- RBC credit cards and better alternatives
- Flexible rewards card alternatives
- Airline rewards card alternative
- No fee flexible rewards card alternative
- Premium cash back card alternative
- No fee cash back alternative
- No income requirements flexible rewards card alternative
RBC offers a diverse array of credit cards in their portfolio.
Rewards cards, several airline cards, as well as a couple of cash back options are all available, not to mention any RBC cards save you an instant 3 cents per litre when getting gas at Petro Canada.
But, like CIBC, there are better options out there for their cards. If you don’t want to leave anything on the table, we’ve listed a better alternative for the main cards they offer.
You may be surprised to see what other alternatives are out there.
RBC credit cards and better alternatives
Here are the top RBC cards currently offered, and a better alternative to consider for each of them.
|RBC Credit Card||Better Alternative||Why It’s Better|
|RBC Avion Visa Infinite||Earn more rewards, more transfer partners.|
|WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard||Earn more rewards, can use miles to fly almost anywhere in the world.|
|RBC Rewards+ Visa||Better rewards, increased insurance|
|RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard||Better perks, first year free and has a welcome bonus|
|RBC Cash Back Mastercard||Earn 2% cash back in 2 (or 3) categories with no limits|
|RBC Rewards Preferred Visa||Increased rewards, insurance, and no foreign transaction fees|
RBC Avion Visa Infinite vs Amex Cobalt: Which is better for flexible rewards?
With the backing of the RBC Rewards program, the RBC Avion Visa Infinite will give you a good variety of ways to use your points.
You can transfer to 4 airline programs (including WestJet), use the Avion Air Travel Redemption schedule for increased value when redeeming for flights, or book any travel you like through RBC Rewards.
However, the card only earns 1 point per $1 on all purchases, so unless you get great value from transferring to airlines or using the flight chart, you won’t be getting much value out of your spending, as each point is only worth 1 cent on travel redeemed any way.
Also, the airline transfer options are limited. 3 of the airlines all belong to the same alliance – Oneworld. And while transferring to WestJet may seem appealing, 100 points only becomes 1 WestJet dollar, giving you a meagre return of 1%.
Our top alternative – American Express Gold Rewards card
To start, the welcome bonus is 25,000 points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months – better than the Avion card’s 15,000 points (which are earned just by opening the account).
And you earn more points on everyday purchases:
- 2 points per $1 on gas, groceries, drugstores, and travel, and
- 1 point per $1 on everything else.
To top it off, the airline transfer options are much better. You can transfer to 6 different airline programs with at least 1 airline from each of the 3 major airline alliances.
Aeroplan is one of those programs, giving you great access to flights within Canada, the U.S, and around the world.
And there’s even a flight rewards schedule, options to book travel from any provider where each point is also worth 1 cent, or even transfer your points at a 5:6 ratio to Marriott Bonvoy.
For more points and better redemption options, the Amex Gold Rewards card fits the bill.
Bonus Amex Card: If you don’t use the airline transfer options, the
WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard vs TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite – Which is the better airline card?
The WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard is a favorite amongst Canadian travellers.
With its free checked bags, companion voucher, and easy to use WestJet dollars, it’s not hard to see why.
But dig deeper into the numbers, and it can leave something to be desired.
While it has a decent earn rate of 1.5%, comparable to many flexible rewards cards, your rewards can only be used to pay for the base airfare of a flight operated by WestJet, or one of it’s 4 airline partners – Delta, KLM, Air France, or Qantas.
And while the companion voucher is good, it’s important to remember it can only be used on WestJet flights, and you still have to pay any taxes and fees, as well as a fee of at least $99 to use it.
In fact, we determined that the voucher only saves an average of $131.25. So if it does get used every year, it barely covers the annual fee of $119.
Our top alternative – TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite
While it doesn’t have a companion voucher or a free checked bag on any Air Canada flight, the
- increased value of rewards, and
- ability to use your miles at over 25 Star Alliance members.
Based on a typical $2,000 per month spend, you would earn approximately 28,500 miles. We value an Aeroplan mile at 2.5 cents each, worth up to $712, or a 2.97% return – almost double what the WestJet RBC World Elite card would give you.
And it does have Air Canada benefits when you fly on an Aeroplan rewards ticket:
- free first checked bag,
- priority check-in,
- priority boarding, and
- Maple Leaf lounge access (only once per year).
Throw in the fact the welcome bonus is much higher – up to 30,000 miles vs $250 in WestJet Rewards – the annual fee for the first year is free, and it has lower income requirements, and you’ve got yourself a great rewards card for you to get your travel on.
RBC Rewards+ Visa vs MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard
For no fee rewards card, the RBC Rewards+ Visa lets you earn rewards you can use for travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more.
You can earn 1 point per every $1 spent on gas, groceries, and drugstores purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
However, with each point worth a maximum of 1 cent when redeemed for travel, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of total rewards.
Our top alternative – MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus
If you’re craving more, the
How many? Up to 2 points per $1 spent:
- 2 points per $1 spent on gas, groceries and restaurants (on up to $5,000 in annual spend on each category), and
- 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
Use your points for any travel booked through MBNA Rewards for a value of 1 cent per point. That’s double the rewards value compared to the RBC Rewards+ Visa.
Or, redeem for merchandise, gift cards, or statement credits if you so choose.
Throw in 7 types of insurance and it’s no wonder why it’s one of our top no fee travel cards.
RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard vs BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
For a premium cash back card, RBC offers the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard.
You’ll earn a cool 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make. No caps, tiers, or categories to worry about.
It also comes with a couple of basic benefits:
- complimentary access to Boingo Wi-Fi which has over 1 million hotspots around the world, and
- rental collision, purchase security and extended warranty insurance.
But aside from that, this card doesn’t have much to offer for an annual fee of $99.
Our top alternative – BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
For a premium cash back card that also offers a single earn rate, the
For insurance coverage, you’ll get 13 (out of 16) types. Among cash back cards, it provides the best overall suite of insurance.
As for perks, it doesn’t offer Boingo Wi-Fi, but it does offer complimentary roadside assistance instead. Save yourself $70+ dollars per year on a typical paid roadside assistance plan just by having this credit card. It also offers more than just statement credits for your rewards – you can get your cash back deposited into a BMO bank account or an Investorline account.
And it also comes with a great sign-up bonus – 5% cash back in the first 3 months on the first $4,000 in spend. The first year is also free as well.
For the same rewards, you’ll get better insurance, more perks and a welcome bonus to boot.
RBC Cash Back Mastercard vs Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard
For a basic gas (factoring the Petro Canada savings) and grocery card, the RBC Cash Back Mastercard can fit the bill.
You’ll earn 2% cash back on groceries (up to $6,000 per year),save 3 cents per litre on gas at Petro Canada, and earn 0.5% on all other purchases.
Our top alternative – Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard
But, for unlimited 2% grocery rewards, 2% gas rewards at any station and the possibility to earn 2% on another category of your choice, the
You can earn 2% cash back on 2 categories (3 if you have a Tangerine Bank account), on a variety of 10 categories of your choosing. Here are the various categories available:
How you choose to earn your bonus cash back is entirely up to you.
RBC Rewards Preferred Visa vs Scotiabank Gold American Express
For a premium travel rewards card that has no income requirements, RBC offers the RBC Rewards Preferred Visa.
You’ll earn 1 point for every $1 spent on the card that can be used to book any travel through RBC Rewards for a value of 1 cent each.
But the card’s value lies in its insurance package. It comes with a stellar 11 types of coverage. You’ll know you’ll be covered if something happens while you’re travelling with this card.
So while it is good, the rewards obviously leave something to be desired. Earning a 1% return for an annual fee of $110 isn’t great, and there are other cards out there that will provide good insurance as well as a better return for a similar annual fee.
Our top alternative – Scotiabank Gold American Express
For great insurance, flexible travel rewards, and a low income requirement of $12,000, the
For starters, you’ll earn much more rewards, up to 5 times in fact:
- 20,000 point welcome bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months,
- 5 points per $1 on groceries, restaurants, and entertainment,
- 3 points per $1 on gas, transit, and select streaming services, and
- 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
With each point worth 1 cent when redeemed for travel through Scotia Rewards, that’s up to a 5% return on your spending.
As for insurance, it has 11 types of coverage included.
To top it off, the card also has no foreign transaction fees. You’ll save 2.5% on every purchase you make in a foreign currency.
What do you think?
RBC does have some good cards in their portfolio.
However, there are certainly better alternatives out there for all of them.
What do you think of our recommended alternatives?
If you have an RBC card, is there another card making you think about replacing your current card?
Let us know in the comments below.