Travelling is as expensive as it is enjoyable, so travelling for less is always a welcome thing. Even the humblest of credit card rewards can help to defray the costs immensely and make trips a more realistic option during any time you have off from work. You can earn reward points to put toward your vacations (or almost anything else that catches your fancy) with the CIBC Aventura Visa.
Earning Rewards Is a Breeze
Each thing you charge to your CIBC Aventura Visa earns you points, but you’ll earn at different rates depending on what you bought. You could get 1 point for each $1 you spend on groceries, gas, and drug store purchases, as well as on travel expenses purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre and 1 point for every $2 otherwise. You can also get up to 7,500 Aventura points to start out with through the welcome bonus that is currently in place, which will get you off to a nice start in your rewards but should not be relied upon; it’s a one-time offer that will bring up your total points much more quickly than your usual earning rate would be, so it’s important to set that aside entirely when you’re trying to project what you could earn from day to day.
As with most rewards systems like this, you’ll need several thousand points before you can redeem your balance for anything of note, so you may find it slightly tedious waiting for your points to pile up. That’s the case with most rewards cards that aren’t targeted at extremely high spenders, though; it’s just another thing that you have to accept when you choose to use this type of card. If things are going too slowly for your taste, you can always look at upgrading your card to the Gold Visa or Visa Infinite versions, both of which net you a bit more in points (2 points per $1 on travel purchases, 1.5 reward points per $1 on groceries, gas and drug store purchases, 1 point per $1 otherwise).
Do Even Better With Benefits
On top of the rewards, this card also comes with auto rental collision and damage insurance and $100,000 of common carrier accident insurance in case of injury or death on mass transit vehicles. These two inclusions come as a bonus alongside the usual extended warranty offers and purchase protection. All together, that makes up one of the better sets of benefits you’ll find on a free credit card these days. Many now come with nothing at all, and given that the car rental insurance in particular has the potential to come in handy in a tight spot at some point, this is a significant improvement over that.
If you were interested in potentially upgrading anyway, though, you should know that both the Gold Visa and Visa Infinite versions of this card come with markedly better benefits on top of their accelerated point accumulation rates. The many types of travel insurance they offer might be nice to have if you plan on spending a lot of time away from home, so if that’s the case for you, that’s something to think about.
Travel the World For Less
Once you have enough points built up, you can start to look at redeeming them for rewards. The primary purpose of the Aventura system is travel rewards, so this is where you will generally find the best deals. You can use your points to book flights, accommodation, vacation packages and more, and you can complete your transaction entirely with points or cover just some of your balance with them as it suits you. There are no blackout dates and your points never expire, but redemptions do come with a maximum price; exceed that number on your ticket purchase and you will be responsible for the rest of the bill.
Make no mistake – getting any kind of a significant discount on a costly trip will take a lot of points, and those points will take a lot of time to build up. However, that’s still better than what you would get if you carried on spending as usual without diverting the money through this card first. At some point, you will have accumulated enough to make a dent in one of your travel bills, and that day will feel amazing when it finally comes.
Non-Travelers Can Have Fun Too
Aventura points might be mostly intended for use as travel points, but they aren’t restricted to that purpose. In fact, there’s just about no limit to what you can do with these points if you’re not interested in taking trips with them. You can use them to score useful merchandise like a new set of kitchenware or a Blu-Ray player, funnel them into gift cards that you can give away or use at a later time, put them towards a charitable donation, or even turn them into cash equivalents by applying them to either your credit card balance or any of your CIBC financial product accounts. Even mortgages are included in the latter offer, so it’s very easy to put all your rewards into necessities if that’s what you really want to do. No matter what it is you really enjoy in life, you can put your rewards toward that thing with barely any trouble at all. You will not get as good a per-point value on these other rewards as you would if you had chosen to stick with travel options, but in cases where trips just aren’t a good option at the moment, it’s nice to have another set of things that you can use your points on if you like.
Does Choosing the CIBC Aventura Visa Make Sense For You?
The CIBC Aventura Visa is without a doubt a crowd-pleaser card even if its reward rates aren’t as high as you might like. Though a slight boost in that regard would not be unwelcome, the existing rates are fair and the benefits package is quite good for a card at this level. Best of all, the points themselves are very versatile and will never expire, so you can keep piling them up as long as you want. Those who can afford it will almost certainly want to choose one of the two premium versions instead, but even those who stick with this basic card will have little to complain about.