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Best RBC credit cards in Canada 2024

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Updated: January 15, 2024

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

Royal Bank of Canada (a.k.a. RBC) 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 credit cards in different categories and identifying their strengths and weaknesses.

Best RBC credit card

RBC Avion Visa Infinite

1 Earn 1 Avion point for every dollar you spend*.

25% extra Avion points on eligible travel purchases

$1,500 mobile device insurance

3¢/L savings on fuel at Petro-Canada and always earn 20% more Avion points

50 Be Well points for every $1 spent on eligible products at Rexall

20% off at Hertz and earn 3x the Avion points

$0 delivery fees for 12 months from DoorDash

$120 Annual Fee $50 for each additional card

20.99% Purchase APR

22.99% Cash Advance APR

22.99% Balance Transfer Rate

Very Good Recommended Credit Score

$60,000 Required Annual Personal Income

  • Why we picked the RBC Avion Visa Infinite as the best RBC credit card

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    I've personally owned this card for 5+ years despite being often enticed by competing offers. Its simple earn rate helps me rack up points quickly and the ability to book any airline anytime without restriction is a huge plus.

    My wife and I have used this card for full refunds on trip cancellations (even when our Airbnb couldn't), the customer service is always incredibly helpful with removing fraudulent charges, too.

    We didn't travel much in COVID and have accumulated enough points now that we're flying our family (2 kids) to Hawaii for less than $500 in taxes.

    It doesn't come with Airport lounge access so I'm always on the lookout, but Scotia feels like it ties you to shopping at Freshco or Sobeys, TD feels like it ties you to ExpediaforTD, I haven't heard great things about the Aventura program for point redemption so, for ease of use and collecting points everywhere, I like the RBC Avion Visa Infinite.

Best RBC credit card for students

RBC Ion Plus

3 Avion Ion points† per $1 on qualifying grocery, dining, food delivery, gas, rideshare, public transit, EV charging, streaming, digital gaming and online subscriptions

1 Avion Ion point per $1 on all other purchases

$48 Annual Fee $4 per month

20.99% Purchase APR

22.99% Cash Advance APR 21.99% for residents of Quebec

22.99% Balance Transfer Rate 21.99 for Quebec residents

Good Recommended Credit Score

  • Why we picked the RBC Ion+ as the best RBC Student credit card

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    A low annual fee of $48 in easy-to-pay monthly installments of $4 while earning 3 Avion points on everyday items like groceries, gas, dining, food delivery, rideshare, streaming (e.g. Netflix), subscriptions (e.g. Apple fitness), digital gaming (e.g. PlayStation Plus, in-game purchases) is sweet. You'll still earn 1 Avion point on everything else.

    Then RBC gives you back that annual fee with a welcome bonus valued at up to $50 in gift cards.

    Or, hold on to that welcome bonus, exchange it for travel rewards from Avion, and get your annual fee rebated every month with the RBC Advantage Banking account for students. RBC online has NOMI which helps you manage your budget similar to other budgeting apps.

    While it doesn't feature travel insurance, it comes with super valuable insurance for students: mobile device, 90-day purchase security, and an additional year on the manufacturer's original warranty.

    Not only can you can your Apple Macbook covered by insurance, you can redeem your Avion points for Apply merchandise and over 50,000 other products at Best Buy through the Avion Rewards program.

    Want even more points? Download the Avion app and Avion browser extension which help you find deals and discounts to rack up those points and start travelling sooner.

Best RBC credit card for travel

WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

2% Earn 2% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet vacation packages.

1.5% Earn 1.5% back in WestJet dollars for everyday purchases.

Wi-Fi access to over 1 million Wi-Fi hotsports around the world with Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard

1 annual companion voucher (starting at $119)

3¢/L savings at Petro-Canada and 20% more Petro-Points

50 Be Well points for every $1 spent on eligible products at Rexall

$0 delivery fees for 12 months from DoorDash

$119 Annual Fee $59 for additional cards

20.99% Purchase APR

22.99% Cash Advance APR

Good Recommended Credit Score

$80,000 Required Annual Personal Income

$150,000 Required Annual Household Income

Welcome Offer Ends Mar 14, 2024

Get up to 700 WestJet dollars

Learn more
  • Why the Westjet World Elite is RBC's best travel credit card

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    With as much love as I have for the Visa Infinite, you'd think I'd vote for the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege (VIP).

    The Avion VIP's annual fee of $399 is a bit of a deterrent and with the same welcome offer as the non-privilege, it's a hard price to pay. They do give you 6 airport lounge passes, though. However, that essentially bundles the cost of lounge access into that $399.

    So, at $119 annual and a decent welcome offer, the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard takes home the prize. Not just because of the lower price, but the value you can get from this card including an annual round-trip companion voucher to any WestJet destination starting from $119 (plus taxes, fees, charges, etc.)

    If you're not big on the companion voucher, you can exchange it for 4 airport lounge vouchers.

    You'll also get free first checked bag for you and up to 8 guests on the same reservation.

    You'll also get travel coverage including emergency medical insurance as well as trip interruption insurance hotel burglary, and rental car insurance. Even eligible purchases you make on the card are protected

Best RBC cash back credit card

RBC Cash Back Mastercard

2% Up to 2% unlimited cash back on groceries

1% Up to 1% unlimited cash back on everything else

$0.03 Link your card and instantly save 3¢/L on fuel and 20% more Petro-Points at Petro Canada

50 Get 50 Be Well points for every $1 spent on eligible products at Rexall

$0 Annual Fee No annual fee

20.99% Purchase APR

22.99% Cash Advance APR $3.50 fee

22.99% Balance Transfer Rate

3.50% Balance Transfer Fee

Good Recommended Credit Score

  • Why we chose the RBC Cash Back Mastercard as the best RBC credit card for cash back

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    For no annual fee, unlimited cash back and up to 2% back on groceries (1% on other qualifying purchases), it's a great cash back credit card.

    Now, there's also the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Card for $99 which gives you a complimentary Boingo Wi-Fi account, Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by Dragon Pass, and rental car credit card insurance.

    But Dragon Pass access doesn't mean you have Dragon Pass vouchers, you'll have to pay around $30 to access the lounges.

    While the Preferred gives you a higher earn rate, 1.5%, on everything, the numbers fail to add up in your favour.

    For example, at $2,000 of monthly spending, the Preferred card gives you $360 cash back, while the RBC cash Back gives you $270 cash back. So, for $99, you get $90 more cash back (and Wi-Fi and credit card rental car insurance), but arguably, there's a reason to get one of the best travel credit cards to pair with this cash back credit card where you can get better travel benefits like insurance and airport lounge access.

Best RBC credit card to build credit

RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option

$20 Annual Fee

12.99% Purchase APR

12.99% Cash Advance APR

12.99% Balance Transfer Rate

3.50% Balance Transfer Fee $5.00 fee for cash advances outside of Canada

Fair Recommended Credit Score

  • Why we picked the Class Low Rate Option to help you build credit with RBC

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    For $20 a year ($0 for a second card), it's RBC's lowest interest rate credit card at only 12.99% for purchases and cash advance. If you're currently carrying a balance, you can transfer it for $5 and pay an even lower 3% monthly percentage on your balance to help you pay it down faster.

    The card throws in extended warranty and purchase security too because if you're trying to rebuild your credit, you don't need any major expenses popping up from damage or theft.

    If you're 100% going with RBC, we believe this to be your best choice. However, there are great prepaid cards from KOHO and EQ bank or you can check out the best secured credit cards in Canada.

Best RBC credit card no annual fee

RBC Ion Visa

1.5x Avion points for every $1 spent on groceries, transportation (gas, rideshare, transit, EV charging), and streaming services and subscriptions

1 Avion point for every $1 spent on all other qualifying purchases

1 year extension on manufacturer's warranty

90 days of purchase security protection

3¢/L savings at Petro-Canada

50 Be Well points at Rexall for every $1 spent

3 month DashPass subscription to enjoy unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees from DoorDash.

$0 Annual Fee $0 for additional cards

20.99% Purchase APR

22.99% Cash Advance APR

Fair Recommended Credit Score

Welcome Offer

Get 3,500 Avion points on approval

Learn more
  • Why we chose the RBC Ion as the best RBC no annual fee credit card

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    We love no annual fee cards that still give you a welcome bonus and, with the RBC Ion Visa, a decent earn rate of 1.5x Avion points for every $1 you spend on groceries, rideshare, public transit, streaming, digital gaming and subscription services.

    You can save and earn more with Petro-Canada and Rexall, too. Be sure to get the Avion Rewards app and Chrome extension for when you're shopping online to rack up those points even faster.

    You can redeem your points for travel or gift cards or merchandise through the Avion Rewards program, so it offers loads of flexibility, too.

    This could also be the best rbc credit card for newcomers to Canada given the rewards and lack of annual fee.

6 Best RBC credit cards: summary

RBC best credit card Best for Get started
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Best credit card from RBC Apply now
RBC Ion+ Visa Students Apply now
WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard Travel Apply now
RBC Cash back credit card Cash back Apply now
RBC Classic Low Rate Option Building credit Apply now
RBC Ion Visa No annual fee Apply now

Expert Tip: How to save money by bundling an RBC credit card with an RBC bank account

RBC is one of Canada’s biggest banks with dozens of financial products including a suite of credit card options with access to programs such RBC Avion Rewards and WestJet Rewards. Choosing an RBC credit card as an RBC client can be a great option to keep all of your finances in one place. This can make it easier when it comes time to pay off your credit card bill, increase your credit limit, or even switch your credit card. RBC clients may also benefit from discounts or rebates for having multiple RBC products so getting an RBC credit card as an RBC client may actually help save you money on your finance products.

Hannah Logan, Money.ca credit card, saving and travel expert

How to apply for an RBC credit cardYou can start your RBC credit card application online.

To begin the application process for an RBC credit card, simply click the 'Apply Now' button located beneath the credit card that best suits your needs on our website. This will redirect you to the official RBC application page. There, you will be asked to fill out an application form with your personal and financial details, such as your name, address, income, and employment information. After completing this form, you can finalize your application online.

Alternative application methods:

If you prefer not to apply online or if you have specific questions you'd like to discuss, RBC also offers the following application methods:

  1. 1.

    In-person: You can visit an RBC branch to apply for a credit card in person. This option allows you to speak directly with a bank representative who can guide you through the application process and answer any questions you might have.

  2. 2.

    Over the phone: RBC also offers the option to apply over the phone. This method combines the convenience of applying from home with the benefit of having a direct conversation with an RBC representative.

Remember, no matter which method you choose, it's important to have all the necessary information and documentation on hand to ensure a smooth application process.

Which RBC credit card is best?

For Money.ca, our pick of the best credit card from RBC is the Avion Visa Infinite for its mid-tier annual fee, easy earning, and flexible rewards. Choosing the "best" RBC credit card largely depends on your financial situation, spending habits, and what you value most in a card. RBC offers a variety of credit cards, each catering to different needs. 

When deciding, consider the following factors:

  • Annual Fee: Some cards have high fees, but offer more rewards and benefits.
  • Interest Rates: Important if you plan to carry a balance.
  • Rewards: Choose between cash back, travel points, merchandise, etc., based on what you will use most.
  • Additional Benefits: Such as insurance coverage, extended warranty, and exclusive offers.

It's always a good idea to read the most recent cardholder agreements and terms and conditions directly from RBC's website or contact them for the most current information, as credit card offerings and features can change.

How to pay your RBC credit card from another bank online

Paying your RBC credit card from an account at another bank online can typically be done in a few steps. Here's a general guide on how to proceed, but remember that the exact process may vary slightly depending on the bank you're using to make the payment:

  1. 1.

    Log into your bank's online banking: Access your online banking account at the bank where you have your checking or savings account.

  2. 2.

    Add your RBC Credit Card as a payee: Before you can make a payment, you need to add your RBC credit card as a payee in your online banking system. Look for an option to "Add Payee", "Manage Payees", or something similar in the payments section.

  3. 3.

    Find the correct payee name: When adding a new payee, you will need to search for the correct name. It's usually listed as "RBC Credit Card" or "Royal Bank Credit Card".

  4. 4.

    Enter your credit card number: You will be prompted to enter your RBC credit card number. This is the account number for the payee, and it ensures the payment is credited to your card.

  5. 5.

    Confirm the payee details: Double-check that you've entered the correct credit card number and that the payee is correctly identified as RBC.

  6. 6.

    Make a payment: Once your RBC credit card is added as a payee, go to the payments section of your online banking, select the RBC credit card as the payee, enter the amount you wish to pay, and confirm the transaction.

  7. 7.

    Allow time for processing: Keep in mind that it may take a few business days for the payment to be processed and appear on your RBC credit card account. Be sure to pay your balance (or at least the minimum) a few days before it due to avoid any extra interest charges or late fees.

It's important to ensure that you make your payment well before the due date, considering the processing time, to avoid any late payment fees or charges. If you're unsure about any step of the process or if your bank has a different procedure, it's a good idea to contact your bank's customer service for assistance.

How long does it take for a credit card payment to process with RBC?

Payment method Details
Payments made from an RBC bank account If you're making a payment to your RBC credit card from an RBC checking or savings account (via online banking, telephone banking, or at an ATM), the payment is usually processed and reflected in your credit card balance immediately. However, it's always good to check your account to confirm the payment has been applied.
Payments made from another bank If you're paying your RBC credit card from a non-RBC bank account, the processing time can be longer. Typically, it takes about 2-3 business days for the payment to be processed and reflected on your RBC credit card account. This timeframe can vary depending on the other bank's processing times and any intermediary steps involved in the transaction.

NOTE: Payments made on weekends or holidays may take longer to process. Banks typically process transactions on business days, so a payment made on a Friday evening might not be processed until the following Monday.

It's important to make your credit card payments ahead of the due date to ensure they are processed on time, especially if you're paying from an external bank. Late payments can result in fees and affect your credit score.

What credit score do you need for an RBC credit card?

The required credit score for an RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) credit card can vary depending on the specific card you are applying for. Credit card issuers like RBC generally do not publish the exact credit score requirements for their cards, but here is a general guideline:

  1. 1.

    Basic or Student Cards: For basic credit cards or student credit cards, the required credit score might be more lenient. Applicants might be approved with a fair credit score, typically in the range of 600-650.

  2. 2.

    Standard Cards: For standard RBC credit cards, a good credit score, usually around 650-700, is often expected. This range indicates a responsible credit history and a lower risk for the lender.

  3. 3.

    Premium Cards: For premium or elite credit cards, such as those offering extensive rewards or travel benefits, a higher credit score is usually required. This could be in the range of 700-750 or higher. These cards often come with more benefits and higher credit limits, so the financial institution takes on more risk.

It's important to note that credit score is not the only factor considered in credit card applications. Banks also look at your income, employment status, debt-to-income ratio, and credit history. A lower credit score might be acceptable if other aspects of your financial profile are strong.

If you're unsure about your credit score or your eligibility for an RBC credit card, you might consider contacting RBC directly or checking your credit score through a reputable credit bureau or free credit score service. Additionally, applying for a card that aligns with your current credit profile can help increase your chances of approval.

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 left hand 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.

  • How long does it take for RBC to send a replacement credit card?

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    It typically takes 5-7 business days for RBC to send a replacement credit card, although delivery times can vary depending on your location and any postal delays.

  • How long does it take RBC to send a new credit card?

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    RBC generally sends out a new credit card within 5-10 business days, but this can vary based on location and mailing circumstances.

  • What is the highest level credit card from RBC?

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    The highest level credit card offered by RBC is likely the RBC Visa Infinite Privilege. This card caters to high-income earners and offers premium benefits like extensive travel perks, concierge service, and significant rewards. It's designed for those seeking luxury and exclusive services.

  • Is RBC Visa Infinite better than the platinum?

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    The RBC Visa Infinite generally offers more benefits and rewards compared to the RBC Platinum card, such as comprehensive travel insurance and higher reward point earnings, making it a more premium option for those who can meet its higher income and credit requirements.

  • What s good credit with RBC?

    +

    With RBC, "good credit" typically means having a credit score of around 650-700 or higher. This reflects a history of responsible credit management, including timely payments and maintaining a reasonable credit utilization ratio. Good credit increases eligibility for better credit card offers and loan terms.

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

About our author

Tyler Wade
Tyler Wade, Content strategist & writer

Tyler Wade has worked in personal finance for over 5 years writing for brands like Ratehub, Forbes, KOHO, and now Money.ca. He was the host and producer of the Real Money Talk podcast. He's the father of two, husband to one, and loves all things tiny.

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