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 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.
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.