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.
Monetary value of reward points per program
|PROGRAM||VALUE IN ¢||Main categories||How to earn points|
|Aeroplan Rewards||1.7||Travel||Register to the Aeroplan program|
Use a credit card such as the Aeroplan American Express
|AIR MILES Rewards||10.5||Travel||Use a credit card like the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard|
|American Express Membership Rewards||0.7-1.3||Travel, Shopping||Get an American Express credit card like the American Express Cobalt card|
|Rewards Zone (Laurentian Bank)||1.0||Shopping||Get a Laurentian Bank credit card|
|À la carte Rewards (National Bank)||0.4-1.0||Travel, Financial products, Eco-friendly rewards||Use a credit card like the National Bank Platinum Mastercard|
|Scene Plus Rewards||1.0||Shopping, Entertainment||Use the no-fee Scotiabank Visa Scene card|
|BMO Rewards||0.5-0.7||Travel, Financial products, Shopping||Use a credit card like BMO’s Ascend World Elite|
|Capital One Rewards||1.0||Account credit, Gift cards, Travel||Use a Capital One credit card|
|CIBC Aventura Rewards||1.7||Travel||Get the no-fee Visa Aventura CIBC|
|BONUSDOLLARS Rewards||100||Travel, Restaurants, Donations||Pick a Desjardins credit card|
|HSBC Rewards Plan||0.5||Travel, Shopping||Shop with the HSBC World Elite Mastercard credit card|
|Marriott Bonvoy Rewards||0.8||Marriott expenses||Use the Marriott Bonvoy American Express credit card|
|MBNA Rewards||0.9||Shopping, Gift cards||Shop with the MBNA Platinum Plus Rewards credit card|
|moi Rewards Program||0.8||Groceries, Drug stores||Get your moi card|
Use the moi RBC Visa credit card
|PC Optimum||0.1||Groceries, Drug stores, Gas||Apply for a PC Optimum card|
Use a PC Finance Mastercard credit card
|RBC Avion Rewards||2.0||Travel, Shopping||Register for the Value Program|
Get an RBC Avion Visa Infinite credit card
|Second Cup Rewards||0.9-1.2||Coffee||Create your account in the Second Cup app|
|Starbucks Rewards||2.0-5.0||Coffee||Create your account in the Starbucks app|
|TD Rewards||0.5||Travel, Shopping||Use a TD Rewards credit card|
|Tims Rewards||0.5||Coffee, Meals||Create an account in the Tims app|
|Expedia Rewards||1.0||Travel||Reach higher member status (Silver, Gold) for more discounts|
|Mileage Plan||1.6||Travel||Get an Alaska Airlines credit card|
|Avios||0.8-1.5||Travel||Join one of the following programs: AER Club, British Airways Executive Club, Vueling Club, Iberia Plus|
Use the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite
|Hilton Honors||0.5||Hotels||Use a Hilton affiliated credit card|
Why should I know the value of my points?
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 the number of points needed to redeem a flight, the other rewards offered, welcome bonuses and how to earn points.
How to choose a rewards program?
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. Besides the value of the points, take into account how you can earn them. Will you find it easy to collect your points? Is there a welcome offer to give you a boost?
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, usually a discount on the price of an item or service.
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.
FAQs about reward points value
Each Aeroplan point is worth approximately 1.7 cents ($0.17).
AIR MILES are worth 10.5 cents ($0.105) each.
For all rewards programs, you can count the number of points needed to get an item at a given price. In the case of Marriott Bonvoy, we arrive at a value of approximately 0.8 cents per point ($0.008).
For any rewards program, start by checking the terms and conditions. Sometimes, the value of a point is clearly indicated. If not, calculate the number of points you’ll need to purchase the items whose prices are displayed. Repeat the process for all reward categories, giving you an average or range of dollar value for 1 point.
American Express rewards points are worth between 0.7 and 1.3 cents each ($0.007 – $0.013), depending on the reward category.
Avion points are worth approximately 2 cents each ($0.02). Also use other air travel hacks.
Avios points are worth between 0.8 and 1.5 cents each. Also use other air travel hacks.
Hilton Honors points are worth 0.5 cents each ($0.005). Use more air travel hacks to save on airfare.
HSBC Points are worth 0.5 cents each ($0.005). Discover more air travel hacks.
The credit card’s website usually gives the main information, for example if card allows you to accumulate 2x the points. The value of your points may vary depending on the type of credit card reward (travel, entertainment, etc.). The terms and conditions of each program generally allow you to calculate the value of your points. Some redemption values are also displayed on the website, for example when they provide the number of points required to get a free flight of a given maximum value.
Scene Plus points are worth 1 cent each ($0.01).
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