Aventura points function a lot like any other credit card reward system out there. You collect them by using the appropriate credit cards as frequently as possible and taking advantage of any promotions that are available to you. You’ll accrue them relatively slowly, but you should still have no trouble reaching a sizeable number of the course of a few months to a year. When you get enough of them on your hands, you can trade them in for gift cards, merchandise items, and the most popular choice of all – travel rewards. This article will teach you more about what these points are and how to earn them.
Start With an Aventura Credit Card
In order to use Aventura points, you will first need to collect some by applying for an Aventura credit card and using it regularly. CIBC has several options available for customers who are interested in participating in this program.
- The Aventura Visa – The most modest of them is the CIBC Aventura Visa, the basic free card in this line. Anyone with income and credit that isn’t terrible can get it, but it also gives you the least amount of points per transaction out of the three domestic cards you have to choose from, so it shouldn’t be your go-to choice unless you know you can’t get anything better. For those stuck in that situation, though, this card will perform admirably in the time being while you wait and hope for better things in the future. It may not be the optimal choice, but that doesn’t make it a bad one.
- The Aventura Gold – If you’re willing to pay a fairly large annual fee to get a much better card, the Aventura Gold Visa is for you. You still don’t need to meet that many qualification standards to get it, but you can increase your points rewards potential rather significantly and score a bunch of highly desirable travel benefits to go with it. If you’re going to use it regularly both to earn points and to provide coverage for your trips, you will easily get enough use out of it to justify the $120 annual fee. Anyone who doesn’t travel much and is primarily interested in maximizing the points they can earn might not find it to be so worthwhile, however, when the basic card is Regardless, it’s an option available to most people if they want it.
- The Aventura Visa Infinite – The card in this line that more people might struggle to get is the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite, but it’s unquestionably the best among this set if you’re lucky enough to have it be an option for you. For the same $120 annual fee as the Gold edition, you’ll get the same boosted points-earning rates and excellent insurance packages, but you’ll also get a few extra perks like trip interruption insurance and the full suite of Visa Infinite benefits. The difference isn’t massive, but if you can get this card (you’ll need to make at least $60,000 a year to do so and have good credit on top of that), it’s worth going for this one instead of the Gold one. Either will earn you your Aventura points at the same rate (2 points per dollar on travel through CIBC, 1.5 points per dollar on groceries, drug store purchases and gas and 1 points per dollar on the remainder of your purchases), so if all you care about is the final amount of points you will get, either will do for your purposes.
- The US Dollar Aventura Gold – Finally, if you feel like you need a utility card more than a general-purpose one but still would like to collect Aventura points if possible, you might try applying for the CIBC US Dollar Aventura Gold Visa. With reward rates of 1 point per $1 on CIBC Travel Rewards Centre purchases and 1 point per $2 on the rest of your purchases, this is actually the least generous of the bunch in terms of points, but that’s not why you would usually get it. Its primary function is to allow you to shop in USD without paying any foreign transaction fees, which could save you hundreds of dollars each year if you are a frequent cross-border or online shopper. If not, there’s no need for you to pay any attention to this card; stick with the domestic options to earn the Aventura points you’re after.
How To Acquire More Points When You Need Them
As great as Aventura points are, they don’t grow on trees. You’ll have to build them up over time, and often you’ll find that you don’t have nearly as many of them as you’d like to have. If that’s the case, you should know that you aren’t necessarily stuck pulling in only that small amount forever, even if you don’t change your spending much. It doesn’t always take a big change in behaviour to net yourself a big increase in points. Some easy ways to earn more Aventura points with little effort include:
- Making your CIBC Aventura card the primary one you use.
- Putting big regular expenses like groceries on your card (these are often awarded points at bonus rates, too).
- Adding an extra authorized user to your account and getting them their own card, so you can earn on what they spend too.
- Setting up some recurring bills on auto-pay on your card (this makes your life easier too, as long as you check up on your payments from time to time just in case).
All of these things take a little time to work, but as long as you give them a few months to work their magic, you will start to see results. The more of these ideas you can combine together and the more you can come up with on your own, the faster you will earn those Aventura points you want. The more you have, the more value you can get for them, so be sure to save up as many as possible if you know you’re planning on redeeming some at some point in the near future. Trips are expensive and every little bit you can save on them helps.
Increase Your Aventura Points Value with Promotions
One great thing about this reward system that you don’t see with every one like it is that it includes a rotating set of promotions to help stretch your points allowance even further. They will usually help you to either earn more points by purchasing certain things during the time the offer runs or to take advantage of a package offer to secure a discount on the points amount you would need to take a specific trip. They change periodically, too, so you’re never stuck mulling over the same options you turned down last time when you’re looking for a new deal. Currently the line-up is as follows:
- The ability to score triple the points on any flight to Europe that you purchase through Air Transat.
- The chance to enjoy up to 5 bonus offers for things like free WiFi, shore excursions, drinks and food when you book a Norwegian cruise for a minimum of 3 nights.
- A 9-night tour of restaurants and food-related attractions at the most renowned culinary spots in Mexico (includes 4-star hotel stays for all 9 nights).
- The chance to get double the usual number of points when you shop at Apple.ca (does not apply to Apple Store purchases or items bought at retail locations).
You can access this curated set of offers easily at any time on CIBC’s website, so you’ll never have to wonder about whether there’s a promotion going on that you missed. Also, these offers change periodically, and since most of them require you to book your vacation package well in advance in order to benefit, the sooner you know about the newest ones, the better. For that reason, it’s recommended that you check back every month or so when you’re considering taking a trip so that you can see if there are any tempting prospects posted at the moment. If you can manage to book your getaway through this system, you’ll boost your Aventura points value significantly and save big, so never pass up the chance to do it if it’s in front of you!
The Limitations of Aventura Points
Like any reward system, the Aventura system is not a completely unstructured free-for-all – there are some things your points cannot do when they are being used as travel expense credits, and you should know what those limits are before you become too invested in their potential. As far as what you can actually book with Aventura points, your options are wide open. These points will never expire and can be used on any seat on any flight at any time, with no blackout dates in effect. This means that if you want to travel during a busy season like spring break or the winter holidays, you can do it with your points instead of with cash. The only difference will be the cost of the ticket, which you still have incentive to keep as low as possible (we’ll explain more about that in a minute). The best use of your points will still be in the off-season and on domestic flights, but if you don’t care about using your points so carefully and just want to get where you want to go, you have the freedom to do that.
You’ll see more barriers in play when you look at how points are applied with regards to pricing, though. When you buy a flight with Aventura points, you are only allowed to cover a certain portion of the cost with those points. Instead of a percentage, this limit is expressed in a dollar amount, so it is possible to cover the entire amount if your final bill is low enough. If you don’t manage to find a flight with a cost that low, though, you will be responsible for paying the rest. You can also book a flight that costs more points than you have, as long as you currently have at least 80% of the balance needed at the time of booking (and pay the rest of the amount owing in cash, of course). You can use your points to pay the taxes and other fees on each flight purchase too, though, so if you want to come away owing nothing you must plan for this expense when you go to use your reward balance. Overall, travelling with Aventura points rarely means travelling for completely free, but they can be used to significantly offset the costs and make it possible for you to take trips that would be out of your reach if you had to pay for them entirely out of pocket.
Start Collecting Your Aventura Points as Soon as Possible
Getting money off your travel expenses by using Aventura points is easy, helpful to your budget, and can sometimes be made even easier if the right promotion is active when you go to redeem them. This system takes the best of the common credit card rewards systems out there and adds a little extra flair of its own to the mix. There are few drawbacks to using it and it could mean the difference between getting your chance to travel in the near future or having to wait a few more years before it becomes financially viable. For those who really want to make that happen, there’s no good reason to hold off on getting an Aventura card of some kind as soon as possible.