Tired of travel cards that never allow you to build up enough points to actually go anywhere? Our CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card review is your guide to better understanding a card that does things differently.
Get enough points for a short-haul flight just by signing up with this premium travel credit card.
|You Are Interested If||You know you want to get travel rewards out of your credit card and have the income and credit profile to qualify for the very best.|
|Brief Description||The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card allows holders easy access to flights and other trips at discounted rates through its reward program.|
|Main Requirements||This card requires a high income and good credit to be considered for it.|
|Card Type||This is a travel card with a more open-ended rewards catalogue than most.|
Fees and Interest
|Purchase Interest Rate||When you purchase any goods or services with this card, 19.99% interest per year will apply.|
|Cash Advance||Getting cash in advance will cost you 22.99% in interest over a year.|
|Balance Transfer||Moving a balance to this card will cost you 22.99% in yearly interest as well.|
|Income Requirements||You need to be a fairly high earner to get this card – if you don’t make at least $60,000 a year, you won’t qualify.|
|Household Income Requirements||If you and your partner make $100,000 a year or more together, you may also qualify for this card.|
|Annual Fee||You’ll pay $120 a year for this card.|
|Welcome Bonus||You could receive up to 20,000 reward points (15,000 with your first purchase and 5,000 more if you charge at least $1,000 in purchases to your new card in your first 4 months), but you are only eligible for the full amount if you are not a current CIBC customer.|
|How To Earn Points||1 point is awarded for every dollar spent on this card, with an additional 0.5 points added to that if the dollar was spent on a gas, grocery, or drug store purchase. That base rate is doubled to 2 points per dollar when you purchase a trip through the CIBC Rewards Center.|
|Benefits||This credit card grants you a huge package of benefits, including out-of-province emergency travel medical insurance, flight delay insurance, baggage insurance, auto rental collision and loss damage insurance, plus concierge services, extended warranties and purchase protection.|
About CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card
We’ll start off our CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card review with this card’s interest rate setup. You’ll either be paying 19.99% in interest on normal purchases here or a slightly elevated 22.99% on balance transfers and cash advances. These rates reflect the fact that CIBC expects you to be a responsible cardholder when you’ve managed to qualify for this product, so act accordingly and you won’t have to worry about these costs.
Enough about interest rates, though; the more interesting thing to consider is what this card can get you reward-wise. You’ll get just 1 point for spending a dollar on this card at the base rate, but you can get 1.5 points instead when shopping for gas, groceries, or drug store purchases. These are among the best options for bonus categories because they are among virtually everyone’s most frequent purchases. This usually results in the bulk of a person’s credit card spending earning points at the boosted rate, greatly increasing the overall yield.
As nice as it is that the bonus categories so universally useable, though, it’s also important to consider that the boosted rate itself is somewhat low. For comparison, many other cards offer at least double or even triple the points on their bonus categories. The only thing you can get double points on under normal circumstances (more on that later in this CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card review) is trips purchased through the CIBC Rewards Center, and only on the portion you’re paying in cash money (i.e. no using points to get more points).
One thing that helps make up for some of these shortcomings and that we want to cover in our CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card review is the wide range of redemption options, some of which offer surprisingly good value. Potential applicants who are primarily interested in rewards other than the travel ones should know that points go a lot further in the travel category than in any other; if you’re after other kinds of rewards or cash back options, this probably isn’t the card for you. However, you can also redeem your points for merchandise, gift cards, account credits, and even investment options at a less efficient rate if you so choose, which provides you a nice range of backup options in case there is a point in your life in which it is simply not practical to travel much.
As part of our CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card review, let’s take a closer look at what you can specifically expect to earn. At the standard earning rates (and assuming a budget breakdown of $1,500 a month in bonus-eligible spending and another $500 in spending elsewhere), you could get 33,000 points per year, not counting the 20,000 point welcome bonus. According to CIBC themselves, 20,000 points may be worth up to $400 in travel rewards if you choose to use them on short-haul flights. Under those conditions, those points are worth a little bit more than $600, significantly more than you would get from many other cards. However, you would usually only be able to get items worth about $100 for that amount if you used them on merchandise rewards. Making strategic choices about how you spend your reward points will have a big impact on how much you’re able to get out of this rewards card.
If you want to make your points go further, you’ll be happy to hear about the promotions program that CIBC runs for their rewards redemption system. During certain periods of the year, you will either be able to earn more points by shopping at specific retailers or spend fewer points by opting for the redemption option that is on ‘sale’ at that time. This may include both travel and merchandise options, and the discounts may be significant; for example, for Boxing Day 2018, CIBC reduced the point prices on many of the jewelry, electronics and housewares items in their rewards catalogue by half. If you don’t have your eye on anything in particular but just want to use your points efficiently, it may worth your while to spend points exclusively during these times.
However, what if you want to use your points, but find that you’re just a little bit shy of the total you need? As long as you’re trying to redeem them toward the cost of a travel reward, CIBC will actually allow you to purchase up to 20% of the points needed with what they call the Top-Up Purchase Option. This allows you to still receive a fair-sized discount on the portion of the trip that you’re paying yourself, making travel much more accessible without hoarding points for excessively long periods.
The benefits are another thing that needs to be discussed in this CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card review. This card naturally includes the extra warranties and purchase protection you expect from a credit card, but it also grants you emergency medical, flight delay, rental car and even baggage insurance, as well as concierge services to help you handle some of your personal affairs. All of these things are here to make your life that much easier as a loyal CIBC customer.
The main takeaway from this CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card review is that this credit card is oddly technique-sensitive. In terms of earnings rates and point value outside of the travel redemption options, there are certainly better options out there; however, if used correctly, Aventura reward points will get you more value per point than any other travel card out there. The annual fee is a little high for its sometimes-middling payoff, but the majority of users will still come out ahead in the end.
CIBC stands for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, one of the most powerful banks in Canada. Listed as CM on both the New York and Toronto stock exchanges, they were able to earn an estimated $17.8 billion in revenue in 2018, bringing their total assets to $597.1 billion. They currently rank as number 172 on the Forbes Global 2000 list and have over 40,000 employees working to serve their customers and further expand their business.
What We Think
The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card is a surprisingly unique travel card option. While there are certainly other cards out there that offer general reward value, for those who want to use their travel card to actually travel, this one can’t be beat. If you know that you want to use your reward points to take trips and can meet the high requirements this card demands, it’s probably one of your best bets.