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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Only a 30% Conversion Bonus RBC Avion to British Airways Avios

As of today, until July 31st, 2016, you can convert your RBC Avion points (minimum 10K Avion points required to convert) to British Airways Avios.  It's been a 50% bonus twice a year, once in mid-June to late July, and one in November-December.  Quite frankly, this is a shock that they have compromised on the bonus at only 30%.  AMEX used to give a 50% conversion at times in Canada but not lately--it was 25% last time they offered it, a few months back.
Think twice before the conversion.  I've found it difficult to find the flights I want, especially during December Break time, but also in the summer.  I've found that even though they offer a generous cancellation policy and lower taxes than Aeroplan, availability has soured me on Avios, as well as others I know.  If you are flying alone and looking for business class availability, then Avios is for you.  Looking to fly a family in economy, especially during high season--good luck with that.

Here's a good option, but not an easy one for a Canadian to take advantage of--once you have an account open with Iberia Avios (for free) (The Spanish carrier that is affilated) for 90 days, plus you have either earned points by attributing an affiliate airline flight to Iberia, converted US AMEX points to your Iberia Avios account, or won some points through some Iberia contest (I'll keep you apprised of any that I hear about in the future), you can transfer BA Avios to Iberia Avios as often as you wish, back and forth between accounts.  Iberia Avios uses a different award chart that is in some cases, more lucrative, but not as flexible.  For example, with Iberia Avios, you HAVE to buy return trip tickets, but you may find more award availability at a lower amount of points.
As of a few months back, BA Avios increased the number of points for a short haul flight, say YYZ-LGA (Toronto-New York) from 9K economy up to 15K, matching Aeroplan's number of points,  With Iberia, it's still only 11K points.  Unfortunately, Iberia's Avios website is terrible for redemptions, and you'll have to call them to make a redemption, but the option is a good one if you have Avios points.  You can open an Iberia Avios account here.

Here's the details RBC conversion details from the RBC website:
British Airways
Special British Airways Executive Club offer for RBC Avion® cardholders+! Convert your RBC Rewards points into Avios and receive 30% more. Offer valid from June 15, 2016 to July 31, 2016. Convert your points today!
RBC Avion cardholders and clients who hold other eligible RBC Royal Bank products or services that earn RBC Rewards points, have the option of converting their RBC Rewards points to Avios. As a member of the British Airways Executive Club they can spend them on a range of rewards, including flights with BA and their oneworld® partners, flight upgrades, hotel accommodation and car rental¤.
You must be a member of the British Airways Executive Club in order to convert your points. For enrolment information, visit British Airways online (opens new window).
  1. Enrol: Join British Airways Executive Club – (opens new window).
  2. Convert: Convert a minimum of 10,000 RBC Rewards points into Avios by signing-in above or by calling us at 1-800 ROYAL® 1-2 (1-800-769-2512). If you are a commercial cardholder, please call 1-888 ROYAL® 3-4(1-888-769-2534).
  3. Redeem: Redeem your Avios by calling British Airways at 1-800-452-1201 or online at 

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