RBC Review (February, 2024) – Get up to $350 cash with an eligible account

Whether you’re opening your very first banking account or looking for a new credit card, this RBC review could help.

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Last Updated: Feb 17, 2024

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As one of Canada’s “big six” banks, RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) is a well-respected institution and a household name.

But how do they measure up to other banks and financial service providers?

Despite being in business for over 150 years, RBC is on the ball regarding technological advancements in the world of finance. The Royal Bank mobile app and online interface offer customers a modern, streamlined banking experience in 29 countries.

And this eco-conscious bank prides itself on providing comprehensive financial solutions with the utmost commitment to its customers.

But if you’ve never dealt with RBC, you may be curious about its products and services. And you’re likely keen to learn about the associated rates and fees.

This RBC review aims to cover everything you need to know and more about this financial services giant.

What Makes RBC a Good Option?

While RBC is highly renowned in Canada, it’s also among the most prominent financial institutions in the world by market capitalization.

The bank was founded in 1864, with its headquarters in Toronto and approximately 1200 branches throughout Canada. That said, RBC is available to customers in 29 countries across the globe.

Royal Bank Canada offers a broad selection of personal and commercial banking financial solutions. These include wealth management services, insurance solutions, mortgages, direct investments, and more.

RBC is ideal for Canadians looking for an established and reliable full-service bank. And it will appeal to customers who want advanced banking convenience and tailored solutions.

Pros and cons of RBC

This pros and cons section of our RBC review aims to highlight the good and the bad associated with this bank.

The pros of RBC

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Ahead of the Technology Curve

RBC has made significant investments in digital transformation initiatives. These include a robust mobile app and user-friendly online banking interface to improve customer experience and streamline its operations.

Global Presence

The bank has a significant presence in international markets, with 29 countries served. Besides Canada, its branches and operations in the US are vast. This allows RBC to offer customers access to international banking services and expertise.

Focus on Sustainability

Royal Bank Canada has made a commitment to sustainability. As such, it has set ambitious goals to reduce its environmental impact and promote social responsibility.

Strong Corporate Culture

RBC has a reputation for emphasizing customer service, diversity, and community involvement. The bank has also been recognized for its commitment to employee development and workplace culture. In fact, it has been named one of Canada’s Best Employers by Forbes.

Comprehensive Range of Financial Services

Royal bank offers multiple financial solutions, from personal and business banking to wealth management and investments. This breadth of services allows RBC to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of customers.

Deposit Insurance

RBC deposits are insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation, protecting customer investments and giving them peace of mind.

The cons of RBC

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Low Interest

Customers with RBC savings accounts earn minimal interest on their savings, which may be a deal-breaker for some.

Additional Fees

While certain accounts offer free transactions for debits and ATM withdrawals, this is not the case for all accounts. If not careful, fees for these types of transactions can accumulate quickly.

Antiquated Direct Investment Platform

RBC’s online and mobile Direct Investing platform interface has an outdated feel. It isn’t as sleek and modern as its other platforms.

RBC products and services

This part of our RBC review gets into the nuts and bolts of the bank’s solutions. So, let’s examine the types of products and services you have access to as an RBC customer.

RBC savings accounts

This financial institution features several savings account options for individuals seeking basic savings solutions. Most of these accounts allow for free transfers to RBC accounts in your name and include the following:

  • RBC Day to Day Savings: A “no frills” savings account offering tiered interest on each dollar saved.
  • RBC High Interest eSavings: Earn more interest on your savings and receive it monthly, with no minimum balance required.
  • RBC Enhanced Savings: Enjoy increased interest rates when your savings grow to $5,000 and more.
  • NOMI Find and Save: Save that spare change with this automated feature, which employs a daily transfer limit of $75.
  • RBC US High Interest eSavings: High interest earned with this account created for customers dealing in US dollars.

RBC chequing accounts

Various chequing accounts are available to RBC customers, some of which feature limited cash back offers to new customers. The following chequing accounts provide free Interac e-transfers and don’t require a minimum balance:

  • RBC Advantage: For a small monthly fee, enjoy limitless debit transactions and zero fees when using a non-RBC ATM in Canada.
  • RBC Signature No Limit: Receive limited cross-border debits and non-RBC ATM transfers at no cost with perks for a reasonable monthly fee.
  • RBC VIP: A premium account featuring zero Direct Investing fees and limitless debit transactions globally.
  • RBC Day to Day: Ideal for low-activity accounts, this low fee allows for 12 debits per month at no cost.

RBC credit cards

RBC can deliver if you require a credit card geared toward travel, students, business, rewards, cash back, or low interest. These are just a few of the vast array of credit cards the bank offers:

  • RBC ION Visa: Earn 1,5 Avion points per dollar on everyday purchases from subscriptions to groceries with this zero-fee rewards credit card.
  • RBC ION+ Visa: Your everyday purchases can earn 3 Avion points per dollar with this rewards credit card at a low annual fee.
  • RBC Cash Back Mastercard: With this zero-fee cash back credit card, qualifying purchases could earn you as much as 2% cash back.
  • RBC Avion Visa Infinite: Enjoy 1 Avion point per dollar and 25% for qualified travel purchases, plus perks, with this popular travel credit card.
  • WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard: This travel credit card could earn up to 2% in WestJet dollars on qualifying WestJet and everyday purchases. Have a look at the bank’s WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard review detailed here.

Other RBC services

  • Investing Accounts: TFSAs, RRSPs, RRIFs, GICs, and stock trades via RBC Direct Investing.
  • Mortgages: Fixed and variable rate mortgages at reasonable rates, with frequent special offers, including cash back options.
  • Personal Lines of Credit: Features include low rates, flexible payment terms, and zero annual or withdrawal fees.
  • RBC Homeline Plan: A home equity line of credit (HELOC) product combines RBCs mortgage and line of credit products.
  • RBC Wealth Management: RBC expert advisors assist high-net-worth customers in planning and achieving their wealth goals.
  • RBC Vantage: Applicable to qualifying accounts, customers can earn Avion points and enjoy savings on everyday purchases.

RBC product and service quality

What would this RBC review be without discussing the bank’s product and service quality? And customer service and accessibility to the bank’s representatives speak volumes about the value of its service.

Gauging from customers’ Royal Bank Canada reviews and testimonials, Royal Bank Canada is meeting its customer satisfaction goals. Let’s not forget that this financial services giant serves more than 16 million people globally.

Like any reputable bank, RBC provides several ways to reach them when needed. The financial services provider has local and international toll-free numbers displayed on its website.

There’s also a tool to help you find an RBC branch, ATM, mortgage specialist, or financial planner in your area.

Alternatively, customers can book an in-person or virtual meeting with an RBC customer service representative. Customers can book an appointment via the RBC website or mobile app.

Another aspect that speaks to the credibility of RBC is that deposits are insured by the CDIC (Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation). The bank is also registered with the required governing institutions in the financial sector.

In addition, Royal Bank Canada offers credit card customers protection with its zero-liability policy. This ensures that the customer does not incur any cost should a third party use their credit card illegally.

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How to get started with RBC

If you’re wondering how to get started with RBC, this section of our RBC review will provide the necessary steps.

RBC makes applying for an account or service easy through its online portal. First, you’ll need to register for online banking. Once registered, you can select the product or service you’re interested in.

While the process may differ slightly from product to product, these are typically the steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Head over to the RBC website.
  2. To sign up for RBC online banking, click the “Sign In” button on the top right-hand side of the homepage. Then select “Enrol in Online Banking” and follow the prompts to register.
  3. Once registered, select your product or service category using the hero menu.
  4. Now, select the specific product you want within that category.
  5. Look for the online application button. For example, the application button for savings and chequing accounts reads “Open Bank Account Online”.
  6. Next, you’ll be taken to the online application interface, leading you through the application process.
  7. Read the instructions on each page carefully and input any information requested.
  8. During this process, RBC will ask you to input some personal information. Bear in mind that you’ll need to provide proof of identification and residence.
  9. If you have any questions, there’s a handy customer service link at the top of the screen throughout the application process.

Alternatives to RBC

If you’re still unsure whether RBC is the bank for you, this section of our RBC review will offer some alternatives.

RBC vs TD Bank (Toronto-Dominion Bank)

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank) is another one of the most prominent banks in Canada, with a significant presence in the United States.

The bank offers a host of financial products and services. These include personal and commercial banking, credit cards, loans, mortgages, and investment services.

TD Bank offers competitive rates and fees compared to other Canadian banks. And there are several account options available to meet different customers’ needs.

For example, the bank offers chequing accounts with no monthly fees. It also offers savings accounts with competitive interest rates. And TD Bank’s credit cards provide various rewards programs and low interest rates.

The bank has a reputation for strong customer service, with a 24/7 customer service hotline. And it comprises an extensive network of branches across Canada and the United States.

TD Bank has also invested heavily in digital transformation initiatives to improve its online banking capabilities. These include its mobile app that allows customers to manage their accounts, deposit cheques, and transfer funds.

In terms of investment services, TD Bank offers a broad spectrum of investment products. These include mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and ETFs. The bank also provides financial planning services to help customers develop customized investment plans.

TD Bank is a solid full-service bank with competitive rates and fees, strong customer service, and robust online banking capabilities.

RBC vs CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)

CIBC also offers a comprehensive range of financial products and services. These include personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking. This breadth of services allows customers to keep all their financial needs in one place.

Compared to other Canadian banks, CIBC provides several savings and cheque account options with competitive rates and fees. The bank also offers credit cards with various rewards programs and low interest rates.

This bank is known for its efficient customer service and extensive network of branches across Canada. It also offers online chat and social media support to help customers with their banking needs.

Like many other banks, CIBC has focussed on improving its digital banking tools. In fact, CIBC’s award-winning mobile app allows for a wide range of transactions.

And the bank’s online banking tools and resources provide another option for customers to manage their finances more effectively.

CIBC’s investment products are on par with the other big Canadian banks. It also offers wealth management services for customers with sizeable investment portfolios.

RBC review conclusion

RBC is a landmark bank in the Canadian financial landscape. Therefore, it’s safe to say that this is one of Canada’s most reputable and reliable banks.

Most customer reviews are positive, and indications are that the bank puts its customers first. With its massive catalogue of products and services, there’s a suitable account for almost everyone.

Thanks for checking out our RBC review.

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FAQs about our RBC review

Are RBC mortgages good?

RBC mortgages are generally considered competitive regarding interest rates and flexible repayment options. The bank offers a range of mortgage products, including fixed-rate mortgages, variable-rate mortgages, and home equity loans. However, as with any mortgage product, customers must compare rates and terms from multiple lenders. This way, they ensure they are getting the best deal.

How is RBC home insurance?

RBC offers a range of home insurance products, including coverage for property damage, liability, and additional living expenses. Customers can customize their coverage to meet their specific needs and budget. RBC's home insurance is generally well-reviewed by customers, with many praising the ease of purchasing and managing their policy.

How do you buy mutual funds through RBC?

Customers can buy mutual funds through RBC by opening a mutual fund account online, over the phone, or at an RBC branch. The bank offers a range of mutual funds from various fund families, including RBC Global Asset Management and PH&N Funds. Customers can choose from multiple investment options based on risk tolerance and investment goals.

Is RBC Direct Investing worth it?

RBC Direct Investing is a self-directed investing platform that allows customers to buy and sell stocks, bonds, ETFs, and other securities online. The platform is generally considered user-friendly and offers competitive pricing, with no annual account fees and low trading commissions. However, it’s essential for customers to carefully consider their investment goals and risks before using any other self-directed investing platform.

Does RBC offer international banking services?

RBC has a significant presence in international markets and offers various international banking services. These include foreign currency accounts, wire transfers, and international money transfers.

April 7, 2023
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