best rbc credit cards

Best RBC Credit Cards in Canada in 2019

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Last updated on July 25, 2019 Views: 547 Comments: 9

The Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and it has a significant presence in the global financial industry as well. With headquarters in both Montreal and Toronto, RBC spans the whole of Canada and serves over 16 million clients who appreciate the bank’s friendly customer service and plethora of value-added financial products like credit cards, chequing accounts and investment banking services.

In terms of credit cards, RBC provides a range of options that allow Canadians to get cash back on their purchases, earn rewards, protect themselves and their property, avoid interest, and much more. We’ve sifted through them all and determined which are the very best in each category.

Best RBC Credit Cards Canada 2019

RBC CardSpecial FeatureAnnual FeeRead Review
RBC Visa Infinite Avion Card1.25 pts on travel
$120Read More
RBC Rewards+ Visa2500 bonus pts$0 Read More
RBC Cash Back Mastercard2% on groceries$0 Read More

Low Interest Cards

RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Card

Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $15000
– Annual fees: $20 

RBC provides some credit cards that have low purchase interest rates, which are especially useful to those who might carry their balance from month to month. Instead of getting hit with interest charges that are commonly over 20.00%, opt for a card like the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate. This RBC card has an interest rate of just 11.99% on purchases, making it a great option for cardholders who are planning to buy something significant and who also prefer to have more leeway in paying it off gradually. The cash advance interest rate is also 11.99%, making the card even more flexible.

However, it’s important to note that the interest rate an applicant receives is proportional to their credit score. Higher-score applicants will get the lower rate of 11.99% while it may increase to as much as 19.99% for those with a lower score, so we recommend this option largely for those who have better credit to begin with. Like some other RBC cards, those who link it to their Petro-Points account can save 3 cents per litre on fuel, and all cardholders will appreciate purchase protection and extended warranties.

  • $20 annual fee
  • 11.99% rate on purchases and cash advances (variable based on credit score)
  • Save 3 cents per litre on fuel at Petro-Canada
  • Purchase protection and extended warranties

Click here to apply for the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option credit card

Travel Cards

RBC Visa Infinite Avion Card

RBC Avion Visa Infinite CardEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: fair_good
– Min personal income required: $60000
– Annual fees: $120

For Canadians who like to travel within the country and abroad, having a credit card that helps reduce the cost of their upcoming trips with each purchase is very useful. RBC offers several of these travel cards, but one of the best is their Visa Infinite Avion card, which is known for being especially flexible and convenient for travellers of all types. When using this card, you’ll get 1 RBC point per $1 spent, and then 1.25 RBC points for every $1 spent on travel-related purchases. It’s nice to earn from all everyday expenses, but the best part is redemption. RBC points can be transferred to an impressive array of other travel rewards programs, like WestJet or Hudson’s Bay Rewards, or used on RBC’s own Orbitz-based travel booking site. They can also be redeemed for merchandise, or toward paying off the card’s balance.

One other major value-added perk for the RBC Infinite Avion card is its 15,000-point bonus, and thorough insurance coverage, which includes emergency medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, and protection rental cars and more. Accordingly, it’s one of the most comprehensive travel cards on the market, with an annual fee and minimum income requirement to match ($120 and $60000).

  • 1 RBC point for every $1 spent
  • 1.25 RBC points for every $1 spent on travel
  • 15,000-point welcome bonus
  • Redeem points for travel (no blackouts or restrictions), merchandise, and cash
  • Transfer points to other travel rewards programs
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Save 3 cents per litre on Petro-Canada fuel

Click here to apply for the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card

WestJet RBC Mastercard

RBC Westjet MatercardEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $39 

Cardholders with RBC who like to travel with WestJet—one of Canada’s premier travel service providers—will enjoy the WestJet RBC Mastercard. The rewards program from WestJet is one of the best around, with no seating restrictions or blackout dates. This card earns 1.5% in WestJet Dollars on all purchases, and then 1% for all WestJet flights or vacation packages charged to the card. You can redeem WestJet Dollars whenever you like, and in any amount.

The $39 annual fee is immediately offset (and then some) by WestJet’s nice welcome bonus of $50 for new cardholders, who only need to make a single initial purchase to earn it. An annual companion flight voucher for round-trip flights within Canada for just $199 also adds significant value to those who frequently fly with a spouse or friend. Finally, this RBC Mastercard wouldn’t be complete without some form of insurance benefit, such as auto rental collision and damage coverage, and protection for your new purchases and possessions while travelling.

  • $39 annual fee
  • 1% back in WestJet Dollars on all purchases
  • 1.5% back in WestJet Dollars on WestJet vacations and flights
  • Annual $199 flight companion voucher
  • $50 welcome bonus
  • Auto rental collision and damage insurance, coverage for hotel/motel possessions, purchase protection

Click here to apply for the RBC Westjet Mastercard

WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

RBC Westjet World Elite MastercardEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Good-Excellent
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $119 

The big brother of WestJet’s standard RBC Mastercard adds significant value for cardholders who are frequent fliers and who can meet the minimum income requirement of $80000. The RBC Westjet World Elite has an upgraded earning rate of WestJet Dollars, at 1.5% on everything and then 2% on WestJet flights and vacation packages. The most notable perk RBC offers is their yearly companion flight, however, which is an inexpensive way to bring a friend or family member on your trip. The companion fare is just $99 for any continental flight, but you can also fly internationally and pay just $299 (or $399 if you’re headed to Europe). Add in an impressive 250 WestJet dollar introductory bonus, and that’s a hefty discount upfront off your next vacation or business trip.

Flying with the WestJet World Elite card is also a privileged experience, with cardholders able to get free checked bags for themselves and up to 8 additional guests on the same itinerary. Given that many airlines charge $50 a bag, the card has enormous savings potential. It will also protect travellers with comprehensive insurance, including travel medical, trip interruption, vehicle rental protection, and protection for new items purchased with the card.

  • $119 annual fee
  • $250 introductory bonus
  • Earn 1.5% on all purchases
  • Earn 2% on WestJet vacations or flights purchased with the card
  • Solid array of travel insurance
  • Annual $99 companion flight
  • Free checked bags for up to 8 travellers
  • Purchase protection and extended warranties

Click here to apply for the RBC World Elite Mastercard

RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum

rbc cathay pacificEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: 
– Min personal income required: N/A
– Annual fees: $120 

Cathay Pacific is a great airline for those who frequently travel to destinations in Asia, but it’s difficult to find a card that earns Asia Miles directly. The Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum from RBC is the only card in Canada offering this feature, and at a generous rate of 1 Mile for every $1 spent. Travellers know that it’s more expensive to use credit cards abroad, especially in expensive cities like Hong Kong or Tokyo, so it’s nice that the Visa Platinum card accelerates the mileage earning rate to 1.25 per $1 for purchases in a foreign currency. This offsets the foreign transaction fees and helps make the card universally useful no matter where you go.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the card is its big welcome bonus of up to 35000 Miles: 15,000 upon approval, 10,000 for a minimum spend of $6,000 in the first 3 months, 10,000 on anniversary of account opening. For a $120 annual fee, you’d expect a bit more value, and the card delivers by providing access to the exclusive Marco Polo lounge, and complimentary travel insurance.

  • Earn 1 Mile for every $1 spent
  • Earn 1.25 Miles for every $1 purchase in a foreign currency
  • Earn double Miles for buying Cathay Pacific travel online
  • Insurance including travel medical, rental car, hotel, and more
  • Up to 35000 Miles in introductory bonuses
  • Entrance to the Marco Polo club
  • Save 3 cents per litre on Petro-Canada fuel

Click here to apply for the TBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum

RBC British Airways Visa Infinite

RBC British Airways Visa InfiniteEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $60000
– Annual fees: $165 

Travellers who prefer to fly with British Airways and their partner airlines will love RBC’s card which is tailored just for them—the British Airways Visa Infinite. This card earns Avios points, which can be used at any of the Oneworld partner airlines, or at British Airways flexibly. Shoppers earn at the fast rate of 1 Avios point for every $1 spent and double Avios points if they purchase tickets and other travel experiences through British Airways. They’ll also get a 10% discount on British Airways flights. New cardholders have the chance to earn bulk Avios points in their first year with RBC—up to 50000 points—15,000 upon approval, 25,000 with minimum spend of $5,000 in the first 3 months, 10,000 after first-year renewal.

Another goal is to spend $30,000 in the first year of membership, which earns cardholders a companion voucher that significantly discounts a flight taken with the primary cardholder. It’s also good to see a solid array of insurance features that come with the card, including emergency medical coverage and protection for one’s trip, hotel, and rental vehicle. All in all, it’s a great value proposition made better by association with one of the world’s premier airline programs.

  • Earn up to 50000 Avios points
  • Earn 1 Avios point for every $1 spent
  • Earn 2 Avios points for every $1 spent at British Airways
  • Use Avios points for all travel on the Oneworld network (1,000+ destinations)
  • Spend $30,000 and get a yearly companion voucher
  • 10% discount when booking British Airways with the card
  • Solid array of insurance perks

Click here to apply for the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite

Rewards Cards

RBC Rewards+ Visa

rbc_rewards_plusEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Poor-Fair
– Min personal income required: $0
– Annual fees: $0 

The RBC Rewards+ Visa is a simple, straightforward and effective way to earn RBC Rewards points on all everyday purchases without any undue financial burden. There’s $0 annual fee on neither the primary nor supplementary cardholders, who can collect 1  Rewards point for every $1 spent on gas, groceries, and purchases at the drug store. All other purchases collect 0.5 Rewards point for every $1 spent. These points are redeemable on an enticing variety of merchandise, gift cards, travel experiences and of course, cash credits to your statement.

It’s nice that RBC offers new cardholders a way to earn up to 2500 extra Rewards points merely for setting up digital banking with RBC. Within 60 days of approval, a cardholder can earn points for minor tasks that include sharing an email address, signing up for eStatements, downloading the RBC mobile wallet app, and more. Alongside the expected savings at Petro-Canada (3 cents per litre), purchase protection and extended warranties, RBC has delivered much value without asking for much in return.

  • Earn 1 point per $1 on gas, groceries and drugstore purchases
  • Earn 1 point per $2 spent everywhere else
  • Earn up to 2500 points for sharing online banking details and signing up
  • Save 3 cents per litre at Petro-Canada
  • Purchase protection and extended warranties
  • $0 annual fee

Click here to apply for the RBC Rewards+ Visa card

Cashback Cards

RBC Cash Back Mastercard

rbc_cash_back_no_annual_feeEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $15000
– Annual fees: $0 

For those who tend to buy a lot of groceries, RBC offers one of the best ways to get a high, flat rate of cash back. Its RBC Cash Back Mastercard is a purposeful grocery-shopping tool, with 2% back (unlimited) on all groceries, and 1% cash back on everything else. There’s $0 annual fee, which is nice to see as well.

Purchase protection and extended warranties come standard with the card and apply to new items purchased with it. There’s also the ability to buy extra perks, namely rental car protection and roadside assistance, if you’re willing to pay a little extra.

  • 2% cash back on groceries
  • 1% cash back on everything else
  • $0 annual fee
  • Purchase protection and extended warranties

Click here to apply for the RBC Cashback no fee Mastercard

RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard

RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite MastercardEligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $80000
– Annual fees: $99 

The Cash Back Preferred World Elite allows cardholders to deploy excellent value, with a regular earn rate at 1.5% on everything. World Elite cards also typically have travel-focused perks, and RBC’s is a unique one: free Boingo hotspot Wi-Fi in airports worldwide. This is a surprisingly convenient benefit as Boingo typically costs $5 per hour and has over a million terminals.

Other perks include advanced purchase protection and extended warranties, extending damage and theft coverage to new items for 120 days (not the typical 90), plus items charged to the card will get triple the regular manufacturer’s warranty length. Premium rental car insurance is also included, representing the icing on the cake for this beneficial credit card.

  • Earn 1.5% cash back
  • Free Boingo Wi-Fi in airports worldwide
  • Exemplary purchase insurance and extended warranties
  • Rental car coverage

Click here to apply for the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite card

Article comments

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!


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.


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!


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!