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Want a Credit Card? Here’s What You Need to Know.

A credit card is more than just a way to borrow money. Sure, it’s a convenient way to make purchases both big and small, but it can also help build your credit score, manage your finances, and add security to your transactions – all within an interest-free grace period. Also, most credit cards also offer different benefits like rewards points, cash back statement credits or exclusive offers and insurances. If you’re interested in applying for a credit card online but don’t know where to start, here’s a few things to consider.

Why Do I Need a Credit Card?

Exclusive benefits

A credit card can unlock a world of freedom from shopping online with ease, to giving you a safe and reliable way to make purchases, wherever you are. Some of our cards also offer additional benefits just for being a cardholder. You could earn points, cash back credits, or gain access to special insurances, exclusive offers and unique experiences (opens in new window). There’s more to RBC credit cards than you might expect.

Build your credit score

Before you’re approved for credit cards, loans, and mortgages, lenders look closely at your credit rating. Why? Because your credit score (opens in new window) is a good indicator of whether you’re likely to pay back the money you’ve borrowed. Premium cards tend to require higher credit scores to be approved, so make sure you’re aware of your credit score before applying to avoid your application being declined. When you’re approved for a credit card that matches your financial situation and use it responsibly (opens in new window), it can help you build and improve your credit score (opens in new window) for future borrowing needs.

In case of an emergency

Car broken down? Emergency vet bill? If an expense pops up unexpectedly, you may not have the cash on hand to pay at that exact moment. Having a credit card can provide security and peace of mind to help cover unwelcome surprises, and the grace period lets you make purchases for the services you need, when you need them.

Simple and secure

With your RBC credit card or mobile wallet, you can be confident in a secure, contactless payment system that keeps you in control, both in-store and online. And if your card is ever lost or stolen (opens in new window), you can log in to RBC Online Banking or the RBC Mobile app to immediately lock your card (opens in new window) to prevent any future charges. If you’ve taken care to protect your credit card, account information, and passwords (including pins, access codes and CVC’s) you’re covered against any fraudulent or unauthorized use of your card—both in-store and online.

What to Look for in a Credit Card

Features & benefits

Are you a frequent traveler or a bargain shopper? Do you want access to exclusive offers with specific brands? Think about what kinds of purchases you regularly make and what features are most important to you. You can apply from a variety of card types including travel, Avion Rewards, cash back , low interest, no fee and student credit cards that offer a variety of offers, discounts and insurances. All RBC credit cards offer purchase security and extended warranty insurance on your purchases, while select cards also include premium insurance coverage such as mobile device insurance, trip cancellation, rental car insurance, emergency medical coverage and more. Use our card compare tool to see which cards offer the features that are best for you.

Do the benefits outweigh the costs?

That depends on your budget and what benefits are valuable to you. Some credit cards charge an annual fee, but typically offer more offers and insurance coverage. There are also options like the RBC Rewards+ Visa or RBC Cash Back Mastercard that provide great benefits with no annual fee. Be aware of additional fees and charges including interest, cash advance and over limit fees, and additional costs for a second cardholder. You can use the credit card compare tool to match the features, fees and extra coverages that will work for you.

Interest rate

When you don’t pay your monthly statement on time, the balance is charged interest until you pay the outstanding amount. Owing interest can add up quickly, making it harder to pay off your bill in full. When possible, it’s best to pay your bill in full to avoid interest charges. But if you tend to carry a balance each month, you may want to apply for a card with a lower interest rate to help minimize extra fees. Some types of transactions like cash advances also charge interest from the date they are taken out. If you’re likely to use cash advances or carry a balance, make sure you’re aware of the interest rate when applying for a credit card.

Minimum income

Some of our premium cards require a minimum personal or household income. To increase your chances of being approved for the card you’re applying for, look for a card that matches your financial situation.

Secured vs. unsecured credit cards

RBC offers unsecured credit cards that let you make purchases within your credit limit, without requiring a deposit in return. Use our credit card selector to help choose a credit card that best fits your needs. Secured credit cards require a deposit to be approved and are designed for borrowers who don’t have a strong credit score or credit history.

How to Apply for a Credit Card Online

RBC makes it easy to apply for the credit card that best suits your needs. It’s quick, easy, and secure. To give yourself the best chance of being approved, make sure you meet all the card requirements before submitting your application.

  • Choose the card that’s right for you: Use the choose a card tool, or compare cards to find one that matches your needs. You can choose from:

    • Rewards
      Earn Avion points, WestJet dollars, Avios, Asia Miles or cash back statement credits, with no-fee and premium card options.
    • Avion Points
      Earn Avion points on every purchase, and enjoy the flexibility of redeeming them for what matters most to you.
    • Travel
      Earn points and redeem for flights, hotels, vacation packages and more. Plus, enjoy premium travel benefits and insurances.
    • Cash Back
      Earn cash back statement credits and enjoy a variety of offers and insurance benefit options.
    • No Annual Fee
      Choose from rewards, cash back or low interest cards and enjoy all the benefits with no annual fee.
    • Low Interest
      Designed to save you money, with everyday convenience.
    • Student
      Earn rewards or get cash back credits, with low or no annual fee options.
  • Start Your Online ApplicationDisclaimer 1: Select the card that fits your needs and choose APPLY NOW to fill out a few personal details to complete the application.

  • Submit: Applying online is easy, fast, and secure. Once complete, you’ll get a response in just 60 seconds.

Ready to Apply?

Find the Right Card for You in Just 30 Seconds

Choose a Credit Card Now

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Income Requirements are common on premium cards. Check that you meet the minimum personal or household incomes before you apply to avoid an unnecessary rejection.
  • Low credit scores can affect your approval depending on the card you apply for. Premium cards tend to require higher credit scores, but generally offer premium features and higher credit limits in return. Learn how to increase your credit score (opens in new window) before applying for any premium cards to increase your chances of being approved.
  • Submitting too many applications in a short amount of time will cause an automatic rejection. Be sure you meet the requirements for a card before applying as multiple rejections could negatively impact your credit score (opens in new window).
Explore our newcomer credit cards to find the one that best fits your needs. When you’ve chosen a card that fits your needs, please call us at 1-866-756-1107 to apply or connect with an RBC Newcomer Advisor. RBC Royal Bank personal banking clients who are Newcomers may be eligible for an RBC credit card with no credit history required.
If you’re an existing RBC Online Banking client, you can view your current credit score in the TransUnion CreditView Dashboard (opens in new window). It’s completely free, easy to understand, and won’t impact your credit rating.
Credit limits are given at the time of approval and vary by person and by credit card. Make sure you’re clear on how a credit limit can affect your credit score (opens in new window), and what it means to spend within your credit limit when applying for a new credit card. If you’re an existing cardholder, you can check your credit limit within RBC Online Banking or the RBC Mobile app.
If you’re ever a victim of credit card fraud, call us at 1-800-769-2512 to report any suspected fraud as soon as possible. If you’ve taken care to protect your credit card, account information, and passwords (including pins, access codes and CVC’s) you’re covered against any fraudulent or unauthorized use of your card—both in-store and online. If your card is ever lost or stolen, you can lock it to prevent fraudulent charges. Check out our tips on how to protect yourself against credit card fraud (opens in new window).
Yes! We make it easy to pay your credit card bill (opens in new window) online through RBC Online Banking, the RBC Mobile app, and automated payments so you’ll never need to worry about missing a payment. You can also make payments by phone, by mail, in-person at an RBC branch, or at an RBC Royal Bank ATM.