How to Maximize the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule

RBC Avion Rewards is a flexible loyalty program that allows you to redeem points for travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more. 

When it comes to redeeming Avion points for travel, you can transfer points to American Airlines AAdvantage, British Airways Executive Club, , Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and WestJet Rewards, or you can choose to redeem Avion points for flights through the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule.

In this guide, we’ll explore the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule, and how you can maximize redemptions through the program when transferring points to airlines doesn’t suit your needs.

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What Is the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule?

The RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule is one of the ways in which you can redeem RBC Avion points for travel.

Bookings are made through the Avion Rewards portal, which in turn, is powered by Expedia. Therefore, most, if not all, airlines available on Expedia are also accessible through Avion Rewards.

With the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule, you can redeem a fixed number of points to book flights to various destinations. However, it’s important to note that the fixed number of points only applies to a maximum ticket price, which we’ll discuss in detail below.

Note that this redemption option isn’t available to RBC ION Visa or RBC ION+ Visa cardholders, which earn “Avion Premium” points. Rather, the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule is only available with the highest-tier “Avion Elite” points, which can be earned on the following Avion credit cards:

RBC Avion Credit Cards
Credit Card Best Offer Value
Up to 55,000 RBC Avion points†
$120 annual fee
Up to 55,000 RBC Avion points† $1,080 Apply Now
Up to 55,000 RBC Avion points†
$120 annual fee
Up to 55,000 RBC Avion points† $1,080 Apply Now
55,000 RBC Avion points† $826 Apply Now
35,000 RBC Avion points $700 Apply Now
35,000 RBC Avion points
$120 annual fee
35,000 RBC Avion points $580 Apply Now

It’s worth noting that you can transfer Avion Premium points earned on an RBC ION or RBC ION+ card into Avion Elite points, if you happen to have both an ION and an Avion credit card.

The 1:1 transfer can be completed in your Avion Rewards account, and it’s certainly worth considering, since Avion Elite points are more flexible than Avion Premium points.

With the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule, you can get a value of up to 2–2.3 cents per Avion point (all figures in CAD).

This is a solid redemption option, since you can redeem Avion points at a much lower rate of 1 cent per point on average – unless, of course, you transfer them to an airline program, which can extract even greater value.

How Does the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule Work?

There are six different categories under the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule, with each one based on the flight’s origin and destination.

For example, if you’d like to book a short-haul flight under the Quick Getaways section, 15,000 Avion points will get you round-trip economy flights, with a base fare of up to $350.

You’ll need to pay the same 15,000 points if the base fare totals, say, $100, as you would if the base fare totals $350.

Therefore, you’ll get the best value from your points if you come as close to the maximum permitted ticket price in each category.

Just keep in mind that you’ll also have to cover the taxes and fees on the booking, which you can either pay for with cash, or redeem Avion points at a rate of 1 cent per point.

Furthermore, you can also exceed the maximum ticket price for any itinerary; however, you’ll have to pay the difference in cash, or use more Avion points at a rate of 1 cent per point.

If you’d rather book a one-way flight instead of a round-trip, the number of points required is halved. 

The RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule only applies to economy flights, and not for flights in any other class of service. 

Quick Getaways

The shortest flight option on the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule, Quick Getaways, also happens to provide the most value per Avion point.

For flights within or to an adjacent Canadian province/territory, and within or to an adjacent US state, the pricing is as follows:

  • 7,500 Avion points for a one-way ticket, with a maximum base fare of $175
  • 15,000 Avion points for a round-trip ticket, with a maximum base fare of $350

At either 7,500 points for $175, or 15,000 points for $350, you’ll score a redemption rate of up to 2.33 cents per Avion point.

Some examples of other flight pairings available under Quick Getaways might include the following:

  • Toronto and New York
  • Winnipeg and Minneapolis 
  • Vancouver and Calgary

Unfortunately, airports in Alaska aren’t included under Quick Getaways, despite Alaska being adjacent to British Columbia and the Yukon.

Explore North America

For flights anywhere within the Canada and the US (excluding Hawaii and Alaska), which fall under the Explore North America section of the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule, the pricing is as follows:

  • 17,500 Avion points for a one-way ticket, with a maximum base fare of $375
  • 35,000 Avion points for a round-trip ticket, with a maximum base fare of $750

Either of the two options above yields a value of up to 2.14 cents per point.

With no distance limitations in this section, you could technically fly all the way from Yellowknife to Miami, and the ticket would still fall under the Explore North America category.

Holiday Destinations

Under the Holiday Destinations category of the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule, you may fly between the following areas:

  • Western Canada/US and Mexico, Hawaii, or Alaska
  • Eastern Canada/US and Bermuda, Central America, or the Caribbean

In Canada, the dividing line between Western and Eastern Canada is somewhere between Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Thunder Bay, Ontario – with Winnipeg being the start of Western Canada, and Thunder Bay being the start of Eastern Canada.

For this category, you may redeem Avion points as follows:

  • 22,500 Avion points for a one-way ticket, with a maximum base fare of $450
  • 45,000 Avion points for a round-trip ticket, with a maximum base fare of $900

Redeeming Avion points this way yields a value of up to 2 cents per Avion point.

Take a Vacation

The Take a Vacation category is the reverse of the Holiday Destinations category above, which allows for the following routing options:

  • Eastern Canada/US and Mexico, Hawaii, or Alaska
  • Western Canada/US and Bermuda, Central America, or the Caribbean

Since these routes are generally longer, you’ll need to redeem more Avion points, outlined as follows:

  • 27,500 Avion points for a one-way ticket, with a maximum base fare of $550
  • 55,000 Avion points for a round-trip ticket, with a maximum base fare of $1,100

Redeeming this way also yields a value of up to 2 cents per Avion point.

Visit Europe

Should you wish to book a trip to Europe, you may fly from any major airport in Canada or the US and redeem your points as follows:

  • 32,500 Avion points for a one-way ticket, with a maximum base fare of $650
  • 65,000 Avion points for a round-trip ticket, with a maximum base fare of $1,300

Interestingly, Hawaii and Alaska are also included under this category, and the redemption also works out to a value of up to 2 cents per Avion point.

See the World

Lastly, the See the World category includes all other destinations not covered by any other categories above.

Under this category, you may fly from Canada or the US to destinations in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Middle East, Africa, and South America, for the following amounts of points:

  • 50,000 Avion points for a one-way ticket, with a maximum base fare of $1,000
  • 100,000 Avion points for a round-trip ticket, with a maximum base fare of $2,000

Similar to the last few categories, the redemption rate is up to 2 cents per Avion point.

How to Book Flights with the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule

To book a flight using the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule, you’ll first have to log into your RBC account, either on the RBC Avion website or through the Avion Rewards app.

As a reminder, you’ll need at least one of the eligible “Avion Elite” cards listed above to book flights with Avion Rewards directly.

Once you log in, select the “Travel” tab, and click “Book Travel”. From there, select “Flights”, and simply search for your desired flight route and dates.

As you search for your preferred flight, you’ll have the option to choose between “Fixed Points Pricing” and “Flexible Points Pricing”.

You’ll want to make sure “Fixed Points Pricing” is selected, since Flexible Points Pricing option will give you a flat redemption value of 1 cent per point (100 points = $1 CAD). If you don’t have enough points in your account to book a flight with the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule, you’ll only see the Flexible Points Pricing option.

From there, you’ll see the available flights, the number of points required, and the amount of taxes and fees you’ll have to pay. Once you’ve selected your preferred flight(s), simply complete the booking process.

If you’re having difficulty finding your desired flights, or if you can’t get online booking to work, you can always phone RBC Travel at (877) 636-2870.

How to Maximize the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule

One of the best features of the RBC Avion Rewards program is that you can use your points in multiple ways. The most valuable way to redeem your Avion points is for travel, since it offers the best value in terms of cents per point.

If you choose to redeem points through the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule, there are a few optimizations to keep in mind to make sure you’re getting the most out of your points.

Use the Full Base Fare Limit

To make the most of an RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule booking, you should strive to reach the base fare limit in each category. This way, you’ll get the best return for your points.

In an ideal world, the best available flights for your trip would also max out the allowable base fare. Otherwise, it may not be worth booking flights with extra connections just to maximize your points, if a cheaper direct flight is available instead.

If you aren’t able to get close to the maximum allowed base fare, paying for the flight with cash, and saving your points for other redemptions, might make better sense.

For example, you can redeem 17,500 Avion points for a one-way ticket from Orlando to Toronto, with a maximum base fare of $375.

However, you might be able to find a cheap flight with a base fare of just $75 (CAD).

In this case, you’ll still be required to redeem the full 17,500 Avion points, and you’ll get a suboptimal redemption rate of 0.4 cents per point in the process, instead of the maximum of 2.14 cents per point if you used the full allowable base fare. 

To determine the base fare for a flight, pay close attention to the breakdown of prices on the airline’s website. After selecting your flights, you should see a row that shows “Air transportation charges”, and another that displays the taxes, fees, and other charges.

In this area, keep an eye out for an option to view the full price breakdown. In the breakdown, the base fare is displayed under “Air transportation charges”, which is what your RBC Avion points will cover at a fixed rate through the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule.

When you search for the same flights on the RBC Avion Rewards platform, you’ll have to pay the full 17,500 points, even though it’s only covering the $75 base fare, and you’re still on the hook for the remaining taxes and fees.

In this case, you’re much better off just paying cash for the flight, and saving your Avion points for a more valuable redemption instead.

You could also book the same flight using Flexible Points Pricing, and it’d only cost 12,877 Avion points, and you wouldn’t have any out-of-pocket expenses. Just keep in mind that this results in a value of 1 cent per point, which is less than what you can otherwise get through the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule.

However, you’ll also want to make sure that the flight’s base fare isn’t too much more than the maximum allowed. Remember that you’ll be charged the excess amount in cash, or Avion points at a flat rate of 1 cent per point.

Book Positioning Flights

One of the realities of award travel is that there’s frankly much more award availability at US airports than you’d find in Canadian cities.

If you’re able to find an award flight that originates in the United States, you could use the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule to book your positioning flights between Canada and the US.

For example, if you need to catch a positioning flight from Ottawa to New York, from where you’ll depart on a long-haul flight booked with another loyalty program, you could easily book a one-way flight under the Quick Getaways category for only 7,500 points.

The flights you book don’t have to be direct, and as long as your origin and destination fall under the definition of the category, your redemption will qualify.

For instance, flying from Vancouver to Seattle with a stop in San Francisco will still qualify under Quick Getaways, since the origin and destination (British Columbia and Washington, in this case) are adjacent to each other.

Take Advantage of Flexibility

One of the best aspects of the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule is the flexibility it offers. You’re not restricted to a specific airline and its alliance, and you’re not constrained by airline award seat availability and blackout dates, either.

You might find the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule particularly useful for airlines that aren’t part of an alliance, and are otherwise difficult to book with points. Some examples of this might include Philippine Airlines, Caribbean Airlines, and Montreal-based Air Transat.

Furthermore, you could take advantage of the flexibility of the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule by using it in tandem with award seats in other programs, which are usually limited.

For example, let’s suppose you’d like to book a family of four on a summer trip from Toronto to Vancouver. Air Canada’s Aeroplan program has award availability at 12,600 points, but the number of seats available at that price is limited to three.

If you add a fourth passenger to the search, the cost moves up to 19,900 points, which is a considerable jump in price.

Instead, you could book three passengers at the lower cost of 12,600 Aeroplan points, and then look into using the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule to book the fourth seat using Avion points. This would also come in handy if you didn’t have enough Aeroplan points to cover the fourth passenger to begin with.

A flight from Toronto to Vancouver falls under the Explore North America category, which means it’ll cost 17,500 Avion points for a one-way flight, plus around $85 for taxes and fees.

Boost Your Avion Balance with the RBC ION+ Card

Despite its minimal monthly fee, the RBC ION+ Visa actually has the most competitive earning rates among RBC’s line-up.

With the RBC ION+ Visa, you’ll earn 3 Avion points per dollar spent on groceries, dining, food delivery, transit, gas, electric vehicle charging, streaming, and digital gaming. By contrast, you’ll only earn 1 Avion point per dollar spent on those categories with the higher-tier RBC Avion Visa Infinite.

However, remember that you won’t get access to the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule with the ION+ card alone, since the card earns “Avion Premium” points, which can be redeemed for travel at a lower rate of 0.6 cents per point.

On the other hand, if you happen to have both an RBC ION+ Visa and an RBC Avion credit card that earns the higher-tier “Avion Elite” points, you can transfer “Avion Premium” points into “Avion Elite” points.

By doing so, you can redeem them at a higher value, either by transferring them to airline partners, or by making a booking on the Air Travel Redemption Schedule.

Therefore, you can get the best of both worlds by earning Avion Premium points on the RBC ION+ Visa, and then converting them into Avion Elite points, as long as you have an eligible Avion credit card, too.

RBC Avion Elite Credit Cards
Credit Card Best Offer Value
Up to 55,000 RBC Avion points†
$120 annual fee
Up to 55,000 RBC Avion points† $1,080 Apply Now
Up to 55,000 RBC Avion points†
$120 annual fee
Up to 55,000 RBC Avion points† $1,080 Apply Now
55,000 RBC Avion points† $826 Apply Now
35,000 RBC Avion points $700 Apply Now
35,000 RBC Avion points
$120 annual fee
35,000 RBC Avion points $580 Apply Now

Conclusion

The RBC Avion Rewards program provides a number of options for you to redeem your points towards travel. You can convert your Avion points to a partner airline, or you can redeem them through the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule.

While you can get great value by transferring Avion points to airline programs, there’s also great value to be found in the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule, potentially unlocking value of up to 2–2.3 cents per Avion point.

If you have a healthy balance of Avion points, be sure to consider the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule the next time you need to book a flight.