In our world of Travel Hacking, maximizing the number of points or miles you earn whilepayingn the least amount of money is always our goal.  Many programs make that difficult for you by imposing strict churnig restrictions such as American Express’ “once in a lifetime” rule for earning sign up bonuses.  There still are cards out there that you can churn easily, like the MBNA Alaska World Elite card, but did you know you can switch credit cards with RBC?  In fact, it’s one of the best perks of using RBC’s suite of credit cards.

Many of the popular RBC credit cards offer a decent amount of sign up bonuses which you’ll definitely want to take advantage of!

I’ve personally done the RBC credit card product switch and you can check out my video below where I talk about my experience going through the product switch process.

The Four Benefits

Benefit #1: You can double dip or triple dip on the welcome bonus points/miles

If you sign up for the RBC British Airways credit card, you will receive 40,000 Avios after getting the welcome bonus points and meeting the minimum spend requirements.

You can then do a product switch to say an RBC Avion, and now you have another 15,000 Avion points, which can be transferred to British Airways Avios, American Airlines, or Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles.

For the a similar amount of annual fee, you have now collected 55,000 Miles instead of just 40,000.

From here, you have the option of product switching again to earn more points or find an RBC credit card with no annual fee to “park” yourself in the meantime and get the annual fee you paid for the second credit card pro-rated.

This leads us to…

Benefit #2: Your annual fee is pro-rated

After completing the RBC product switch, an RBC representative will refund you the remainder of the annual fee you paid.  Let’s say you decided to keep the RBC British Airways VISA for 3 months after the switch.  You can actually get a refund for the other nine months that you did not hold the card. Essentially, you are only paying $41.25 for the annual fee instead of $165.

They’ll then charge you an annual fee on your next card which is most likely going to be $120. After getting the welcome bonus points and holding the card for three months, if you do another product switch, they will refund you the remaining nine months which means you only paid $30.

This brings the total annual fee you paid to $71.25 if you’ve gotten the British Airways Avios and RBC Avion VISA.  Keep in mind; you’ve also earned 55,000 miles in the process and that’s a pretty awesome deal if you ask me!

Benefit #3: Test drive other frequent flyer programs

 You don’t really know how useful a frequent flyer program is until you’ve tried it.  One of the best way to test drive several different frequent flyer programs without paying full price for the credit card’s annual fee is to use the RBC product switch method.

This will allow you to test drive some of the frequent flyer programs that are partnered with RBC such as:

  • British Airways Avios
  • WestJet Rewards
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • American Airlines (Transfer from RBC Avion)
Benefit #4: Prevent your credit score from dropping

Every time you sign up for a new credit card, your credit score will drop a few points (if you don’t know the ins and outs of credit and your credit score, take a quick read here).  However, when you do a product switch, RBC uses the credit score from the credit check they used to approve you for your original card.  For every new credit card you get, your credit score will be unaffected.


Frequent flyer programs such as British Airways Avios is one of the best in Canada and I highly recommend you getting the RBC British Airways Avios card and/or the RBC Avion card. I personally used them when I travelled around the world for a year (check out my points and miles redemption breakdown in this blog post here), and it was a life saver when I travelled through South America, Asia, and parts of Europe.

Just remember that the minimum spend bonus points is only valid for the first card you apply for so you’ll only qualify for the welcome bonus points for your consecutive credit cards.

Good luck in your application and reap the benefit of this RBC product switch strategy!

Kendrick is an obsessive around the world traveller with a mission is to visit all 193 UN recognized countries before he settles down to get married and have kids. From 2016-2017, he spent 380 days solo travelling around the world visiting a lifetime total of 75 UN recognized countries. His expertise is teaching you how to effectively earn and redeem points and miles towards international travel.


  1. Very interesting and clear video.
    Question: if you already hold an RBC Avion card to begin with, does the sequence of cards remain the same?
    And after cycling through (product switching) a few of the cards, can you do a product switch back to one of the cards that were in your product switch sequence (if so, in what time frame for re-acquiring the same card?)

    • Hello Hannah,

      The sequence of cards is up to you but I wouldn’t recommend switching to British AIrways VISA unless it’s your first card because you’ll be missing out on that great 25,000 Avios bonus points from hitting the minimum spend requirements. I’ve never tried cycling back to a card I previously held so I’m not sure if that works personally.

      • Kendrick, surely with your contacts in the credit card and churning business you can get the answer to whether you can get a sign-up bonus for product switching back to an RBC card you’ve already held, one you product switched out of. Many of us would like to know that.

    • Yes you can switch back to a card you’ve already had. I got the Avion and when the 30,000 bonus was on, then PS’d to Westjet and got the $250, then a few month later I switched back to Avion and got 15,000. You only get the offer that is on their website when you product switched, not the ‘special’ offers you see in ads and emails online.

      • Wondering when you switched back to Avion (I assume it’s Avion Infinite?). did you also hold any other RBC card? Does holding other cards (say another different avion/Westjet) affect your chance of getting the bonus again?

  2. I don’t understand this sentence:

    “Just remember that the minimum spend bonus points is only valid for the first card you apply for so you’ll only qualify for the welcome bonus points for your consecutive credit cards.”


    • RBC will often offer two bonuses, the signup bonus and the minimum spend bonus. What Kendrick is saying is that on every card after your first one, you would only qualify for the signup bonus and NOT the minimum spend bonus.

  3. if I have a existing RBC avion card do I transfer the points out to whatever corresponding airline program prior to the switch or do they carry over?

    • Hi Rhinehart,

      I don’t think the points carry over and it’s better you transfer your points out during the British Airways 30-40% bonus points transfer seasonal promo from Avion to Avios.

    • If you cancel an RBC Visa Infinite your points will remain in your RBC Rewards account for 90 days so you have time to make a transfer to an airline program. It gives you some flexibility if you want to use the twice/year 30% bonus for transfers to BA Avios.

  4. Hey, so Avion is having 1st year annual fee waived and increased welcome bonus of 25K. If I switch my BA Visa to Avion, will I get the same offer? or what I will get?

  5. Great that your sharing this. I’ve learned to keep some things on the downlow as all it takes is for RBC to update their terms and conditions. For example, they have rules that prevents those switching cards from getting the bonuses that sometimes come with only “new sign ups”. Fingers crossed they continue to allow these switches!

  6. >Just remember that the minimum spend bonus points is only valid for the first card you apply for so you’ll only qualify for the welcome bonus points for your consecutive credit cards.

    Are RBC cards churnable or are they strict like amex?

  7. Just to share, my experience with RBC product switches is that you may receive the minimum spend bonus on second or subsequent switches. Last November I switched from Avion to RBC BA and received the 25k minimum spend Avios bonus. That was a switch to card #2. Early this summer I switched my wife from RBC WJ MC to RBC BA and she received the 25k minimum spend Avios bonus. Hers was a switch to card #3.

    I’m not advocating anyone try this but just sharing info as YMMV on multiple switches.

    • Hi Leah,

      You will pay a prorated portion of the annual fee but it’s certainly a lot less than if you picked up each card and held it for a year. Cheers



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here