If you’re a CIBC client, you’ll want to become familiar with the Aventura rewards program where you can earn points on every $1 you spend which can be redeemed for flights, cruises, vacation packages or general merchandise. If you want a travel rewards credit card that lets you choose from every airline, every flight, every seat, and has points that don’t expire, keep reading.
How to Earn CIBC Aventura Points
CIBC offers three credit cards that let you earn Aventura rewards points with the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card offering you the highest earn potential. You’ll earn 1.5 Aventura points per $1 spent on gas, groceries and drug store purchases, 2 points per $1 spent on travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre, and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. There is a $120 annual fee, but the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite comes with a 15,000-point sign-up bonus and a comprehensive travel insurance package.
How to Redeem CIBC Aventura Points
To redeem your CIBC Aventura points for travel, login to your CIBC rewards account and go to the travel section. You can search for flights by entering your departing airport, arrival airport and travel dates. Because you’re not restricted to any airlines, or specific flights or seats, you’ll find a number of options to choose from. Flights will have a required point amount and then additional taxes that have to be paid on top of the required points.
CIBC Aventura uses five flight zones that have fixed points requirements. For example, “Long-haul: Canada/United States” requires 25,000 – 35,000 points. But CIBC also institutes a maximum ticket price for each fixed point level. For a Long-haul Canada/United States flight, 35,000 points can only cover up to $800. If a flight costs $900, the remaining $100 would cost an additional 10,000 points (charged at a rate of $1 = 100 points).
To redeem points for a flight, you need to have at least 80% of the required points. If you only have 80-99% of the required points, you can actually purchase additional points at a rate of $0.03/point to make up the difference. Unlike many other travel rewards programs, you can use your Aventura points to pay for your flight taxes and fuel surcharges.
The Value of CIBC Aventura Points
How much is 1 CIBC Aventura point worth? Our research revealed that, on average, 1 Aventura point is worth $0.0116. However, there is a large discrepancy in the value of your points when redeeming for flights in different regions. For example, on average, you receive $0.0092/point when redeeming for a flight from Toronto to Montreal, compared to $0.0135/point for a flight from Toronto to Vancouver. So the value you receive will truly depend on what you redeem your points for.
Alternative travel rewards card
Although the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite isn’t bad, the Scotiabank Gold American Express card is often ranked as one of the best travel credit cards on the market. With this card, you’ll earn 4 Scotia Rewards points for every $1 spent on gas, groceries, entertainment, and restaurants — that’s 4% back in rewards — and one point per dollar on all other purchases. Scotia Rewards can be redeemed for travel (flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages), gift cards, and merchandise from retailers such as Apple and Best Buy.
This card’s travel rewards program is truly flexible: points can be used to cover all taxes, fees, and surcharges. There are no blackout dates, and you can travel on any carrier. You can book your trip yourself or use Scotia’s full-service travel agency, and have the option of paying for your trip with points upfront or charging the cost to your card and redeeming points to cover it later. The card includes access to VIP airport lounges worldwide with a Priority Pass membership (renewed annually), complimentary concierge services, extensive travel insurance, and access to American Express Invites.