Quick overview

Quick Overview of the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard

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.

Who can benefit?

Who can benefit from the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard?

This card is perfect for individuals who prioritize simplicity and transparency in their credit card loyalty programs. It is designed for those who want to earn cash back rewards without the inconvenience of switching categories or dealing with restrictions. However, please be aware that this card is not suitable for the average consumer due to its high minimum income requirements and lack of travel and medical insurance coverage.

Pros and cons

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

Welcome bonus

RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard welcome bonus

This card does not currently offer a welcome bonus.

How to earn rewards

How to earn cash back with the RBC Cash Back Preferred credit card

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

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.

Key benefits

Key benefits of the Cash Back Mastercard credit card from RBC

In addition to cash back, this card offers a suite of other benefits.

Probably the biggest benefit of the RBC Cash Back Preferred credit card is the impressive top-end cash back rewards rate it provides. Cardholders earn 1.5% cash back on the first $25,000 in annual spending, then 1% back thereafter. While the 1.5% back is less than you might find on some other options, those cards typically have caps on the rewards earnable. And while the RBC option does as well, that cap is $25,000 per year - or over $2,000 per month.

While the cash back rewards are paid out annually, that can also serve as a great benefit for cardholders who don't want their rewards immediately. Rewards are paid out in January each year, making the card act as something of an annual post-holiday bonus, great for paying down holiday debt or getting ready for the new year.

Insurance coverage

RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard insurance coverage

The RBC Cash Back Preferred credit card features additional coverage not found with the no annual fee RBC Cash back Mastercard. The card's 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.

The card also provides comprehensive warranty and purchase coverage. 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.

Finally, cardholders enjoy zero liability coverage, meaning you won’t be liable for any fraudulent purchases made by a third party.

Optional additional insurance coverage

RBC credit cardholders have the option to add extra coverage to protect their identity, family, and credit card balances. The available options include:

  • Add-on travel insurance
  • RBC Road Assist
  • BalanceProtector max insurance
  • Identity theft and credit protection
Extra benefits

Extra benefits of the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard

Beyond the impressive cash back and basic insurance protections, new applicants for the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard can anticipate the following additional benefits:

  • Fuel discounts at Petro-Canada: 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-Points.
  • Wi-Fi anywhere: 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.
  • Earn more Be Well points at Rexall: Link the card with your Be Well card account at Rexall and earn 50 Be Well points for every $1 spent on eligible products at Rexall.
  • DoorDash savings: Add the RBC card to your DoorDash account and receive a 12-month complimentary DashPass subscription, good for unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees on orders of $15 or more when you pay with your eligible RBC credit card.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits: 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.

Other security features of the card include:

  • Chip and pin technology for an added layer of security
  • Mobile wallet compatibility with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more
  • Access to the RBC mobile app
Rates and fees

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.

How it compares

How does the RBC Cash Back Preferred card compare?

Cash back rate
1.5% up to $25,000 on all purchases1, 1% after that (unlimited) 
1% on all purchases (unlimited), higher rates for specific categories* 
Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas station and grocery store purchases in Canada (up to $1,200 cash back annually). Earn 2% cash back on all other purchases
Welcome bonus 
Get up to 10% cash back in your first 3 months + annual fee waived in the first year* 
Earn a $40 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $750 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to $400 in statement credits in the first 10 months.
Additional perks 
Save 3₵ per litre on gas and 20% more Petro-points on all qualifying purchases at Petro-Canada7, Complimentary Boingo Wi-Fi, Purchase protection3, extended warranty3 and car rental insurance7 
Complimentary Boingo hotspots*, purchase protection, extended warranty, World Elite medical, rental car and travel insurance* 
Receive $100 cash back for each friend referral to a maximum of $1,500, advance ticket offers, special offers and experiences, car rental theft and damage insurance
Redemption options 
Statement credit annually or by request 
Deposit in a BMO savings or chequing account; Deposit in a BMO InvestorLine account or use as statement credit annually or by request 
Statement credit applied annually
Annual fee 
$120 (waived in the first year)* 
$119.88 ($9.99 per month)

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 $119.88 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 base 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?

Is the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard 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.

Eligibility requirements

Eligibility requirements for the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard

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.

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

BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.

Cory Santos Finance editor

Cory Santos is a finance writer, editor and credit card expert with over seven years of experience in personal finance. Formerly an Ontario resident, Cory currently calls sunny South Florida home, helping snowbirds find their ideal credit cards and financial products. Cory joined Wise Publishing from BestCards, with bylines in numerous n and digital publications across North America, including the Miami Herald, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, AOL, MSN, Medium and more. When he isn't scouring for the latest credit card deals and offers, Cory can be found working on his various historical research projects, jogging, or hanging out with his cats, Bentley and Cougar.


The content provided on Money.ca is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.