It’s amazing what credit cards can do for us these days. (if paid off before due dates!)
Not only are they a convenient method of payment, but banks are also becoming more creative about giving rewards when you choose – and use – their particular card.
And the rewards keep getting better and better.
I have several credit cards and the one I use most is my PC MasterCard, mostly because I love PC products and I like the idea of getting free groceries once in a while (PC points may be redeemed on almost anything in Loblaws stores). Rewards and incentives are changing frequently and it’s always a great idea to check out new ones.
What started out as a simple % cash back has now erupted into a full range of benefits. Does your credit card offer you rewards? If not, it may be time to ditch that card for one that does.
One that stuck out to me is the RBC Rewards Program. With so many ways to earn points and so many options for redeeming them, this program can be completely customized to you.
However, with added features comes added complexity. So let’s take a closer look at the RBC Rewards Program and explain exactly how it works.
What is RBC Rewards? RBC Rewards is a rewards program that pays you back when you use select RBC Visa credit cards. The general idea is that you use your card like normal, earn points for your purchases, gather up the points, and then redeem them for cool rewards like gift cards and merchandise.
What Visa credit cards are included in RBC Rewards? The following credit cards are included in the RBC Rewards Program:
- Visa Infinite Avion
- Signature RBC Rewards Visa
- RBC Rewards Visa Gold
- CreditLine for Small Businesses
- RBC Rewards Visa Preferred
- Visa Platinum Avion
- Visa Business Platinum Avion
- Visa US Dollar Gold
Where can I learn more about these credit cards? To learn more, go to the About page here: www.rbcrewards.com/about. Click on the “Learn More” button next to any credit card to see the details. Each card varies in things like interest rates, annual fees, benefits and the rewards you can earn. After you hit “Learn More” you can then click “Compare Card” to compare your favorite cards and find the one that is best for you. So how do I earn reward points with my RBC Visa? There are 4 main ways to earn points. They are:
- Usage Points
This is the basic way people earn points with their card. Each card has a reward structure, where you get points on anything you buy with the card. Money spent equals points earned. The most common reward structure is 1 RBC Rewards point for every $1 you spend. Some cards give 1 point for every $2 spent, and some cards even give you welcome points when you enroll.
- RBC Rewards eMall
Another way to earn is by shopping online. Over 250 retailers will give you bonus points for making purchases! You can go here to see what retailers are participating and what their bonus offers are: Rbc.com/Mallrewards . For most of them, the bonus offer is 1 Bonus Point per $1 spent. The points you earn at these online shopping sites are BONUS points. So, for example, let’s say you have the Signature RBC Rewards Visa that gives you 1 RBC point for every $1 spent. If you go online and make a $50 purchase at Banana Republic then you’ll actually earn 100 points – 50 base points for making the purchase, and 50 bonus points for shopping at a bonus rewards retailer. Please note, bonus points are for ONLINE shopping only – but that is okay, because online shopping has a lot of perks on its own. You can shop from home and the selection is huge – much larger than what you find in physical stores. There are also plenty of ways to save – and Deals Scoop helps you out every day by providing a large selection of online coupon codes and deals to use when shopping online.
- Carlson Wagonlit Travel
When you plan a trip with Carlson Wagonlit Travel agency you can also earn bonus points. This bonus offer is one bonus point per dollar on any CWT purchase, with a maximum of 500 points per airline ticket. You can also earn two bonus points per dollar when you buy RBC Travel Insurance. Finally, if you book a CWT Vacation Club package at one of their hand-picked locations you can earn either 2 or 3 bonus points per dollar spent. To take advantage of these deals, just called CWT at 1-800-Carlson, visit a CWT location, or go to the online site here: cwtvacationclub.ca/login. You must use your RBC Visa to pay, and like the RBC Rewards eMall, these are bonus points in addition to the base points you’ll already earn.
- Thrifty Car Rental
A final way to earn Rewards points is by purchasing a Thrifty Car rental. These are bonus points, on top of the base points you already get, and you can earn up to 2 bonus points per dollar spent. You can rent a car from Thrifty by going directly to the counter at Canadian airports, by calling 1-800-Thrifty, or by reserving your car online. Just remember to use your RBC Visa for payment. How do I know how many points I have earned? There are two main ways to find out how many points you have in your account. The simplest is to just check your monthly RBC credit card statement. Each statement will have information about how many redeemable points you have. The other option is to sign in on the RBC Rewards Program page here: www.rbcrewards.com/earn-points. This is where you can view your points AND redeem them for your selected rewards. What rewards can I earn with RBC Rewards? There are MANY redeemable rewards with the RBC program, which means you can choose the rewards that work best for you. Here is the list of options:
- Gift Cards
One popular option for your RBC reward points is to cash them in for a gift card. There are currently 43 different gift card options available, and they include Visa gift cards, restaurant gift cards (such as McDonalds, Starbucks and Subway), retail gift cards (such as Hudson’s Bay, Target and Sears), and entertainment gift cards (such as iTunes, Cineplex and SpaFinder). Reward points required will vary based on what gift card you want, but in general you can get a $25 gift card for 3000 points. To see all the gift card options, go here: points.sterbcrewards.com/Catalogue/Gift-Cards
If you’d like you can donate your reward point by making a charitable gift. Currently there are two options – Hope Air or the Canadian Olympic Team via “Own the Podium.” To learn more, go here: rbcrewards/Charity
RBC also has its own online rewards store where you can trade your reward points in for merchandise. There are nearly 200 items included for many categories such as electronics, kitchen, fashion, sports, toys, beauty and more. To see the merchandise rewards, go here: rbcrewards.com/Catalogue
- Best Buy and Future Shop
Shop online at Best Buy or Future Shop and you can instantly redeem your reward points on your purchase. Just shop online you normally would and at checkout you can redeem points to pay for all or part of your purchase. Details about the Best Buy program are here: RBCrewards.com/bestbuy and details about the Future Shop program are here: Rbcrewards.com/futureshop
Another option is to redeem your points for air travel. You can do this online via Travelocity, or by phone when you call RBC Rewards Travel at 1-877-636-2870, or book through Carlson Wagonlit Travel. To find out more, go here: RBCrewards.com/travel-rewards
- Convert Points
RBC Rewards has partnered with some other rewards programs around the country, so you also have the option of converting your points from RBC points to points on other loyalty programs. They currently allow you to convert points for: WestJet, British Airways, American Airlines, Asia Miles, Shoppers Optimum and Esso Extra. To learn more about converting RBC points, go here: RBCrewards.com/convert-points
- RBC Financial Rewards
RBC has integrated the Rewards Program with other aspects of the bank. This allows you to redeem points to pay down your RBC Mortgage, Homeline Plan, Personal Loan or Royal Credit Line. You can also put your points toward a Registered Retirement Savings Plan, Registered Education Savings Plan or Tax-Free Savings Account with RBC. To learn about these options go here: rbcrewards.com/Catalogue/Financial
- Payback with Points
A final (and new!) option is that you can use your RBC rewards points to make a payment toward your credit card balance. The option to make a payment with points will show up when you log into your credit card account.
To learn more about this program, go here: RBCrewards.com/paywithpoints
What if I have additional questions about the program? You can read all the details about the program at the RBC Rewards website here: rbcrewards.com.
If you’d like to speak to an RBC member about the Rewards Program, you can call 1-800-769-2512.
Overall the RBC Rewards Program is a great way to get perks from doing the things you’re already doing, like making purchases, shopping online, and traveling
If you currently have an RBC Visa, it’s time to enroll in this program and get your rewards!
Do you use your Credit card(s) for rewards and which incentives are important do you?