Support the Quebec breast cancer Foundation and Get $150 Cash Back!
Avion Infinite Rbc Featured

Review: RBC Avion Visa Infinite Credit Card

To the point RBC offers a series of "travel" cards as part of the RBC Rewards program. Introducing the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card .

A credit card affiliated with RBC Rewards

The RBC Avion Visa Infinite Credit Card is the “intermediate” card in the RBC Travel Rewards program. It requires a minimum personal income of $60,000 (or family income of $100,000). There are 2 other cards in this program:

The welcome bonus

The current welcome bonus on this card is 15,000 RBC Rewards points. As you’ll see below, if properly used, these points can save you $350 on flight tickets through the RBC Rewards program.

Here’s the current offer:

Savings at Petro-Canada

RBC card holders can link their card to Petro-Canada’s Petro-Points program to get:

  • 3¢ off per litre on fuel and 20% more Petro-Points
  • 20% more RBC Rewards points (1.2 RBC points per dollar spent at Petro-Canada)

Earning RBC Rewards points with the card

This card allows you toearn RBC Rewards points based on your spending patterns.

1.25 RBC Rewards points / dollar for travel purchases

For all your travel purchases:

  • flight tickets,
  • hotels,
  • car rentals,
  • And more!

You’ll earn 25% more RBC Rewards points. This equates to an accumulation of 1.25 RBC Rewards points per dollar of purchases.

1 RBC Rewards point per dollar everywhere else

For all other types of purchases, you’ll earn 1 RBC Rewards points per dollar.

Using RBC Rewards points

There are three main uses for RBC Rewards points:

  • For the purchase of trips
  • For the transfer of points to other programs
  • For the purchase of gift cards

Other uses are not optimal.

Paying for Travel with RBC Rewards points

RBC Rewards points can be used to purchase travel in two ways:

  • Through the fixed rate schedule
  • Through the flexible rate schedule
westjet delta partners

The RBC Rewards Fixed Rate Schedule

This is how you’ll get the most out of your RBC Rewards points.

RBC offers a fixed rate schedule divided into 6 levels depending on the type of flight:

Type of flight RBC Points required Maximum ticket price excluding taxes
Short getaways
Any flight within a province, territory or U.S. state, or to a contiguous province, territory or U.S. state
15 000 350$
Discover North America
Any flight anywhere in Canada or the United States, except Hawaii or Alaska.
35 000 750$
Holiday Destinations
Western Canada or U.S. to Mexico, Hawaii or Alaska, Eastern Canada to Bermuda, Central America or the Caribbean
45 000 900$
Go on holiday
Eastern Canada or United States to Mexico, Hawaii or Alaska, Western Canada to Bermuda, Central America or the Caribbean
55 000 1,100$
Visit Europe
Any flight from a major point of departure in Canada or the United States to destinations in Europe
65 000 1,300$
The World
Any flight from a major point of departure in Canada or the United States to destinations in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, the Middle East, Africa or South America.
100 000 2,000$

What is most interesting, is when the fare of the flight you want to book is close to the maximum amount (excluding taxes and surcharge ).

Please note: in order to benefit from this fare schedule, you must book a round trip (or multi-destinations) at least 14 days before departure.

For example, here’s an airline ticket I booked to redeem 70,000 RBC points that I had earned.

This is a flight from Montreal to Las Vegas for a weekend. The rate is 35,000 RBC points(Discover North America level in the table above) and $164.85 in taxes.

vols las vegas rbc 2

Flights are direct, operated by Air Canada Rouge (but sold by United).

vols las vegas rbc 3

When looking at the fare details on the ITA Matrix (to get the ticket price + applied taxes), the ticket price is $370 + $345 = $715(below the RBC maximum of $750 for 35,000 point tickets):

vols las vegas rbc ita 4

Taxes are within a few cents of those charged by RBC (approximately $165).

Here, 35,000 RBC points saved me $715.40 . This values my use at $0.02/RBC point (you can hardly get more than that!).

880.25$ (public ticket price) – 164.85$ (taxes paid) = 715.4$.

IMG 8862

The RBC Rewards Flexible Rate Schedule

RBC points can also be used through the flexible rate schedule. Famously, “100 points = $1”.

100 points rbc

Here, the 15,000 points you get as a welcome bonus can therefore be used for a $150 discount on your trip.

Just use this when you:

  • Redeem points for travel rewards without using the Air Travel Rewards Redemption Schedule;
  • Redeem points for a hotel stay, car rental, cruise or vacation package;
  • Redeem points for one-way, business or first class airfare classe;
  • Book your trip less than 14 days at avance;
  • Pay more than the maximum dollar value set for a category;
  • Pay all taxes, fees and surcharges.

It’s not the best option for using your RBC Rewards points, but it is the easiest option for purchasing travel.

westjet boeing 737 nextgen 2

Converting RBC Rewards points to other programs

One of the strengths of the RBC Rewards Travel program is the ability to convert RBC Rewards points to other partner programs such as American Express or Marriott Bonvoy.

Here are the transfer partners and the normal exchange rate.

Frequent Flyer program Conversion rate
westjet rewards logo 1,000 points = $10 Westjet dollars
british airways club 1 10,000 points = 10,000 Avios miles
asia miles e1488115205243 10,000 points = 10,000 Asia miles
pg plogo american adv 5,000 points = 3,500 AAdvantage miles
la baie d hudson 2013 logo 5,000 points = 10,000 points Hudson Bay Rewards

From time to time, RBC Rewards organizes point conversion promotions such as +30% to British Airways Executive Club for example. So keep an eye out for these promotions to convert your points at the best possible rate!

oneworld british airways 3

Buying gift cards with RBC Rewards points

If travel purchases with points aren’t for you… there’s another way to use your RBC Rewards points: purchasing gift cards.

We don’t usually recommend this method for valuable points like American Express Membership Rewards, but at RBC Rewards there are regular gift cards promotions!

rbc recompenses cartes cadeaux

The most interesting one lately was found in the Facebook group of milesopedia by Maxime in the summer of 2018 about hotels.com gift cards.

maxime rbc

And indeed, it was a good deal: with 18,750 points you could get a $250 hotels.com gift card.

carte cadeau rbc hotels e1538574326939

As mentioned above, in addition to these 3 options for redeeming RBC points, there are other ways… but they are not advantageous: purchasing products on the online store, redeeming points for a statement credit, etc.

Card Insurance

As this card is intended for travellers, it includes the usual “Visa Infinite” level of insurance:

  • Out-of-Province / Out-of-Country Medical Emergency Insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Collision/Loss Damage Insurance for Rental Vehicles
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Flight delay insurance and purchase of basic necessities
  • Hotel or motel burglary insurance
  • Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Coverage

The insurance booklet is available here.

Conclusion

This is an interesting card for the points and miles hoarders, when it has a good welcome bonus (usually 25,000 points AND first year free). The possibility to use your points in different ways, and especially when there are conversion bonuses to British Airways Executive Club, is a plus.

3 Milesopedia Rating
HSBC Canada Credit Cards

Leave a Reply

Suggested Reading