RBC Rewards

RBC Rewards
Travel (Air Travel Redemption Schedule)

RBC Rewards is a powerful points program, and easily one of the best among the big 5 banks in Canada. These points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, and much more.

There are two types of RBC points that are earned from different families of credit cards:

  • RBC Avion Elite points (higher tier)
  • RBC Avion Premium points (lower tier)

RBC Avion points can be redeemed for travel and also transferred to other airline partners, while general RBC Rewards points cannot. 

RBC credit cards that earn Avion Elite points will have Avion in their name, such as the RBC Avion Visa Infinite credit card. On the other hand, there are RBC credit cards that earn Avion Premium points such as the RBC ION+ Visa credit card.

Throughout this page, we will use the term “RBC Rewards” to refer to both tiers of points to be consistent. However, we will note any differences between the two sets of points in the relevant sections below.

Earning RBC Rewards Points

There are two main ways in which you can earn points in the RBC Rewards program: credit card welcome bonuses and organic credit card spending.

Credit Card Bonuses

The most effective method to earn RBC Rewards points is through earning the welcome bonus on a RBC Rewards credit card. There are many RBC Rewards cards to choose from.

The most popular RBC Rewards credit cards are the RBC Avion Visa Infinite and RBC Avion Visa Platinum credit cards as they tend to offer the most bonus points and benefits for the lowest annual fee.

Credit card bonuses may also be earned through product switching.

Credit Card Spending

The RBC Rewards credit cards have a standard earning structure in that a set amount of RBC Rewards points are earned for every dollar spent on all everyday purchases with no extra points for spending in specific categories (such as groceries or transportation).

There is one exception as some RBC Rewards credit cards, such as the RBC Avion Visa Infinite, will earn 1.25 points for travel purchases, and the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business/RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege cards earn 1.25 points on all purchases.

RBC Rewards Credit Cards

The table below shows the best RBC Rewards earning credit cards available. The RBC Avion Visa Infinite is arguably the strongest card with a very strong current welcome bonus. It also earns 1 point per dollar and 1.25 points for travel purchases.

Credit Card Welcome Bonus Net Value
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege Card 70,000 Avion $931 Apply
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card 35,000 Avion $545 Apply
RBC Avion Visa Platinum Card 35,000 Avion $545 Apply
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business Card 25,000 Avion $300 Apply
RBC Avion Visa Business Card 20,000 Avion $260 Apply
RBC ION+ Visa Card 12,000 Avion $180 Apply
RBC ION Visa Card 6,000 Avion $114 Apply

Redeeming RBC Rewards Points

RBC Rewards is a highly flexible points program and can be redeemed for travel in a variety of ways, as well as redeemed for other types of rewards including financial rewards, merchandise, and gift cards. 

As with most bank point programs, travel provides the highest redemption value. RBC Rewards can be redeemed for travel in three ways:

  • Air Travel Redemption Schedule (Fixed Travel)  
  • Flexible Travel Reward
  • Transfer to Airline Partners

Air Travel Redemption Schedule (Fixed Travel)

The RBC Air Travel Redemption Schedule provides the greatest value for redeeming RBC Rewards points for flights. However, as the name suggests, there are a few more rules to follow when redeeming your points this way. First of all, you can redeem RBC Rewards for one-way, round trip, and multiple destinations flights.

How many points are required for redemption through the Air Travel Redemption Schedule is fixed and based on the particular destination, according to the chart below. For a given destination, there is a maximum ticket price that the points can be redeemed for – this does not include taxes and fees. 

If you exceed the maximum ticket price, you can pay the difference in points at a rate of 100 points = $1 CAD (the flexible travel rate). You can also pay for flight taxes by redeeming your points at this same rate of 100 points = $1 CAD.

Round TripOne Way
Type of FlightRBC Points Required
(Max Ticket Price)
RBC Points Required
(Max Ticket Price)
Short getaways
Any flight within a province, territory or U.S. state, or to a contiguous province, territory or U.S. state
Discover North America
Any flight anywhere in Canada or the United States, except Hawaii or Alaska.
Holiday Destinations
Western Canada or U.S. to Mexico, Hawaii or Alaska, Eastern Canada to Bermuda, Central America or the Caribbean
Go on holiday
Eastern Canada or United States to Mexico, Hawaii or Alaska, Western Canada to Bermuda, Central America or the Caribbean
Visit Europe
Any flight from a major point of departure in Canada or the United States to destinations in Europe
The World
Any flight from a major point of departure in Canada or the United States to destinations in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, the Middle East, Africa or South America.

There is one other restriction with the Air Travel Redemption Schedule: you must make the booking a minimum of 14 days before the departing flight. Keep this in mind when considering whether to redeem RBC points for flights using this method.

How to Redeem RBC Rewards Points Using the Air Travel Redemption Schedule

In order to make a flight booking using the RBC Rewards fixed travel program, you will need to go to the RBC Rewards Travel portal, which is powered by Expedia. 

In order to initiate a flexible travel rewards booking, log into RBC Rewards and click “Travel Home” on the top bar. From there, click on the “Book Travel” button.

RBC Rewards travel dashboard, book travel now

This will take you to the RBC Rewards Travel portal page. From here, you will be able to search for flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacation packages. In order to redeem through the fixed travel redemption program, you will need to click on flights.

From here, fill in your desired routing, dates, number of passengers, and ticket class, and click “Search” to generate a list of flights.

Search flights on RBC Rewards YEG to LAX

Once you can see the list of flights, you will see the total point cost using the fixed travel redemption in addition to the taxes and fees on the ticket. At the top of the screen, you can flip between fixed points pricing and flexible points pricing to determine which is the better deal.

In this case, fixed points pricing has all itineraries at 35,000 RBC Rewards points (as one would expect per the chart above).

RBC Rewards redemption fixed travel redemption schedule flight listing

On the other hand, if we were to make this booking with flexible rewards, we would be paying at a minimum an additional 21,000 RBC Rewards points. This is where the fixed rewards chart really shines.

RBC Rewards redemption flexible travel

Once we go through the portal and select our outbound and inbound flights, we are presented with a page summarizing the flights chosen and the total price. On the right-hand side, you can confirm that you are using the fixed travel redemption method by looking at the total point cost. Since this is an economy roundtrip fare within North America, 35,000 is the correct amount of points. From here, click “Check Out” to complete the rest of the booking process.

RBC Rewards redemption fixed travel price summary

For this booking in particular, I was effectively able to redeem 35,000 RBC Rewards for $413 in base fare value (roughly 0.0118 cents per point). Since you can cover up to a $700 base fare with the 35,000 RBC Rewards fixed flight redemption, there is some additional value that could be extracted with the right flight. But if you were just looking to travel to Los Angeles, this is a great value for your points.

It is important to note that any flights that do not qualify for the Air Travel Redemption Schedule will automatically have flexible points pricing applied.  

RBC Rewards flexible points pricing

Flexible Travel Rewards

The other way to use RBC Rewards points for travel is through the flexible travel reward chart. This method allows you to redeem your RBC Rewards towards virtually any flight, hotel, car rental, and other travel expenses at a rate of 100 RBC Rewards points = $1 CAD (RBC sometimes refers to this as the “1% rate”).   

RBC Rewards flexible travel 100 points = $1 CAD

So for example, 25,000 RBC Rewards points can be redeemed for $250 CAD worth of travel. What makes this method even more flexible is that you can pay for travel using any combination of points and payment via credit card.

In general, you would only want to redeem RBC Rewards points for flights using this method if your flights do not qualify for the Air Travel Rewards Redemption Schedule. Alternatively, you may already have lots of airline points from other programs like Aeroplan and prefer to use your RBC points for a hotel stay, car rental, cruise, or vacation package. 

Also of note, holders of the following credit cards actually get a special 2x rate for flexible travel redemptions used towards Business (J) or First Class (F) airline tickets, meaning they can redeem 100 points for $2 CAD:

  • RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege 
  • RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business
  • RBC Commercial Avion Visa

How to Redeem RBC Rewards Points for Flexible Travel Rewards

Redeeming RBC Rewards for flexible travel rewards can be done entirely through the RBC Rewards Travel portal, which is a search engine powered by Expedia. In order to redeem points through this method, you do need to book through the portal and cannot apply points to a pre-existing booking made elsewhere.

In order to initiate a flexible travel rewards booking, log into RBC Rewards and click “Travel Home” on the top bar. From there, click on the “Book Travel” button.

RBC Rewards travel dashboard, book travel now

This will take you to the RBC Rewards Travel portal page. From here, you will be able to search for flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacation packages. The process is the same no matter what you are redeeming your RBC Rewards for.

For our how-to, let’s take a look at booking a hotel in Las Vegas for August. Select “Stays” at the top, and select the desired destination, your dates, and the number of travelers. Click “Search”.

Once you search, a variety of hotels will be displayed that meet your travel criteria. You are able to filter or sort if desired to find the perfect hotel to suit your needs. Once you find the hotel you are interested in, click on it to be brought to the hotel-specific page with property details and room types that are available for this booking.

Scroll down and you will see the rooms that are bookable. Once you find the one that you like, click on Reserve to be taken to the payment page.

Once you are on the payment page, this is where you can elect to use your points to pay for the booking through the flexible travel rewards option. You are able to use a portion or all of your points when making a flexible travel booking, however, the default is to use all of your points (or the maximum number of points to pay the booking off completely).

As you update the points and cash payment split, the price summary on the right-hand side of the screen will update. This will give you insight into what you will be paying for this booking when you confirm in addition to any on-property fees (such as a resort fee in Las Vegas).

Once you are happy with the price summary, simply fill in the rest of the details and click “Complete Booking”. Any applicable points will be withdrawn from your account and you will receive an email confirmation of the booking.

Convert RBC Rewards to Airline Partners

If you are pursuing a flight redemption on another airline, you might find value in converting your RBC Rewards points to a specific airline loyalty program. RBC Rewards is partnered with American Airlines AAdvantage, British Airways Executive Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and WestJet Rewards.

RBC Rewards airline partners including American Airlines, British Airways, Asia Miles, and WestJet

You can convert RBC Rewards points at the following rates:

Airline PartnerConversion RateMinimum Transfer Amount 
WestJet Rewards1,000 RBC Rewards = $10 WestJet Dollars (100:1 ratio)Minimum 1,000 points
Maximum 1,000,000 points
Increments of 100 pts
American Airlines AAdvantage Miles5,000 RBC Rewards = 3,500 American Airlines AAdvantage Miles (1:0.7 ratio)  Minimum 5,000 points
Increments of 10 points
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles10,000 RBC Rewards = 10,000 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (1:1 ratio)Minimum 10,000 points
Maximum 999,999 points
Increments of 1 point
British Airways Avios10,000 RBC Rewards = 10,000 British Airways Avios Miles (1:1 ratio)Minimum 10,000 points
Maximum 999,999 points
Increments of 1 point

The RBC Rewards program also offers transfer bonuses from time to time. For example, in recent years we have seen promotions that give cardholders an extra 30% British Airways Avios Miles when transferring. This can create some strong value propositions in making dream trips much more accessible, such as redeeming Avios for Qatar Airways Qsuites.

If you hold any of the RBC Avion credit cards, you will be able to transfer to any of the partners listed above. On the other hand, if you hold a card that earns Avion Premium points, you will only be able to transfer your points to WestJet Rewards. (However, you can fix this by either switching the card to an Avion card or by applying for another Avion card and transferring the Rewards+ points to the Avion card).

You can see the current transfer ratios, including any bonus promotions, by viewing our Miles & Points Transfer Partner Tool.

How to Convert RBC Rewards to Airline Partners 

To convert your RBC Rewards points to airline partners, go to the ‘Shop RBC Rewards’ portal. You can access this from the account summary page of any of your RBC credit cards.

RBC credit card account, shop RBC Rewards

Then from the RBC Rewards portal home page, select ‘Manage Points’ from the main navigation menu and then ‘Convert Points’ from the submenu. 

RBC Rewards portal convert points

From the next screen, you’ll be prompted to select which loyalty program you would like to transfer to and then the number of points. You will also be prompted to input your membership number for whatever program you are transferring points to, as well as an email address for confirmation (optional).

Convert RBC Rewards points to American Airlines AAdvantage

Gift Cards

RBC often offers promotions of 20-25% off on gift card costs for various retailers so there may be value there (which is atypical as for most points programs, redeeming points for gift cards offers terrible value).

Rbc rewards portal shopping for gift cards
RBC Rewards portal has over 206 gift cards listed

The best value is consistently hotels.com or Fairmont as both can be purchased at 1 cent per point without any promotions required. However, there have been previous promotions for hotels.com and Fairmont, in which we have seen up to 25% off.

If you have a Rewards+ earning RBC credit card (not Avion), you can also redeem at 1 cent per point for Amazon.ca gift cards.

Other Redemption Options

RBC Rewards can also be redeemed for merchandise, a statement credit, or financial rewards. These methods are not viable from a value perspective and it is strongly recommended that you do not redeem RBC Rewards using any of these methods as you are effectively throwing money away.

The RBC Rewards merchandise catalog has various products to purchase with points. The value for redeeming points for merchandise varies widely but is generally underwhelming and not recommended. You would be better off redeeming points for a gift card and purchasing the merchandise outright on many occasions.

Points can be redeemed towards a statement credit for your Royal Bank of Canada credit card account. If you were to redeem points through this method, 10,000 RBC Rewards points would be worth a $58 statement credit. It doesn’t take a mathematician to understand the terrible value that this offers.

Finally, RBC Rewards can be redeemed towards RBC financial rewards. This means that if you hold a mortgage, personal loan, or registered account with RBC, you can redeem points to financially fund that account. If you were to use this option, 10,000 RBC Rewards points would be worth $83 in your financial account. Again, not a great value when you can easily redeem points for at least 1 cent per point.

Frequently Asked Questions

As long as you hold an active RBC Rewards or Avion credit card, the points tied to that card will not expire. If you cancel an RBC credit card that still has points remaining, you will have 90 days to either redeem those points or transfer them to another active RBC Rewards or Avion credit card that you hold.

RBC Avion Elite points are RBC Rewards points earned by Avion cardholders. They are a higher tier of points than the basic RBC Avion Premium points and, unlike RBC Rewards, Avion Elite points can be redeemed for travel and also transferred to other airline partner programs.  

You can redeem points to redeem for flights through two methods: via the fixed travel award chart or the flexible travel option. 

The fixed travel award chart allows you to redeem points for round-trip flights to destinations around the world for a set amount of points and up to a certain ticket value. For example, a round-trip economy flight anywhere in North America will always cost you 35,000 RBC Rewards points. The ticket can have a maximum value of $750 CAD.

Flexible travel redemptions allow you to redeem points at a rate of 100 RBC Rewards = $1 towards any travel booked through the RBC Rewards travel portal.

Some select flights are not available to book on RBC’s Travel portal. If this is the case, you can instead opt to book the flight yourself and receive statement credit from RBC in exchange for your points. To do this:

1. Navigate to Support from the RBC Travel homepage
2. Select the popular topic “Book with a statement of credit on an Avion flight”
3. Go through the process outlined therein

You must call and receive authorization from an RBC travel agent before making the booking. Then you must complete a manual form before you will be credited with statement credit and the appropriate amount of RBC points removed from your account. 

This method can be used to redeem using the Air Travel Redemption Schedule rates or the 1% flexible travel rate.

Yes, you are able to combine RBC Rewards points between any RBC Rewards credit cards that you hold. When you log into RBC Rewards, click “Transfer Points” and you will be able to choose the account you want to transfer points from and the destination account. You can also quickly combine points between all of your accounts using this feature.

No, you cannot transfer points to a different cardholder.

The value of an RBC Reward point varies, depending on how you choose to redeem them. We recommend using a base value of 1 cent per RBC Reward point when making your redemptions.

The RBC Rewards program team can be contacted via phone at 1-800-769-2512.

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5 comments on “RBC Rewards

  1. I just tried the RBC Rewards Travel Portal to see how much a fixed point redemption would cost and it was not as advertised. One person, return trip from Vancouver,BC to LHR leaving Dec 16th and returning Dec 23rd, 2023 would cost 65,000 fixed points (should be worth up to $1,300 excluding tax and fees) plus $935.66 out-of-pocket. I compared this against Expedia and the out-of-pocket trip cost would be $1,140.66 (breakdown is $805.00 in air transportation charges, plus $335.66 for taxes and fees). So, the 65,000 RBC Avion points only saves me $200 in travel costs – this is pathetic! It should have saved me the $805 flight cost! What is going on here; is RBC devaluing their own points? …I ‘m considering changing credit cards if this is the case. Thanks for your advice.

    • $1300 is the max ticket price, not the guaranteed value. Are you comparing the exact same flight on Expedia and on RBC? The $935 out of pocket seems strangely high but I wonder if its on an airline like BA which have notoriously high taxes and fees. You’d be better off booking a flexible travel redemption and taking $650 off instead.

      Personally I find best use of RBC to be transfers to airline partners like BA Avios, Cathay, etc.

      • Hi Reed. Thanks for your reply. Maybe I’m not quite understanding the ticket price vs guaranteed value. To clarify, the comparison was for the exact same flights, carrier (Air Canada), and dates. Expedia “Air transportation charges” (I assume this is the ticket price portion?) showed as $805 so this was what I expected RBC to cover but they don’t. I did another comparison tonight with different dates (July 6-20, 2024 flying with Iceland Air) and the Expedia cost was $976 for “Air transportation charges” plus $277.96 for “taxes and fees” (total cost $1,253.96). RBC wants 65,000 points plus $621.96. So, out of the total cost of $1,253.96 RBC is only covering the difference of $632 with my 65,000 points (about a 1% points vale); still extremely terrible “value” from RBC. They should cover the $976 flight cost. What am I missing? Can I send you a screenshot? Thanks again.

  2. I was not allowed to choose Level of economy flight from basic to the next two levels of economy this is a situation on Air Canada site that allows me to increase my level of comfort