RBC has long been the biggest bank in Canada in terms of deposits and in recent years they have become neck and neck with TD.
But are they also first in credit cards?
They’re not exactly tops – that honour goes to American Express for travel cards and MBNA for cash back cards – but their Avion line is particularly strong as far a flexible travel rewards credit cards go.
One refreshing change is that theInfinite Avion and Platinum Avion are nearly identical in terms of rewards and benefits. That’s a welcome change for lower income folks who struggle to meet the $60,000 minimum income requirements of the Infinite cards that Platinum cards don’t have.
There are only two good ways to maximize an Avion card though.
The first is to always redeem your points for flights using their special flight rewards chart. That way you’ll get a 2%+ return on your spending. If you choose other rewards, you’ll likely drop down to a 1% return or below.
The second is to transfer your points 1:1 to British Airways Avios miles and redeem them on British Airways or one of their oneworld airline alliance partners. You can get up to a 3% return (or more) doing this depending on the flights booked. RBC also offers transfer bonuses between 30% and 50% multiple times a year when you transfer to Avios, increasing your value further.
If you're a fan of Avios, one great option for collecting them is the . Not only will you earn Avios points on all of your purchases, you’ll get a welcome bonus of up to 50,000 points, earn a companion award eVoucher after spending $30,000 in a year and get a great set of insurance features (including rare travel insurance for people over 65).
The RBC WestJet World Elite Mastercard is also worth mentioning because of the once-annually reduced price companion fair that it comes with. You can get a second ticket when you purchase your first one at the regular price for as little as $99 inside Canada and the continental USA.
You also get free checked bags for you and up to 8 accompanying passengers. Definitely worth it for regular WestJet passengers.