8 Reasons to Apply for the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card

RBC’s flagship travel credit card, the RBC Avion Visa Infinite, is one of the most rewarding cards in the Canadian credit card landscape.

This is especially true with the current elevated welcome bonus of 55,000 RBC Avion points, which is the highest-ever signup offer to date.

Let’s look at some of the many reasons why you might want to apply for the RBC Avion Visa Infinite.

1. 55,000 RBC Avion Points Welcome Bonus

Until September 16, 2022, RBC is offering an astounding 55,000 RBC Avion points for signing up for the RBC Avion Visa Infinite. This bountiful welcome bonus is broken down into two steps:

  • 35,000 RBC Avion points are awarded upon approval for the card
  • An additional 20,000 RBC Avion points upon spending $5,000 in the first six months

Using our valuation of 2 cents per point (cpp), this is equivalent to an insane $1,100 in value.

For those who are unable to meet the $5,000 minimum spending requirement, even 35,000 RBC Avion points is still a very generous offer, especially as this card’s standard historical offer has only been 15,000 RBC Avion points upon first purchase.

If you can shuffle some spending around to meet the $5,000 threshold, however, it’s certainly in your best interest to do so.

You’ll still earn the usual 1 RBC Avion point per dollar on almost all purchases and 1.25 Avion points per dollar spent on travel purchases, so you’ll be up an additional 25,000+ Avion points after completing the spend, which we’d value at $500+ – equivalent to a 10%+ Return on Spend.

2. Modest Annual Fee

The RBC Avion Visa Infinite has a modest annual fee that’s less than the annual fee on comparable cards from other banks. 

With ongoing inflation, annual fees for comparable Canadian-issued Visa Infinite cards have increased.

For example, over the past few years, we’ve seen the annual fee increase from $120 to $139 on the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card, the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card, and the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card. 

Meanwhile, as of October 1, 2022, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite will bump up its fee from $139 to $150. 

Considering the current juicy welcome offer on the RBC Avion Visa Infinite, the fact that the annual fee is remaining steady at $120 is another draw to the card. Even after factoring the annual fee into the value assessment, you’ll still be receiving a welcome bonus worth $980+. 

Note that if you have an RBC VIP Banking Account, you’ll be able to get the $120 annual fee waived, resulting in an even higher value proposition.

3. Airline Transfer Partners

One of the most powerful benefits of the RBC Avion program is the ability to convert your RBC Avion points to four popular airline loyalty programs.

This elevates RBC Avion above the points programs of any other Big 5 banks in Canada, which don’t have any airline transfer partners.

RBC Avion points can be transferred at a rate of 1:1 to British Airways Avios and to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, as well as a less favourable rate of 1:0.7 to American Airlines AAdvantage. You can also transfer to WestJet at a rate of 100 RBC Avion points to 1 WestJet Dollar.

In the past, we’ve even seen RBC offer generous transfer bonuses of 30% or 50% to some of these airline partner loyalty programs as well.

British Airways Avios

British Airways Avios is arguably the best transfer option for Avion points, especially now with the recent partnership between British Airways and Qatar Airways.

Now that Avios can be transferred freely and instantly between the two programs, you can book Qatar Airways Qsuites for just 70,000 Avios one-way.

Convert RBC Avion points to British Airways Avios and fly in Qatar Airways Qsuites.

With Avios, there are also many sweet spots for short-haul flights across different places in the world, including Europe, Asia, and Australia. 

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Transferring RBC Avion points to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles can be a great option as well. Flights from Seattle to Hawaii can be booked for as low as 15,000 Asia Miles one-way in economy.

Perhaps by combining your RBC Avion Visa Infinite with the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum Card, you can fly from North America to South Africa via Hong Kong for only 85,000 Asia Miles in Cathay Pacific business class.

American Airlines AAdvantage

Another Oneworld member airline transfer partner is American Airlines AAdvantage. Due to its zone-based award chart, the program offers some compelling sweet spots for flights from North America to the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, and Africa.

However, it may not make as much sense to transfer Avion points to American Airlines AAdvantage compared to Avios or Asia Miles, due to the less favourable 1:0.7 transfer rate.

Instead, used in conjunction with earning AAdvantage miles through US credit cards, RBC Avion points could be useful for topping up your AAdvantage account for a redemption.

WestJet Rewards

In the past, transferring RBC Avion points to WestJet Dollars used to be a great option, as it unlocked WestJet’s generous Member Exclusive fares. However, WestJet’s revamped Member Exclusive fares have been disappointing, and there’s no longer much value in the program.

Still, there’s some value to be found in redeeming WestJet Dollars for domestic travel, as well as using them for WestJet Vacations.

4. Diversifying from American Express Cards

While American Express Membership Rewards is widely considered the strongest rewards program available to Canadians, the truth is that not every merchant accepts American Express.

Having an RBC Avion Visa Infinite alongside your valuable American Express cards in your wallet is a great way to make sure you continue to maximize your rewards on all purchases while also diversifying your points earnings. 

Amex MR points are most commonly redeemed for high-value travel through Aeroplan on Air Canada and its network of Star Alliance partners.

However, as discussed above, RBC Avion points provide access to the Oneworld alliance instead, giving you multiple options to pick from when planning a trip. 

Unlock flights with Oneworld alliance airlines with RBC Avion’s transfer partners.

5. Use the Air Travel Redemption Schedule for Positioning Flights

In addition to transferring to airline partners, RBC Avion points can be used directly for booking flights at some very favourable rates.

RBC Avion uses an Air Travel Redemption Schedule, which offers fixed pricing for one-way or round-trip flights.

The best value can be found under “Quick Getaways”, where you redeem 15,000 RBC Avion points for a round-trip flight with a maximum base fare of $350.

Similarly, you can redeem 7,500 Avion points for a one-way flight with a maximum base fare of $175.

Redeeming 15,000 Avion points for $350 or 7,500 Avion points for $175 worth of base fare for an eligible flight gets you an amazing redemption value of 2.33cpp.

In other words, if you sign up for the RBC Avion Visa Infinite card, you’ll wind up with 60,000 points after meeting the $5,000 minimum spend. This is enough for eight short-haul one-way flights, with the total value potentially reaching an unbelievable $1,400!

(Note that any additional base fare amount over $175 or $350, as well as any taxes and fees, must be paid on their own. You can use RBC Avion points to cover them, albeit at a lower value of only 1cpp.)

Still, RBC’s Air Travel Redemption Schedule can be perfect for positioning flights to larger hub airports. For example, Toronto residents can use this to fly to New York City, where there are many options for aspirational reward flights with all three major alliances.

Use RBC Avion points to position to larger hub airports.

6. Product Switching

If you no longer get enough use out of the RBC Avion Visa Infinite to justify the $120 annual fee, you can always downgrade to another RBC credit card that doesn’t have an annual fee.

Additionally, in the future, you can upgrade the no-fee card to another RBC product, and still be eligible for the welcome bonus on the new card without having to incur another credit hit.

Indeed, requesting a product switch rather than submitting a new application is the best way to maximize RBC credit card welcome bonuses without unnecessary impact on your credit file. 

7. Unlimited Travel Medical Insurance

While it’s never fun to think about what could go wrong, it’s always good to be prepared. The RBC Avion Visa Infinite provides some of the best insurance coverage across mid-tier cards with similar annual fees.

Most notably, travellers under 65 will automatically receive unlimited comprehensive travel medical insurance for 15 days of travel. This coverage is reduced to only three days for travellers aged 65+.

Similar cards offered by other institutions cap the amount of travel medical insurance that can be claimed (usually at $1,000,000, $2,000,000, etc.), whereas the RBC Avion Visa Infinite imposes no maximum cap.

In this current season of flight delays and cancellations, RBC has you covered with other insurance benefits, including:

  • Trip cancellation insurance of $1,500 per person, up to $5,000
  • Trip interruption insurance of $5,000 per person, up to $25,000
  • Lost baggage insurance of $500 per person, up $2,500
  • Delayed baggage insurance of $500 per person
  • Auto rental collision/loss damage insurance

Be sure to read the insurance booklet in full to ensure you qualify for the above coverages.

8. 12 Months of Free DoorDash DashPass

Simply by being a cardholder, you’ll receive a complimentary 12-month DashPass subscription from DoorDash. This provides you with $0 delivery fees on orders of $12 or more at eligible restaurants when you pay with your RBC Avion Visa Infinite.

A DoorDash DashPass membership normally costs $9.99 per month, so this benefit can be thought of as effectively offsetting against your $120 credit card annual fee if you’re a frequent user of food delivery services. 

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking to travel in business class at a fraction of the cost, or you’re simply looking for a more versatile Visa to supplement your stack of Amex cards, look no further than RBC Avion Visa Infinite.

With an elevated welcome bonus offer in the market, the likes of which we’ve never seen before with RBC, now’s the best time to sign up for the card and earn a staggering 55,000 Avion points. 

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