The GreedyRates Loyalty Program Bible

The Canadian Loyalty Program Bible

Last updated on September 25, 2018 Views: 6718 Comments: 2

There are a number of loyalty/rewards programs in Canada today, and chances are you’ve already collected some points from one or more of them. But what are these points really worth, and what can you use them for?

In this article

How Loyalty Programs Work

Click a link below to jump straight to everything you need to know about your favourite Canadian loyalty program. Aside from breaking down each point’s real value, we’ll tell you what you can redeem the points for, which other rewards programs they can be transferred to, as well as other must-know details.

We’ve pored over the fine print so you don’t have to!

AeroplanAeroplan

Single Mile Canadian Dollar Value: $0.014

The average long haul economy flight across Canada or to the U.S. from Canada is worth 25,000 Miles and costs about $498 (say Toronto to Calgary). Subtracting taxes and fees, (avg. $146) divided by 25,000 = 0.014 or 1.4 cents per mile.

Different regions of the world have a fixed Aeroplan Mile value when you are booking, but the equivalent cost of those flights vary. Using the same calculation, (retail price – taxes and fees divided by miles value) here’s a break down of each category:

Short-Haul Economy: $0.0062 per Mile

International Economy: $0.0184 per Mile

International Business Class: $0.0452 per Mile

International Upgrade Flight: $0.0936 per Mile

Merchandise: $0.0069 cents per Mile

Gift Cards: $0.0074 cents per Mile

This calculation is based on the average retail price for each category, so as those prices change, the value of an Aeroplan Mile will change. It’s best if you do the same calculation for the particular flight in question you are planning to book: (retail price – fees / Miles value)

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes, but using Aeroplan miles to cover taxes and fees means the value of your miles may vary.

Expiration: Not as an active member, but if you are inactive for 12 consecutive months your miles will expire.

Transferability: Yes, you can convert Aeroplan miles into other reward program points such as Esso Extra (1:1), American Express Membership Rewards (1:1) and CIBC Aventura (1:1).

Redemption: Like Air Miles, Aeroplan has an inconsistent redemption value. The number of points it takes to receive a reward varies across categories of rewards. For travel, the redemption value depends on:

  • The region you are travelling to
  • When you are travelling
  • The route you take
  • Whether or not you’re using points to pay for surcharges and fees.

Despite this, flights on Air Canada and any other airline under the Star Alliance banner, such as Lufthansa and United Airlines, can be redeemed. However, if you choose to redeem flights based on the market fare value of your miles, rather than their fixed mileage value, Air Canada is the only carrier available.

Outside the travel sector, miles can be redeemed for:

  • Products and attractions from popular brands like Kate Spade, Cineplex, Best Buy, Sonos and more (though these merchandise and activities offer less value per mile than flights).
  • Aeroplan offers an equally wide selection of gift certificates, gift baskets and opportunities to make charitable donations.
  • Redeem at the Aeroplan eStore, which allows members to earn more miles through the Aeroplan portal, while they shop online at retailers like Indigo, the Gap, Sonos and Hudson’s Bay.

Air Miles ProgramAir Miles

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.105 (AirMiles Cash)

The value of Air Miles for the classic Air Miles Dream account varies depending on what you are redeeming the Air Miles for and where they are in the country. For example, a mile used to book a hotel in a small town often goes further than a mile used to book a hotel in a big city. Flights also have different mile values depending on where you are flying and the time of year. The following is a rough average (all values expressed in Canadian cents):

  • Hotels – $0.194
  • Flights – $0.168
  • Car Rentals – $0.157
  • Events – $0.144
  • Attractions – $0.132
  • Merchandise – $0.12

Covers Taxes and Fees: No, but Air Miles do cover fuel surcharges on flights.

Expiration: Technically no, but if no new Air Miles are posted  or are used in your account for 24 consecutive months, your remaining miles may be cancelled without notice.

Transferability: A large number of other reward programs allow you to convert their points to Air Miles, including HBC Rewards, RBC Rewards and in one case, Esso Extra using Points.com. However, Air Miles cannot be converted to any other rewards program.

Redemption: Since 2011, Air Miles have been split into two redemption paths: Air Miles Cash and Air Miles Dream.

  • With Air Miles Cash, members can instantly redeem their points for purchases in store or online at participating retailers like Sobeys, Shell, Rona, IGA, Safeway and more. The minimum redemption value at any retail partner is 95 Air Miles ($10 off) up to the equivalent of $100 per day (950 Air Miles).
  • Air Miles Dream is the classic method of redeeming Air Miles for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, vacation packages, event tickets, attractions, gift certificates and merchandise by saving up the required amount of miles.
  • Flights are available from a wide variety of national and international airlines including Air Canada, WestJet, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Lufthansa and British Airways. Hotel stay providers are Hilton, IHG, Marriott, Starwood and Best Western. However, the availability of flights and hotels and the value of the Air Miles you use to redeem them vary according to where you’re flying or staying, when you’re booking (high seasons: March 1-March 31, June 1-September 15, December 16-January 7 or low seasons: January 8-February 28, April 1-May 31, September 16-December 15), the carrier you choose, and whether you’re booking a connecting or direct flight.
  • Outside of travel, brand partners for merchandise, vacation packages, gift certificates, rental cars, events and attractions include Panasonic, Nikon, Broadway Across Canada, Big White Ski Resort, Cineplex, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Club Med, Sunquest, Legoland, Vitamix and more. However, the miles have different values depending on the category you’re buying from, with flights and hotels near the top and merchandise, attractions and vacation values near the bottom.

Apply for some of the best rewards cards that earn Air Miles:
BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard (or read our review of the card here)
BMO Air Miles Mastercard
American Express Air Miles Credit Card

Alaska Airlines Program

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.02 (average value). Check Awards Chart for specific redemption rates based on region, class and airline partner)

Covers Taxes and Fees: No

Expiration: None, as long as the account is in active use. If an account is inactive for two years, it may be closed by Alaska Airlines. Deleted miles can be reinstated for a fee for up to one year.

Transferability: There is no mileage transferability to other reward point programs, but you can transfer Mileage Plan miles to other account holders in increments of 1,000 miles up to 30,000 miles per transaction and 100,000 miles per year. The cost is $10.00 USD per 1,000 miles plus a $25 USD processing fee for each transaction, as well as applicable taxes for Canadian residents. Transfers are not reversable or refundable and do not count toward MVP Gold account status. EasyBiz company accounts cannot transfer miles.

Redemption: Mileage Plan miles can be used for discounts on one-way or round-trip flights—10,000 Mileage Plan miles give you a $100 discount and 20,000 Mileage Plan miles give you $200 off—or first class upgrades for 15,000 Mileage Rewards.

Mileage Plan miles can not only be redeemed for flights on Alaska Airlines, but you can also redeem for free stopovers on select award flight tickets and flights on the following partner airlines:

  • Aer Lingus
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Condor
  • Emirates
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • Japan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • LATAM Airlines
  • PenAir
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Ravn Alaska

Each airline partner has its own Award Chart showing how much a flight on that airline costs depending on the class of ticket and where you’re travelling. Mileage Plan miles can also be redeemed for hotel stays, booked with Rocketmiles for hotels around the world designated Mileage Plan Hotels. Some of these hotel partners can then generate more Alaska Airlines miles in a ‘double dip’ scenario:

  • Best Western
  • Choice Hotels
  • Coast Hotels
  • Fairmont Hotels and Resorts (Partnership ends June 30, 2018)
  • Intercontinental Hotels Group
  • Marriott Rewards
  • La Quinta Hotels
  • Starwood Preferred Guest
  • Westmark Hotels

Magazine subscriptions can also be redeemed from Cosmopolitan, Food & Wine, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Fortune, New York Magazine and more.  Gifting miles to coworkers, friends, family and charities like the Make-A-Wish Foundation and The Nature Conservancy is also possible.

American Express Program

American Express Membership Rewards

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.01 when redeeming for travel. $0.007 when used as a statement credit.

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes, but some credit cards carry additional fees for enrolment into the program. While there is no tax when you exchange points to a Canadian loyalty program, U.S. frequent flyer and hotel programs are taxed at $0.0006 to a maximum of $99.

Expiration: No expiration for active members, but if Amex cancels your account due to inactivity (not logging into your account for six months or more), you have 90 days to use points in your Rewards account before they are forfeited. If you voluntarily cancel your enrolment in the rewards program, but you still keep your Amex card open, you have 30 days to use your Rewards points before they are forfeited. If you voluntarily withdraw from the rewards program and cancel your Amex credit card, your Membership Rewards Points are immediately forfeited. *Note that despite 2018 Ontario Government rules preventing reward points from expiring in most cases, points can still expire in the province due to inactivity as defined by each rewards program’s terms and conditions.

Transferability: Membership Rewards can be transferred to many frequent flyer and customer loyalty programs, including Aeroplan, Delta Skymiles, Starwood Preferred Guest, JetBlue TrueBlue, Hilton Honors, British Airways and more. The transfer ratio is usually 1:1 and Membership Rewards must be transferred in 1,000-point increments. The only exceptions where the ratio is not 1:1 are the following:

  • Aeromexico – 1,000 points = 1,600 Club Premier points
  • El Al Israel Airlines – 1,000 points = 20 Matmid points
  • Hilton – 1,000 points = 1,500 Hilton Honors points
  • JetBlue Airways – 250 points = 200 JetBlue TrueBlue points (must be transferred in 200-point increments)
  • Starwood Preferred Guest – 1,000 points = 333 Starpoints

Some Amex credit cards are not eligible to transfer points. These are Amex Platinum, Blue for Business, Blue for Students, Some Blue from American Express cards, Business Management Account, Gold Optima, Optima, Optima Platinum, Platinum Business and Zync.

Redemption:

  • Redeem for travel on all airlines when booked through the American Express TripFlex Program. This program allows you to book travel whenever you want and then apply points to the cost of your trip post factum. You have three months from the date of transaction to redeem your points online and 12 months if you’re redeeming by phone. There’s a minimum redemption requirement of 1,000 points ($10) per transaction.
  • Purchase gift cards from Pottery Barn, Nieman Marcus, Best Buy, Morton’s Steakhouse and more.
  • Apply toward your statement balance or as a credit toward merchandise from brand partners like Bose, GoPro, Apple and Vitamix.
  • Pay with points directly at checkout when shopping at Staples.com, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, NYC Taxi, Expedia and more.

Apply for these Amex cards that earn Membership Rewards:
American Express Cobalt Card (or read our review of the card here)
American Express Gold Rewards Card (or read our review of the card here)

Best Western ProgramBest Western Rewards

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value:

The necessary amount of Best Western Rewards points needed to redeem for a free hotel night ranges from 8,000 to 36,000 points, increasing by 4,000-point increments. Increment values for particular hotels depend on factors such as location, hotel star rating and booking season, among other factors. Below are our estimated single point Canadian dollar values for each of the typical point increments:

  • 8,000 = $0.006
  • 12,000 = $0.0078
  • 16,000 = $0.0081
  • 20,000 = $0.0075
  • 24,000 = $0.0087
  • 28,000 = $0.0094
  • 32,000 = $0.0077
  • 36,000 = $0.0073

Points can also be redeemed for the following:

  • Shopping gift certificates at a value of approximately $0.005 per point ($25 gift card worth 5,000 points)
  • Merchandise at a value of approximately $0.0029 per point (e.g. Angelcare baby monitor worth $62.39 is redeemable for 21,300 points)
  • Travel miles of various travel programs (see ‘Transferability’ below) at a value of approximately $0.02 per mile.

Covers Taxes and Fees: Partially. Points cover hotel room taxes, but not incidental charges, resort fees  or other fees the hotel may charge, such as parking fees.

Expiration: None 

Transferability – Best Western Rewards points can be transferred to a number of partner frequent-flyer programs, including:

  • Air Canada (5:1)
  • Alaska Airlines (5:1)
  • American Airlines and Asiana (5:1)
  • Aeromexico (25:8)
  • Southwest Airlines (25:6).

The minimum transfer total for all airlines is 5,000 Best Western Rewards Points.

Redemption:

  • Earn free nights at Best Western brand hotels including SureStay, SureStay Plus, Glo, Vib and Premiere.
  • Redeem for gift certificates from Amazon, iTunes, Bass Pro Shops and Starbucks, to name a few.
  • Merchandise ranging from Samsonite luggage to a Sony Blu-Ray player is also available.
  • Vacation packages, gas cards and car rentals can also be redeemed. Earn flights by calling Best Western and requesting that your points go toward a partner frequent-flyer program. You can redeem for Aeroplan, AAdvantage, Asia Miles and more, but if you switch over, your points can no longer go toward hotel stays or anything else available through the Best Western Rewards Program.

Apply for these cards that earn Best Western Rewards points:
Best Western Mastercard (or read our review of the card here)

BMO Loyalty ProgramBMO Rewards

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.007

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes

Expiration: Points don’t expire during active membership, but you have 90 days to use your points after your account closes.

Transferability: None

Redemption:

  • Redeem on airfare from a variety of airlines including WestJet, Air Canada, United and Delta. There are no blackout dates or limitations on particular seats, hotels or airlines. Bookings can be made up to two days before departure.
  • Book car rentals, hotels and vacation packages
  • Merchandise is available from iRobot, Cuisinart, Pentax, Le Creuset and Dell, along with signed sports memorabilia and experiences like indoor rock climbing or skydiving.
  • Investments of $50 (10,000 points) can be made into your BMO Investment Account.
  • Beginning on January 15th ,2018, 140 points will be worth $1, but BMO will be adding extra points to members’ accounts to offset the new cost.
  • Starting in February 2018, members can also use their points to pay down their credit card balances.

Apply for these credit cards that earn BMO travel rewards:
BMO Word Elite Mastercard (or read our review of the card here)
BMO Rewards Mastercard

Canadian Tire Loyalty ProgramCanadian Tire Money

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: Canadian Tire Money is treated as cash in store and comes in the following denominations:

  • $0.05
  • $0.10
  • $0.25
  • $0.50
  • $1.00
  • $2.00

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes

Expiration: Neither physical nor electronic Canadian Tire Money expires for active My Canadian Tire Money account holders. Electronic Canadian Tire Money can be revoked and/or terminated if the account holder violates the terms and conditions of its use or voluntarily cancels their account. 

Transferability: Canadian Tire Money cannot be transferred into another loyalty program or exchanged for its cash equivalent. If an item is returned, the customer receives a refund minus the Canadian Tire Money they received in purchase of that item. Canadian Tire Money can be donated to participating local charities or community groups as a valid cash equivalent.

Redemption: Canadian Tire Money can be redeemed physically or electronically (electronic redemption is carried out by loading a My Canadian Tire Money loyalty card) for the cash value or money off the cash value of most Canadian Tire merchandise with some exceptions. These exceptions include: gift cards, lottery tickets, hunting and fishing licences, tire disposal fees, tire taxes, Rug Doctor (carpet cleaning) rental charges, refundable deposits, environmental fees, repair charges, delivery or assembly charges, other store services (other than automobile service)

Capital One Loyalty Program

Capital One Reward Miles

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.01

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes

Transferability: No

Expiration: Miles don’t expire while the account is open. But if your account is closed, you will lose the miles you have yet to redeem.

Redemption: If you are an Aspire Travel Platinum cardholder, (the only way to accumulate Capital One reward miles that is offered in Canada) you can choose two redemption paths:

  • Travel rewards, including flights, hotels and car rentals
  • Cash back in the form of statement credit, cash or a gift card

If you’re redeeming for travel, you can redeem for a portion or all of the cost of your trip with no blackout dates and no restrictions or hidden fees. You can also use your miles to deduct the cost of a travel purchase you already made in the form of an account credit. There are also no minimum redemption requirements and you can literally redeem to the cent.

If you’re redeeming for cash back, you can request it in the form of a gift card, statement credit or cash. You can choose from over 20 merchants that supply gift cards to Capital One, including Home Depot, Amazon and Costco. If you redeem your cash back for statement credit, the credit will be posted within five to seven business days and if you choose cash, you will receive a cheque within 30 days.

CIBC Loyalty ProgramCIBC Aventura

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.0116 (Average)

CIBC Aventura points don’t have a consistent dollar value. The total average above is determined from the average Aventura point single-dollar value of five flight regions Aventura uses to determine the cost of a flight:

  • Short-haul Canada/U.S.
  • Long-haul Canada/U.S.
  • Mexico/Hawaii/Caribbean/Central America
  • Europe
  • The rest of the world

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes

Expiration: Points don’t expire during active membership, but they will expire 60 days after you close your account or 12 months after the primary cardholder’s death.

Transferability: Members who opened their account before Oct. 1, 2013 can redeem Aventura Points for Air Miles at a ratio of 1:1 in increments of 10,000 points.

Redemption:

  • Redeem for flights on hundreds of airlines (subject to availability) including Air Canada, Delta, Lufthansa and British Airways. There are no blackout dates or restrictions and you can pay with any combination of points or your credit card with the “Flexible Travel” option. “Flexible Travel” also applies to hotels, car rentals, vacation packages or cruises.
  • Merchandise like a Dremel 3D printer, Bose headphones, a Dyson cordless vacuum or a camera from Olympus.
  • Gift certificates from Best Buy, Costco, Wal-Mart, Tim Horton’s and Petro Canada, among many others, are also available.
  • Pay your CIBC bills (e.g. credit card balance, loan or line of credit) with points or invest points as part of a TFSA, RRSP or Investor’s Edge Portfolio. You can also use points to pay your mortgage or line of credit
  • Use points to bid on items like tickets to the Daytona 500, Mont Tremblant Ski Resort, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Chicago and the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Apply for these credit cards in the CIBC loyalty program:
CIBC Aventura Travel Rewards Visa Card (or read our card review here)

Desjardins Loyalty Program

Desjardins BONUSDOLLARS

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $1.00 

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes and No. BONUSDOLLARS cover the taxes and fees associated with travel and merchandise, but cannot be used to cover the annual fee for your credit card or any other credit card fees. 

Transferability: BONUSDOLLARS are only transferrable within Desjardins. E.g. if a cardholder changes from a Desjardins credit card that includes the BONUSDOLLARS rewards program to a card with cash back, the entire BONUSDOLLARS balance can be transferred as cash back in a one-to-one ratio.

Expiration: BONUSDOLLARS don’t expire unless the account is closed or the program is terminated. In that case, the former account holder has 90 days to redeem any BONUSDOLLARS earned before they are forfeited.

Redemption: You can cover any travel tickets, including flights, car rentals, trains or public transportation passes and accommodation with BONUSDOLLARS no matter the season, destination, distance or travel plan.

BONUSDOLLARS can also be used to purchase merchandise from a catalogue of nearly 475 items, either in their entirety or in combination with a Desjardins credit card payment. The merchandise available includes items from Burberry, Cuisinart, Dyson, Apple, Bose and more. You can also use BONUSDOLLARS to purchase gift cards from Tanguay, Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Indigo, Golf Town and more.

Plus, BONUSDOLLARS can be used to cover tickets for concerts, theatre, tourist attractions, museums, amusement parks, zoos, circuses, carnivals and movie theatres within 60 days of buying them. Finally, BONUSDOLLARS can be redeemed to acquire Desjardins financial products and services. Redemption for any reward starts at a minimum of 20 BONUSDOLLARS ($20).

General Motors Loyalty ProgramGM Earnings

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $1.00

Covers Taxes and Fees: Partially. GM Earnings covers all taxes, but doesn’t cover costs associated with licensing, registration, insurance, dealer fees, accessories, additional options, extended warranties, maintenance, service plans and other services such as OnStar and SiriusXM.

Expiration: No, but if your account is cancelled or the primary cardholder dies, you have 90 days to use your Earnings before they are forfeited.

Transferability: Yes. BuyPower members in the U.S. can transfer their balance one time to GM Earnings in Canada. The amount will be based on the currency exchange rate at the time of transfer and not the previous existing balance. Earnings can also be transferred to a supplementary cardholder or immediate family member of the primary cardholder.

Redemption: You can redeem your earnings balance toward the purchase price or lease down payment of an eligible new GMC, Buick, Cadillac or Chevrolet. Five per cent of the first $10,000 in purchases on a Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite Card can be redeemed as Earnings and then two per cent after that. For a regular GM Visa Card, Earnings are redeemed as five per cent of $5,000 with everything else being equal.

Apply for these cards that accrue GM earnings:
Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite Card (or read our review of the card here)
Scotiabank GM Visa Card

Harley-Davidson Genuine Rewards

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.01

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes

Expiration: None, but points are forfeited upon account closure. For U.S. residents, points expire on December 31st, three years after they were first awarded. This expiration does not appear to apply to Canadian cardholders.

Transferability: None 

Redemption:

  • Harley-Davidson Genuine Rewards can be redeemed in 2,500-point increments for $25 gift cards of Harley-Davidson Chrome Cash, which can be redeemed for Harley-Davidson MotorClothes apparel, Genuine Motor accessories and service at any Harley-Davidson retailer in Canada.

Apply for these credit cards that earn Harley-Davidson Genuine Rewards:

The MBNA Canada Harley-Davidson MasterCard

MBNA Loyalty ProgramMBNA Rewards

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.01

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes.

Expiration: None!

Transferability: None ☹

Redemption:

  • MBNA Rewards points can be redeemed for any airline, hotel, car or other travel expense.
  • Points can be redeemed retroactively after the charges appear on your credit card, but you will need at least 10,000 points ($100 + the value of the sign-up bonus) to redeem. You have up to nine months from incurring a charge to redeem points against it.
  • Points can also be redeemed for cash back toward your statement balance. The cash back redemption value of a point is the same as its regular value: $0.01
  • Points are also redeemable for merchandise from Google Home, Breville, Motorola and Hitatchi in a variety of categories including toys, electronics, tools, housewares and appliances.
  • Gift certificates are available from Starbucks, American Eagle Outfitters, Esso, Best Buy and Home Sense.
  • There’s also an MBNA Rewards eMall where shoppers can earn reward points at various increments per dollar (depending on the retailer) as long as they shop online at retailers like Expedia, Microsoft, 1-800-Flowers, eBay and Saks Fifth Avenue through the MBNA online portal.

Meridian Loyalty Program

Meridian Cash Back Rewards

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.01

Covers Taxes and Fees: No

Expiration: Points don’t expire, but when an account is cancelled points are terminated right away with no redemption window prior to expiry.

Transferability: Points can only be transferred between credit card accounts participating in the program. Points cannot be transferred to other loyalty programs outside of Meridian.

Redemption:

  • Redeem for statement credit toward your credit card balance.
  • Redeem points for merchandise in a variety of product categories including appliances, beauty, fitness & sports, jewellery & fashion, bed, bath and home, electronics, tools, Hudson’s Bay Company, outdoor living and more. The brands available include Kitchen Aid, Marc Jacobs, Dyson, Benelli, Hathaway, Garmin, GoPro, Lego, Funko and more.
  • Redeem points for special event tickets for sports like Blue Jays baseball, NHL hockey, Raptors basketball, Golf, theatre performances, Cirque Du Soleil, live concerts and comedy performances.
  • Redeem points for gift cards from restaurants like Earl’s, Casey’s, East Side Mario’s, Jack Astor’s, The Keg and Red Lobster and retailers like Banana Republic, Chapters-Indigo, Cineplex, Foot Locker, Home Hardware, The Gap and more.
  • Visa Infinite customers may receive additional benefits including concierge service, hotel stays, winery tours in Ontario and British Columbia and special dining experiences in major cities

National Bank Loyalty ProgramNational Bank À la Carte Rewards

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.01

Covers Taxes and Fees: No

Expiration: Points don’t expire while the account is active. If you cancel your account or it remains idle for 6 months, you have 30 days to exchange your points before they expire.

Transferability: Not transferable to other rewards programs, but points can be combined if you hold two credit cards in the À la Carte Rewards program. They can also be transferred to a spouse, common law partner or named successor within 12 months of the primary card holder’s death. Business cardholders can transfer their rewards to their personal card if both cards include the À la Carte Rewards Program.

Redemption:

  • Redeem for statement credit toward your credit card balance
  • Redeem toward investment vehicle contributions or banking packages at National Bank
  • Redeem for discounts on flights purchased through the À la Carte Travel Agency in $100 increments. Business, Platinum Business, World, World Elite and Platinum cardholders can book directly through the airline and travel agency of their choice and receive a credit within 60 days of booking on your credit card.
  • Redeem for merchandise from brands like Garmin, Oakley, Coleman, Apple, Cuisinart, Bose, Google and more.
  • Redeem for gift cards from Costco, Winners, Old Navy, Saks Fifth Avenue, The Home Depot and more.
  • Make donations to the Breast Cancer Foundation, the Canadian Red Cross and Diabetes Quebec.

Apply for this National Bank card that earns rewards:

National Bank World Elite Mastercard

PC Optimum Loyalty ProgramPC Optimum

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.001 

Covers Taxes: Yes 

Expiration: Points don’t expire during active membership, but if your account is inactive for two years, your account will be canceled and your points will expire. PC Points and Shoppers Optimum Points expire February 1, 2018 to be converted to PC Optimum points.

Transferability: None. However, you can link your PC points and Shoppers Optimum points after February 1, 2018 by visiting pcplus.ca and signing up for a PC Optimum account where they will automatically be converted to PC Optimum points.

Redemption – There are a few things you should know about redeeming PC points with the advent of the PC Optimum system

  • The minimum redemption rate for the new PC Optimum system is 10,000 points, versus 20,000 with the old PC Plus.
  • PC Optimum now takes 10,000 PC Optimum points to reach a $10 credit, versus 8,000 with the old Optimum Program.
  • Redeem your PC Optimum points for free groceries or dollars off on your grocery bill.
  • At Shoppers Drug Mart, members will receive 15 points for every dollar spent compared to 10 points for every dollar under the old Optimum program.

Apply for these credit cards in the PC loyalty rewards program:
PC Financial World Elite Mastercard (or read our review of the card here)
PC Financial Mastercard

RBC Loyalty ProgramRBC Rewards (Avion) 

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.0114 (average, when redeeming according to the Air Travel Redemption Schedule on Avion)

$0.01 (when redeeming for airline tickets within 14 days of departure as a travel reward and for everything else like merchandise, cruises, car rentals, vacation packages or one-way business or first-class airfare)

RBC Rewards don’t have a consistent point value when redeeming for flights over 14 days from departure. The value is based on flight regions and the actual prices of flights in those regions. These regions include the following:

  • Short-haul Canada/U.S.
  • Long-haul Canada/U.S.
  • Europe
  • Long-haul Asia/Australia/New Zealand
  • West Coast to Cancun/Honolulu and East Coast to Punta Cana
  • West Coast to Punta Cana and East Coast to Cancun/Honolulu

The number above was derived from the total average point value (and points required) for three flights in those six regions. The average from each region was then totalled again to give the total average point value overall.

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes. The RBC Avion Program (an extension of RBC Rewards covering travel) does cover taxes, insurance and surcharges at a ratio of 100 reward points to $1 of tax.

Expiration: Points don’t expire during active membership, but they do expire 90 days after closing an account.

Transferability: RBC Rewards can convert into other reward programs like:

  • HBC Rewards (members receive 1,000 HBC Rewards for every 500 RBC Rewards – the minimum required for conversion)
  • WestJet Dollars (100 RBC Rewards to one WestJet dollar)
  • British Airways Avios points (1:1)
  • American Airlines AAdvantage Miles (10 RBC Rewards: 7 Advantage Miles)
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (1:1).

Once RBC Rewards are converted into another rewards program, they cannot be converted back.

Redemption:

  • Redeem from any airline in the world on any flight at any time if you have an Avion card. All other RBC Rewards cards redeem everything at a 100 points = $1 ratio.
  • Purchase merchandise from Apple, Best Buy, T-Fal and Breville.
  • Pay down your credit card balance
  • Donate to charity
  • Purchase a gift card from Apple, Bass Pro, Montanas or Best Buy
  • Apply toward an RBC Financial Rewards Voucher for registered and unregistered financial products at a rate of 120 points per $1.00. A minimum of 12,000 points ($100.00) must be redeemed. Points can also be applied retroactively to travel expenses on your credit card

Apply for these credit cards that ear RBC travel rewards:
RBC Visa Infinite Avion
RBC Rewards+ Visa.

Scene Loyalty ProgramScotiabank SCENE

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: Different screenings have different admission prices, so the value of a Scene point changes according to the screening type you redeem the point for. See our table below for a breakdown:

Screening TypeTicket Price (tax incl.)/
Point Cost
CAD $ Value
Per Point
Tuesday General Admission$7.99/1,000 points$0.008
General Admission$12.99/1,000 points$0.013
3D/Ultra AVX$15.99/1,500 points$0.0107
IMAX$18.99/1,500 points$0.0127
VIP$19.99/2,000 points$0.010
D-Box$20.50/1,500 points$0.0137

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes, Scene points cover taxes on movie admission prices regardless of format. 

Expiration: Not for active members, but points do expire if you haven’t used your account for two consecutive years. 

Transferability: None

Redemption: Scene points can be redeemed for movie tickets at various screening experience levels that Cineplex movie theatres offer. A basic general admission costs 1,000 Scene points. If you want higher quality screenings, the amount of points necessary increases from there.

  • Redeem Scene points for a “Super Ticket,” which allows you to receive a digital streaming copy of the movie you bought a ticket for that can be accessed through the Cineplex website for as long as the site remains active.
  • Redeem Scene points for X-Box parties or WWE Pay Per Views at Cineplex theatres
  • You can also redeem Scene points for discounts on snacks and food at the movie theatre. A total of 500 Scene points gets you 10 per cent off snacks.
  • Redeem for $10 off at restaurants like Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s, Milestones or Eastside Mario’s and at live sporting events such as Blue Jays baseball games.

Apply for these cards that earn Scene points:
Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card (or read our review of the card here)

Scotiabank Rewards

Scotiabank Loyalty ProgramSingle Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.01.

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes.

Expiration: No expiration for active members, but points expire 60 days after account closure.

Transferability: Scotia Rewards can be transferred to the Scotiabank Scene Points Program and Scene Points can be turned into Scotia Rewards Points at a ratio of 1,000 Scotia Rewards Points to 770 Scene Points or 1,000 Scene Points: 950 Scotia Rewards Points . Points can be transferred up to four times in a 24-hour period. Reward points can also be transferred between multiple Scotia Rewards credit or debit cards at a ratio of 1:1.

Redemption:

  • Redeem for air travel via multiple airlines or directly through Scotiabank’s proprietary travel agency.
  • Apply as a payment method on previously booked trips not organized through Scotiabank.
  • Merchandise from brands such as Apple, Best Buy, KitchenAid and Dyson or tourist experiences from CityPass. For the full list, click here.
  • Gift cards from vendors such as Cineplex, Esso, Canadian Tire, Apple, Best Buy and Great Wolf Lodge.
  • Apply as a credit on statement balances

Rewards must be redeemed at a minimum of 5,000 points per redemption on travel and converted at a minimum of 1,000 points per redemption for Scene Points.

Apply for these Scotiabank cards that earn Scotia Rewards:

Scotiabank Gold American Express (or read our review of the card here)
Scotiabank American Express (or read our review of the card here)
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

SPG Loyalty ProgramStarwood Preferred Guest (Starpoints)

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: $0.01 (benchmark estimate of fair value)

With so many different factors affecting the value of Starpoints—like hotel property, category, and season—it’s impossible to assign an accurate dollar value to a single point. That being said, we can look at it from a ‘fair value’ perspective.

When making a redemption, simply take the actual, real-world cost of the hotel stay and divide it by the number of points it takes you to get that free night. Use $0.01 per point as a benchmark for what makes a worthwhile redemption. E.g. if it takes 25,000 points to claim a free night at a hotel that would normally cost $300, that’s a decent rate of $0.012 per point. On the other hand, if it takes 25,000 points to claim a free night that would normally cost $200, that’s a less desirable rate of $0.008. In that circumstance you’re probably better off paying cash and saving your points for later.

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes, but any local tourism, city, state, and country taxes will need to be paid out of pocket. Depending on which property you stay at, you may also have to pay resort fees.

Expiration: Your points expire after one year of inactivity. Since you can earn points at restaurants within SPG and Marriott properties, it’s relatively easy to keep your account active.

Transferability

Starpoints can be transferred to a number of frequent flyer programs around the world at a 3:1 ratio, including:

  • Aeroplan
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • Asia Miles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • British Airways

SPG also has an ongoing promotion where if you transfer 60,000 points to an airline partner, you get an additional bonus of 5,000 miles. This effectively makes the transfer ratio 2.4:1.

There are a few other airlines you can transfer your points to at a lower ratio, so you’d have to check online to see how many points it’ll cost you before completing your transaction.

Redemption:

  • Redeem for free hotel stays at 6,500+ SPG and Marriott Rewards properties in over 120 countries without blackout dates. Some of the brands include Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Renaissance, Sheraton, Westin, Delta, W, St. Regis, AC Hotel, Aloft, Residence Inn and more.
  • Hotels can be booked using a combination of points and cash. The exact combination of the two varies by hotel, location, and category. You also have the option to make a reservation even if you don’t have enough points available at select hotels. You just need to have the total points available by the time your reservation takes place.
  • Redeem your points for Marriott Moments which are exclusive experiences for loyalty members. Moments include events such as seeing the Super Bowl, diving with sharks, or private dining hosted by celebrity chefs.

Apply for these cards that earn Starpoints:
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card (or read our review of the card here)

TD Loyalty ProgramTD Rewards  

Single Point Canadian Dollar Value: When redeeming for cash credit on your statement, the first 10,000 point minimum is worth $0.005 per point and then each additional 400 points is worth $1.00; When booking your own travel, 250 points is worth $1 up to the first 300,000 points ($1,200). Over that, 200 points equal $1.00; When you book travel with Expedia, each point is worth $0.005.

Covers Taxes and Fees: Yes.

Expiration: Points do not expire, but if you close your TD account you have 90 days to redeem your points for travel expenses already charged to your account.

Transferability: None whatsoever.

Redemption:

  • Redeem for travel through Expedia for TD. You redeem 200 points for every dollar spent on Expedia.
  • You can also “Book Any Way” (travel booked through providers other than Expedia) with 250 points redeemed for every dollar spent up to the first $1,200 and then 200 points for every dollar spent after that. If you are booking with a travel provider other than Expedia online or by phone, you have 90 days to call TD and receive a full credit towards your travel expenses. Any travel service provider or airline is eligible.
  • Redeem for merchandise from online retailers like Roots, Zara, Saks Fifth Avenue, Keurig and more. Gift cards from brands like Bed, Bath and Beyond, Bass Pro Shops, Best Buy and Apple Music are also available.
  • TD Rewards can be used to pay down your credit card balance, but you must redeem a minimum of 10,000 points to complete the request. Then, every 400 points you redeem on top of that equals an additional $1 of cash credit on that same payment request. However, you cannot use TD Rewards as a replacement of your monthly minimum payment. You can only use TD Rewards for statement credit on top of a minimum already paid in cash.
  • Redeem points toward a tuition or student loan payment in $250 increments (worth 62,500 points) through HigherEdPoints.com.

Did We Miss Something?

Whew, that’s a lot of info! We might need to catch our breath for a moment. But we’re always game to do additional research and include more content on our site if it helps our readers.

Do you use a rewards/loyalty program that’s not on this list? Email us and let us know that you’d like to see it covered here!

Article comments

2 comments
Michel C says:

Well, very well done research thank you. All in all it seems points are pretty much all valued around 0.01$ or less unles someone has the time needed to tap each little specific bonuses of each program! Anyone out there who has that kind of free time? There are pennies to earn 🙂

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Michel,

We appreciate your shout out, thanks! It’s always nice to get good feedback. In this case, you’re correct: Most banks value their points at about $0.01 each, or less. This makes it easy to do a percentage comparison with single-dollar purchases. For example, if you get one point for every dollar spent, and each is worth $0.01, that’s 1.00%. It’s just a convenient way to get perspective.

In our Loyalty Program Bible, we’ve tried to go as far as possible to compare the various perks, fees, and other factors inherent in any card, not just its value per point. No matter how long it takes us, saving pennies on every dollar is very much worth the trouble.

GreedyRates