The Travel Credit Card I Wish I Had For Our Latest Trip

This post is a paid collaboration with CIBC, but all opinions and stories are my own.

For a long time, I wouldn’t have been the person to ask about travel credit cards for Canadians. If you’ve ever read a post about any of my travels, from our trip to Banff to our honeymoon, you’ll notice that the most I’ve ever said about my travel skills is “I’m not really much of a traveller.”

Because of that, I’ve mostly taken a pass on learning more about the (amazing) benefits some travel credit cards come with. Honestly, between buying a house and getting married, travel hasn’t been a big part of our lives for the past few years.

But now that both of those are locked down, and we have a laid-back plan for our no-debt kitchen reno, travel is all of a sudden back on our radar. Specifically, this summer, we found out that two of our best friends are getting married—and we get to go celebrate with them on a beach!

We’ll be jetting off to a warm, not-January-in-Ottawa beach this winter, but since this is the first travel I’ve booked in years, I started to look into travel credit cards again. I knew from our Banff trip that one of the big perks last time was that we could skip car insurance because it was included on a card I had at the time, and now that we’re travelling internationally, I knew there were probably perks we could score by adding a new card to our wallet.

Now, I am such a novice traveller that I got overwhelmed after looking at a few websites, and booked our travel on my regular credit card—which has some perks, but nowhere near travel-credit-card perks. I even ponied up for some extra insurance while booking, again because it wasn’t included as a perk on my existing card.

That’s why I was so excited to connect with CIBC to find out more about the upgrades to their Aventura card. It’s one of the leading travel credit cards for Canadians, and comes standard with everything I wish I had when booking our travel for this winter—because it definitely would have saved us money. Like, hundreds.

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Aventura: An intro

If you’re not familiar with the card, CIBC’s Aventura® credit cards let you earn travel reward points as part of the Aventura travel rewards program. There are multiple Aventura® cards, with different perks and costs, so you can pick the one that best fits your needs, spending patterns, and obviously, your travel goals.

What’s new with Aventura?

CIBC announced new perks for its premium Aventura® cards, that are officially available as of this past Monday, October 15th. Now, with no additional fees, premium Aventura cardholders get:

  • Access to 1,200+ airport lounges across the globe, with a Priority Pass™ membership and four complimentary lounge entries per year
  • A rebate on the NEXUS application fee
  • Mobile device insurance – coverage up to $1,000 for lost, stolen or accidentally damaged devices – at home or away
  • Improved trip cancellation insurance
  • Hotel burglary insurance

Who should use it?

Right off the bat, the mobile device insurance. That alone is a fantastic benefit because truly, who among us does not live their life on an expensive handheld miracle these days? I’m already saving up for my next phone, but whether you buy your phone outright or finance it, the Aventura cards have you covered with up to $1000 of coverage if your phone gets damaged or goes on an adventure without you. Plus, this is the first card from a big bank in Canada to offer this oh-so-great perk.

Then I see “trip cancellation insurance” and I officially want this card, because we paid $100 for exactly that perk when we booked our vacation. If we had an Aventura card, that perk alone would have handled most of the annual fee in savings for us—and lounge access? Everyone should want lounge access.

And in case you’re thinking “Whatever, who needs lounge access,” let me tell you a tale of our last flight, which connected through Washington D.C. on our way to celebrate impose Canadian Thanksgiving on family in Cincinnati.

We got there, found our gate, and found three seats together. Unfortunately, those three seats happened to be in front of a “confident” human being who felt fine taking off their shoes—yes, bare feet and all—and listening to a video at full volume on their phone sans headphones.

I can say with certainty that this would not have happened in an airport lounge.

Lastly, if you’re me-over-the-past-three-years and don’t have a whole lot of travel in your life, this card can help you fix that. If you sign up and are approved for a CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite card before November 1st, 2018, you’ll get 15,000 Aventura points (equivalent to a short-haul Canadian or US flight!) and a $100 travel credit when you book with their Travel Assistant, which will make balancing travel and your other goals way easier.

Aventura’s upgrades make it a great addition to your wallet

While I may not be the picture of a millennial traveller, I know a lot of my friends are always looking to make travel a bigger part of their life, and balance it with their other goals. The perks (and points!) that come with travel credit cards can make that much easier, and with these upgrades, CIBC’s Aventura cards would be a great way to make it happen.

Plus, I am still not over the mobile device insurance.