Although my Royal Bank of Canada Visa Infinite Avion credit card is long gone (thanks to my stubborness of being unwilling to succumb to paying an annual fee for a credit card), it still has a special place in my heart, much like the MBNA American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit card.
First of all, this is a good card, and I understand how most people wouldn't blink at paying a $120 annual fee to get the perks that this card gives you.
Quick side note: IF spending $120 annually on your credit card isn't your thing, we've got some other great options for you over on our credit cards review page. My personal no-fee card is the Tangerine credit card which has some excellent rewards option, but won't cost you a day's work to have in your wallet either. Canada's pre-eminent online bank (see our overall Tangerine Review here) partnered with Mastercard to produce this unique card that allows you to custom select the categories that you'd like to accrue bonus points in – thus allowing you to maximize your credit card reward based on your personal spending profile.
Let's have a closer look at the premium Visa Infinite Avion card:
- 1 RBC Reward Point for every $1 spent on the card
- Earn 1.25 RBC Reward Points for every $1 spent on travel related expenditures on the card
- Earn extra RBC Reward points if you book your travel with Carlson Wagonlit travels or Thrift Car rental
- You get 15,000 points to start off with (which is good for a short haul flight pretty much)
- You can redeem for any flight at any time without having to deal with blackout periods etc.
- You can transfer your points to British Airways, American Advantage, and Asia Miles airline programs if you wanted to
- You can redeem your points at anytime instantly with Travelocity
- Out of Province Emergency Medical for your trip (15 days if you're under the age of 65 and 3 days if you're older than 65!)
- Trip Interruption Insurance
- Flight Delay Insurance
- Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance
- Emergency Purchases Insurance
- Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance
- Travel Accident Insurance Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Protection
What you need to get this card:
- $60,000 personal income or $100,000 household income
- If you have a few other banking things with RBC (e.g. mortgage, banking, etc.) you should qualify for the multi-product rebate which offers you a free first year for the Visa Infinite Avion credit card(which is what we had)
- Unfortunately they are pretty strict on not giving you an extra year for free (yes, I tried)
- $120 annually for one card and an extra $50 for supplemental cards
How to Redeem for Stuff:
- Possibly the best part of this card is that you can redeem twice a year for 1.5x the British Airways Points than you would otherwise. It only happens once or twice a year and they mail you a letter telling you the dates you can do these (usually it's about a month long window of opportunity)
- Otherwise, it's redeemed on a 1:1 basis with the aforementioned airline programs, with a minimum of 10,000 point redemption
- The other way to redeem your Avion points is booking through their Air Travel Redemption Schedule, where for 15,000 points you get a maximum amount of $350 spend (see my ugly attempt at a screen shot below).
- Unfortunately, the Avion doesn't cover the bits and pieces of an airline flight fee like the fuel surcharge etc. so even if you save on a flight to London, you still have to pay the fees (which can add up to around $200 or so).
- I think we had about 35,000 points on this card (thanks to the bonus) when we had it and we just transferred it to one of the airlines reward programs to add to our existing points in that program.
- With that, I was able to get a free return flight all the way to Asia (hence the Bali and Singapore posts). I still had to pay about $200 in airline fees but that's better than having to pay $1400 in a flight, I'd say.
- Unless you spend a lot on the credit card (it was our joint credit card so we didn't spend that much on it since we don't have too many joint expenses), I don't know if I would pay $120 annual fee for this card just because it's not as flexible as it claims to be.
Readers, do you have the Avion Infinite? What are your thoughts on it? If you opt for a no-fee card instead, what was your reasoning there?