Thanks to one of our regular contributors of breaking news: @joshnet on Twitter, we have be alerted to what appears to be a new or revamped RBC Avion credit card being released soon. Josh directed us to a post on Red Flag Deals that provides some details of this card that will be in the suite of RBC Avion cards. Price and benefits wise this card falls in between the premium veteran RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card and the Ultra Premium RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege card. Part of me actually thinks this is the anticipated revamping of the current RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card.
From that post on Red Flag Deals it appears this will be a metal card that will carry an annual fee of $199. That is higher than the current Visa Infinite Card but lower than the Infinite Privilege card and the card will offer a standard 20,000 RBC Rewards Points welcome offer vs. the 15,000 seen right now, it will have Priority Pass membership and Plaza Premium lounges (I am assuming the latter is part of the select Visa cards that get access until June 30, 2022) coupled with up to 6 complimentary lounge visits per year. The points earning is the same as the current Visa Infinite card at 1 point per dollar spent. The card will also have a full suite of insurance benefits and then provide “Emerging Affluent card” discounts with luxury hotels, cruise lines plus luxury brands like Canada Goose and Harry Rosen.
After seeing these details I replied to Josh on Twitter saying this is underwhelming unless they also revamp the actual Avion earn and burn system. We can see from the details on the new card that the earn isn’t being revamped as this card will earn 1 point per dollar spent just as seen on the current Avion Visa Infinite card but it is possible the burn side may change. Right now the Avion airline redemption chart does not have a 20,000 point level that this card awards as seen with the welcome bonus – they have 15,000 point option with a max value of $350 (a 2.33% max. return) or 35,000 point option with a max value of $750 (a 2.14% max return). However the 20K points at $450 places those points at 2.25% – so somewhere in-between and perhaps RBC is just calculating a value in-between their redemption levels for this valuation. It’s hard to tell right now whether there will be changes on the redemption side but still I don’t think it’s anywhere near where the program should be. You may recall our post from early this year that stated the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card needed an overhaul and that overhaul was primarily on the rewards side.
Currently if you want to redeem points to redeem for flights via the Avion airline redemption chart you have to spend a lot more money with the Avion cards to get those rewards when compared to what you have to spend on competing cards. I won’t go into detail here but recommend you read the post that I link to right above this paragraph.
In our overhaul article we mentioned competitors provide lounge access and now RBC will do so as well. One should note those six complimentary visits easily cover the $79 difference in fees over the current Avion Visa Infinite Card however you should also note that you can get the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Card which also offers six lounge visits, more flexible points and no foreign transaction fees for only $139 per year. And actually if you get the Scotia card right now the annual fee for it is waived in the first year.
On the insurance side the card will have 31 day Travel Medical coverage which is more than double the current 15 days seen on the Avion Infinite Card. It will also have Mobile Device coverage added which we are starting to see on more and more cards. Looks like RBC will cover up to $1,500 which is higher than the $1,000 seen on most cards. The rest of the insurance package seems to remain the same.
Finally RBC will be adding discounts and benefits with select travel brands and merchandise retailers. It states there will be discounts/access to luxury accommodation partners like Accor/Fairmont and Marriott, luxury all inclusive resorts like Sandals/Beaches and Disney plus luxury cruises like Celebrity. On the merchandise side it mentions retailers like Harry Rosen, Canada Goose and Patagonia. What these discounts and access benefits will be is unknown. We’ll have to wait and see once more details are revealed. I’ll be intrigued to see what the travel discounts/access offers will be. As it is Visa Infinite already has a hotel program in place and that simply could be what is referred to in the details of this new card but hopefully it is something more than that. As to retail discounts – these are always hit and miss as they are really dependent on the person and if you enjoy those specific retailers.
Wrapping it up
If the details of this card that were posted on Red Flag Deals are legit – and most likely they are as there seem to a lot of bank employees who like to leak info onto the site – then we can all expect this new RBC Avion card to emerge soon. And if there are no additional details – like changes to the earn and burn – then I have to say this new card will disappoint many. The main thing people look for in a rewards card is surprisingly…. rewards and this card will continue to lack in that department. I’d wager a bet that RBC is banking on a lot of their current Avion Infinite Card clientele will stay on with them with this new card. And I hate to say it, a lot will because they know no better – they aren’t aware that there are cards out there where they can spend as little as $12,000 to get a flight to Europe instead of the $52,000 or more needed with the Avion card. At least for the points and miles enthusiasts you’ll still have to transfers to British Airways, Cathay Pacific and other airlines but you may be paying $79 more per year for them. If this card is the revamped RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card you may want to apply for it now to lock in a $120 annual fee not to mention it has a great limited time welcome offer of 35,000 points if you apply by July 26.
Title image via RBC – all other images via Red Flag Deals