The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite is one of the most underrated credit cards even though it’s on my list of the best travel credit cards in Canada. For whatever reason, CIBC isn’t known for its credit cards, but let me tell you, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite is definitely worth your consideration.
The card has great travel benefits, the annual fee is usually waived for the first year and CIBC Rewards is one of the best bank travel programs out there. Since the card doesn’t get a lot of attention, it’s up to me to explain to you why I think so highly of it. Read my CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite review now and find out why this card deserves more credit.
CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card benefits
- $120 annual fee – first year free
- 15,000 Aventura points welcome bonus with 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
- Comprehensive travel insurance package
- 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
- Purchase security
- Extended warranty
As you can see, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card comes packed with benefits. The sign up bonus is 15,000 Aventura points after your first purchase. If that wasn’t generous enough, you can get another 5,000 points when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first four months of cardmembership.
When it comes to the earn rate you get 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.
One unique travel benefit that comes with the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite is the NEXUS application rebate. It’s good every four years, but NEXUS memberships last five years, so you’re essentially getting your NEXUS for free. Keep in mind that you must charge your NEXUS application to your CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card to be entitled to the rebate.
Let’s not forget about the Priority Pass membership and four complimentary lounge entries per year that you get that would normally have a cost of $227 USD which easily offsets the card’s annual fee of $120. These benefits put the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card on the list of the best credit cards with lounge access.
What I love about the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card is the mobile device insurance that protects you up to $1,000 for lost, stolen or accidentally damaged devices while you’re at home or away. CIBC is the first of the five major banks to offer this kind of insurance, but now credit card mobile device insurance has become much more common.
CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite travel insurance
- Travel medical – $5,00,000 for 15 days / 3 days if you’re 65 or older
- Trip cancellation – up to $1,500 per person / $5,000 total
- Trip interruption – up to $2,000 per person
- Flight/trip delay – up to $500 / 4 hours
- Delayed and lost baggage – up to $5,000 / 6 hours
- Auto rental collision / loss damage – 48 consecutive days / $65,000
- Hotel/motel burglary – $2,500
- Common carrier travel accident – $500,000
Your out-of-province emergency travel medical insurance covers you up to 15 days if you’re under the age of 65 or for 3 days if you’re 65 or older. In my opinion, 15 days is a bit short, but you can purchase an extension if you like. Remember, with travel medical insurance, you get the benefit regardless if you charge your travel expenses to the card or not.
I do feel the trip cancellation of $1,500 per person / $5,000 total is a bit low since similar credit cards offer better coverage. That said, the flight/trip delay and delayed/lost baggage insurance is pretty good.
Don’t forget, besides travel medical, you need to charge at least 75% of your travel expenses to your CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card for your policies to be valid. Before you book any travel, double check your insurance policies to find out exactly what you’re covered for.
How the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite compared to others
I personally think the closest competition the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card has is the BMO World Elite Mastercard. The BMO card has no annual fee for the first year, a sign up bonus worth $250, 4 free annual lounge passes, better travel insurance and a slightly higher earn rate.
Honestly, I do think the BMO Worl Elite Mastercard is a better choice compared to the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card. But, CIBC Rewards is the better travel rewards program since it has the Aventura Airline Reward Chart which can give you a lot of value for your points.
Another card worth considering is the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card since it comes with six free annual lounge passes. I consider Scotia Rewards to be slightly more valuable than CIBC Rewards, but the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite does not waive the annual fee of $139 for the first year. The card does come with no foreign transaction fees which will clearly appeal to many travellers.
How CIBC Rewards works
CIBC Rewards points are pretty easy to earn and understand. With the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card, your earnings rate is 1.5 points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores and drugstores. All other purchases earn you 1 point per $1 spent with the exception of travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre which gets you 2 points per $1 spent.
1,000 Aventura Points = $10 in travel so your CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card earns you 1% – 2% in rewards.
What’s nice about Aventura Points is that you have a few options. You can book online through your CIBC rewards account or via the Aventura Travel Assistant. What many people don’t realize is that the Aventura Travel Assistant is a full-service travel agency and they can book a few things that you might not find through the online portal such as attraction tickets and rooms at certain hotels. Basically, just about anything you find on Expedia can be booked through the Aventura Travel Assistant.
Since all travel being booked is done in real time, there are no blackout dates to worry about. Plus, you can pay any taxes and/or surcharges from your flights if you book via your CIBC rewards account.
There’s also a fixed points option where you can redeem your points for flights based on five different zones. For example, Canada and U.S. (long haul) requires 25,000 – 35,000 points and has a maximum ticket price of $800. If that flight costs you more than $800, you’ll need to pay the remaining balance in points at $1 = 100 Aventura points ratio. On occasion, CIBC runs promotions where fewer points are required to redeem a flight, so the fixed points option can be quite lucrative.
My CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card review is positive and clearly deserves a spot among the best travel credit cards in Canada. With a strong sign up bonus, and a ton of additional benefits, Aventura truly is the traveller’s credit card.