Best RBC Credit Cards
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Best RBC Credit Cards in Canada

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Last updated on September 13, 2022 Comments: 25

Royal Bank of Canada (a.k.a. RBC) is the largest force in Canadian banking and provides over 17 million clients with a smorgasbord of financial services, from chequing accounts to credit cards, mortgages to investments, and everything in between. The bank currently offers 20+ credit cards to choose from, processed by both Mastercard and Visa, and armed with a wide range of features appealing to different types of people, like cash back, travel rewards, and low interest. The selection can be overwhelming, but we’ll save you from the analysis paralysis by picking out RBC’s top cards in different categories and identifying their strengths and weaknesses.

Best RBC Credit Cards Canada 2021

 Best ForAnnual FeeSpecial FeatureRead Review
RBC Cash Back MastercardNo Annual Fee$0Up to 2% cash back on groceriesRead More
RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite MastercardCash Back$991.5% cash back on all purchasesRead More

Best RBC No Annual Fee Card

RBC Cash Back Mastercard

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Who’s Eligible?
– Recommended Credit Score: Good
– Minimum Income: N/A
– Age: You must be the age of majority in your home province
– Residency: Canadian

The RBC Cash Back Mastercard stands out from other no annual fee cash back cards because of its ‘base’ earn rate, giving 0.5% cash back for all purchases (aside from groceries) through the first $6,000 in spending per year, and bumping up to 1% cash back after spending $6K. Most no annual fee cash back cards earn just 0.5% for their base rate without the potential to earn more if you spend more. This high base earn rate might make it ideally suited to small families, or individuals/couples that can focus most of their spending onto one card and cross the $6K all-spending threshold relatively quickly. The card technically offers its highest cash back rate for grocery purchases, at 2%, though this rate only applies to the first $6K in grocery spending per year. After crossing the $6K mark the card earns 1% for the next $6k followed by 0.5% on groceries after a total of $12k. Maxing out your grocery spending at $500/month could net you $120 in cash back annually; a pretty good chunk of change, though not as much as you might be able to earn with other grocery credit cards that either have higher grocery cash back rates or no spending limits.

Key Features:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Cash Back Rates: 2% back on groceries and 0.5%–1% back on other purchases (conditions apply)
  • Gas Savings: 3₵ per litre savings and 20% more Petro-Points at Petro-Canada
  • Purchase Protections: 90 day purchase security and up to 1 year extended warranty protection; zero liability protection

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete RBC Cash Back Mastercard review.

Best RBC Cash Back Card

RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard

Apply Now
Who’s Eligible?
– Recommended Credit Score: Good-Excellent
– Minimum Income: $80,000 personal/$150,000 household
– Age: You must be the age of majority in your home province
– Residency: Canadian

For an annual fee of $99, the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard pairs ‘earn on everything’ cash back with a number of notable benefits. Cardholders get 1.5% cash back on all purchases up to $25,000 spent per year and 1% cash back on purchases over $25K for the year. There is no limit on how much cash back you can earn total. The World Elite status unlocks a suite of worthwhile features, including complimentary mobile internet access at over 1 million Boingo hotspots worldwide and on select airlines; car rental collision/loss damage insurance; complimentary LoungeKey membership for airport lounge access (US$32 per person, each visit); and exclusive promotional offers catered to World Elite members.

An annual spend of $25K (just over $2K/month) with the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard would net $375 in cash back. Though that cash back structure is decent, there are other cash back cards in Canada that earn 1.5% or more without spending limits or with no annual fee (or neither).

Key Features:

  • Annual Fee: $99
  • Cash Back Rates: 1.5% on all purchases up to $25K spent per year; 1% after
  • Gas Savings: 3₵ per litre savings and 20% more Petro-Points at Petro-Canada
  • Insurance and Protections: Rental car insurance; 120 day purchase security and up to 2 year extended warranty protection
  • Other Benefits: Boingo Wi-Fi account for mobile internet access; complimentary LoungeKey membership

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard review.

Still Undecided?

RBC’s massive footprint in Canadian banking extends to its mammoth credit card offering, and it’s very possible that you might find a great match among such a large catalogue of cards. But be wary of your own brand bias; just because RBC might be the bank you’re most familiar with, doesn’t necessarily mean it offers the perfect credit card for you. If you’re not 100% sold on the RBC cards listed here, navigate to the ‘Compare Cards’ menu on the top left of your screen and check out our lists of the top credit cards in Canada from all banks and issuers, including RBC and all its competitors.

Corresponding legal references and product terms are available on the RBC website, which will be available and agreed upon in the customer onboarding process.

Author Bio

GreedyRates is Canada’s go-to resource for all things personal finance. Our expert articles and videos cover every topic under the financial sun, including credit cards, credit scores, loans, bank accounts, budgeting, investing, RSPs, TFSAs, GICs, taxes, and more. Want our advice on a personal finance issue? Send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll gladly give you some free tips.

Article comments

25 comments
Lonelyn says:

I need help please. Last April 12,2021 at 12:24 pm I paid my credit line worth $700cash. Usually it will just take 3 business days and it will appear on my account. Unfortunately this time it never happened. The reason i paid in 12th so it will lessen my interest payment but they still charge me for my principal owing worth $7339. It supposed to be lower since I paid $700 before 16th. Yes i owed that much but supposed to be it will deducted the $700 i paid. I go to RBC meadowlark brance thrice but their explaination is it will take 3-5 business days…after 3 days they still don’t deducted the $700. Friday April16th I go to the RBC meadowlark again to ask and they said it’s 5-7 business days..the explaination is not consistent. Now it’s April 19th and I called the main office and they gave me the credit line number to call. I called 1-800-769-2511and her explaination is 5-7 business days and even promised me that before 6pm the $700 I paid will show up into my bank account. But no, it still never happened. For pity’s sake that was $700?

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Lonelyn,
Unfortunately, this is a problem only RBC can solve. If you made a payment to your credit card using your online banking, you should be able to go back in your payment history and give the bank the reference number when you talk to them. If you don’t have a reference number and don’t see the payment in your history, It’s possible you thought you made it but didn’t confirm it so it didn’t go through. If you do see it, give them the reference number and ask them to either reverse it so you can resend it or ask them to track it down and tell you why it has yet to be reflected on your balance. Ask them to find out why it hasn’t been processed, as your payment history should show when you submitted the payment and you should get credit for that. It should not count as a late payment. I would insist to them that this be corrected if it hasn’t been and I would ask what you can do to escalate the matter if you feel you’re not being heard.

scott michaels says:

HI, im trying to decide with rbc mastercard im going to get the RBC World elite cash back or Westjet world elite
which card gives you the most bang for your buck.. the cash back has no sign up offer.
thank you trying to make my decision today!!!

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Scott,
My first question for you is are you a person who travels a lot and when you do, do you use Westjet? If the answer is no, there’s your answer. If the answer is yes, it gets to be more about your spending habits. Think about your lifestyle and what you spend the most on. Obviously, cash back is the right choice during COVID (welcome bonus or not) since traveling is at best a giant pain right now and at worst, a good way to catch COVID and spread it around the world. But beyond COVID, I’d say the cash back is supremely limited as far as its earn rate even if it is unlimited and the Westjet card’s welcome bonus is just too good to pass up. Read the reviews (https: // www . greedyrates . ca / blog / westjet – mastercard – world – elite – credit – card – review /) and (https:// www . greedyrates . ca / blog / rbc – cash – back – preferred – world – elite – mastercard – review /) and decide for yourself at the end of the day.

DM says:

They are all lacking in the aesthetic department…some of the ugliest cards ever seen…from the largest bank in Canada!!!!

Aaron Broverman says:

Honestly DM, I think that’s an article idea right there: ranking credit cards based on their aesthetic value.

Lonelyn says:

Yes, that’s why I pulled out my chequing and transfer it to CIBC. Their customer service really sucks. I have a lot of issues to RBC bank but the last encounter that I paid $700 on april 12th with all the receipts and proof. But now it’s 19th of april but I dis not see the $700 deducted to mu principal owed. What i saw is just interest..it is really frustrating

Oliver says:

Hi,
Which one in your opinion is better..
RBC Visa Rewards, Visa Preferred, or Visa Signature?

Dian Khan says:

I fancy the RBC Visa Rewards+ because it fits everyone’s salary rate.
Thank You for Reading in Advance.

Zhangbin says:

Hi there,
My Transunion credit score is 675 and Equifax is 660. However, I have a collection item in my credit report, which has been a year. I was wondering when it will be safe to apply for a credit card with RBC or other cards from the big 5 banks?
Thank you in advance

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Zhangbin,
A collection item will appear on your credit report and affect your credit score for up to six years regardless of whether the item was paid or not. That being said, the big banks do have cards available for people with fair credit such as yourself, so there are some options for you available from the big 5 banks. Try reading this article to see what’s available for people with your credit score: https:/ /www. greedyrates .ca/ blog /best-credit-cards-fair-credit/

Santana says:

Hi, I have 3 cc’s WestJet MasterCard, amex cobalt, RBC avion. I’m going on a family trip in Feb to Orlando from Halifax. I’m wondering what card I should use to get the points. Not sure if WestJet might be an option for flights. I use my avion for my bills, amex for foods,gas etc…WestJet doesn’t give me a whole lot of points for day to day use. My avion fee is waived until Sept of 2020 and my WestJet one will be up in March of 2020 so if any what card should I get rid of or should I keep them all?

Ryan Best says:

Good Afternoon, I was wondering what the best RBC credit card would be for someone who is just starting out with their first credit card such as myself?

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Ryan,

Great question! Though we haven’t done enough due diligence into your bank, we can certainly recommend some of the beginner credit cards that our readers love. Don’t fear if they’re from an outside bank, because as long as your credit is decent, the full spectrum of banks and financial products is open to you. One of the best cards we know of for the uninitiated is Home Trusts’ Preferred Visa, which is a relatively simple card with just three primary features: no annual fee, 1% flat cash back, and 0% on foreign transaction fees. Though the last part might not seem relevant, consider that you’re effectively paying 2.50% on these fees whenever you buy something online or abroad in a foreign currency.

Another basic card that offers comprehensive benefits is the Tangerine Money Back credit card, which lets you choose where you’ll earn the most cash back. The card’s low annual fee is easy to pay and worthwhile, consider you’ll select up to 3 different categories to earn 2.00% cash back in (gas, groceries, pharmacy, home improvement etc.), and then 0.50% everywhere else. For you, just remember that the two biggest criteria to consider are the cards’ income and credit requirements, but that generally, you’ll need to work your way up to the best rewards and cash back instruments.

GreedyRates

Kaleigh says:

What is the mininum credit score for RBC REWARDS+ VISA?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Kaleigh,

Great question. If you’re interested in a more basic, yet still valuable unsecured credit card like the RBC Rewards+ Visa then it’s recommended to have fair to good credit before applying. We consider 670 scores and above within this range, but this is based on observation and experience, we have no bearing on the status or likelihood of your application’s approval. With unsecured credit, even issuers of basic cards must scrutinize the applicant based on their credit, income, collateral, character and other variables, so unless you’re getting secured credit cards you should always apply from a position of financial strength. Best of luck on your application.

GreedyRates

krista proulx says:

Will i really get approved with poor credit for the rbc rewards card?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Krista,

The lowest-tier RBC cards, such as the RBC Rewards+ and the RBC Visa Low-Rate Option are beneficial for cardholder with lower credit but do not offer special consideration for lower credit applicants. You’ll need to have a decent credit score anyway to receive a worthwhile variable rate with the latter card regardless, and we recommend anywhere from 670 in terms of credit.

With poor credit, a better option for you is to make use of secured credit cards until you can raise your score enough. A Refresh Financial Visa card allows you to get approved for a credit limit matching the security deposit that you make (as low as $200), and then you can utilize this credit responsibly to raise your score over time. Then, try to pick up a basic rewards card or a balance transfer card like the MBNA True Line Mastercard to accelerate your efforts. Best of luck!

GreedyRates

Martin says:

Hi, hoping you can provide some advice on how best proceed with an application for the RBC Platinum Visa Card. I need to transfer as much as possible from of a $20,000 balance from a CIBC Visa card at 19.99% interest. My credit score dropped recently after renewing a car lease, to 699 points with Equifax and 756 with TransUnion. I’ve looked at the online application for the RBC Platinum card and it requires you to list income and mortgage among other things. I’m retired and my wife pays all of the house mortgage which is $3200 per month. My income is approximately $65,000 including pensions and income splitting. Our household income is over $200,000 per year. Should I include the $3200 mortgage amount in the card application, though I don’t pay any of it, and just list household income of $200,000? Or should I not not include the mortgage and go with my personal income of $65,000?
And finally, any idea about what amount of credit I would likely get on this card, given the above? Many thanks.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Martin,

Great to hear from you and receive your thorough and well-delivered questions. We’ll be glad to answer each in order that they appear. First, you’ve stated that you’re worried about getting approved for the RBC Visa Platinum card given that your credit score has dropped a bit. We wouldn’t preoccupy ourselves too much with this issue, as 756 isn’t a terrible score by any means, and is one of several factors that RBC looks at when considering your application. Income is another important one, and here’s how you should handle it.

Always apply using the most favorable information about yourself as possible, so if your combined household income is $200,000, then write that down on the application. Banks are able to verify what you write anyway, because a hard credit check will reveal anything you don’t include. There is a need to list the mortgage on the application because it specifically asks about it, though some banks don’t as mortgages are treated a bit differently than loans or lines of credit due to the fact that they’re secured by your house.

The application isn’t a “test” of some kind to see whether or not you accurately represent your financial situation, nor is it a chance to fluff your finances. It just helps provide some preliminary information, to supplement what the bank finds out via your credit check. Your situation is healthy enough to be eligible, that we can tell. However, there’s no way to determine what kind of credit limit you’ll receive, but with a high income like yours and a long, responsible financial history it shouldn’t be an issue to reach that $20,000.

GreedyRates

Martin says:

Thanks for the info and advice. You guys are providing an awesome service!

Santana says:

If I get the RBC avion for 15,000 points how soon after I get the points can I close the card? Also wondering too I got the RBC WestJet by to add more points faster possibly get the RBC rewards plus with no fee and just transfer the points to my WestJet cars. Does that make more sense to get the points quicker since I don’t fly often. It still wanna keep my wj card

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Santana,

Good question about the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card. We checked into that for you via the card’s fine print and didn’t find anything particularly worrying. According to what we read your 15,000-points will be added to your account on the first statement after getting approved for the card. The annual fee is probably also charged on your first statement, so you’ll need to determine if it’s still worth it, and also whether you might be missing out on value the card could provide outside of its initial bonus.

According to our Loyalty Program Bible, your 15,000-point bonus is worth the equivalent of $171, with a per-point value of $0.0114. That covers the fee, so that’s less of a concern. Regarding the RBC WestJet World Elite card: if you say you don’t fly often, then this probably isn’t the best card for you. It earns WestJet Dollars at an accelerated rate when spending on travel and also makes travel redemption with WestJet the only way to use your rewards. Accordingly, it may not be so useful for someone like yourself. Are you getting good value from it? That’s all that matters!

GreedyRates

Dan c says:

I just got this card from the signature reward. 26,000 Pts gives you about 175$ of value versus te 1.5 casback at 390$. I prefer to stay wit RBC for my banking but scotiabank momentum is ard to pass on. any suggestions?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Dan,

Appreciate the comment and request for a card suggestion. However, you’re commenting on a listicle with multiple cards on it, so we don’t know which card you’re referring to when you state: “I just got this card…”. Are you referring to the Cash Back Mastercard? It’s a great tool for those who don’t want to mess with high income or credit requirements, but who also appreciate cash back on purchases common to everyone, plus a little extra besides. As good as it is, though, know that you can’t average the 2.00% accelerated cash back category with the 1.00% flat rate: it’s best just to assume that you’ll earn 1.00% on everything unless you’re buying groceries. If your grocery expenses are the majority of your spending, then it’s possible your average cash back will be higher.

That said, the Scotia Momentum card shouldn’t be passed up if you want it. There’s nothing stopping you from applying to multiple Canadian banks, and it won’t make things more complicated or burdensome. Banks share applicant credit information and enable customers to seamlessly transfer cash between accounts from different institutions, so if you’re enticed by the Scotia Momentum, go for it. Best of luck!

GreedyRates