Lately, I have been receiving a lot of questions regarding the RBC Rewards / Avion points program. So I thought I’d write about the best use of its points. First of all, you can earn Avion points by signing up and using one of the following Royal Bank 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)
Right off the bat, you definitely do not have a shortage of options to earn points. The above options definitely covers a wide variety of clients, so you should definitely be able to find a credit card on the list that suits your needs.
In terms of redeeming your points, I will start with a benchmark. You can redeem your points for: “Hotels, Car Rentals, Cruises, Tours, Package Holidays,” at a rate of 1 point equally 1 cent. So if your expense costs you $500, you will need to redeem 50,000 points. Knowing this, depending on which credit card you have, if you earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent, you are earning a 1.5% return. But if you only earn 1 point for every $2 spent, you are getting a 0.5% return.
Personally I do not like these returns. I prefer another option offered by this rewards program. Another option is that you can transfer your Avion points to another loyalty program. Below is a list of transfer partners and certain details to keep in mind (in alphabetical order):
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. We have scene 20% or 30% transfer bonuses. I value AAvantage points at 1.7 cent a piece. Therefore, without the transfer bonus you can get a 1.7% return or up to 2.21% if you take advantage of a 30% transfer bonus.
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. What I dislike about Asia Miles is that they expire 3 years after they are deposited.
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. We have scene a 50% transfer bonus twice a year. I value Avios points at 1.7 cent a piece, so you can get either a 1.7% return or up to 2.55% return if you can take advantage of the 50% transfer bonus. This is probably my top choice in terms of how I use my Avion points.
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.