The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite is the only British Airways co-branded card in Canada, making this an obvious choice if British Airways is your airline of choice.
For other travellers, this card still offers a compelling signup bonus, and a Companion Award eVoucher should you spend at least $30,000 in one calendar year.
Bonuses & Fees
The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite offers a signup bonus of 60,000 Avios, delivered to you as follows:
15,000 Avios upon card approval
35,000 Avios upon spending $6,000 in the first three months
10,000 Avios upon renewing your card after the first membership year
You’ll note that the final 10,000 Avios are only granted after you renew the card for another year. Therefore, the welcome bonus available in the first year is only 50,000 Avios.
The annual fee on this card is $165. If you have an RBC VIP Banking Account, you’ll be able to get a fee waiver on one of RBC’s premium credit cards, including this one.
Among other things, 60,000 Avios can get you a one-way flight in economy class from Vancouver to Asia, up to three one-way flights from the West Coast to Hawaii or from Toronto to Dublin, or up to eight one-way flights on any short-haul trips you plan to take with Oneworld carriers along your travels around the world.
Earning those points for $165 is a pretty great deal, and definitely one to consider if you can manage the minimum spending of $6,000 in the first three months.
The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite offers the following earning rate:
- 2 Avios per dollar spent on British Airways flights and vacations
- 1 Avios per dollar spent on all other purchases
Unlike many other loyalty programs, Avios redemptions depends on the total mileage flown. Avios uses multiple mileage bands, divided into zones.
Furthermore, connecting flights can often be a detriment since by adding a connection, you might have to pay more miles, since your total flying distance will be higher.
Therefore, the best uses for British Airways Avios tend to be for direct flights, and those just under the threshold of the zone limits.
Upon earning 56,000 Avios from this card in the first year (including the points earned upon completing the minimum spend requirement), you could:
- Fly two people from Seattle to Hawaii roundtrip
- Fly from Toronto to Dublin in one-way in business class
- Fly multiple short-haul flights starting from 6,000 Avios one-way
- Fly from Dubai to Paris in one-way in business class
- Earn 4,000 more Avios, for a total of 70,000 Avios, and fly Qatar Airways Qsuites from North America to the Middle East
The sky really is the limit with Avios, since the price can depend on which carrier you’re flying and which region you’re flying in.
Perks & Benefits
This card also comes with a Companion Award eVoucher when you spend $30,000 on the card in one calendar year. This voucher allows you to add a companion to your ticket for free when you redeem your Avios for a round-trip flight with British Airways originating in and returning to Canada.
While this sounds like a great deal, keep in mind that Avios redemptions on British Airways long-haul flights come with significant fuel surcharges in the region of $600 in economy class or $1,000 in business class, which can really eat into your savings.
I’d say that this is a benefit that you could take advantage of if you do happen to be making this redemption anyway, but it’s not worth going out of your way to spend $30,000 on this card for it.
In addition, you’ll also receive 10% off when booking paid flights with British Airways using this card.
The usual RBC perks also apply here, namely saving 3¢ per litre at Petro-Canada and earning 20% more Petro-Points and 20% more RBC Rewards points.
Lastly, RBC British Airways Visa Infinite cardholders will receive 12 months of complimentary DoorDash DashPass as part of the wider partnership between RBC and DoorDash.
As a Visa Infinite product, this credit card comes with comprehensive premium travel insurance, including:
Emergency medical insurance for the first 31 consecutive days of any out-of-province trips
Flight delay and emergency purchases insurance in the event of a missed connection, delayed flight departure, or denied boarding
Auto rental damage and theft insurance, which can help you save on the insurance fees that car rental companies charge
Hotel burglary insurance of up to $2,500 in total
Travel accident insurance of up to $500,000 against accidental death or dismemberment
The card also comes with strong purchase protection benefits, including an extended warranty that doubles the original manufacturer’s warranty up to a maximum of one year, and coverage against accidental loss or damage of personal property for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.