Specially designed allylic onium salts with different hetero-atoms and various substituent patterns at the allylic double bond have been shown to be very efficient initiators for cationic polymerization. They can be used alone or in conjunction with radical initiators. The mechanism of initiation involves radical formation, radical addition and fragmentation. In some cases, oxidation reactions were found to contribute to the formation of initiating species. In this work, the role of structural parameters onto reactivity is discussed.