RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option Review

Annual Fee
$20
Purchase APR
12.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate
12.99%
Recommended Credit Score
740 850 670 739 580 669 0 579
Fair-Good
12.99% purchase interest rate with an annual fee of $20.

The RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option offers relatively low interest rates while remaining accessible to customers who might not have a high annual income or credit score.

Interest Rates

Instead of exposing a large purchase to standard Canadian credit card interest rates (usually around 20%) the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option charges about half of that in purchase interest: 12.99%. It also only charges 12.99% on cash advances. This makes the card ideal for those who are planning on charging a large purchase to credit and want flexibility in when they pay the balance off.

The purchase interest rate that RBC offers for the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option formerly correlated to an applicant’s credit score, similar to cards like the TD Emerald Flex Rate Visa* Card. But the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option now offers a fixed 12.99% rate, regardless of your credit score.

Other Card Perks

Alongside the low interest rates, cardholders will enjoy basic purchase protection. When using the card to pay for new items, these purchases will benefit from coverage against direct loss or physical damage. If the items come with a manufacturer’s warranty, the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option can extend the warranty by up to one additional year.

Another perk comes courtesy of Canada’s Petro-Points program. Cardholders that link their card to the program save 3 cents per litre on gas and earn 20% more in Petro-Points when filling up at Petro-Canada pumps. Finally, RBC offers some extra benefits that can be purchased, like roadside assistance and travel insurance. That said, you may be able to find more affordable roadside assistance as an add-on to your auto insurance, and you will likely find more affordable travel insurance by using an insurance search engine to compare travel insurance providers in Canada.

Eligibility Requirements

A final benefit to consider is that RBC does not require a minimum annual income to be eligible for this card, and RBC claims to be more holistic than the average bank in its evaluation of card applicants. Instead of putting a lot of stock in a single credit score or report, RBC also considers an applicant’s savings and debt to income ratio when considering applications, potentially opening the card up to applicants with varied credit histories. Nonetheless, we generally recommend that you check your credit score before applying to ensure that you have a score around 650 or so, which will substantially increase the chances of your approval.

How Does the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option Compare to Competing Cards?

If you might carry a credit card balance from month to month, it’s generally worth paying a small annual fee in exchange for a low interest rate, as your savings in interest payments over time can exceed the annual fee itself. But there are other Canadian credit cards that offer interest rates equal to or lower than the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option, and with comparable or lower annual fees.

 RBC Visa Classic Low Rate OptionMBNA True Line® Mastercard® credit card
Annual Fee$20$0
Purchase Interest Rate12.99%12.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate12.99%24.99%
Promotional Balance Transfer Interest RateN/A0% interest for 12 months (conditions apply)
Regular Balance Transfer Interest Rate12.99%12.99%

MBNA True Line® Mastercard®

Apply Now
Who’s Eligible?
– Recommended Credit Score: Fair-Good
– Minimum Income: N/A
– Age: You must be the age of majority in your home province.
– Residency: Available to all Canadian residents except for residents of Quebec.

Why pay an annual fee for a low interest rate if you don’t have to? The MBNA True Line® Mastercard® offers a similar 12.99% purchase interest rate as the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option, without the RBC card’s $20 annual fee.

Aside from its main competitive advantage of offering a low purchase interest rate for no annual fee, the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® also stands out because of its balance transfer promotion: Balance transfers completed within the first 90 days of opening a new account have a 0% interest rate for a full 12 months. Those who take advantage of this offer must pay a 3% balance transfer fee (minimum $7.50).

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete MBNA True Line Mastercard® review.

Sponsored advertising. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and TD is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information on this MBNA credit card, please click on the “Apply Now” button.


Who’s the Card For?

Cardholders who might not pay off their balance and let it ride from month to month are exposed to interest charges that add up over time. In these circumstances it’s preferable to charge purchases to low-interest credit cards, which will minimize compounding balances as much as possible.

For example, if you’re carrying a balance of $1,000 with a credit card that has a standard 20.00% purchase interest rate, then you’d rack up $100 in interest in just 6 months.  With this card’s interest rate of 12.99%, your compounded interest will be around $65 over 6 months—a savings of $35.

But the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Card does not make the cut on our list of the best low-interest credit cards in Canada, because there are other cards out there with equally low or lower interest rates, and/or no annual fee. It’s safe to assume that savings in interest will outweigh the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Card’s annual fee of $20. But you might save even more by instead going with one of the low-interest cards mentioned above.

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Refer to RBC Page for up to date offer terms and conditions.

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.

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