RBC Avion Visa Infinite Review

March 4, 2020
Canadian Credit Card Reviews
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RBC’s Avion Visa Infinite comes with a mediocre welcome bonus, decent earn rates, and strong travel insurance coverage for a $120 annual fee.

However, we recommend getting the American Express Cobalt Card instead. The Cobalt Card offers a welcome bonus of up to 30,000 points (worth up to $600 in travel rewards), a $100 USD annual hotel credit and complimentary hotel upgrades, and much more.

The best part is that all that comes for the exact same annual fee as the RBC Avion Visa Infinite. Apply for the Cobalt Card with confidence today.

RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card Features and Benefits

Annual Fee$120
Purchase Rate19.99%
Cash Advance Rate22.99%
Supplementary Card$50/card 
Up to 9 cards
Welcome Points15,000 RBC Rewards® point
Points Earn Rate • 1.25 RBC Rewards® point/$1 for eligible travel related purchases
• 1 RBC Rewards® point/$1
Point Transfer to 3rd Party Loyalty Programs
Comprehensive Insurance Coverage
Credit Card Lock

Requirements to Apply for RBC Avion Visa Infinite 

  • Personal income of $60,000 annually and above

Or

  • Minimum household income of $100,000 annually

The $120 annual fee may be a turnoff to some, but with the flexibility of RBC Rewards points, the Avion Visa Infinite may be worth considering.

Lets deep dive into the card benefits & features below.

RBC Rewards® Point Redemptions

The RBC Rewards points (formerly known as Avion points) are the currency of the RBC Rewards loyalty program. You earn 1 RBC Rewards point for every $1 spent for all purchases. For eligible travel purchases, you earn 25% more, or 1.25 points per $1 spent. 

There are different ways to redeem your RBC Rewards points:

  • Travel airfare  
  • Statement credit
  • Retailer purchase (e.g. Apple products)

Detailed info on the RBC Rewards program terms and conditions can be found here.

Benefit #1 – Flexible Travel

One great thing about holding an RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card is that you can book flights using your points at any given time – there are zero blackout dates. If a seat is available during peak periods, you’re able to book it with no restrictions. 

There are two ways to use your RBC Rewards points for airfare.

Method #1: RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule

This is RBC’s travel rewards program that enables you to redeem your RBC Rewards points directly for flights. The program includes short-haul flights, which require as little as 15,000 RBC Rewards points to book, and long-haul flights, which can cost up to 100,000 points.

Fly for Short-haul Canada & US between neighbouring provinces & states with 15000 points at maximum ticket price $350. 
Fly for Long-haul Canada & US not including Alaska & Hawaii with 35000 points at maximum ticket price $750. 
Fly from Western Canada to Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Caribbean & Central America with 45000 points at maximum ticket price $900
Fly from Eastern Canada to Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Caribbean & Central America with 55000 points at maximum ticket price $1100.
Fly from Canada & US to Europe with 65000 points with maximum ticket price $1300.
Fly from Canada & US to other continents Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Middle East, Africa, South America with maximum ticket price $2000

The downside of RBC’s program is that redemption only cover the base ticket price. You still have to pay the fuel surcharge and taxes & fees, which can easily add up to more than the price of the base fare itself.

This is a problem we’ve covered extensively (and showed you how to solve) with Aeroplan, but it’s not quite as straightforward with RBC. It’s one of the major downfalls of the RBC program.

The RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule gives you around 2 cents per point of value if you choose the selected flights in the program. If, on the other hand, you choose to pay for a flight outside of the program, your points are worth just 1 cent apiece.

Method #2: Transferring Your RBC Rewards Points To Other Loyalty Programs

Fortunately, you don’t have to use your points within the RBC program: you can transfer them to a handful of other loyalty programs, including Hudson’s Bay Rewards, American Airlines, Asia Miles, British Airways, and WestJet Rewards.

Transfer RBC Rewards Points to Hudson's Bay Rewards,
American Airlines,
Asia Miles,
British Airways Avios
You can transfer the RBC Rewards points you earn on your RBC Avion Visa Infinite to Hudson’s Bay Rewards, American Airlines, Asia Miles, British Airways, and WestJet Rewards.

The RBC Rewards To Avios Transfer Bonus

Probably the best transfer option with the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card is converting your RBC Rewards points to British Airways Avios.

For example, British Airways is currently offering a 50% transfer bonus when you convert your RBC Rewards® points to Avios. This gives you 1.5 Avios for every RBC Rewards points converted! 

Since we value Avios at 2 cents apiece, getting 50% more Avios than the original RBC Rewards Points you have is the same as getting 3 cents per RBC point. So when you earn 1.25 points per dollar on eligible travel purchases, you’re essentially earning a 3.75% return on your spending. Not bad!

Transferring RBC Rewards points to Avios boosts your points value to 3 cents apiece and gives you the additional flexibility of Avios.

You can refer to our post on using Avios points in Canada for more information on how to make the most of Avios.

Redeeming RBC Rewards Points For A Statement Credit

Besides paying for flights, you can use RBC’s “Pay with Points” system to pay for:

  • The balance on your credit card
  • Recurring bills
  • In-store purchases

You can use an eligible wallet app (iOS, Android and Samsung Pay) to make use of the “Pay with Points” system with the steps below:

  1. Sign in to your RBC online banking account and then click the Pay with Points link in the left menu;
  2. Choose the credit card you would like to redeem your points towards;
  3. Select the amount you wish to redeem;
  4. Redeem your points.

A $100 statement credit requires 17,200 points, which gives your RBC Rewards points a value of 0.58 cents per point. This is about one-sixth of the value you get when you transfer your points to a program like Avios, so we don’t recommend using your points this way.

Benefit #2 – Instant Fuel Savings with Petro-Canada

Link your RBC Avion Visa Infinite to your Petro-Canada card and enjoy instant savings of 3¢ per litre, plus earn 20% additional Petro-Points. Follow these steps to link your cards:

  1. Sign-In to RBC Online Banking or the RBC Mobile app.
  2. Enter your Petro-Points card number or get a Petro-Points membership number today.
  3. Link your Petro-Points card to all of your RBC Avion Visa Infinite

The 3¢ per litre savings on gas sound impressive: it’s a savings of about 2.5% at today’s gas prices. If you paid for your gas with an American Express Cobalt Card, though, you could save 4% or even more, depending on how you use your points. The added bonus of the Cobalt Card is that you earn those extra points from all gas stations across Canada, not just Petro-Canada stations, which is much more convenient for anyone who doesn’t have a Petro-Canada station on their commute.

Benefit #3 – Insurance Coverage 

The RBC Avion Visa Infinite card comes with an impressive comprehensive insurance package provided by Aviva in Quebec, and RBC in the rest of Canada. Here’s a summary of the insurance policy:

Insurance Type Details
Out of Province/Country Emergency Medical
Insurance 
Unlimited
Covers you, your spouse, any dependent children, any additional cardmember, for any number of trips with a maximum duration of 15 days for below ages 65.
**for ages 65 and above, coverage up to 3 days. 
Travel Accident Insurance Up to $500,000 CAD
Covers you, your spouse, any dependent children, any additional cardmember, in the event of an accidental bodily injury resulting in a loss, including death, while travelling on a common carrier 
Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance Up to the actual cash value of the damaged or stolen rental vehicle, as well as valid rental agency towing and loss of use charges 
Trip Cancellation InsuranceUp to $1,500 per person 
Max $5,000 per trip
Trip Interruption Insurance Up to $5,000 per person 
Max $25,000 per trip
Emergency Purchases and Flight Delay Insurance Up to $250 per person
if there is a (4+ hour delay)
Max $500 per trip
Baggage Delay Insurance Up to $500 per person 
if there is a (4+ hour delay)
Max $2,500 per trip
Lost Baggage Insurance $500 per person
Max $2,500 per trip
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance $2,500 per occurrence in aggregate
Purchase Security Insurance Up to $50,000 
within 90 days of purchase
Extended Warranty Insurance Doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to a maximum extension of one (1) year 
Mobile Device Insurance Up to $1,500  if your mobile device purchased with your RBC Avion Visa Infinite card and/or RBC Rewards®  points is lost, stolen, suffers accidental damage or experiences mechanical failure 

Considering the $120 annual fee on this card, its insurance coverage is very strong, and comparable to the insurance policies offered by American Express.

Benefit #4 – Credit Card Lock 

Another interesting feature of the Visa Infinite is the ability to temporarily lock your card. This is especially helpful if you’ve misplaced your card for a while, or if you simply want to restrict your spending for a period of time. Card locking is rare among credit cards in Canada, but it’s a very handy feature we’d like to see more of in the future.

In Summary

Overall, the RBC Avion Visa Infinite is an average travel card with decent earn rates and a strong travel insurance policy. Perks like 3¢ per litre savings on gas sound enticing, but when you actually compare the numbers and factor in the restrictions on those perks, they’re usually bested by other cards.

If you’re considering applying for a Visa Infinite card, we encourage you to opt for the American Express Cobalt Card instead. With significantly better earn rates on all your purchases (including gas and travel purchases), a welcome bonus of up to 30,000 points, and other travel benefits like a $100 USD annual hotel credit, the Cobalt Card offers much stronger value than the RBC Avion Visa Infinite for the exact same annual fee.