CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Review

Hyder Owainati
by Hyder Owainati October 24, 2018 / No Comments

This blog post was updated on April 5, 2019

CIBC has beefed-up the benefits on one of its most popular travel credit cards – the Aventura Visa Infinite Card – rolling out new perks and a lucrative welcome offer that will help fast track your travel plans and seriously upgrade your airport experience.

Already one of the best travel credit cards in terms of flexibility – with points that can be redeemed for flights on any airline with no blackout dates or seat restrictions – the Aventura Visa Infinite now includes free memberships to Priority Pass airport lounges and the NEXUS program as well as mobile device insurance.

Despite changes to its benefits however, the card offers the same rewards earn rate. You’ll get 2 Aventura points for every dollar spent on travel (provided the purchase is made through the CIBC Aventura Rewards Centre), 1.5 points per dollar on gas, pharmacy and grocery purchases, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Read below for an in-depth review of the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card, its welcome bonus, and its benefits.

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite – At a glance

  • Annual fee: $120 (rebated for the first year)
  • Welcome offer: Get 20,000 Aventura bonus points
  • Earn 2 points per dollar on travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre, 1.5 points on gas, groceries and pharmacies, and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Free Priority Pass membership with 4 passess and full rebate on NEXUS
  • Emergency travel and mobile device insurance

A stacked welcome offer

CIBC is currently offering a 15,000 point welcome bonus to new Aventura account holders after their first purchase as well as an additional 5,000 points when at least $3,000 is spent on the card in the first four months. According to CIBC, these points can deliver up to as much as $400 in value.

New NEXUS and Priority Pass lounge perks

As of October 15, 2018, CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite cardholders (old and new alike) are entitled to two new travel perks that offer a serious upgrade to the airport experience.

First, CIBC is offering a full rebate on NEXUS membership applications. You’re likely familiar with the benefits of being a NEXUS member if you frequently travel south of the border; namely the ability to skip line ups at border crossings between the US and Canada. While the cost of being a NEXUS member normally amounts to $50 every five years, with the CIBC Aventura, you (the primary cardholder) receive a rebate on your initial NEXUS application and subsequent membership renewals every four years.

Second, you’ll get a complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge membership with four free passes per year. Priority Pass memberships, which run over $100 annually, offer access to over 1,200 international airport lounges that commonly feature perks such as free wi-fi, showers, comfortable stretch-out seating secluded from the rest of the airport, and more.

Premium travel insurance benefits

Similar to many of the best credit cards in Canada, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite features a roster of travel insurance benefits.

The card offers emergency travel medical insurance up to $5 million for 15 consecutive days for cardholders under the age of 65, trip cancellation and bag loss insurance, rental car coverage (collision and loss) up to $65,000, and more.

However, one insurance perk that separates the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite from most other travel credit cards is its mobile device coverage. A particularly useful benefit given the exponentially increasing cost of smartphones, CIBC’s mobile device insurance policy covers up to $1,000 on lost or accidentally damaged smartphones that were either partially or fully purchased through a CIBC Aventura Card from the smartphone maker or a wireless provider.

Redeeming Aventura Points

In terms of how the CIBC Aventura program works for points redemptions, cardholders must use the online CIBC Rewards Centre or contact an Aventura Travel Assistant over the phone at 1 888 232-5656. The latter option offers a full-fledged travel agency experience at no extra cost, with access to assistants who can help book every step of your journey from flights to car rentals and hotel stays.

As highlighted at the beginning of this review, points are not subject to airline, date or seat restrictions. Plus, the points you earn on your Aventura card can also be used to cover the cost of flight taxes and fees, and never expire.

Unfortunately, however, points cannot be applied to credit card statements retroactively. The value of Aventura points are also not consistent and vary depending on where you choose to fly, which means you may get a lower value out of your points for flying to some destinations than others.

Aside from travel rewards, cardholders also have the freedom to redeem their Aventura points for gift cards and merchandise. Although, like most other loyalty programs, you’ll get a lower value from your points when redeeming them for non-travel related purchases.

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite – Quick Review

The Pros

  • Aventura points can be redeemed for travel on hundreds of airlines (no blackout dates or seat restrictions)
  • New cardholders can pocket up to 20,000 bonus points
  • Cardholders will get a free Priority Pass airport lounge membership with four complimentary passes per year (allows for access to over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide)
  • Full rebate on NEXUS membership applications and renewals
  • Premium travel and rental car collision/theft insurance
  • $1,000 in mobile device insurance

The Cons

  • Aventura points must be redeemed on the CIBC rewards website
  • Aventura point values are not consistent and fluctuate based on your flight destination – so, working out the exact dollar value of your points isn’t straightforward. At Ratehub, we’ve calculated that the overall average value of 1 Aventura point is $0.0116.
  • There’s no ability to transfer Aventura points to other loyalty programs
  • High redemption minimum (to redeem points for a flight, you need to have at least 80% of the required points)

The bottom line

Overall, the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite’s new premium features in combination with its stacked welcome bonus has upped the ante when it comes to travel credit cards in Canada. If you’re on the hunt for a well-rounded travel card chock full of benefits, this card should be high on your consideration list.