The best part of using any credit card is the rewards you’ll earn by doing so, so you’ll want to choose the rewards system you’re using very carefully. The Aventura points system is a well-rounded choice that makes it easy to earn points and gives you plenty of choice when it comes to how you redeem them. Even better, you can participate whether you’d prefer a simple card or a luxury option, so consumers of all walks of life can enjoy what this system has to offer.
Spending is Earning
The basic CIBC Aventura Visa’s reward rates are not all that impressive, but they are decent enough for the type of card that this is. You can score 1 point for each $1 you spend buying things at drug stores, grocery stores, and gas stations, but only 1 point per $2 spent when you buy any other things. As you can imagine, it will take some time to build up any large amount of points, but you will get there slowly but surely over the course of time. The types of purchases that make up the greater part of most people’s budgets are eligible for boosted rates, too, so you can at least count on getting the better rates most of the time.
The Gold card and the Visa Infinite card, on the other hand, allow you to save up your points a little more quickly. Using either one gets you 2 points for every $1 spent on travel expenses that you’ve bought through the CIBC Rewards Centre, 1.5 points for each $1 spent on gas, groceries, and things you buy at the drug store, and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. This isn’t a huge upgrade over the standard card in terms of what the bonus category spending gets you, since it’s only a 50% increase. The base rate on these cards, on the other hand, is double what it is on the other card, which is definitely a noteworthy upgrade.
Add in Some Benefits
As with most credit cards, these ones come with some benefits for you to enjoy. The basic Aventura card comes with auto rental collision and damage insurance and $100,000 of common carrier accident insurance. This isn’t much, but it’s actually more than you’ll get from most entry-level cards now that they often come with nothing at all. There are many occasions in which they might come in handy and it’s always better to have free extras than to not have them.
The upgraded cards add in much more, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance as well as the full set of Visa Infinite benefits, including exclusive access to certain dining and entertainment events and a complimentary concierge service to assist you in making your plans when you travel. On top of that, you’ll also get a few other assorted goodies such as a Nexus application fee rebate ($50 in value) that renews every 4 years, a Priority Pass membership, and 4 free lounge passes each year. This is a great way to add a little more fun and style to your travels without necessarily having to pay much more to do so.
Extra Points Just For Signing Up
When you’re thinking about getting any credit card, there are also welcome bonuses to consider. If you sign up right now, you could get a welcome bonus of up to 7,500 Aventura points on the basic card – more than many people will earn by actually using the card over an entire year. You don’t want to pass up a big bonus like that if you can help it, so be sure to meet all the requirements that are asked of you at this time. Some of them involve spending (at least $500 in your first 4 months), but many are related to signing up for things like paperless billing and a CIBC chequing account, so it’s a little more involved than just using your card as you normally might. Either of the two other high-tier cards, on the other hand, come with 20,000 Aventura points and a $120 travel credit for new customers. The Aventura points can be used on anything you want, but the travel credit is limited to use on travel expenses – for that reason, it usually makes more sense to use them both together for a significant discount on a particular trip.
Either of these bonuses could go along way toward getting you some hefty rewards, so even if they’re only a one-time deal, they deserve to be part of the equation when you’re considering getting any of these cards. After all, you won’t be able to take advantage of every welcome bonus out there, so it’s only fair that you pay more attention to the cards that are giving you a better deal. Starting out with so much currency at your disposal will allow you to try out the points system right away instead of having to wait a while to find out if you really like it or not.
What Can Aventura Points Get You?
Aventura points are much like most credit card reward points in that they are a multi-purpose currency that you can only use on the items specified in the provider’s reward catalogue. Fortunately, CIBC takes care to make sure that their customers always have a wide range of options to choose from when they want to redeem their points. It’s in their best interest to make your ability to use your points as flexible as possible – after all, the more the points behave like cash money, the more appealing they will be to many people who wouldn’t usually go after a rewards card over a cash back one.
As you’d expect, you’ll have all of the usual options available to you under this system, including merchandise from different product categories, gift cards, donations, tickets to events, and more. These are things you can get with almost any rewards system, though. Another option that makes the Aventura points system stand out a little more is the option to redeem for cash. This practice isn’t unheard of, but it’s less common than the rest and more sought-after due to the flexibility it gives you with your rewards. To do this, you simply have to buy something with your Aventura credit card, then log in online or on the CIBC banking app to find the purchase in your history that you want the points to apply to. You can pay off the whole amount in points or just a portion, if you don’t have enough to cover the whole thing. This is a roundabout way of getting cash out of this program, to be sure, but ultimately it will work in nearly the same way as getting the money sent straight to your bank account.
The obvious intended use for these points, though, is travel expenses. You can potentially use your points to cover your entire travel bill including extra fees and taxes, but there’s a catch – each flight for which you redeem points has a certain maximum value attached to it which cannot be exceeded no matter what the final cost ends up being. This means that if you book a flight for $500 when the redemption option you funnelled your points into stipulated a maximum of $400 total, that flight will not be covered in full. There will still be a $100 balance remaining at the end that you are responsible for paying yourself, out of your own pocket. If you want to keep your flights truly free, you’ll need to pay attention to what you’re allowed to spend and make sure that your total bill does not surpass it by much. On the other hand, if you don’t mind paying a little extra for a comfortable experience, this set-up gives you the option of adding additional features to your flights that were intended to be paid for by points (such as an extra checked bag). You may not want to do this most of the time, but if an occasion ever arises when you need to, you’ll be happy to at least have the option to modify the order a bit.
Look To the Auction Block For Even Better Deals
One somewhat offbeat option that you have when you choose Aventura rewards is the auction system available on CIBC’s website. Through this portal, you can use your accumulated rewards to bid on all sorts of prizes, from vacation packages to concert tickets and beyond. Each auction only starts at a specific time and closes a few days later, so it’s a limited offer that you have to act on immediately to have any hope of winning.
There are different prizes available every week or so and the options are always very different from what they were before, so no matter what kind of prize you’re hoping to see, there’s a good chance that it will be featured eventually. This means that if you really want to hold out for a good deal on the thing you’re redeeming for, you might be in for a long wait. You should also make sure to remember that there is no guarantee that you will end up paying a low price in points anyway – it all depends on how the auction goes, how many people are interested in the prize in question, and how many points they had available to bid on it. It’ll take a bit of work to monitor the changes going on over time, but it might be worth it if it means you can get something you really want with fewer points than you would usually pay for it.
Even More Points Are On Offer Through Promotions
Having so many choices for how to use your points is exciting all on its own, but on top of that, the Aventura system often uses additional promotions to get users actively participating in their program. These offers can be tied to partnered travel companies or specific retailers depending on what they are. At the time of writing this, there are several of these promotions active, including:
- Earn 3X the points with Air Transat – You’ll get triple the number of Aventura points you would usually get if you purchase a flight to Europe on an Air Transat line by September 30th, 2019.
- A special 14-night tour of Chile and Peru – This is a premium travel package available for a limited time at a promotional rate. You must book your trip by August 31st, 2019, and you’ll actually set out on your travels on April 20th, 2020.
- Kids stay and eat free this summer with Transat – This offer waives the costs of accommodation and food at Transat resort locations for kids under the age of 12 who are travelling with an adult up until the end of August 2019.
- Get 2X the Aventura Points When Shopping on Apple.ca – This promotion doubles the number of points you get on any purchase made on Apple’s Canadian website. As of this moment, it has no defined end date, so you can take advantage of this offer whenever you like.
All of these promotions are exciting in that they can potentially get you a chance to acquire a deal that you couldn’t get any other way. Taking advantage of these offers allows you to stretch your resources further and in many cases allows you to get more value out of a trip for the same amount of points and/or cash. You may not be interested in any of the ones that are available to you right now, but if you wait a little while, you’ll see a whole new round of promotions circulated in for you to check out instead. There’s bound to be one that fits your desires eventually, and when there is, that might be the perfect time to book that dream vacation you’ve been thinking about.
Do You Want To Be Part of the Aventura Points System?
There is no doubt that CIBC’s Aventura system is more than adequate for almost anyone’s needs. Aventura points are fairly easy to earn and can be applied to almost any kind of purchase you want. You even get several opportunities to stretch your points further with things like promotions and auctions. While some might still prefer to stick to cash back rewards purely for the simplicity of it, anyone who is interested in at least trying out a rewards system should give this one a look. It’s one of the better ones out there in terms of the range of things it will let you do.
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