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RBC review: Personal banking

To find out if the Royal Bank of Canada is the right fit for you, compare RBC personal banking products, customer service and more in this RBC review.

In this RBC review we take a look at the personal banking products offered by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). RBC is one of the largest banks in the world and a top bank in Canada. There are over 1,200 in-person RBC branches across the country as well as branches in select American states, making RBC personal banking easy for clients who want face-to-face access as well as online options.

While most communities across Canada offer at least one branch with longer opening hours, most customers now use the bank’s digital site to complete their banking transactions while getting access to a variety of other financial products, such as insurance, credit cards and investments. Keep reading this RBC review for details of Royal Bank’s accounts, online and mobile banking, branch and ATM network, and customer service.

RBC review: Royal Bank of Canada at a glance

RBC is best for:

  • Clients looking for exceptional online banking options with good mobile banking support.
  • Customers focused on optimizing their credit card experience.
  • RBC personal banking customers who want to keep all products and services under one roof.
  • Clients looking to use technology to help them save and invest.

Watch out for:

  • RBC direct investing is easy to set up but can get glitchy, according to some online customer reviews.
  • RBC’s monthly fees and one-off costs can get steep.
  • Customer service is relatively easy to access, but West Coast customers may need to keep an eye on the clock since RBC adheres to an East Coast time zone.

Is Royal Bank of Canada legit?

Yes. RBC is one of Canada’s “Big Five Banks” and is the largest bank in Canada in terms of assets. It was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the 1860s and is now headquartered in Toronto.

RBC has over 17 million banking customers globally and has a presence in 29 countries around the world. The bank also operates over 1,200 branches across the country as well as a network of more than 4,200 ATMs. And because it’s a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), your deposits of up to $100,000 are protected in the unlikely event RBC fails.

RBC online banking

Online banking is free and included with all RBC personal banking accounts – this includes RBC chequing and savings accounts as well as accounts for students, seniors, newcomers and businesses. With RBC online banking, you get access to all your accounts, tools and products in the comfort of your home. Online banking lets you view and track expenses, make payments, pay bills, send e-transfers and set up new accounts.

RBC online banking ranks high, at just over 82.3%, based on customer reviews and surveys. For clients interested in easy online access, RBC is a good option.

RBC mobile banking

The RBC mobile app lets you bank, shop, deposit checks and redeem RBC rewards, all from your smartphone or tablet. RBC mobile banking ranks well – at close to 57.6% – according to customer reviews and surveys, but it isn’t as robust or as user-friendly as RBC’s online banking interface.

Best mobile banking apps

RBC monthly fees and costs

Next in this RBC review we consider account fees. While access to RBC online banking and the RBC mobile app is free, many RBC chequing accounts come with a monthly fee. To save on account costs, you can choose an account that offers rebates based on minimum monthly account balances or an account that offers special rebates (such as student or senior accounts). The multiproduct rebate program, where the use of more than two RBC financial products can cut monthly fees, could also help you save money.

Still, as a large bank with coast-to-coast access, RBC account costs can certainly add up. This is reflected in the 35.5% customer satisfaction rating regarding RBC monthly fees and ongoing costs.

RBC customer service

We all have questions, and RBC tries to make finding the answers to those questions easy. Not only does the bank offer a toll-free customer service number, but the website also has a frequently asked questions section. You can also book in-person appointments online or, once logged in, you can send a secure message to RBC customer service representatives. Another option is to click the desktop chat icon.

Despite the various methods to access customer service, clients often complain about long wait times and customer service representatives that are unable to resolve their complaints. Perhaps that’s why RBC’s customer service is rated at 46.0% based on customer satisfaction surveys.

RBC ATM and branch availability

Day-to-day banking often means getting cash when you need it most, which means access to cash machines and in-person bank branches. As a national bank, the RBC ATM network and branch availability are significantly better than most, giving the bank a customer satisfaction score of 50.0% and 39.0%, respectively.

As with most larger financial institutions, one of the biggest drawbacks for RBC ATM and branch availability is bank branch hours – with many smaller branches only open during regular business hours.

What RBC personal banking products are available in Canada?

As Canada’s largest bank, RBC provides plenty of choices to meet the banking needs of Canadians. To help, use this RBC review to compare key bank accounts offered by the Royal Bank of Canada.

RBC chequing accounts

RBC Day to Day Banking

  • Monthly fee:$4
  • Multiproduct rebate fee: $0
  • Senior monthly fee: $0
  • # of transactions: 12 a month

This basic chequing account from Royal Bank gives you 12 transactions per month for a fee of $4. RBC will waive the fee if you also hold and use at least two other RBC products, such as a credit card, personal investment, residential mortgage or small business product.

RBC Day-to-Day Banking account review

RBC Advantage Banking

    • Monthly fee: $11.95
    • Multiproduct rebate fee: $5.95 or $0
    • Senior monthly fee: $0
    • Newcomer to Canada fee: $0
    • # of transactions: unlimited free in Canada

RBC Advantage Banking review

RBC Signature No Limit Banking

  • Monthly fee: $16.95
  • Multiproduct rebate fee: $10.95 or $5
  • Senior monthly fee: $12.95
  • # of transactions: unlimited in Canada

This is RBC’s most popular chequing account. It comes with unlimited debits in Canada, free Interac e-Transfers and up to three non-RBC ATM fees waived per month. If you have more than two RBC products, such as a premium credit card, a mortgage, or an investment account, you can qualify for a multiproduct rebate. Notable benefits of this account include free bank drafts, personalized cheques, rebates on basic credit card fees (up to $39) and no monthly overdraft fees. You’ll also get free Interac e-Transfers and reimbursements for non-RBC ATM fees, up to a monthly limit.

RBC Signature No Limit Banking review

RBC VIP Banking

  • Monthly fee: $30
  • Multiproduct rebate fee: $24 or $18.05
  • Senior monthly fee: $22.50
  • # of transactions: unlimited worldwide

This is the Royal Bank of Canada’s exclusive chequing account that lets you make unlimited worldwide transactions and ATM withdrawals, even at non-RBC Interac machines (in Canada). It also includes additional perks such as free bank drafts and complimentary personal and certified cheques. It’s possible to reduce or waive the monthly fee if you own and use at least two more RBC products, such as a premium RBC credit card, mortgage, investment account or safety deposit box.

RBC VIP Banking review

RBC Advantage Banking for students

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • # of transactions: unlimited debit transactions

This day-to-day bank account gives full-time post-secondary students unlimited debits and free e-transfers, plus access to NOMI Find & Save – the predictive technology used by RBC that monitors your account to find underutilized money that can be set aside in a savings account each month. Additional perks include personalized offers and up to a $48 rebate on the annual fee for an eligible credit card.

RBC Advantage Banking for students review

RBC U.S. Personal Account

  • Monthly fee: USD$3
  • # of transactions: 6 debits a month

If you are a frequent traveller and want to avoid fluctuations in exchange rates, an RBC U.S. Personal Account helps you store and use American cash.

RBC U.S. Premium Checking Account

  • Monthly fee: $9.95 for e-statements or $11.95 for paper statements
  • # of transactions: unlimited

For Canadian clients who want the freedom and flexibility to pay US or Canadian bills through one bank account, the RBC U.S. Premium Checking account is the best option. Clients can withdraw and deposit money using RBC ATMs throughout North America as well as access cashback with large retailers throughout the 50 US states. Clients with this account also get a preferred FX rate, which helps keep cross-border transaction costs to a minimum.

RBC U.S. Premium Checking Account review

Compare more RBC chequing accounts

RBC savings accounts

If you’re looking for a savings account, it’s important to consider the primary reason for the account and how you will use it. Next up in this RBC review is a list of six RBC savings accounts, along with their key features and benefits.

RBC High Interest eSavings Account

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Transactions: $5.00

The RBC High Interest eSavings Account is ideal for clients who primarily bank online and have little need for in-branch services. The fact that there is no monthly fee and no minimum balance means your interest earnings won’t erode due to ongoing fees. Remember, though, that you only get one free RBC ATM withdrawal per month – after that, you’ll pay per use. You can expect a modest 1.1% interest rate on your monthly balance – although promotional rates can push this to 3% or 4% for a limited introductory period.

RBC High-Interest eSavings Account review

RBC Day to Day Savings Account

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Transactions: 1 free debit, free RBC transfers

Considered the “basic” savings account, the RBC Day to Day Savings Account is another no monthly fee option for savers. One advantage of this account is that you can set up Save-Matic plans – pre-authorized transfers into your savings account that help you make saving automatic. The account is also eligible for NOMI Find & Save, an RBC-branded predictive technology that learns your transaction patterns and makes suggestions to help you cut costs and save fees. The RBC savings account interest rate paid on your monthly balance is 0.005% for the first $999 and 0.01% for a balance over $1,000.

RBC Day to Day Savings account review

RBC Enhanced Savings Account

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Transactions: 1 free debit transaction per month

If you keep a larger balance in your savings accounts, you may want to consider the RBC Enhanced Savings Account. While no interest is offered on balances below $5,000, you will get 0.001% on any balance between $5,000 and $9,999. The interest rate earned goes up to 0.05% on balances between $10,000 and $24,999 and tops out at 0.01% and any balance above $25,000.

RBC NOMI Find & Save

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Transactions: 1 free debit transaction per month

RBC’s NOMI Find & Save uses predictive technology to monitor the financial trends in your RBC chequing account and makes suggestions on how much you can set aside in a savings account each month. It’s ideal for clients who really want to make savings automatic, plus the interest paid on all balances – 0.45% – is one of the most competitive within the suite of RBC savings products.

RBC NOMI Find & Save review

RBC U.S. High-Interest eSavings Account

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Transactions: cross-border transfers between your RBC Canadian and US accounts via Online Banking are free and instant but limited to $25,000 (CAD or USD) per transaction

If you regularly visit the US or get paid in US dollars, make your money work harder for you by opening an RBC U.S. High-Interest eSavings Account. With a $0 fee per month and a $0 minimum account balance, you’ll grow your savings with an interest rate of 0.25%.

RBC U.S. High-Interest eSavings Account review

RBC Leo’s Young Savers Account

  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Transactions: Free and unlimited debit and Interac e-Transfer transactions

If you’re interested in teaching your kids about money management and saving, then the Royal Bank of Canada has an account for you. The RBC Leo’s Young Savers Account is designed specifically for children (or dependants under the age of 12). This no-fee savings account lets kids deposit money through the ATM or in-branch transactions and pays 0.01% on all balances in this account.

RBC Leo’s Young Savers Account review

Compare more RBC savings accounts

RBC credit cards

There is a wide range of credit cards offered through the Royal Bank of Canada, including options for either Visa or Mastercard. To find the best RBC credit card, you’ll need to consider the card’s annual fees, how you will use the card and what rewards or features are important to you.

For the best RBC credit cards in Canada, check out the Finder round-up. Or to help narrow down your options, check out the types of credit cards in this RBC review:

RBC travel credit cards

Earn points on every purchase and redeem those points for flights, hotels and other travel expenses. Plus, these credit cards offer extensive insurance to cover you and your trip. Another good option is a credit card that charges zero fees for foreign transactions – fees charged to convert Canadian dollars into foreign currency.

RBC rewards credit cards

If you want flexibility and rewards, consider an RBC rewards credit card. For every purchase you make, you can collect either Avion points, WestJet dollars, Avios or Asia Miles. You can redeem these points for travel, merchandise, gift cards and more. You can also choose to get cashback rewards.

Compare rewards credit cards

RBC cashback credit cards

If cash is king in your household, consider a credit card that rewards you with cashback every time you shop. Better still, many of these cards offer insurance options to help protect you and your purchases.

Best cashback credit cards

RBC low-interest credit cards

These RBC credit cards are designed to help save you money with low interest on balances and low or no annual fees. Another good option is to switch to a low-interest credit card using a balance transfer. To save on interest costs, pick a card with a low balance transfer fee.

Best low-interest credit cards

RBC no-annual-fee credit cards

With no annual fees and flexible convenience, these RBC credit cards help you build credit and manage your spending with ease.

Best no-annual-fee credit cards

RBC student credit cards

Full-time post-secondary students can start building their credit while managing ongoing expenses and earning rewards by using a student RBC credit card.

Best student credit cards

RBC business credit cards

Business credit cards are similar to personal credit cards – you have access to a revolving line of credit, you can earn rewards based on how much you spend and you must make a minimum monthly payment to keep your account in good standing. However, the main difference is that many of the benefits and features are tailor-made for businesses, plus your business builds its creditworthiness, which helps your growing business secure better financing in the future.
RBC business credit cards

RBC insurance

Regardless of whether you’re an RBC customer or not, RBC insurance offers competitive rates on travel insurance, car insurance, home insurance and life insurance. For a no-obligation quote, you can enter your details online and either get an email outlining the offer or a representative will contact you.

RBC car insurance

RBC loans, home equity lines of credit and mortgages

Whether you’re looking for a stop-gap personal loan, a larger home equity line of credit or a mortgage, the Royal Bank of Canada can help. As one of Canada’s largest banks, RBC offers a variety of loan options.

To learn how to get the best loan for your needs, check out Finder’s guide on how to compare loans and lenders.

RBC investments

If you’re already an RBC customer, you probably already know about a few of the investment products and accounts offered by the Royal Bank of Canada. RBC offers a variety of investment products, including a range of RBC GICs as well as the ability to invest in stocks and bonds through the RBC Direct Investing brokerage.

RBC Direct Investing review

Compare RBC bank accounts vs competitor bank accounts

To find the best bank account, it’s best to consider all options in the Canadian marketplace. At Finder, we’ve curated a list of the most popular chequing accounts and savings accounts available throughout most regions in Canada. To find the best for your needs, examine the features you require and assess the fees associated with the account.

1 - 17 of 17
Name Product Monthly Account Fee Free Transactions e-Transfer Fee Bonus Offer Offer
BMO Performance Chequing Account
BMO Performance Chequing Account
$17.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $600
Get up to a $600 cash bonus. Valid until July 2, 2024. Plus, earn a 5.50% promo interest rate when you open a Performance Chequing and a Savings Amplifier Account.
Simplii No Fee Chequing Account
Simplii No Fee Chequing Account
$0
unlimited
$0
Earn $400
Earn $400 when you become a new client and set up a direct deposit of at least $100 for 3 months. Offer ends October 31, 2024.
Scotiabank Preferred Package
Scotiabank Preferred Package
$16.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $400
Earn a welcome bonus of up to $400. Valid until July 31, 2024. Plus, earn up to 6.05% interest for 3 months on your MomentumPLUS Savings Account.
RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account
RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account
$16.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Get an iPad
Get the new iPad when you switch to RBC & open an RBC Signature No Limit Banking Account. Valid until August 13, 2024.
Coast Capital Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account
Coast Capital Free Chequing, Free Debit, and More Account
$0
unlimited
$1.50
Earn $350
Earn up to $350 when you become a member and open a Free Chequing account plus other products until June 30, 2024. Conditions apply.
Scotiabank Basic Bank Account
Scotiabank Basic Bank Account
$3.95
12/month
$0
N/A
EQ Bank Personal Account
EQ Bank Personal Account
$0
unlimited
$0
Earn 4.00% interest
Enjoy high interest with no fees on everyday banking, plus unlimited transactions and no minimum balances. Sign up online in minutes.
Scotiabank Ultimate Package
Scotiabank Ultimate Package
$30.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $400
Earn a welcome bonus of up to $400. Valid until July 31, 2024. Plus, earn up to 6.05% interest for 3 months on your MomentumPLUS Savings Account.
Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan
Scotiabank Student Banking Advantage Plan
$0
unlimited
$0
Earn $100
Earn up to a $100 welcome bonus when you open an account. Apply by July 2, 2024.
Coast Capital Unlimited Chequing Account
Coast Capital Unlimited Chequing Account
$8.50 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $450
Earn up to $450 when you become a member and open an Unlimited Chequing Account plus other products until June 30, 2024. Conditions apply.
Innovation Federal Credit Union No-Fee Chequing Account
Innovation Federal Credit Union No-Fee Chequing Account
$0
unlimited
$0
Win a spring getaway
Open an account and you could win a $2,500 spring getaway. Valid until June 30, 2024.
Go to site
Scotiabank Basic Plus Bank Account
Scotiabank Basic Plus Bank Account
$11.95 (can be waived)
25/month
$0
N/A
BMO Premium Plan Chequing Account
BMO Premium Plan Chequing Account
$30.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $600
Get up to a $600 cash bonus. Valid until July 2, 2024. Plus, earn a 5.50% bonus interest rate when you add a Savings Amplifier Account.
BMO Performance Student Chequing Account
BMO Performance Student Chequing Account
$0 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $100
Earn a $100 cash bonus and enjoy six months of Domino’s Pizza (worth $95, one pizza per month) when you open a new BMO Student Chequing Account. Valid until October 31, 2024.
Coast Capital Elevate Chequing Account
Coast Capital Elevate Chequing Account
$16.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $600
Earn up to $600 when you become a member and open an Elevate Chequing Account plus other products until June 30, 2024. Conditions apply.
BMO New to Canada Performance Chequing Account
BMO New to Canada Performance Chequing Account
$16.95 (can be waived)
unlimited
$0
Earn $600
Earn up to a $600 welcome bonus. Valid until October 31, 2024. Plus, earn a 5.50% promo interest rate when you open a Performance Chequing and a Savings Amplifier Account.
BMO Canadian Defence Community Banking Performance Plan Chequing Account
BMO Canadian Defence Community Banking Performance Plan Chequing Account
$0
unlimited
$0
N/A
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1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Finder Rating Promo Rate Regular Interest Rate Transaction Fee 1 Year Return Offer
EQ Bank Notice Savings Account
Finder Score:
★★★★★
4.3 / 5
N/A
5.00%
$0
$500.00
Simplii High Interest Savings Account
Finder Score:
★★★★★
3.9 / 5
5.90% for 5 months
0.40%
$0
$265.88
KOHO Earn Interest
Finder Score:
★★★★★
4.1 / 5
N/A
5.00%
$0
$500.00
Scotiabank MomentumPLUS Savings Account
Finder Score:
★★★★★
4 / 5
6.05% for 3 months
1.20%
$5.00
$239.15
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About Finder

Finder is a personal finance comparison site with a mission to help Canadians save, invest, spend wisely and grow their wealth. Each month, Finder provides half a million Canadians – and more than five million globally – with independent and trustworthy financial information. Our goal is to help people make better financial decisions by providing objective, comparative insight on thousands of products and services.

As a global fintech website and app, Finder provides consumers free access to smart money content. Whether it's expert insight, product or service comparisons or independent reviews, Finder helps consumers stay on top of their finances while saving time and money.

Finder is available to consumers in Canada, Australia, America and the United Kingdom. Initially launched in 2006 by three Australians – Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia and Jeremy Cabral – Finder's global reach now includes thousands of products and services in hundreds of financial categories and provides expert content and independent reviews to more than five million users each month.

Written by

Romana King

Romana King was the Canada group editor at Finder and a personal finance expert. As an award-winning personal finance writer and real estate expert, she has spent almost two decades helping Canadians make smarter money management decisions. Her first book, House Poor No More: 9 Steps That Grow the Value of Your Home and Net Worth, launched in November 2021, continues to be an Amazon bestseller and won the Excellence in Financial Journalism Book Award in 2022. See full profile

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