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Record-High 35,000 Points on the RBC Avion! Ricky January 23, 2020

Record-High 35,000 Points on the RBC Avion!

From now until February 28, 2020, the RBC Visa Infinite Avion is offering an elevated signup bonus of 35,000 Avion points upon approval. The card has an annual fee of $120.

RBC Avion.png

35,000 Avion Points: A Record High

Before today, the best-available offer on the RBC Avion was 15,000 Avion points upon first purchase and another 5,000 Avion points after reaching the minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. 

However, RBC seems to be especially eager to experiment with limited-time elevated offers as of late, and today’s offer is the latest example of this. If you apply through this special link, you’ll receive a signup bonus of 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 one of the highest signup bonuses I’ve ever seen offered for this particular product, and even though the annual fee is not waived, it still no doubt represents an excellent value proposition.

As a base-level redemption, 35,000 Avion points can be redeemed via the RBC Travel Redemption Chart towards any round-trip flight within Canada and the continental US with a base fare of up to $750. 

However, RBC Avion is also a transferrable points currency similar to Amex Membership Rewards, allowing you to transfer your 35,000 points 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 35,000 Avios, 35,000 Asia Miles, 24,500 AAdvantage miles, or 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. 

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!

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, and furthermore, until January 31, the program is offering a 10% bonus from all credit card transfers (including RBC Avion) as well.

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.

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. Meanwhile, WestJet Dollars are best redeemed for Member Exclusive fares or otherwise at a ratio of 1 WestJet Dollar = $1 towards any travel on WestJet. 

(In fact, you could even combine this offer with the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard, which also currently has a record-high offer of 350 WestJet Dollars, to earn 700 WestJet Dollars in total.)

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 Avion points 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.

Is This Better than 25,000 Avion Points + First Year Free?

One of the best offers we’ve seen on this card previously allowed you to earn a total of 25,000 Avion points (15,000 points upon first purchase, followed by 10,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months), with a first-year annual fee waiver thrown in. I’d say that the current offer of 35,000 points (with no fee waiver) is an improvement upon that, for a number of reasons. 

First, it’s pretty rare to see such a huge sum of points being doled out without so much as a spending requirement, let alone a minimum spending requirement, attached. That alone should pique your interest, since you can earn those 35,000 Avion points with nearly zero effort.

Second, if given the choice between $120 and 10,000 Avion points, I’d say the latter is definitely worth more if you’re able to leverage it towards your travel goals at a good value. Given that there are four frequent flyer partners at your disposal, as well as the Travel Redemption Chart as a fallback option, you really should have no trouble redeeming those 10,000 Avion points at a value higher than 1.2 cents per point (cpp) and thus coming out ahead.

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.

Finally, even if the $120 annual fee isn’t waived as part of the current offer, there could be methods to get it waived anyway – for example by having an RBC VIP Banking Account or by taking advantage of the unadvertised “Visa Infinite customer war” deal as outlined in our page on the RBC Avion card.

Earning Rate & Product Switching

In terms of the earning rate, with the RBC Visa Infinite Avion, you’ll earn 1 Avion point per dollar spent on all purchases, and 1.25 Avion points per dollar spent on purchases coded as travel.

These are pretty unremarkable earning rates as far as travel credit cards go, and in my view, if you needed to put a purchase on a non-Amex credit card, the MBNA Alaska Airlines MasterCard might offer a better value proposition since their points are arguably worth more.

In contrast, a more interesting approach for this card lies in product-switching to a different RBC card later on with the aim of earning a signup bonus with your switch. In addition to the Avion card, other RBC products that are worth your consideration include the WestJet World Elite MasterCard, the British Airways Visa Infinite, and the Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum.

Conclusion

The new signup offer on the RBC Visa Infinite Avion of 35,000 Avion points upon approval is one of the highest we’ve ever seen, so there’s no better time to apply than before February 29, 2020.

The public RBC website doesn’t list this offer, so remember to click through the dedicated offer page (not a referral link) to apply. Combine this with a transfer bonus to one of RBC’s frequent flyer partners later on in the year, and you’re set to be booking some spectacular travel for only a $120 annual fee.

Top Offers

RBC Avion Visa Infinite

15,000 RBC Avion points
upon first purchase

  • 1.25x points on travel purchases
  • Transfer points 1:1 to WestJet, Avios, Asia Miles
  • Frequent 30–50% transfer promotions
Signup bonus
15,000 RBC Avion points
Annual fee
$120
18 Comments
  1. Avatar
    sawsdg

    in order to get this record high bonus, applicant must use this offer the get infinite card? can’t
    get it by product switching?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Correct, it has to be a new application.

  2. Avatar
    Ruj

    For info. I spoke to an RBC agent today and she advised that:
    Bianca Staton: First, I would like to know if the promotional offer you are applying for was addressed to you specifically, as if it is a link you picked up online you will not get the promotional 35,000 as these are client specific and regretfully people go and post them online which leads to confusion. The promotion that you are referring to is for new clients.

    Ricky – please advise.

  3. Avatar
    Ruj

    Does anyone know if there is a link for a similar promotion for the more premium card (the Visa Infinite Privilege) or is it just the Visa Infinite?

  4. Avatar
    Charlie Mattina

    I am hearing mixed responses about this card. Although the Legal Details state it is 35 000 upon approval to appear on first statement, I was told by a rep on the phone, it is 15 000 on first statement and remaining if you reach the spending requirement in first 3 months. RBC AVION on facebook reiterated the legal details (35 000). However, people on facebook are saying it is indeed only 15 000 on their first statement
    Anyone know???

  5. Avatar
    DM

    I just visited the RBC branch to apply for this card specifically, and learned that you could get the first year fee waived if you apply for one of RBCs personal banking accounts (PBAs). What’s even better is that if you are a new immigrant or student, first 12 months of PBA fees are also waived off (although in such case, you will have to provide a proof that you annual income is above the threshold – 2 paystubs and employer letter will do), making this already sweet offer irresistible. I got my PBA open and also made the CC application with all documents. I was told I’d hear back in 3-5 business days.

  6. Avatar
    Domenico Labile

    I already have RBC Avion card, how would I be able to take advantage of this offer?

    1. Avatar
      Ruj

      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 cardholders, applying for or transferring to an RBC Avion Visa Infinite card or RBC Avion Visa Platinum as of the offer eligibility period, are not eligible for this offer.

  7. Avatar
    Mike

    If I PS’d from the RBC BA Visa and received my new Avion card a few days ago, will I qualify for this higher bonus?

  8. Avatar
    steve

    I just got approved with this card yesterday. Thanks for the story! You mention the Westjet card as a good card to combine with. Do you know if I applied for it I would get dinged another hard pull or will RBC see I already just had a credit check and use it for this card?

  9. Avatar
    Mer

    I tried product switching my WJ card to the Avion card a couple of months ago, but the rep said that’s not allowed and even asked a "supervisor". Lucky that didn’t happen. I ended up signing-up for the bigger bonus last month. Not sure if others are having trouble product switching recently.

    1. Avatar
      Mike

      I product switched from Westjet WE to British Airways back in Nov/Dec and still haven’t seen any bonus show up in my Executive Club account

  10. Avatar
    AnotherAndre

    If this is a special link, not the public offer on RBC website, isn’t it sure that I’ll receive only 15,000 points thru product switch ?

  11. Avatar
    Mark

    I just signed up for the RBC Visa Infinite Avion for the Boxing Day special of 25K Avion points for a 3 month/$1500 spend in late November 2019. Does this mean I could potentially transfer my current RBC Visa Infinite Avion to the RBC Westjet (annual fee of $120), and then apply for a new RBC Visa Infinite Avion card before February 28 (annual fee of $120) via the special link provided in this article and receive an additional 35K points? Not sure if I would need to transfer my existing Avion points (30K) over to Avios before attempting this switch to RBC Westjet (and reapplication for a new RBC Visa Infinite Avion card) in case I lose my existing Avion points. Thanks Ricky – enticing offer, indeed!

  12. Avatar
    Mm

    I hold 2 WJ WE and the BA VI. Have you had DPs that would recommend applyingn for a 4th card / getting the bonus when holding these premium cards? I’ve had 3 VI avion infinites in the past.

    1. Avatar
      Alex

      Wait, 2 RBC WestJet World Elite Mastercards under your name at the same time? WOW, how did you manage that?
      Did you get the $250/$350 credit on each and 2 companion vouchers per year too?

      1. Avatar
        Cliff Paulson

        I have two WestJet World Elite MasterCards under my name. How I did it was apply for one and I then did a product swap from RBC Avion to WestJet World Elite to get the second one.

        Yes I received the $250 credit on each and 2 companion vouchers per year.

        My wife then applied for her own WestJet Elite MasterCards and now we have three companion vouchers a year. Love it.

        1. Avatar
          Alex

          Interesting….

          Good to know and thanks for the tip

Ricky

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