RBC Visa Infinite Avion Review
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. New cardholders who apply through our link can also take advantage of RBC’s remarkable balance transfer promotion, which applies a low rate of just 1.90% interest to new transferred balances for 10 whole months.
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†
- A low introductory rate of 1.90% for 10 months on balance transfers and cash advances
- 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.
The variety of insurance coverage that comes with the card is particularly 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 (the best in Canada—coverage of $5,000/$25,000 for individuals/groups) and trip cancellation and interruption insurance (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.
Balance Transfers and Cash Advances
For their first 10 months, cardholders who apply through our link have the opportunity to transfer balances from their other credit cards to RBC and pay just 1.90% interest. Cash advances also benefit from this competitive rate, meaning cardholders can advance themselves cash up to their available credit limit and pay 1.90% interest on this portion of their balance. It’s important to note that after the 10-month promotion period has ended (10 months from the opening of the account), the balance transfer and cash advance interest rates will return to 22.99%, so paying your entire balance before then is recommended.
Those who aren’t confident in their ability to pay off their full balance in 10 months may want to seek another solution, such as any balance transfer card with a lower post-promotion rate. Another crucial detail is that cardholders will forfeit their promotional rate if they miss a minimum payment—so stay on top of it!
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 one of the biggest welcome bonuses offered in the Canadian credit card landscape today. 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.