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 actually ranks in the middle of the pack when it comes to my ranking of the best bank travel rewards programs. The issue is that CIBC Aventura credit cards didn’t really stand out compared to some of the Best travel credit cards in Canada.

Of course, the irony is that, CIBC Aventura credit cards are in fact some of the best travel credit cards out there, but not many people are familiar with the benefits you get which includes airport lounge access, a NEXUS rebate, mobile device insurance, and enhanced travel insurance. When you factor those benefits, a generous sign up bonus and a good rewards program, you’ll realize that CIBC credit cards really should have your attention. Read my CIBC Aventura Gold review now for more details.

CIBC Aventura Gold Review

CIBC Aventura Gold Benefits

  • $120 annual fee 
  • 15,000 Aventura points when you make your first purchase
  • 5,000 Additional Aventura points when you spend $3,000 in the first four months
  • 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 1\5,000 points when you spend $3,000 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 of 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)

I should mention that if you have a CIBC Smart Plus Account, the annual fee that comes with the CIBC Aventura Gold is waived.

CIBC Aventura Gold travel insurance

  • Travel medical – $5,000,000 / 15 days if under the age of 65
  • Flight delay – $500 per occurrence for all insured persons combined / 4 hours
  • Delayed/lost/stolen baggage – $500 per insured person / maximum of $1,000 / 6 hours
  • Auto rental collision/loss damage – 48 days / MRSP $65,000
  • Hotel burglary – $2,500 per occurrence for all insured persons combined 
  • Common carrier accident – $500,000

Generally speaking, the travel insurance included with the CIBC Aventura Gold is decent, but it’s missing a few key things which is why I don’t consider it one of the best credit cards with travel insurance. There’s no trip cancellation and the card only covers you for 15 days if you’re under the age of 65 which may be a deal-breaker for some people. On a positive note, the travel medical insurance covers you up to $5,000,000 which is higher than some other travel credit cards, but it’s unlikely you’d ever need that much insurance.

Your flight delay insurance kicks in after 4 hours which is standard while delayed/lost baggage requires 6 hours before you can make a claim. Rental card and hotel burglary insurance are pretty standard but at least it’s included.

One good thing about the CIBC Aventura Gold travel insurance is that you only need to charge 75% of your travel expenses to your card for your insurance to be valid. The exception is travel medical which you get no matter what.

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 or 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.

To book your travel, you can go through CIBC Rewards account 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.

Final thoughts

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.

CIBC Aventura Gold Review

5 Comments

  1. Michael Allen on January 19, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    I want to offer a differing opinion on this card. The real value is in the details of CIBC’s travel rewards program because all of the non-travel rewards are well below 1% in value. If you compare the points you have to cash against the retail value of the merchandise, I was getting returns of 0.7% and below. Travel isn’t much better. Somehow, some flights that require X pts and $Y in taxes/fees on Aeroplan require X pts and 3x or 4x $Y in taxes/fees. Very disappointing.

  2. Mat on February 10, 2019 at 7:07 am

    Hi Barry, i currently use the Scotia Infinite Momentum Visa and recieve between $800-$1000 cash back each year. I don’t use any travel points cards. Would you recommend any other supplementary cards for me to sign up for (credit or travel rewards)? The SIM will still be my main card, but want to take advantage of some travel rewards as well. Keep up the great work.

    • Barry Choi on February 10, 2019 at 8:14 am

      Hi Mat,

      I think you need to ask yourself a few questions first

      – Do you enjoy travelling? No point getting a travel card if you don’t like to travel
      – Are additional benefits important to you such as travel insurance, lounge access, etc.?
      – How comfortable are you with having multiple credit cards? To maximize your points, it’s really about the sign up bonuses – https://www.moneywehave.com/the-best-travel-credit-cards-in-canada/

      If you’re earning $800 – $1,000 per year in cash back with the Scotia Infinite Momentum Visa, you’re either spending a lot a year or maximizing your return on the 4% categories. Most travel credit cards only give you a 1-2% base return, but your points can be more valuable with transfer partners. E.g. With the Amex Gold card, the points are worth 1%, but if you transfer to Aeroplan, they can be worth 3-4 X more. Of course, you also need to factor in blackout dates, taxes, and if you Amex is accepted where you travel.

      If you happen to fly WestJet on a regular basis, the WestJet RBC Visa Infinite card is a great card.

      I also like the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card since it’s a good all in one travel card. It has a decent earn rate, no forex fees, and 6 annual lounge passes. Those passes alone are worth about $450 alone.

      To me, it doesn’t make sense to have a premium cash back card AND a premium travel card unless you’re getting one of them for “free” either through your bank or the first year annual fee being waived.

      • Ma on February 10, 2019 at 9:36 am

        Thanks Barry, we usually travel once a year for 7-10 days and I don’t think we’d take advantage of the lounge access etc…probably makes sense to stick with what we have and maybe get a couple new ones to to take advantage of the sign-up bonus. Do you recommend getting a stand alone air miles or aeroplan card, not connected to a cc?

        • Barry Choi on February 10, 2019 at 10:07 am

          Mat,

          I personally think Air Miles is a terrible program. Aeroplan is okay, but their co-branded credit cards aren’t the best e.g. I think the Amex Gold Rewards card where you can transfer your points 1:1 to Aeroplan is better than the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card.

          I always favour taking advantage of sign up bonuses if you can meet the minimum spend. Always go for the ones that you can use in the near future. E.g. if you know you need to fly WestJet soon, get the card since you $250 WestJet dollars, free checked bags, and a companion voucher. Even if you’re not flying a specific airline, signup bonuses are worth it e.g. the BMO World Elite Mastercard gives you $250 in points as a sign up bonus and there’s a current offer where you get a $100 travel credit when you make a minimum travel purchase of $100 within the first six months of cardmembership as long as you apply by the end of March I believe.

          In other words, it’s always worth monitoring promotions and sign up bonuses.

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