HBC Canada Points Program Change



I can across this thread in the deals section and thought it was something that a lot of people would be interested in.  As of January 31, 2010 HBC will no longer be offering merchandise as a reward to redeem your points for.  They will continue to offer Gift Cards and Apple products for trade in.  The rewards book that was issued in May 2009 will expire on January 31 and products will only be available while quantities last.

To go to the HBC Rewards website click here.

To go to the original thread started by Sniffasale click here.

26 responses to “HBC Canada Points Program Change”

  1. Islandlakes says:

    This is very interesting. Thanks for the heads up.

    I have been concerned recently that HBC would go out of business altogether and so I keep cashing my points in for gift cards as soon as I have enough.

    The Bay, Zellers and Home Outfitter stores that I go to have very few customers as compared to the competition and I don’t want to get stuck with worthless points for a bankrupt company.

  2. 7mountains says:

    Thanks for the post: I just found out at Chistmas time that I had a few options with the points I have accumulated. Since I have almost 800,000 I would be very upset to lose them. There doesn’t seem to be much available in their catalogue for merchandise, without using a huge amount of points. Even if you used the points you really don’t get much for them. My choice by far will be gift cards. Thanks for the heads up. With the Olympics here this year, 2010, it is doubtful that HBC will go under. They seem to be one of the big sponsors for the Olympics. Once again thanks and Happy New Year to all!!!

  3. A.P. says:

    This is very interesting. I work for the HBC and no one has told us about this. They’ve been cutting hours, too, so it’s likely a financial issue.

  4. angela says:

    hi, does it mean we have to trade our points before jan31,2010?otherwise, those points in our account will be expired and not available to be used any more?

  5. TaraF says:

    Wow that totally sucks. I wonder if they will only offer HBC Gift Cards for you to redeem points for. That way you are reinvesting in their company.

  6. missbobloblaw says:

    I guess it explains the subtle new technique at the cash register where the cashier tells you that you now have enough points for a $xx Gift card…

  7. T says:

    I thought it was very sneaky the way that they announced it. I found out through a Home Outfitters email and in tiny print they announced the changes. The only way you would have found out if is if you reguarly check out their website or pay attention to their emails. By the way, it looks like some of the good stuff is already sold out. Plus I noticed that they have removed some items like the Heys laptop bag which was available in November. I plan to redeem as soon as I can as get the feeling that they are not going to be around for long. Plus, I rather get items than use their gc as these days I am not impressed with their sales.

  8. Catherine L says:

    For anyone who doesn’t really want to use the HBC points at a HBC store keep in mind that they can be switched into Airmiles too. 2000 HBC points is 1 Airmile. Some individual stores whose sales are in the toilet may end up closing but I can’t see the whole company going down. Sales figures for some of the stores however as as good as they’ve ever been from what I understand. (Worked there for 4 years). As for the catalogue, that caused nothing but hassles for the staff at the store I worked with, and for the amount of points you’d need you’d be better off trading your points in on GCs and buying a similar product in store. Glad the catalogue’s gone.

  9. Shammy says:

    FYI, the site actually says January 30, 2010 and not January 31, 2010 as the end of the Rewards Guide.

  10. MikeM says:

    Hbc is no where near bankrupt. I read a story in the Globe & Mail with the owner that Hbc is $300 million better off this past year than the year before ! In a recession year too !! If I was the owner, I would happy.
    FYI on the Hbc Reward points…you can redeem the points for merchandise in store…no longer having to do it through a catalogue. You don’t have to redeem just for Gift Cards anymore.

  11. Michael says:

    HBC points are such a crock anyway. Even if you have both the HBC Mastercard and the regular points card, you get 100 points per dollar you spend at an HBC store. It takes 80,000 points to get a $10 gift card. So you have to spend $800 at their stores to get your $10 off, a return of 1.25%, for using their card in their store (or 0.625% at any other store). Most banks (even President’s Choice) will give you at least 1% back on purchases at any store, sometimes even in cash. The one saving grace is that if you actually collect HBC points religiously, HBC’s ridiculously inflated prices (ever notice how The Bay is basically permanently having sales these days to appear reasonable?) will get you there pretty fast. Seriously, it’s no wonder they’re doing well, because all they do is play the “support our poor, poor Canadian athletes, shop at the Bay” patriot card while they rip everyone off.

  12. Val says:

    I work for the company and I had to find out through the SC website that this is happening. Brilliant. I did manage to order a three-handset cordless phone set for 180 000 points. I don’t know if it’s a cheap crap phone or a points typo on the order page. Either way, if I don’t like it I can always return it. Thanks for the heads-up 🙂

  13. sassypants says:

    Thanks so much for the post – my mom and I just did an online order for FIVE items to use up almost 2.5 million HBC points … would have been very upset to loose the merchandise option!

  14. cheapskate101 says:

    @michael i agree!!! I only have 30,000 points and ive been saving for a while now!

  15. Sniffasale says:

    Thanks for the correction on the end date. I have updated the original post (from Jan. 31/10 to Jan. 30/10).

  16. Zookeeper says:

    Micheal-you are so right. Not a great incentive with them. Perhaps that is why their chain of stores have not excelled as much as the competitors. I did however use my points in mid december to redeem as a cash equivalent at the register to purchase a wireless keyboard and mouse. Took me about 15 years to accumulate this $50 ‘gift’. I would not rush out to order things out of their points catalogue though as it is just as convenient to use your points when you purchase something in store. I know that for me I just might lose those gifts cards in my purse just as easily as the potential loss in a program change. At Zellers you can purchase food/snacks as well if there is nothing else you paticularly have in mind.

  17. Mike C. says:

    No wonder that in 2009 they did not offer the 30K and 50K points coupons and the 1Million pts for the purchase of a dyson at Home Outfitters.

    Not to mention the 100K pts exchange for 20$ credit at Zellers day they had in 2008.

    2008 I used 490K pts for 4 items
    2009 I used 411K pts for 4 items

    I always thought I used more pts, looks like I did not collect as many pts as i previously thought

  18. Islandlakes says:

    Thanks Michael, for figuring out the return with HBC points. Has anyone figured out the other points systems return for the dollar spent?

  19. operabob says:

    For anyone who doesn’t really want to use the HBC points at a HBC store keep in mind that they can be switched into Airmiles too. 2000 HBC points is 1 Airmile.

    As I always like to point out when this comes up:

    You lose 50% of your purchasing power converting HBC/Z to AMs. You have to convert twice as many HBC/Z to AMs to buy the same HBC/Z gift card at AirMiles. This is a marketing gimmick to reduce HBC/Zellers commitments to it’s customers. Bad Trade!

    Over Christmas they were allowing converting HBC/Z to HBC/Z gift cards in multiples of $10. If you only have few HBC/z points you might be able to convert to a $10 HBC/z gift card.

  20. chickendog says:

    Cashed out the mom’s points for 2 coffee makers and a $100 gift card. Didn’t want her to lose the points if the program goes belly up.

  21. Avery says:

    Do people really think the reward program won’t be around much longer? Would they have to give notice or something before this happens? I don’t want to prematurely cash in my points, I have been saving for almost 7 years and want to get back as much as I can. But I most definitely do not want to miss out on all my points. 🙁

  22. mlongboat says:

    Does anyone know if they will still be offering the other gift card/certificates (Cineplex)? I like getting a free movie every once in a while. I agree, it sure does take a long time to get points though.

  23. Islandlakes says:

    I just don’t like to let my points accumulate anymore. So, I cash them in when I can for gift cards. I always found the GCs a better deal than the merchandise anyway and won’t miss the catalogue.

  24. mhk says:

    I cashed all of mine in as did my sister. We got movie tickets. A good deal at $8.75 each, as they are $12.50 at the theatre (Cineplex). Also I heard that on Tuesdays, instead of cheap Tuesday, you can redeem your movie coupon and get a free popcorn and pop – you pay the GST on the free popcorn and pop though.

  25. Jonathan says:

    Thank you. Time to redeem. I have not shopped at any HBC store in a very long time. The competition kills them.

  26. Michael says:

    Islandlakes: I’m sure someone has done Shoppers’, but here it is anyway. Assuming non-plus status and non-bonus day, 1 point is worth (15000c/75000) = 2/10 of a cent. You get 10 points per dollar spent, so you’re getting back 2 cents on the dollar (2%) store credit essentially (ignoring bonus points). So with 20xpoints offers, you’re basically getting 40% back. Yes everyone knows that regular Shoppers prices are way overpriced, but their loyalty program is at least far more rewarding than most other stores. The worst thing to do is to shop at Shoppers and not use an Optimum card.

    What else… VIA Rail’s Preference program isn’t bad, surprisingly. You earn points for shopping in their e-Boutique, generally $1 = 1 point, but over Christmas they did a 2 for 1 promotion (some things were even 4 for 1). It takes 1,125 points to go from Toronto to Ottawa for “free”. At regular price, that trip costs $120+tax. So if you use their e-Boutique to buy at the Apple Store or whatever store you like, you have to spend $1,125 to get $120 value, which is around 10%. Even when you consider that if you buy in advance you can get cheaper fares (I think the best advance fare is about 40% off regular), that’s still around 6% return, which is pretty good if you like the train.


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