The RBC Visa Infinite Avion stands out in the travel card category because of its flexible redemption policy. Points are not only redeemable on airfare, but also on merchandise that you might actually want (like Apple and Best Buy products), or for paying down an RBC card balance. Points can also be converted to other rewards programs, like WestJet, British Airways, and American Airlines, though RBC’s Orbitz-powered booking site is worthwhile in and of itself.
Another equally distinguishing feature of the RBC Avion card is its impressive welcome bonus. Just for signing up, cardholders will earn 15,000 Points.
There are, however, a few categories where the card is merely average compared to competing cards. Its annual fee is on the higher end, at $120. Additionally, while the earn rate of 1.25 RBC Rewards points per $1 spent on travel is great, but other options for earning points at an accelerated rate are limited.
At a Glance:
- Earn 15,000 bonus RBC Rewards points just by signing up and getting approved†
- Earn 25% more RBC Points on travel-related purchases (1.25 points per $1 spent)
- 1.25 rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases¹
- Transfer points to other travel reward programs
- 100 Rewards points = approx. $1.14 (learn more via our Rewards point guide)
- Redeem Points on a wide variety of travel options (no blackout dates or seat restrictions), merchandise, or against your statement using Payback with Points
- $0.03 p/liter▲ discount on gas at Petro-Canada§, and 20% more Petro-Points and RBC Points when you link your Petro-Points card to your RBC card
- Comprehensive travel insurance³, including medical⁴, trip interruption³ and cancellation insurance³, and rental car collision and damage protection
Basic Rewards Structure
Travel purchases eligible for the (semi) accelerated earn rate of 1.25/$1 are defined as “…airlines, accommodations, tour operators, cruise lines, travel agencies and car rental companies.”
We estimate the average point value to be about $0.0114 per point, which is about standard for premium travel cards. However, the inherent flexibility of points within RBC’s own ecosystem, and its transferability to other programs, adds extra value.
RBC Avion Travel Insurance
The variety of insurance coverage that comes with the card is impressive and may in part account for why the annual fee is somewhat steep. Cardholders are protected with emergency medical insurance, auto rental collision and damage insurance, hotel/motel burglary insurance (coverage of $2,500), trip cancellation, and trip interruption insurance (among the best in Canada—coverage of $5,000/$25,000 for individuals/groups). Note that cardholders under 65 years of age are medically covered for the first 15 days of an out-of-province/Canada trip, and those over age 65 are covered for 3 days. This may seem limited, but most travel cards don’t offer medical insurance for those over age 65 at all.
Another value-added feature is protection for items purchased with the card, including 90 days of insurance and extended warranties of up to an additional year.
Why We Like It:
- Flexible Redemption: Aside from redeeming on short-haul flights, points can also be saved up over time and used to completely pay off a vacation, for example, or used on merchandise, hotels, rentals, reducing a balance, and more. The liberal point transfer policy is also a good fit for those who like WestJet, Hudson’s Bay, American Airlines, Asia Miles and British Airways’ rewards programs.
- Thoroughly Covered: A major value-added feature is the inclusion of strong insurance coverage for RBC Visa Avion cardholders, their spouses and dependent children. Virtually all credit cards offer some minimal form of travel insurance, but the RBC card’s insurance suite stands out and competes toe for toe with the rest of Canada’s top credit cards for travel insurance.
Who Is the Card For?
We recommend the RBC Visa Infinite Avion to those who value flexibility in what they can redeem their points on, who seek insurance coverage for frequent travel outside their province/territory or Canada itself, and who appreciate a big welcome bonus.. It’s less suited for those who don’t anticipate spending enough on the card (at least $800 per month) to make up for the $120 annual fee.
‡ Trademark of Suncor Energy Inc. Used under licence.
To be exempt from the annual fee for one year (the “annual fee waiver offer”) and to receive 15,000 RBC Rewards points (or “welcome points”), your application must be received by the date indicated on the communication you received from us for this offer, and it must be approved by us. Upon enrolment, 15,000 welcome points will appear on your first monthly statement. To receive the additional 10,000 RBC Rewards points (“bonus points”) when you spend $1,000 or more within 3 months of account opening your (i) application must be approved by us, (ii) credit card account must be in good standing since your account open date and the bonus points will be credited to your account on the first monthly statement after the spend criteria has been met. Additional cardholders are not eligible for this offer. This offer is eligible for the RBC®
Visa Infinite Avion®
card and the RBC®
card if you are approved for either through this offer. This offer may not be combined or used in conjunction with any other offer and may be amended or withdrawn without notice at any time, even after acceptance by you. For complete terms and conditions that apply to the RBC Rewards Program, please visit www.rbcrewards.com
or call 1-800-769-2512.
Each time you use your linked Eligible RBC Card to pay for qualifying purchases at a retail Petro-Canada location, you will earn a bonus of twenty percent (20%) more Petro-Points than you normally earn, in accordance with the Petro-Points Terms and Conditions
▲ Each time you use your Eligible RBC Card that is linked to a Petro-Points card to purchase any grade of gasoline including diesel, at a Retail Petro-Canada Location, you will save three cents ($0.03) per litre at the time of the transaction. Eligible RBC Card” means any RBC debit or credit card which is issued by Royal Bank of Canada (excluding RBC commercial credit cards). RBC business clients will only be able to link up to two Eligible RBC Cards that are business credit cards and one Eligible RBC Card that is a debit card to a Petro-Points card. Card linking may take up to 2 business days to process before savings and bonus points can be applied to purchases.
¹ You will earn 1.25 RBC Rewards points for every dollar spent when you use your RBC Visa Infinite Avion card to pay for travel-related purchases made at merchants classified by Visa’s “Merchant Category Code” (“MCC”) as “travel”, which may include: airlines, accommodations, tour operators, cruise lines, travel agencies and car rental companies. Even though some merchants may sell travel products/services, purchases made at these locations may not necessarily qualify for the 1.25 RBC Rewards points per dollar if the merchant is not classified with a “travel” MCC. Also, merchants that are not classified by a “travel” MCC may be located on the premises of merchants that are classified with a “travel” MCC, and purchases made at these locations may not qualify for this added benefit.
² Please note that it will take two (2) to three (3) business days for your payment to be credited to your credit card account and to adjust your available credit. Redemptions are final and cannot be cancelled or reversed once submitted. For complete details, please consult the RBC Rewards Terms and Conditions
³ Trip Cancellation insurance is subject to a limit of $1,500 for each Covered Person (to an overall maximum of $5,000 for all Covered Persons) per trip, and it protects eligible cardholders against the cost of non-refundable travel arrangements that were purchased with your RBC Visa Infinite Avion card if the trip is cancelled prior to your departure due to an unexpected or unforeseen covered risk. Coverage underwritten by RBC Insurance Company of Canada. Trip Interruption insurance is subject to a maximum limit of $5,000 for each Covered Person, per trip, for a total maximum of $25,000. This coverage provides reimbursement for the non-refundable unused portion of your prepaid travel arrangements purchased with your RBC Visa Infinite Avion card, due to a covered risk, including the extra costs of economy class transportation to your departure point. Coverage underwritten by RBC Insurance Company of Canada.
⁴ Under 65 years of age, 15 days of coverage. For age 65 and over, 3 days of coverage. Coverage underwritten by RBC Insurance Company of Canada.
⁵ Coverage underwritten by Aviva General Insurance Company.