Unless you were a CIBC customer, the odds are you didn’t have much interest in CIBC Aventura Rewards. There’s nothing wrong with the program, it’s actually quite flexible, but the CIBC Aventura credit cards didn’t really stand out compared to some of the Best travel credit cards in Canada.
Well, that all changed when it was announced that new and existing CIBC Aventura cardholders would be getting some additional benefits including airport lounge access, a NEXUS rebate, mobile insurance, and enhanced travel insurance. That announcement was huge and got a ton of headlines. But do all those new benefits make the card better? Read my CIBC Aventura Gold Review to find out.
CIBC Aventura Gold Benefits
- $120 annual fee (waived for the first year)
- 15,000 Aventura Points when you make your first purchase
- 5,000 Additional Aventura points when you spend $1,000 in the first four months of card membership
- Priority Pass membership and four complimentary airport lounge entries per year
- Rebate on NEXUS application fee
- Some travel insurance included
- Mobile device insurance coverage up to $1,000
- 2 points per $1 spent on travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre
- 1.5 points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores and drugstores
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
The signup bonus with the CIBC Aventura Gold card is interesting. You get 15,000 Aventura Rewards points after your first purchase and another 5,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first four months of card membership. That’s a total of 20,000 points which has a value of $200 if you redeem it for any type of travel, but it also has a value up to $400 if you use CIBC’s fixed flight chart.
The free Priority Pass membership and four annual passes have a value of over $250 and then there’s the NEXUS rebate and mobile device insurance that’s also included.
Interestingly enough, the earn rate of 2 points per $1 spent on travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre, 1.5 points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores and drugstores, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases is identical to the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite which has a significantly higher income requirement compared to the Gold card ($60,000 vs. $15,000)
The only real noticeable difference between the two cards is that the CIBC Aventura Gold card comes with less travel insurance. That alone makes my CIBC Aventura Gold review is positive. Kudos to CIBC for offering an amazing travel credit card with a low minimum income requirement.
How CIBC Aventura Rewards works
CIBC Aventura Rewards is easy to understand and redeem since it takes 1,000 Aventura Points to get $10 in travel. Since the CIBC Aventura Gold earns you 1-2 points per $1 spent, your rate of return works out to be 1-2%.
That being said, you might get better value if you used the Aventura Airline Rewards Chart which is a fixed flight program. For 10,000 to 20,000 points you can claim a Canada and U.S. short haul flight as long as it has a max base price of $400. Alternatively, a flight to Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Central America, and the Caribbean would only cost you 40,000 to 60,000 Aventura points with a max base price of $1,000. Keep in mind that sometimes CIBC has promos where it’ll take you fewer points to make a redemption.
When you log in to your CIBC Rewards account, you book your travel directly or you can call CIBC’s full-service travel agency. The benefit of calling in is that you get access to just about anything sold on Expedia or Orbitz that might not be available through the online portal such as tickets to theme parks.
How the CIBC Aventura Gold compared to others
As mentioned, the most similar card is the CIBC Aventura Infinite Visa which has an identical sign up bonus, earn rate, annual fee. Heck, even all the benefits are the same except for travel insurance which is better for the Infinite card. If you earn an income over $60,000, then get the Infinite card, but the Gold version is a hella good card.
If you’re looking to earn points as quickly as possible and you’re able to charge a lot to your card in the first few months, you may want to look at the American Express Platinum Business card instead since you’ll get 75,000 points as your signup bonus.
When you compare the CIBC Aventura Gold to the other cards on my list of the best travel credit cards in Canada, it really stands its ground. Every card is different, but CIBC Aventura Rewards gives you quite a bit of flexibility with your points.
My CIBC Aventura Gold review is positive. For a credit card that has a low minimum income requirement, it comes packed with benefits. CIBC Aventura Rewards are easy to understand so when you’re ready to make a redemption, you won’t have any problems.