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Updated: April 04, 2023

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RBC Cash back preferred and RBC cash back credit cards

Best RBC credit cards in Canada

Money.ca / RBC/MasterCard

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Updated: April 04, 2023

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.

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware this post may contain links to products from our partners. We may receive a commission for products or services you sign up for through partner links.

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.

Card Best for Annual fee Special feature
RBC Cash Back Mastercard No Annual Fee $0 Up to 2% cash back on groceries²
RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard Cash back $99 Up to 1.5% cash back on all purchases1
RBC ION Visa Students $0 1.5X Avion points¹ on groceries; rideshares, gas and EV charging; streaming, digital gaming and subscriptions

Best RBC no annual fee card

RBC Cash Back Mastercard

Quick Facts

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 back² 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 year². 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 groceries² and up to 1% cash back on all your other everyday purchases including pre-authorized payments²
  • Gas Savings: 3₵ per litre savings and 20% more Petro-Points at Petro-Canada when you pay with your card⁵
  • Purchase Protections: 90 day purchase security and up to 1 year extended warranty protection³

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

Quick Facts

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 back¹ 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 total². 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 insurance⁴; 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: Up to 1.5% on all purchases¹ up to $25K spent per year; 1% after
  • Gas Savings: 3₵ per litre savings and 20% more Petro-Points at Petro-Canada⁷
  • Insurance and Protections: Rental car insurance⁴; 120 day purchase security and up to 2 year extended warranty protection³
  • Other Benefits: Boingo‡ Wi-Fi account for mobile internet access

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

Best RBC low income card

RBC ION Visa

Quick Facts

Recommended credit score: Good

Minimum Income: N/A

Age: You must be the age of majority in your home province

Residency: Canadian

If you’re a student or this is your very first credit card, you’ll be able to have financial freedom in the palm of your hands with the RBC ION Visa card. Satisfy your taste buds by earning points on groceriesⁱ. Stay entertained while earning points on streaming, gaming, eligible digital subscriptions, eligible digital downloads, and in-game purchasesⁱⁱⁱ.

Enjoy earning points on gas, rideshare, daily public transit, electric vehicle charging, and moreⁱⁱ. Speaking of transportation – at Petro-Canada, you can save 3¢/L on fuel and earn 20% more points when you pay with a linked RBC card⁶.

With Pay With Points, you can redeem your Avion points to pay bills, your credit card balance or even send money to friends with Interac e-Transfer⁴. Minimum redemption is only $10, so you can use your points where you need them most.

Key features:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Cash Back Rates: 1.5X Avion points¹ on groceries; rideshares, gas and EV charging; streaming, digital gaming and subscriptions
  • Gas Savings: 3¢/L on fuel and earn 20% more points when you pay with a linked RBC card at Petro-Canada⁶
  • Insurance and Protections: Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Insurance5
  • Other Benefits: 3-month complimentary DashPass subscription – a value of almost $30⁸; unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees on qualifying orders of $15 or more when you pay with eligible RBC credit card⁹.

Click here to apply.

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.

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

About our author

Money.ca
Money.ca, Money.ca Editorial Team

The Money.ca Editorial Team is a group of passionate financial experts, seasoned journalists, and content creators who are deeply committed to providing unbiased, relevant, and accurate financial information. With years of combined industry experience, our team is dedicated to maintaining the highest journalistic standards and delivering informative and engaging content. From personal finance and investing to retirement planning and business finance, we cover a broad range of topics to suit the financial needs of our diverse readership. You can trust the Money.ca Editorial Team to empower you with the knowledge and tools necessary to make wise financial decisions.

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