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Part 2: Starting With Rewards Programs

To the point

In Canada, and more generally in North America, there are hundreds of rewards programs. In fact, the vast majority of companies from which you purchase goods and services offer a rewards program.

Starting with rewards programs

Whether in the travel industry (airlines, hotels), banking, or everyday life, the companies you deal with every day have created reward programs to make you loyal.

We have identified four types:

  • Airline Rewards programs
  • Hotel loyalty programs
  • Bank rewards programs
  • Cash back Rewards programs

If you prefer the video version, here it is! If not, continue reading.

Airline Rewards programs

These are rewards programs that are closely or remotely related to an airline. In Canada, the best-known is Aeroplan, which is Air Canada’s rewards program.

These programs offer miles you can use for:

  • flights
  • hotel nights
  • car rentals
  • Merchandise / gift cards

However, keep in mind that you’ll get the best return on investment when using these miles for flights.

Finally, it is generally advisable to be a member of 3-4 airline reward programs to cover the possibilities offered by the 3 major airline alliances:

  • Star Alliance (Air Canada, United, etc.)
  • Oneworld (British Airways, American, etc.)
  • Skyteam (Air France – KLM, Delta Airlines, etc.)

The main rewards programs

Hotel loyalty programs

First of all, there are several major hotel groups worldwide, and each of them has a reward program.

The best-known is Marriott Bonvoy which gives access to more than 7,000 hotels worldwide.

These rewards programs deliver points you can use for:

  • hotel nights
  • flights
  • car rentals
  • Merchandise / gift cards

However, you will get the best return on investment when using these points for hotel nights.

It is advisable to be a member of all hotel rewards programs to cover all eventualities for your travels.

The best credit card to quickly earn hotel points is the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card.

In Canada, you can also get a credit card linked to the Best Western Rewards program.

The main rewards programs

Bank rewards programs

Most financial institutions have their own reward programs.

At Desjardins we’ll talk about Bonusdollars; at BMO we’ll have BMO Rewards, or at American Express you’ll find Membership Rewards.

Obviously, each of these programs has strengths and weaknesses you need to know.

They generally offer points which can be – for some – used for:

The main rewards programs

Cash back Rewards programs

Cashback Rewards Programs are especially for those who don’t want to go with the 3 previous types of programs.

AIR MILES Cash Rewards are part of this type of programs. Find out more about all the AIR MILES credit card offers available in Canada!

More specifically, these programs issue dollar rewards that will generally be credited to your statement, or that will get you a rebate at the drugstore, grocery or gas station.

The main rewards programs

Best Credit Card Offers

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