How is RBC motivating people to spend money?

The bank tweaked its rewards program for the month of July to see if it could help boost the economy.


In May, a survey by Bond found many loyalty programs are struggling to stay relevant. Consumers, states the report, feel that they’re failing to help communities. It seems RBC is looking to prove otherwise, as it’s now rewarding customers with rewards points for simply shopping or dining at local businesses.

Having launched on Canada Day, and running throughout July, RBC’s Points for Canada includes “Dine Canada,” in which RBC card holders can earn extra points for meals at restaurants across the country (as well as points for when they use “most third-party delivery services”) and “Shop Canada,” rewarding people for frequenting local retail businesses.

RBC Rewards credit card clients can also save 30% when they redeem their points to purchase gift cards from Canadian brands such as Rexall, Hudson’s Bay, The Keg and Jack Astor’s.


To get the word out about Points for Canada, RBC created digital assets for Canadian merchants to use across their own channels. The bank also worked with Snapchat to create a filter and ads in an effort to sustain consumer engagement, Jacquelina Calisto, VP, loyalty & rewards at RBC tells strategy.

Calisto explains that RBC launched Points for Canada to help consumers save and earn during this challenging time, while also helping to stimulate growth for the economy by boosting business for local businesses across Canada. On an annual basis, Calisto says RBC members redeem over $1.3 billion in things like travel, merchandise and gift cards, with much of that going directly to businesses.


At the end of May, Canada’s largest bank reported a net income of just under $1.5 billion for the quarter ending April 30, down 54% from the year prior, thanks to “the unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

And in its spring Q2 earnings call, RBC’s Neil McLaughlin, group head, personal & commercial banking, said large categories, such as dining and gas, were each down about 50%. McLaughlin added that in terms of spending, there was a $5 billion shortfall in purchase volume (a 30% decrease).

RBC worked with Grip Limited to develop the Points for Canada creative, as well as consulted with The French Shop to adapt a French-language Snapchat lens.