The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is one of the largest banks in Canada based on market capitalization.
RBC Chequing accounts range from entry-level student accounts to a premium chequing account with a hefty monthly fee.
This RBC bank review covers its chequing account features, fees, benefits, downsides, how to apply, and free bank account alternatives.
Review of RBC Chequing Accounts
RBC offers four main chequing accounts:
- RBC Day-to-Day Banking
- RBC Advantage Banking
- RBC Signature No Limit Banking
- RBC VIP Banking
These accounts work for everyday transactions such as paying bills, sending and receiving money, writing cheques, using an ATM, and earning rewards via the RBC Vantage program.
All RBC Chequing accounts have a monthly fee, i.e. there is no free RBC chequing account.
That said, you may be able to waive a portion or all of the monthly account fees if you have multiple RBC products by taking advantage of senior discounts or newcomer offers.
1. RBC VIP Banking
RBC VIP Banking is its most premium chequing account package with the most features. This account has a $30 monthly price tag and includes:
- Unlimited debit transactions and Interac e-Transfers
- Free access to ATMs worldwide with no RBC fee
- Annual fee rebate on select RBC credit cards
- Free personalized cheques and discounts on safe deposit boxes
- 12 free bank drafts per year, and the monthly fee is waived for overdraft protection (interest may apply)
The credit cards with fee rebates (up to $120) include the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard, RBC Avion Visa Infinite, RBC Rewards Visa Preferred, RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard, and a few others.
2. RBC Signature No Limit Banking
This RBC chequing account has a $15.95 monthly fee and is one of its most popular if you are looking to save on fees while getting unlimited transactions.
Its top features are:
- Unlimited debits and Interac e-Transfer transactions
- 3 non-RBC ATM fees waived each month
- 5 fee cross-border debits each month
- Free personalized cheques
- 6 free bank drafts/year and a $12 annual fee discount for a safe deposit box
Accountholders also get up to a $39 rebate on the annual fee for an eligible RBC credit card.
3. RBC Advantage Banking
The RBC Advantage Banking chequing account has an $11.95 monthly fee. After fee waivers, the account is available to students and new immigrants for $0 for some time.
Its top features are:
- Unlimited debit transactions and free Interac e-Transfers
- 1 NSF fee is rebated each year
4. RBC Day to Day Banking
This is RBC’s lowest-cost chequing account for those with limited transactions each month.
For a $4 monthly fee, you get 12 free debits.
RBC does not waive the monthly account fees for any of its chequing accounts based on your balance, so there is no minimum balance requirement.
RBC Chequing Account Comparison
|Chequing Account||RBC VIP Banking||RBC Signature No Limit Banking||RBC Advantage Banking||RBC Day to Day Banking|
|Balance to waive fees||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Fee with senior rebate||$22.50||$11.95||$7.95||$0|
|Number of transactions||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||12 Debits|
|Cost per extra transaction||–||–||–||$1.25|
|Non-RBC ATM fees (Canada)*||Free||3 free /month||$2 each||$2 each|
|PLUS System ATM* in Canada or U.S.||Free||$3 each||$3 each||$3 each|
|PLUS System* ATM abroad||Free||$5 each||$5 each||$5 each|
|Cross-border debits||Free||5 free/month||$1 each||$1 each|
|Other perks||Free cheques, bank drafts, credit card fee rebate||Free cheques; $39 credit card fee rebate||1 cheque book free||N/A|
*ATM convenience fee and other fees may apply.
RBC Student Chequing Account
The best student bank accounts have no monthly maintenance fees.
Full-time students can open an RBC Advantage Bank Account and pay no monthly fees while they remain enrolled in school.
They also get up to a $39 fee rebate on the Signature RBC Rewards Visa or WestJet RBC Mastercard credit cards.
RBC U.S. Chequing Account
You can open an RBC U.S. Personal Account to hold your U.S. cash.
This U.S. account has a $2 monthly fee and includes 6 debits each month. Additional debits cost $1.25 each.
RBC Newcomer Bank Accounts
Newcomers can open an RBC Advantage Banking account and have the fees waived for 1 year.
They can also open any of the other RBC chequing accounts, but these do not come with fee waivers.
Under the RBC Newcomer Advantage program, you can also get a credit card without a Canadian credit history.
RBC Chequing Account Fees
In addition to the monthly maintenance fee, you could be charged service fees for various transactions (based on your account type).
Debit transactions: Extra debits cost $1.25 each.
Overdraft protection: The monthly fee is $5 and 22% interest per year when used.
Bank draft: Best $8.50 each if not involved in your chequing package.
ATMs: $2 each for Interac Access; $3 each for PLUS Access in Canada or the U.S.; and $5 each for PLUS Access outside of Canada and the U.S.
Paper statements with cheque images cost $2.50, and NSFs cost $45 each.
Check your deposit account agreement for a full listing of service fees.
How To Open an RBC Bank Account
You can open an RBC bank account online or by visiting your local bank branch.
To book a virtual appointment, call 1-800-769-2561.
You will need to provide your social insurance number (SIN), copy of a government-issued photo ID, name, date of birth, address, and other basic personal details.
If you are opening a student account, you may need to show proof of enrollment at an eligible school.
If you are a newcomer, you will need to provide supporting documentation such as a permanent resident card or landing papers.
RBC has more than 1,200 branches in Canada and thousands of ATMs across the country.
Are RBC Bank Accounts Safe?
Yes, RBC bank accounts are safe.
This Big Five bank has been around since 1864, and it has $1.71 trillion in assets as of 2022.
It is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), which means each of your eligible deposits is protected by up to $100,000.
This bank also protects you against unauthorized digital transactions when you have taken appropriate steps to protect your account.
Pros and Cons of RBC Chequing Accounts
- Access to convenient bank locations and ATM
- Reputable financial institution
- Access to rewards and discounts via RBC Vantage
- Premium perks with higher-tier chequing accounts
- No interest rate paid on chequing balance
- All accounts have a monthly maintenance fee
- Savings accounts have a low interest rate
RBC Chequing Account Alternatives
If you don’t need access to a branch for in-person service, an online bank with no-fee chequing accounts and unlimited transactions may be for you.
These accounts do not require you to maintain a minimum balance to waive fees, and in some cases, they even pay interest on your balance each month.
No-fee chequing accounts offered by digital banks include the ones by:
- Simplii Financial
Simplii No-Fee Chequing Account
No monthly account fees
Unlimited transactions & Interac e-Transfers
Free personalized cheques
$350 cash bonus offer
- EQ Bank
EQ Bank Savings Plus Account
1.65%* non-promotional interest rate
Unlimited debits and bill payments
Unlimited Interac e-Transfers
No monthly account fees
- Neo Financial
Neo Money Account
2.25% non-promo interest rate
No monthly fees
Unlimited free transactions
Access to a no-annual-fee credit card
- Tangerine Bank
The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account and Neo Money Account are hybrid accounts and not traditional chequing accounts.
|RBC||Simplii Financial||EQ Bank|
|Chequing account||RBC Signature No Limit Banking||Simplii Financial No-Fee Chequing||EQ Bank Savings Plus Account (hybrid)|
|Minimum balance to waive fee||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Free debit transactions||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Free Interac e-Transfers||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Non-bank ATMs in Canada||3 free/month; $2 after||$1.50 each||N/A|
|Credit card fee waiver||Up to $39/year||$0 annual fee||N/A|
|Other perks||Free cheques; 6 free drafts/year||Earn interest on balance; $350 welcome bonus; free cheques, global money transfers||Earn a high interest rate; access to cheap international money transfers|
|Reviews||–||Learn more||Learn more|
RBC Chequing Account FAQs
What is the minimum balance for RBC chequing accounts?
RBC does not have a minimum balance requirement for waiving monthly fees.
Does RBC have a free account?
No, RBC does not have a free chequing account. However, you could waive the monthly account maintenance fees if you are a student or newcomer. Seniors also get a discount.
How do I avoid RBC monthly fees?
You can save on RBC monthly fees by having 2 or more eligible RBC accounts and completing various transactions each month, such as direct deposits, bill payments, and pre-authorized payments.
Which Canadian bank does not charge monthly fees?
EQ Bank, Tangerine Bank, and Simplii Financial offer no-monthly fee bank accounts.
How do I close an RBC account?
Learn about how to close an RBC account using this guide.
Does RBC pay interest on chequing accounts?
No, RBC‘s chequing accounts do not earn interest.
What is RBC’s chequing account promotion?
When you open a new RBC chequing account, you may be eligible to receive a cash bonus or get a new iPad or Airpod. These are the current RBC account promotions.