Signature RBC Rewards Visa Review

Annual Fee
$39
Purchase APR
19.99%
Cash Advance Interest Rate
22.99%
Regular Balance Transfer Rate
22.99%
Earn RBC Rewards Points Faster and Receive a Suite of Insurances for a Low Annual Fee.

The Signature RBC Rewards Visa offers a level up from the bank’s basic rewards card, the RBC Rewards+ Visa. This easy-to-use rewards card is designed to reward everyday purchases and includes a few additional perks (and an annual fee of $39), putting it somewhere between a basic and premium card. Check out our review to see if the Signature RBC Rewards Visa is a worthy addition to your wallet.

Click Here to Apply for the Signature RBC Rewards Visa

Pros and Cons of the Card

Pros

  • Instantly save 3₵ per litre on fuel at Petro-Canada and always earn 20% more Petro-Points and RBC Rewards points
  • RBC Rewards is a flexible and easy-to-use reward program
  • Solid insurance benefits—including car rental, travel accident insurance, purchase security and extended warranty
  • Some extra cash back and bonus point potential at a small selection of other retailers
  • No annual fee for students and RBC signature No Limit Banking® clients

Cons

  • A $39 annual fee
  • Basic earning potential of 1 point per $1 with bonus earnings only available at Petro-Canada and a few select retailers

How to Earn Rewards

The Signature RBC Rewards Visa makes keeping track of your reward earnings easy with a flat earn rate of 1 RBC Rewards point for every $1 you spend. Cardholders will also earn a varying amount of bonus points or cash back when they make purchases at select retailers.

You also earn 20% more RBC Rewards and Petro-Canada points when making purchases at Petro-Canada.

How to Redeem Rewards

RBC Rewards is a very flexible rewards program and points don’t expire as long as you are a cardholder in good standing. The program offers a variety of ways to redeem your RBC points, including gift cards, paying down your statement balance, merchandise, travel rewards and RBC Financial Rewards vouchers (which you can use to purchase select investment products and even pay down loans). Best of all, you can start redeeming your points for as little as 2,500 points.

RBC Redeem

ImageSource: RBC

It’s easy to redeem RBC Rewards. You simply log into your credit card account and click on the link “Go to RBC Rewards.” You’ll then be taken to the landing page where you can select from a wide range of redemption rewards. You’ll be told how many points you will need to redeem for your chosen reward.

It’s important to note that the value of an RBC point in real terms varies depending on what you redeem it for (see our Loyalty Program Bible for more specific details). You get the highest value for your points when you redeem them for travel rewards. A point used for travel (things like flights or vacation packages, car rentals etc.) is valued anywhere on average between $.01 (non-Avion RBC Rewards cardholders) to approximately as high as $.02+ per point (for Avion cardholders).

RBC points can also be redeemed by transferring them to other participating partners like Hudson Bay Rewards, American Airlines, AAdvantage Miles, British Airways Avios, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and WestJet dollars. Each program has different point conversion rates and specific terms and conditions apply. For example, when converting RBC points to HBC Rewards you’ll receive 1,000 HBC Rewards for every 500 RBC Rewards, but when converting RBC Rewards points to WestJet dollars, 100 RBC Rewards will get you one WestJet dollar.

Point values for RBC Rewards points outside of travel-related redemptions are lower and vary greatly depending on what you are redeeming them for, with the lowest value being for statement credits. On average, point values outside of travel fluctuate anywhere from $.009 to $.005 so be sure to do your research to maximize your RBC point value.

Click Here to Apply for the Signature RBC Rewards Visa

Additional Perks and Features

Petro Points

Link your RBC card with a Petro-Points membership and cardholders will instantly save 3₵ per litre on fuel at Petro-Canada stations. You’ll also earn 20% more Petro-Points and 20% more RBC Rewards points, as well.

Extensive Insurance

Enjoy four different types of insurance, including travel accident insurance, auto rental collision/loss damage insurance, purchase security and extended warranty.

Safety & Security

Chip and PIN technology and Zero Liability protection to protect you from fraudulent purchases.

Fees and Rates

The Signature RBC Rewards Visa has a low annual fee of $39. The fee is rebated for students (terms apply) and RBC Signature No Limit Banking® clients. There is no fee for additional cards.

The interest rate is 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.

Eligibility Requirements

The Signature RBC Rewards Visa aims to be an accessible card (even encouraging students to apply) for most Canadians. You’ll need to have a “Good” credit rating, and a minimum average salary requirement is not indicated in the card’s application requirements.

How to Get the Card

The process to apply for the Signature RBC Rewards Visa is simple and quick. You simply click on a link and fill in answers to a few questions (things like your address, your employer and your yearly income) and you could have an answer as to whether or not you’ve been approved in less than 60 seconds. The application process is even quicker for those who are already members of RBC.

RBC 60 Seconds

ImageSource: RBC

Your card should arrive in less than two weeks. Note that students are required to go into a branch to apply for the card and must provide proof (like a student card) that they are pursuing some form of post-secondary education.

How Does It Compare?

Card NameSignature RBC Rewards VisaMBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Welcome BonusN/A4 points for every $1 spent on gas, groceries and restaurant purchases during the first 90 days.

5,000 bonus points after spending $500 within the first 90 days and another 5,000 bonus points once enrolled for paperless e-statements within first 90 days
Apply by July 31, 2022 and earn 10% back (up to $100) when you spend up to $1,000 in everyday purchases within your first 2 months.*
Earn Rate1 RBC Rewards point for every dollar you spendEarn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, groceries and restaurant purchases ($5,000 annual cap on each category).

1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
Two 2% money-back categories chosen by the cardholder from among 12 categories and one extra 2% cash back category if you choose to have your cash back deposited into your Tangerine Savings Account; all other purchases earn 0.5% cash back
PerksAt Petro Canada cardholders with a linked card instantly save 3₵ per litre on fuel and earn 20% more Petro-Points and 20% more RBC Rewards points on purchases

Four types of insurance
Purchase assurance, extended warranty and select rental car discountsBalance transfer offer of 1.95% interest for 6 months on balances transferred to Tangerine within 30 days of getting the card (1% balance transfer fee applies)

Purchase assurance and extended warranty
Annual Fee$39$0$0

*Terms and Conditions apply

To fully understand whether the Signature RBC Rewards Visa is right for you, it helps to compare it to other relevant credit cards. A couple of cards that are similar to the Signature RBC Rewards Visa are the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard and the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card.

The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard features a similar reward structure with a standard earn rate of 1 point per $1 spent on purchases (though it doesn’t have the bonus Petro-Canada earning potential). The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard does not have as many features and benefits as the Signature RBC Rewards Visa—but the lack of perks may be offset by the lack of an annual fee, depending on your needs.

While the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card offers cash back rather than rewards, its generous accelerated earn categories elevate it beyond a normal basic credit card—more successfully, I would argue, than the Signature RBC Rewards Visa has positioned itself as a beyond-basic card. Unlike the Signature RBC Rewards Visa, however, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card does not offer travel medical or rental insurance. Though nor does it charge an annual fee.

The Verdict

The reward earning potential of the Signature RBC Rewards Visa is not outstanding and resembles that of many basic credit cards in Canada. The lacklustre earn structure and lack of accelerated earning categories (aside from a few retailers) doesn’t really seem to justify a $39 annual fee.

What sets the card apart is its four types of insurance (though frankly, many basic, no-fee credit cards in Canada offer at least two of the four types of insurance) and, even more so, the 3₵ per litre on gas and 20% bonus points at Petro-Canada.

The latter feature is what would make the Signature RBC Rewards Visa ideal for those who spend a lot of money at filling up at Petro-Canada. It would also be worth getting the card if you are a student or already have an RBC Signature No Limit Banking® account because you would not have to pay the annual fee.

Click Here to Apply for the Signature RBC Rewards Visa

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

Author Bio

Sandra MacGregor
Sandra MacGregor has been writing about finance and travel for nearly a decade. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications like the New York Times, the UK Telegraph, the Washington Post, Forbes.com and the Toronto Star. She spends her free time travelling, and has lived around the globe, including in Paris, South Korea and Cape Town. You can follow her on Twitter at @MacgregorWrites.

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