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RBC VISA Infinite Avion - worth it?

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[OP]
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Mar 8, 2013
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RBC VISA Infinite Avion - worth it?

I received this in the mail - 25,000 Welcome Points for the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card, $120 annual fee waived first year. I assume that this is different than the RBC Avion Infinite Privilege card, for which there is a thread on RFD. What is this offer really worth? The brochure indicates 15,000 points for a flight with maximum ticket price of $350, 35,000 for a flight with maximum $750.

So for example, I can find a round trip flight Air Canada YYZ to YVR for $288 and on another day, $390. Are there extra charges for taxes, etc., or are they covered in the 15,000 / 35,000 redemption? Does this mean that the $390 (or a $351) flight will require 35,000 points? The mailing also mentions Trip Cancellation, Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance, etc. I already have a 'travel' credit card that covers these, but that card may not be free when the first year is up. Does anyone have experience with this card, or have any other comments?
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Dec 4, 2008
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Yes.

Is the mail card targeted with some code? Or a generic offer?
[OP]
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sports1 wrote: Yes.

Is the mail card targeted with some code? Or a generic offer?

There is an Invitation Code and an Access Code. "Yes" to which question - taxes covered in the 15,000 / 35,000 redemption?
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Dec 4, 2008
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akaManny wrote: There is an Invitation Code and an Access Code. "Yes" to which question - taxes covered in the 15,000 / 35,000 redemption?
"Yes" as in it's a decent offer, 25k points / FYF. More info here: rbc-visa-infinite-avion-sign-up-offer-2 ... e-2172769/

I ended up transferring my points to BA Avios instead, but IIRC you can use the points to pay taxes/surcharges/etc... you're still charged them.
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This is not a good card as a keeper IMO, but definitely worth taking for the 25k signup bonus, since it is FYF.
I got this card back in May when I seen a thread here about the 25k points and FYF.
I let the points sit there for a bit, and then during a RBC Financial Rewards promo, cashed them in for a certificate for a deposit into my TFSA.
I’ll dump it before the first year is up.
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Jan 9, 2011
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I got this card a few months ago for the same 25,000 point welcome bonus and FYF. There was a promo on Hotels.com gift cards, I got $325 worth for 24,375 points. That was a superb bonus. I'd say go for it.

As for keeping the card—$120/year for a card that earns 1% across the board? Forget it. I only ever spent about $15 on the card and won't spend any more before canceling it soon.
Jr. Member
Aug 9, 2015
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One of the worst travel card out there IMO...

I would go for CIBC Aventura or Scotia Passport
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May 31, 2018
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Kiraly wrote: I got this card a few months ago for the same 25,000 point welcome bonus and FYF. There was a promo on Hotels.com gift cards, I got $325 worth for 24,375 points. That was a superb bonus. I'd say go for it.

As for keeping the card—$120/year for a card that earns 1% across the board? Forget it. I only ever spent about $15 on the card and won't spend any more before canceling it soon.
This. I had the Avion for years not knowing any better, and my ignorance cost me a lot. Apply and grab the bonus, cash it in for some Hotels.com gift cards and while you're doing that get a card that has a useful rewards program.
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Apr 23, 2017
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The trouble with the Avion Infinite card imo isn't the program itself but rather the earn rate for purchases. 1% (1.25% on travel purchases) is rather poor.

The RBC Rewards program I don't mind - easy to use, ways to earn bonus points through the e-mall, etc. I don't usually book more than a few days in advance so I don't qualify for the fixed rate rewards, but the standard flight and hotel rewards at 1 RBC point = 1 cent are simple and straightforward. The problem is that low earn rate. If it was 1.50 Avion points earned per $1 spent, and 2 Avion points for travel per $1 spent, and 1 Rewards point = 1 cent, it would be a pretty good program to earn in. As it is, other bank cards give better value through their higher earn rates. BMO W.E. is 1.43% per $1 on base, and 2.14% on travel AND dining AND entertainment (and this after the devaluation BMO did). RBC's 1% base and 1.25% travel doesn't compete well for straight up purchases of last minute hotels and flights. HSBC's 1.50% earn base and 3% on travel also gives more. RBC's earn rate hasn't adjusted over the years to match the newer crop of rewards cards - it was a good earn rate in the mid-1990s, but not so much now.

One possible exception is if one uses the card to transfer points to frequent flyer program such as BA. If one uses the bonus points transfer offers, one gets 1.3 BA Avios points per $1 of spend base, and 1.62 BA Avios points per $1 of travel spend. If one can find a use for BA Avios at high value, the RBC Avion Infinite earn rate when used for BA points transfers during bonus periods is decent.
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HermanH wrote: The trouble with the Avion Infinite card imo isn't the program itself but rather the earn rate for purchases. 1% (1.25% on travel purchases) is rather poor.
Not to mention, there is no definition of “travel” on the website, or anything that came with the card.
I’ve booked a Swoop flight with this card for a family member, and did not get the bonus for it.
When I called in to inquire on what is defined as “travel” to get bonus points, I was told “flights”.
I’m like, ok well I booked a flight and didn’t get any bonus points.
So she looked into it, came back on the line and said she needed to transfer me to RBC Rewards so they can make an adjustment.
I was on hold for 10-15 minutes when I gave up and hung up.
The 0.25% extra on $700 wasn’t worth it to me to spend whatever amount of time on the phone.
So assuming the rep I talked to is correct, only flights are eligible for the 0.25% bonus.
Lame.
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Feb 4, 2009
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HermanH wrote: The trouble with the Avion Infinite card imo isn't the program itself but rather the earn rate for purchases. 1% (1.25% on travel purchases) is rather poor.

The RBC Rewards program I don't mind - easy to use, ways to earn bonus points through the e-mall, etc. I don't usually book more than a few days in advance so I don't qualify for the fixed rate rewards, but the standard flight and hotel rewards at 1 RBC point = 1 cent are simple and straightforward. The problem is that low earn rate. If it was 1.50 Avion points earned per $1 spent, and 2 Avion points for travel per $1 spent, and 1 Rewards point = 1 cent, it would be a pretty good program to earn in. As it is, other bank cards give better value through their higher earn rates. BMO W.E. is 1.43% per $1 on base, and 2.14% on travel AND dining AND entertainment (and this after the devaluation BMO did). RBC's 1% base and 1.25% travel doesn't compete well for straight up purchases of last minute hotels and flights. HSBC's 1.50% earn base and 3% on travel also gives more. RBC's earn rate hasn't adjusted over the years to match the newer crop of rewards cards - it was a good earn rate in the mid-1990s, but not so much now.

One possible exception is if one uses the card to transfer points to frequent flyer program such as BA. If one uses the bonus points transfer offers, one gets 1.3 BA Avios points per $1 of spend base, and 1.62 BA Avios points per $1 of travel spend. If one can find a use for BA Avios at high value, the RBC Avion Infinite earn rate when used for BA points transfers during bonus periods is decent.
Good info. We have the RBC avion with about 88K worth of points at the moment. I might look into other cards with a high reward rate. Maybe the BMO WE.
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Apr 23, 2017
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coolintheshade wrote:
So assuming the rep I talked to is correct, only flights are eligible for the 0.25% bonus.
Lame.
Hotels usually count as travel too. I found this out when I stayed at a Hyatt years ago and got the bonus earn rate of 1.25% on my Avion monthly statement for the stay.

I worked it out once that based on my annual spending patterns (base + travel) the Avion Infinite would give an average earn rate of 1.02%
(this is using the points at 1 pt = 1 cent for travel purchases through the RBC site, booking less than 2 weeks in advance, and not using fixed points chart or transfers to FF programs)

By contrast, my average earn with the competing BMO W.E. card (base + travel + restaurants + entertainment) would be 1.63% (was 2.0% before the devaluation)
With HSBC W.E. (base + travel + no FX) it would be roughly 1.64%

(Of course if I wanted BA Avios miles - I don't, but if I did - , the RBC Infinite would give me an average earn rate of 1.33 Avios miles per CDN$1 spent (base + travel) . Since some can get 3 cents in value from an Avios mile that would be an average earn - if I got 3 cents per Avios in value - rate of 3.99%. If I only got only 1 cent per Avios mile in value, it would be an average earn rate of 1.33% If I ended up with a pile of Avios miles I could never use, it would be an average earn rate of 0%)
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Jun 23, 2015
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What has more value, getting an aeroplan card or Infinite style card. I really just fly air canada (work reasons) Im torn between what will reward me the most between the two.
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akaManny wrote: I received this in the mail - 25,000 Welcome Points for the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card, $120 annual fee waived first year. I assume that this is different than the RBC Avion Infinite Privilege card, for which there is a thread on RFD. What is this offer really worth? The brochure indicates 15,000 points for a flight with maximum ticket price of $350, 35,000 for a flight with maximum $750.

So for example, I can find a round trip flight Air Canada YYZ to YVR for $288 and on another day, $390. Are there extra charges for taxes, etc., or are they covered in the 15,000 / 35,000 redemption? Does this mean that the $390 (or a $351) flight will require 35,000 points? The mailing also mentions Trip Cancellation, Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance, etc. I already have a 'travel' credit card that covers these, but that card may not be free when the first year is up. Does anyone have experience with this card, or have any other comments?
It's FYF. What is there not to like? IMO, it's a no brainer. lol
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coolintheshade wrote: Not to mention, there is no definition of “travel” on the website, or anything that came with the card.
I’ve booked a Swoop flight with this card for a family member, and did not get the bonus for it.
When I called in to inquire on what is defined as “travel” to get bonus points, I was told “flights”.
I’m like, ok well I booked a flight and didn’t get any bonus points.
So she looked into it, came back on the line and said she needed to transfer me to RBC Rewards so they can make an adjustment.
I was on hold for 10-15 minutes when I gave up and hung up.
The 0.25% extra on $700 wasn’t worth it to me to spend whatever amount of time on the phone.
So assuming the rep I talked to is correct, only flights are eligible for the 0.25% bonus.
Lame.
This card is so dumb, even worse than the regular Rogers/Fido MC. RBC earns big money on this card from people who know nothing about credit cards.
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EdisonL299 wrote: This card is so dumb, even worse than the regular Rogers/Fido MC. RBC earns big money on this card from people who know nothing about credit cards.

Yeah, and not just RBC.
So many times I’ve seen people using their Costco MC at places other than restaurants and gas stations.
Either these people are clueless on how to maximize their rewards, or they’re the kind of people that use one or two cards only and don’t care about maximum rewards.
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coolintheshade wrote: [/b]
Yeah, and not just RBC.
Well I don’t see another premium card that is so bad from big 5. People should really churn this card as hard as possible until RBC realizes the shit card they made.
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coolintheshade wrote: Not to mention, there is no definition of “travel” on the website, or anything that came with the card.
I’ve booked a Swoop flight with this card for a family member, and did not get the bonus for it.
When I called in to inquire on what is defined as “travel” to get bonus points, I was told “flights”.
I’m like, ok well I booked a flight and didn’t get any bonus points.
So she looked into it, came back on the line and said she needed to transfer me to RBC Rewards so they can make an adjustment.
I was on hold for 10-15 minutes when I gave up and hung up.
The 0.25% extra on $700 wasn’t worth it to me to spend whatever amount of time on the phone.
So assuming the rep I talked to is correct, only flights are eligible for the 0.25% bonus.
Lame.
I feel ya. You could have used HSBC WE/Amex Cobalt/Amex Gold/PP/OneVanilla to get much higher return.

Similar feelings that I used Scotia Amex Gold at a Park but figured out it was not entertainment afterwards.

I hate the stupid games banks are trying to play. If it’s just flights/performance tickets, don’t advertise travel/entertainment to mislead people.
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EdisonL299 wrote: Well I don’t see another premium card that is so bad from big 5. People should really churn this card as hard as possible until RBC realizes the shit card they made.
What I meant is other banks are also making huge money off people using a 0.50% return credit card (C1 Costco) at say, a grocery store, when there is a wide selection of no fee cards that pay 2% in that category.
It happens so often, it drives me crazy Face With Tears Of Joy
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coolintheshade wrote: What I meant is other banks are also making huge money off people using a 0.50% return credit card (C1 Costco) at say, a grocery store, when there is a wide selection of no fee cards that pay 2% in that category.
It happens so often, it drives me crazy Face With Tears Of Joy
Costco MC is still useful and beneficial because of the 3% on dining (the highest among all Canadian MCs). This RBC Avion VISA “Infinite”, gives you 1.25% on flights only and 1% on other. What a shame.

Every time I pay and see ppl use 0.5% return card on bonus categories, I feel confident that I’m way smarter.
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