CIBC – TD Aeroplan Transition: Customers Speak Out

TD Aeroplan Transition

Last summer, CIBC announced the sale of roughly 550,000 of its Aeroplan credit card customers to TD in a three-way agreement between the two lenders and rewards provider Aimia. As of June 16th, the official transition for affected cardholders was complete – however, nearly a month later, many of these customers remain mired in transitional loose ends, calling TD to task for issues with accessing new cards, failing technology and all-around confusing customer service.

It’s the latter that has especially incensed transitioned cardholder Tom Smith, a former CIBC customer switched to the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite. While he feels that his new card is “close to equivalent” in features to his old one, “the key differentiator in my view is the customer service, which in my opinion, is very poor.”

Granted, such a large-scale operation is sure to experience some blips – and it’s been reported that TD amped up their customer service team in preparation of the transition. They’ve also provided a public forum  – meant for customers to report issues and inquire about new processes – that has since filled with transitional rants.

Did TD drop the ball here, or are these issues symptomatic of moving half a million people from one bank to the other? To find out, MoneyWise asked TD some of the most pressing questions posed by cardholders.

Issue 1: Do pre-activated cards sent in the mail pose a higher security risk?

Sold CIBC customers began receiving their new TD cards and pins, sent separately, in the mail in early June, with their old CIBC cards deactivated on the 16th. According to a representative on TD’s forum, 80 per cent of the new TD cards came preactivated, with communication that no further action was needed. But what if these ready-to-go cards and pins fell into the wrong hands?

“I felt very uncomfortable about having a pre-activated card sent to me through the mail. It raises questions in my mind about how easy it would be for this card to be used fraudulently if someone else were to get their hands on it,” says Smith. “I have questions about the legality of sending credit cards that way.”

Alicia Johnston, senior communications manager at TD, says standard privacy procedures were followed during the new card send-out.

“If a customer reports their TD Aeroplan credit card has been lost or stolen, the account is flagged and will require an extra level of authentication – which includes photo ID – in order to complete a transaction,” she wrote in an email to MoneyWise. “As a part of our standard procedure, we will investigate fraudulent or unusual transactions when they are reported to us.”

Johnston adds that all Visa cardholders are protected through the Visa Zero Liability Policy, and not responsible for any fraudulent or unauthorized charges on their account.

Another cardholder felt that communication regarding the use of their new card and pin was unclear, leading to account lock-outs and pin reset issues. “I got the pin in the mail before the card. When I got the card it just said it was already activated, so (there was) no need to call,” says transitioned customer, Andrew*. “I ignored the pin notice. It was all confusing.”

*For privacy purposes, Andrew did not wish to have his full identity published.

Issue 2: Did CIBC Customers Have a Choice?

A common theme among TD’s forum threads is frustration due to lack of choice, as many feel they have been presented with no opt-out option during the transition. In an Account Transition Update sent in April, the following is stated (emphasis ours):

“On or after the Transition Date, if you activate or sign your TD Aeroplan Credit Card, use your TD Aeroplan Account (including making a payment), or if you have a balance on your TD Aeroplan Account, it will mean you have agreed to, and accepted, the terms of the TD Aeroplan Cardholder Agreement and Disclosure Statement.”

However, with the majority of mailed cards preactivated, cardholders are wondering whether they truly had the opportunity to opt out.

“I was not at any point in the process offered an “opt out” option,” says Smith. “I have serious questions regarding the legality of handing over all my personal information and details, financial and otherwise, that CIBC had on file to a competitor without my explicit agreement, especially when to this date, I have never signed any agreement with TD… How can one company simply sell me and my private information without consent?”

MoneyWise inquired about the language used directly to TD, and received the following response:

At TD, Cardholders have opt-out options, whether or not their Card is pre-activated. In December we began notifying Transitioned Cardholders of the sale of their accounts to TD and how their accounts would continue to be serviced until transitioned to TD. The April notification reminded Transitioned Cardholders of the upcoming transition and the Cardholder Terms and Conditions that would take effect as of June 16, 2014.

For more information about opt-out options, Cardholders may call 1-800-983-8472 (available seven days a week, 7:00am – 12:00am ET).”


Are you an affected cardholder who has opted out of this transition? Let us know!

Issue 3: Problems With Pre-Authorized Payments

Cardholders were originally told they would have until September 30 to reset any pre-authorized payments with merchants. “Rest assured, your existing PAPs will continue to be processed until September 30, 2014, so you will have time after your account transitions to reset these PAP’s,” states TD’s April correspondence.

Instead, since the transition, TD has experienced widespread issues with pre-approved payments not being processed by current billers. The lender has directly addressed the issue, posting the following on their forum:

We are experiencing an issue with Pre-Authorized Payments on the transitioned credit card accounts. Some of these payments are being processed and paid without interruption, while others are not … If you are contacted by a merchant and informed your PAP cannot be processed, please go ahead and provide your replacement TD Aeroplan Credit Card number. For your security, we suggest that you ask for some information that identifies the merchant before providing your account information.”

TD has since offered affected cardholders a bonus 2,000 Aeroplan miles for their patience and efforts during the process.

Issue 4: Some Customers More Rewarded Than Others

A particularly bitter point of contention is the fact that transitioned cardholders to TD don’t receive the sign-up bonus advertised to new credit card customers. “TD offers 15,000 points to all new customers for the credit card as do all their competitors,” says Smith. “The only exceptions are those of us who transitioned from CIBC to TD. We get nothing.”

Since then, TD introduced a double Aeroplan Miles earnings period between June 16 and July 13th, with personal cardholders earning three miles on the dollar on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases.

However, this bonus seems too little too late for a number of cardholders who plan to simply switch back to CIBC, or cancel and reapply to TD in order to enjoy the full sign up bonus.

Smith, weary of the red tape, is considering just throwing in the towel. He experienced technical difficulties accessing TD’s new credit card customer portal, and says customer service reps were ill equipped to handle his request amid the transitional confusion. “(It) took me three hours or so total to resolve. I have a small business which meant that was three hours of billable time lost because of a forced transition.”

Not getting the full story from your bank? Share your customer service resolution story or inquiry with us – you could be featured on MoneyWise.

Related Topics

Credit Card News / Credit Cards

10 thoughts on “CIBC – TD Aeroplan Transition: Customers Speak Out

  1. I look at this transition as an opportunity. For card holders who spend more than $15,000.00/mth, the double aeroplan miles offer has been exceptionally rewarding. However, another major issue to be added to your list is the complicated new billing statements sent to previous CIBC, now TD card holders. My fiancee’s transactions have been jumbled up with mine, leaving us to comb through each transaction. When I called TD, they could not clearly assist and provided only apologies. I am hopeful that this is a temporary glitch, as I’m told, or else we may be forced to look elsewhere. I do like that TD posts the payment of each card holder separately to their respective cards as opposed to CIBC who just lumped in all bill payments on the second page.

    • Hi Ian,
      Thank you for sharing your feedback – it’s great to have insight into how the transitional offers and features are working for cardholders affected.

      That billing statement snafu sounds very frustrating. I’m assuming that your fiancee would be a supplemental card on the same account? Please feel free to loop us in on any updates on whether the situation is resolved – you can email

  2. I am a transitioned CIBC customer. The CIBC on-line statment was very helpful as I travel for business frequently to the US. The US statement showed the foreign currency amount, the exchange rate and the Canadian amount. My TD statement only shows the converted Canadian dollar amount, no exchange rate, no US transaction. This can be very confusing with multiple purchases from the same vendor. Plus, how can I be assured the US amount is correct? Further, the CIBC on-line statment was searchable and sortable, so that I could specifically request US transactions only, a very helpful feature for doing my expense reports. The TD statement has no such features.

  3. I called about opting out and found out that I would have to reapply for a CIBC credit card even though I had the CIBC card targeted for
    transition to TD. So I kept the TD card and am bumping along through the transition which so far has included not receiving my card in time for a trip during early June which meant the CIBC card was defunct while I was away, having to get a new card sent to a branch near where I was staying – except it did not arrive in time for my return so it got it sent to the branch in my town along with preauthorized payment problems and issues with the statements transitioning from CIBC to TD wherein Itemized purchases were not reflected. Overall this has not been a positive experience. I expect TD will loose customers over this.

  4. Aeroplan is the worst, no flights, no service, I have switched back RBC Avion. If there are no flights available, it’s a simple process, call RBC, book flight, get refund on your card.

  5. I’ve been really frustrated by the entire transition. I just got back from 2.5 months backpacking in Europe and before I left I called CIBC and TD and was told there would be no issues with my credit card and that I would be free to use my CIBC card until I activated my TD one and the transition would happen “mid summer”. A few weeks later, as I was waiting for my flight to London in the Toronto airport, my parents called and told me the transition would happen June 16th – a full month before I returned.

    I wasted hours of my trip, at various points, on the phone with TD and CIBC being told different things from different customer service representatives. I was stuck in an endless loop of half truths and misinformation. When the card finally arrived to my parents I contacted TD who told me they would rush me one on June 17, to wherever I was in Europe, and that I just had to call them back. I told my parents not to bother sending me the card.

    When I called TD on the appointed day, suddenly it was an issue to mail me the card. It would take a minimum of 10 business days and I had to be physically there I sign for it. This is supposed to be a travel card – and I was without a credit card at this point – so basically if you’re on vacation and something happens , you’re SOL if you’re a TD customer and want a card rushed to you. They finally offered $50 which they said would more than cover the cost of courier service – I told them I had looked into it and couriering my card would require a fee closer to $100 and my parents (who live in rural NS) would have to drive an hour to drop it off. The representative told me I was wrong and it would run $10 and they were being really generous with their offer. At this point I was exhausted, frustrated and sick of the entire process after sitting on hold and arguing with customer service, so I just gave up. They weren’t budging.

    I get home late at night on July 17 and have one day before go to a wedding. I try my new credit card… And the PIN locks out. I call in, as advised, go through the whole waiting process and am told that they will eventually be able to unlock PINs over the phone but they can’t just yet.

    Finally, as of July 21, I get to a TD branch, figure things out and have a functioning credit card again. I feel like a responsible adult once more but once I’m settled in Toronto, where I’m moving in the fall, the TD card is gone. I’m switching my point collection to the Scotia Amex and will get a no fee visa. Because of this transition, Aeroplan has lost a dedicated collector, TD and CIBC have lost a customer and I’m done with Visa because the card I’m switching to is an Amex.

    Oh and the transitional offer of 3x points? I couldn’t take advantage because I was suffering without a credit card. Missing out on that didn’t bother me nearly as much as being unable to rent a bike in Paris or fear of robbery as I had to carry much more cash with me than I am comfortable with to pay for day to day purchases and accommodations.

  6. My issue with the transition has been the pay wave feature on the new card, which I didn’t want. Cibc offers a card without pay wave, which I feel is unsafe and leaves me open to fraudulent card use if it’s stolen. When I phoned TD I was told flat out that they don’t offer such a card. I told them I was switching back to Cibc, and they didn’t try to keep me as a customer. So, I’m switching back.

  7. Stay away from all these gimmick credit cards. They exist to benefit the lenders and sponsors, not you, the customers.

    Several years ago Aeroplan introduced “use it or lose it” policy. You had been accumulating hundreds of thousands of points, may be even millions of points, all of a sudden you would lose them. Are you kidding me?

    When you do redeem points, the sponsors charge you full MSRP retail price, are you kidding me? You could have easily by the same items/tickets at big discount if you pay by credit card, not by points.

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