RBC GIC review

We'll help you find out whether an RBC Royal Bank GIC is right for you and how you can apply for one.

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RBC GIC logo

If you’re already an RBC Royal Bank customer or considering investing in an RBC Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC), read on to learn about the wide range of RBC GICs available and whether they’re the right fit for you. If you’re ready to apply, we’ll also help you understand the steps you’ll need to take.

Types of RBC Royal Bank GICs

RBC Royal Bank offers a large range of GICs for different kinds of investors. While the biggest distinction among the GICs is whether they are non-registered or registered, RBC has a wide variety of GIC options under each category.

Non-registered

RBC offers a full range of guaranteed-return, interest-linked and market-linked GICs. Here are your options under each of the following categories:

Guaranteed-return GICs

There are several types of guaranteed-return GICs with varying stipulated interest rates offered by RBC. You’ll need to make several choices regarding:

  • Type. Non-redeemable, redeemable, building block, five-in-one, one-year cashable, rate advantage or US$ term deposit rates.
  • Term to maturity. Ranging from short term to long term, between 30 days and 10 years.
  • Interest payment interval/frequency. Earn interest paid monthly, semi-annually, annually or at maturity.

Interest-linked GICs

With RBC’s Prime-Linked Cashable GIC (linked to the RBC Royal Bank prime rate), you can choose to get paid interest monthly, semi-annually or at maturity.

Market-linked GICs
Choose to link the rates you receive on your GIC to the US, Canadian or global market or specifically to the Canadian banking or utilities market.

Registered

RBC offers both redeemable and non-redeemable registered GICs with the following options:

Redeemable

  • Funds available. Available only for Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).

Non-redeemable

  • Funds available. Available for Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), Retirement Income Fund (RIF), Life Income Fund (LIF) and Prescribed Retirement Income Fund (PRIF) as well as RRSP and TFSA.
  • Compound or annual pay non-compound interest. Annual pay non-compounding option is only available to RRSP and TFSA holders.

Read more about how to choose the best GIC for your needs in our introduction to GICs guide.

How does RBC Royal Bank compare to other banks?

RBC is Canada’s largest bank by market capitalization and one of Canada’s Big Five banks. While some smaller banks and credit unions are not open to Quebecers, RBC is available to all Canadian residents.

Benefits of buying GICs with RBC Royal Bank

Convenient and widely accessible

As the largest Canadian bank, RBC has the widest branch and ATM network in Canada. If this is already your main bank, you may find it more convenient for all your investments and savings to be with the same provider.

Bricks-and-mortar locations

While some of the other banks and credit unions offering GICs are online only, you can be assured that RBC has plenty of bricks-and-mortar locations if you value the customer service of banking in person.

Mobile banking app for tracking investments online

If you enjoy managing your finances via mobile, a decent mobile banking app for keeping track of your investments is something that not all providers have available. As a large, established bank, RBC can offer you this.

Potential drawbacks of an RBC GIC

Lower prior redemption rates

If you wish to withdraw your GIC funds earlier than at maturity, you’ll be subject to lower redemption rates meaning you won’t earn as much (or any) interest on your investment, depending on how early you take out the funds.

Lower interest

Generally, the trade-off of investing with a larger, more convenient bank is that it may offer less-competitive interest rates on its products. If you’re purely looking for the highest earning rate on your GIC investment, you may want to carefully consider the full range of options out there first.

How do I purchase an RBC GIC?

To buy an RBC GIC, you can express your interest via RBC’s online form. You’ll need to specify whether you currently have an active RBC Online Banking and RBC cheque or savings account and which kind of GIC you’re interested in purchasing before you can make any purchases.

If you don’t currently have an existing RBC Online Banking and RBC cheque or savings account, you can either call 1-800-463-3863 or visit your local branch to purchase a GIC or contribute to a registered plan (RBC TFSA, RRSP, RESP or RDSP).

For those who wish to purchase a registered GIC but haven’t opened a registered plan yet, you’ll need to do this first by opening a TFSA online (for current RBC online banking customers only), calling RBC’s hotline or visiting your local branch.

Eligibility requirements

While most of RBC’s GIC products are eligible for registered plans (TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, RESP or RDSP), you should check the specific eligibility requirements for your chosen GIC product before proceeding.

In order to apply, you’ll also need to be at least 18 years old and residing in Canada.

Required documents

You’ll need to provide proof of your residency status, age and social insurance number (SIN). If you already bank with RBC, you’ll also need to provide your client account details.

RBC Royal Bank ratings, review and complaints

Overall, while RBC’s mobile and online banking services have generally been rated top among Canadian banks and credit unions, customer service has been rated poorly.

As one of the Big Five banks, it may be worthwhile to consider RBC if you can sign up for bundle products and save on service fees, for example if you hold a credit card, investment account and mortgage with RBC. Otherwise, you may want to consider your full range of GIC options, including from smaller banks and credit unions before applying.

Bottom line

Whether you’re already banking with RBC or considering purchasing a GIC from it, RBC offers a large variety of GICs for you to choose from.

If you’re ready to invest in an RBC Royal Bank GIC, click the green “Go to site” button below.

Frequently asked questions

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