RBC ION Visa Card Review for 2024

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Written by Enoch Omololu

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Those in search of a high-value rewards credit card should consider Canada’s RBC ION Visa Card, which is unique for its extensive list of benefits and features.

This all-encompassing review examines key elements of the RBC ION Visa Card, such as its pros and cons, application requirements, interest rate, and credit limit, as well as how it compares to the RBC Avion Visa Card.

RBC ION Visa Card – Summary

RBC ION Visa

Annual fee: $0

Welcome offer: Get 3,500 bonus Avion points following approval.

Rewards: Earn 1.5x Avion points per $1 spent on groceries, rides, gas, streaming, subscriptions, digital gaming, and EV charging; 1 Avion point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: None

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On RBC’s website

  • Earn 1.5 Avion points for every dollar you spend on groceries, rideshare, daily public transit, gas, streaming, subscriptions, and digital gaming.
  • Earn 1 Avion point for every dollar you spend on all other qualifying purchases.
  • Save 3¢/L on fuel purchased at Petro-Canada when you link your credit card to your Petro-Canada Card.
  • Redeem your points for air travel, gift cards, merchandise, statement credits, dining, etc. The minimum redemption is only $10.
  • Get a 3-month complimentary DashPass subscription, valued at almost $30.
  • Includes Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Insurance.

Competitive purchase APR at 19.99%

Attractive point redemption options

No minimum income threshold

Limited insurance benefits

The conversion rate for points is not as enticing

The RBC ION Visa is an excellent choice if you are a student or newcomer looking to get approved for a credit card with little to no credit history. It has no annual fees, and the Avion points you earn are easy to redeem.

Benefits of the RBC ION Visa Card

The RBC ION Visa Card comes with a range of standard benefits that make it an attractive option for cardholders. These benefits typically include:

  • Rewards Program: The card offers a robust rewards program that allows cardholders to earn 1.5 Avion points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases and one Avion point on everything else. These points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, or even statement credits.
  • Typical RBC Benefits: Every $1 you spend on qualifying Rexall goods qualifies you for 50 Be Well points. Additionally, Earn 20% more points and save $3/L on petrol when you pay with your RBC Credit Card.
  • Contactless Payment Technology: The RBC ION Visa Card is equipped with contactless payment technology, allowing for quick and convenient transactions by simply tapping the card on a payment terminal.

Downsides of the RBC ION Visa Card

While the RBC ION Visa Card offers numerous benefits, it’s important to consider some potential downsides, including:

No Built-In Travel Insurance: Benefits like comprehensive or travel insurance are absent from the RBC ION Visa, although this is usual for entry-level credit cards.

Foreign Currency Conversion: The foreign exchange (FX) fee is higher than some other cards. The RBC ION Visa Card charges a 2.5% FX fee on all foreign transactions. Some other cards charge a lower FX fee or no FX fee at all.

How to Apply for the RBC ION Visa Card

You must fulfill the requirements below in order to be eligible:

  • Be a resident of Canada
  • Possess the legal age of majority in the province or area where you live

To apply for the RBC ION Visa Card, you can visit the official RBC Royal Bank website. The application process typically involves providing personal and financial information.

Eligibility requirements may vary, so it’s advisable to review the specific criteria outlined by RBC Royal Bank.

How to Redeem Avion Points

Avion Points earned through the RBC ION Visa Card’s rewards program can be redeemed for various options, including travel, merchandise, and statement credits.

RBC offers a user-friendly redemption platform where cardholders can easily browse and select their preferred redemption options. You may also download the Avion Rewards Android or iOS app. Follow the steps below to initiate the redemption process:

  • Sign in with your RBC banking credentials
  • Acceptance of the Terms and Conditions
  • Begin shopping and saving

Take note that the minimum redemption amount is $10.

RBC ION Visa Card Alternatives

If you’re considering alternatives to the RBC ION Visa Card, here are a few notable options worth exploring:

RBC ION+ Visa Card

Has a unique set of features that come with an annual fee of $48. For every $1 spent on gas, groceries, and streaming subscriptions, cardholders will receive 3 Avion points and 1 Avion point on all other qualifying purchases.

RBC ION+ Visa

Annual fee: $48

Welcome offer: Get 7,000 bonus Avion points following approval.

Rewards: Earn 3x Avion points per $1 spent on groceries, rides, gas, streaming, subscriptions, digital gaming, and EV charging; 1 Avion point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Interest rates: 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.

Minimum income requirement: None

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On RBC’s website

  • Earn 3 Avion points for every dollar you spend on groceries, rideshare, daily public transit, gas, streaming, subscriptions, and digital gaming.
  • Earn 1 Avion point for every dollar you spend on all other qualifying purchases.
  • Save 3¢/L on fuel purchased at Petro-Canada when you link your credit card to your Petro-Canada Card.
  • Redeem your points for air travel, gift cards, merchandise, statement credits, dining, etc. The minimum redemption is only $10.
  • Get a 3-month complimentary DashPass subscription, valued at almost $30.
  • Offers mobile device insurance and optional travel insurance coverage.
  • Includes Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Insurance.

Competitive purchase APR at 19.99%

Attractive point redemption options

No minimum income threshold

Limited insurance benefits

The conversion rate for points is not as enticing

The RBC ION+ Visa is a step up from the RBC ION Visa, with double the points on specific purchases. It is an excellent choice for students or newcomers looking to get approved for their first credit card in Canada.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

This credit card isn’t weighed down by fees and presents a 2% reward on up to 3 handpicked categories, as well as a 0.5% reward on miscellaneous purchases.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Rewards: Earn 2% unlimited cash back in up to 3 categories of your choice plus 0.50% on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: Get an additional 10% cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 2 months ($100 value).

Interest rates: 19.95% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

Recommended credit score:
600
900

Fair to Excellent

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On Tangerine’s website

  • Earn 2% unlimited cash back on 2 categories of your choice, including groceries, restaurants, entertainment, and recurring bill payments.
  • Unlock an additional 2% cash back category when you deposit your money back into a Tangerine Savings Account.
  • Earn 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.
  • Cash back is earned automatically on everyday purchases and paid monthly.
  • 1.95% promotional balance transfer interest rate for 6 months.
  • Purchase assurance and extended warranty are included.
  • Track and categorize your spending with the Tangerine mobile app.
  • To qualify, you must make a minimum of $12,000 per year.

Earn unlimited 2% cash back in up to 3 categories

No annual fee

1.95% balance transfer interest rate for 6 months

No travel benefits or insurance

No physical bank branches as it is an online-only bank

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card has no annual fees and earns you 2% cash back on up to 3 categories. You choose the categories in which you spend the most to maximize your rewards.

Neo Mastercard

This no-fee credit card enables cardholders to receive a 5% average cashback for every purchase and guarantees a 0.5% cashback should your cashback fall below 0.5%.

Neo Financial Mastercard

Rewards: Earn up to 15% cash back at Neo partners and never fall below 0.5% average cash back.

Welcome offer: Get an extra 15% cash back on your first purchases at many Neo partners.

Interest rates: 19.99% to 26.99% for purchases, 22.99% to 28.99% for cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

Recommended credit score:
600
900

Fair to Excellent

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On Neo’s website

  • Earn up to 15% cash back on your first purchases at many Neo partners.
  • Get an average of 5% instant cash back at over 8,000 Neo partners.
  • Never fall below 0.5% average cash back – if you do, Neo will top it up.
  • Cash back is instantly rewarded.
  • Use the Neo app to view cash back offers near you and view insights on your spending.
  • Instantly use the digital Neo card after signing up.
  • Optionally subscribe to Bundles for more cash back on certain spending categories.
  • No annual fees or income requirements.

No annual fee or income requirements

Earn up to 15% cash back

Neo mobile app shows you cash back offers near you

Only earn 15% cash back once at each Neo partner

You need to subscribe to Neo Bundles for more cash back

No insurance coverage

The Neo Card is an all-in-one cash back credit card and mobile app that earns you cash back on all purchases. Shop at Neo partners and earn up to 15% cash back, rewarded instantly.

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

It resembles a debit account more so than a typical credit card since you must deposit funds into it. But, in contrast to a debit card, you may use your card everywhere Mastercard is accepted, and you get cash back on all your transactions.

KOHO Prepaid Mastercard

Rewards: Earn 1% cash back on all grocery and gas purchases and up to 5% cash back at KOHO partners.

Welcome offer: NA.

Interest rates: N/A

Annual fee: $0*

Recommended credit score:
None

N/A

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On KOHO’s website

  • Earn 1% unlimited cash back on grocery purchases and bill payments.
  • Get up to 5% cash back at select KOHO partners.
  • Earn 0.50% interest on your spending and savings account balance.
  • Build your credit history for an optional $10 per month.
  • No annual fee and no minimum balance.
  • Free, unlimited Interac e-Transfers.
  • No fees for ATM cash withdrawals in Canada (no KOHO fees).
  • Use the KOHO app to view your balance, cash back offers, and more.

Earn unlimited cash back on all purchases

Earn 0.5% interest on your balance

No annual fee and no minimum balance

Interest is capped at 0.5%

No insurance coverage

The KOHO Prepaid Mastercard rewards your everyday grocery spending with unlimited 1% cash back and up to 5% cash back at KOHO partners. There is no annual fee, no minimum balance, and you can send and receive free, unlimited Interac e-Transfers.

RBC Cash Back Mastercard

 A cash-back credit card that offers 2% cash back on grocery purchases and !% on all other qualifying purchases.

RBC Cash Back Mastercard

Rewards: Earn up to 2% cash back on groceries, pre-authorized payments, and other purchases.

Welcome offer: None

Interest rates: 19.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances.

Annual fee: $0

Recommended credit score:
660
900

Good to Excellent

RBC Cash Back Mastercard

On RBC’s website

  • Earn 2% cash back on grocery purchases (up to $6,000 annually).
  • Earn 1% cash back on pre-authorized payments and all other purchases (up to $6,000 annually).
  • Cash back accumulates automatically.
  • Link your card and earn 20% more Petro-Points, plus save 3 cents per litre on fuel at Petro-Canada.
  • Earn 50 Be Well points at Rexall per $1 spent by linking your card.
  • Get a free DoorDash DashPass subscription for 3 months.
  • Purchase security and extended warranty insurance are included.
  • No minimum income is required to apply.

No annual fee

Cash back accumulates automatically

Savings at Petro-Canada, Rexall, and more

Cash back is capped at $6,000 annually

No travel benefits or insurance coverage

Not many features besides earning cash back

This no-fee cash back credit card automatically earns you up to 2% cash back on all purchases. Although it doesn’t offer any travel benefits or insurance, the RBC Cash Back Mastercard offers savings at Rexall, Petro-Canada, and DoorDash.

Credit Card NameAnnual FeeCash Advance Interest RatePurchase Interest RateRewards
RBC ION+ Visa Card$4822.99%20.99%3X Avion points on gas, groceries, and subscription purchases.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card$019.99%19.99%2% cash back on up to 3 categories of your choice, 0.5% cash back on all other purchases
Neo Mastercard$024.99%19.99%5% cash back on all purchases
Koho Prepaid Mastercard$00%0%1% Cash Back on groceries, internet bills, and delivery services
RBC Cash Back Mastercard$022.99%20.99%1% cash back on all purchases

Is the RBC ION Visa Card Worth It?

Absolutely! The RBC ION Visa Card offers a range of exceptional benefits, including attractive rewards and a competitive fee structure. By aligning with your individual needs, spending habits, and lifestyle, this card can elevate your financial experience.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the advantages it brings, so apply for the RBC ION Visa Card today and unlock a world of rewarding possibilities.

FAQs

What are the uses of RBC Avion Rewards?

The RBC ION Visa belongs to the Avion Rewards program’s premium tier. You may use your awards for the following things:

1. Use the Avion Rewards program to travel
2. Pay your credit card balance with your earned Avion points.

How does the RBC ION Visa Card compare to the Avion Visa Card?

The RBC ION Visa Card and the Avion Visa Card are both popular choices among Canadian credit card users. While the Avion Visa Card is known for its travel rewards and flexibility, the RBC ION Visa Card offers no annual fee for both primary and supplementary cardholders.

What is the interest rate on the RBC ION Visa Card?

The interest rate on the RBC ION Visa Card is 20.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advance transactions.

Bonuses & Deals for July

Free prepaid card with up to 5% cashback. No credit check & $20 bonus when you deposit $50 and complete first purchase.

Unlimited transactions with free chequing account and $400 welcome bonus!

No current offers for this category.

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has written about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, CBC News, Yahoo Finance, GO Banking Rates, Financial Post, Bankrate, Forbes, Toronto Star, CTV News, and other personal finance publications. He founded Savvy New Canadians, one of Canada’s top financial education platforms.

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