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RBC Shoppers Optimum Bank Account Overview

1 February 2012

A few weeks ago the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Shoppers Drug Mart launched a new national program, where clients will be able to now collect Shoppers Optimum points through the use of a brand new RBC Shoppers Optimum banking account and debit card.

That being said, today I will give an overview on what you can expect to find this account to include when it is launched. The RBC Shoppers Optimum banking account is expected to launch in March 2012.

To get things going, I have compiled a table with what you should see the account features of the RBC Shoppers Optimum Banking account has:

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
AccountRBC Shoppers Optimum bank account
Monthly Fees$10.95
Sending INTERAC e-Transfer$1.00 per transaction
Non-(bank) ABM withdrawals$1.50 each withdrawal
Account BenefitsShoppers Optimum Rewards
Account inquiriesUnlimited
Personal ChequesN/A

As you can see, this chequing account offers the necessities and an additional benefit of allowing clients to earn rewards on purchases inside and outside the store.

How does the rewards program work for this new account?

The rewards program is quite simple; you earn Shoppers Optimum points for every dollar ($1) spent on both inside and outside the store.

RBC ShoppersCard RBC Shoppers Optimum Bank Account Overview

The rewards program for the RBC Shoppers Optimum bank account is as follow:

Earn 10 additional Shoppers Optimum PointsFor every $1 spent using the RBC Shoppers Optimum Banking Account at a Shoppers Drug Mart
Earn 1 Shoppers Optimum pointFor every $1 spent outside Shoppers Drug Mart using the RBC Shoppers Optimum Banking Account
Earn 50,000 bonus Shoppers Optimum PointsYou need to set up a payroll or pension deposit for the new account and complete two online bill payments

As you can clearly see, the amount of rewards you can earn at Shoppers for their Optimum points is large, well that is once you spend at a Shoppers Drug Mart,

Is the RBC Shoppers Optimum Banking account worth the cost?

Truthfully, I am a person who looks at account fees as a complete waste of money. I mean, there are several no fee accounts that are available which can definitely suit your needs.

However, as with any credit card that has a rewards program on it, the fee is always justified because you are provided with a great rewards program.

In this case, I feel the same way. The Shoppers Optimum rewards program is one of the largest and most popular loyalty programs in Canada. I do not see anyone not wanting to pay the monthly fee if it meant they would be able to increase the amount of Optimum points they can earn.

With that in mind, the monthly fee can be waived through RBC’s multi-product rebate program. In order to qualify for the multi-product rebate program, you will need to hold each of the following products:

  • An RBC Royal Bank investment
  • An eligible RBC Rewards® credit card
  • An RBC Royal Bank residential mortgage or RBC Homeline Plan

Note: Clients, 60 years or older, require only an eligible credit card and investment to qualify for the MultiProduct Rebate.

All RBC accounts come included with Cross Border debit, which makes them great accounts for anyone who frequently travels to the US. That being said, I do not see why the RBC Shoppers Optimum Bank account would not have this feature included. If this account does have this feature, then it only makes it even better in my books.

With the account fee waived, it is more the RBC Shoppers Optimum Banking account is definitely worth the cost.

What do you think of the RBC Shoppers Optimum Banking account?



About the Author


My favorite weapon of choice is the samurai sword. I use it to cut my chicken during dinner, cut my hair and periodically carve my name into stone when I am bored. I love meditating on top of a 15ft high pole and eating those sushi’s with smoked salmon on top. I love everything there is about Canada and everything financially related to Canadians. I write deily posts from Canadian Banks to Credit Card information.

Comments (10 )

Be'en Wrote:

My daughter is a Canadian citizen studying in USA. Is it possible for her to open a checking and credit card accounts in that country? I inquired with ING but they have indicated that she would need a US social security no besides other things.

How can she bank in US while being a Canadian?

GH Wrote:

Not sure about the laws now but I am sure it vary’s state to state as well as bank to bank. I lived in Michigan a few years back and was able to open an account – I had to provide a mailing address and that’s it. Some banks offer international Student accounts. Inquire with her school or local bank. I am sure they will be able to help you out.

Sensei Wrote:

I think some banks do offer student accounts for international students like GH mentioned. I have been looking into it, but I am not too familiar with how the states runs their student banking programs. I would advise contacting your daughter’s school as they might have a better idea on where you can open a student account for her.

I will continue to look into it for you, and if I find anything useful I will let you know.

Be'en Wrote:

Thanks. I will advise her accordingly.

Be'en Wrote:

Thanks. I will let her know she may only need an address.

Gravyboat Wrote:

Cool! Any idea if this account will show up in online banking with the rest of my accounts?

Vlad Wrote:

“I do not see anyone not wanting to pay the monthly fee if it meant they would be able to increase the amount of Optimum points they can earn.”

I see plenty of people not wanting to pay the monthly fee.

The value of the SDM point is between $ .00125 and $ .00179 (depending on the redemption level, and exclusive of any redemption bonuses which SDM offers from time to time)

So just to break-even on the monthly fee one would have to spend between $876 and $612 a month at SDM (or 10x that at other stores!!!), once again disregarding any points earning promotions which SDM offers from time to time and depending on at what level you redeem the award.

Keep it simple, keep the 11 bucks, get a free chequing account, and dont shop at SDM, which in my opinion is way overpriced.

Gravyboat Wrote:

Good point, but you are ignoring 2 important points. 1. Some RBC clients are already paying $10.95/month for RBC’s No Limit Banking account so they might as well have this account to earn rewards on their debit purchases. 2. There’s an $85 kicker for signing up for the account as long as you pay 2 bills and transfer your payroll. Also consider that 1 in every 3 Canadians is an optimum account holder. There are some folks out there who eat and sleep this program so IMO, RBC has done themselves a huge service to boost their clientele as not every Optimum holder has an RBC account.

K Wrote:

I was excited about this account so went into the branch to open it. They could not complete the application in the branch. With all of these accounts they have to fulfil somewhere else. Was advised the package would be received in a week. Came in close to 3 and still required me to take steps to initiate. I also called the Royal while i was waiting and they had no record of teh application. In this day and age, it should not take 2 + weeks to open an account. They need to think this one through a bit more. It was a poor experience.

Redguard Wrote:

I was already an RBC client with the No-Limit Signature account. I receive a multi-product rebate which brings my monthly fee down to ~$10 monthly.

The RBC/Optimum account caught my eye because:
A) I’m an Optimum member who shops at SDM regularly
B) The multi-product rebate on this account would bring my monthly fees down to $0

I now have the account, but my biggest gripe is with the amount of administration required for me to know contact all of the companies that I do business with in order to provide them with my updated pre-authorized banking info.

For starters, I mistakingly thought that signing up for this account would be nothing more than a name change of my current RBC account. Meaning, I get to keep doing what I do, but I just provide RBC with my Optimum number and bada-bing bada-boom, RBC Optimum account. Nope! It’s about opening up a brand new account with all of the pain that comes along with the process.

Next, many of the companies I deal with want a void cheque from me for the MICR code (Branch/Institution/Account) information that I can just as easily read to them over the phone. Sadly, the Optimum account does not provide free cheques like my Signature Account did. And I’m not about to fork over $40 for a cheque book which grants me access to my own money. I’ve had to circumvent this step by going into an RBC branch and asking for printouts of a make-believe void cheque. RBC used to allow me to print this sheet off through my online banking page, but not anymore. And the CSR that I spoke to over the phone acted as though I was crazy when I mentioned this.

Finally, in order for this whole process to work for CURRENT RBC customers, I’m forced to have two bank accounts active at the same time to avoid any of the withdrawals from my companies from bouncing. That means TWO service fees. I argued with the teller about this when receiving my void cheque printouts and she said that she’d leave a note on my account requesting that the fees on one of my account get reversed once all of my billing info had been updated. She couldn’t help but agree with me on how ridiculous this whole process is.

I have yet to enjoy the benefits of my new RBC Optimum account as I’m still in the process of updating all of this crap. But for all the pain that I’m currently going through, this new account better be worth it.

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