The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is currently running a higher than normal sign up bonus Avios points promotion on its British Airways Visa Infinite. Normally it has been 15,000 British Airways Executive Club sign up bonus Avios points, which has been bumped up to 30,000 points. Below are the highlights of the credit card:
- $165 annual fee
- Earn 15,000 points upon approval
- Earn 15,000 points additional after spending $5,000 in the first 2 months (if you sign up before
December 31, 2014)
- Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases
- Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Earn 10% off British Airways flights when you book on British Airways website and pay with your RBC BA Visa Infinite card.
- Receive a complimentary Companion Award Ticket (eVoucher) when you spend $30,000 or more during a calendar year
To receive the additional 15,000 points, the application must be received by December 31, 2014 and approved by RBC. Spending $5,000 in the first 2 months is pretty steep, so be sure that you can meet the spending requirements.
I have been looking to sign up for this credit card for a while now, but I am still not willing to pay the $165 annual fee. I would have preferred that they just keep the 15,000 sign up bonus and waive the annual fee the first year.
The earning ratios are nothing special to cheer about. Earning 2 points for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and earning 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases are pretty standard returns with respect to other credit cards, though you can earn points in a hurry if you frequently fly on British Airways.
The question is whether we get enough value out of the $165. The main value is the Companion Award Ticket. Keep in mind that this voucher can only be used for flights operated by British Airways and the voucher is only valid for 24-months. You also need to spend $30,000 on the credit card to even earn the Companion Award Ticket, which is fairly steep, coming in at $2,500 a month ($30,000 / 12).
Keep in mind that British Airways, like Air Canada, has high surcharges. So I would not necessarily use my Avios points on British Airway flights, but I am very interested in using my Avios points on Oneworld alliance partner flights.
Conclusion: The annual fee is still a deal breaker for me at the moment, as well as meeting the $5,000 and $30,000 spending requirements to maximize the value out of this credit card. As usual, do the calculations to see if this credit card is worth it for you.