More and more banks are offering rewards programs to their customers. The objective is of course to retain them, but also to thank them for their confidence in their various products and services. With all the programs and credit cards available to Canadians, it can be difficult to navigate. 

The National Bank of Canada is no exception to the rule and offers the À la carte rewards plan. This loyalty program was previously known as National Bank rewards. Although not the most generous program on the market, travel enthusiasts are delighted by the possibility of flying away with their points. 

In this article, we will demystify the different features of the À la Carte plan. The goal is for you to be able to make a smart choice by understanding the program’s various advantages and disadvantages.

How to accumulate À la Carte Rewards points

There is only one way to accumulate points with the À la Carte Rewards plan: you must have one of the credit cards associated with the program. We will return to this later, but in any case, the program lets you accumulate up to two points per dollar of purchase. The National Bank offers you three different cards that correspond to different financial situations and needs.

Maximize your rewards

In order to accumulate points more quickly, and therefore maximize your rewards, we suggest that you pay for all your eligible purchases with your National Bank credit card. You can also authorize your recurring payments, such as your cellphone or electricity bill, to come directly out of your card. 

For even more points accumulation, you can share your account with a loved one, such as your spouse. This way, all family expenses are paid from the same account, and you can track day-to-day expenses and earn points faster.

What to do with your National Bank rewards points

The National Bank of Canada offers you different ways to redeem your points. You can, among other things, treat yourself to travel, buy tickets to La Ronde, get cash back and more. Here are some details and advantages of the various points redemption possibilities. 

À la Carte travel

The National Bank provides you access to its travel agency, the À la Carte travel agency, powered by Transat. You can shop and for trips there and pay for them using your accumulated points. If you can’t cover the full amount with your points, you can pay the balance of the trip with your credit card. Every 10,000 points is worth $100 in travel. 

Credits the account for travel expenses

You can also use your points to cover the various expenses of your trip such as hotel nights, car rentals, airfare, etc. In this situation, you must use your card to pay for the service directly with the supplier, and once the amount has been charged, redeem your points. You have 60 days to carry out the transaction in order to cover the amount with your accumulated points. Here, you’ll need approximately 25,000 points to cover every $100 spent.

Eligible purchases are:

  • Airline tickets and hotel accommodations
  • Vacation packages
  • Car rentals
  • Cruises
  • Airbnb reservations
  • Outdoor activities such as camping and excursions
  • Tourism-related rental reservations
  • And much more!

Other ways to exchange

You also get access to a catalogue featuring different products, a platform with several gift cards, a variety of experiences, the possibility of using your points for National Bank financial products, donation suggestions, and more. The value of your points depends on the reward you choose. In addition, according to GratteCenne, the rewards program specialist, the average value of a point is 0.9 cents.

As you’ve probably figured out, the most advantageous way to use your points is through the À la carte travel agency. 

Here is a real-life example: If you redeem 25,000 points for a trip, you get a credit of $250. If, however, you decide to exchange your 25,000 points for an account credit, you get a reduction of $100. This is a major difference, which is why we suggest that you use your points for travel. After all, it’s a great way to treat yourself to a vacation.

 

Points Redemption Points Redeemed Points Value
À la carte travel agency 25,000 $250
Account credit 25,000 $100

The best credit cards with which to accumulate National Bank reward points

In order to accumulate points, the National Bank of Canada offers you three different credit cards. You should consider that the cards associated with the program have fairly high interest rates, i.e. 20.99% on eligible purchases and 22.49% on cash advances. Moreover, for cash advances, you should know that interest begins to accumulate as soon as the transaction is completed. For savings purposes, we therefore advise you to avoid making withdrawals with your credit card. 

Fortunately, the National Bank offers additional benefits, like extended warranties on your purchases, travel insurance and more. Below you will see the main characteristics of the different cards.

National Bank World Elite Mastercard

Annual fee: $150

Interest rate on purchases: 20.99%

Interest rate on cash advances: 22.49%

Minimum income required: $80,000 for the applicant or $150,000 in family income

Accumulate up to two points per dollar of purchase. The accrual varies based on your net spending over 12 months. 

  • From zero to $40,000 dollars spent = 1.5 points per dollar spent
  • From $40,001 to $80,000 spent = 2 points per dollar spent
  • From $80,001 and more spent = 1.5 points per dollar spent

Other benefits

  • A $250 reimbursement of travel expenses
  • Extended warranty on your purchases
  • Unlimited access to the National Bank Lounge at Montréal-Trudeau airport
  • Comprehensive travel insurance

National Bank World Mastercard

Annual fee: $115

Interest rate on purchases: 20.99%

Interest rate on cash advances: 22.49%

Minimum income required: $60,000 for the applicant or $100,000 of family income

National Bank rewards points accumulation

Accumulate up to two points per dollar of purchase. The accrual varies based on your net spending over 12 months. 

  • From zero to $20,000 spent = 1.25 points per dollar spent
  • From $20,001 to $30,000 spent: 2 points per dollar spent
  • From $30,001 and more spent: 1.25 points per dollar spent

Other benefits

  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Extended warranty on your purchases

National Bank Platinum Mastercard

Annual fee: $89

Interest rate on purchases: 20.99%

Interest rate on cash advances: 22.49%

Minimum income required: None

National Bank rewards points accumulation

  • Accumulate one point per dollar spent

Other benefits

  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Purchase protection

When it comes to choosing a credit card, it’s important to consider all of the options available to you. The goal is to choose a product that matches your financial situation while meeting your needs. To help you find your way around, we invite you to use Hardbacon’s credit card comparator. This is a completely free and customizable tool that recommends credit cards based on your lifestyle. 

The program’s features

Sometimes the benefits of a rewards program go beyond earning points. In fact, by joining a program, or in this case getting a credit card, there are often several additional benefits available. In this case, if you hold a National Bank World Elite Mastercard, you get $250 in travel expenses free each year. In addition, with this same card, members get access to the National Bank Lounge at Montréal-Trudeau airport. This gives you access to drinks, snacks, Wi-Fi and more, among other things. 

Fans of the program are also happy to learn that their points never expire. It’s simple, as long as your account is in good standing, your points are still valid. If you decide to cancel your card, you’ll have 30 days to use your points.

Program overview

How to earn National Bank rewards points The only way to accumulate points is to have one of the program’s credit cards
Pay for all your daily purchases with your card
Authorize recurring payments on your card
Give an additional card to someone you trust, such as your spouse
What to do with your National Bank rewards points Use them with the À la carte travel agency
Credit the account
Make donations
Shop the product catalogue
Buy gift cards Enjoy experiences Etc.
Credit cards with National Bank rewards points Mastercard World EliteMastercard
WorldPlatinum Mastercard
Special features of the program Depending on the card chosen, there’s the possibility of getting a $250 travel credit
Depending on the card chosen, get access to the National Bank Lounge at Montréal-Trudeau airport
As long as your account is open, your points do not expire
Program benefits Very easy to accumulate points, just use your card to pay for your everyday expenses
Advantageous point valuation to purchase travel

 

Reward programs are numerous in Quebec and the majority of banks now offer credit cards that enable you to accumulate points. The major advantage that appeals to discount enthusiasts is that you can accumulate points through several different programs on a single purchase. For example, you can pay for your groceries at IGA using your National Bank Platinum Mastercard while presenting your Air Miles card to the cashier. This way, you accumulate points in two programs simultaneously.
Although the interest rates for credit cards linked to the National Bank rewards plan program are quite high, the program is very simple. This is a criterion that pleases many followers of rewards programs. If you’re still in doubt, we invite you to use Hardbacon’s credit card comparison tool, which could greatly facilitate your decision.

How would you like to earn hundreds of dollars in rewards?

Find the best credit card for your needs


Find the best card