Alongside their new Aeroplan credit card offers, CIBC has also updated the bonuses on their Aventura cards. These offers are live for new applicants as of February 1, with no specified end date.
While the total bonuses are very high, all of the new offers require a sustained pattern of spending to unlock their full potential. Let’s take a closer look and see if it’s worth the effort.
CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite: 35,000 Aventura Points
CIBC’s core in-house rewards product, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card, is offering up to 35,000 Aventura points with a $139 annual fee waiver for the first year.
The bonus is split into two parts:
- 20,000 Aventura points upon first purchase
- 1,250 Aventura points in each of the first 12 months that you spend $1,000, for a total of 15,000 Aventura points
In total, you’d have to spend $12,000 over the course of a year to receive the full bonus.
This structure reminds me of last year’s offer, in which you could earn 15,000 extra points for spending $10,000 in the first year. However, the new offer is less flexible, as it forces you to spend on a regular basis each month. Cardholders with a single large expense won’t be able to take advantage as easily.
You could also view the monthly bonuses as 1.25 extra points per dollar spent (up to $1,000 per month and assuming you meet that threshold).
Normally, the card awards modest rewards on everyday purchases:
- Earn 2 Aventura points per dollar spent on travel booked via the CIBC Travel Rewards Centre
- Earn 1.5 Aventura points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, and drugstore purchases
- Earn 1 Aventura point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Even if you’d prefer to skip the ongoing monthly spend, you can still earn 20,000 Aventura points upon first purchase with the first year annual fee waived. The convenience and value is hard to turn down.
Not to mention, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card also provides a Priority Pass membership with four lounge passes for you and your guests, as well as a NEXUS application fee rebate.
Applicants must have at least $60,000 in annual personal income, or $100,000 in annual household income. If you don’t meet these thresholds, you could instead apply for the CIBC Aventura Gold Visa Card as long as your income is over $15,000.
The card has the exact same welcome bonus and perks (including Priority Pass and NEXUS) – the only major difference is that it lacks trip interruption and cancellation insurance.
CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege: 60,000 Aventura Points
The premium variant, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege Card, naturally offers a premium bonus of up to 60,000 Aventura points.
However, the points aren’t quite as easy to earn:
- 30,000 Aventura points upon spending $3,000 in the first four months
- 2,500 Aventura points in each of the first 12 months that you spend $2,000, for a total of 30,000 Aventura points
The initial bonus is an improvement from the Visa Infinite card, although it does come with a higher minimum spend requirement.
The monthly bonuses are worth double, but you also have to spend twice as much. Therefore, the effective incremental points of going for these bonuses is the same, equivalent to 1.25 extra Aventura points per dollar spent.
Also, the monthly bonus component is the same as the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card. In fact, the bonuses on the two cards are quite similar, although the Aeroplan card offers additional points with your first purchase.
The regular earn rates on the Visa Infinite Privilege card are more generous than its lower-tier counterparts:
- Earn 3 Aventura points per dollar spent on travel booked via the CIBC Rewards Travel Centre
- Earn 2 Aventura points per dollar spent on dining, entertainment, transportation, gas, and groceries
- Earn 1.25 Aventura points per dollar spent on all other purchases
The card comes with an annual fee of $499. Luckily, it can be reduced by $139 if you have a CIBC Smart Plus Chequing Account. It can also be partially offset by the card’s $200 annual travel credit, bookable by phone with the CIBC Rewards Travel Centre.
By maximizing these two rebates, you can reduce the net annual fee to $160.
In fact, since the annual travel credit is based on a calendar year cycle, you could even redeem two sets of the $200 travel credit and come out ahead in the first year if you no longer find value in the card from the second year onwards.
The Visa Infinite Privilege card comes with the same travel benefits as the Visa Infinite card, but stronger: six Priority Pass visits per year instead of four, and more insurance coverage.
You’ll also have access to the Visa Infinite Privilege Concierge service, which is useful for booking exclusive experiences, such as dining reservations or event tickets, as well as travel arrangements.
If you intend to meet the monthly spend targets, 60,000 Aventura points is well worth it if you can reduce your annual fee, especially considering the other perks of being a premium cardholder. However, if you don’t plan on maintaining monthly spend on the card, I’m not sure if I’d go out of my way for 30,000 Aventura points without a clear plan to maximize the various rebates.
You must have at least $200,000 in annual household income to apply for any Visa Infinite Privilege card.
CIBC Aventura Visa Card for Business: 60,000 Aventura Points…?
At first glance, the offer for the CIBC Aventura Visa Card for Business looks like an unquestionable all-time high, at 60,000 Aventura points.
We need to see the breakdown before we get too excited:
- 25,000 Aventura points upon first purchase
- 35,000 Aventura points upon spending $65,000 in the first year
No, that’s not a typo! You need to spend $65,000 to earn the full welcome bonus. That works out to over $5,000 per month for a full year. Consider that many other premium cards require $5,000 total over three months to earn the full bonus, and it’s pretty clear that pursuing this bonus could drastically slow down your ability to earn with other credit cards.
It’s even a lower earn rate than everyday spending. The spend portion of the bonus effectively earns 0.54 bonus points per dollar spent. Anything lower than the card’s base rate of 1 point per dollar spent is unacceptable – welcome bonuses are supposed to incentivize you to spend more than otherwise, not less.
The card has an annual fee of $120, which is no longer waived for the first year.
While it’s easy enough to get business credit cards, I wouldn’t recommend this offer for most people. I’d rather get the Visa Infinite with 20,000 Aventura points and no fee for the first year. In my opinion, the incremental 5,000 points for the $120 fee, and the hassle of doing a business card application, aren’t worth it.
Right now, I’d only recommend this card to business owners who prefer to keep all expenses on one card for accounting purposes, and who expect to easily reach the first year spend requirement. Even so, I’d still favour cards like the American Express Business Platinum Card, with a larger bonus and a more valuable award program.
If you are interested for your business, here are the everyday rewards rates on purchases:
- Earn 2 Aventura points per dollar spent on travel booked via the CIBC Rewards Travel Centre
- Earn 1.5 Aventura points per dollar spent on gas and other travel purchases
- Earn 1 Aventura point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Applicants can be approved with at least $35,000 in personal annual income. Or, if you’d prefer to apply on the basis of your business financials, you can apply for the CIBC Aventura Visa Card for Business Plus, which has all of the same features and bonuses.
For most people, however, I’d wait for a first-year fee waiver to be reintroduced, or for the achievable portion of the welcome bonus to return to higher levels.
CIBC Aventura Visa Card: 10,000 Aventura Points
If you’re just getting started with credit card rewards, you might consider an entry-level card.
The CIBC Aventura Visa Card has no annual fee and is currently offering up to 10,000 Aventura points.
You can earn 7,500 with your first purchase, and the rest for completing odds and ends, like signing up for electronic statements or adding your card to a mobile payment wallet. The card has a minimum household income requirement of $15,000.
If you’ve never had a credit card before, it might be easier to get approved for the CIBC Aventura Visa Card for Students. There’s no fee or income requirement, but the welcome bonus is only 2,500 points: just the odds and ends, with no points for your first purchase.
However, I’d encourage you to start earning a more valuable or flexible rewards program first. The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card would be a much better choice, with a welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points and no annual fee.
Alternatively, a cash back card may be a good choice for immediate benefits, while you build your credit history and begin learning about more complex travel rewards programs.
I’m not surprised to see new Aventura offers in parallel with CIBC’s recent Aeroplan update. Meeting additional monthly spend requirements on top of the traditional three-month minimum spend is indeed a chore, and time will tell if this new structure is here to stay.
Between the two, I’d generally recommend the Aeroplan cards over the Aventura cards. The costs, bonuses, and perks are roughly the same at each card tier, but Aeroplan is a more powerful rewards currency.
Although not the highest priority, I treat Aventura as a strong filler option for collecting points. If you’ve exhausted your Aeroplan opportunities and are at a loss for your next card, now would be a good time to grab some “low-hanging fruit” offers, such as the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite for 20,000 Aventura points with no minimum spend requirement and no first year annual fee.