RBC Review

With almost $1.43 trillion in total assets under management, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is the largest bank in Canada. For the second year in a row, RBC was awarded the title of North American Retail Bank of the Year in 2019 for their dedication to innovation, client experience and loyalty. Although monthly fees may be higher than those of the other Big 5 Canadian banks, the primary benefit of banking with RBC is their loyalty and reward programs. Overall, RBC is a great bank for customers who are looking to use one institution for all of their banking needs.

RBC Advantages and Disadvantages

Every bank has a unique value proposition. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of RBC’s retail banking division:

Advantages

  • Largest bank in Canada with more than 1,200 physical branches and over 4,200 ATMs
  • Can perform most banking transactions and activity online using RBC Online Banking or the RBC Mobile app including bill payments, cheque deposits, stop orders on payments, cancelling cheques and loan payment deferrals
  • View your credit score for free using online banking
  • Customers can reduce service charges and fees by bundling RBC products
  • RBC Rewards allow for members to accumulate points which do not expire, giving them the flexibility of redeeming items that they want when they want them
  • Good range of accounts and products catering to students and youth

Disadvantages

  • Does not offer waived monthly bank account fees for meeting minimum balance thresholds
  • Does not feature the most competitive savings interest rate in the industry
  • Higher overall cost to use their services and financing products
  • Customer service can feel impersonal given the size of the bank

Royal Bank Financial Product Overview

A complete list of all personal finance products offered by RBC can be found below. For further details or to start the registration process, simply click on the link.

RBC Bank Accounts

  • Chequing Accounts. There are four different types of chequing accounts available: RBC Day to Day Banking, RBC No Limit Banking, RBC Signature No Limit Banking, and RBC VIP Banking. You can make unlimited debit transactions across Canada at no extra charge, with the exception of the RBC Day to Day Banking account that is limited to 12 transactions per month, while outgoing Interac e-Transfers are free across all accounts. While there is no balance threshold to waive account fees, monthly fees can be reduced by utilizing RBC’s MultiProduct Rebate. Eligible products for the rebate program include credit cards, active investments, and home financing products. Rebates for the monthly account fees are also available for seniors.
  • Savings Accounts. There are four different savings accounts available for customers to choose from: RBC Day to Day Savings, RBC Enhanced Savings, RBC High Interest eSavings, and RBC U.S. High Interest eSavings. There are no monthly fees for any of the savings accounts and they all permit for one debit transaction per month. The eSavings accounts offer a higher interest rate at 0.05% while the regular savings accounts feature a tiered interest rate structure based on the account balance.

RBC Credit Cards

  • RBC Avion Visa Infinite. This credit card features a rewards program where you can earn 1 RBC Reward point for every dollar spent. For a limited time, new applicants will receive 15,000 welcome points which is equivalent to a short-haul flight in Canada or the United States. The annual fee is $120 and interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
  • RBC Rewards+ Visa. Pay no annual fee while you accumulate reward points at a rate of 1 point per dollar spent on gas, groceries and pharmacy purchases. For all other purchases, the earn rate is 1 point for every $2 spent on purchases. The interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
  • RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard. For those that meet the personal income requirement of $80,000 or household income of $150,000, this card offers premium benefits. There is no limit to how much cash back you can earn on your spending and you will also receive a complimentary Boingo Wi-Fi plan. The annual fee is $99 and interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
  • RBC Cash Back Mastercard. This credit card has no annual fee and allows cardholders to earn up to 2% cash back on purchases. Members can shop with peace of mind knowing that most items are covered under the purchase security and extended warranty program. The interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
  • RBC Visa Classic Low Rate Option. For those that tend to keep a balance on their credit cards, this card features a much lower interest rate of 12.99% for both purchases and cash advances. Members also have the benefit of low fees, as the annual fee is only $20 and there is no additional charge for a supplementary cardholder.
  • WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard. For a limited time, new applicants will receive 250 WestJet dollars plus an additional 100 WestJet dollars when making a purchase within the first three months. Cardholders will receive a World Elite round-trip companion voucher each year that allows for a companion ticket to be purchased for a fraction of the cost. Additionally, the first checked bag is complimentary. Annual fees are $119 and the interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
  • RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege. Available to those whose household income meets the $200,000 requirement; this credit card offers prestigious perks and luxurious travel benefits. A welcome bonus of 25,000 points awaits new applicants. The annual fee is $399 and interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
  • Signature RBC Rewards Visa. This credit card allows you to earn rewards like a premium card at a fraction of the cost, the annual fee is only $39. It also features great insurance benefits for car rentals and eligible purchases are protected by purchase security and extended warranty. The interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
  • RBC Avion Visa Platinum. New applicants will receive a welcome bonus of 15,000 points which never expire and come with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. This provides members with the flexibility of redeeming their points when it suits them the best. The earn rate for the rewards program is 1 point per dollar spent. Annual fees are $120 and the interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
  • RBC Visa Platinum. A no-fee option which offers premium insurance coverage for auto, travel and eligible purchases. Members will also receive travel assistance in the event of emergencies. The interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
  • RBC Rewards Visa Preferred. For new applicants, this credit card provides 2,500 bonus points. An extensive suite of insurance coverage is provided and members will earn points on every dollar charged to their card. The annual fee is $110 and interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
  • RBC RateAdvantage Visa. This card has no annual fee and features a variable interest rate. For both purchases and cash advances, the rate is the RBC Prime Rate (2.45%) plus 4.99% to 8.99% where the variable rate is dependent on the credit of the cardholder. Members can shop with ease knowing their purchases are protected against loss, theft or damage up to 90 days and the manufacturer’s Canadian warranty is doubled for up to one extra year.
  • RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold. For those that frequently make transactions in U.S. dollars, this card allows you to transact in USD to avoid currency fluctuations. The earn rate for rewards points is 1 point for every dollar charged to the card, and members will receive an extensive suite of insurance coverages. The annual fee is $65 USD and interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
  • WestJet RBC Mastercard. Cardholders will receive an annual round-trip companion voucher that allows for a companion ticket for travel within Canada and the U.S. to be purchased for $199. Members can earn WestJet dollars for their everyday spending and new applicants are eligible for a welcome bonus of 50 WestJet dollars. The annual fee is $39 and interest rates are 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
  • RBC British Airways Visa Infinite. New members will receive a welcome bonus of 50,000 Avios and all cardholders earn 1 Avios for each dollar charged to their card. The annual fee is $165 and interest rates are 20.50% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.
  • RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum. For those that often travel internationally, this credit card has a welcome bonus of 35,000 Asia Miles. You can earn Asia Miles for everyday spending within Canada and even more when making purchases internationally. Members will also receive a complimentary membership to Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo Club. The annual fee is $120 and interest rates are 20.50% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advances.

RBC Mortgages

RBC currently offers mortgages at a rate of 2.54% for a two year fixed term and 2.89% for a five year fixed term. If you are looking for a variable interest rate, the five year variable rate is the RBC Prime Rate minus 0.05%. The current posted prime rate at RBC is 2.45%. Customers looking to pay off their mortgage sooner can take advantage of the Double-Up option which provides you with the flexibility of prepaying any amount between $100 and the regular scheduled mortgage payment. This benefit can be applied to as many payment dates as you’d like.

RBC Lines of Credit & Loans

  • Line of Credit (Secured and Unsecured). Secured lines of credit, such as a home equity line of credit, may be approved for up to 65% of your home’s value less any outstanding mortgages. For unsecured lines of credit, limits are available from $5,000 and no collateral is required. Lines of credit offered by RBC are great for those who are looking for a low interest rate credit option with good accessibility to funds and flexible repayment options. For students, there is a student line of credit available which features interest only payments until two years after school is finished.
  • Personal Loan. Both fixed and variable rate personal loans are available for those looking to borrow for terms ranging from one to five years. Payment frequency, amount and due date can all be updated online using RBC’s online banking platform and there are no penalties for paying off the loan early.
  • RRSP Loan. The RRSP loan offered by RBC is great for those who are looking to capitalize on unused RRSP contribution limits. Borrowing limits and terms for repayment are flexible, ranging from one to ten years for amounts up to $50,000. When using the loan to invest into a RRSP product offered by RBC, the interest rate can be as low as 2.45%.
  • Car, RV and Marine Loans. When financing your next automobile or boat through RBC, you can get competitive interest rates with flexible payment options. Additionally, there is no penalty to paying off the loan early.

RBC Investments

RBC offers different services to suit the needs of customers with varying levels of investment experience. Royal Bank features financial advisors, both in-person and online, who can provide professional advice for your specific financial needs. RBC Investease is an online solution where customers will receive custom recommendations based on their goals and risk profiles and RBC Direct Investing is for more experienced customers who wish to take a hands-on approach to managing their own investments.

Investment products and accounts available at RBC include:

  • Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA). A TFSA is a registered account where any investment income is sheltered from taxes. A wide range of financial products are eligible to be held in a TFSA such as stocks, bonds, GICs, mutual funds, portfolio solutions and savings deposits.
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs). GICs are secure investments that guarantee the entirety of the original investment and provide interest at a fixed or variable rate, or based on a specific formula. Choose from Guaranteed-Return GICs, Interest Rate-Linked GICs and RBC MarketSmart GICs.
  • RBC Portfolio Solutions. A mutual fund is a product which is invested into a specified pool of securities and is directed by professional money managers. With RBC Portfolio Solutions, you can access a mix of investments and achieve a balanced and diversified portfolio for as little as $500.
  • Investment Advantage Account (IAA). The RBC IAA allows family members to save on investing fees by grouping accounts under one umbrella. Although accounts will be under the same IAA, each account will be separate and confidential.