So, if you are living in Canada and you want to earn miles to go places what are the options you have? As mentioned earlier, there is the AirMiles programme and I have gone over some of the good and bad of it. There is also Air Canada’s Aéroplan which we will talk about later on (or write and read about later on as the case may be). American Express has its Membership Rewards for transferring as well. Royal Bank has its Avion cards which allows transfers of RBC points to American Airlines, Cathay Pacific or British Airways miles at 1 to 1, but the annual fees are not cheap. TD has it’s travel cards which earn TD points which you can transfer to American Airlines but 1 AA mile costs 4 TD points. TD also offers the AAdvantage Visa card which earns one mile per dollar spent but this also has a fee which is quite steep. The Royal Bank has the Cathay Pacific and British Airways Visa cards but they have small bonuses and high fees. So what is one to do?
For the most miles, you would want the RBC Avion Visa Infinite because it comes with 15,000 bonus points upon enrolling and you can transfer them 1 to 1 to AA, CX or BA. The $120 fee is not cheap though. On the plus side, it includes just about any type of insurance you can imagine (except lost baggage insurance). If you do not meet the income requirements for the Infinite, there is also a platinum version which offers the same bonus and most of the same benefits except fewer insurances. If you want to add even more points, you can enrol in Rewards Network RBC points dining. While you get fewer points than with Delta, AA or US dining, the RBC version does allow you to choose more than one airline.
For the lowest cost, I would suggest the TD Travel classic. It is $29 and at 2 TD points dollar spent and redeeming them at 4 TD points per AA mile it is certainly not the fastest way to earn… but it does allow the possibility.
Tomorrow we will examine the Air Canada options…