RBC Debuts New Avion Select Membership Tier

RBC has introduced a third membership tier to its Avion Rewards loyalty program. Avion Select joins Avion Premium and Avion Elite as the newest tier in the program, which is now available to anyone and not just RBC cardholders.

While the full details surrounding the Avion Select tier have yet to be confirmed, members will soon be able to earn and redeem Avion Select points for travel.

RBC Debuts Avion Select Membership Tier

RBC’s Avion Rewards loyalty program is now accessible to all Canadians, and not just those who bank with RBC.

Until now, the program was only accessible through RBC’s suite of credit cards that earn Avion points.

Avion Select becomes the third membership tier within the Avion Rewards program. It’s a base-level tier that currently gives members access to cash back and deals at a number of retailers, as well as the Avion Rewards ShopPlus browser extension. 

Soon, Avion Select members will be able to earn Avion points, and then redeem them for merchandise, gift cards, and travel. Full details about the utility of Avion Select points will be confirmed in the near future.

As a reminder, the mid-level membership tier, Avion Premium, earns Avion points that can be redeemed for travel, bill payments, merchandise, and gift cards; however, they aren’t as versatile as Avion Elite rewards.

Avion Premium points are earned on the RBC ION+ Visa or the RBC ION Visa. They have different redemption rates than the Avion Elite tier, and can only be transferred to WestJet Rewards.

The top-level membership tier, Avion Elite, earns points that can be transferred to WestJet Rewards, British Airways Executive Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and American Airlines AAdvantage, and can be redeemed at a higher value for travel.

The full details of the differences between the Avion membership tiers can be found on the RBC website.

Since anyone can now sign up for an Avion Select account, Avion Rewards joins other Canadian programs, such as Aeroplan, Air Miles, and Scene+, as a loyalty program that isn’t exclusive to a subset of individuals.

An update to the terms and conditions of the RBC Avion Rewards program indicates that changes will come into effect as of September 7, 2023, which is likely the point at which RBC Avion Select points will be redeemable for travel and merchandise.

Signing up for an Avion Select account is easy, and just takes a few steps. You’ll need to provide an email address and backup phone number or email account, and then agree to the terms and conditions. 

After verifying your details, your account will be available for use. For the time being, this means that you can earn cash back through the platform; however, later this year, you’ll also be able to earn and redeem RBC Avion Select points.

How Will RBC Avion Select Points Compare?

One aspect of the launch of Avion Select that is of the most interest is what the earning and redemption rates will be. 

As the lowest tier within the RBC Avion ecosystem, it’s almost certain that the earning and redemption rates for Avion Select points will be lower and less flexible than those in both the Avion Premium and Avion Elite tiers.

For example, Avion Elite points can be transferred to four airline loyalty programs, and can also be redeemed for travel either using the Air Travel Redemption Schedule or at a rate of 100 Avion points = $1 (CAD).

On the other hand, Avion Premium points can only be transferred to WestJet Rewards, or can be redeemed for travel at a rate of 172 Avion Premium points = $1 (CAD), or 0.58 cents per point, through Avion Rewards.

One possibility is that Avion Select points won’t be transferable to any external loyalty programs, and might only be redeemed for travel at a lower rate than either of the other tiers.

However, it could be the case that Avion Select points can be pooled with Avion Premium or Avion Elite points, as long as the member picks up an RBC credit card. 

While Avion Premium points earned on one of RBC’s ION or ION+ credit cards can only be transferred to WestJet Rewards, it’s also possible to pool them with Avion Elite points if you also hold an eligible RBC Avion credit card. 

In this case, you’re able to take advantage of the elevated earning rates on some categories of spending with an RBC ION+ Card, and then leverage the wider range of redemption opportunities available with Avion Elite points.

If this is also the case with Avion Select points, then it could be possible to pool Avion Select points with Avion Premium or Avion Elite points, as the case may be.

More details about the full scope of Avion Select points will become available in the leadup to the official launch.

Conclusion

RBC has officially launched Avion Select, a third tier of membership in the Avion Rewards loyalty program. Anyone can sign up for an Avion Rewards account, and not just those who are RBC cardholders.

With this development, Avion Rewards becomes the latest loyalty program in Canada to be available to everyone. 

More details about the structure and scope of Avion Select will become available shortly.

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