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RBC Avion & British Airways Cards: Record-High Offers Across the Board!

Just like virtually every other issuer in Canada, RBC is putting out a series of juicy offers in the market to compete for market share ahead of the post-pandemic travel boom.

For the past few months, the three RBC Avion personal cards have offered generous points totals of 35,000 Avion points each with no minimum spend.

Now, RBC has added two more record-high offers into the rotation on the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business and the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite

RBC Avion Visa Infinite: An Easy 35,000 Avion Points

Historically, the standard offer on the RBC Avion Visa Infinite was only 15,000 Avion points upon first purchase.

However, until November 15, 2021, RBC has bumped up the welcome bonus to 35,000 Avion points upon approval.

There’s no minimum spending requirement, and in fact there isn’t even a need to make a single purchase! Simply apply for the card, and the 35,000 Avion points should post to your account by the first monthly statement.

This is a return to the highest signup bonus I’ve ever seen offered for this particular product. Even though the annual fee is not waived, it still no doubt represents an excellent value proposition.

I personally value RBC Avion points at 1.9 cents apiece given their flexibility and frequent transfer bonuses, making the 35,000 Avion points worth a cool $665 in my books. Subtract the $120 annual fee from that, and the overall value of the offer is $545, and that’s definitely the highest we’ve ever seen this card go.

Furthermore, even though there’s no First Year Free offer here, you could still leverage the RBC VIP Banking Account to get your annual fee waived on this card.

RBC Avion Visa Platinum: 35,000 Avion Points with No Minimum Income

The RBC Avion Visa Platinum is the entry-level product in the Avion family, and it’s similar to the flagship Visa Infinite in many ways.

Until November 15, 2021, it has also bumped up its welcome bonus to 35,000 Avion points with no minimum purchase, making it an excellent time to apply. 

There are a few minor differences between the Avion Visa Platinum and the Avion Visa Infinite:

  • The Visa Infinite earns 1.25 Avion points per dollar spent on travel, whereas the Visa Platinum earns a flat 1 Avion point per dollar spent on all purchases
  • The Visa Platinum offers a weaker insurance package; emergency medical insurance and mobile device insurance are not included compared to the Visa Infinite
  • The Visa Platinum doesn’t offer the unique dining, hotel, and events benefits that are exclusive to Visa Infinite cards

The most important difference is that the RBC Avion Visa Platinum has no minimum income requirement, so this would be the right choice for you if you don’t meet the $60,000 or $100,000 in personal or household annual income, respectively, required for the Visa Infinite.

And even if you do meet those requirements, you can hold both the Visa Infinite and the Visa Platinum at the same time – earning a total of 70,000 Avion points for no minimum spend – since they’re two separate products.

RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege: 35,000 Avion Points + VIP Benefits

The high-end premium product in the Avion family, the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege, is also getting in on the action. You’ll earn 35,000 Avion points upon signing up, with no spending requirement.

On paper, the welcome bonus of 35,000 Avion points would outweigh the $399 annual fee on this card, although it’s obviously not quite as good of a deal as only paying a $120 annual fee on the lower-tier Visa Infinite or Visa Platinum cards.

Moreover, the $200,000 minimum personal or household income requirement may also be prohibitive for the majority of applicants. 

Nevertheless, if you’re looking to earn 1.25x Avion points on all purchases and try out the ability to redeem points directly against premium fares at 2 cents per point, now’s as good a time as any to apply for the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege, because I can’t ever recall seeing a higher bonus than the standard 25,000 Avion points on this card before. 

RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business: 35,000 Avion Points + 2cpp Redemptions

As of September 2021, the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business has also bumped its welcome bonus up to 35,000 Avion points with no minimum spend.

The RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business has an annual fee of $175, and you do need to call RBC or visit a branch representative to apply. 

Like the Visa Infinite Privilege version, you’ll earn 1.25 Avion points per dollar spent, but only up to the first $75,000 of spending per year. You’ll also get access to the ability to redeem Avion points against premium cabin flights for 2 cents per point

If you’re a small business owner, 1.25x Avion points on the first $75,000 spent can make this card a worthy Visa competitor to the Amex Business Platinum for your business spending needs. And even if you don’t own a small business in the traditional sense, you’re still welcome to apply for this card as a sole proprietor.

As above, I can’t recall seeing a welcome offer higher than 25,000 Avion points on this product before, so now’s a great time to apply for this card if you haven’t considered it before.

The Best Ways to Redeem 35,000 RBC Avion Points

RBC Avion is a transferrable points currency, allowing you to transfer the 35,000 points you earn from any of these Avion cards to a wide range of frequent flyer programs:

  • 1,000 Avion points = 1,000 British Airways Avios

  • 1,000 Avion points = 1,000 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

  • 1,000 Avion points = 700 American Airlines AAdvantage miles

  • 1,000 Avion points = 10 WestJet Dollars

Thus, you have the option of converting your 35,000 Avion points into one of the following:

  • 35,000 British Airways Avios
  • 35,000 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • 24,500 American Airlines AAdvantage miles
  • 350 WestJet Dollars
RBC convert airline pints graphic

On top of the usual transfer ratios, RBC is known for offering occasional transfer bonuses of 20%, 30%, or even 50% to its transfer partners. Right now, RBC is offering a 30% transfer bonus to British Airways Avios until September 24, 2021.

You could take advantage of a transfer bonus like this and combine it with another sweet spot of the Avios program, such as booking a one-way business class flight from Dublin to Toronto on Aer Lingus for 50,000 Avios.

With the 30% bonus in play, this booking only costs 38,461 Avion points, so the current signup bonus of 35,000 Avion points would be almost enough for a one-way transatlantic business class!

Aer Lingus business class

Aer Lingus business class

Aside from Avios, Asia Miles is another rewarding program that’s known for their abundance of Cathay Pacific award space and generous routing policies.

Check out this article for some of the best Asia Miles redemptions out there. While 35,000 Asia Miles isn’t quite enough for the long-haul options, you can easily top-up your account by transferring your Amex MR points over as well.

Meanwhile, American AAdvantage is known for their partnerships with premium Gulf carriers such as Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, making them a popular way to redeem for Qsuites or the Etihad Apartments.

Finally, RBC’s very own Travel Redemption Chart operates similarly to the Amex Fixed Points Travel program, in that you can redeem a fixed number of points for a flight to a certain region with a maximum cash ticket cost allowance.

graphic with demonstrations on how you can use your airline points to take vacations

With this chart, the value is capped due to the maximum ticket cost, so I’d generally recommend maximizing your opportunities with RBC’s frequent flyer partners instead. That’s where the bulk of the Avion program lies, since you can transfer to any of their partners for a desired booking and are not locked in to a single loyalty program.

If, however, you do find yourself in a situation where you’re looking to book a round-trip flight within North America, and you aren’t able to find any satisfactory options via Avios or WestJet Rewards, then the RBC Travel Redemption Chart can act as a fallback option.

It’ll allow you to use your 35,000 points from one of the RBC Avion cards to essentially “cover” the base fare of any flight within North America, up to a maximum of $750, so that you don’t have to worry about any availability constraints – even though the overall upside may be limited.

Also: 60,000 Avios on the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite

Lastly, at the same time as the elevated offers on the Avion cards, the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite is also charting a new record high.

Until February 28, 2022, you can earn a total welcome bonus of 60,000 Avios in exchange for a $165 annual fee:

  • 15,000 Avios upon first purchase
  • 35,000 Avios upon spending $6,000 in the first three months
  • 10,000 Avios upon renewing the card for a second year

The British Airways Visa Infinite earns 1 Avios per dollar spent on all purchases. The only meaningful benefit on the card is a Companion Award eVoucher for Avios redemptions on British Airways flights upon spending $30,000 in a calendar year.

While the Companion Award eVoucher might appear interesting at first glance, take note that booking British Airways flights with Avios will incur $600+ in fuel surcharges for a round-trip booking.

Thus, the value of the eVoucher is ultimately very limited, and I wouldn’t consider the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite as a whole to be a very powerful product compared to its peers in the market. 

Instead, the primary appeal of this card will be its elevated welcome bonus of 60,000 Avios – of which 50,000 Avios can be claimed in the first year without paying a second year’s annual fee. 

Conclusion

The welcome bonuses on four RBC Avion products have all been bumped up to 35,000 Avion points upon approval through to November 2021, while the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite is also witnessing a record-high offer until February 2022. 

Keeping in mind that RBC will only approve you for one credit card every 90 days, I’d recommend targeting one of the Avion products first before their offers end in November, and then moving onto the British Airways offer if it interests you.

Combine these generous offers with a transfer bonus to one of RBC’s frequent flyer partners such as the current 30% transfer bonus to Avios, and you’re set to be booking some spectacular travel in late 2021 and beyond.

36 Comments
  1. Jon

    Are the Visa Infinite benefits really that much better? i.e. applying for the Platinum vs the Infinite?I would assume that the person obtaining these cards have alternate cards with better insurance benefits, etc.

  2. Navim

    RBC Business cards run on a separate 1/90 cycle than personal cards. So you can apply for a personal card, then in 20 days, apply for a business card. You would wait 90 days from the first application to be eligible for a new personal card and 110 days from the first application to be eligible for a business card.

  3. Alexander Lurye

    You can’t get 70.000 point for RBC Avion Visa Platinum and RBC Avion Visa Infinite at the same time:
    ” Additional cardholder(s), as well as existing RBC Avion Visa Infinite or RBC Avion Visa Platinum, Cathay Pacific‡ Visa Platinum, British Airways‡ Visa Infinite, RBC Rewards Visa Preferred, RBC Rewards+ Visa, RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege and RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege for Private Banking credit cardholders, applying for or transferring to an RBC Avion Visa Infinite credit card, RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege credit card or RBC Avion Visa Platinum credit card as of the start of the Offer Period, are not eligible for this offer. ”
    You get 35.000 for one card and 15.000 for another.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Many have gotten 70,000 points from the two cards under these rounds of offers.

      1. Alexander Lurye

        Looks like they extremely lucky: me and my wife got 35.000 + 15.000…

  4. Terry

    Did I read this correctly, I can hold Avion infinite and platinum at the same time? I just got the infinite so sounds like a no brainer to get the platinum.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes, it’s possible!

  5. Larry

    The RBC VI British Airways card perhaps does not earn a lot of Avios as HSBC for example, and indeed, the voucher might not be top value yet it does have two superb features: 10% off total price of BA flights (huge) the only such card in Canada with actual discount, and 31-days emergency travel insurance, these 2 features by themselves are worth having the card, if you happen to fly once per annum with BA

  6. Viola

    Just did a product switch from Cashback MasterCard to Avion Visa. They originally said no bonus will be awarded to PS, but after a contest to their CS, now a 15,000 points appears on my avion account as sign-up bonus!

  7. Evan

    So if I read the fine print correctly if I already have the Cathay Platinum card, I won’t qualify for this offer even if I do a new application?

    1. Mike

      For Evan. Westjet isnt listed. So PS to westjet from cathay pacific card. Then from westjet to Avion card then it should work becauze fine print says avion products or cathay or birtish airways cards. Which still gives room to movement.

    2. Ricky YVR

      If the fine print is enforced, yes.

  8. Aryan

    How about redeeming 35k points for merchandise if someone doesn’t want to go for flight redemption? What option do i have!

  9. Melissa Daley

    Hi Ricky, do you think we would be able to cancel these cards after the first month and still keep the points?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Even if it worked out, that would be a great way to harm your relationship with the issuer in the long run.

  10. Daniel

    Ricky I dont think that if you can qualify for more than one card in this RBC Family. For this special offer. So you wont get 70k points, just 35k. Can you please read the 1st point of the T&Cs and verify? It says that new or existing cardholders holding one of these cards cannot get another one with the 35k bonus. Thanks.

    1. Ricky YVR

      I’ve read the T&Cs. There are two ways to interpret them.

      “Additional cardholder(s), as well as existing RBC Avion Visa Infinite or RBC Avion Visa Platinum, Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum, British Airways Visa Infinite, RBC Rewards Visa Preferred, RBC Rewards+ Visa, RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege and RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege for Private Banking credit cardholders, applying for or transferring to an RBC Avion Visa Infinite credit card, RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege credit card or RBC Avion Visa Platinum credit card as of the start of the offer period on April 19, 2021, are not eligible for this offer.”

      1) As of the offer’s start date of April 19, any existing cardholder of one of the listed cards is not eligible for this card. In this case, you’d be able to get 35,000 points from one product, but not 70,000 points from both, since you’d be an existing cardholder by the time you apply.

      2) If you were an existing cardholder of one of the listed cards as of April 19, you aren’t eligible for this offer. In this case, you’d be able to get 70,000 points from both, since you were not an existing cardholder of either product as of April 19.

      I like the second interpretation better.

      1. Daniel

        What matters is how RBC sees it. I guess I need DPs on this.

      2. Daniel

        Tricky stuff. Yes, youre right Ricky. Thanks.

    2. Jay*

      Same can be said for AMEX in regards to bonuses and that doesn’t stop people, just saying. 🙂

      1. Daniel

        Yea true Jay. Though I dont churn two same Amex cards unless at least a year apart, so not a big concern. But here its as long as promotion lasts so the timeline is potentially a lot shorter for RBC to notice.

  11. Eric

    Any DPs on upgrading from VI to VIP with Avion product?

  12. Rick

    Are we eligible for this if we applied to the one last year? Recently cancelled my card in Feb. Is there a time period we need to wait?

    1. Ricky YVR

      The terms and conditions only preclude “existing cardholders” (and even then, it’s anyone’s guess how strictly they’re enforced), so I’d say you should be good to apply.

    2. susan

      Rick, can you keep us updated if you apply and receive again, as we cancelled 2 of these in Feb. also. Thanks, Susan

  13. Tom

    Any thought on churning this card? if i cancelled a year ago? Is that long enough?

  14. IceH

    Is this offer specific to the person received it, or anybody can get it? Don’t see this offer on RBC site.

    1. Ricky YVR

      It’s now publicly available on the RBC website.

      1. Wayne

        Thanks Ricky! i was having some trouble finding it at first but I can also see the offer now for Platinum

        1. Ricky YVR

          I’ve added a direct link to the RBC website to help people find it, cheers.

    2. L Lau

      If you Google rbc avion in Chrome incognito mode, you should see it as an ad in the first result

  15. Arsalan Hassan

    There is a 25k fyf offer floating around as well, if you value the cash over the 10k extra points.

  16. DM

    If I product switch to this card from another RBC card, will that be eligible for the 35k bonus as well? I had this card last year when the 35k bonus was around but then I switched to a different product later. Thanks!

    1. TIm

      Only new applications are eligible for this or any “promo” offers, unfortunately

  17. Geoff Hunt

    Hi Ricky, P2 has the BA VI currently and a product switch sounds interesting for this offer. However this language in the T&C’s makes me iffy.

    Additional cardholder(s), as well as existing RBC Avion Visa Infinite or RBC Avion Visa Platinum, Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum, British Airways Visa Infinite, RBC Rewards Visa Preferred, RBC Rewards+ Visa, RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege and RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege for Private Banking credit cardholders, applying for or transferring to an RBC Avion Visa Infinite credit card, RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege credit card or RBC Avion Visa Platinum credit card as of the start of the Offer Period, are not eligible for this offer. ”

    Any feedback on if a PS will be successful despite the language of the T&C’s?

    1. Tim

      Unfortunately PS are not eligible for this or any offer, only new applications

Ricky Zhang

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