RBC Avion Visa Platinum Review (Seeing Double?!)

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The RBC Avion Visa Platinum is one of the most confusing travel credit cards in Canada.

I had to do a double take when I first heard about the RBC Avion Visa Platinum and investigate what made it different from the RBC Avion Visa Infinite.

The RBC Avion Visa Platinum and RBC Avion Visa Infinite are essentially the same credit card. They have the same sign-up bonus, same points earning categories, and the same annual fee. The only thing that separates the two cards is the insurance package. The Visa Infinite has higher offers more insurance than the Visa Platinum.

The other major difference between the two cards is there is no minimum income requirement with the RBC Avion Visa Platinum (yay!).

Those are literally the only different between the two cards!

That leaves me scratching my head wondering why RBC creates two nearly identical credit cards.

Perhaps it is a mystery that will never be solved.

Today, we’re going to walk through the ins and outs of the RBV Avion Visa Platinum, so you can decide if it is the right credit cards to your wallet!

Benefits of travelling alone

Highlights

There are some pretty good perks that come with the RBV Avion Visa Platinum.

I can’t list them all, but here are a few of the top highlights you need to know about:

  • Earn up to 15,000 Avion points as a sign-up bonus
  • Earn 1 Avion point per $1 spent
  • The ability to earn extra Avion points when shopping at partner retail locations
  • You can transfer Avion points to partner airline programs
  • RBC offers transfer promotions a few times a year where you earn 30% to 50% more points when you transfer Avion points to partner programs

That’s not too shabby!

I do wish the points earning were a little bit higher or at least offer extra points on travel-related purchases.

Other than that, there isn’t really anything to complain about with this card!

RBC Avion Visa Platinum

Pros and Cons of the RBC Avion Visa Platinum

Pros

  • Can transfer points to partner programs
  • Sign-up bonus is easy to earn
  • Can save on gas at Esso when you link your card

Cons

  • No first year annual fee waiver
  • Low points earning ratios
  • Missing premium insurance package (e.g. emergency medical insurance)

Points

You earn Avion points with the RBC Avion Visa Platinum.

That shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you considering Avion is in the name!

What I love about Avion points is how versatile they are!

You can book flights with your Avion points directly or transfer them to a number of partner programs and book travel through those platforms.

It is super easy to make your Avion points work for you rather than trying to change your travel needs to fit within a points program.

Sign-Up Bonus

The sign-up bonus on the RBV Avion Visa Platinum is 15,000 Avion points.

There isn’t a minimum spend requirement, which is fantastic!

Your sign-up bonus is awarded to your account after your first billing cycle.

Technically you don’t have to make a single purchase to get the sign-up bonus, but I always recommend buying at least a coffee with the card in the first month.

It shows the card is active, and you’re able to take it for a test drive to ensure it is working properly.

There truly couldn’t be an easier way to earn travel points!

Earning Points

The points earning is very straightforward on the RBC Avion Visa Platinum.

You earn 1 Avion point per $1 spent.

There are, sadly, no elevated points earning categories. It is just a flat 1:1 ratio.

You also have the chance to earn bonus Avion points when shopping at partner retails during random promotions put on by RBC.

Be sure to keep your eye on your email or RBC account, so you don’t miss out on those opportunities.

Redeeming Points

RBC has made the redemption process fairly painless.

It is all done through the RBC portal, and the website is pretty easy to navigate. It is definitely beginner friendly.

You can choose to redeem your Avion points for travel or convert them to points in a partner program.

Here is a breakdown of what the standard transfer rates are:

  • British Airways Avios (1 Avion: 1 Avios)
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (1 Avion: 1 Asia Mile)
  • American Airlines AAdvantage (1 Avion: 0.7 AAdvantage point)
  • Westjet Dollars (1 Avion: $0.01 Westjet Dollar)

IF you decide to transfer your Avion points to a partner program, make sure it is 100% what you want to do.

Once they are transferred, there is no way to convert them back into Avion points.

That’s the only part of the redemption process that is tricky. You need to research the partner programs, figure out if one suits your travel needs, and then be confident in your decision to transfer your points.

Although, most people who apply for one of RBC’s Avion cards already know what partner program they want to transfer their points to before they apply.

Luggage and passport

Best Way to Redeem Avion Points

In my humble opinion, the best way to redeem Avion points is to transfer them to a partner program.

Specifically, transfer them to the British Airways Avios program.

This is the best way to get the most value out of your points. It is also the best way to get the most flexibility out of your Avion points.

You can truly make your points do basically whatever you want them to do when you transfer them to a partner program.

I highly recommend you look into transferring your Avion points to a partner program when you go to redeem them.

Once or twice a year RBC runs a promotion where you get 30% to 50% bonus points back when you transfer your points to a partner program.

Most of the time it only applies when transferring Avion points to Avios points.

Be on the lookout for these promotions and transfer your points during them. That is the best way to maximize your Avion points!

Here is a breakdown of the points required for a redemption flight if you choose to redeem directly through the RBC Avion portal and not transfer them to a partner airline:

RBC Avion Points

Worst Way to Redeem Avion Points

Merchandise and gift cards.

There is no worse way to redeem your Avion points than by using them to purchase merchandise or gift cards.

You get a terrible value per point, and it is almost the same as throwing your points away or letting them expire.

It is definitely worth waiting until you have enough points to redeem for a flight reward.

Basically anything is better than using your Avion points for merchandise or gift cards!

Annual Fee

The annual fee on the RBC Avion Visa Platinum is $120.

RBC doesn’t offer a first year annual fee rebate on any of their cards, so you’re stuck paying the $120 out of pocket every year you hold the card.

It is definitely worth the annual fee in the first year, but you have to do the math and figure out if it is a card is worth holding past the first year.

Student Travel Hacking

Qualifications

I’ve very happy to report there is no minimum income requirement on the RBC Avion Visa Platinum!

This is very exciting!

Especially, when you consider you’re getting pretty much all the same perks as the RBC Avion Visa Infinite that has a minimum income requirement of $60,000.

This makes the RBV Avion Visa Platinum a no-brainer for travel hackers who are underpaid at their jobs and don’t meet the minimum income requirement for other cards.

Who Should Get the RBC Avion Visa Platinum

This is the perfect credit card for people who don’t meet the minimum income requirements on other premium travel credit cards but still want to travel hack.

I love how versatile the points are and how easily you can transfer them to partner programs that suit your travel habits.

The card is missing a premium insurance package, but it isn’t that big of a deal. You can easily live without it.

Who Should NOT Get the RBC Avion Visa Platinum

I don’t suggest you get the RBC Avion Visa Platinum if you already hold the RBC Avion Visa Infinite.

Outside that, I think it is a pretty solid card that most travel hackers can benefit from holding.

Or at least working into their existing travel hacking strategy.

It may not be the right card for you if you’re focussed on domestic or North American travel.

The card is definitely more suited to international travellers.

Woman waiting in airport

Alternative Credit Cards

Conclusion

So, what do you think about the RBC Avion Visa Platinum?! Are you going to add it to your wallet?

I think it is a great addition to pretty much any Canadian wallet.

I love how versatile Avion points are, and how easily you can redeem them for your dream trip.

It is also a really nice touch that you don’t have to meet a minimum income requirement. It makes the RBC Avion Visa Platinum so accessible and is a great card to get when you’re new to travel hacking.

The downside of the card certainly lies in the fact that there aren’t any elevated points earning categories.

It takes a while to earn a significant amount of Avion points when you only earn 1 point per $1 spent.

I would love to be able to earn more points on travel purchases, but I guess I shouldn’t complain.

At least you’re earning points towards free travel!

All in all, I think the RBC Avion Visa Platinum is a solid credit card and one you should definitely consider incorporating into your travel hacking strategy.

RBC Avion Visa Platinum Review (Seeing Double?!)RBC Avion Visa Platinum Review (Seeing Double?!)RBC Avion Visa Platinum Review (Seeing Double?!)

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