For those who are newer to the miles and points scene, I have found that British Airways Avios is often overshadowed by the compelling Air Canada Aeroplan program. However, British Airways Avios presents some outsized value, especially when you look at flight redemptions outside of North America.
British Airways Avios can be accrued by transferring points from a number of loyalty programs, however, the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card is the only British Airways co-branded credit card in Canada that gives cardholders the opportunity to earn British Airways Avios.
With that in mind, let’s dive into our review of the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite credit card.
The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite credit card currently has a welcome offer in which cardholders can earn up to 60,000 British Airways Avios:
- Earn 15,000 Avios upon approval
- Earn 35,000 Avios upon spending $6,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn 10,000 Avios at the first cardholder anniversary
The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card earns Avios and gives cardholders the opportunity to earn 2x Avios on all British Airways-related purchases.
Check out our RBC British Airways Visa Infinite review for more details.
To earn the full bonus, you will need to hold the card for a full year as the 10,000 Avios anniversary bonus will be awarded 12-15 weeks after the one year anniversary of opening the credit card account.
The earning structure on the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card is rather uneventful, offering a two-tiered earning structure:
- 2 Avios for every dollar spent on British Airways-related eligible purchases, such as flights and holiday packages
- 1 Avios for every dollar spent on all other purchases
With this in mind, this may not be the best card to use as a daily driver since the return on spend is not the best. However, it isn’t always about maximizing your return on spend, so if you are looking for a straightforward way to earn Avios, it might make sense to add this card to your wallet.
The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card has an annual fee of $165 which is on the higher end of the annual fees that we tend to see on Visa Infinite credit cards. The annual fee is typically not waived or rebated as part of the welcome bonus.
The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite credit card comes with quite a few benefits, including a British Airways Companion Voucher, a discount on British Airways cash fares, insurance coverages, and a complimentary one year DoorDash DashPass subscription.
British Airways Companion Voucher
As a RBC British Airways Visa Infinite cardholder you can earn a British Airways Companion Voucher upon spending $30,000 on your card within a calendar year. Once the spending threshold is met, the voucher will be issued within 6 to 8 weeks and is valid for 24 months from the date of issuance.
The companion award voucher is similar to the WestJet companion voucher in the sense that you can use it to cover the cost of the base fare for a companion who is traveling with you in the same class, cabin, and on the same itinerary.
However, it is also quite unique because a solo traveler can redeem the voucher for a 50% discount on the cost of one reward seat ticket. Vouchers can be used on one way or return flights.
The companion voucher does come with a few restrictions, as any flights booked with the voucher must originate from Canada and/or return to Canada. The voucher can also only be used on flights operated by British Airways.
10% Discount on British Airways Cash Fares
RBC British Airways Visa Infinite cardholders are eligible to receive 10% off of cash bookings for British Airways flights when you pay with your card. The 10% off is calculated on the whole cost of the flight, including taxes and fees. This discount cannot be combined with any other offer.
While a nice benefit, this may not be a strong perk for many, especially for miles and points enthusiasts. Unless you regularly find yourself paying cash fares for flights on British Airways metal, this perk most likely won’t add much utility.
The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card offers seven types of insurance coverage including:
- Emergency medical insurance
- Travel accident insurance
- Rental car collision and loss damage coverage
- Flight delay insurance
- Hotel and motel burglary coverage
- Purchase security
- Extended warranty
As always, refer to the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite insurance certificate for additional details, including terms and conditions for eligibility before you embark on your next vacation.
DoorDash DashPass Subscription
Cardholders can earn a 12 month complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription simply by adding their RBC British Airways Visa Infinite credit card to their DoorDash account. With a DoorDash DashPass subscription, cardholders can receive $0 delivery fees on orders of $15 or more when paying with their eligible RBC credit card.
Redeeming British Airways Avios Points
British Airways Avios points can be redeemed towards flight rewards, hotels, rental cars, ticket upgrades, and experiences. If you want to go more in-depth or learn more about the program, check out our British Airways Avios loyalty guide.
British Airways Avios Flight Awards
Simply put, redeeming British Airways Avios for a reward flight booking is the best value you can expect to get out of your Avios.
British Airways is part of the OneWorld Alliance, meaning you can use your Avios to book flights not just on British Airways, but also on many desirable partner airlines, such as Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and Qatar Airways. These can all be booked by searching for award flights on the British Airways website while logged into your account.
British Airways Avios can be transferred to Qatar Privilege Club for redemption on Qatar Airways. This presents some highly desired award opportunities, such as Qatar Airways Qsuites to Doha from North America, and business or first class onwards to locations such as the Maldives or Bangkok.
While not part of OneWorld, you can also transfer British Airways Avios to Aer Lingus AerClub if you are interested in booking Aer Lingus business class to or from Ireland. Reed recently flew this product and paid 50,000 Avios plus $200 in taxes and fees which is a fantastic deal for a transatlantic business class flight.
British Airways Avios can also be transferred to Iberia Plus in addition to the two programs mentioned above. Avios points can be moved freely back and forth between British Airways Executive Club and any of these three programs, meaning you are not locked in if you transfer your Avios. Needless to say, there are a variety of excellent business class redemptions using British Airways Avios that you can take advantage of.
Depending on the flight redemption, surcharges and taxes can add up when redeeming Avios. Before you book, consider learning more about how to reduce carrier surcharges on British Airways and OneWorld redemptions.
Hotels, Rental Cars, Ticket Upgrades & Experiences
British Airways Avios can also be redeemed for hotels, rental cars, airline ticket upgrades, and experiences. We would typically recommend not redeeming Avios for any of these options as you will not be maximizing the value you can receive from Avios, but there may be a niche use case for any of the above options depending on your travel needs or plans.
Comparable Cards to the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card
While the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card is great for earning British Airways Avios, it is not the only card in Canada that can do so. Both RBC and American Express offer other credit cards that can also be utilized to increase your Avios balance.
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card
The RBC Avion Visa Infinite card is a good alternative to the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card as it offers a consistent welcome bonus and a reasonable annual fee.
The RBC Avion Visa Infinite card earns Avion Elite points and gives cardholders the opportunity to earn 1.25x Avion Elite points on all travel purchases. In 2024, we awarded this card as the Best Flexible Points Travel Credit Card.
Check out our RBC Avion Visa Infinite card review for more details.
Apr 30, 2024
While it earns Avion Elite points instead of Avios, Avion Elite points can be transferred to British Airways Avios at a rate of 1:1. RBC also runs transfer promotions from time to time, where we have seen transfer bonuses of up to 30%.
The RBC Avion Visa Infinite card earns 1.25 Avion Elite points on all travel purchases, and 1 Avion Elite point on all other purchases. Avion also provides additional utility, as it can be transferred to other programs such as WestJet Rewards, American Airlines AAdvantage, or Cathay Asia Miles.
Simply put, this is a great credit card and one that we always hold in our wallets.
American Express Cobalt Card
The American Express Cobalt card is another strong option when it comes to accruing British Airways Avios in Canada.
The American Express Cobalt card earns Membership Rewards points and gives cardholders the opportunity to earn 5x Membership Rewards on eligible restaurant, food delivery, and grocery store purchases. In 2024, we selected this card to receive the award Best Credit Card for Grocery Purchases.
Check out our American Express Cobalt card review for more details.
15,000 Membership Rewards
The main difference and benefit of the American Express Cobalt card is that it earns Membership Rewards points. American Express Membership Rewards points can also be transferred to British Airways Avios at a rate of 1:1. The American Express Cobalt card also earns 5x Membership Rewards on all grocery and restaurant purchases, meaning you are essentially earning 5 British Airways Avios per dollar spent on those eligible purchases.
If the American Express Cobalt credit card doesn’t fit your needs, any other of the American Express Membership Rewards earning credit cards in Canada may be a good alternative since they can also be transferred to British Airways Avios.
RBC Avion Visa Platinum Card
The RBC Avion Visa Platinum card is a lower-tier card than the RBC Avion Visa Infinite mentioned above but still is a compelling alternative to the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card.
This card often has the same welcome bonus as the RBC Avion Visa Infinite credit card, the same annual fee, earns the same Avion Elite currency and is also transferable to British Airways Avios.
If you are interested in the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite card or the RBC Avion Visa Infinite card but don’t meet the personal or household income requirements, the RBC Avion Visa Platinum is a great alternative.
If you have been sleeping on British Airways Avios as a result of being focused on Aeroplan points, now is a great time to diversify your miles and points earning strategy. Signing up for the British Airways Visa Infinite credit card is a great way to boost your Avios balance even further and push you towards your next flight redemption, whether it’s a short hop in Europe or a transatlantic or transpacific flight.
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