Amex Cobalt vs RBC Avion: Which Earns Better Rewards

Guy purchasing cookies with credit card
PiggyBank is reader-supported. We may be compensated if you use, sign-up or apply for services through our links. See our Advertising Disclosure.

The RBC Avion Visa Infinite and American Express Cobalt cards cater to different preferences and spending habits.

The RBC Avion Visa Infinite offers substantial travel rewards, especially for air travel, along with a range of insurance benefits and partnerships with Petro-Canada and Hertz for added savings.

In contrast, the American Express Cobalt card focuses on rewards for everyday spending categories like dining, travel, and streaming services, alongside a variety of redemption options and travel insurance benefits.

The choice between these cards would depend on one’s spending pattern, travel frequency, and the specific benefits each card offers.

American Express Cobalt RBC Avion Visa Infinite
Annual Fee $155.88 (Monthly fee of $12.99), additional cards no fee $120, additional cards $50
Income Requirement Minimum personal or household income required Personal $60,000 or Household $100,000
Interest Rate 20.99% on purchases; 21.99% on cash advances 20.99% on purchases; 22.99% on cash advances
Reward Points Points on eats, drinks, streaming, travel, transit, and more Air travel-focused rewards
Insurance Coverage Extensive travel and purchase protections, including mobile device and car rental insurance Comprehensive travel insurance, including underwritten coverage by Aviva General Insurance Company and RBC Insurance Company of Canada
Special Partnerships Special benefits with The Hotel Collection; Front Of The Line access; Member extras from brands Savings and bonus points at Petro-Canada; car rental discounts at Hertz

Welcome Offer

  • Amex Cobalt: Up to 15,000 Membership Rewards points in the first year, earning 1,250 points per month with a $750 spend.

  • RBC Avion Visa Infinite: 35,000 Avion points as a welcome bonus, plus 20,000 additional points after spending $5,000 in the first six months.

Annual Fee

  • Amex Cobalt: $12.99 monthly, totaling $155.88 annually.

  • RBC Avion Visa Infinite: $120 for the primary cardholder and $50 for additional cards.

Interest Rates

  • Amex Cobalt: 20.99% on purchases, 21.99% on funds advances.

  • RBC Avion Visa Infinite: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances.

Points Earning Structure

Amex Cobalt:

  • 5x points on eligible eats & drinks purchases in Canada.
  • 3x points on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada.
  • 2x points on eligible transit & gas purchases in Canada and eligible travel purchases.
  • 1x points on all other purchases.
  • Additional point for every $1 spent on eligible hotel or car rental bookings with American Express Travel.
  • Option to refer friends for additional points.

RBC Avion Visa Infinite:

  • 1 Avion point for every dollar spent on all purchases.
  • 1.25 points per dollar for travel-related purchases.
  • Additional points and savings at Petro-Canada and Rexall, including instant fuel savings and increased Be Well points at Rexall.

Rewards Redemption

Amex Cobalt:

  • Points can be redeemed for streaming subscriptions, movie tickets, dining, retail, statement credits, and more.
  • Transfer points 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs.
  • Options include travel bookings through American Express Travel Online, gift cards, merchandise, and Amazon.ca purchases.

RBC Avion Visa Infinite:

  • Redeem points for flights with no blackout dates or advance booking restrictions.
  • Redemption rates vary based on destination and ticket price, offering flexibility to choose any airline and flight.
  • Redemption options include quick getaways within or to adjacent provinces/territories, North America exploration, holiday destinations, European visits, and global travel.

Travel Benefits

Amex Cobalt:

  • Access to the Front Of The Line® program for presale and reserved tickets to concerts, theatre, and special events.
  • Benefits from The Hotel Collection, including up to $100 USD hotel credit and potential room upgrades.

RBC Avion Visa Infinite:

  • Visa Infinite benefits such as exclusive events access, hotel, and dining perks.
  • Hertz rental car discounts and rewards, and DoorDash subscription benefits.
  • Fuel savings and more Avion points at Petro-Canada.

Insurance Coverage

Amex Cobalt:

  • Mobile device insurance up to $1,000.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance covering emergency medical, flight delay, baggage delay, hotel burglary, lost/stolen baggage, travel accident, and car rental theft and damage.

RBC Avion Visa Infinite:

  • Mobile device insurance up to $1,500.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
  • Emergency medical insurance.
  • Protection on eligible card purchases.

Both cards offer robust reward programs and benefits.

The choice between them should be based on individual spending habits and preferences, such as the importance of travel benefits versus daily spending rewards.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between American Express Cobalt and RBC Avion infinite privilege?