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Clash of the Credit Cards!
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card vs.
WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard
Posted on May 10, 2021

 

Welcome to another Rewards Canada Clash! This time in our Clash of the Credit Cards we pit the two best airline credit cards in Canada from Canada's two largest airlines against each other! Those cards are the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* CardNew Window and the WestJet RBC World Elite MastercardNew Window

Past clashes:

In this match up we look at over half a dozen criteria to compare the cards against one another along with a head to head detailed table comparison. Before we begin I do want to emphasize that some of the comparison criteria is subjective due to the fact that WestJet Rewards is a fixed rate currency while Air Canada's is variable. That is, when know one WestJet dollar is equal to one Canadian dollar. Whereas with Aeroplan, an Aeroplan point can be valued below 1 cent to well above 5 or more cents depending on what you redeem for. For this comparison we take Rewards Canada's minimum valuation of an Aeroplan point of 1.2 cents and higher for our calculations.

Annual Fees / Sign Up Bonus

There are some differences in the annual fees on these cards with the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card being the more expensive card. It has a $139 primary card fee versus WestJet's $119 and additional cards are $75 each on the TD Card while WestJet is $59. With those numbers the WestJet card takes the round on annual fees but that being said the TD card is frequent offered with a first year annual fee rebate which was the case at the time of first posting this clash. That would make the TD card better in the first year but from year two on the WestJet card does better. Note that both banks have chequing accounts that will waive the annual fees on these cards as well.

Another key note on applying for these cards are the income requirements - the TD card does better as it is $60,000 personal or $100,000 household versus the WestJet card's $80,000 personal or $150,000 household.

For the standard sign up bonus there are some differences between the cards. The standard bonus on the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite is 15,000 points. Well at least that's what we think it will be as since the new card launched we haven't seen a base level offer on the card but that was the base level on the previous card iteration. The WestJet RBC World Elite card's standard offer is 250 WestJet dollars. So when you compare the two we have a value of $180 with the TD Aeroplan card and not surprisingly a $250 value with the WestJet card! WestJet takes the cake on the standard welcome bonus but again we have to stress the variability in Aeroplan points can easily push the welcome bonus value on the TD card north of $300.

Currently both cards have increased welcome bonuses (as of May 2021) with the Aeroplan Card offering up to 20,000 points and a bonus Buddy Pass when you apply for the card by August 16, 2021 along with the first year annual fee being rebated. The bonus points and Buddy Pass are fully achieved when you hit $1,000 in spending in the first 90 days. The WestJet card has a limited time welcome offer of 350 WestJet dollars + 2x the WestJet dollars on groceries, restaurants and food delivery (in the first 3 months) and a $0 companion fare. Both the welcome bonus and the companion pass are awarded when you make the first purchase on your card. This is a very close match up however with the TD Aeroplan card's offer being first year free TD takes the limited time welcome bonus category.

Rates

The cards are almost equal in terms of the interest rates they charge. Both are 19.99% on purchases however the WestJet card nudges the Aeroplan card on cash advance rates with its 21.99% versus the TD's 22.99%

Bonus Features & Benefits

Prior to November 2020 this is where the WestJet card stood out with extra features and benefits - not only over the TD Aeroplan card but many other cards in Canada. The WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard brought benefits like an annual companion pass and first checked bag free to the forefront. It may not have been the first card to do so, as the MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard has offered a companion pass for ages but the popularity and common knowledge of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program and WestJet Rewards in Canada is like night and day. With the latter, WestJet Rewards being Canadian and front and centre for most of the country, this card was for many Canadians, the first introduction to companion passes and first checked bag free benefits.

That takes us right into the three main benefits and features of the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard The first as already mentioned is the annual companion pass. This pass that comes on the card provides the option to book a second ticket on a WestJet reservation for a set price - $119 in Canada and the Continental U.S and $399 to anywhere else in the WestJet network including Hawaii and Europe. You do also have to pay the associated taxes and fees on those flights. The companion pass can be used for both economy class and premium economy class fares but not for WestJet business class fares. Used wisely the companion pass can provide some big time savings especially when travelling during busy travel seasons. Next up is that first checked bag free benefit and this benefit alone is why so many travellers have got this card. It provides exactly what it is titled - the first checked bag free for the cardholder and up to 8 people on the same reservation. With checked bag fees on WestJet starting at $30 a bag a family of four would save $240 on a round trip flight! The third and final benefit afforded to the WestJet card are those that are provided to all World Elite Mastercards in Canada and those are free Boingo global WiFi which includes free WiFi on select airlines including WestJet and Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey which is a business class lounge access membership program in the same vein as Priority Pass.

Recommended reading: Why my wife and I each grabbed our own WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercards

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card didn't have a ton of benefits until it was revamped to coincide with the relaunch of the Aeroplan program in November 2020. Its new benefits definitely give the WestJet card a run for its money and then some. First off they matched the WestJet card with the first checked bag free option. This benefit provides the cardholder and up to 8 other people travelling on the same reservation to check their first bag free on Air Canada flights. Just like WestJet you are looking at no less than $30 a bag here so this benefit alone can provide some huge savings. The TD card however does not have an annual companion voucher like the WestJet card - yes it does have the current Buddy Pass welcome bonus but that is one time pass not an annual pass like the one on the WestJet card. The next benefit the TD card has is status points earning - cardholders will earn 1,000 status qualifying points and 1 status qualifying segment for every $10,000 spent on the card. This is perfect for those chasing that next level of status who may just come up short with their flights. The card then provides preferred pricing on Aeroplan award flights, that is if you have the card you'll receive a discount in the number of points required to redeem for any and all award flights. The savings can be significant with the card thus making this also a very valuable benefit. The final feature on the card is a NEXUS fee rebate for the cardholder once every four years. This covers the fee to receive or renew your NEXUS card.

This is a close category to call as both cards benefits and features are impressive but the WestJet card takes this round. By having the companion pass available each and every year, the free WiFi and lounge access program it provides benefits that appeal to a broader range of Canadian travellers than the TD Aeroplan card provides.

Points Earning & Redemption

There are definitely some differences in the cards here for this round - more so for the redemption side which follows. The WestJet card has an earn rate structure of 1.5% of all eligible spending being paid out to cardholder in WestJet dollars. That jumps to 2% for WestJet flight and vacation purchases. The TD card offers 1.5 Aeroplan points on Air Canada purchases (including vacations) as well as grocery and gas station purchases up to $80,000 per year. The rest of the spending on the card earn 1 Aeroplan point per dollar spent. So if you take our point valuations the Aeroplan card does better on grocery and gas station purchases however the WestJet card does better on all other spending at 1.5% versus the minimum 1.2% we would give Aeroplan for economy class redemptions. But that's where this is a tough comparison since Aeroplan has variable value and why you have to look at both sides of the equation when it comes to loyalty programs and those sides are earning and redeeming.

So let's look at the redemption side of things and we'll look at value first. The WestJet Rewards program is easy - one WestJet dollar equates to one dollar that you can use towards your WestJet flight. This makes the earn on the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard easy to value, it's the exact same percentage rate they advertise. 1.5% to 2% are your minimum and maximum, no fluctuating. Easy as that. Aeroplan on the other hand, being a variable rate currency is hard to nail down. If you take our minimum value of 1.2% that would put the earn rates on the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card at 1.2% to 1.8% which is lower than WestJet. But then they go up from there, if you redeem for an Aeroplan award flight where you are getting 2 cents per Aeroplan point of value that puts the card earn rates at 2% to 3% - now its higher than WestJet. And the rates can keep going up from there. You redeem for an award flight in business or first class and its not unusual to get 5% to 8% or even more return. That makes the card earn rates go as high as 12% or more. Now you should be able to see where we are going with this. Yes on paper WestJet's 1.5 and 2% earn rate looks higher than Aeroplan's 1 to 1.5 points but that's not a fair comparison. So when it comes down to it and you look at both sides of the equation for value the TD card takes the cake over the WestJet card.

Then there is the question of ease of redeeming. Yes the new Aeroplan program has made it easier to redeem Aeroplan points for flights by now providing points+cash options the WestJet program is still a bit easier in that regard. So long as you have 15 WestJet dollars or more in your WestJet Rewards account you can redeem those WestJet dollars against the flight you are booking. With Aeroplan there are still some set tiers in the points+cash so if you don't have enough points you won't have that option to redeem. WestJet wins on ease of redemption.

Next up in the redemption category is where and what you can redeem for. WestJet allows you to redeem WestJet dollars for any WestJet marketed flight - that is flights on WestJet or their code share flights on four of their partner airlines to over 200 cities worldwide. You can redeem for any class of service as well. Air Canada's Aeroplan allows you to redeem points for flights on 40+ airlines to over 1,300 destinations worldwide. Like WestJet you can redeem for any class of service but that's where the Aeroplan program (and thus the TD Aeroplan card) take the lead as you are not redeeming a fixed amount of dollars against a flight in business class (i.e. $50 against a $3,000 fare) you are redeeming points at level that may only 2 or 3 times the amount of points required for an economy class flights. That's where the Aeroplan program provides outsized value in your credit card spending versus the WestJet card.

One final note in this category - Aeroplan also many more non-flight redemption options than WestJet including gift cards, merchandise and more. That means the points earned on the TD card have some more flexibility than the WestJet dollars earned on the World Elite card.

So in terms of where and what you can redeem for the TD card is the better option.

Putting this all together we have to give the round to the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card for the potential to extract more value out of each dollar spent on the card and the much broader redemption options for those points that are earned.

Insurance

Both cards provide decent to very good insurance coverage - that is the WestJet card is decent and the TD Aeroplan card is very good. The TD cards takes this round by providing a better travel medical insurance package plus it has lost and delayed baggage insurance along with trip cancellation insurance - three travel insurances the WestJet card does not have. Plus the TD card also has mobile device insurance rounding out its one two punch against the WestJet card in this category.

Conclusion

When you look at the chart below you'll see this is a classic case of where putting everything down on paper doesn't tell the entire story. The cards looked like they match up pretty evenly on points earning and welcome bonuses but you have to look beyond that. WestJet is a fixed value program whereas Aeroplan is variable value program. That is, we use an absolute minimum value of 1.2 cents for an Aeroplan points however in most cases the value will be more likely at 1.8, 2 and even in excess of 5 cents per points. Those numbers would quickly change the chart below and what is written on paper and thus it is those values that actually put Aeroplan ahead of WestJet. Add in more cities, better access to premium cabins among more airlines and Aeroplan is the way to go. Then you throw in things like lower income requirements and better insurance on the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card and the card continues to inch ahead of the WestJet card. It is for these reasons the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card took the top airline card category position in our 2021 Top Travel Rewards Credit Card rankings and the reasons why the card is the winner of this clash.

The winner of this clash is: TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card New Window

Editor's Note
Now don't take this clash as a reason not to get the WestJet card. It's still an awesome card for those who fly WestJet and there are a lot of you! There's a reason why it held the top spot in the airline category for several years and is ranked number two right now. It is a great card. The first bag free benefit is worth paying the annual fee on the card alone. The annual companion pass is icing on the cake with the card! What it boils down to is that top end value and redemption options. Aeroplan has them beat right now.

Feature continues below with the head to head comparison

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The Cards Head to Head:

Yellow background indicates the clear winner for that category. For rows that do not have yellow in either column it is a tie between the cards.

Basics


TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card


WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

Card Type Airline Airline
Annual Fee
$139
$119
Limited Time Annual Fee Offer
Yes first year annual fee rebate on primary card + up to 3 additional cards No
Supp. Card Fee
$75
$59
Interest Rate
19.99%
Purchase †

22.99%
Cash Advance †
19.99%
Purchase

21.99%
Cash Advance
Foreign Exchange Transaction Fee
2.5%
2.5%
Minimum Income
Minimum Income $60,000 (individual) or $100,000 (household)
Minimum Income $80,000 (individual) or $150,000 (household)

Points Earning


TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card


WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

Standard Welcome Bonus
15,000 points

250 WestJet dollars

Welcome Bonus Value* $180 $250
Limited Time Welcome Bonus
20,000 Points + bonus Buddy Pass + first year annual fee waiver until Aug 16, 2021

350 WestJet dollars + $0 companion fare + on groceries, restaurants and food delivery (in the first 3 months) until Jun 30, 2021

Limited Time Welcome Bonus Value* $540 $650
Airline purchases
1.5 points per dollar spent with Air Canada
2% back per dollar spent with WestJet
Grocery
1.5 points per dollar spent^
1.5% back per dollar spent
Gas
1.5 points per dollar spent^
1.5% back per dollar spent
All other purchases
1 point per dollar spent
1.5% back per dollar spent
^ Annual cap on bonus category spending
$80,000
N/A
Value of points per $1 spent*
1.2 cents and higher
1 cent
Elite Qualifying Points
1,000 Status Qualifying Miles and 1 Status Qualifying Segment for every $10,000 spend on the card
No
*Valuations are based upon a minimum valuation of 1.2 cents per point for Aeroplan, in all likelihood most Aeroplan redemptions will have more value than that

Redemption/Exchange Options


TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card


WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

Miles/Points deposited to
Aeroplan
WestJet Rewards
Cities you can redeem
1,300+
200+
Airline partners you can redeem on
40+
4
(as long as they are WestJet code share flights)
Non airline redemption options

Yes

No

Benefits


TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card


WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

Preferred Pricing on Flight Rewards
Yes
No
Free first checked bag
Yes
For cardholder + up to 8 companions on the same reservation
Yes
For cardholder + up to 8 people on the same reservation
Annual companion pass
No
Yes
Travel to Canada and the Continental US for $119 CAD
Travel to the rest of the WestJet network for $399 CAD
NEXUS Fee Rebate
Yes
No
Global WiFi
No
Yes
Business Class Lounge Access
No
Yes
Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey

Insurance


TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card


WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance
$500,000
$500,000
Flight Delay Insurance
4 hours
up to $500 per person
4 hours
up to $500 per person
Delayed Baggage Insurance
6 hours
up to $1,000 per person
No
Lost / Stolen Baggage Insurance Yes
up to $1,000 per person
No
Damaged Baggage Insurance No No
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Yes
$1,500 per person up to $5,000 maximum per account
No
Trip Interruption Insurance
Yes
$2,500 per person up to $25,000 maximum per account
Yes
$5,000 per person up to $25,000 maximum per account
Travel Medical Insurance up to 64 years old 21 Days
Up to $1,000,000
15 days
Travel Medical Insurance 65+
4 Days
Up to $1,000,000
3 days
Auto Rental/Loss Damage Insurance
Up to 48 days
Up to $65,000 MSRP
Up to 48 days
Up to $65,000 MSRP
Hotel / Motel Burglary Insurance Yes
Up to $2,500 per occurrence
Yes
Up to $2,500 per occurrence
Purchase Protection
Yes
90 Days
Max $60,000 in a lifetime
Yes
90 Days
Max $50,000 in a lifetime
Extended Warranty Plan
Yes
Up to 1 year
Max $60,000 in a lifetime
Yes
Up to 1 year
Mobile Device Insurance
Yes
Up to $1,000 less deductible and depreciation
No
Link to Apply
Apply Now
Apply Now
 
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card


WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

 


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