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The RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard eliminates all of the confusion and noise surrounding cash back – providing a consistent 1.5% cash back on all purchases¹ with no purchase categories or restrictions until you reach $25,000 in annual spending. Cross that threshold and the cash back rate suddenly drops to 1% on everything. This may sting a bit but wait until you see this card’s other perks.
Pros and cons
- High flat cash back rate
- No annual fee for additional cardholders
- No limit to cash back earned²
- Access to Mastercard World Elite Benefits
- Save 3₵ per litre on Gas at Petro-Canada and Earn 20% More Petro-Points⁷
- Redeem Cash Back Anytime Once You Hit $25
- Complimentary Access to Boingo‡ Public Wi-Fi
- Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage⁴, Purchase and Extended Warranty Insurance³
- High minimum income requirements
- $25,000 Cap on 1.5% Cash Back (but earn 1% Cash Back after $25,000)¹
- No medical, travel or accidental death insurance
- No welcome bonus or introductory rates
One rate on all purchases
For those who just want to receive cash back and not have to think about it, this card provides up to 1.5% across all purchases¹. For example, if you spend $100, you’ll get $1.50 back. If you apply that same rate to every purchase, cash back quickly adds up.
Though there’s no limit to how much cash back you can acquire or how many rewards you can redeem over the life of your credit account, the maximum amount of cash back earned at 1.5% in a year is $375 ($25,000 annual spend), after which you earn unlimited cash back at 1% for remainder of the year
If you happen to spend over $25,000 in a single year, the cash back rate on all purchases becomes 1%, so that same $100 purchase only gives a dollar back. The likelihood cardholders will reach $25,000 in spending a year is low and if you do happen to cross the $25,000 threshold, you only have to wait until January of next year for the 1.5% rate to be reinstated, so it’s not the end of the world.
How to redeem cash back
Redeeming cash back on the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard is just as automatic and stress-free as earning cash back on this card.
Do nothing and cash back is redeemed automatically at the end of each year and is applied to your January statement as a credit. 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.
Be warned, once you request a cash back redemption the total of your available cash back is redeemed automatically and can’t be redeemed incrementally at your discretion. Still, many other cash back cards only allow you to redeem cash back annually, so being able to redeem any time you want is a huge plus.
Other benefits and features
In addition to cash back, this card offers a suite of other benefits.
If you link this card to your Petro-Points card by entering your Petro-Points card number when you log into online banking or the RBC Mobile App, you will save 3Ȼ per litre on gas at Petro-Canada and 20% more Petro-Points on all qualifying purchases at Petro-Canada⁷.
Boingo‡ has a global network of over one million Wi-Fi hotspots on airlines and at airports, concert venues and stadiums around the world. While others have to log into a paid account, RBC Cash Back World Elite Preferred cardholders get it complimentary.
Rental car insurance
This card also offers three types of insurance. Its rental car insurance⁴ covers the actual value and any expenses associated with the loss of use of eligible vehicles for up to 48 straight days as long as you pay for the cost of the vehicle with your card and decline the collision damage waiver offered by the rental company.
Purchase security and extended warranty insurance³
The purchase security insurance covers any loss or damage to an item up to 120 days after it was charged to the card to a maximum of $50,000. The extended warranty insurance automatically triples the original manufacturer’s warranty to a maximum of two years. Both coverages are supplemental to any individual insurance coverage you may already have on the item.
Become a world elite member
Meanwhile, World Elite benefits can make you feel like a VIP, giving you exclusive benefits from complimentary Boingo‡ Wi-Fi access at over 1 million hotspots worldwide, and get exclusive benefits⁶ and offers from a variety of on-demand apps and subscription services, like Foodora and Ritual.Apply now
Rates and fees
- Annual fee: $99 ($0 for additional cards)
- Purchase APR: 20.99%
- Balance transfer APR: 22.99% (21.99% if you reside in Quebec)
- Balance transfer fee: $3.50
- Cash advance APR: 22.99% (21.99% if you reside in Quebec)
- Cash advance fee: $3.50 (in Canada) and $5.00 (outside of Canada)
- Dishonoured payment fee: $45
- Overlimit fee: $29 (does not apply in Quebec)
Looking at the above fees, there’s nothing that immediately jumps out as cause for alarm. These fees are pretty standard across the Canadian credit card industry, including the annual interest rates for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
The only thing one may quibble with is the $99 annual fee, since the card only has one main benefit in the flat-rate cash back and all other benefits are supplemental. However, the benefits are numerous, with the World Elite exclusives alone worth the annual fee. Then when you add the complementary Boingo‡ Wi-Fi network membership, the Petro-Canada gas savings⁷ and the three insurances and it actually starts to look reasonable. Credit cards with a similar number of benefits usually carry annual fees of $120 and sometimes $150, which makes $99 annually a steal by comparison. If you have family members, you can request additional cards with no yearly fee, to help maximize your cash back rewards.
To qualify for the card you must be the age of majority in your province and a Canadian resident. You’ll also have to have good/excellent credit (a score above 670) and not have declared bankruptcy in the last seven years. Most importantly, you’ll need to have a minimum personal income of $80,000 or a minimum household income of $150,000. If you meet all these requirements, you’re good to go apply for the card.
How to apply
To apply for the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard, click the “Apply Now” button on the card’s landing page. In addition to your name, address and date of birth, you will be asked to provide your social insurance number along with whether you rent or own your home, the type of home it is and how long you have lived there.
You will then be asked to provide details of your employment situation such as whether you work, full-time or part-time, are retired or self-employed, along with what you do, where you work, how long you’ve worked there and how much money you make. You will also be asked if you have any additional income generated by some other means, such as investments and how much you make from those means. You will also need to provide a code word to verify your identity when communicating with RBC.
Finally, you will be asked if you want BalanceProtector Premiere Plus – a balance insurance product that promises to pay off your balance if you die or gain a disability that renders you unable to work. Then, just agree to the application terms and conditions before clicking “submit.” You can expect to receive confirmation of submission instantly with approval subject to the discretion of RBC.
How it compares
The RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard is solidly middle-of-the-pack when compared against the BMO Cash Back World Elite Mastercard and the SimplyCash Preferred by American Express.
While the BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* has virtually identical benefits to the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite it does come with a big sign-up bonus of 10% cash back on all purchases in the first three months to a maximum of $2,600 ($260 cash back)* and both travel and medical insurance*. However, it also has a much larger $120 annual fee, which is waived for the first year*, for those benefits than the RBC card.
As for the SimplyCashTM Preferred Card from American Express, it beats the RBC Cash Back Preferred in the benefits department, including offering a higher regular cash back rate on all purchases at 2% along with the 10% cash back welcome bonus that the BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* has for four months, (not three) similar exclusive offers and front-of-the-line access to events as the World Elite program, car rental insurance and purchase insurance together with extensive emergency medical and travel insurance. One Caveat, Amex still isn’t as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard in Canada, so the RBC Cash Back Preferred might still better suit your needs.
*Terms and conditions apply
Is it worth it?
The RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard is for that affluent upper-middle class working professional who prefers simplicity and transparency with their credit card loyalty programs. They want to accumulate cash back rewards, but they don’t want to have to think about it. It’s for the person who doesn’t want to have to manually switch into quarterly purchase categories each season or see the maximum potential cash back they could earn be neutered by tiered rates, caps and restrictions.
But, (and this is a big but) this isn’t a card for the average joe. The slate of complimentary benefits in addition to cash back more than equal the relatively pedestrian $99 annual fee, but the high minimum income requirements mean that the truly middle class won’t even be able to touch this. So, is it worth it? If you’re that upper middle-class professional who doesn’t care that there’s no travel or medical insurance for your trouble, then absolutely. But if you’re anyone else, what this card offers and requires from applicants is so specific to a particular type of person, that you should look the other way.Apply Now
Refer to RBC Page for up to date offer terms and conditions.
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