Newspaper article The Canadian Press

TD Bank Group CEO Says Aeroplan Transition to Be Seamless for Cardholders

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

TD Bank Group CEO Says Aeroplan Transition to Be Seamless for Cardholders

Article excerpt

Aeroplan client transition to be seamless: TD

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The transfer of Aeroplan-branded credit cardholders to TD Bank Group from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce will be "seamless" without any interruption in Aeroplan miles earned by customers, TD Bank Group said Monday.

TD Bank, CIBC and rewards company Aimia Inc. reached a compromise on the Aeroplan loyalty credit card program that handles billions of dollars worth of transactions annually.

In the agreement, each bank will have rights to about half the portfolio of accounts that offer their customers loyalty points that can be exchanged for travel and other goods through Aimia's flagship Aeroplan program.

"From our point of view, this is a very customer-friendly deal," TD chief executive Ed Clark told analysts after the announcement.

Clark said TD Bank will be the primary issuer of Aeroplan Visa credit cards on Jan. 1, 2014. CIBC will continue to provide services to those cardholders until they're transferred.

The 10-year deal will give the bank a "solid" base of earnings, he said.

"Instead of going out and having to win every customer, you start off with more than 500,000 customers."

TD said the roughly 550,000 cardholder accounts it's getting from CIBC represent about $3 billion in card balances and $20 billion in annual retail spending.

The bank said it will be easier to earn flights under the program and it will introduce five new credit cards, including a TD Aeroplan high net-worth card, a small business card and a TD Aeroplan U.S. dollar card.

Aimia chief executive Rupert Duchesne said the deal is good for all three parties.

"Being with two leading credit card providers and what that will do to drive immediate growth for us, is very encouraging. It will also take out any uncertainty for credit card holders," Duchesne said in a conference call.

"And that is a great asset of this deal. …

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