RBC Credit Cards – A Choice For Every Lifestyle

May 28, 2020
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Looking for the perfect credit card? There are more than enough RBC credit cards for you to choose from. Being the largest Canadian bank, Royal Bank of Canada has a big line up of credit cards for you to sift through and find the perfect one for you.

RBC offers different types of cards, but the most popular in these categories are the RBC Avion Visa Infinite, the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard (travel card), the RBC Rewards+ Visa (rewards and $0 annual fee card) and the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard (cashback card). Choosing any one of these cards will be a great choice since they are among the best credit cards for Canadians.

As the largest Canadian bank, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has an extensive selection of credit cards to offer. Some of the credit cards are well known to most Canadians, like the RBC Avion Visa Infinite. At the same time, there are other cards that may be suitable for you that you may not be aware of. In this review, you’ll learn about all the different credit cards available by RBC. 

What Are The Available Categories Of RBC Credit Card?

rbc-credit-cards

The different categories that we will explore from the available RBC credit cards are:

  1. No Annual Fee
  2. Travel
  3. Rewards
  4. Cashback
  5. Low Interest
  6. Student
  7. Business

RBC offers 21 cards in these 7 categories, which are listed in the following table:

RBC Visa Platinum RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business WestJet RBC Mastercard
RBC Rewards+ Visa RBC Avion Visa Infinite WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard
RBC Cash Back Mastercard RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum
RBC Business Cash Back Mastercard RBC Avion Visa Platinum RBC British Airways Visa Infinite
RBC Visa CreditLine for Small Business RBC Avion Visa Business RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold
RBC RateAdvantage Visa RBC Visa Business Signature RBC Rewards Visa
RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard RBC Rewards Visa Preferred

As we just said, the most popular cards you’ll find in these categories are the RBC Avion Visa Infinite, the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard (travel card), the RBC Rewards+ Visa (rewards and $0 annual fee card) and the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard (cashback card). Let’s explore why.

#1 RBC No Annual Fee Credit Cards

If you are looking for no cost in owning a credit card, there are 6 options offered by RBC with $0 annual fee. Each one comes with different features, so choosing the best one for you comes down to what your particular preferences are. 

  • RBC Visa CreditLine for Small Business
  • RBC RateAdvantage Visa
  • RBC Visa Platinum
  • RBC Rewards+ Visa
  • RBC Cash Back Mastercard
  • RBC Business Cash Back Mastercard

What’s impressive about the line up of $0 annual fee cards is it caters to different demographics who are eligible to apply for these cards. There is a card for everyone – students, business owners, travellers and those who need a card for daily spending. 

Here is a breakdown of the key features on each of the $0 annual fee credit cards RBC offers:


Shopping Insurance  (Purchase security and extended warranty protection) Fuel Savings with Petro Canada Premium Insurance (Car & travel) Low-Interest Rate RBC Rewards Cash Back
RBC Visa CreditLine for Small Business

RBC RateAdvantage Visa


RBC Visa Platinum


RBC Rewards+ Visa


RBC Cash Back Mastercard


RBC Business Cash Back Mastercard


All $0 annual fee RBC cards come with purchase security and extended warranty protection for your purchases and the ability to link your card to your Petro Canada card for fuel savings up to 3cents/litre.

Usually $0 annual fee cards come with a hefty interest rate. However, RBC has two options with relatively low-interest rates with RBC Visa CreditLine for Small Business© and RBC RateAdvantage Visa© with Prime + 2.9% to 11.9% and respectively. 

If you are looking for $0 annual fee + basic travel insurance coverage, then RBC Visa Platinum is a winner!  In fact, RBC Visa Platinum is the only $0 annual fee RBC card that comes with basic insurance coverage. It also comes with strong purchasing power with a maximum of $50,000 credit limit. 

Click on the card name in the table above to deep dive into further details on the card features/benefits. 

#2 RBC Travel Credit Cards

It is common to look for a good travel credit card if you are a frequent traveller, especially if you travel by air. The typical criteria that make a good travel card are:

  • Airport lounge access 
  • Travel Insurance coverage
  • Reward system (points type earning / redemption)
  • Annual fee

Here is a breakdown of the key features of RBC credit cards for travelling purposes:


Annual Fee Welcome Offer Airport Lounge – LoungeKey Access Qualifying Requirements
WestJet RBC Mastercard $39 50 WestJet dollars  Annual companion voucher for round-trip travel within Canada for $199 CAD (plus taxes, fees and charges)
No minimum requirement
WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard $119 Get up to 350 WestJet dollars Annual round-trip companion voucher starting at $99 CAD (plus taxes, fees and charges) after first purchase
LoungeKey
Personal: $80,000 or Household: $150,000
RBC Avion Visa Infinite $120 15,000 RBC Rewards points
LoungeKey
Personal: $60,000 or Household: $100,000
RBC Avion Visa Platinum $120 15,000 RBC Rewards points
No minimum requirement
RBC Avion Visa Business $120 20,000 RBC Rewards points
No minimum requirement
RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum $120 35,000 Asia Miles
No minimum requirement
RBC British Airways Visa Infinite $165 50,000 bonus Avios
LoungeKey
Personal: $60,000 or Household: $100,000
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business $175 25,000 RBC Rewards points
Priority Pass
Personal: $60,000 or Household: $100,000
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege $399 25,000 RBC Rewards points
LoungeKey
Personal: $200,000 or Household: $200,000
RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold $65 USD
No minimum requirement

RBC has partnerships with popular airlines such as WestJet, British Airways and Cathay Pacific. With these partnerships, you can directly earn WestJet dollars, Avios points and Asia Miles.

On top of that, you can gain access to the LoungeKey program with some of the RBC credit cards. To put it simply, any World Elite Mastercard, Visa Signature or Visa Infinite card allows you to be part of the LoungeKey program that gives you access to 800+ airport lounges globally.

Insurance Coverage With RBC Travel Credit Cards

If you are searching for a travel credit card with RBC, it’s key to find out what insurance coverage your card provides when you make purchases with it. In this section, we provide a list of the travel, car and purchase insurance that comes with RBC travel credit cards.

RBC Credit Card Travel Insurance

In the following table, you’ll find the complete is t of all travel-related insurance policies that come with RBC credit cards


Out of Province/Country Emergency Medical1 Trip Interruption Trip Cancellation Flight Delay Travel Accident Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business
RBC Avion Visa Infinite
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege
RBC Avion Visa Platinum
RBC Avion Visa Business

WestJet RBC Mastercard





WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum


RBC British Airways Visa Infinite


RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold


Rental – Car And Purchase Insurance

Car rental insurance can be expensive, but some of RBC’s credit cards let you waive the rental company’s own insurance and get free coverage instead. These cards also come with great purchase coverage. In the following table, you’ll find all the policies they offer:


Auto Rental Collisions/Loss Damage Hotel/Motel Burglary Purchase Security & Extended Warranty Emergency Purchases Mobile Device Protection
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business
RBC Avion Visa Infinite
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege
RBC Avion Visa Platinum
RBC Avion Visa Business
WestJet RBC Mastercard

WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard
RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum
RBC British Airways Visa Infinite
RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold

The RBC credit cards with the most comprehensive insurance would be the RBC Avion Visa Infinite (read our full review on RBC Avion Visa Infinite) and RBC Avion Business Infinite, which come with an annual fee of $120 and $175 respectively. Whereas, WestJet RBC Mastercard has the least coverage with only car and purchase insurance and no travel insurance at all. This is understandable since it’s also the one with the lowest annual fee ($39).

#3 RBC Rewards Credit Cards

The loyalty program for RBC is RBC Rewards. For purchases done with your RBC card, you stand to earn RBC Rewards points. You can redeem these points for various different rewards in different redemption categories such as flights, merchandise, gift cards, etc. For further details on how RBC Rewards works, you can read our review here.

One of the pros of the RBC Rewards program is that it does not have blackout periods ever for flight redemptions. If you plan well, you can redeem your points for a fully paid flight ticket at any time.

A number of RBC credit cards come with RBC Rewards plus other rewards with partnerships for US currency purchases and other airlines. Here is a breakdown of the rewards you can earn with RBC credit cards:


Annual Fee RBC Rewards Earn Rate Other Rewards Earn Rate Welcome Offer
RBC Avion Visa Infinite $120 1 RBC Rewards point per $1
15,000 RBC Rewards points
RBC Rewards+ Visa $0• 1 RBC Rewards point per $1 on gas, grocery and drug store purchases
• 1 RBC Rewards points per $2  on other purchases


WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard $119
• 2% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages
• 1.5% back in WestJet dollars  on everyday purchases
• Get up to 350 WestJet dollars
• Annual round-trip companion voucher starting at $99 CAD (plus taxes, fees and charges) after first purchase
Signature RBC Rewards Visa $39• 1 RBC Rewards point per $1
• Earn bonus points through purchases at selected retailers


RBC Avion Visa Platinum $120 1 RBC Rewards point per $1
15,000 RBC Rewards points
Avion Visa Infinite Privilege $399 1.25 RBC Rewards point per $1
25,000 RBC Rewards points
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business $175• 1.25 RBC Rewards point per $1 (up to $75,000 in purchases annually)
• 1 RBC Rewards point per $1 (after $75,000 cap limit is reached in the annual term)

25,000 RBC Rewards points
RBC Avion Visa Business $120 1 RBC Rewards point per $1
20,000 RBC Rewards points
RBC Rewards Visa Preferred $110 1 RBC Rewards point per $1
2,500 RBC Rewards points
RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold $65 USD 1 RBC Rewards point per $1 USD 

WestJet RBC Mastercard $39
• 1.5% back in WestJet dollars on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages
• 1% back in WestJet dollars  on everyday purchases
• 50 WestJet dollars 
• Annual companion voucher for round-trip travel within Canada for $199 CAD (plus taxes, fees and charges)
RBC British Airways Visa Infinite $165
• 1 Avios for every $1
• 2 Avios for ever $1 spent on British Airways purchases
50,000 bonus Avios
RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum $120
• 1 Asia Miles for every $1 1.5 Asia Miles for ever $1 equivalent of foreign currency spent. 
• Earn double points on Cathay Pacific purchases online.
35,000 Asia Miles
RBC Visa CreditLine for Small Business $0 1 RBC Rewards point per $2

The RBC card with the strongest reward earn rate and welcome bonus is the Avion Visa Infinite Privilege with 1.25 RBC Rewards point per $1 and a 25,000 RBC Rewards points welcome bonus. However, it does come with a hefty annual fee of $399. The RBC British Airways Visa Infinite is equally impressive with the 2 Avios per $1 spent in British Airways purchases and it has a 50,000 Avios welcome bonus. The annual fee on this card is considerably cheaper at $165 in comparison to the Avion Visa Infinite Privilege.

#4 RBC Cash Back Credit Cards

rbc cash back credit card

There are 3 types of RBC cash back credit cards to be explored. Key features of these cash back cards are shown below:


Annual Fee Cash Back Lounge Access Purchase Security & Extended Warranty Auto Rental Collisions/Loss Damage Insurance
RBC Cash Back Mastercard $0 Unlimited cash back 2% on groceries 1% on anything else
RBC Business Cash Back Mastercard $0 2% cash back for the first 3 months 1% cash back after 3 months
RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard $99 Unlimited cash back 1.5% cash back on any purchases Yes.  Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey

The cash back cards mainly cater to users who need a card for daily spending. Two cards that do not require paying an annual fee are RBC Cash Back Mastercard and RBC Business Cash Back Mastercard which are for personal and business use respectively.

Only the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard has a $99 annual fee, but you get premium benefits such as LoungeKey access for 800+ airports globally and car insurance. Qualifying requirements are only imposed on the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard where you would need a minimum personal income of $80,000 or a minimum household income of $150,000. 

As a daily use card, RBC Cash Back Mastercard is an excellent choice considering the unlimited 2% cash back on groceries and 1% on anything else and what more – with $0 annual fee. There isn’t a minimum requirement which makes it even more worthwhile to consider.

#5 RBC Low-Interest Credit Cards

rbc low interest credit cards

For low-interest charges on the purchase rate and cash advance rate, RBC has 3 choices. The key features are shown below:


Annual Fee Purchase Rate Cash Advance Rate RBC Rewards Purchase Security & Extended Warranty
RBC RateAdvantage Visa $0 Prime  +4.99% – 8.99% Prime  4.99% – 8.99%
RBC Visa CreditLine for Small Business $0 Prime  2.9% to 11.9% Prime  2.9% to 11.9% 1 RBC Rewards point for every $2 spent
RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option $20 12.99% 12.99%

Considering the first two cards have variable purchase rates and advance rates, you would want to consider a fixed rate card like RBC Visa Classic Low Rate that is already competitive at 12.99% and you won’t have to worry over the RBC prime rate. The low annual feel of $20 makes it rather worth while in view of the fixed rate for the RBC Visa Classic Low Rate card.

#6 Students Can Own An RBC Credit Card Too

RBC offers a few options for students to apply for a credit card. Here are the available options for students:


Annual Fee
RBC Rewards+ Visa $0
Signature RBC Rewards Visa $0 
($39 for non-students)
RBC Cash Back Mastercard $0
RBC Avion Visa Platinum $120
WestJet RBC Mastercard $39

Even as a student, you are getting a good variety of cards with cash back options, RBC rewards and travel benefits. It basically boils down to what your preference is.

How To Apply For An RBC Credit Card As A Student

In order to apply for a card of your preference, you will need the following documentation:

  • Confirmation that you are enrolled at a Canadian post-secondary educational institution. The following can be used as confirmation of enrolment:
    • Invoice or receipt of payment for tuition
    • Proof of enrolment letter from the Registrar’s Office
    • Registered Education Savings Plan Verification of Enrolment Form
    • Course schedule
  • An estimate of your education costs (including tuition, supplies, fees, accommodations, food, travel, etc.)
  • A list of your financial resources (including RESPs, scholarships/bursaries, government funding, summer employment, etc.)
  • Proof that you are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant

#7 RBC Business Credit Cards

As a business owner, you may have a set of requirements on why your business needs a credit card. It could be for simple expense tracking or rewards for business expenses or even good travel experience as you travel for work. Whatever your reason may be, RBC has a card for specially tailored for your business.

These are the key benefits of RBC business credit cards offered:


Annual Fee Welcome Offer Rewards Airport Lounge Insurance Coverage Business Reporting Tool
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business $175 25,000 RBC Rewards points 1.25 RBC Rewards point per $1 (up to $75,000 in purchases annually)
1 RBC Rewards point per $1 (after $75,000 cap limit is reached in the annual term)
Complimentary Priority Pass membership ✔  ✔ 
RBC Avion Visa Business $120 20,000 RBC Rewards points 1 RBC Rewards point per $1
✔ 
RBC Business Cash Back Mastercard $0
2% cash back in the first 3 months 1% cash back after 3 months

RBC Visa Business $12


✔ 
RBC Visa CreditLine for Small Business $0
1 RBC Rewards point per $2
✔ 

For business owners that do not want to incur the cost and yet have a beneficial credit card, RBC Business Cash Back Mastercard is a winner. Not only is the annual fee $0, but you can also earn cash back at a decent rate of 2% in the first 3 months and 1% after that.

rbc business credit cards

However, if you are willing to spend on a credit card, then the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business is a good card to hold on to with comprehensive insurance and complimentary Priority Pass membership that give you access to 1,000+ lounges worldwide.

A Summary Of RBC Credit Cards

On the whole, the great thing about the RBC credit cards line up is the diversity Royal Bank of Canada brings to the table for all possible demographics – personal use, students, business owners and more. As much as that is a plus, the downside of using RBC credit cards is on the customer service that users tend to complain about. If this is something that you can stomach, then you should definitely consider an RBC credit card, especially if you are a frequent traveller (see the RBC Avion line up) or the $0 annual fee cards which serve no cost to you.

If we had to choose just one card that would be a good fit for most Canadians, then the RBC Avion Visa Infinite offers a good balance between annual fee and perks.

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