A few weeks back, we shared the news of a record-high welcome bonus on the RBC Avion Visa Infinite of 35,000 Avion points upon approval. This offer had been available via a special landing page, rather than being publicly displayed on the RBC website.
Well, not only is the offer for 35,000 Avion points being officially promoted by RBC now, but it’s also available on two other cards in the RBC Avion family: the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege and the RBC Avion Visa Platinum!
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.
Not only are the Avion cards offering generous points totals of 35,000 Avion points each, but they’re all accessible with no minimum spend at all, so you should absolutely take advantage of these limited-time offers while they’re available.
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, for a limited time, 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.
Note that there’s no published end date listed on the RBC website – it just says “limited time offer”. However, if we take a look at the special landing page through which this offer is also available, there’s an end date of July 26, 2021.
Therefore, I’d treat July 26 as a rough estimate of when this offer might expire, although it could of course extend further beyond that.
15,00035,000 RBC Avion points when you get approved for the card
1x1.25x RBC Avion points on travel purchases
- Transfer RBC Avion points to British Airways Avios and other frequent flyer programs for premium flights
- Minimum income: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household
- Annual fee: $120
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.
Right now, 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.
25,00035,000 RBC Avion points when you get approved for the card
- Plus, earn 1.25x RBC Avion points on all purchases
- Use your rewards for any business class flight with no restrictions on dates, seats, or airlines
- Transfer points to one of four airline partners
- Priority Pass membership with six free lounge visits per year
- Minimum income: $200,000 personal or household
- Annual fee: $399
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
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. Even though we haven’t seen these transfer bonuses since the onset of the pandemic, we’re hopeful to see them return in the future.
In late 2019, for example, RBC offered a 50% transfer bonus to British Airways Avios. I had taken advantage of this transfer bonus and combined it with another sweet spot of the Avios program: booking a one-way business class flight from Dublin to Toronto on Aer Lingus for 50,000 Avios.
With the 50% bonus, this booking only cost 33,333 Avion points, meaning that if RBC were to offer the same transfer bonus again, then the current signup bonus of 35,000 Avion points would be enough for a one-way transatlantic 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.
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.
The welcome bonuses on the RBC Avion Visa Infinite, RBC Avion Visa Platinum, and RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege have all been bumped up to 35,000 Avion points upon approval on a limited-time basis.
With no firm end date to these offers, and keeping in mind that RBC will only approve you for one credit card every 90 days, I’d recommend targeting the Visa Infinite and Visa Platinum flavours of the card to earn 70,000 Avion points for a modest $240 outlay.
Combine these generous offers with a transfer bonus to one of RBC’s frequent flyer partners that we’ll hopefully see later on in the year, and you’re set to be booking some spectacular travel in late 2021 and beyond.