Aventura points are the reward system used by CIBC’s Aventura line of credit cards, and although they may not be as well-known as Air Miles or Aeroplan points, they still have a lot to offer anyone who uses them. You have several options for cards with which to get them, they can be used in many different ways, and they never force you to worry about time restrictions. You could do much worse, particularly if you’re planning on using the points for travel. Learn more about these points and why you might want to start collecting them in the article below.
Earn Rewards at a Generous Pace
Getting some Aventura points for you to use is as simple as getting one of the three main credit cards that CIBC has tied to this points system: the CIBC Aventura Visa, the CIBC Aventura Gold Visa, and the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite. The first is free and extremely easy to get, and the second is still fairly accessible but will cost you $120 in fees. The last is much harder to qualify for and will also cost you $120, but it comes with a few extras that make it a more appealing option if you can get it.
These cards incentivize regular spending that most people do as a matter of necessity, giving you bonus points for buying gas, groceries, and items from the drug store. You can get 1 point for every dollar spent on items in any of these categories with the entry-level card and 1.5 points for each dollar with the Gold and Visa Infinite cards. All three give you extra points for spending on travel through the CIBC Reward Centre, too; 1 point per dollar with the basic Aventura Visa and 2 points per dollar with the other two higher-level cards. The basic rates for general purchases are lower, but you’ll still be earning points no matter what you buy. They’ll be coming in at a rate of 1 point for every 2 dollars spent with the entry-level card and 1 point for every dollar spent on the upgraded cards.
That’s not the only way to earn points with these cards, either. They also are all offering welcome bonuses that could net you thousands of points right from the start. Some require you to spend a certain amount in your first few months in order to qualify, and even those shouldn’t be hard to get if you make sure to use your card for all of your big expenses and then pay it back immediately after. Other offers, though, only require to perform a specific set of actions, such as giving CIBC your email address or signing up for paperless billing. All of this is easy enough and will grant you an immediate Aventura points boost that is quite generous compared to what you will probably be receiving under normal circumstances, so it’s worth your while to take advantage of these offers as much as you can.
Each Card Comes With Different Benefits, Too
Any credit card you get will ideally have some benefits that you can access just for having it, and thankfully, the Aventura cards definitely won’t disappoint you. The basic Aventura Visa comes with rental car collision and loss damage insurance, as well as some Common Carrier Accident insurance and the extended warranties and purchase protection you expect from most cards. That small package is impressive enough on its own for a basic card, but it can get even better with upgrades. By choosing either of the two upper-tier options, you can add a comprehensive travel insurance package that covers hotel burglaries, baggage and flight delay insurance, mobile device coverage and even emergency travel medical insurance to that list to cover pretty much all your bases when you’re out on your travels. If you go for the harder-to-get World Elite version, you can also get trip cancellation and interruption insurance as well as a whole host of extras as part of the Visa Infinite benefits program. There’s not much more than you could possibly want, and that set will serve you particularly well when you’re travelling. Everything from your travel plans to your personal devices to your own health will be covered.
Cross-Border Shoppers Also Have an Aventura Option
If you mostly use your credit card while travelling in the US or to buy things online in USD, there is one more card option that you should know about. The CIBC U.S. Dollar Aventura Gold Visa card is a credit card in the Aventura line that allows you to pay for purchases directly in US currency. It also uses the Aventura points system; you’ll get 1 point per dollar for travel purchases made through the CIBC Reward Centre and 1 point for every $2 you spend in any other conditions. Keep in mind that these dollar amounts refer to USD, so you’re actually paying more than what it would seem at first to get these points. This makes this particular card a bleak prospect in terms of its ability to earn you points on its own. Arguably, though, that opportunity is just a side bonus that comes second to the real purpose of the card – getting around foreign transaction fees. If you used a normal Canadian credit card to buy things priced in USD, you’d be charged an extra fee on top of the currency conversion fee just for using an alternate currency. This card switches the base currency so that you’re operating in USD from the start, thereby eliminating that fee.
That currency flexibility is great, but don’t let that high point distract from some of this card’s weaker aspects. As we said previously, this card won’t do much to help you earn Aventura points on its own, so don’t get it with the intention of using it just for that. It also doesn’t come with any benefits other than purchase protection, which you can get with any card. Possibly the worst offense of all, though, is that this card does charge an annual fee whether or not it is used within that calendar year. This means that if you don’t get at least $35 USD of value out of it each year, you’re just paying money for the privilege of saying you have it. The best way to get the most out of what this card brings to the table is to combine it with another good all-purpose credit card (preferably one that uses the Aventura points system) and make sure that you really do buy enough in USD to get your money’s worth. If you can do that, this card will be of some use to you.
What Can You Do With Aventura Points?
It’s easy enough to get Aventura points, but that won’t do you any good unless you can use them to get things that matter to you. This particular points system is great for that because you don’t have just one option for redeeming them – the possibilities are nearly limitless. Depending on your tastes you can do any of the following with your points:
- Redeem them for travel purchases, including flight, cruises, vacation packages, and other things.
- Spend them on merchandise or gift cards from the rewards catalogue.
- Turn them into cash back credits on your next credit card statement.
- Use them to fund a donation to a charity.
Because cash back and standard rewards are available on so many other cards that are not as heavily geared toward travel, travel rewards are one of the more popular things that people will purchase with their Aventura points. This type of reward also synchronizes well with the benefits that the higher-tier cards offer. However, if travelling really isn’t your thing or you go through a period in your life that makes it difficult to get out and about, you’re not locked into using your points this way. There are three other places for you to spend your points, and the rewards catalogue alone gets you access to all kinds of items and credits that you might get a lot of use out of. Having those options in your back pocket just in case you need them is a nice touch that the Aventura points system can count as part of its many advantages.
Take Value Into Account
Aventura points are great regardless of what you use them on, but it’s definitely possible to stretch them to go even further if you’re careful about it. As you can see in the handy table available on CIBC’s website, each possible destination you might be going to will cost a certain number of points, and you can predict roughly what that will be even if there is some flexibility from case to case. This means that certain destinations will always be the better choice for people intent on getting the most out of their Aventura points. Short-haul flights within North America are almost always your best bet for value while going further out lessens that value. That means that this is a rewards system best used by people who don’t mind travelling fairly close to home or who do their travelling for work or meeting up with family in other provinces or the US. You can still use Aventura points to vacation (we’ll actually have more to say about that below), but you’ll have to accept that this is sub-optimal use of your points.
How Do People Like the Aventura Credit Cards?
Before you try out any new financial product, it’s never a bad idea to see what people think about it in general. The Aventura line of credit cards has many user reviews available on the internet for these kinds of instructive purposes. The basic CIBC Aventura Visa is well-liked for being the most simply constructed card in this lineup, indicating that we’re starting with a relatively good base and only building up from there as we go to higher-tier card options. Many prefer the simplicity of the basic card, though, and the fact that it is free to own only makes it more appealing. This would seem to suggest that unless you have very specific needs or can qualify for the highest-tier option here, you might actually prefer to stick to the basic card. Of course, you know best when it comes to your preferences and needs, so don’t pay too much attention to these opinions if they clash with what you want.
As far as the Aventura points themselves go, they are also generally well-received. Their flexibility is often praised and the straightforward way in which the points costs are broken down for flights helps many people understand what type of vacation is a realistic goal to shoot for if they want to pay only or primarily in points. The fact that the points can also be used to pay for almost any type of flight at any time (no blackout dates to get in the way) and never expire only make them an even better prospect. While many states that they prefer other credit card rewards programs such as Aeroplan, the Aventura system has a fairly good reputation that bodes well for people who are interested in the cards that use it. If you were looking for potential warning signs here, you won’t find any.
Do You Want An Aventura Card In Your Wallet?
CIBC’s Aventura cards are well-rounded and versatile enough to be useful to nearly any consumer, but they do have their niches where they excel more than others. Being truly happy with one requires you to understand this and choose it based on that fact. If you choose to apply for one, you should be primarily interested in using the points for travel and ready to possibly pay for a small remaining balance when you use your points to buy flights. Anyone who keeps that in mind should be happy with what any of these cards and the Aventura points system itself will do for them.