CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card Review

Last Updated on September 16, 2022
First posted: September 16, 2022

Rewards Canada's review of CIBC's flagship travel rewards credit card!



CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card

A veteran in Canada's credit market, the CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card is the bank's flagship travel rewards credit card. The card, which has been in the market for quite a long time has actually never had a complete review here on Rewards Canada! Back in the day we reviewed the Aventura Mastercard which has been long gone now. So here it is, our review of the mainstay card from CIBC.

The review of the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card is broken down into the following sections:

Overview

The CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card is a relatively strong travel rewards credit card. Here at Rewards Canada we rank it as the fourth best Travel Points Card with an annual fee and consider the 13th best card overall in Canada. It has decent accelerated point earning categories for everyday spend and if you combine those strategically with the Aventura Airline Rewards Chart you can extract some good value out of this card. It also has a great airport lounge access benefit and other notable features that keep this card in the top 10% of all rewards cards in Canada.

Costs & Sign up Features

The CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card has an annual fee of $139 which is now considered the standard for premium cards like this one. Many competing cards also charge $139 annually however others in this same category range from $120 to $150. Additional or supplementary cards are $50 annually per card.

The standard welcome bonus on the card offers 20,000 Aventura Points however the card frequently has limited time increased welcome bonus offers.

Right now the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card has an increased welcome bonus offer of up to 40,000 Aventura points! The bonus is awarded as 20,000 points when you make your first purchase with the card and then you can earn 15,000 Aventura Points when you spend $1,000 or more each monthly statement during the first year. Finally, you'll receive 5,000 points on your card's first anniversary. On top of the bonus points their is a first year annual fee rebate for the primary cardholder and up to three authorized users.

The interest rate on the card is 20.99% and annual income requirements are $60,000 Personal or $100,000 Household.

Earning

The card earns Aventura Points as follows:

  • 2 Points per dollar spent on travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre†
  • 2 Points per dollar spent on purchases made on Apple.ca (select products are excluded)
  • 1.5 Points per dollar spent at eligible gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores†
  • 1 Point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases

Point Valuation Chart

Spending Category Points earned per dollar spent Rate of return when booking via the Aventura Airline Rewards Chart Rate of return when booking any travel via CIBC Rewards Rate of return Cash Back
CIBC Travel & Apple.ca Purchases 2 Up to 4.58% 2% 1.25%
Gas, Grocery, Drug Store 1.5 Up to 3.44% 1.5% 0.938%
All other spending 1 Up to 2.29% 1% 0.625%

Redeeming

The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card participates in the CIBC Rewards program which provides numerous avenues of redemption. The most popular of all those options is the Aventura Airline Rewards chart. You can also redeem points for any travel you book via CIBC Rewards, you can redeem points for any purchase you make on the card, CIBC financial products, merchandise and gift cards.

We'll start off by looking at the Aventura Airline Rewards chart which is the most popular redemption feature for this card. In basic terms this chart is just like your traditional frequent flyer program award chart. You redeem a set number of points for a flight within a specific region or from one region to another. The only difference between this chart and traditional frequent flyer programs is that CIBC does have a maximum ticket price for each award level.

Here are the number of points required per category and the maximum ticket price for each round trip ticket:

CIBC Aventura Airline Reward Chart

CIBC has varying amounts per category and when CIBC launched this we discussed it with them and while there isn't a set number you can expect cheaper tickets in the category to be charged at the lower points value and more expensive tickets at the higher points value. Thus if you buy a $200 short haul ticket chances are you'll be redeeming 10,000 points for it and if the ticket is $400 you'll be redeeming 20,000 points for it. In no way would ever see a $400 ticket go for 10,000 points unless CIBC is running a special promotion.

As you can see from the chart you have a range of set points requirements for the various travel regions. For example you can redeem for a short haul flight with only 10,000 to 20,000 points. The maximum ticket value for that short haul flights is $400 before taxes and fees. How many points you'll need to redeem will depend on the base ticket cost and while there isn't a set number you can expect cheaper tickets in the category to be charged at the lower points value and more expensive tickets at the higher points value. Thus if you buy a $200 short haul ticket chances are you'll be redeeming 10,000 points for it and if the ticket is $400 you'll be redeeming 20,000 points for it. In no way would ever see a $400 ticket go for 10,000 points unless CIBC is running a special promotion.

For the fees and taxes portion you can chose to just charge it to your card (basically paying cash for it) or you can choose to redeem points at a rate of 100 points to $1 towards those fees.

If the ticket you are purchasing has a base value higher than the set maximum you can still use a combination of points or points and cash to buy the ticket. Let's take the short haul example, if the base ticket price is $430 before taxes and fees you can redeem the 20,000 points to cover $400 of the ticket and the additional $30 (plus all the taxes and fees) can be paid with cash or points at that 100 points to $1 ratio.

The next travel redemption option is being able to redeem points for any travel you book via CIBC Rewards. That is you don't have to use the above chart to book flights. You can simply go online or call up CIBC Rewards travel and book flights, hotels, car rentals and other travel and simply redeem towards that travel at a rate of 100 points to $1. This is a good option for flights that may be coming in super cheap where it wouldn't make sense to use the reward chart and of course for any non-air travel requirements.

After travel you have several other redemption options via CIBC Rewards. You can choose to pay your credit card with points (Basically a cash back option) which requires 4,000 points for a $25 statement credit. This option is available as Payment with Points or Shopping with Points. The latter can only be used towards pending transactions. You can also redeem points for CIBC Financial Products such as RRSP contributions, TFSA contributions or other financial options

You can also redeem points for merchandise via CIBC Rewards' merchandise catalog or you can redeem for over 100 different gift card options.

Features and Benefits

The card comes with a good amount of features and benefits for an Infinite Card. The primary benefit is excellent airport lounge access which provide annual passes. Along with that it has NEXUS benefit, a decent insurance package and standard Visa Infinite benefits. There are also partner benefits that are exclusive to CIBC which are outlined below.

Airport Lounge Access

The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card provides free membership in Visa Airport Companion (powered by DragonPass). The membership provides discounted access to over 1,200 lounges worldwide.

The card also provides four (4) complimentary visits per calendar year to any of the lounges in the program. This is a rare benefit as this card is only one of three non-Infinite Privilege cards to offer free lounge passes.

NEXUS Statement Credit

Pioneered by CIBC, the NEXUS Statement credit that we now see on more cards is another benefit you'll find on the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card. You can receive up to $50 CAD/USD in statement credits every four years when NEXUS application or renewal fees are charged to your card.

Visa Infinite benefits
  • Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection provides benefits like room upgrades, complimentary Wi-Fi and breakfast, late checkout, and so much more at over 900 Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection properties around the world.
  • Visa Infinite Dining Series - Each event includes multi-course meals, drink pairings and an interactive experience. You'll get to taste dishes from some of the country's top chefs and restaurants as they guide you through each course.
  • Wine country benefit from wineries across Ontario and British Columbia including complimentary tastings and tours. You can also get access to online offers like complimentary shipping and savings on wine purchases.
  • Get golf perks with Troon Rewards® through your Visa Infinite card and automatically receive Silver Status. You’ll save 10% on golf fees, merchandise, and lessons at over 150 courses around the world.
  • Access to private movie events and at-home offers as part of the Visa Infinite Screening Series. In the fall, get special perks at the Toronto International Film Festival®.
  • Visa Infinite card includes a Complimentary Concierge service that can offer help with anything like the perfect travel itinerary, restaurant recommendations, finding the perfect birthday gift, and more
Partner Benefits
Save on gas with CIBC and Journie Rewards

Link and use your CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card with Journie Rewards to automatically save up to 10 cents per litre† at participating Pioneer, Fas Gas, Ultramar and Chevron gas stations.†

More Rewards

To earn simply use your CIBC credit or debit card and More Rewards cards to earn 2x More Rewards points at Save-On Foods, Urban Fare and PriceSmart Foods.

Insurance

The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card comes with a very strong insurance package that includes the following:

  • Out of Province/Country Emergency Medical Insurance (15 days under age 65, 3 days for 65+)
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Flight Delay Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
  • Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
  • Hotel Burglary Insurance
  • $500,000 Travel Accident Insurance
  • Purchase Security Insurance
  • Extended Warranty Insurance
  • Mobile Device Insurance




What is good about this card

The card has a better earn to burn ratio than the its primary competitor, the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card. The higher earn rates seen on the CIBC card in combination with the Airline Rewards Chart make it better since you can achieve up to a 4.58% return in comparison to RBC's up to 2.92%.

The lounge access is one of the best things about the Aventura Visa Infinite Card. Unlike most of this card's direct competitors who only provide the annual membership, CIBC goes beyond to also include the four lounge passes annually. Those passes are worth US$128 alone.

The partner benefits with JOURNIE Rewards and More Rewards are a nice added bonus if you utilize those other reward programs.

What is not so good about this card

The amount you have to spend to be rewarded. While it may not be as much as RBC's Avion program there are still other cards out there that earn points faster (such as 5 or 6 points per dollar) which makes for less spend required to get the same level of travel or cash back rewards.

The limited flexibility of the Airline Rewards Chart is another potential drawback with this card. While you can virtually book any flight, you can lose value if the price goes over the maximum ticket price. You also only have the ability to book roundtrip flights - the closest competitor, the RBC Avion card again, has recently added one way flight options. Then you also have the issue of taxes and fees as you can only redeem points at a 100 to $1 ratio thus eroding value again when compared to the competition.

No option to go book travel yourself and redeem points against the charge without losing value. Technically speaking you can book any travel you like outside of CIBC Rewards but then you have to redeem with the Payment with Points ratio of 4,000 points to $25. That's a big reduction in the value of your points where there are competing cards that allow you to do this but do not reduce the value of your points.


Who should get this card

  • Consumers who bank at CIBC and want to keep all financial products with one bank (especially if your accounts give you a discount on your annual fee)
  • Consumers who like having multiple redemption options with their points
  • Consumers who want a Visa card that provides lounge access with annual passes without having to pay the fees associated with more expensive Visa Infinite Privilege Cards.

Conclusion

The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card is a very popular travel rewards credit card that many Canadians carry in their wallets. Since its last overhaul in 2018 it has held steadfast as a strong option in our very competitive credit card market. By having accelerated earn rates coupled with a somewhat variable reward chart redemption option the card provides potential returns to compete with most cards in the market. However you do have to keep in mind reward charts do provide less flexibility than the book travel with anyone and redeem against the charge option we see from many other cards. But then you the lounge access benefit with four free passes each year, so if you can manage the little bit less flexibility in the end you have a very well rounded travel rewards card in the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card thanks to the extras they provide!

Latest card details:


CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card

Annual Fee $139 Additional Cards (Up to 3): $50
Annual interest rate 20.99%† on purchases and 22.99%† on cash advances and 22.99% † on balance transfers
$60,000 personal or $100,000 household annual income †

Welcome Offer: Join and get over $1,250 in value including a first year annual fee rebate!†

Here's how You can get over $1,250 in value:
• Get a total of up to 40,000 Aventura Points (up to $850 in travel value†)
• 20,000 Aventura Points when you make your first purchase†
• 15,000 Aventura Points when you spend $1,000 or more each monthly statement during the first year†
• 5,000 Aventura Points as an additional anniversary bonus.†
• Get a one-time annual fee rebate ($139) for you (the primary cardholder) and up to three authorized users ($50 each): over $189 value.†
• Effective July 1, 2022: Elevate your airport experience with 4 complimentary visits at 1,200+ lounges globally through Visa Airport Companion Program: over $190 in value.†
• Plus, get a NEXUS◊ Application Fee rebate†: A $50 value†

• 2 Points for every $1 spent on travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre†
• 1.5 Points for every $1 spent at eligible gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores†
• 1 Point for every $1 spent on all other purchases†

Save on gas with CIBC and Journie Rewards
Link and use your CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card with Journie Rewards to automatically save up to 10 cents per litre† at participating Pioneer, Fas Gas, Ultramar and Chevron gas stations.†

Plus, enjoy extra valuable travel benefits
• Travel when it’s right for you – your Aventura Points don’t expire
• Redeem your Aventura Points for more than travel with our Shop With Points/Pay with Points features
• Travel local - Aventura Points can be redeemed for more than just flights – use your points for hotels and car rentals for a weekend getaway
• This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.

Apply Now

This is a digital-exclusive offer.† To be eligible for this offer, you must apply for a new eligible card using the “Learn More” link available on this webpage.†

†Conditions Apply


Other cards to consider if you are looking at this card:

American Express Cobalt® Card
American Express® Gold Rewards Card
Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®
National Bank of Canada World Elite Mastercard

RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card
Scotia Gold American Express Card
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card
TD First Class Travel® Visa Infinite* Card


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