RBC Avion Card Review
Having options can save you money. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a way to get the banking fees for those packages waived. Avion needs to be crystal clear about the mix of points and fees. Copyright owned or licensed by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. I think a more realistic average redemption would be around 1.
My thoughts on the card – March 2016
Which is best for you depends. The best travel rewards programs come paired with a credit card to help you earn points faster and enjoy perks like free flights and hotel rooms. So, when it comes to earning and redeeming points, which program will give you the biggest bang for your buck? Aerogold is better if you spend more on gas, groceries and at the drug store. It also offers maximum value when you redeem points for long-haul flights and upgrade to business class.
But if you spend more on travel and want to redeem your points on any airline with no restrictions, Avion is the way to go. The Infinite card offers more benefits than the Gold or Platinum options, for the same annual fee. Each card offers the chance to earn bonus rewards points, depending on where you spend your money. Avion offers a 25 per cent bonus on travel purchases, such as flights, hotels, car rentals and cruises.
As for redeeming points, Avion and Aeroplan offer comparable value per mile on short-haul flights, but Aeroplan offers demonstrably more value for one-way tickets, business class, and long-haul flights — especially within North America.
On average, Avion cardholders can earn 2 per cent for every dollar spent on their credit card, while Aeroplan rewards around 2. Both cards offer top of the line insurance packages when it comes to higher value insurance products like Emergency Medical, Trip Cancellation, Flight Delay and Auto Rental. Aeroplan also gets the nod for its flexibility to cancel flights last minute and no advanced booking requirement. The best frequent flyer programs that you can transfer your RBC Rewards to are American Airlines and British Airways Avios, both of which have severely devalued especially for Canadians in the first quarter of Both of these programs American and British Airways get access to the same set of award space on planes.
Having a currency that can transfer to both is valuable as you can see which currency will be cheapest for your route and book accordingly. If you were targeting this route, you would transfer to BA Avios.
Having options can save you money. Prior to the devaluation of these 2 programs, I would have considered this card the best and only way to earn valuable American Airlines AAdvantage miles, with a great option to transfer to BA Avios should that work out more favorable.
However, the value of AA miles has dropped for many Canadians with the award chart change, that I believe this card is now primarily valuable for its air travel redemption schedule instead of its frequent flyer partners. See Devaluation of AAdvantage for Canadians. Furthermore, purchases on travel related purchases hotels, flights, car rentals etc. There are also bonus points earned for purchases through the RBC eMall, which is just a shopping portal, and additional points for purchases made at partners, such as Thrifty Car Rental and Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
Though it is not clearly noted, there really are 2 types of RBC Rewards, and the value of your rewards is really based on your best product with RBC. While there is still a lot of value to be had in the RBC Avion, my personal thoughts are that the earning rates are too low for the value that RBC Rewards will give most Canadians.
I believe that if you know which of the transfer options you will be interested in redeeming for, you can do noticeably better by getting the card to earn those directly.
In other words, you are paying a lot for the option value. As mentioned, RBC Rewards are designed to be redeemed for travel. There are a few ways to use yoru RBC Rewards for travel, with the best being transfers to frequent flyer programs. Any other options ie WestJet Dollars are poor value and if you are transferring regularly to Westjet dollars then you should consider a different card. In addition to the frequent flyer programs, you can use your points to pay for travel outright based on the schedule.
Unfortunately, the schedule limits the value you can get and does NOT include the taxes. If the flight you are interested in purchasing happens to cost above or near the limit of the zone in the schedule, you can return up to 2.
I think a more realistic average redemption would be around 1. This would be a very poor redemption. This would be a great redemption. This fee is waivable if you bank with RBC and have one of their upper tier banking packages. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a way to get the banking fees for those packages waived.
I value the RBC Rewards in the range of 1. In general, the RBC offers many options, but offers a lower return for those options.