The main difference between Aventura and Aeroplan is that Aventura is a travel rewards program owned by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and requires applying for a credit card to participate, while Aeroplan is Air Canada’s loyalty program, which allows individuals to participate through direct membership or affiliated credit cards.
Aventura and Aeroplan are top-rated frequent flyer options perfect for Canadians who love travelling.
Both offer flexible rewards and a wide range of perks to help make your trips affordable and convenient.
Are you a CIBC customer? If so, you’re in luck, as the bank offers several types of credit cards that can help you quickly rack up Aventura and Aeroplan points.
But which loyalty program should you choose with your CIBC credit card?
In this article, we’ll explore what Aventura and Aeroplan offer and review the pros and cons of each.
That way, you can confidently pick the travel rewards program that best matches your needs.
- Great redemption flexibility, including travel-related purchases
- Zero-annual fee Aventura credit card available for students
- Complimentary airport lounge access (up to four free passes annually)
- Ability to redeem points for flight surcharges and taxes
- Points never expire
- NEXUS application fee rebate (every four years)
- Fuel savings of up to 10 cents per litre at select gas stations
- No partner brands are available to help you earn points faster
- You can only earn points with a CIBC credit card
- Lacks some helpful travel perks, such as priority boarding and free first baggage check
- Points are not transferable to other loyalty programs
- High minimum redemption for flights (must have 80% of the required points)
- Ability to pool Aeroplan points with your family and friends (up to eight people under one sharing plan)
- Extensive range of flight options both domestic and international
- Ability to redeem points for flight perks like Wi-Fi, checked bags, and seat upgrades.
- Wide range of retail partners to help you earn bonus points
- Ability to pay for rewards using a combination of cash and points
- Zero-annual fee Aeroplan credit card available for students
- Complimentary airport lounge access (four to six free passes annually)
- Comprehensive travel insurance available for the top-tier Aeroplan credit cards
- Fewer benefits if you don’t typically books flights with Air Canada
- Points expire after 18 months of inactivity
- There is a $39 booking fee when flying with Star Alliance carriers
- High redemption rates on long-distance flights
- Offers less value for those who travel less and primarily want deals on retail spending
What is Aventura?
Aventura is a travel rewards program owned by CIBC.
To participate in the program, you must sign up for one or more Aventura-branded credit cards, which only CIBC offers.
As an Aventura cardholder, you collect points with each purchase you charge to your card.
The amount you earn varies based on the credit card you use and the type of purchase you make – some are more generous than others.
You can apply your Aventura points to a wide range of different rewards.
The most popular redemption options are flights, both domestic and international.
You can fly with any airline, and there are no seat restrictions or blackout periods.
Of course, airfare isn’t the only travel expense your points cover.
You can also apply them to car rentals, accommodation, cruises, train tickets, tours, etc.
Like most travel loyalty programs, you don’t have to use your points exclusively for travel.
Other redemption choices include gift cards, merchandise, statement credits, and charitable donations.
You can also apply them toward CIBC financial products, such as your TFSA, RRSP, or mortgage.
CIBC makes it super convenient to shop with your points or use them to pay down your credit card balance.
In addition to the reward program, Aventura credit cards come with some excellent perks.
Depending on which card you apply for, these include:
- Airport lounge access – four to six free visits per year at over 1,200 lounges worldwide
- Aventura Travel Assistance Service – personalized trip planning and travel booking at no extra charge
- Purchase protection insurance for up to 90 days
- Visa Infinite benefits – hotel upgrades, concierge service, lavish dining events, and more
- NEXUS application fee rebate (one every four years)
- Travel insurance – flight delays, hotel burglaries, emergency medical services, car rentals, etc.
CIBC offers a U.S. dollar Aventura credit card that allows you to make purchase in U.S. currency, which allows you to avoid conversion fees.
The Aventura loyalty program employs a spending category model for its earn rates.
This means the number of points you can expect to collect will depend mainly on the types of goods and services you charge to your card.
In addition, your specific Aventura credit card will dictate how quickly you can amass points.
Each comes with a different set of earning rates.
Generally, you can earn 1 point for every $1 you spend using your credit card – this is the base rate that applies to most purchases.
Bonus earn rates apply to groceries, drug store items, transportation, dining, and entertainment.
Purchases in these categories will typically reward you with 1.5 to 2 points for each dollar spent.
The most lucrative earn rates are reserved for travel-related purchases, which will net you 2 to 3 points for every dollar you spend.
The value of each Aventura point varies as each reward category (flights, merchandise, gift cards, etc.) has a different redemption rate.
On average, each point is equivalent to one cent in Canadian dollars.
As with other travel rewards programs, your points retain the most value if you apply them toward flights and travel-related purchases.
Merchandise, gift cards, and statement credits offer less value, with redemption rates below one cent per point.
Given that Aventura’s best rewards options relate to travel, it’s worth examining how many points you’ll need to accumulate to cover airfare, along with the redemption value.
The details below are from CIBC’s Aventura current flight rewards chart (assuming a round trip).
|Destination||Aventura points needed||Maximum ticket price||Value per point|
|Short-haul flights within Canada and the U.S.||10,000 to 20,000||$400||2 to 4|
|Long-haul flights within Canada and the U.S||25,000 to 35,000||$800||2.29 to 3.2|
|Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Central American, Caribbean||40,000 to 60,000||$1,000||1.67 to 2.5|
|Europe||50,000 to 70,000||$1,300||1.86 to 2.6|
|Rest of the world||75,000 to 125,000||$2,000||$2,000|
You’re still responsible for paying all extra surcharges and taxes, but you can use your points to cover these costs too.
Aventura Credit Cards
CICB offers several credit cards you can use to collect Aventura points.
Here are a few to consider.
CIBC Aventura Visa Card
If you don’t mind spending a bit more time collecting points to avoid paying an annual fee, consider the CIBC Aventura Visa Card.
Using this card, you’ll earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on travel purchases made through the CIBC Rewards Centre, gas, groceries, electric vehicle charging, and drug store items.
All other purchases will net you 1 point for every $2 spent.
The card gives you access to several insurance products, including car rental insurance, purchase security, and car rental collision insurance.
CIBC Aventura Gold Visa Card
The CIBC Aventura Gold Visa Card offers some solid travel perks and earn rates.
And you don’t need a six-figure income to qualify – only a minimum annual income of $15,000 will do.
The earn rates on this card work as follows:
- Two points per dollar spent on travel purchases made through the CIBC Rewards Centre.
- 1.5 points per dollar spent on gas stations, grocery stores, drug stores, and electric vehicle charging stations.
- One point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
In addition to the excellent earn rates, the card offers some nice perks too.
These include airport lounge access (four free visits per year), a NEXUS application fee rebate every four years, and an extensive suite of insurance products.
CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card
Looking for a way to amass Aventura points quickly while having access to lavish perks?
Then it’s definitely worth applying for the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card.
As a cardholder, you collect points as follows:
- Two points for every dollar you spend on travel-related purchases.
- 1.5 points for every dollar you spend on gas, groceries, and drugstore items.
- One point for every dollar you spend on all other purchases.
The card offers a wide assortment of benefits.
These include airport lounge access (four free visits per year), Nexus application fee rebate, and a dozen different types of insurance.
And you get those highly coveted perks through Visa’s Infinite program too.
What is Aeroplan?
Aeroplan is a loyalty program created and owned by Air Canada, Canada’s premier airline.
As a member, you earn Aeroplan points when you spend on Air Canada flights (and its 50+ partner airlines) and other travel-related purchases, like car rentals, hotels, and vacation packages.
You can also garner additional points when you shop with Aeroplan retail partners, of which there are over 200.
A convenient way to access many of these retailers is through Aeroplan’s eStore.
You can also pool your points with family members and friends.
Like most loyalty programs, using a credit card is the best way to rack up Aeroplan points quickly.
Over a dozen Aeroplan-branded credit cards are available that will allow you to do exactly that, several of which are available through CIBC.
Aeroplan is a flexible loyalty program with many redemption options.
You can apply your Aeroplan points toward a diverse range of domestic and international flights with Air Canada and any of its partner airlines.
You can also use them to cover a wide range of travel expenses, like accommodation and car rentals, and even flight upgrades, such as in-flight Wi-fi and premium seats.
Other redemption options include merchandise, gift cards, concert tickets, and charitable donations.
CIBC Aeroplan credit cards come with some valuable perks.
Depending on which card you use, these can include:
- Extensive insurance – coverage for trip cancellations, emergency medical services, car rental collisions, delayed flights, and more
- Airport benefits – complimentary baggage check, priority-check-in, and priority boarding, and airport lounge access
- Fuel savings at select gas stations
- Zero additional surcharges on flight redemption with Air Canada
- Visa Infinite benefits – hotel upgrades, concierge service, dining events, and more
The number of Aeroplan points you can expect to earn using a CIBC credit card depends on three factors:
- The type of purchase you make – certain spending categories are more valuable than others.
- Where you conduct your purchase – shopping at an Aeroplan partner brand will net you more points than at a non-partner brand.
- The type of Aeroplan-affiliated credit card you use – each CIBC card has different earn rates.
Generally, you can earn 0.5 to 1.25 points for every dollar you spend on most purchases.
Select spending categories like gas, groceries, electric vehicle charging, and purchases made through Air Canada will net you 1.5 to 2 points per dollar spent.
Naturally, you’ll need to use a top-tier credit card (think Visa Infinite) to maximize your earn rates.
As a bonus, you’ll earn points twice when you use a CIBC Aeroplan credit card to buy goods and services through Aeroplan partner brands.
Remember: Aeroplan is a stand-alone travel loyalty program not tied exclusively to a financial institution.
As a result, you earn and redeem Aeroplan points with or without an Aeroplan-branded credit card.
As Aeroplan is a frequent flyer program, Let’s explore some of the earn rates you can anticipate for travel-related purchases.
Aeroplan is primarily an airline loyalty program, so it’s worth focusing on flight redemption rates.
Aeroplan employs a dynamic pricing model under four zones:
North America, Atlantic, Pacific, and South America.
Every seat on every Air Canada flight is eligible for redemption.
There are no restrictions or blackout dates, and you can also apply your points on any of Air Canada’s partner airlines.
The number of points you’ll need to gather for your desired flight is based on several factors, such as your departure city, destination, seat class, and miles flown.
For example, the more miles your flight covers, the more points you need to redeem.
One way to get acquainted with the flight redemption rates is to browse the Aeroplan Flight Reward Chart.
You can use these details to determine the most cost-effective flight destination, route, and class fare.
You’ll need to collect between 6,000 and 250,000 points depending on your travel plans.
Alternatively, you can use Aeroplan’s flight redemption calculator to get a more accurate estimate.
When booking a flight, you must still pay any taxes and applicable third-party fees, but you can also use your points to cover these costs.
However, no surcharges apply when you purchase a flight using your points.
Redemption rates for other rewards also vary widely.
Aeroplan Credit Cards
In addition to CIBC, two other financial institutions offer an Aeroplan co-branded card: TD and AMEX.
Here are three Aeroplan credit cards to consider if you’re looking to earn points fast:
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
TD’s Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card is the ideal credit card if you’re looking to garner plenty of points from gas and grocery spending.
As a cardholder, you earn 1.5 points on gas, groceries, and eligible Air Canada purchases and 1 point on all other purchases.
In addition, you’ll benefit from an assortment of lavish perks through Visa’s Infinite program.
CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite
The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite combines excellent earns rates and exceptional perks – it’s easily the best CIBC Aeroplan credit card overall.
The earn rates are as follows: 1.5 points per every dollar spent on gas, grocery, electric vehicle charging, and Air Canada purchases and 1 point for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
The card provides various perks, including comprehensive travel insurance, a complimentary first-checked bag, car rental discounts, and the Visa Infinite package.
Amex Aeroplan Card
The Amex Aeroplan Card offers enticing earn rates and exceptional benefits.
As a cardholder, you earn points for each dollar you spend: 2 points for Air Canada purchases, 1.5 points for dining and food delivery purchases, and 1 point for all other purchases.
Benefits include a complimentary first-checked bag, access to Amex Experiences, preferred ticket pricing on events and attractions, and several types of travel insurance.
Did you know:
Aeroplan accepts points transfers from several loyalty programs, including Best Western Rewards, Wyndham Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.
How to Choose Between Aventura and Aeroplan
Given the similarities between Aventura and Aeroplan, choosing between two loyalty programs can be daunting.
But some notable differences also exist, which may persuade you to choose one or the other.
Suppose you’re looking to amass points as quickly as possible and have access to the best flight redemptions.
In that case, Aeroplan is the better program to enroll in, as it maintains partnerships with a vast network of airlines and retail merchants.
As a result, you’re more likely to secure great deals on flights and earn bonus points when shopping.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for maximum flexibility with your rewards and are already a loyal CIBC customer, you might find it safer and more convenient to go with Aventura.
While Aventura offers a narrower range of flight deals than Aeroplan, it’s still a top contender for rewards for other travel-related purchases, such as tours, train tickets, and accommodation.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I convert CIBC Aventura points to Aeroplan?
No, you cannot transfer CIBC Aventura points to Aeroplan or vice versa.
- Is Aeroplan and Aventura the same?
No. While Aeroplan and Aventura are travel rewards programs that offer a wide range of redemption options, the former is owned and operated by Air Canada and the latter by CIBC.
To participate in the Aeroplan loyalty program, you must apply for membership, allowing you to earn points on your spending through partner brands and Aeroplan-branded credit cards.
In contrast, you’ll need to sign up for select credit cards through CIBC to earn and redeem rewards points through Aventura. No other financial institution or retailer provides access to the Aventura loyalty program.
- Does CIBC Aventura have lounge access?
Yes, several CIBC Aventura-branded credit cards offer airport lounge access to cardholders.
If you have a Visa Infinite or Aventura Gold card, you’ll receive four complimentary lounge visits yearly, courtesy of the Visa Airport Companion Program.
The Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege offers six free passes each year.