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Which loyalty cards offer the best rewards in Canada?

Loyalty Programs Canada

Watergirl73 posted about these Canadian loyalty cards rewards on FlyersCoupons and I thought I’d share it with SC readers!

Which loyalty card offers the best rewards?
by MoneySense staff originally posted on Yahoo Finance

Here are the cards to use — and avoid

A lot of retailers want you to carry their loyalty card in your wallet or purse, but how much are their mysterious points actually worth? We crunched the numbers for seven major Canadian retail loyalty programs to find out.

To come up with our ranking, we calculated how many dollars worth of points you get after presenting your card at the check-out for purchases totalling $100. We excluded special promotions and loyalty programs that are linked to credit cards, and we just looked at easy-to-price items, such as gift cards, to evaluate the redemption value for points.

What did we find? The rewards vary wildly, with Shoppers Drug Mart offering five times the bang for your buck as Petro-Canada. Here’s the list, from best to worst.

Shoppers Optimum

Dollar value of the points you get for spending a hundred bucks: $1.70
Value of one point: 0.17¢
Point redemption offer: 15,000 points gets you a $25 credit at Shoppers Drug Mart

Best Buy Reward Zone

Dollar value of the points you get for spending a hundred bucks: $1.25
Value of one point: 1.25¢
Point redemption offer: 400 points gets you a $5 credit at Best Buy

Air Miles

Dollar value of the points you get for spending a hundred bucks: 67¢
Value of one reward mile: 13¢
Point redemption offer: The most common earning rate is one reward mile for every $20 spent. We based the redemption rate on 150 points for a $20 dollar Rona gift certificate

HBC Rewards

Dollar value of the points you get for spending a hundred bucks: 63¢
Value of one point: 0.0125¢
Point redemption offer: 200,000 points gets you a $25 HBC gift card

Esso Extra

Dollar value of the points you get for spending a hundred bucks: 56¢
Value of one point: 0.56¢
Point redemption offer: 1,800 points gets you $10 worth of gas at Esso

Canadian Tire money

Dollar value of the points you get for spending a hundred bucks: 50¢
Value of one Canadian Tire dollar: $1
Point redemption offer: You get half a cent in Canadian Tire paper money—and now coins—for every dollar you spend, and you redeem them at par

Petro Canada’s Petro Points

Dollar value of the points you get for spending a hundred bucks: 33¢
Value of one point: 0.07¢
Point redemption offer: 15,000 points gets you a $10 Petro-Canada fuel credit

[Source: Yahoo Finance & MoneySense]

21 responses to “Which loyalty cards offer the best rewards in Canada?”

  1. rainbow says:

    Your math seems to be a bit lacking. You say that if Shoppers Drug mart gives you $1.70 for spending $100, then a point is worth 0.17 cents, yet you say that if Best Buy gives you $1.25 (i.e., less) for $100, then their points are worth 1.25 cents (i.e. more) than Shoppers Drug Mart. Either that means that Shoppers points are worth $1.70 or Best Buy points are worth 0.125 cents.

  2. bambinoitaliano says:

    What’s taken into consideration should also base on products frequency consumption. One would need to shop at a drug store more often than an electronic appliance store.

  3. Janine says:

    Thanks for the info….very usefull and Im pretty sure I can figure out the math myself :)

  4. Slamjam says:

    @rainbow – this was posted on Yahoo Finance – Not Boo Radley, it wasn’t Boo’s math.

    Anyways – this is a friends analysis.
    Shoppers is 10points for every dollar spent. And you need 15,000 points to receive $25 if you don’t factor in multipliers. You need to spend $1,500 dollars to get $25 back.

    For the Scene point card – Assume its $10 a movie ticket. You need to spend $100 to receive 1000 points…which is equivalent to one redemption ($10). So to receive $25 equivalent, you only need to spend $250 dollars, compared to $1500 dollars at shoppers.

  5. sweetmomma says:

    Very interesting!

  6. sara says:

    I did a credit card analysis a year or two ago after realizing how poor the redemption rate was for my airmiles. I looked at the annual fee, point offering and how many points were required for $20/$50 gcs. This allowed me to do an apples to apples comparison. Based on my monthly spending, stores frequented and what i wanted to use the points for, the Capital One travel rewards and cash back cards were the best deals for me. Sears mc was pretty good too.

  7. Karen says:

    I find the PC Points really good. You can get a PC credit card and earn the points on all purchases at any store. You can rack up points pretty quickly even with gas and bills.

  8. kelly says:

    Funny, this article from yahoo finance seems to be getting alot of coverage – I actually wrote about it yesterday too.

  9. operabob says:

    The problem with these types of analyses is that it fails to take in accounts corporate partnerships.

    While AirMiles cards often do poorly in a straight comparison there corporate product tie – ins can create outstanding value. For example, until July 2 at Safeway it is possible to get more than $100 worth of AirMiles for every $100 spent on Coca-Cola products. This is certainly more than the $0.67 quoted in the article.

  10. Sara says:

    I had read the article, I found it absolutely useless.

  11. Derek says:

    I am assuming that you are only considering base collection. If you watch for deals at Safeway you can rack up the airmiles in no time with bonus airmile deals.

  12. Tracy says:

    Slamjam; you must not know about Shoppers’ 20X the points days. I spent $50, including coupons and sales, got a ton of stuff and 13,000 points. Pretty good value. Shoppers Drug Mart items tend to be pricey, so I made sure to only buy what’s on sale and used coupons on top.

  13. Kim says:

    Most loyalty cards seem to give ~1% back and you can generally get that with no fee
    If you pay attention you can probably improve on that, but the cards that can give you a lot more bang for your buck are usually the travel cards.

    Aeroplan cards usually run $120 a year (visa or amex)

    For simplicity sake I’ll assume someone has one and spends 85K
    Assume that same person redeems a business class ticket at the end of the year with the 85K points.
    The total value: ~$2300
    or close to a 3% return
    – $3000 airline ticket for $700 (taxes and fees + credit card fee).

    If you want even more value assume the person has a card for 2 years, spends 50K a year, then redeems a round the world airline ticket in first class
    $120 * 2 years
    The total value would exceed $10K
    That is about a 10% return, of course this could be even better depending on where you fly

  14. super says:

    hey, the article rank from best to worse, so according to the yahoo web, shopper provided the best value.

    also their calculation was correct,
    the figure of the value per point was calculated by dividing the $ value by the no. of points.

    e.g. for shopper, it was $25/15000 = 0.001666666666
    which is 0.17c

    FYI, i personally used esso, I did went through the same calculation myself, and I find esso + rbc point worked best for me.

  15. kimmiebt says:

    Did anyone calculate Pharmasave loyality cards? When you buy a Pharmasave brand product worth $1.99 or more you get a stamp. You only need TEN stamps to redeem your card for up to a $15.00 Pharmasave product. There are a few restrictions but not many and they are very reasonable. AND Pharmasave gives Air Miles on $10 before taxes, not twenty, and they give Air Miles on most of their Pharmasave products. So, if you bought four PS products costing $2.50 each, you would get four stamps on your card AND you would get FIVE Air Miles. Now that’s a deal.

  16. suzi says:

    Article uses very basic calculations to determine points value.
    If you’re gonna use these points/rewards, you gotta find the deals.

    These are my favourite:

    1) Shoppers: i shop like Tracy – only on 20x points days

    I wait to buy the things i need/want only on bonus days where i can maximize the points i get for all my purchases. Then i wait until they have their extra/bonus $25 or $50 redemption days to use up my accumulated points.

    If i spend $200 x 10 points x 20 bonus = 40.000 points
    You can redeem 40,000 points for $75 + $25 bonus = $100 free stuff!
    That’s $0.50 free for every $1.00 you spend =)

    2) Scene card – Slamjam makes a good point about the movies but it only works out if you only buy movie tickets b/c they give 5x points on movie related purchases…not everyday purchases.

    3) Airmiles: even if you only get 1 airmile for every $20 spent:
    $500 = 25 airmiles
    25 airmiles = buy one movie ticket & get one free ($10 – $12 value)
    For every $100 you spend = $2.00 – $2.40

    But if you wait for the deals…ie/ shop at Metro on their bonus airmiles days, you could rack up multiples of 25 airmiles just from buying everyday grocery items.
    This means lots of Buy One Get One Free Movie Passes.

    4) HBC rewards can be converted to Esso points.
    Esso points are great for:
    Car washes 599 esso points (saves me lots of money)
    Select drinks inside Esso(coke, pepsi, water, etc)- overpriced but if you need a cold, refreshing beverage when you are on the road….when it’s free…it’s perfect!

    Happy shopping =)

  17. Sandra says:

    I like the way you excluded special promotions and loyalty programs connected to credit cards. Is the math correct?

  18. Anna says:

    How come no one mentioned PC points?!?! I always get free groceries and free gift cards through the points system! Its 10 points for ever dollar and you redeem 20,000 points for $20, 40,000 for $40 etc. with no bracket difference with increased dollar amounts (compared to SDM). I love it!

  19. Gemma says:

    Don’t forget that at Shoppers Drug Mart, they often have 20x the points day, added redemption days (you get $100 worth of free merchandise for $75 worth of points, that an extra $25 free product). They also have hundreds of items in the store each week with bonus points. And, you get points on ALL prescriptions even if they’re covered by your extended health benefits. It doesn’t take very long for your points to add up.

  20. Janice G says:

    Do not forget that at Shopper’s Drug Mart when they have their
    spend your points events they up the dollar amounts that you
    can redeem also.
    eg, 95,000 points from $170 TO $200 AND AT xmas to $250
    and they up the other point amounts along with that one.
    They also create new point categories during these events.
    I have found my points add up so quickly at Shoppers, and
    the deals are great also if you watch their flyers.

  21. nick says:

    As people mention there are so many variables that you have to decide on which ones give you the best rewards based on income and the way you shop. Some of the cards that have fees can be gotten without fees if you deal with a bank that offers other services that you want.

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