Update: There is now a superior offer of 30,000 Aventura points when signing up for this card. You get 20,000 points on your first purchase and an additional 5,000 points upon spending $1,000 on the card within the first three months. That's phenomenal!
The CIBC Aventura Visa Card for Business is one of those credit cards that might not be on your radar, but can make for a great value proposition all the same. Let's have a look at what makes this card stand out from the rest of CIBC's rather run-of-the-mill credit card portfolio.
First thing to note is that what makes this card so compelling right now is a promotional offer that is ending on October 31, 2017. So if you're interested in the card, it's best to apply before the end of the month.
What's the promotion? Well, first off you get the usual $120 annual fee waived for the first year. You also get 25,000 Aventura points as a signup bonus – 20,000 points on your first purchase and an extra 5,000 points after spending $1,000 on the card within the first three months. And on top of that, you also get a $120 travel credit that can be redeemed towards the cost of flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacation packages when booking through the CIBC Travel Rewards Centre.
So in total, how much value are you getting? Well, the signup bonus is 25,000 Aventura points, and according to the below Aventura Airline Rewards Chart, you can redeem 20,000 points for a short-haul flight with a maximum value of $400. Add on the $120 travel credit, and we arrive at the conclusion that getting the Aventura for Business card is worth at least $520 in travel – with 5,000 points still left over.
It's not really worth redeeming Aventura points for anything but airline travel, since the redemption rate is quite poor. The good news is that CIBC often puts on promotions allowing you to redeem certain routes for a discounted number of points, so even if you don't have immediate travel plans, the Aventura points are useful to keep around.
Most of the times these days I book award tickets for my travels, but everybody runs into situations where they need to pay cash for a ticket (like I did on my recent trip to London), and having the 25,000 Aventura points or $120 travel credit lying around to offset the cost is quite useful indeed.
(Oh and, it's my understanding that while CIBC Rewards says you must redeem for round-trip tickets, you can also use Aventura points for open-jaw tickets. That might make them useful for positioning flights at the start and end of long award trips.)
But wait, that's not all! Until July 31, 2018, Toronto residents and visitors will also get free Union Pearson Express tickets just by showing their CIBC Aventura Visa Card for Business at either Union Station or Pearson Airport. (For those who aren't in the loop, the UP Express is Toronto's new airport express train, connecting Pearson with Downtown Toronto in 25 minutes.) I've tried this benefit many times already and it works like a charm! Best of all, the current promotion allows you to add three authorized users for no fee, so presumably you can extend the benefit of free airport express rides to your authorized users as well.
Is the bonus on this card a world-beater? No. But if you've already signed up for the better offers out there, like the American Express Business Gold Card, the SPG Card, the MBNA Alaska, or even the RBC Avion 25K offer, then the CIBC Aventura for Business can be a neat and tidy card to keep the bonuses flowing.
This is a card that you want to get for its signup bonuses, rather than for its return on everyday spending. That's because Aventura points are hardly the most useful points you can earn, and there are much more desirable rewards currencies you should aim to earn instead.
But for what it's worth, you'll get 2 Aventura points per dollar spent on travel, 1.5 Aventura points per dollar spent on gas purchases, as well as travel purchases outside of booking directly with CIBC, and 1 Aventura point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
There really isn't any circumstance under which I'd recommend using this card for your spending – it's really one of those cards where you get the signup bonus and then put it away for safekeeping. The one exception is that when you use your $120 travel credit, you will have to put the remainder of that travel purchase on this card.
The insurance on the CIBC Aventura Visa Card for Business is quite competitive, though it lacks the emergency out-of-province medical insurance that makes the high-end cards (like the Platinum Card) so outstanding.
With the Aventura for Business, you'll get flight and baggage delay insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance (which can help you save on the daily insurance charged by car rental companies), $500,000 common carrier accident insurance, and protection against trip cancellation or interruption.
As with most financial institutions, you'll have no problem getting approved for this card even if you aren't a small business owner in the traditional sense. You do need to have a minimum annual income of $35,000 though, so as long as you meet that requirement you're good to go.
The first year fee waiver expires on October 31, while the $120 travel credit offer expires on December 31. Therefore, if you want to take full advantage of the current promotions on this card, it's in your best interest to apply before the end of the month. Follow the below link (not a referral link) to access the application:
As a rule, I don't recommend credit cards that I myself either don't currently hold or wouldn't apply for. While the CIBC Aventura Visa Card for Business isn't quite the sexiest card out there, it does have a strong promotion going on right now, with several enticing benefits that might make it a compelling card to add to your wallet, ranging from the versatile $120 travel credit to unlimited free UP Express rides in Toronto (a benefit which I intend to make full use of).