I initially had my first experience with the Royal Bank Visa Infinite Avion a few years back (2011 to 2012 to be precise).  You can read about my RBC Infinite Avion Visa review here.  I was a big fan.  It was easy to use, there were no black out dates, I was able to transfer my points easily to the Airlines Awards and there is a great promotion to transfer your points (and get 50% more points at that) to British Airways Avios a few times a year.  The 15,000 bonus Avion points that are awarded when you make your first purchase becomes 22,500 British Airways Avios points when you convert it.  There really wasn’t much to NOT like.

Unfortunately the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card is so great that it charges an annual fee.  An annual fee of $120 per year.  As many of you probably know, I have an illogical aversion to paying an annual fee.  Unfortunately, I recall that they were pretty strict about the annual fee after the first year (meaning there’s not much you can do to sweet talk the customer service rep into giving you another year for free).

Related: Credit Card Travel Hacking Spree

The great thing is that you get 15,000 RBC Avion points with your first purchase.

How to Get Your First Year Free With RBC Visa Infinite Avion

Royal-Bank-Visa-Infinite-Avion-cardThis works if you are already an RBC customer.  With their banking package, if you have a number of services with them,  you are eligible to receive the first year free of your RBC Visa Infinite Avion.  This is called the “VIP Banking package”

For example if you have:

  • An RBC mortgage
  • An RBC banking account
  • An RBC investing account (you can just even open up a TFSA with them and fund it with $100)

You will be eligible to receive an RBC Visa Infinite Avion first year free.

Here is Another Way to Get your First Year Free With RBC Visa Infinite Avion

Another way to get the first year free with the RBC Visa Infinite Avion if you are not an extensive RBC customer (e.g. if you do not have a mortgage with them, if you do not bank with them, and if you do not invest with them) you can get the first year free if you have an premium Visa card from another credit card issuer.

I remember finding this information out when I called the cancel the card the first time and was wondering if they would be able to extend the waiver of the annual fee.

For example, if you have the:

  • CIBC Aeroplan Infinite Visa
  • TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa
  • CIBC Adventura Visa
  • TD First Class Travel Infinite Visa
  • Scotiagold Visa
  • Desjardins Visa
  • American Express Aeroplan Gold

You just need to call into the RBC customer service line and tell them you are interested in getting an RBC Visa Infinite Avion credit card and that you have one of the premium Visas.  The process is easy and they will just ask you to go to a Royal Bank Branch to verify your information.

However, once the year is up (bittersweet ending usually) then you have the option to pay the annual fee of $120 or to switch to a no-fee credit card.

Related: Book Review: Travel Hacking for Canadians: How to Travel for Less by Steven Zussino

Of course, when you apply for so many credit cards you will have your credit report checked.  So beware!

And as per usual, I am not advocating that you should be applying for credit cards here and there if you cannot handle them and have an issue paying off the balance every month.  The deals and points that you would get from your purchases would be nullified with the credit card debt and interest that you would accrue if you did not pay your balance off in full every month.

So far, I have been pretty happy with the RBC Visa Infinite card (as I was a few years ago) and have already used some of the points to book a car rental on my next trip.  I liked the ease of use and the lack of inflated prices when you are booking.  Certainly beats using Aeroplan rewards, that’s for sure.

Readers, what do you think about the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card?  What was your favourite reward from it?

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