with the 1.5 points of the TD card.

However, the biggest budget items like groceries, gas and travel (hotels, etc) are at 1.5 points for the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card. That’s better than American Express. Especially since you can use it in more grocery stores like Provigo.

Finally, the game is tied for the basic earning rate, as you will get equal points with both cards throughout the year. Their earning rate is similar: 1.25 points per dollar.

Redeeming points

Both cards are designed for travellers who earn Aeroplan points.

These points are used to book airline tickets with Air Canada, Star Alliance and partner airlines. Browse the Aeroplan flight rewards chart.

You can also use your Aeroplan points for hotel reservations, car rentals or vacation packages with Air Canada Vacations.

With the American Express®* Aeroplan® Reserve Card, you earn Aeroplan points.

With the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card, you earn Aeroplan points.

It's a tie !

Since both are used to earn Aeroplan points and both are co-branded Aeroplan cards, there is no one card that is better than the other.

Each month, both card transfer points to the cardholder’s Aeroplan account a few days after the statement is issued.

Once Aeroplan Points are in the Aeroplan account, there is no way out: you must use them only within the Aeroplan program. If you prefer a higher-end card with more flexibility, look to the Platinum Card®.

The Benefits

Access to airport lounges

With the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card, access is free and unlimited to all Maple Leaf lounges located in Canada and the United States. It also includes the international Maple Leaf lounge in Canada and the United States when travelling on an international itinerary.

In addition, there is a free subscription to Priority Pass. However, you will have to pay for each access.

The TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card offers free unlimited access to all Maple Leaf lounge located in Canada and the United States. It also includes the international Maple Leaf lounge in Canada and the United States when travelling on an international itinerary.

In addition, it offers a complimentary Priority Pass membership and six free visits to these lounges per year of membership.

 

Advantage: TD

The TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card offers complimentary unlimited access to Maple Leaf lounge and six additional Priority Pass lounge visits. This is perfect if the trip is to an airport not served by Air Canada.

Other benefits

With the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card, you receive the following benefits:

  • $100 statement credit every 4 years for NEXUS enrollment or renewal fees
  • Free Uber Pass for 12 months
  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 8 people travelling on the same reservation
  • Priority check-in and boarding at the airport when flying with Air Canada
  • Priority baggage handling and upgrades with Air Canada
  • Annual Companion Pass if you make $25,000 in purchases during the year
  • eUpgrades rollover to the following year
  • Access to priority security screening at Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Metal card

With the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card, you will get:

  • $100 statement credit every 4 years for NEXUS enrollment or renewal fees
  • Free Uber Pass for 12 months
  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 8 people travelling on the same reservation
  • Priority check-in and boarding at the airport when flying with Air Canada
  • Priority baggage handling and upgrades with Air Canada
  • Annual Companion Pass if you make $25,000 in purchases during the year
  • eUpgrades rollover to the following year
  • Priority international and domestic security checkpoint lines (Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal-Trudeau)
  • Metal card
Advantage: TD

The benefits of both card are virtually identical.

The only difference is that the TD Card has access to priority security screening at the country’s largest airports. The American Express Card has access to the same security screening only in Toronto.

Promotional offers

American Express is known for its promotional offers.

For example, with the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card, Cardmembers have been able to take advantage of several promotional offers in the past year such as:

  • $100 credit for $100 restaurant purchase
  • $10 credit for purchases at Amazon
  • $20 credit towards purchases at lululemon
  • Various events Shop Small

With the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card, for example, cardholders were able to take advantage of certain promotional offers:

Advantage: American Express

Due to its wide range of promotional offers, the Reserve’s offers are the best.

Indeed, they are not limited to Air Canada or Aeroplan. They involve many different types of merchants (1Password, Marriott Bonvoy, Quickbooks, TurboTax, Columbia, Kinton Ramen, etc).

Insurance

Insurance amex aeroplan reserve Td Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card
Trip Cancellation Insurance Up to $1,500 Up to $2,500
Trip Interruption Insurance Up to $1,500 Up to $5,000
Out of Province/Country Emergency Medical Insurance Up to $5,000,000
15 days
Up to $5,000,000
31 days
Flight delay insurance Up to $1,000
after 4 hours
Up to $1,000
after 4 hours
Misdirected Baggage Insurance Up to $1,000
after 6 hours
Up to $1,000
after 4 hours
Lost or stolen luggage insurance Up to $1,000 Up to $2,500
Hotel Burglary Insurance Up to $1,000 Up to $2,500
Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance Up to $85,000 Up to $85,000
Travel accident insurance $500,000 $500,000
Purchase Protection® Plan 1 additional year 2 additional years
Purchase Protection® Plan Up to $1,000
90 days
Up to $1,000
120 days
Advantage: TD

The insurance offered by the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card MD is superior. Especially for trip cancellation and interruption, as well as for the duration of emergency medical expenses.

In addition, it offers 4-day, $5,000,000 medical coverage for those 65 years of age and older. While the Prestige card offers nothing for this age group.

Conclusion

So? Which Card is the winner?

For all of its features, the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card wins the game! But its only flaw is its demand for a high minimum income.

If this is a deal breaker for you, the American Express®* Aeroplan® Reserve Card is a great replacement.

The American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card stands out thanks to:

  • No minimum income
  • promotional offers that offset the cost of the annual fee
  • its metal card

The TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card is distinguished by:

  • its welcome offer easier to get
  • its earning rate
  • its access to airport lounge
  • its superior travel insurance
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