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.

COMPANYPROGRAMVALUE IN ¢*Category
Air Canada – AeroplanAeroplan Rewards1.7Travel and Hotels
Air MilesAIR MILES Rewards10.8Travel and Shopping
Alaska AirlinesMileage Plan Rewards1.6Travel
American ExpressAmerican Express Membership Rewards1.4Travel, Shopping and Hotels
Laurentian Bank of CanadaRewards Zone1.0Shopping
National Bank of CanadaÀ la carte Rewards0.9Travel
ScotiabankScene Plus Rewards1.0Shopping and Entertainment
BMO – Banque de MontréalBMO Rewards0.5Travel and Shopping
Capital OneCapital One Rewards0.8Travel, Shopping and Discounts
CIBCCIBC Aventura Rewards1.3Travel
Cinema GuzzoClub Guzzo Rewards100.0Leisure
DesjardinsBONUSDOLLARS Rewards100.0Travel, Entertainment, Restaurants and Discounts
HSBCHSBC Rewards Plan0.5Travel and Shopping
MarriottMarriott Bonvoy Rewards0.8Marriott Hotels and Services
MBNAMBNA Rewards1.0Shopping
PLASTKPlastk Rewards0.4Travel, Shopping, Entertainment and Discounts
President’s ChoicePC Optimum0.1Shopping and Grocery
RBCRBC POINTS Rewards1.1Travel and Shopping
SCENESCENE POINTS Rewards1.1Leisure
Second CupSecond Cup Rewards0.3Coffee
StarbucksStarbucks Rewards4.0Coffee, Shopping
TD Canada TrustTD Rewards0.5Travel and Shopping
Tim HortonsTims Rewards2.0Coffee

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
  • etc.

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.