This is the review in full as it appears on the main Rewards Canada site.
CIBC has become the second major bank in Canada to issue both Visa and MasterCard cards with the launch of their CIBC Aventura World MasterCard. Much like its Aventura Visa equivalent, the Aventura World MasterCard looks to attract customers who want the ability to redeem points for flights without blackout dates and have the option to convert those points to Aeroplan Miles. Where this card differs from its Visa equivalent is on the benefits side, the World MasterCard option provides more in terms of the benefits included then the Visa Infinite branding
Falling into our Hybrid Credit Card category the CIBC Aventura World MasterCard becomes the best travel rewards card offered by CIBC. The card offers the same earning ratio as all the CIBC Infinite Visas (Aerogold & Aventura) along with the same sign up bonuses. Where this card stands out against CIBC’s Visa cards is in the benefits it provides. The card has a set reward chart for flights allowing for up to 4% return and has extra insurance coverage that the Aerogold or Aventura Infinite Visas do not have.
The CIBC Aventura World MasterCard comes with an industry standard $120 primary card annual fee. The card offers a decent 15,000 point welcome bonus which can get the cardholder a free short haul flight. Supplementary cards are $50 each which is on par with most of the high end cards although the emerging trend from this card’s competitors has been to offer these for free. The interest rate on the card is 19.99% which is in the middle of the pack for these type of cards (most high end cards range from 18% to 21%).
The CIBC Aventura World MasterCard earns 1 Aventura Point for every dollar spent on the card for purchases with an increased earning of 1.5 points at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores.(on your first $80,000 in total annual account spending) It also offers double points for travel purchased with the CIBC Aventura Rewards Centre and bonuses at participating CIBC Bonus Rewards restaurants, resorts and golf courses, spas and retailers across Canada. This earning ratio on the card is the same as the other CIBC Cards and when compared with the rest of the industry for high end travel cards like these it is average. The card’s 15,000 point sign up bonus is equivalent to the other CIBC Visa’s and is similar to most of its competition.
On the redemption side, the points earned with the CIBC Aventura World MasterCard can be redeemed for any flights via the CIBC Aventura Rewards Centre. The World MasterCard has a set reward chart for flights with a limited amount at the lowest level and more at the higher levels. If you are lucky enough to get a $400 short haul ticket at the 10,000 point level, congratulations you have received the maximum return on this card of 4%. The return diminishes as the tickets go up in price and availability becomes tighter, see the following:
– Canada and U.S. (Short Haul) 10,000 – 25,000 points (Max. $400 ticket value)
– Canada and U.S. (Long Haul) 20,000 – 40,000 points (Max. $650 ticket value)
– Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Central America, Caribbean 40,000 – 60,000 points (Max. $1,000 ticket value)
– Europe 50,000 – 70,000 points (Max. $1,200 ticket value)
– Rest of the World 75,000 – 125,000 points (Max. $2,000 ticket value)
Tickets at the lowest point redemption levels are limited and are not available for certain times, flights or destinations. The maximum ticket price is before taxes, fees and other surcharges. These must be paid by the cardholder at the time of booking with an Aventura card or with Aventura points at a rate of 100 points to $1. At the time of booking, you can also purchase up to 20% of the required points at $0.03 each to reach a specific redemption level is so desired.
The card also allows members to convert their Aventura points to Aeroplan Miles in 10,000 point increments at a ratio of 1 to 1.
Features and Benefits
The CIBC Aventura World MasterCard features the best insurance and benefits package out of all the CIBC Travel Cards and is comparable to some of the other top cards from other issuers. The card features your standard travel accident, baggage and car rental insurance that are found on almost all fee based rewards cards but it also includes some that are only found on a few select cards. These include, Trip cancellation which is only offered as a standard feature on a half dozen other travel rewards cards and Travel Medical insurance which only comes standard on about 50% of the cards in the market. In comparison to the Visa cards issued by CIBC this new MasterCard heavily outweighs them in this category not only because of the trip cancellation insurance but also by the fact it has purchase protection and extended warranty insurance.
What is good about this card
This card can relatively hold its own in the premium credit card market with its reward and benefits offering. The ability to book travel via CIBC’s travel agency or convert the Aventura points to Aeroplan miles definitely helps this card out. The increase in insurance and benefits over CIBC’s other cards makes this the best CIBC travel rewards card on the market. The potential to get high rate of return of up to 4% can make this card a really good value but one has to make sure they try to maximize their reward to see this.
What is not so good about this card
Most of what is not so good with this card is the redemption category. The emerging trend in the industry has been to let the cardholder book travel how they want and with whom they want and then redeeming points against the charge. Unfortunately, this card makes the cardholder book via the CIBC Aventura Reward center and while it is a full service travel agency, they may not be able to find the same deals you could online. Another redemption issue are the restrictions placed on the flight rewards, these are text book frequent flyer program rules with restrictions on the lowest redemption rates and the need to pay for the fees and taxes over and above the redemption rate.
The CIBC Aventura World MasterCard may not be the best travel rewards credit card in the Canadian market when compared to other Hybrid or even other travel card categories but it definitely does take the top spot from CIBC’s credit card offerings for travel rewards. If I banked at CIBC and was loyal to them I would choose this card as it offers the flexibility of booking flights on almost any airline or converting the points to Aeroplan. Overall the card may not impact the travel rewards industry tremendously in Canada, but does allow for a good card option for those who want to stick with CIBC and have all the benefits that many competitors have been offering to their cardholders.
This card will be included in our next Canada’s Top Travel Rewards Card feature which will be out this summer! Where will it end up? You will just have to wait and see.
We would like to hear your thoughts on the new CIBC Aventura World MasterCard by commenting below.