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Booking a ticket with Air Canada & then redeeming Avion

Edmonton, Canada
posts: 55
reviews: 50
Booking a ticket with Air Canada & then redeeming Avion

My family has had RBC avion cards for a long time. And forever (it seems), I've been regaled with stories from all of them of how they circumvent the official RBC Avion redemption policy of HAVING to book with RBC (or their online equivalent with Travelocity). They book with Air Canada or Westjet directly (using their RBC Avion visa) and then call RBC and have the points redeemed from their account and the cash put on to their visa.

I have an Air Canada discount from when Air Canada screwed me over at Xmas (big surprise). I called RBC and they cannot apply a discount to any of the flights they book. No problem, I said. I'll just book with Air Canada directly using my discount code and have the points applied later and the money put into my account (in my case, the entire $750).

No dice, the clearly annoyed RBC rep said. Its not their policy. When I informed him that my family had been successfully doing that for years, he wanted a ton of personal info so he could ask his supervisor. I was at work when I called and frustrated that I was not having the simple go of it my family had. And I had found a few tales online of the same thing - people booking directly with the airline. So I hung up. And here I am.

Anyone else book directly with the airline and then have their points redeemed with Avion?

Magog, Canada
posts: 25,680
reviews: 456
1. Re: Booking a ticket with Air Canada & then redeeming Avion

As far as I know, they do not give you money. They let you acquire tickets for points up to the value to the premium. If the ticket cost less than the allowed amount, then it is lost. This is why I never use points for cheap tickets so I have full value for my points. Understand that when booking with points you are not talking to RBC, you are talking to their assigned travel agent (Carlson Wagonlit).

There is an option to exchange points for cash though. It has nothing to to with flights. Totally different option. Check their website.

Edmonton, Canada
posts: 55
reviews: 50
2. Re: Booking a ticket with Air Canada & then redeeming Avion

You misunderstand me then. I'm not really asking to exchange points for cash. And the people you talk to when you call the RBC Avion booking number are not CWL. This much I know for sure for. Thats not my point, so I won't get into how I know that.

I KNOW people who have booked directly with the air line only later to call RBC and have the points come from their account and the amount added to their visa (as I said, in my case, I'm traveling across country, so the amount would be the full $750 cause the flight is crazy expensive). But I haven't heard of anyone doing it recently - say the last 6-8 months. The people I know who have done it have bought the ticket on their RBC Avion card. The call centre agent asks for your RBC avion number, the security number, your telephone number and confirms your identity. They then see your account and can see the transaction from Air Canada or Westjet or whoever. The points are then deducted from your Avion account and the amount (my case $750) is refunded to your visa. Like I said, I know people who have done this and there are plenty of stories online of people who have done this also. Just google it.

Just wondering if anyone has done this recently or are they clamping down on this practice in the last few months?

Edmonton
posts: 7,185
reviews: 14
3. Re: Booking a ticket with Air Canada & then redeeming Avion

I have Avion and Airmiles and neither of them allow that. I'd be very surprised if they did.

Please let us know if you get away with that.

Edmonton, Canada
posts: 55
reviews: 50
4. Re: Booking a ticket with Air Canada & then redeeming Avion

I know, people think I'm making this up. I just did a quick google search for examples. Read the comment section of this review of the Avion card and you will see at least one person who did what I am referencing - and since May 2012:

thepointsguy.com/2012/…

I think its the comment by Diana. Her description is exactly what my father experienced when going to Florida last year and what he experienced going to Ireland several years back and what several family members have experienced. That said - I've also read a ton of reviews indicating RBC call centre agents can be difficult.

Edmonton
posts: 7,185
reviews: 14
5. Re: Booking a ticket with Air Canada & then redeeming Avion

Just because one person got away with it does not make it policy, just lucky. Next time you should read the terms and conditions and follow them instead of trying to go around them.

Edmonton, Canada
posts: 55
reviews: 50
6. Re: Booking a ticket with Air Canada & then redeeming Avion

Never said it was a policy. Just asked if anyone else had been able to do it recently. And if you read my post, I'm not referencing one person. I guess youve never ever managed to do something that wasnt policy or by the terms and conditions - pity.

Calgary, Canada
posts: 2,784
reviews: 40
7. Re: Booking a ticket with Air Canada & then redeeming Avion

I've read your post a few times and can't make head or tail of it....so good luck with getting an answer.

I have Aeroplan (and CIBC Infinite cards) and just book my rewards tickets directly with Air Canada - its pretty simple.

Canada
posts: 364
reviews: 52
8. Re: Booking a ticket with Air Canada & then redeeming Avion

My World Elite Mastercard through BMO lets me do that. Actually I usually just call the concierge and let them take care of it all. They allow for airline vouchers too. pretty cool. (I have looked up flights on their website and then called the center with a better price found elsewhere than on the website and they get it as well.)

I've paid for car rentals and then called the concierge to use my points to cover the charge.

Edmonton, Canada
posts: 55
reviews: 50
9. Re: Booking a ticket with Air Canada & then redeeming Avion

Aeroplan are the worst. I have points galore yet all seats for my destination at Xmas were gone on jan 1 this year. Sigh. And I love air Canada too.

I've actually heard amazing things about the world MasterCard. And I'm passively considering making the switch. If rbc get stuck on this, I this may make me make the switch. Infinite rewards my a$&.

Canada
posts: 364
reviews: 52
10. Re: Booking a ticket with Air Canada & then redeeming Avion

I have the World Elite card not the the standard World. In addition to the standard insurance, yada yada, you also get club lounge access. etc. I am very happy with it.