Bonuses and Fees
The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite recently bumped up their introductory bonuses. The card is currently offering up to 35,000 Aventura points as a signup bonus.
The bonus is divided into two parts:
- Earn 20,000 Aventura points upon first purchase
- Earn an additional 1,250 Aventura points each month after spending $1,000, for the first year
The $139 annual fee is currently waived for the first year; otherwise, if that offer weren’t available, it can be waived if you have a CIBC Smart Plus Chequing Account.
How much value does the bonus represent? 35,000 points can be redeemed at a rate of 1 cent per point (1cpp) towards your travel expenses, meaning that you can use it as a $350 credit towards travel booked through the CIBC Travel Rewards Centre.
35,000 points can be redeemed at greater value by following the below redemption chart. You can use them towards a $800 airline ticket in the “Canada and U.S. (long-haul)” category, increasing the value of your points from 1cpp to 2.3cpp.
In fact, I generally recommend redeeming Aventura points for airline tickets according to the above chart whenever you can, since it offers the maximal value for your points. The 1cpp option gives you the convenience of booking other types of travel – such as hotels and car rentals – but its relatively poor value makes it more of a baseline option than a redemption you could actively pursue.
Note that all of these redemptions must be done through the CIBC Travel Rewards Centre, which is CIBC’s in-house travel agency.
Generally, they offer competitive prices on airfare (i.e., on par with what you’d find yourself on Expedia for major airlines), although their hotel rates can sometimes go a little higher than other booking websites.
Since CIBC Aventura points are nowhere near the most useful points you could be earning on your everyday spending, you should generally avoid putting your spending on this card. Instead, using one of the Amex MR cards (like the Platinum Card) in conjunction with a Visa or MasterCard (like the MBNA Alaska Airlines MasterCard) is usually the best strategy, since those points are far more valuable to collect.
For what it’s worth, though, you’ll earn 2 Aventura points per dollar spent on travel booked via the CIBC Travel Rewards Centre, 1.5 Aventura points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, and drugstore purchases, and 1 Aventura point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Perks & Benefits
The more exciting features of this card are the new benefits that were added on October 15, 2018. As the primary cardholder, you’ll enjoy four complimentary Priority Pass visits per membership year for you and any guests.
That’s pretty useful if you don’t already have a credit card that gives you lounge access, especially given the current fee-waiver promotion that makes it free to pick up the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite and try it out for a year.
Another unique feature is the NEXUS rebate, which provides one rebate every four years towards the $50 cost of your NEXUS application. NEXUS is a frequent traveller program designed to speed up your travels between Canada and the United States, and you’ll receive a full rebate simply by charging the $50 application fee to your CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite.
That’s a very cool benefit, in my opinion, and if you’ve been meaning to sign up for NEXUS, simply getting one of these cards will save you that $50 expense.
The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite is marketed as a high-end credit card and therefore comes with all the key insurance policies that a frequent traveller would expect. This includes out-of-province emergency medical insurance of up to $1,000,000, plus coverage for flight and baggage delays, trip cancellation and interruption, hotel burglary, and car rental loss or damage.
There’s also a very unique Mobile Device Insurance that was introduced on October 15, 2018. By paying for your smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch using your CIBC Aventura, you’ll get coverage of up to $1,000 in the event your mobile device is lost, stolen or accidentally damaged, for up to 24 months!
That can be hugely beneficial for many people, and so the next time you’re in the market for a new mobile device, it’s well worth considering using the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite to fund your purchase.