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RBC Rewards Program

Published by My Rate Compass Team | Updated Sep 08, 2020
RBC Rewards Program

 

How To Get the most of The RBC Rewards Program

 

 

The Royal Bank of Canada, also known as RBC, is Canada's largest commercial bank. RBC employs more than 85,000 people around the globe and serves over 16 million customers each year. RBC offers a full suite of personal and commercial financial services. But instead of setting out a general summary of the extensive list of financial products and services that RBC offers, we're going to limit our focus today to one product in particular: the RBC Rewards program. So, if you're interested in learning more about this valuable rewards program and how it can make your dollar go a little further, keep reading to learn all about it.



Overview



The RBC Rewards Program is a customer loyalty program offered by RBC to reward customers for using their RBC credit cards to make purchases of everyday items ranging from gas and groceries, to technology, to pharmaceuticals and everything in between.



Put simply, RBC Rewards gives customers a way to earn points based on the amount of each purchase and redeem those points for travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more. Customers can also redeem their RBC Rewards points to send cash around the world or to receive a credit on their monthly credit card statement. In this sense, RBC Rewards give members the flexibility to redeem their points for travel rewards or to use them as a form of cash back.



How to earn RBC Rewards



Earning RBC Rewards is as simple as going to your local grocery store or visiting your favorite online retailer and making a purchase just as you otherwise would. So as long as you use your enrolled RBC credit card, you'll earn RBC Rewards points based on the value of the purchase.



RBC Rewards is, at its core, a credit card loyalty program that rewards cardholders for using their credit card to make purchases. It is therefore unsurprising that RBC seeks to get as many customers using its credit cards as it can. For this reason, RBC offers a variety of credit cards that are eligible for enrollment in the RBC Rewards program, and each card is tailored for a particular type of user. Some cards offer low interest rates and low annual fees for users who only wish to accumulate RBC Rewards points, while other cards offer a wider range of benefits.



We'll summarize the key features of each of RBC's fourteen eligible credit cards below.



1)  RBC Avion Visa Infinite

  1. $120 annual fee; 19.99% interest rate
  2. 1 point per dollar on every purchase
  3. Welcome bonus of 15,000 points



2)  RBC Rewards+ Visa

  1. $0 annual fee; 19.99% interest rate
  2. 1 point per dollar on gas, groceries, and drug store purchases
  3. 1 point per 2 dollars on all other purchases



3)  WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard

  1. $119 annual fee; 19.99% interest rate
  2. 1 free World Elite companion voucher per year
  3. Welcome bonus of 250 WestJet dollars
  4. Free checked bag with new membership



4)  Signature RBC Rewards Visa

  1. $39 annual fee; 19.99% interest rate (annual fee waived for students)
  2. 1 point per dollar; bonus points at select merchants
  3. Purchase protection; travel insurance; extended warranties on some purchases



5)  RBC Avion Visa Platinum

  1. $120 annual fee; 19.99% interest
  2. Welcome bonus of 15,000 points
  3. 1 point per dollar on every purchase



6)  Avion Visa Infinite Privilege

  1. $399 annual fee; 19.99% interest rate
  2. Welcome bonus of 25,000 points
  3. 1.25 points per dollar on every purchase
  4. Save 3¢ / L on fuel purchases



7)  RBC Avion Visa Infinite Business

  1. $175 annual fee; 19.99% interest rate
  2. Welcome bonus of 25,000 points
  3. 1.25 points per dollar on every purchase; capped at $75,000 per year
  4. Premium insurance benefits, including mobile device insurance



8)  RBC Avion Visa Business

  1. $120 annual fee; 19.99% interest rate
  2. Welcome bonus of 20,000 points
  3. 1 point per dollar on every purchase



9)  RBC Rewards Visa Preferred

  1. $110 annual fee; 19.99% interest rate
  2. Welcome bonus of 2,500 points
  3. Insurance benefits



10) RBC U.S. Dollar Visa Gold

  1. $65 USD annual fee; 19.99% interest rate
  2. Make purchases in US currency while avoiding exchange rates
  3. 1 point per US dollar on every purchase
  4. Travel insurance and 24/7 travel assistance



11) WestJet RBC MasterCard

  1. $39 annual fee; 19.99% interest rate
  2. Receive one companion travel voucher per year for a flat rate of $199
  3. Welcome bonus of 50 WestJet dollars
  4. Earn WestJet dollars on every purchase



12) RBC British Airways Visa Infinite

  1. $165 annual fee; 20.50% interest rate
  2. 1 Avios point per dollar on every purchase
  3. Earn up to 50,000 bonus Avios points
  4. One Companion Award eVoucher



13) RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum

  1. $120 annual fee; 20.50% interest
  2. Earn Asia Miles on every purchase, up to 35,000
  3. One free year of Green Tier membership to Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club



14) RBC Visa CreditLine for Small Business

  1. $0 annual fee; variable Prime + 2.9% interest rate, capped at 11.9 %
  2. 1 point per 2 dollars on every purchase



RBC Rewards points value



RBC Rewards points carry different values depending on the particular reward for which the customer redeems his or her points.



Below you'll find a summary of the values RBC assigns to its rewards points for each class of reward. But before we dive into the details, it's important to understand the basic arithmetic behind RBC Reward points.



Recall from above that RBC Rewards members earn between � and 1.25 points per dollar spent with their enrolled RBC credit card. To keep the numbers round, let's assume a member uses a card that earns 1 point per dollar to make a purchase of $1,000. That member will then earn 1,000 RBC Rewards points for that purchase.



Each RBC Reward point is then worth between .58¢ and 2.33¢ in real-world purchasing power depending on the class of reward that the member uses it for. In other words, those 1,000 RBC Rewards points that we just earned would be worth between $5.80 and $23.30, meaning the member could redeem those 1,000 points for that amount of credit toward his or her selected reward.



Because the RBC Rewards program is designed primarily as a travel rewards program, RBC Rewards points go the furthest when they're redeemed for travel-related rewards such as airfare, vacation packages, and vehicle rentals. But, as we mentioned earlier, members can also redeem their RBC Rewards points for merchandise, gift cards, and statement credits.



The figures below represent the cash value of RBC Rewards points for each class of reward:



-    Travel booked through RBC Rewards: 1¢

-    Airfare booked through Avion: 1.74¢ - 2.33¢

-    Redeem for WestJet rewards: 1¢

-    Redeem for Hudson's Bay rewards: 1¢

-    Merchandise: .87¢

-    Gift cards: .72¢

-    RBC financial products: .83¢

-    Statement credits: .58¢

-    Donation to charity: 1¢



As these figures show, RBC Rewards points go the furthest when used to book airfare through Avion, and they are least valuable when redeemed for cash equivalents like statement credits and gift cards.



How to redeem RBC Rewards



Tracking and managing RBC Rewards points is quite simple and straightforward. Members begin by simply logging into their RBC online banking account. From there, members can view the points they've already earned, track pending points, and see which transactions earned bonus points.



  • Redeem RBC Rewards points for travel



Members can book travel online through their RBC Rewards account or they can speak to RBC Rewards directly over the phone to book travel. It's worth noting, however, that RBC charges a $30 booking fee for all travel booked over the phone.



  • Redeem RBC Rewards points for experience



Similarly to how members can redeem RBC Rewards points for airfare, they can also use their points to book entire travel experiences. RBC rewards offers a variety of exciting travel experiences, ranging from cruises to entire vacation packages at some of the world's leading resorts.



  • Redeem RBC Rewards points for gift cards and merchandise



Redeeming RBC Rewards points for gift cards and merchandise follows a similar procedure. To redeem points for merchandise, members simply log in to the RBC Rewards Shop via their RBC online banking account. From there, members can access the entire catalogue of products offered by many of the world's leading retailers. Once their shopping is complete, members will then have the option to pay for their merchandise with their RBC Rewards points.



  • Other redemption options



Likewise, redeeming points for a statement credit also involves logging into the member's online banking account, selecting the purchases they'd like to use points for, and applying points to that purchase.



For example, say you made a purchase for $100 with your enrolled RBC Rewards credit card. Because points are worth .58¢ per point when redeemed for a statement credit, you would need to redeem 17,241 points ($17,241 x .0058 = $100) to cover the cost of that purchase. Applying those rewards points then eliminates that charge from your monthly billing statement, making your RBC rewards points as good as cash.



RBC also allows members to apply their points to existing RBC financial products and accounts. This means members can use RBC Rewards points to pay down their mortgage, pay down the balance on an open line of credit, or add to an RBC investment account.



Finally, members can use their RBC Rewards points to make a cash donation to a charity of their choice.



Getting the Most Out of Your RBC rewards



As you can see, RBC Rewards are designed with frequent travelers in mind and it's travelers who will receive the most value from each point. For this reason, it's best to save your RBC Rewards points for travel-related rewards unless you really need to use them for a statement credit or to send gift card to your niece or nephew who's birthday you didn't remember until the last minute.



And when it comes to traveling, RBC Rewards points work in a unique way that adds even more value. Instead of providing a point-for-point value, RBC Travel allows members to travel is various destinations for a set number of points. The only catch is RBC sets maximum ticket prices for each destination.



As of this writing, it costs 15,000 points to travel to any adjacent province or territory so long as the ticket costs $350 or less.



It costs 35,000 points to travel anywhere in North America (except Hawaii or Alaska) so long as the ticket's face value is $750 or less.



For 45,000 points, members in Western Canada or the United States can buy a ticket worth up to $900 to any destination in Mexico, Hawaii, or Alaska. Residents of Eastern Canada can redeem the same number of points for a trip to Bermuda, Central America, or the Caribbean. An extra 10,000 points opens those destinations to residents of Western Canada and the U.S., and it opens Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii to residents of Eastern Canada and the United States. There, RBC caps the maximum ticket price at $1,100.



65,000 points gets members from any major Canadian gateway to select European destinations, with a maximum ticket price of $1,300.



Finally, for 100,000 points, members can travel from any major Canadian gateway to select destinations in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, and South America. The maximum ticket price 100,000 points will cover is $2,000.



How RBC Rewards Compares to Other Loyalty Programs



RBC Rewards offers members a valuable way to make the money they're already spending go a little further. It's important to keep in mind, however, that RBC Rewards is a travel rewards program, not a cash back rewards program. But when compared with other travel rewards programs, it proves to be a great value, with the biggest advantage by far being that travel booked with RBC Rewards points through Avion is not subject to any blackout date or seat restrictions. This gives RBC Rewards members a valuable advantage over other travel rewards program because it gives them the flexibility to book last minute travel with points.



  • Pros and cons



As we just mentioned RBC Rewards points are not subject to any blackout dates or seat restrictions. Additionally, members can use their points to cover taxes and fees associated with their booking. Points never expire, and the list of RBC's partners continues to grow.



One of the only drawbacks of the RBC Rewards program is the relatively low value of its points when redeeming them for cash back. Given, however, that RBC Rewards is primarily designed with frequent travelers in mind, this is quite unsurprising.



Conclusion



The RBC Rewards program offers frequent travelers substantial added value on everyday credit card purchases. It's unique tiered travel program, which allows members to fly to any destination in a given region for a flat rate, is equally impressive. While RBC Rewards is not the best option for credit card customers looking primarily for a cash back rewards program, it's hard to beat for any frequent traveler, especially those who find themselves frequently booking last minute travel.

 

Compare the Best RBC Credit Cards in Canada



FAQ's



  • How Do I Login to My RBC rewards Account?



Simply go to RBC's website, navigate to the top righthand corner, and click on the large "Sign In" icon.



  • How to contact RBC rewards?



You can contact RBC Rewards via email or telephone through the links founds on their Customer Service page.



  • Can RBC rewards Be transferred?



Yes, members can transfer their RBC Rewards into their Hudson's Bay and WestJet rewards accounts. Members can also transfer their Avion rewards to several other airline partners.



  • Do RBC rewards Expire?



No, RBC Rewards do not expire. The only way members risk losing their points is by closing their RBC Rewards account and not using their accumulated points within 90 days.



  • How do I check my RBC rewards balance?



Simply sign in to your RBC Rewards account. From there, you can check your balance and see which purchases are earning you the most points.



  • Do RBC rewards cover taxes and fees?



Yes, members can apply RBC rewards points to cover taxes and fees associated with their travel bookings on top of the booking, itself.



  • Are there any blackout dates with RBC Rewards?



No. Unlike some travel rewards programs, RBC Rewards points carry no blackout dates or seat restrictions. This means that if there is a seat available on the flight you want, you can use your RBC points to book it.



  • How do I earn RBC rewards faster?



RBC points correlate directly with the number of purchases you make with your enrolled RBC credit card. Thus, to earn rewards points faster, make as many of your purchases with your enrolled credit card as you can. Additionally, keep an eye out for special deals and opportunities to earn bonus points.