Disclosure: I am part of the RBC Rewards Back to School Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
I’m kind of obsessed with rewards programs. Whether it’s loyalty programs like Shoppers Optimum or PC Plus, multi-retailer points programs like Airmiles, or credit card reward programs, I’m down with it.
My father-in-law has a copy of my Airmiles card because he always shops at IGA, which gives Airmiles on purchases here in Quebec. I always buy my movie tickets online because you get bonus Scene points for skipping the ticket booth. Just yesterday, I discovered my CAA membership gave me an extra 10% off at Payless Shoes, plus I signed up for their loyalty program.
Credit card reward programs mean that even the less intense points pursuers can enjoy perks for spending their hard-earned cash. I am, by no means, advocating spending extra money just to collect points. (I have been guilty of this in the past, I confess.) What I advocate for anyone who is reticent about any type of rewards program is the idea that if you’re spending the money anyway, you may as well maximize your rewards.
RBC Rewards can be earned on a variety of RBC Credit Cards, including the no-annual-fee RBC Rewards Visa Gold. Some balk at the idea of paying an annual fee just to earn points or cash back, but with a card that is free to use, you can cash in immediately. The RBC Visa Gold was our first RBC credit card when my husband and I opened our joint account at RBC six years ago. Having a credit card, mortgage and other services at RBC has meant we can do our day-to-day banking for free. Although we now principally use our RBC Westjet Mastercard (despite the annual fee) due to how often we fly, what I learned in researching this post is that RBC Rewards points earned on the RBC Visa can actually be converted to Westjet Dollars! (Now you know!)
RBC Rewards Points are issued on every single thing you purchase on your RBC Visa. I almost never carry cash, so I tend to put even small purchases on my cards, which has the added benefit of helping me keep track of spending. For every two dollars spent with the RBC Visa Gold, you earn 1 RBC Reward point. If you choose the Signature Rewards Visa with its $39 annual fee, you earn 1 point per dollar.
The important thing when evaluating the right credit card rewards program for your family is to see how long it takes to be able to cash in on your rewards, and how versatile they are. There’s no point collecting points you’ll never use.
RBC Rewards Points are extremely versatile:
- Use them to pay off your credit card balance;
- Use them to pay off your mortgage or add to a registered savings plan (I did this with our points once!);
- Exchange them for items in the RBC Rewards catalogue, particularly items from Best Buy and Future Shop;
- Exchange them for gift cards from a range of retailers;
- Use them to book travel;
- Exchange them for WestJet Dollars, Shopper’s Optimum Points or other reward programs affiliated with RBC.
You can significantly increase the amount of points you earn:
If you have the no-annual-fee card, at the rate of 1 point per $2, you’d have to spend $24,000 to earn $100 in rewards. This could easily take a couple of years. Sure, $100 back on a couple of years’ worth of groceries and day-to-day spending is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but it’s also not that inspiring.
I recently posted about how to maximize your savings when shopping with Ebates.ca and Shop.ca. Well, in a similar fashion to shopping other retails via Ebates’ website, you can also earn extra RBC Rewards by shopping in their EMall:
There are over 250 retailers offering extra points, but the ones that caught my eye were:
- Gap: 6 points per dollar
- The Bay: 7 points per dollar
- Indigo: 2 bonus per dollar
- iTunes: 1 bonus point per dollar
- Old Navy: 5 bonus points per dollar
- Vistaprint: 1 bonus point per dollar
- Walmart 5 bonus points per dollar
- Shop.ca: 1 bonus point per dollar (And remember that Shop.ca offers Aeroplan miles, and you can earn store credit by inviting friends, so combined with the bonus points from RBC, this could be even more savings.)
You know I love to shop sales and get bargains: shopping the awesome Back-to-School sales both through EMall retailers and at any of your favourite online or brick & mortar retailers with an RBC Rewards Visa means you’re getting even more bang for your hard-earned buck.