Canadian Airports Credit Card Marketing Case Study: CIBC


This top Financial Institution was the first to create a credit card which allowed consumers to earn miles or points towards redemption on a major airline. This card was also one of the the first premium ($120 annual fee) cobranded travel credit cards in the market. In 1998 this type of premium product was still a novelty and acquiring customers was a difficult task.



In 1997, the product manager responsible for new customer acquisitions advised SPP Marketing Services that the CIBC Aerogold Visa product had flat lined in terms of sales and he needed a way to increase sales.


The Plan:

We identified that airports would be a perfect venue for this travel co-brand credit card. Airports would offer the motivated traveler with the higher than average disposable income needed to meet the approval requirements of such a prestigious product.


Airport Negotiation & Kiosk Design:

We were faced with a challenge of persuading the airports that this would be a product and service that their travelers would benefit from. SPP Marketing Services worked diligently with the Airport Authorities and our CIBC account team in delivering mobile kiosks that satisfied the airports need for small size and portability and still provided storage and writing space for the reps. SPP Marketing Services also created Rules of Conduct to ensure the airports that conduct would be professional and that the SPP Marketing Services personnel would work within the regulations of the airport.


Image & Branding:

Carefully selected representatives were outfitted in uniforms which supported the brand and advertising of CIBC Aerogold. The uniform included scarves for the women and ties for the men. This provided a professional appearance to the staff and allowed them to fit seamlessly into the airport environment.


Sales & Customer Service:

SPP Marketing Services worked with the product information provided by CIBC to develop a comprehensive sales training manual and developed a classroom and field sales rep training program. This ensured that the sales representatives not only knew the full benefits of the product and how to overcome objections but also understood the competitive credit card landscape and the required approach in the airport environment.



On site field approach models were tested to determine the best way to attract potential customers to the kiosk while respecting the strict guidelines of the Airport Authority regarding solicitation or aggressive sales. Once the ideal approach/sales script was developed it became institutionalized and used in a uniform manner in airports across the country



The program was a resounding success with hundreds of thousands of travelers signed up for premium and super premium CIBC credit cards directly by SPP Marketing Services personnel in its 7 airport kiosk locations.



Across Canada in all major airports.


SPP Marketing Services case study on marketing credit cards in airports with CIBC


CIBC’s Aerogold Visa Infinite card was best in class for the fifth consecutive year in the airline miles category, beating out Capital One’s  Delta SkyMiles World MasterCard.

Toronto Star

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