RBC® Cash Back Mastercard Review

  • 5 min read

Why collect points when you can earn cash back? That’s the theory behind RBC® Cash Back Mastercard. Clients earn unlimited cash back on qualifying purchases, as well as pre-authorized payments that are charged through their credit card but pay no annual fee. RBC’s Cash Back Mastercard customers earn up to 2% cash back on groceries, and up to 1% cash back on all other eligible recurring bill transactions that go through the account.

There is no cap or limit to how much a client can earn back, plus cash back is collected automatically, so customers don’t need to worry about keeping track of their purchases. Added features of this Mastercard include Extended Warranty Protection and Purchase Security. Customers who link their credit card to Petro Canada can save $0.03 on each litre of gas at Petro Canada and collect 20% more in Petro-Points.

Upgrading to an RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard unleashes even more cash back opportunities and benefits. Much like the standard RBC Cash Back Mastercard, Preferred World Elite clients enjoy unlimited cash back rewards and savings, plus bonus points at Petro Canada, with some added perks. For an annual fee of $99 (added cardholders to the account are free), customers with this credit card earn up to 1.5% on all purchases. Plus, clients are given a free Boingo Wi-Fi account with out-of-home access to the Internet at over one million hotspot locations across the globe and select airlines that use this system. A minimum personal income of $80,000 or household income of $150,000 is required upon application for RBC’s World Elite.

That’s impressive, but how does RBC’s cash-back credit cards compare to their competition? Compared to BMO cards, RBC cards are inferior.

BMO’s CashBack Mastercard offers no annual fee, 3% cash back on groceries, 1% back on pre-authorized payments, and 0.5% on anything else charged to the card. Plus, their “welcome offer” gives clients 5% cash back on all purchases within the first 90 days.( A bonus sign-up is currently not offered on either of the RBC Cash Back Mastercard options above.)

BMO’s CashBack World Elite Mastercard provides 1.5% cash back on all purchases made, with a “welcome offer” of 10% cash back on items charged in the first 90 days of the account opening. The card does have a $120 annual fee, which is waived for the first 12 months. BMO World Elite Mastercard holders also gain access to more than one million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide, for free (with no roaming charges or added fees attached). Lastly, clients are provided a free Mastercard Airport Experiences membership via LoungeKey. 

CIBC offers three different cash-back credit card options in the form of its Dividend Visa collection. The CIBC Dividend Visa offers clients 2% cash back when making grocery purchases, and 1% on everything else. There are no annual fees linked to the card and no caps on how much cash back can be earned. The step up from this is CIBC’s Dividend Platinum Visa: clients collect 4% cash back on grocery and gas purchases, 2% cash back on TELUS and Tim Horton purchases, and 1% on everything else charged. There’s an annual fee on this card; however, as part of the sign-up bonus, the $99 is waived for the first year, and clients gain access to a 10.99% interest rate for all purchases charged until August 2021. Lastly, CIBC also has a Dividend Visa Infinite credit card that offers the same cash back rewards as their Platinum card, plus the same “welcome offer”, at the same annual fee of $99; however, this Visa comes with a wide variety of added travel coverage benefits, including Out-of-Province Emergency Travel Medical Insurance, Baggage and Flight Delay Insurance, just to name a few.

There’s also the TD Cash Back Visa to consider. With no annual fee, clients can earn 1% in cash back when making gas or grocery purchases, as well as pre-authorized payments through the account, and 0.5% is earned on any other purchase. TD’s upgrade to this option is the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite. Cardholders of this Visa collect 3% in cash back when making eligible gas and grocery purchases, as well as pre-authorized payments. They earn 1% on all other charges and gain access to free Emergency Road Services via TD’s Deluxe Auto Club Membership. Plus, the Infinite has a bonus sign up where clients can earn 6% cash back on everything charged to the card within the first 90 days of opening, with a cap of $2,000 on this, and the $120 annual fee is waived for the first year. 

There are pros and cons to each of the cash back credit card options listed above, with BMO’s Mastercard selections (somewhat) leading the pack. Nonetheless, clients who bank with RBC may prefer to choose its credit card options thanks to added discounts and promotions provided through RBC Offers.

View for more information on the RBC® Cash Back Mastercard.

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Christopher - BSc, MBA

With over two decades of combined Big 5 Banking and Agency experience, Christopher launched Underbanked® to cut through the noise and complexity of financial information. Christopher has an MBA degree from McMaster University and BSc. from Western University in Canada.