Visa > RBC

RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum Review

3.94

$120

Annual Fee

$529

Annual Rewards

40,000 points + $120

Intro Offer

$120

Annual fee

$529

Annual rewards

40,000 points + $120

Intro offer


Pros


  • Earn Asia Miles: 1 Asia Mile per $1 spent on Cathay Pacific purchases, 1 Asia Mile per $1 spent on travel expenses, and 1 Asia Mile per $2 spent on all other purchases.
  • Sign-up Bonus: New cardholders enjoy a generous welcome bonus of 35,000 Asia Miles after meeting the minimum spending requirement in the first three months.
  • Annual Companion Fare: Cardholders receive an annual Economy Class companion ticket to select Asian destinations upon renewal.
  • Green Tier Membership: This card offers an initial complimentary 12-month Green Tier Membership status in the Marco Polo Club, Cathay Pacific’s frequent flyer program.
  • Exclusive Lounge Access: Enjoy two complimentary lounge passes to Plaza Premium Lounges worldwide each year.
  • Travel Insurance: Cardholders benefit from comprehensive travel insurance, including trip cancellation, interruption, and delayed baggage claims.

Cons


  • Annual Fee: The RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum card comes with an annual fee of $120.
  • Limited Rewards Partners: Cardholders can redeem Asia Miles only on Cathay Pacific, sister airline Dragonair, and selected airline partners, limiting its options for reward flights.
  • High Interest Rate: The card has an interest rate of 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances, which could be costly if you carry a balance.
  • Foreign Currency Conversion Fee: There is a 2.5% fee on foreign currency transactions, which can add up for those who frequently travel or make purchases across various currencies.
  • Complex Rewards Structure: Understanding and maximizing rewards may require more effort as rate earning varies based on purchase categories.

Performance test results

At DollarWise, for each credit card we test 7 different factors including the rewards, value for money, perks, insurance, strengths and weaknesses of the card.

You can see our full testing methodology here to learn why we’re the most trusted source for credit card reviews.

The RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum has earned a 3.94 DollarWise Rating out of 5. This score is based on a weighted average of the two highest scoring factors (excluding acceptance and approval).

Rewards

Fees

Perks

Interest rates

Insurance

Acceptance

Approval

The highest scoring categories for the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum are insurance and rewards.

These factors are weighted 70% to the highest scoring factor and 30% to the second highest score to get an overall review score.

This weighting allows us to judge cards on their merits and the customers they are designed for.

For the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum the most important factors for scoring this card are its insurance and rewards.

Rewards

With the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum, here’s the rates at which you earn rewards for different spending categories per dollar you spend:

Bills1 point
Pharmacy1 point
Gas1 point
Groceries1 point
Restaurants1 point
Specific Stores2 points
Travel1 point
All Other Spend1 point

Calculating your annual rewards

We estimate that spending $2,000 per month with the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum would earn $529 in rewards over the year.

Our performance testing research uses an accurate estimation of the average Canadian households spending patterns to predict the rewards a card will earn.

We found that you’d earn this per category:

Specific Stores$50
All Other Spend$479

Our study investigating the value found that each dollar spent on the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum is worth up to $0.02, depending on how you redeem.

This $529 in rewards value puts the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum in the top 30% of credit cards in Canada based on rewards earned.

The average credit card in our database earns $337 in rewards for the same spend that the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum earns $529 in rewards value.

We can compare this card to other options by looking at the earn rate by category.

This earn rate is the percentage return that you would get when you spend on this card, assuming you redeem at the predicted maximum value.

For example, if a card earned 5 points per dollar on gas and each point is worth up to $0.02, then the earn rate is 5 points multiplied by $0.02 each, divided by the dollar you spent.

In this example, that’s a 10% earn rate on gas.

SpendThis CardAverage
Bills2.10%1.25%
Pharmacy2.10%1.17%
Gas2.10%1.48%
Groceries2.10%1.71%
Restaurant2.10%1.53%
Store4.20%1.94%
Travel2.10%1.19%
Other2.10%1.08%
Above, we’ve calculated the earn rate for the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum for every spend category and compared it to the average for all Canadian credit cards.
Redemption methodAnnual rewards
Flight rewards$529

For an annual spend of $24,000, we estimated annual rewards value at up to $529.

That’s equivalent to a 2.21% return on spending.

The RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum has an annual fee of $120. After deducting this, we predicted net annual rewards of $409.

This puts it in the top 20% of credit cards for net rewards after fees.

In comparison, the average card earns net annual rewards of $254.

Fees

The RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum has a $120 annual fee.

The average card charges $85. So, the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum is in the top 30% of cards based on the cost of the annual fee.

Perks

We manually review the perks of each credit card to determine how they compare to other cards.

The RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum scored a 0.0 out of 5 for perks, putting it in the bottom 0% of cards.

The average card scores 1.6 out of 5 for perks.

Interest Rates

Purchase20.5%
Cash Advance22.99%
Balance Transfer22.99%

The average (median) credit card has a purchase interest rate of 19.99% and so the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum charges 0.51% more than the average.

For cash advances it costs 22.99% compared to the average of 19.96%.

Testing the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum with a $2,000 starting balance, you can see in the graph how the 0.51% more in interest rates impacts the interest over a year, compared to the average card.

Insurance coverage

InsuranceThis CardAverage
Extended Warranty1 year1 year
Purchase Protection90 days90 days
Travel Accident$500,000$500,000
Emergency Medical Term31 days15 days
Emergency Medical over 657 days4 days
Flight Delay$500$500
Baggage Delay$500$500
Lost or Stolen Baggage$500$1,000
Rental Car Theft & DamageYesNo
Hotel Burglary$2,500$1,000

We scored it 4.0 out of 5 for insurance.

It offers 10 types of insurance, whereas the average card has 5 types of coverage.

Approval and qualifying

Do I qualify?
Estimated Credit Score560 – 659
Personal Income$0
Household Income$0
Fees
Annual Fee$120
Extra Card Fee$0
Card typeVisa

We scored it 3.5 out of 5 for approval.

We predict that you will require a credit score of at least 560 to qualify for the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum, while the average card requires 652 to qualify.

This puts it in the top bottom 30% of cards by approval difficulty.

The personal income requirements are $0, while the average card requires $23,896.

This puts it in the top 50% of cards by the income required to qualify.

The RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum credit card is ideal for those who frequently travel to and from Asia, particularly with Cathay Pacific. This review will discuss the card’s earning potential and benefits, as well as potential drawbacks to consider.

Earning potential with the card:

The RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum card allows cardholders to earn Asia Miles, which can be redeemed for flights, upgrades, and other travel-related rewards. Cardholders receive 1 Asia Mile per CAD $1 spent on eligible transactions directly with Cathay Pacific, and 1 Asia Mile per CAD $2 spent on other eligible purchases.

There are no specific reward rates for different categories like dining, travel or grocery spending, with the exception of transactions with Cathay Pacific for an accelerated earning rate.

Benefits

Complimentary Green membership: Cardholders enjoy Green Tier membership in the Marco Polo Club, Cathay Pacific’s loyalty program. This grants them priority reservation waitlist status and priority airport standby.

Welcome bonus miles: New cardholders receive a welcome offer of 15,000 Asia Miles after spending CAD $6,000 in the first three months. This can be a useful head-start to earn rewards for future travel.

Annual bonus miles: Cardholders receive 2,000 bonus Asia Miles when they renew their card each year, further increasing their opportunity to earn travel rewards.

Travel Insurance and purchase protection benefits: The card includes comprehensive travel insurance with benefits such as trip cancellation/interruption, emergency medical, and baggage loss/delay coverage. It also provides purchase protection and extended warranty for eligible purchases made with the card.

Drawbacks

Drawback: The RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum has a relatively high annual fee of CAD $120. This can negate some of the benefits received if the cardholder does not accumulate a significant number of Asia Miles through regular spending.

Drawback: Asia Miles generally have the highest value when redeemed for flights or upgrades on Cathay Pacific or partner airlines. The card may not be as useful for those who do not frequently fly with these carriers or have other preferences for earning and redeeming travel rewards.

Additional Information

Cardholders can transfer RBC Rewards points to Asia Miles at a rate of 1:1, offering more flexibility in earning rewards. Overall, the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum credit card is a suitable choice for frequent travellers who often use Cathay Pacific or its partners and can maximize the returns on Asia Miles redemptions.

Is the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum not convincing you? Consider the RBC RateAdvantage Visa or the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard. Still not the right credit card? Make sure not to miss the RBC Cash Back Mastercard.

FAQ

With the RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum credit card, cardholders can redeem their points primarily for Cathay Pacific flights. Specifically, points can be redeemed for Asia Miles, which can be used to book reward flights on Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, and their oneworld alliance airline partners.

Additionally, Asia Miles can be redeemed for flight upgrades, excess baggage fees, lounge access, hotel stays, car rentals, and a variety of lifestyle experiences, including dining and shopping.

The RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum credit card comes with a 2.5% foreign transaction fee. This fee applies when you make purchases in a foreign currency or transactions processed overseas by merchants.

Keep in mind that transaction fees can vary depending on the card. So it’s important to research and compare while choosing the right credit card for your needs.

The RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum credit card does not have a specific minimum income requirement for applicants.

Key benefits

  • 1:1 Asia Miles earning on Cathay Pacific & travel-related expenses
  • 1:2 Asia Miles on all other purchases
  • 35,000 Asia Miles welcome bonus (minimum expenditure conditions apply)
  • Annual companion fare: Economy Class to select Asian destinations
  • Complimentary 12-month Green Tier Membership, Marco Polo Club
  • 2 Plaza Premium Lounge passes per year
  • Inclusive travel insurance (cancellation, interruption, baggage delay)
  • Annual fee of $120
  • Redeem miles with Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, & selected airlines
  • 19.99% interest on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • 2.5% foreign currency conversion fee
  • Variable rate earning system (May require focused attention)

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