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[ANALYSIS] RBC Rewards / Avion

I have always advocated diversifying your points portfolio. One of the best ways to diversify your points portfolio is to earn transferable points to give you more flexibility to take advantage of different programs. I have decided to jump on the Avion points bandwagon because of its transferability.

You can earn Avion/RBC Rewards with the following credit cards:

  • Avion Visa Infinite Privilege ($399 annual fee)
  • Visa Infinite Avion ($120 annual fee)
  • Visa Platinum Avion ($120 annual fee)
  • Visa Business Avion ($120 annual fee)
  • RBC Rewards Visa Preferred ($110 annual fee)
  • Visa U.S. Dollar Gold ($65 USD annual fee)
  • Signature RBC Rewards Visa ($39 annual fee)
  • Visa Creditline for small business (no annual fee)
  • RBC Rewards Visa Gold (no annual fee)

So you definitely have a lot of options to bank a lot of points. What’s great about this program is that you can have a personal no annual fee credit card (e.g. RBC Rewards Visa Gold) to keep earning points.

Below is the list of transfer partners and some details regarding the transfer requirements:

American Airlines, AAdvantage

You can convert your RBC points at a 1:1 ratio, with a minimum requirement of 5,000 RBC points for 5,000 AAdvantage points. I find AAdvantage points valuable because they are a member of Oneworld alliance, so you have so many airline partners to choose from for a reward flight.

Asia Miles

You can convert your RBC Rewards at a 1:1 ratio, with a minimum of 10,000 RBC points for 10,000 Asia Mile points. Asia Miles are generally use on Cathay Pacific, who is also a member of Oneworld alliance.

British Airways, Executive Club, Avios

You can convert your RBC Rewards at a 1:1 ratio, with a minimum of 10,000 RBC points for 10,000 Avios points. British Airways is also a member of Oneworld alliance.

Esso, Esso Extra

You can convert your RBC Rewards at a minimum of 1,500 RBC points for 2,500 Esso Extra points. Thereafter, you will need to convert in blocks of 300 points, which will give you 500 Esso Extra points.

Shoppers Drug Mart, Shoppers Optimum 

You can convert your RBC Rewards at a minimum of 1,500 RBC points for 8,000 Shoppers Optimum points. Thereafter, you will need to convert in blocks of 500 points, which will give you 2,500 Shoppers Optimum points.

WestJet, WestJet Rewards, WestJet dollars

You can convert your RBC Rewards points at a 100:1 ratio, with a minimum of 1,000 RBC points for 10 WestJet dollars. Though WestJet is not part of any airline alliances, they are partners with American Airlines.

Conclusions

As you all know, I am a big fan of double-dipping. So if you plan on doing any of the conversions, I would wait for a transfer bonus, which seems to happen about twice a years. What I like best about Avion points is that they never expire so long as you retain a credit card and there is a no annual fee version of the credit card (RBC Rewards Visa Gold. So you can keep you points active without any costs.

I would also be cognizant of expiry policies to help you with your decision.

WestJet Rewards expire every 48 months and Asia Miles expiry every 36 months regardless of activity. So a transfer will not help keep these points active. Because of such expiry policies, I personally do not have an account with either of these two loyalty programs.

AAdvantage points expire every 18 months of inactivity and British Airways Avios expiry every 36 months of inactivity. I have an account with both loyalty programs, so I plan to use my Avion points to help keep my two accounts active if need be. So I will be watching closely for transfer bonus opportunities.

Esso Extra expire every 12 months without activity and Shoppers Optimum have a more complicated expiry policy. Shoppers Optimum points generally do not expire, but their is an end date to the program, which is currently March 31, 2017, but generally the program extends its termination date. Either way, I personally would not be transferring my points to either of these two programs because they are easy enough to accumulate points during every day shopping.

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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