How much are your reward points actually worth? Loyalty programs and rewards credit cards are a great way to save money on your purchases and earn free stuff. But the competition for your cash is fierce and there is no shortage of reward programs to choose from. The redemption value of your reward points will differ considerably across credit cards and retailers. How quickly you earn reward points, number of points per redemption, and what you can use them for is only part of the equation. The other part depends on your needs, preferences, and shopping habits. It’s hard to know if you’re getting the best value for your money. That’s why we calculated the reward points value for some of Canada’s most popular programs, so you don’t have to. Get the best bang for your buck and never miss another great deal.
|COMPANY||PROGRAM||VALUE IN ¢*||Category|
|Air Canada – Aeroplan||Aeroplan Rewards||1.7||Travel and Hotels|
|Air Miles||AIR MILES Rewards||10.8||Travel and Shopping|
|Alaska Airlines||Mileage Plan Rewards||1.6||Travel|
|American Express||American Express Membership Rewards||1.4||Travel, Shopping and Hotels|
|Laurentian Bank of Canada||Rewards Zone||1.0||Shopping|
|National Bank of Canada||À la carte Rewards||0.9||Travel|
|Scotiabank||Scene Plus Rewards||1.0||Shopping and Entertainment|
|BMO – Banque de Montréal||BMO Rewards||0.5||Travel and Shopping|
|Capital One||Capital One Rewards||0.8||Travel, Shopping and Discounts|
|CIBC||CIBC Aventura Rewards||1.3||Travel|
|Cinema Guzzo||Club Guzzo Rewards||100.0||Leisure|
|Desjardins||BONUSDOLLARS Rewards||100.0||Travel, Entertainment, Restaurants and Discounts|
|HSBC||HSBC Rewards Plan||0.5||Travel and Shopping|
|Marriott||Marriott Bonvoy Rewards||0.8||Marriott Hotels and Services|
|PLASTK||Plastk Rewards||0.4||Travel, Shopping, Entertainment and Discounts|
|President’s Choice||PC Optimum||0.1||Shopping and Grocery|
|RBC||RBC POINTS Rewards||1.1||Travel and Shopping|
|SCENE||SCENE POINTS Rewards||1.1||Leisure|
|Second Cup||Second Cup Rewards||0.3||Coffee|
|Starbucks||Starbucks Rewards||4.0||Coffee, Shopping|
|TD Canada Trust||TD Rewards||0.5||Travel and Shopping|
|Tim Hortons||Tims Rewards||2.0||Coffee|
Why should I know the value of my points and miles?
Rewards programs like AIR MILES and Aeroplan have been around for quite a long time. It is relatively easy to get an idea about the monetary value of your points. However, reward program offers and redemption values have grown and shifted rapidly over the past few years. This may make it difficult to evaluate a program based on a single reward.
This highlights the need to compare rewards programs. In any comparison of these programs, it is helpful to consider some of the following:
- The proportion of points needed to redeem a flight;
- The monetary value of the points according to how you redeem the points (travel, entertainment, etc.);
- The rewards offered
- Introductory offers
- The rate at which you earn points
The table above gives you an approximation of the value of a point in cents (¢). This allows you to discover which program offers the most value or to better plan redeeming your rewards points.
With all the rewards programs available, how do you choose?
There are many rewards programs out there and it can be difficult to find the right one for you. These offer a variety of benefits, but how do you know which one is right for you?
The first step would be to determine what type of rewards program you want. Do you want a points-based program that offers discounts on airfare or hotels? Or would a cash back or cash equivalent program better suit your needs? Once you’ve made that decision, it’s easier to figure out which specific programs offer the most relevant type of reward for you.
What is the difference between rewards points and cash back?
The value of your rewards points varies depending on the type of program you are enrolled in. If you’re part of a points-based program, you earn points on your purchases and redeem them for rewards like cash or gift cards.
If you are part of a cashback program, your rewards points will depend on the cashback amount or percentage. Some programs offer better value than others and it is worth clicking on the links in the table above to see if there are any additional or special offers before deciding which program you want to join.