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But it shouldn’t! It is packed with value and really benefits holders.
The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite gives you 40,000 Avios points as a sign-up bonus. That’s enough points for 5 short-haul round-trip flights or 3 one-way flights from Eastern Canada to Western Europe. The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite sign-up bonus is one of the best in Canada. The annual fee is a little steep at $165, and RBC, unfortunately, doesn’t rebate the annual fee in the first year. However, the pros of the RBC BA Visa Infinite outweigh the $165 annual fee!
Today we’re going to do a deep dive into the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite.
We’re going to talk about the pros and the cons of the card and help you decide whether it is the right credit card for you!
As an aside, the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite isn’t your typical credit card. It isn’t the credit card you get and then hold for years because it is so great.
Most people cancel their RBC BA Visa Infinite in the first year, and that is what I recommend doing as well.
The RBC BA Visa Infinite isn’t a sexy credit card, and it seems quite boring at first glance.
The story changes, however, when you dig deeper into how to redeem British Airways Avios points. There are countless ways you can redeem your Avios points, and they are great for every traveller.
No matter where you go, you’ll be able to redeem your Avios points to fly for free!
Some of the top highlights of the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite are:
- Up to 50,000 Avios points as a sign-up bonus (I know I said 40,000 Avios points in the introduction, and we’re going to cover why it most people only get 40,000 Avios points in the points section)
- 10% British Airways flights when you pay for flights with the card
- Earn points in one of the best points programs on the market
Again, not the most luxurious or sexy highlights, but the sign-up bonus is well worth the credit hit to get this card!
Pros and Cons of the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite
- Huge sign-up bonus
- Easy to redeem points
- Partner airlines mean you can redeem points anywhere in the world
- Hefty annual fee
- Poor points earning categories
- Most people only get 40,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus instead of 50,000 Avios
You earn and redeem British Airways Avios points with the RBC BA Visa Infinite.
There isn’t the possibility to transfer points to partner programs, but the Avios program is so robust that you don’t need that option.
Before applying for the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite, make sure you have an Avios profile set up and have a rewards number.
You need to enter that number when you apply for the card, so they can add the points you earn to the correct account.
You earn up to 50,000 Avios points as a sign-up bonus with this card.
The sign-up bonus is split into three sections, and you earn it as follows:
- 15,000 Avios points after your first purchase
- 25,000 Avios points after spending $5,000 on the card in the first 3 months
- 10,000 Avios points after renewing your card for the second year and paying the annual fee
That’s a total of 50,000 Avios points, but, as I said, most people only receive 40,000 Avios points as their sign-up bonus.
That is because it isn’t worth paying the annual fee to hold the card for a second year.
One Avios equals approximately $0.0153. That means 10,000 Avios points is worth $153 Canadian dollars. You are way overpaying for those last 10,000 Avios points if you spend $165 on the second year’s annual fee.
I highly recommend you cancel this card before the second year’s annual fee comes due!
You can also do a product switch, which is the best way to work your way through RBC’s travel credit cards with just one hard credit hit.
You can easily do a product switch online, and it takes less than five minutes!
There is no nice way of putting this:
The points earning categories on the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite are rubbish.
They are a bit shameful actually!
- 2 Avios points for every $1 spent on British Airways flights
- 1 Avios for every other $1 spent
It is for that reason I don’t recommend you put much spending on this card once you’ve hit the minimum spend.
You can pick up almost any other travel credit card and get a better points earning rate on them.
It takes ages to earn Avios points with this card outside the sign-up bonus.
The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite is really a one night stand. You get it for the sign-up bonus and then sneak out in the middle of the night and never call it again.
British Airways makes it really easy to redeem your Avios points!
You simply search for the flight route you want to take and check the redeem points box.
That takes you to a listing of available flights and shows you the price in Avios rather than in fiat currency.
British Airways is a member of the OneWorld Alliance, and you can redeem your Avios for flights on partner airlines.
All through the British Airways website!
Redeeming Avios points is super painless and one of the best programs for people new to the travel hacking world.
One important thing to note about redeeming Avios points is there are two different charts. It is slightly less expensive to redeem Avios on British Airways, Aer Lingus, Vueling, and Iberia than it is to redeem on other partner airlines.
Best Way to Redeem Avios Points
It is widely known in the travel hacking world that Avios points are best used for short-haul flights under 1,151 miles flown.
You get an exceptional value per point when you redeem your Avios points for short-haul flights. One-way flights can be paid for with as little as 4,000 Avios!
And let’s be honest. Those expensive short-haul flights are some of the most painful to pay for with your own money! I always feel like I’m winning when I redeem my Avios for an expensive short-haul flight.
With so many partner programs, you can redeem Avios anywhere in the world.
You don’t need to be in Europe/England to take advantage of Avios points!
Another great way to redeem the Avios you earned through the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite is to fly economy from Eastern Canada to Western Europe!
You can fly economy from, say, Toronto to Dublin on Aer Lingus for just 13,000 Avios each way.
That is an incredible value and shouldn’t be overlooked!
I live in Western Canada and can’t take advantage of that sweet spot, but if I lived out East, I would be chomping at the bit to take advantage of that redemption!
Worst Way to Redeem Avios Points
Without a doubt the worst way you can redeem your Avios points is by buying merchandise and gift cards.
The value get per point is atrocious, and it simply isn’t worth it!
I don’t think many people redeem their Avios for merchandise in Canada, and it is probably a more common occurrence in Europe.
But don’t do it!
In terms of flight redemptions, the mid-haul flights aren’t a great value.
You pay quite a bit more in points but don’t fly that many miles.
The long-haul flight redemption of 32,500 to 51,000 Avios one-way in economy isn’t great, but if you fly a huge number of miles, it may just be a better deal than mid-haul flights.
When push comes to shove, try to save your Avios points and only use them for short-haul flights or for that special Eastern Canada to Western Europe redemption.
But no matter what, please don’t redeem your Avios for merchandise!
The annual fee on the RBC BA Visa Infinite is $165 per year.
That is quite a significant annual fee and higher than the annual fee on any of RBC’s other travel credit card.
I definitely think the annual fee could be lowered, but the sign-up bonus is so good that it is still worth paying $165 to get this card!
Like many other premium travel credit cards in Canada, there is a steep minimum income requirement.
You need to meet one of the following income requirements:
- $60,000 in personal income
- $100,000 in household income
The personal minimum income requirement is quite difficult to meet. I really don’t like when credit card issuers have minimum income requirements that are so much higher than the average income.
It is an elitist practice that discriminates against young people, single people, women, and people who are underpaid at their jobs.
Don’t let a credit card issuer make you feel bad about yourself because your employer doesn’t pay you what you deserve, and you don’t meet their high income standards.
The good(ish) news is that the household income is more manageable assuming there are two working people in the household.
It by no means guarantees that you will meet the household minimum income with two working people, but it is more likely to happen than someone meeting the minimum income as an individual.
I understand why banks have minimum income requirements, but they really get on my nerves! That’s why I love American Express so much. They don’t have any minimum income requirements on their Canadian cards!
Who Should Get the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite
I definitely think the RBC BA Visa Infinite is not the right credit card for everybody.
But they have better points earning categories!
I suggest going after those credit cards first and then applying for the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite.
Another tactic is to apply for the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite first and get you 40,000 Avios and then do a product search to either the RBC Westjet World Elite Mastercard of RBV Avion Visa Infinite.
That is what I did, and it worked out great!
You have to apply for the RBC BA Visa Infinite first because you have to meet a minimum spend to unlock part of your sign-up bonus. The other two RBC cards don’t have a minimum spend requirement.
A number of people have said that said that when they transfer to the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite from another RBC card, they did not get the bonus points associated with the minimum spend requirement.
They only got the 15,000 Avios after their first purchase.
You do not want to miss out on those additional 25,000 Avios!
So if you’re going to product switch between RBC products, make this card your starting point and switch to other cards from there!
Who Should NOT Get the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite
People who are just getting into the travel hacking game probably shouldn’t target the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite right out of the gate.
There are much better credit cards out there where you can earn points quicker and transfer them to the Avios program.
Once you have exhausted all the other Avios cards, then you should start considering this card.
Alternative Credit Cards
There you have it!
My in-depth review of the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite. I threw a lot of information at you, and I hope it was helpful!
I personally like the RBC BA Visa Infinite, but it isn’t a card I would recommend to new travel hackers.
There are better credit cards on the market with higher points earning categories that you should target first.
Once you’ve exhausted those, the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite is a great place to start looking next.
I love the Avios program and never turn away from an opportunity to earn more Avios points!
And this card really helps you earn a lot of Avios points quickly!
As a side note: I really enjoy RBC. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with them, which is not something I can say about any other Canadian bank. I know it has nothing to do with the card, but it is a nice cherry on top of RBC’s fantastic selection of travel credit cards.