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Heading out to Loblaws again? Make sure to pick up some cash back. If you’re thinking about adding a cash back credit card to your financial arsenal, the RBC Cash Back Mastercard’s 2% cash back on groceries², and up to 1% cash back on everything else² might be worth considering.

Pros and cons of the RBC Cash Back Mastercard



  • No annual fee, no fee for additional cardholders
  • Up to 2% cash back on groceries², up to 1% cash back on everything else²
  • No limit on cash back earned¹
  • Save money on gas at Petro-Canada⁵
  • Easy approval requirements


  • Cash back rewards on groceries drop to 1% after you accumulate $6,000 in grocery charges
  • 0.5% applies to the cash back on everything else up to $6,000 but what is impressive is that for all non-grocery spend the cash back rate actually goes up from the 0.5% to 1% on spend over $6,000, rewarding as your spend more instead of diminishing
  • No travel insurance or other perks
  • No welcome bonus

Yes to cash back, no to annual fees

While RBC offers several cash back credit cards with more significant earning potential, they all come with annual fees. The RBC Cash Back Mastercard lets you earn a solid cash back rate with no annual fee. If you have family members, you can request additional cards, again with no yearly fee, to help maximize your cash back rewards.

Apply for the RBC Cash Back Mastercard

Other fees and rates

Since the RBC Cash Back Mastercard is a credit card, any purchases you made will be subject to interest. This credit card charges 20.99% interest on purchases and 22.99% (21.99% if you reside in Quebec) interest on cash advances, there is also a $3.50 fee for cash advances from an ATM. You can transfer a balance to this credit card, but you’ll pay a $3.50 fee and be charged 22.99% (21.99% if you reside in Quebec).

How to earn cash back

When you use the RBC Cash Back Mastercard, you’ll earn up to 2% cash back on grocery spending². Qualifying retailers include Atlantic Wholesalers, Foodland, Fortino’s, IGA, Loblaw’s, No Frills, Sobeys, Superstore and dozens of others. For all other purchases, you’ll earn up to 1% cash back². There is no limit on the amount of cash back you can make per calendar year¹ so no worries about having your earnings curbed.

How to redeem points

You don’t have to lift a finger to redeem your cash back. Your cash back is credited to your account and is applied on your January statement. You can also request cash back to be redeemed any time during the year if your cash back balance has reached $25.00 or more. You can choose to spend the cash back, or if you are carrying a credit card balance, use them to pay down your credit card balance.

Other notable features

Fuel savings at Petro-Can

All RBC credit cards, including the RBC Cash Back Mastercard, save their users 3₵ per litre at Petro-Canada, when you connect your RBC credit card to your Petro-Points account, you’ll earn 20% more Petro-Points⁵.

Purchase security and extended warranty

All purchases that you make with the RBC Cash Back Mastercard are automatically protected from theft or loss for the first 90 days after purchase. Also, purchases will have their eligible warranty doubled, up to a maximum of one year³.

Security features

Shopping with the RBC Cash Back Mastercard is incredibly secure, as your credit card comes with both chip and PIN technology to ensure the security of your account. If you misplace your credit card or think it may have been stolen, you can lock your credit card instantly from the RBC mobile app. Locking your credit card is a temporary measure, so if you find your credit card later, you can always unlock it.

Zero Liability

Unfortunately, credit card theft is a fact of life. Hopefully, it’ll never happen to you. Still, if it does, your RBC Cash Back Mastercard has zero liability coverage⁶, meaning you won’t be liable for any fraudulent purchases made by a third party.

Eligibility requirements

This credit card is very accessible for most Canadians. There is no minimum personal or household income to qualify, and you’ll need a Good credit score, which, as long as you haven’t had any credit problems, shouldn’t be hard to attain.

Apply for the RBC Cash Back Mastercard

How to apply

You can apply for the RBC Cash Back Mastercard online, by phone, or at your local branch. The online application process takes about 15 minutes with a response in 60 seconds. You’ll need some essential documentation, including:

  • Your name, address, email address, phone number, and SIN number
  • Details about your expenses, including rent or mortgage payments
  • Employment information including where you work, how much you earn, and your length of employment

During the application process, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for credit card extras like balance protection, which will cover your minimum payments if you become ill or can’t work. Once your application is submitted, RBC will have information about your approval in minutes. After you’ve been approved, your credit card will be sent to you in the mail and you can activate it online or over the phone, and start spending.

How it compares

RBC Cash Back Mastercard
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Annual fee 
Cash back rewards
Up to 2% on groceries², up to 1% on everything else² 
2% in 3 categories of your choice, 0.5% on everything else
Other benefits 
Zero liability⁶, 3₵ per litre discount at Petro-Canada⁵, extended warranty and purchase security³ 
Balance transfer offer
Redeem rewards as 
Statement credit 
Statement credit or savings account deposit
Income requirement 
None stated 

The RBC Cash Back Mastercard isn’t the only annual fee-free Mastercard available in Canada. Here’s how this credit card compares to some of the top competitors in the field.

Although the Tangerine Money-Back card offers a higher earn rate, you’re limited to 2-3 spending categories. You can change your categories every three months so that you won’t be stuck with your choices, but you’ll only earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases, so unless the majority of your spending is within the categories you’ve chosen, you may end up earning less than with the RBC Cash Back Mastercard.

It is worth noting, however, that the Tangerine Money Back card currently has some hefty welcome offers: Special 10% extra cash back rate on the first $1,000 spent with the card on everyday purchases (max. $100 cash back) in the first two months if you're approved. The card also has a balance transfer promo, which is great for those who have outstanding debts they would like to consolidate and pay off at a low rate. If you do a balance transfer within the first 30 days of being a new Tangerine Money-Back cardholder, your interest rate on the transferred balance will be 1.95% for the first six months (it will go back to 19.95% after this promotional period). A 1% transfer fee applies.*

*Terms and Conditions apply

Final word

If you’re an avid grocery shopper looking for a no-fee cash back credit card with accessible qualification requirements, the RBC Cash Back Mastercard is an excellent starting point. This credit card is widely accepted and lets you earn 2% cash back on groceries² and up to 1% cash back on everything else². For a no-fee credit card, this is an excellent cash back rate.

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

About our author

Jordann Brown
Jordann Brown, Author

Jordann Brown is a freelance personal finance writer whose areas of expertise include debt management, homeownership and budgeting. She is based in Halifax and has written for publications including The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and CBC.


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