[ANALYSIS] RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege

Royal Bank is introducing its new Avion Visa Infinite Privilege card. Below are the highlights of the credit card:

  • $399 annual fee
  • $99 for supplementary cardholders
  • Earn 25,000 sign up bonus points
  • Earn 1.25 point for every $1 spent on all purchases

That is obviously a pretty hefty fee for a credit card that only earns you 1.25 point for every $1 spent on all purchases, where 1 point is worth about 1 cent a piece (depending on how you leverage your points), which means you are getting around 1.25% return.

Furthermore, you get more value out of your points when you redeem travel expenses, which include, but not limited to: holiday packages, hotel certificates, car rentals, cruises, tours and flights.

Otherwise, you can redeem your points for merchandise, which will generally get you less than 1 cent per point in value, which is not a great return, so I do not recommend it.

The $399 fee covers the following privileged benefits:

  • Receive a complimentary membership and 6 complimentary visits to your choice of over 500 airport lounges worldwide through Airport Angel
  • Dedicated VIP security fast track lane at select Canadian airports
  • Airport parking, valet discounts and dedicated taxi limo lines at select Canadian airports
  • Automatic enrolment into Elevated membership status in the Fairmont President’s Club
  • Receive 7 VIP benefits at over 900 prestigious properties
  • Receive $60 in complimentary credits to start the meter at zero on the first 12 taxis you order through Hailo in Canada.
  • Save 20% when you book an Airport Limousine Services through the Visa Infinite Privilege Concierge
  • Personal assistance who can help book event tickets, restaurants, help plan your travels, research your requests and locate hard-to-find items

There are definitely some valuable benefits to be had. So if you can find a way to take advantage of most of these benefits, the $399 can be worth it.

Personally, I am not a fan of Avion or RBC points. The reason is because I would be stuck with the credit card if I wanted to continue to earn enough Avion points to be able to redeem them for anything, which means that I will have to pay the annual fee year after year.

I generally prefer third party loyalty programs, such as Aeroplan, where you do not need to be stuck with 1 particular credit card to earn enough points to get reward flights. That way, I can cancel the credit card when I no longer feel that those points are worth it any more.

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  1. I wasn’t considering RBC points until I found out I could convert Aeroplan to Esso to RBC points to Avios- with the 50% RBC to Avios bonus it has been worth while converting to Avios. It’s not for everyone though, for sure.

  2. Definitely not for everyone. Just need to figure out what works best for you. Thanks for sharing your approach!

  3. I just check more info and it says minimum income is $200k! I currently have the regular RBC Infinite Avion not the best CC program but I’m satisfied with it. One of the reasons I stay is because I use Esso for my gas and collect points too, it helps me with my points for sure.
    One of the good things for the Privilege is the 1.25% per $1 spent. The regular RBC Infinite is only for travel related purchases, which is terrible!
    There will always be “better” cards out there, it just depends on what people want/need. The benefit with this card or others that are not Airline specific is that, usually you get “Status points” since its a revenue ticket to the airline.

    If only RBC would have some sort of system too where you can book business class at a “good” deal.

    1. Great observation -B-. Seems like RBC is only targeting a very small population who can qualify for this credit card.

  4. Minimum $200k annual income OR $50,000 spent on the card per year. It is set up this way because the annual fee isn’t really worth it if you spend less than $50k per year. Any airline, any time, no restrictions, 6 free visits per year to any airport lounge. 31 days travel insurance under 65.

    1. Agreed. Generally credit cards with such a high annual fee are more worthwhile when the cardholder spends a significant amount. Banks usually want to know that the individual has the available income to spend such an amount too.

      1. I agree but if you want a card with good travel benefits for an “extra” $100 you can get the AMEX Platinum Aeroplan with unlimited Lounge access and Priority Check-in and Boarding with Air Canada.

        Also if you have VIP Banking with RBC they waive the Annual Fee, I assume for people earning $200k or spending $50k a year that shouldn’t be a problem.

        Not saying that this card is not good, personally I think this good esp if you want to redeem a “revenue ticket” where it can earn you Elite Status with an Airline.

        1. Great points about the additional benefits on the AMEX Platimum. Also, I find the sign up bonus on the RBC Privilege card a little low, but they made it in line with the CIBC and TD Privilege sign up bonuses pegged at only 25,000 sign up bonus.

          1. So I had an online chat with an RBC rep. I asked if the $399 fee will be waived with the VIP account, but apparently not, the VIP account will waived “up to $120” which is the standard price for their other Premium Cards.

  5. You don’t need to keep this card to keep your points, they move with you to any other Rewards card, including the no-fee ones. You just lose the flight redemption schedule (but you still can use it on the platinum $120/yr Avion.

  6. Exactly. It’s actually pretty good that we can switch to a no annual fee version of the credit card and not have to worry about the points expiring.

  7. Just came across this searching…but one VERY KEY point missed!!
    You can use RBC Reward Points to buy RSP’s and I have done so for 2 years now.

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