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,
- 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
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|
Any flight within a province, territory or U.S. state, or to a contiguous province, territory or U.S. state
|Discover North America
Any flight anywhere in Canada or the United States, except Hawaii or Alaska.
Western Canada or U.S. to Mexico, Hawaii or Alaska, Eastern Canada to Bermuda, Central America or the Caribbean
|Go on holiday
Eastern Canada or United States to Mexico, Hawaii or Alaska, Western Canada to Bermuda, Central America or the Caribbean
Any flight from a major point of departure in Canada or the United States to destinations in Europe
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.
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 ).
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.
Flights are direct, operated by Air Canada Rouge (but sold by United).
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):
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!).
The RBC Rewards Flexible Rate Schedule
RBC points can also be used through the flexible rate schedule. Famously, “100 points = $1”.
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.
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|
|1,000 points = $10 Westjet dollars|
|10,000 points = 10,000 Avios miles|
|10,000 points = 10,000 Asia miles|
|5,000 points = 3,500 AAdvantage miles|
|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!
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!
And indeed, it was a good deal: with 18,750 points you could get a $250 hotels.com gift card.
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
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.