How Long Do RBC Avion Points Transfers Take?

RBC‘s in-house rewards currency is known as RBC Avion points. Similar to Amex Membership Rewards, Avion points are a transferable currency, in that you can choose to convert them into points in a handful of external loyalty programs.

Avion points can be transferred to four different airline partners, as well as Hudson’s Bay Rewards. Given this flexibility, Avion points are an important asset to have as a Miles & Points enthusiast.

When planning out a redemption, it’s important to know how long it takes for points to arrive in your loyalty program account once they’ve left your RBC Avion account. In this guide, we’ll go through the transfer times for converting RBC Avion points into airline partner programs, as well as any other pertinent information to be aware of.

Transferring Points from RBC Avion

RBC issues a number of credit cards that earn Avion points. Earning Avion points is a great way to supplement your balance of other transferable points currencies, such as American Express Membership Rewards or HSBC Rewards, with the goal of using them for travel.

In Canada, there are a total of seven credit cards that accumulate Avion points: the RBC Avion Visa Infinite, the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege, the RBC Avion Visa Platinum, the RBC US Dollar Visa Gold, the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business, the RBC Avion Visa Business, and the RBC Visa CreditLine for Small Business.

The cards range from entry-level to top-tier, and so there should be at least one card on this list that suits most travellers.

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
$120 annual fee
35,000 RBC Avion points $580 Apply Now
35,000 RBC Avion points $525 Apply Now

In general, it’s best to only transfer Avion points out of your account once you’ve lined up a specific redemption. This way, they remain versatile, as they aren’t shoehorned into a single loyalty program.

RBC Avion points can be converted to American Airlines AAdvantage miles, British Airways Avios, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and WestJet Dollars.

It’s also possible to transfer them into Hudson’s Bay Rewards; however, unless you do a significant amount of shopping at the department store, it’s generally recommended to avoid transferring your points this way.

Prior to making a transfer, you’ll need to register for an account with the loyalty program to which you’d like to transfer points. Once you’ve done so, head to your RBC Avion Rewards account, sign in, and select “Transfer” at the top of the page.

Once here, scroll down, click on “Convert Now”, select the program to which you’d like to transfer points, and then follow the prompts. You typically need to enter your membership number and email address at this stage, so have both of those handy.

Keep in mind that points transfers are one-way only, and once they leave your RBC Avion account, they can’t return. Therefore, you’ll want to be 100% certain that you want to make the transfer, as you won’t be able to get them back into a transferable form once they’re gone.

The below chart summarizes the estimated transfer time as listed by RBC, the realistic transfer time, the minimum transfer amount, and the transfer ratio for each partner program. Further down, we’ll go into a bit more detail about the nuances of each loyalty program.

Transfer Partner

Estimated Transfer Time

Realistic Transfer Time

Minimum Number of Points to Transfer

Transfer Ratio

American Airlines AAdvantage

Up to four weeks

Up to one week

5,000

1:0.7

British Airways Avios

Up to four weeks

Less than a week

10,000

1:1

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Up to four weeks

Around a week

10,000

1:1

WestJet Rewards

Up to four weeks

Up to a week

1,000

100:1

Transferring RBC Avion to American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

RBC Avion is the sole Canadian transfer partner of American Airlines AAdvantage. The US-based loyalty program has a number of compelling redemptions, and it can indeed be very worthwhile to have AAdvantage points at your disposal.

The transfer ratio from RBC Avion to American Airlines AAdvantage is a slightly unfavourable 1:0.7, and the minimum transfer amount is 5,000 RBC Avion points.

The listed transfer time is up to four weeks, but in reality, the points will hit your AAdvantage account in a few days, but could take up to a week.

In Canada, American Airlines AAdvantage miles are otherwise very difficult to earn, which makes RBC Avion points both unique and valuable.

It’s worth noting that AAdvantage allows award holds, which means that you can place a booking on hold, transfer points in, and then complete the booking.

You can place a hold of up to five days if your flight departs 14 days or more in the future, or just for one day if it’s in the next two weeks. The cost is $35 (USD) for an award hold, and you’ll need to call AAdvantage to request it.

The hold can buy you some time to transfer your RBC Avion points into your AAdvantage account without losing out on the flights you’d like to book.

Transferring RBC Avion to British Airways Avios

British Airways Avios is perhaps the most frequently used transfer partner of RBC Avion.

Once again, the advertised transfer time is up to four weeks, but in reality, you can typically expect your points to arrive in a few days, and sometimes up to a week.

The minimum transfer amount is 10,000 Avion points, and the ratio is 1:1.

Prior to initiating a transfer to Avios, you may want to hold off for a transfer bonus event, which typically appears once or twice a year. During a transfer bonus event, you’ll benefit from an even more favourable ratio, usually with a 30–50% bonus.

For example, if you were to transfer 10,000 Avion points to Avios without a bonus, you’d wind up with 10,000 Avios. During a 30% transfer bonus, you’d get 13,000 Avios, and during a 50% bonus event, you’d get 15,000 Avios.

These numbers really start to add up as you make larger redemptions, and it’s perhaps the best way to score an aspirational flight on Qatar Airways Qsuites at a significant discount.

Transfer RBC Avion points to Avios and fly Qatar Airways Qsuites

Keep in mind that British Airways Avios transfer to Qatar Airways Avios instantly at a 1:1 ratio, so during a transfer bonus event, you’re essentially extending the Avion bonus to Qatar Airways Avios, too.

Transferring RBC Avion to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Another Oneworld airline loyalty program that’s a transfer partner of RBC Avion is Cathay Pacific Asia Miles.

The estimated transfer time from RBC Avion to Asia Miles is up to four weeks; however, in general, you can expect the transfer to take around a week.

You’ll need to be sure that the personal information on your RBC Avion account exactly matches the personal information on your Asia Miles account. If it doesn’t, expect to run into lengthy delays for any transfers, which can be very frustrating.

The minimum transfer amount is 10,000 Avion points, and the transfer ratio is 1:1.

It’s worth noting that RBC Avion has the most favourable transfer ratio to Asia Miles in Canada. Recall that the Amex MR ratio is 1:0.75, and the transfer ratio from HSBC Rewards to Asia Miles is 25:8.

Therefore, RBC Avion is arguably the best route to Asia Miles in Canada.

In the past, there have been a few transfer bonuses available; however, the most we’ve seen is 15%, and the events are far less frequent than with British Airways Avios.

Asia Miles also allows award holds of up to three days at a cost of $39 (USD) for partner airlines. However, since the transfer time is likely to take longer than this, it’s not particularly useful.

One of the best aspects of Asia Miles is that you have access to more Cathay Pacific award seats than other programs, including First Class and business class.

Convert RBC Avion points into Asia Miles and fly Cathay Pacific First Class

Asia Miles also offers an award waitlist, which can be handy if you aren’t able to find your preferred redemption right away.

Transferring RBC Avion to WestJet Dollars

Lastly, RBC Avion points can transfer to the WestJet Rewards loyalty program. If you choose to do this, your Avion points become WestJet Dollars, which can be used to book flights with WestJet and other affiliated airlines.

The listed transfer time is again up to four weeks, but you can generally expect the process to be complete in a few days or up to a week, at most.

RBC Avion points convert into WestJet Dollars at a 100:1 ratio, which means that every 100 Avion points converted equals 1 WestJet Dollar. The minimum transfer amount is 1,000 Avion points, which is the lowest threshold amongst all transfer partners.

Unfortunately, WestJet Rewards isn’t as interesting as it once was. The program underwent an overhaul in 2020, which essentially eroded the most attractive features of the loyalty program.

However, WestJet Dollars can come in handy if you tend to fly WestJet anyway, since they can be used to offset the cost of flights.

You can also use them with WestJet Vacations and on other expenses, such as Disneyland tickets.

Furthermore, when used in conjunction with a WestJet Companion Voucher, WestJet Dollars can help you reduce the cost of a trip for two.

Transferring to/from Hudson’s Bay Rewards

It’s worth noting that you can transfer RBC Avion points to Hudson’s Bay Rewards at a 1:2 ratio, with a minimum transfer amount of 500 Avion points. There is no publicly listed transfer time.

If you happen to be sitting on a large sum of Hudson’s Bay Rewards, you can actually transfer them into RBC Avion points, albeit at a fairly unfavourable ratio of 4:1. The minimum transfer amount is 40 Hudson’s Bay Rewards.

Unless you don’t have a compelling reason to use the points for merchandise, at least you have an option to turn them into RBC Avion points. Indeed, this is certainly a much better option than letting your points expire.

Conclusion

RBC Avion points are a useful points currency to collect, since they can be transferred to four airline partners. With a number of credit cards that earn RBC Avion points, they’re also relatively easy to earn.

Most of the airline transfer partners belong to the Oneworld alliance, which makes RBC Avion points less versatile than, say, Amex MR points, which has transfer partners in all three major airline alliances.

However, with a favourable transfer ratio to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, frequent transfer bonuses to British Airways Avios, and the only pathway to American Airlines AAdvantage in Canada, collecting RBC Avion points is surely worth your time and effort.

When you’re ready to redeem, expect your RBC Avion points transfer to take less than a week for all transfer partners. In some cases, it only takes a few days, which means you won’t have to wait long to score an aspirational redemption.

1 Comment
  1. Fred

    The comments on placing a hold with Aadvantage are outdated. There is no longer any fee for placing a hold AND it can be made online, very easily.

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