Avion Rewards Guide | Formerly RBC Rewards

**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

Avion Rewards is Royal Bank of Canada’s loyalty program. The program used to be known as RBC Rewards, but a name change was introduced to simplify things.

To be honest, the program is likely popular since RBC is one of the big banks in Canada and has an insane number of clients. That’s not to say the program isn’t any good. Heck, I think it’s one of the better bank programs available since it’s easy to earn points, and you have multiple redemption options.

That said, like any loyalty program, RBC Rewards has different ways to earn and redeem points. What you use your points for can make a big difference when it comes to value. Way too many people burn their points on basic travel redemptions or statement credits when they could easily get more value for their points. Here’s how to maximize your RBC Rewards points.

Avion Rewards points value

Since it costs 1,000 points to redeem $10 in travel, the base value of one RBC point is 1 cent. That’s similar to other bank travel loyalty programs. That said, if you have an RBC ION Visa card, it costs 172 Avion points for $1 in travel, so that’s a value of .71 cents per point.

Redemption typeRedemption value
Travel1 cent per point
Travel Redemption ScheduleUp to 2.33 cents per point
Gift cards.71 - 1 cent per point
Financial rewards.83 cents per point
Merchandise.60 - .75 cents per point
Statement credit.58 cents per point

As you can see, travel redemptions and travel gift cards are clearly the ones that give you the most value for your points. The Air Travel Redemption Schedule is especially worth noting since you can more than double the value of your points. Although financial rewards may have a lower initial value, you could come out ahead in the long term.

One thing to note is that RBC Rewards and RBC Avion are slightly different. Even though many RBC credit cards allow you to earn RBC Rewards, you may not get the full benefits thatcpme with RBC Avion credit cards.

With standard RBC Rewards points, you don’t get as many travel benefits/options. Since RBC Avion points are more valuable, you’ll want to hold one of the three RBC Avion cards, which are as follows:

  • RBC Avion Visa Platinum
  • RBC Avion Visa Infinite
  • RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege

How to redeem RBC Avion points for travel

With RBC Rewards, you must book through their travel portal or via the phone, but RBC will charge you $30 for that privilege. While this will annoy many people since you may have specific travel sites you prefer, RBC Rewards is a full-service travel agency, and you can book any of the following:

  • Flights
  • Car rentals
  • Hotels
  • Vacation packages
  • Cruises

You can use your RBC Avion Rewards points for any seat on any flight, and there are no blackout periods or seat restrictions. Points can be used to pay the entire price of airfare, including taxes. If you don’t have enough points to pay for the whole redemption, you can use as few points as you wish since no minimum redemption is required. The remaining balance will be charged to your RBC Rewards credit card. Unfortunately, RBC Rewards can’t be applied to travel booked on your own.

RBC Avion Air Travel Redemption Schedule

If you have an RBC Avion card (not a RBC Rewards card), you can use your points on the RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule, which allows you to book flights for fewer points. The catch is, that the redemption has a maximum ticket price and you can’t do a partial redemption. You must have all the points required to make a redemption. Even with the limit in place, you can get a greater value than 1 cent per point via the redemption schedule, which is why it’s appealing. Additionally, you book business or economy class tickets. Here’s the redemption chart and what you’ll get:

Points RequiredDestinationMax. Ticket price
15,000Within or to an adjacent Province/Territory/U.S. State$350
35,000Anywhere in Canada/U.S. except Hawaii and Alaska$750
45,000In western Canada/U.S. to Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska Eastern Canada to Bermuda, Central America, Caribbean$900
55,000In eastern Canada/U.S. to Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska Western Canada to Bermuda, Central America, Caribbean$1,100
65,000From any major gateway in Canada/U.S. to destinations in Europe$1,300
100,000From any major gateway in Canada/U.S. to destinations in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Middle East, Africa, South America$2,000

The chart may appear complicated but look strictly at the value. Depending on how you redeem your points, you could get a value of up to 2.33 cents per point which is more than double the regular redemption rate. Using the redemption schedule is handy whenever you need to book an expensive flight such as a long-haul. There has been more than one occasion where I’ve had to fly from Toronto to Ottawa at the last minute. Instead of paying the insane $500-600 that Air Canada and WestJet were charging, I redeemed RBC points to help offset my short-haul flight costs.

There are no blackout dates, and every seat is available on every carrier with the Redemption Schedule, so it can be easy to value. Quite often, I’ll compare the cost of a flight on Aeroplan to RBC before deciding which points I should use.

The RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule and the ability to convert your RBC Rewards points to other loyalty programs is why I rank RBC Rewards ranks #2 on my list of Canada’s best bank travel rewards programs.

How to redeem Avion Rewards points for gift cards

RBC Rewards has a wide variety of merchants where you can use your RBC points for gift cards. Unfortunately, there are different values depending on the gift card you redeem. Here are some of the redemptions and merchants available.

  • 1,400 RBC Rewards points = $10 Amazon gift card
  • 3,500 RBC Rewards points = $25 Bath & Body Works gift card
  • 3,500 RBC Rewards points = $25 Beer Store gift card
  • 7,000 RBC Rewards points = $50 Best Buy gift card
  • 10,000 RBC Rewards points = $100 Air Canada gift card
  • 10,000 RBC Rewards points = $100 Fairmont Hotels & Resorts card
  • 14,000 RBC Rewards points = $100 Food Basics gift card
  • 35,000 RBC Rewards points = $250 Golf Town gift card

Since the value of each gift card is different, you need to calculate the value of one point so you know what you’re getting. To do that, you take the dollar value of the redemption and multiply it by 100. You then take that number and divide it by the points required. For example, with Food Basics, it would be $100 X 100 / 14,000 = .71 cents per point.

What you’ll quickly notice is that travel gift cards are usually worth 1 cent per point, whereas any other merchant is .71 cents each. RBC often has gift cards redemption bonuses (10% to 30% bonus) including travel related gift cards that make them an attractive option. There was a good promo on Petro Canada gift cards one summer, so I cashed in a bunch of points and gave the gift cards to my dad.

RBC rewards gift cards

How to redeem Avion Rewards points for financial rewards

When logged into RBC Rewards, if you look under the Shop & Redeem menu, you’ll see there’s an option to use your points for RBC financial rewards. Assuming you have financial products with RBC, you can use your points for the following:

  • Add to your existing investments
  • Mortgage payments
  • Repayment to your line of credit.

It takes 12,000 RBC points to get $100 in financial products which gives you a value of .83 cents per point. At first glance that may seem like a lot, but think about the long term. With mortgage and line of credit payments, you’re basically paying off your loan earlier which you immediately save on the interest. If you’re adding to your investments, you can take advantage of compound interest which could make your redemption very valuable in the long run.

If you use your points for a financial reward that’s put towards your RRSP, you could also get a tax break. Putting in your TFSA would allow you to invest with tax free gains. It’s a win-win situation, but you won’t see the reward for many many years.

Redeeming Avion Rewards points for merchandise, statement credits, and charitable donations

The final three redemption options for your RBC Rewards points are merchandise, statement credits, and charitable donations. Although the RBC Rewards merchandise catalogue is quite large and there are some quality products available, the number of additional points required for the value is not worth it at all. I would advise avoiding using your points for merchandise. That said, there are occasionally discounts on merchandise redemptions, so sometimes the transactions aren’t a terrible deal.

Using your points for a statement credit is an even lower value. It takes 17,200 points to get $100 off your statement. That means your points would be worth .58 cents per point. Unless you’re facing financial difficulties, you’re better off redeeming your points for anything else.

RBC Rewards merchandise

RBC Avion points transfer partners

I love programs that let you convert points to other loyalty programs since it adds flexibility and value. Avion Rewards has one of the most extensive and valuable lists of conversion partners when it comes to Canada’s bank travel reward programs. American Express Membership Rewards is better, in my opinion, but RBC Rewards isn’t far behind.

Here is the list of programs you can convert Avion points to, but note that except WestJet Rewards, only Avion cardholders can transfer their points to the following partners:

  • WestJet Rewards: 1,000 RBC points = $10 WestJet dollars
  • Hudson’s Bay Rewards: 1,000 RBC points = 2,000 HBC Rewards points (worth $10 at Hudson’s Bay)

If you are an Avion cardholder you can also benefit from these conversion options:

  • American Airlines: 10,000 RBC points = 7,000 AAdvantage miles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 10,000 RBC Points = 10,000 Asia Miles
  • British Airways: 10,000 RBC points = 10,000 Avios miles

It’s hard to put an exact value on airline miles since there are so many variables, but generally speaking, their value is around a minimum of 1.5¢ per mile for economy tickets. Often you can get double the value if you’re booking in business class. That said, WestJet Rewards uses a dollar system, so they have a fixed value.

It’s a good idea to log into RBC Rewards often since they have many redemption promotions throughout the year, which boost your points’ value. In addition, RBC Rewards had a few transfer bonuses (10% to 30% bonus points) for Westjet, Asia Miles, British Airways Avios Miles, and American Airlines AAdvantage Miles. That meant you got extra value when transferring your points to a partner.

Of particular interest is how you can transfer your points to WestJet dollars. Nothing stops you from holding an RBC Avion card and the RBC WestJet World Elite Mastercard. Both cards come with good sign up bonuses so you could quickly rack up those WestJet dollars. For example, the RBC Avion card typically has a welcome bonus of 15,000 points which can be transferred to WestJet for $150 WestJet dollars. The WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard’s standard bonus is $250 and a companion voucher. When you combine the two, you’ll have $400 in WestJet dollars without having to spend much. No purchase is required to get the bonus with the Avion card, and you only need one purchase with the WestJet Card.

Do RBC Rewards points expire?

There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about when RBC Rewards points expire. I have confirmed that RBC Avion points don’t expire as long as you have an active eligible RBC Royal Bank credit card. If you cancel your card, you have 90 days to redeem them before losing them. The first-in, first-out rule you may have read about online is an old outdated article. RBC really needs to delete that page. If you’re unsure when your points expire, you could always call customer service to confirm.

How RBC Avion compares to others

RBC Avion Rewards is easily one of the best travel loyalty programs of Canada’s big five banks. There are many reasons why I rank RBC Rewards so high, including:

  • No blackout dates
  • No minimum number of points to redeem
  • A fixed points flight program
  • Many transfer partners to convert points to
  • Many promotions for redemptions
  • Value of points

In my opinion, RBC Rewards is only second to American Express Membership Rewards. American Express holds the first place because RBC Rewards lacks an option to book travel on your own (you can only book through their portal) and because RBC Rewards credit cards don’t really have any increased earn rates which limit how fast you can earn points. You can also read my reviews of CIBC RewardsBMO RewardsTD Rewards and Scene+ to see how RBC Rewards compares.

How to earn RBC Avion Rewards

To earn RBC Rewards, you must have a credit card account that earns you RBC Rewards. As you can imagine, the easiest ways to earn points are via credit card sign up bonuses and everyday purchases you make on your RBC Rewards credit card. Currently, there are six personal credit cards and two business credit cards that will earn you RBC Rewards points. To make things a bit complicated, RBC Rewards has two tiers of RBC Rewards points: regular and Avion RBC Rewards points. Points from an Avion account have more redemption options, and these options are the most valuable ones. With this in mind, the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card is arguably the best card to earn Avion points and is one of the best RBC credit cards.

RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card

  • $120 annual fee
  • 35,000 Avion points on approval
  • 20,000 Bonus points when you spend $5,000 in the first 6 months
  • Earn 1.25 Avion points for every $1 spent on travel purchases
  • Earn 1 Avion point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Mobile device insurance up to $1,500

The sign up bonus for new cardholders is typically 15,000 points which isn’t much compared to some of the best travel credit cards in Canada. That said, the RBC Visa Infinite Avion Card often has promotions where the welcome bonus is 25,000 – 35,000 points, and the annual fee for the first year is waived. Whenever a promo like that comes around, it’s worth signing up for the card.

The earn rate of 1.25 points per $1 spent on travel is decent, while the 1 RBC Reward point earned per dollar spent on all other purchases, including bill payments, is pretty common. Here’s something that many people don’t realize. You don’t need to make any purchases to get the bonus. The terms and conditions say you get it after the first statement.

Another little-known trick is that you can switch from the RBC WestJet World Elite Mastercard to the RBC Visa Infinite Avion Card and vice versa. This is useful if you’re not able to maximize your points and want to try something new. That said, be sure to use up your points before you make any changes.

The RBC Visa Infinite Avion Card also provides good travel insurance when travelling outside Canada. Not only do you get travel medical, but you’ll also be covered for trip cancellation/interruption, delayed and lost baggage, hotel/motel burglary and more. Obviously, some exclusions apply, so read the certificate of insurance for complete terms.

Link to your Petro-Points card

RBC has a deal in place with Petro-Canada where you can save 3 cents per litre at Petr-Canada, 20% extra Petro-Points, and 20% extra RBC Rewards points.

To be eligible, you just need to add your Petro-Points number to your RBC online banking account. You would link your Petro-Points card to all of your eligible RBC debit or credit cards. 

Final thoughts

Avion Rewards is one of the best bank travel rewards programs. The RBC Visa Infinite Avion card may not give you the best signup bonus or have the highest earn rate, but there’s no denying that once you have the points, they’re easy to use. There are no blackout dates and no minimum points required to make a redemption, so you’ll never run into any issues using your points. If you’re a fan of RBC, check out my RBC InvestEase review and find out how you can reduce your investment management fees.

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi


  1. Wendy yuen on June 13, 2019 at 10:50 AM

    Can you explain more on the comprehensive cancellation insurance for traveling? For flight

  2. Lucia Hope-Johnstone on June 20, 2019 at 3:54 PM

    Barry choi,
    What about outright flight cancellation by company with no booking possibility ? this happened to me 5 years ago and Avion card could not do anything!

    When saying trip cancellation … talking from whom??

    • Barry Choi on June 20, 2019 at 8:14 PM


      What do you mean by company with no booking possibility? With fight cancellation, it only applies to reasons that are outlined in your insurance policy.

  3. Lawrence on October 1, 2019 at 11:24 PM

    When should I pay for a flight as opposed to redeeming points. I want to go to Vancouver – Honolulu -L.A. – Vancouver.
    Points 45000 plus $266
    Cash $960
    Plse advise and thx,Lawrence

    • Barry Choi on October 2, 2019 at 7:53 AM


      45,000 Rewards points would be worth $450 + $266 for taxes = $716. Since the value of your redemption via the fixed travel program is $960, you come out ahead using the fixed program.

  4. Sarah on October 7, 2019 at 2:20 PM

    How much is 28906 rbcrewards point please

    • Barry Choi on October 7, 2019 at 2:25 PM


      10,000 points = $100 so you have $289 at the base value. Your points are worth more if you use the RBC Rewards Air Travel Redemption Schedule

  5. Masoud Basiri on October 8, 2019 at 3:48 AM

    Hi. I have 10500 pts and I purchased my ticket for $2000 whose base fair is $1400. What’s the best way to go with the schedule?

    • Barry Choi on October 8, 2019 at 8:06 AM

      You need 15,000 points to make a claim within or to an adjacent Province/Territory/U.S. State. That fare has a maximum base price of $350 so you can’t use the fixed redemption schedule.

      you could just 10,000 points to redeem $100.

      • Masoud Basiri on October 9, 2019 at 4:08 AM

        Sorry Barry. I have 105000 points. I missed a zero. Can you please update your response?

        • Barry Choi on October 9, 2019 at 7:43 AM


          If you’ve already paid for your ticket, you can’t use the air redemption schedule. Assuming you didn’t 100K points gets you a flight from any major gateway in Canada/U.S. to destinations in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Middle East, Africa, South America

  6. Greig on October 9, 2019 at 12:45 PM

    Hi Barry, thanks for the article and for all the Q&A work as well !!

    I’m looking at making the switch to Amex. I have 160k reward points I’ve saved up over the years. Looking to cash out or use these points up somehow with the best value. Appears as tho 10,000 points for $100 value is about the best offer from RBC rewards?
    Also, do you know if these points expire if I got rid of my RBC Avion card?


    • Barry Choi on October 9, 2019 at 12:54 PM

      Hey Greig,

      Yup, 10K points for $100 is indeed the best value. You lose all your points if you cancel your card. Your best bet would be to transfer your points to WestJet Dollars or hotels.com giftcards as they have good value.

  7. Sam on October 19, 2019 at 7:47 AM

    Hi Barry,

    I product switched to the RBC British Airways Visa almost 4 months ago. My account has remained in good standing however, I haven’t received the welcome bonus of 15k points yet. I have called RBC multiple times and each time I have been told that BA awards the points but when I speak to BA, they say that RBC needs to award the points. Do you have any idea who should be awarding the points? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.


    • Barry Choi on October 19, 2019 at 8:13 AM

      Hi Sam,

      In theory, it should be BA that actually issues the points but RBC would have to authorize it.

      I would advise escalating the case with RBC first to see if that resolves anything.

  8. Julie on October 29, 2019 at 1:25 PM

    If I wish to use my Avion Rewards points to pay off my credit card bill, is it straight 100 points/per every $1?

    • Barry Choi on October 29, 2019 at 1:34 PM


      No, it takes 172 points to claim $1 in statement credit so you’re devaluing your points quite a bit if you were to go that route.

  9. isa on October 30, 2019 at 1:34 PM

    Is this card best to earn miles to book a points first class flight from Vancouver to Tokyo?

  10. Carl on November 17, 2019 at 7:39 PM

    I just noticed RBC is offering 50% more points if converted to Avios, does the same offer ever happen with AA points?

    • Barry Choi on November 17, 2019 at 9:14 PM


      The 50% bonus is quite rare. I’ve never seen it with AA.

  11. Bradley on November 18, 2019 at 10:16 PM

    Is it worth it to convert your Avion points to BA Avios given the 50% bonus on until Dec 15th? I live in Vancouver and typically fly to Hawaii in Winter and Europe in summer. Your insight is much appreciated.

    • Barry Choi on November 19, 2019 at 6:51 AM


      If you plan on using those BA points, then yes, it’s a great deal. That said, I’m not sure which airlines you can use BA Avios points to get you from Vancouver to Hawaii.

  12. Laurie Anne on December 2, 2019 at 2:22 PM

    Hi, is it worth buying the air Canada gift cards at a 10% discount? Are they easy to use and are there any hidden charges / rules to these we should know about?

    • Barry Choi on December 2, 2019 at 2:44 PM


      Buying the gift cards gives you a guaranteed discount of 10%, but you might get better value if you used your points on the fixed travel program. It’s honestly a personal choice but I imagine you wouldn’t have any issues with using the gift cards. As far as I know there are no additional charges or rules, but read the fine print before you commit.

  13. Bette Clark on December 3, 2019 at 1:14 PM

    Do my RBC rewards expire at any point

    • Barry Choi on December 3, 2019 at 1:57 PM


      Not as long as you have a credit card account that earns you RBC Rewards active with them that’s in good standing.

  14. Mark on December 7, 2019 at 5:54 PM

    I just logged into my RBC Rewards and I see that I have a – 69K point balance. How is it possible to end up with a negative reward points balance?? I have never even used my rewards and forgot that it was even available. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Barry Choi on December 7, 2019 at 8:35 PM


      You’d have to check with RBC about that

  15. Viviene on December 8, 2019 at 9:57 PM

    Do you think it is worth keeping the RBC Infinite Avion card beyond the first year? Is it worth the $120 per annum annual fee considering that I am also paying fees for amex gold card and BMO cash back card?

    Thanks for your insight

    • Barry Choi on December 9, 2019 at 12:09 PM

      Hi Viviene,

      I personally wouldn’t keep three credit cards with annual fees. Of the three cards you mentioned, I’d probably drop the BMO cash back card but that’s because I prefer travel points. Who do you bank with? Do they waive the fee for any cards?

      • Viviene on December 11, 2019 at 11:17 AM

        I bank with BMO but it’s a joint account and the waiver goes towards my partner’s BMO MC world elite card. I figure the cashback we get each year more than pays for the annual fee.

        What does RBC Avion offer that justifies its fee? It seems as if it would take a long time to build up any significant number of points.

        • Barry Choi on December 11, 2019 at 11:27 AM


          Well it’s really for you to decide based on your spending. E.g. if you moved all the spending from your cash back card to the RBC card, you could more in points for flights than what the annual fee would cost you. I think the RBC Rewards fixed flight travel chart offers good value especially if you’re looking at short haul flights. However, that may be redundant since you have the Amex Gold which also has a fixed points program.

          • Viviene on December 11, 2019 at 11:44 AM

            How would you compared the two fixed points program? I tend to focus on transferring my Amex points to Avios and haven’t really looked at the Amex fixed points program. I also feel that the Amex Gold has more to offer than the RBC card in terms of travel insurance and flexibility on how to use points. But I may be wrong….

          • Barry Choi on December 11, 2019 at 11:51 AM


            Both programs have their sweet spots. Amex is arguably better since you have more transfer partners. The Amex Gold has a slightly higher earn rate on travel. but RBC Rewards has occasional promos where if you transfer your points to BA, you get 25 or 50% more points.

            I do agree that the Gold Amex is a better overall card.

  16. MARCEL CHALOUX on January 3, 2020 at 8:44 PM

    Is there anyway I can browse through options for say a vacation package, that would be qualified for if I had 150000 points? For example my 150000 points would allow me to go to Cayo Largo Cuba, or Puerto Plata Dominican Republic or Cozumel Mexico…you get the idea.

    • Barry Choi on January 4, 2020 at 12:11 PM


      It doesn’t give you an option to search for results based on X points. All really allows you to do is search by price from low to high after you’ve selected a country.

  17. Kathlyn Campbell on January 6, 2020 at 10:10 PM

    I have always been a fan of the RBC Avion program until today when I tried to change a departing flight and was told that all the flights I chose were “not available” although there were clearly seats for sale on both the airline website AND Expedia. RBC only offered a few very poor flight options. I thought “any flight” meant “any flight”. I have never encountered this before. We ended up buying new flights from the airline after spending over 30 minutes on hold, suffering through a painfully frustrating conversation with an agent and draining the battery on my phone.

  18. MooMoo on January 11, 2020 at 3:23 PM

    I’m going to bail on Avion after learning that they recognize an Air Canada fuel surcharge of 570$ per ticket to europe in a time of extended, sustained low fuel prices. It was going to cost me 1100$= in fees when flights can be purchased outright for just over 1600$.

    Value lost due to poor decisions at Avion….. adios!

    • Barry Choi on January 11, 2020 at 3:24 PM


      That’s Air Canada’s fault, not Avion.

  19. Noel on January 11, 2020 at 9:34 PM

    How long does it take to convert RBC points into Asia Miles? Is it instantaneous or do you have to wait 6-8weeks?

    • Barry Choi on January 12, 2020 at 7:53 AM


      It usually takes 4-5 days for the transfer to Asia Miles

  20. ASjoo on January 21, 2020 at 8:08 AM

    I have around 200k in avion points. I am trying to figure out the best option for using them as we are moving to Europe for a year. I looked into the flights but almost 1/2 goes to the taxes, etc. I was wondering if it was best to use them while we are there for short trips. So, what would be the best value? (ie rental car, hotels, ?), anything else?

    • Barry Choi on January 21, 2020 at 12:33 PM


      Points for flights to Europe are typically of low value due to the fees. Using them within Europe is also not a good value since you wouldn’t be able to use the fixed travel program. You could use the RBC travel portal when you’re abroad and book points at 10,000 points = $100 in travel.

      Alternatively, you could convert your points to WestJet dollars at a 1:1 ratio. On occasion, there are promos where you can convert to hotels.com giftcards which can be a good value.

  21. Heather on January 22, 2020 at 7:23 AM

    Hi Barry, we have ~250,000 RBC Avion points and I’m trying to maximize getting to FCO (Rome) this summer from YYZ (Toronto.) We also have 90,000 in Aeroplan.

    Traveling with a 15 month old so really wanted to optimize for lie-down seats. But they are pricey. ($8000 for two seats on AC’s direct flights.)

    Can you suggest a way to optimize our points to make it work?

    • Barry Choi on January 22, 2020 at 8:23 AM


      Flying from Toronto to Europe is one of the worst redemptions regardless of the program due to high airport taxes. With Aeroplan, you need 110K points for a return business flight so that won’t really work.

      For RBC, I don’t think you can use your points for business so that doesn’t really help.

      The best value I can think of right now and this is honestly not the greatest solution is to consider transferring your points to WJD. If you have the WestJet World Elite Mastercard, you can use the companion voucher for premium economy. I just booked two flights from YYZ to LGW for $2400. Of course, you would still need to get a flight to Rome and you’d only be redeeming your points at a 1% value.

      IMO, you’re better off paying cash for this route and saving your points for later.

  22. Audrey Prior on January 22, 2020 at 7:43 PM

    Help. We have 175000 Avion points. Looking to use them from YVR to LHR. If I use the points for 3 fares return it looks like another $700 each on top !!!! With Aur Canada. Flights in September are approximately $700 each return.
    Can you give any advice. I have not checked if BA charges the same.

    • Barry Choi on January 22, 2020 at 9:15 PM


      Flights to Europe are a terrible value due to the high taxes. You’re better off saving your points for a different redemption.

  23. Trish Haak on January 28, 2020 at 6:02 AM

    Is it possible to use Avion points to pay for an upgrade on an already booked flight? Is it worth it? Looking at this for a flight from Houston to Auckland on Air New Zealand.

    • Barry Choi on January 28, 2020 at 7:50 AM


      You’d have to call and ask. You definitely can’t do upgrades via the RBC Travel portal.

    • Velva Woodstock on May 17, 2020 at 10:23 AM

      Is there a time limit to redeem accumulated points? And I wld like to purchase a gift card for electronics?

      • Barry.Choi on May 17, 2020 at 10:26 AM


        Your points don’t expire as long as you have an active RBC credit card that’s in good standing.

  24. Kathy Koal on February 7, 2020 at 9:13 PM

    I am a bit lost with car rental points… if my rental was $800.00 how many points would I need

    • Barry Choi on February 8, 2020 at 4:52 AM

      Hi Kathy,

      That falls under travel so it would cost you 80,000 points.

  25. Amy on October 14, 2020 at 5:33 PM

    Can RBC Avion Visa Infinite cardholders redeem for a Premium Economy class seat instead of Economy class?

    • Barry Choi on October 14, 2020 at 5:40 PM


      RBC Rewards is a full service travel agency so you can book premium economy, but it’ll cost you more points. It’s unlikely you’d be able to book premium under the Air Travel Redemption Schedule since the price would exceed the maximum base price.

      • Amy on October 14, 2020 at 6:04 PM

        RBC Avion Visa Infinite redemption schedule
        From Canada to Hong Kong: 100,000 points. Maximum ticket price: $2,000.

        Normally the Air Canada Premium Economy ticket from Canada to Hong Kong costs close to (less than) $2,000. It’s not worth to redeem Economy class, which is about $1,000 or less.
        That’s why I would like to know whether I can redeem Premium Economy class or not.


        • Barry Choi on October 14, 2020 at 6:07 PM


          As long as the base ticket price is below $2,000, you should be able to redeem a premium economy flight using your RBC Rewards points.

          • Rachel on December 29, 2020 at 2:27 PM

            Hi Barry, I’m totally torn between Scotia Passport and RBC AVion? Which one do you really prefer if we plan on going US visits and Asian Countries as well?

          • Barry Choi on December 29, 2020 at 4:35 PM


            Both cards a bit different. The Scotiabank card is a good all-in-one card since it has no forex fees, but the RBC Avion has a fixed points travel chart which can be of good value. Since you’re based in Canada, Air Canada/Aeroplan cards are good for US travel thanks to the new Buddy Pass. WestJet companion vouchers can also be handy.

  26. Gary Bakich on January 31, 2021 at 3:06 AM

    Barry, early thanks for answering my question. I am contemplating on utilizing approx. 111,000 Avion points for Best Western gift cards. I presume the gift cards are in Canadian funds? Travel contemplated is in the U.S. once the ban is lifted. How is the difference in currency handled by U.S. based Best Westerns?

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2021 at 6:48 AM


      The gift cards are only worth it if you’re getting an equal value to your RBC Avion points. E.g. 1,000 points = $10. Yes, the cards would come in CAD. If you use them outside of Canada, you would be subject to the exchange rate at the hotel which will definitely have a markup.

  27. Tony on July 23, 2021 at 10:17 AM

    Avion $350 air fare fee for interprovincial travel is useless to many Canadians outside the Upper / Lower Canada belt. Many interprovincial one way tickets are $350 or more. I’ve amassed nearly a million dollars over the years on my Avion card, and travel with my family of 6, using the points. I always have to wait for airlines to post sale prices before I can use the points, because their reward amount is set too low. Its not a cheap card either. I’ve never complained, but its been the same price system for over 10 years. Hello! Inflation!

    Paying the taxes on flights is also a bummer. I’ve often just bought sale priced flights with cash, because the Avion rewards taxes where close to half the flight cash amount. Didn’t see the point in wasting them.

  28. Catherine Weihs on August 27, 2021 at 3:43 AM

    How do I book a business class seat?
    We’d like to go back to Europe next year and want to fly business class.
    I have over 300,000 points with Avion.

    Two years ago we booked two business class seats after transferring points to British Airlines, What a nightmare!

    I swore that I’d move to another point card to get better service, connections, etc.

    Please help.

    • Barry Choi on August 27, 2021 at 5:50 AM


      RBC has a travel rewards portal where you’d book your flights and then redeem your points.

      Aeroplan is a lot easier these days, it’s worth considering switching to a card that earns you Aeroplan points.

      • B Wetter on November 3, 2021 at 12:13 PM

        We have 215000 points with RBC and travel to Mexico, US and are thinking of going from Edmonton to Amsterdam and returning to Edmonton from Rome. What are the best way to use our points. Is transferring points to Westjet a better deal than buying Westjet gift cards .

        • Barry Choi on November 3, 2021 at 2:39 PM

          Hey there,

          To maximize your value, you should use the RBC Air Trave Redemption schedule – https://www.rbcrewards.com/#!/travel/redemptionSchedule

          It’ll cost 65,000 points to get to Europe with a max ticket value of $1,300. That works out to 2 cents a point which is double the normal value.

          Ad for WJD, it’s a better value to transfer your points directly instead of buying gift cards

  29. Bileth on January 3, 2022 at 6:27 PM

    Any luck with product switching lately and receiving the welcome bonus of 15,000 points for Avion Infinite?

    • Barry Choi on January 3, 2022 at 6:53 PM

      No bueno

      • Bileth on January 15, 2022 at 3:15 PM

        Darn. Seems to still work for WJ MC. Perhaps makes sense to PS to a no AF card and then cycle back.

  30. John McKenzie on September 23, 2022 at 5:40 PM

    I recently “purchased” airline tickets using Avion points. Unfortunately I mistakenly selected the Flexible Points Pricing and as a result ended up using roughly twice as many points as would have been needed under the Fixed Points Pricing. The difference is somewhere around 35,000 points.
    I requested that Avion reverse this mistake but was advised that it was their policy to not allow such a change. I requested to talk to a manager, but they basically advised that this wasn’t going to happen (they told me it would take 6 weeks).
    Any advice.

    • Barry Choi on September 23, 2022 at 8:26 PM

      Hey John,

      Unfortunately, it’s unlikely they’ll reverse the charges. This happens with all points programs.

  31. Mike Koroll on September 27, 2022 at 6:42 PM

    Hi Barry… I have over 1 Mil points… and on flight can I upgrade to Exec or 1st Class with my points ??
    I don’t see it anywhere when i am looking at the booking … Any ideas.

    • Barry Choi on September 28, 2022 at 6:18 AM

      Hi Mike,

      In the RBC Avion travel portal, you should be able to choose premium economy or business class seats for your flights.

  32. Shirley on October 21, 2022 at 1:36 PM

    What are the pros & cons of flex points vs flexible points booking w Avion? How do I know which we should use?

    • Barry Choi on October 21, 2022 at 2:33 PM

      All rbc rewards and avion rewards points can be used on any travel purchase made through the RBC travel portal.

  33. Paula on January 29, 2023 at 12:58 PM

    Hi Barry,

    I have been reading your awesome feedback from Avion customers! I recently tried to receive information from the RBC Rewards program call centre and it was horrific – unprofessional and unknowledgeable agents, transferring me first to Expedia and then to Air Canada. They wore me down. I then went online and read reviews on the performance of the program – from what I saw, every customer who had to make a change on their travel booking experienced exactly the frustration I did..
    Has this program gone down hill in recent years on their customer service assistance?

    • Barry Choi on January 29, 2023 at 3:02 PM


      The program itself is fine, but I imagine every travel operator is experiencing customer service issues. I guess the real problem is knowing who to call. If you book travel through the Avion travel portal, technically speaking, you will go through them to make changes even if you booked an Air Canada flight.

      • Barbara on February 14, 2023 at 10:37 PM

        Hi Barry,
        I’m unsure whether to use my avion infinite Visa card to pay a Europe bike tour purchase as the surcharge is 4 percent or pay with an e-transfer. The foreign currency rate I’m billed at was 1.49. I look forward to your response. Also, if I pay with an e-transfer will I have any travel protection? Thanks in advance! Barbara

        • Barry Choi on February 15, 2023 at 6:56 AM

          Hey Barbara,

          A 4% surcharge is quite a bit. That said, an e-transfer may come with fees too. I personally would just choose what’s cheaper. That said, if you don’t pay with your credit card, you don’t get any protection if you need to cancel your tour for a qualifying reason.

          • Barbara on February 15, 2023 at 9:33 AM

            Hi Barry,
            Thank you for your responses. I really appreciate it!

  34. Stephanie on February 16, 2023 at 10:54 AM

    Regarding financial rewards, more specifically applying a credit to an existing RBC mortgage: is the cash value going to be considered a lump sum payment or something else? I ask this because the options to pay down a mortgage faster are limited to double-up payments upon each scheduled payment, and one lump sum payment (aka prepayment) of up to 10% of the initial principal per year. I already used my yearly lump sum and I’m concerned that I wouldn’t be allowed to redeem my Avion points towards my mortgage or I may be allowed to do so, but I could be issued a penalty for not following the rules. I couldn’t find anything online about what the value of the points redeemed is considered to be.

    • Barry Choi on February 16, 2023 at 4:01 PM

      Hey Stephanie,

      If I had to guess, it would count as a prepayment. You’d have to call them to find out for sure.

  35. Dave Anderson on February 18, 2023 at 5:23 PM

    Too old to travel. So thinking of using my Avion points to buy RBC merchandise. How can I see what is available if I don’t do any banking transactions on a computer?

    • Barry Choi on February 19, 2023 at 7:01 AM


      You need to go to the RBC Avion website to see what items are available for redemption – https://www.avionrewards.com/index.html

      • Dave Anderson on February 19, 2023 at 9:20 PM

        On the web site that I see, the first thing that they want is your Visa number. And that is exactly why we don’t do money matters on line.

        • Barry Choi on February 20, 2023 at 6:47 AM


          Avion Rewards is a credit card rewards program. Using your credit card number is how you log in.

  36. Hitesh Pandya on June 9, 2023 at 5:20 PM

    Hello I redeemed 130,000 points for a flights to Barcelona from Toronto and had to cancel. What is the value of these points so that I can make a travel insurance claim

    • Barry Choi on June 9, 2023 at 6:56 PM

      That’s a value of $1,300.

  37. LauraH on April 2, 2024 at 11:59 AM

    Hi Barry,
    Thought you might be interested in my experience being transitioned from HSBC World Elite MC to RBC Avion Visa. Since I don’t have anything that spells out the fees, conversion rate, etc. I called the RBC conversion team. They are waiving the $120 annual fee for the first year and that’s it. Although the HSBC card did not charge the 2.5% foreign conversion fee, the RBC card does. The extra points which HSBC gave for travel expenses are likewise not available with the RBC card. It seems to me that if I wanted this card I would be better off applying for it and getting the bonus. Very disappointing.

    • Barry Choi on April 2, 2024 at 12:05 PM

      Hey Laura,

      You should have received paperwork about the details of your new card. HSBC World Elite MC holders being switched the Avion Visa Infinite will still get no FX fees on their card.

      You’re correct about losing the travel credit after the first year.

      The Avion card is a clear downgrade, I mention a few other options in this article – https://www.theglobeandmail.com/investing/personal-finance/household-finances/article-hsbc-clients-may-not-love-their-new-rbc-credit-cards-but-rbcs-avion/

      • LauraH on April 2, 2024 at 1:00 PM

        Thanks Barry. I don’t subscribe to the Globe but I assume you suggested the Scotiabank Passport Visa as an alternative. I don’t want to take up your time with all this but I applied for the Scotia card and it developed into a real mess. I’m still trying to find out what happened, currently waiting to hear back from their Escalated Customer Concern team.

        • Barry Choi on April 2, 2024 at 1:03 PM

          Hey Laura,

          I suggested a few.

          The Amex Cobalt for high earn rate, Rogers Mastercard for Costco (if you use Rogers), and Platinum for high end travel benefits. If you want no FX, the Scotiabank card is indeed good, but I like the EQ Bank card cuz it has no fees.

          • LauraH on April 2, 2024 at 1:43 PM

            I’ll def check into the EQ card, thanks again.

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