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RBC ION Visa Card Review

Credit Acceptance:

Card Network:

VISA

Good

660-724

Up to 6,000 Avion Points

Signup Bonus

rbc-ion-credit-card-review
$
Cash
rbc-ion-credit-card-review
$
Cash

Income Requirement:

N/A

5.5/10

Our Rating

Card Type

Points

Annual Fee

$0

Institution

RBC

Interest Rate

20.99%

Earning Rewards

1.5 Avion points per $1 spent on grocery, gas or streaming purchases & Subscriptions

1 Avion point per $1 spent on all other qualifying purchases

FAIR

Redeeming Rewards

What can you do with your rewards?

Travel

Travel with WestJet

Gift Cards

Statement Credits

RBC Financial Products

Merchandise

Charity

What's a good redemption?

RBC reward points, currently referred to as Avion points are best redeemed towards transferring to an airline partner like WestJet.


Depending on the destination of your travel, only a certain amount of points can be redeemed at maximum.


Learn more on the RBC Avion Rewards website.

AVERAGE

Insurance & Benefits

Purchase Protection

90 Days

Extended Warranty

1 Year

• Purchase Protection Insurance up to 90 days
• Extended Warranty Insurance doubled up to 1 year
• save 3¢/L on fuel and always earn 20% more Petro Points and 20% more Avion points at Petro Canada
• Get a 3-month complimentary DashPass subscription – a value of almost $30 on signup

FAIR

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Good savings on gas if you are a regular petro-Canada gas customer.

Cons

  • Insurance coverage is the most basic.

  • Reward categories are not the best.

  • Avion reward points are generally less valuable.

  • Many other cards with no annual fee are available that are all-around better cards than ION Visa.


RBC ION Visa Review


The RBC ION Visa is one of the newer credit cards offered by RBC, which has no annual fees.


This is a points card, part of the Avion Rewards program, allowing you to use your points towards several redemptions.


The Rewards


How You Earn Rewards


You may earn rewards on your purchases as:

  • 1.5 avion points per $1 spent on grocery, rideshare, gas & EV charging, streaming, gaming, and digital subscriptions.

  • 1 avion point per $1 spent on all other qualifying purchases.


Compared to the RBC ION+ card, this card has earned bonus points on much fewer categories and with a much lower earning rate, so if you have a moderate spending rate, the ION+ will probably be a much better option.


Even with the best redemption of 1 cent per Avion point, the equivalent cashback rate for the grocery, rideshare, gas, and subscription is 1.5%, and for all the other purchases, it is 1%. One key category missing, which is usually a significant portion of the expense for many, is Food, Restaurants, and coffee shops, which means many lose out on a lot of potential rewards for their spending on these categories.


One thing some people mistake is that they believe digital subscription means all recurring and pre-authorized transactions, but that's a mistake. As the word says, only digital subscriptions count, so, for example a utility or other payment won't get 1.5 points.


The returns are okay, but in general, whenever the redemption percentage is low, it's better to go for a cashback card because you don't need to go through the trouble of maximizing your points value.


Due to the average rewards earned, the absence of some important categories, and the nuisance of redeeming the point in a specific way, this card only earns an average score for rewards earned.


As always, if your main goal is to maximize your rewards, don't forget to use Finly's calculator to find the best card suited for you.


How You Redeem Rewards


These are the multiple ways you can redeem your Avion points for ION cards.


Important Note:


It's worth noting that the ION credit cards don't offer the same redemption options as the regular Avion credit cards. The best option for you is to transfer your points to the airline partner WestJet.


Unfortunately, that's the only airline you can redeem for, and other options give lower redemption value.


Welcome Bonus


The RBC ION Visa card comes with a welcome bonus of up to 6,000 Avion points upon approval.



Approval


Obtaining the RBC ION Visa card is quite simple. There isn't a set minimum income needed, and if you have a credit score in the Good range, you'll likely be approved.


What's even better? If you qualify when applying for this card, you'll receive immediate approval.


2 Benefits of the RBC ION Visa Credit Card


1. No Annual Fee


The RBC ION Visa has no annual fee, so for people who want have very little spending this could be a good option to go for.


2. RBC Additional Features


You can save 3 cents per liter on fuel when you link your card to your Petro-Canada account. So, if you use Petro Canada a lot, this could add up.


You also earn 50 Be Well points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases at Rexall when you link your RBC card and scan your Be Well card.


You also get a 3-month complimentary DashPass subscription valued at almost $30.


3 Downsides of the RBC ION Visa Credit Card


1. Poor Avion Rewards Redemption


Unfortunately, this card has a lower redemption value when it comes to redeeming your Avion points compared to standard Avion credit cards because of the limitations imposed on ION Avion point redemptions.


2. Low Insurance Coverage


The ION visa only has basic purchase protection and an extended warranty. The minimum benefits almost all free cards have. This is a big downside because better cards have some good benefits to go for, like Roadside assistance, No foreign Transaction fee, etc.


So, if you are looking for good benefits, the ION visa is probably not the option you should be looking at.


3. Very Average Rewards


As mentioned in the rewards section, the ION visa does not cover some popular spending categories like food and restaurants. Also, the reward rate is not that high; therefore, it might be just easier to get a cashback card instead of an ION Visa to not go through the trouble of redeeming points.


When users use the calculator to calculate the best card for them, ION Visa rarely even shows up in the top 10, which means it's not doing that great in that section.


Final Verdict


We rate this card 5.5/10 since it neither offers great benefits nor rewards, even for a free card.


It's a very average card with many better and worse alternatives, both paid and free; therefore, the rating also puts this card as an average card.


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