RBC ION Visa Credit Card Review

October 29, 2022

The RBC ION Visa Credit Card is a travel credit card issued by the Royal Bank of Canada, one of the largest banks in Canada. It comes with a very generous welcome bonus of 6,000 Avion points that you can redeem for flights, packaged holidays, hotel stays, tech products, and more.

With this card, you will earn 1.5 Avion points on eligible purchases, and bonus points when filling up at Petro-Canada gas stations, or when purchasing at Rexall drugstores. Additionally, the RBC ION Visa credit card includes a complimentary DoorDash subscription and an extended warranty on all purchases, and best of all, it charges no annual fee.

What Is The RBC ION Visa Credit Card?

The RBC ION Visa credit card is one of RBC’s top choices under the rewards credit card category. This personal credit card caters to individuals who love to earn rewards from purchases to redeem them for merchandise, travel, bill payments, and more. The RBC ION Visa credit card is the no-fee alternative to the RBC ION+ Visa credit card, and it offers slightly more limited rewards.

RBC launched the RBC ION Visa credit card as a budget-friendly alternative for users looking to earn Avion points. The RBC ION Visa credit card comes with a generous welcome bonus of 6,000 Avion points, unheard of on most travel credit cards. One of its bests features is that you will earn 1.5x Avion points per $1 spent on groceries, transportation, gas, entertainment, and streaming services. Additionally, if you shop frequently at Petro-Canada and Rexall (or regularly order food through DoorDash), you will have access to very useful perks and benefits.

Features Of The RBC ION Visa

#1 Earn 1.5 Avion Points On All Purchases

The RBC ION Visa offers no annual or additional card fees saving you more money for buying essential items for your day-to-day needs. This credit card is best for everyone who prefers to earn points and rewards in exchange for spending money on groceries, transportation, subscriptions, or restaurants. It may be free but keep in mind how you use it since it has interest rates of 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on any outstanding credit card balance.

If you want to double your rewards and points, you can apply for an RBC ION+ Visa, which gives you thrice the points you earn than the RBC ION Visa but costs $48 per year.    

With the RBC ION Visa credit card, you will earn 1.5 Avion points on all purchases. You can redeem your points to settle your credit card balance and household bills, or redeem them for merchandise, gift cards, or the latest tech products from Apple or Best Buy. Here are the eligible spending categories:

  • Grocery stores and supermarkets
  • Gas, public transportation, rideshare, electric vehicle (EV) charging
  • Streaming services, digital gaming, subscriptions, and in-game purchases

Pre-authorized bill payments also yield Avion points, at a rate of 1 Avion point per $1 spent.

Although these earn rates seem good, they don't look so hot when you compare them to the American Express Cobalt's 10%+ return on everyday purchases like food and drink.

#2 No Annual Fees And Additional Card Fees

The RBC ION Visa charges no annual or additional card fees, and you can even request additional cards at no cost. This credit card is excellent if you’re looking for an entry-level travel credit card to earn Avion points on groceries, transportation, subscriptions, restaurants, and more. There are many other no-fee cards out there, like the Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercard, but few of them offer welcome bonuses or decent uncapped earning rates like the RBC ION Visa.

If you want to double your rewards and points, you can apply for the RBC ION+ Visa credit card, which offers 3x Avion points per $1 spent, but it has an annual fee of $48.

Keep in mind that even though the RBC ION Visa credit card is free, you can still incur interest if you fail to pay your credit card balance on time – interests are 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.

#3 Purchase Security And Extended Warranty Insurance

The RBC ION Visa credit card offers customers basic purchase security and extended warranty protection. Purchase security covers you in case of loss, theft, or damage within 90 days of making a purchase. The extended warranty doubles the warranty of any product.

Note that items that include money, jewelry, gems, watches, tickets, or live animals or plants will not be paid for or insured by RBC.

#4 Get 50 Be Well Points At Rexall

With the RBC ION Visa credit card, you can earn Be Well points whenever you make purchases at Rexall stores. The rate is 50 Be Well points per $1 spent using your linked RBC ION Visa credit card. Here are the steps to link your RBC credit card:

  1. Link your Be Well card to your RBC ION Visa credit card (or any other eligible RBC debit or credit card)
  2. Scan your digital or physical Be Well card at checkout
  3. Pay using your RBC ION Visa credit card (or any other eligible cards)

You can redeem your Be Well points in-store for discounts and rebates.

#5 Free Delivery For 3 Months From DoorDash

The RBC ION Visa credit card includes a complimentary 3-month DoorDash subscription. That means three months of free food deliveries on orders over $15. This subscription has an estimated value of $30. Here’s how to activate your subscription:

  1. Download the DoorDash app from App Store or Google Play Store
  2. Add or Link your eligible RBC credit card to your DoorDash account
  3. Activate your 3-month DoorDash subscription

If there are some instances that you were charged $0.50 when you activate your DashPass subscription, don’t worry about it since this is only a temporary charge by DoorDash and will be refunded within 3 to 5 business days.  

#6 Credit Card Lock And Mobile Pay Feature

The RBC ION Visa credit card has built-in features like Credit Card Lock and Mobile Pay. These help you use your credit card conveniently and safely whenever you need it. 

The credit card lock feature allows you to lock your card when you misplace or lose it. You can turn it on or off by logging into your RBC mobile app and stop all of your purchases and withdrawals in-person or online. Mobile Pay makes it easier for you to make contactless payments using your smartphone or watch; you can link your devices and pay through Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or Fitbit Pay.

Pros Of The RBC ION Visa

  • No annual fee 
  • No fees for requesting additional cards
  • 6,000 Avion points welcome bonus
  • Earn 1.5 Avion points per $1 spent on groceries, gas, transportation, entertainment, digital gaming, and more
  • Earn 1 Avion point on all other purchases
  • Redeem your points for bill payments, merchandise, gift cards, Interac e-Transfer transactions, loans, mortgages, etc.
  • Save 3¢ per litre at Petro-Canada and earn 20% more Petro-Points by linking an RBC credit card.
  • Get 50 Be Well points at Rexall per $1 spent.
  • Complimentary 3-month DoorDash subscription plus free food deliveries on orders of $15 or more.
  • Lock your credit card at any time with the credit card lock feature
  • Get insured and protected with Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Insurance (also offers optional travel and identity theft insurances)

Cons Of The RBC ION Visa

  • It is not best for people who prefer a cash back reward program.
  • A high-interest rate of 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.
  • It has a minimum points redemption of $10 to pay bills or send money.


The type of card you’d like to choose depends on the card category, annual fee, and reward flexibility. First, you must decide which card category is the most beneficial for you. Second, if you are willing to pay $48 or more per year; and third – the number of rewards you want to redeem from your points. Here are a comparison of three credit cards: RBC ION Visa, RBC ION+ Visa, and Scotiabank Scene+ Visa, which are all giving bonuses either as Avion or Scene+ points.  

DetailsRBC ION VisaRBC ION+ VisaScotiabank Scene+ Visa 
Best ForIndividuals who value flexible rewards by earning points on purchasesIndividuals who spend more at grocery stores and would like to redeem them for travel, shopping, banking, and entertainmentIndividuals who spend more at Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo, and more; and would like to redeem them for travel, shopping, banking, and entertainment
Annual Fee$0$48 annually (charged as $4 monthly)$0
Welcome Bonus6,000 Avion points upon approval12,000 Avion points upon sign-up7.500 Scene+ points within the first year
Purchase APR19.99%19.99%19.99%
Cash Advance and Balance Transfer APR22.99%²22.99%²22.99%
Cash Withdrawal Fee$5$5$5
Conversion Rate2.5%2.5%2.5%
Dishonoured Payment$45$45$48
Grace Period 21 days21 days21 days
Reward PointsEarn up to 1.5x Avion points for every $1 spent on groceries, gas, transportation, entertainment, in-game purchases, and moreEarn up to 3x Avion points for every $1 spent on groceries, dining, transportation, digital gaming, subscriptions, etc.Earn 2 Scene+ points on every $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, Cineplex theatres, and other credit card purchases.

In Summary

RBC launched two rewards credit cards, RBC ION Visa and RBC ION+ Visa, where Canadians can increase their chances of earning Avion points on everyday spending categories. Out of the two, RBC ION Visa gives you the advantage of having no fees. Since not only does it not charge you on annual credit card payments, you are guaranteed to earn 1.5x Avion points on almost all of your purchases and redeem them for nearly anything you want. It has also collaborated with Petro-Canada, Rexall, and DoorDash to maximize your rewards and redemption opportunities, so it would be worthwhile to buy their products.

Keep in mind the RBC ION Visa credit card may not be for you if you’re looking for a specialized cash back credit card.

RBC ION Visa Credit Card FAQs

How Much Does The RBC ION Visa Credit Card Cost?

RBC ION Visa credit card charges no annual fee, and you can request as many additional cards as you want, at no extra cost. This is in stark contrast to premium cards like the Amex Platinum and its $699 annual fee.

Is The RBC ION Visa Worth It?

Yes, considering the RBC ION Visa credit card doesn’t charge an annual fee, it’s worth it as an entry-level travel credit card. The major upside of this card is that you can earn Avion points, and redeem them for bill payments, merchandise, Interac e-Transfers, and travel purchases. 

However, it may not be worth it if you are not likely to purchase at participating Petro-Canada, Rexall, and DoorDash, or you’re looking for a specialized cash back credit card.

Is The RBC ION Visa Safe?

Yes, the RBC ION Visa is safe to use. It comes with a lock feature accessible from the RBC Mobile app. You can lock your credit card in seconds by pressing a button if you suspect someone has access to it. Locking your card will prevent any online or in-person transactions, including cash advances, purchases, and withdrawals. 

What Credit Score Do You Need For An RBC Visa Credit Card? 

You will need a credit score of at least 660 to apply for the RBC Visa Credit Card. Keep in mind the higher your score, the more likely your application will be approved

Which Is Better Visa Or Mastercard? 

For most people, there is no major difference between Visa credit cards and Mastercard credit cards. Both types of credit card networks are very secure and convenient to use. Depending on what you need, we recommend focusing on the card rather than the credit card network – both networks offer excellent reward credit cards, reasonable interest rates, and generous travel perks. American Express cards like the Marriot Bonvoy or Gold cards are usually superior in terms of rewards, but they're not as widely accepted as Visas or Mastercards.

How Much Will A Credit Card Raise My Credit Score? 

Keeping up with your credit card payment can raise your score for as much as 10-20 points in a three-month period. Applying for a second credit card can also help your credit by decreasing your credit utilization percentage. 

Does Increasing Credit Limit Affect Credit Scores? 

Yes, increasing your credit card limit can indirectly increase your credit score by decreasing your utilization percentage – that is, the percentage of the credit available to you that you are using. The lower your utilization rate, the higher your credit score. An ideal utilization is below 30%.

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