RBC Visa Infinite Avion Review

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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/loan. Points can also be converted to other rewards programs, like WestJet, Hudson’s Bay, and American Airlines.

There are, however, a few categories where the card is merely average compared to competing cards. The earn rate of 1 rewards point per $1 is standard, but options for earning points at an accelerated rate are limited.

Though the RBC Avion’s annual fee is on the higher end, its welcome bonus is at least impressive: if you combine the 25,000 welcome points with $10,000 in spending, you’ll accumulate enough points to travel anywhere in Canada or the continental United States.

At a Glance:

  • 1 RBC rewards point for each $1 spent, no limits
  • 1.25 rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible travel
  • Limited opportunities to earn accelerated points (e.g. 2x at Uber and Saks 5th Avenue)
  • 100 Rewards points = approx. $1.14
  • Very flexible and wide-ranging point redemption
  • $0.03 p/liter discount on gas at Petro-Canada when you link your card + 1.2x Petro Points and 1.2x RBC points
  • Comprehensive travel insurance, including medical
  • 25,000 RBC Rewards points (no minimum spend requirement)

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, travel accident insurance, auto rental collision and damage insurance, flight delay, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, along with insurance against the damage or theft of items from one’s hotel. Another value-added feature is protection for items purchased with the card, including 90 days of insurance and extended warranties.

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.

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.” 2x or 3x earn rates are only available at select vendors like Uber, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Thrifty. These limited opportunities for accelerated earning are relatively unimpressive compared to cards like the TD First Class Visa Infinite or Scotia Gold Amex. We estimate the average point value to be about $0.0114 per point, which is about standard for premium travel cards.

Why We Like It:

  1. Flexible Redemption: Aside from redeeming on a short-haul flight, 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.
  2. Thoroughly Covered: A major value-added feature is the inclusion of strong insurance coverage for RBC Avion Infinite Visa cardholders, their spouses and dependent children. Full travel medical emergency insurance, travel accident insurance, auto rental collision and damage insurance, flight delay, trip cancellation, interruption and coverage for valuables kept in one’s hotel.

Is It Worth It?

We recommend the RBC Visa Infinite Avion to those who value flexibility in what they can redeem their points on, and who travel frequently outside their province/territory or Canada itself. It’s also a great deal for those who want a card with a big welcome bonus, but who don’t want to have to charge a certain amount to the card in the first few months to get it.

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