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How can you buy gift cards with points?

To the point Want to buy gift cards with points? It's a good way to lighten your spending for everyday purchases!

Buying gift cards with points

You have no plans to travel anytime soon? You have a bunch of unused points? Buying gift cards with reward points can be an interesting solution for you.

This is not a solution that we generally recommend for using points since it is always more advantageous to use them for other purposes, such as travel. But using points to get gift cards can help!

Gift cards with Aeroplan points

You can purchase gift cards using Aeroplan points at many retailers across Canada.

Air Canada Cineplex Google Sephora
Amazon Costco Home Hardware Sport Chek
American Eagle Decathlon Indigo Spotify
Apple Disney Hudson’s Bay Starbucks
Avis Esso Mastercard Uber
Best Buy Fairmont Park ‘N Fly Visa
Best Western Gap/Old Navy Petro-Canada Walmart
Budget Golf Town Rocky Mountaineer Winners

Here is the usual exchange rate:

  • $50 Gift Card = 7,000 Aeroplan points
  • $100 Gift Card = 14,000 Aeroplan points
  • Or a $250 gift card = 35,000 Aeroplan points

This is the case, for example, for Amazon, Esso or Hudson’s Bay.

Amazon gift card Aeroplan store

However, at some retailers, Aeroplan Points have a higher value. This is the case with Air Canada:

  • $100 Gift Card = 10,000 Aeroplan points
  • $250 Gift Card = 25,000 Aeroplan points
  • Or a $500 gift card = 50,000 Aeroplan points
Air Canada Aeroplan gift card

But if you just want to be able to buy almost anything with your Aeroplan points, you can get a prepaid Mastercard :

  • $150 Gift Card = 23,500 Aeroplan points
  • $300 Gift Card = 47,000 Aeroplan points
  • or a $1,000 gift card = 157,000 Aeroplan points
Aeroplan eboutique Mastercard gift card

Gift cards with AIR MILES bonus miles

AIR MILES bonus miles come in two forms:

  • CASH Rewards
  • and DREAMS Rewards

It is not possible to transfer DREAM MILES to CASH MILES (or vice versa).

You can use CASH rewards at the cash register of your AIR MILES store (Jean Coutu, IGA, Shell, etc.) in order to get a discount on your bill: 95 miles = $10.

Update June 8th 2022: **Note: As of the beginning of 2023, IGA, Marchés Tradition and Rachelle Béry stores will no longer be linked to the AIR MILES program. See this article on Scene+ which will be the new rewards program of IGA, Rachelle Béry and Les Marchés Tradition.

It’s a great way to reduce your grocery, gas or drugstore bill. You can do this directly at the store’s cash register.

Also, in theCash Rewards section, under”eVouchers“, 17 partners offer you to buy and get gift cards immediately. The rate is the same, 95 miles for $10 off.

There is the option of buying it and giving it to someone else. Then simply print it out and use it at the store.

Spotify Sobeys (Safeway, IGA, Foodland, Thrifty Foods, Co-op, Rachelle-Béry, etc) Hudson’s Bay
Uber Eats Starbucks Canada The Keg
Doordash Timber Mart Via Rail

Gift cards with American Express Membership Rewards

The American Express Membership Rewards program is probably the most flexible in Canada for using points.

And of course, it allows you tobuy gift cards with Membership Rewards points!

Air Canada Esso and Mobil The unique dinner card Saks Fifth Avenue
American Express Holt Renfrew Oliver & Bonacini Home Depot
Bymark Fairmont Hotels Oxford Properties The Keg Steakhouse
Cineplex Indigo Hardware Restoration TJX (Winners, Homesense)
Ela Greek Taverna Hudson’s Bay Roots Walmart Canada

Here is the usual exchange rate:

  • $50 card = 6,500 Membership Rewards
  • $100 card = 13,000 Membership Rewards
  • or a $500 gift card = 65,000 Membership Rewards points

Examples include Air Canada, Home Depot and Esso.

Cc Home Depot Amex Fr

However, with some retailers, Membership Rewards have a higher value. This is the case with American Express Prepaid cards, which you can use wherever American Express is accepted as a means of payment:

  • $100 card = 12,500 Membership Rewards
  • $200 card = 25,000 Membership Rewards
  • or a $500 gift card = 62,500 Membership Rewards points

This is better value than using Membership Rewards points for an account credit on any purchase.

Cc Amex Amex Fr

For example, American Express Cobalt? Cardholders earn 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at grocery stores, restaurants and Couche-Tard convenience stores. During the first year, a welcome bonus of 2,500 Membership Rewards per month is offered after spending $500.

So if you spend $500 a month in the 5 Membership Rewards per dollar categories, you get:

  • 2,500 points for your purchases ($500 x 5 points / dollar)
  • 2,500 welcome bonus points

That’s 5,000 Membership Rewards per month, or 60,000 Membership Rewards points in the first year!

Usually, we recommend using these points for travel (this represents a value of $600). But you could also use them to buy an American Express gift card: 62,500 Membership Rewards = $500.

Find out in this article why we consider this card to be the best credit card available in Canada.

Gift cards with other programs

All loyalty programs offer to buy gift cards with points:

For BMO Rewards, the value is different for each card: a $100 card can be redeemed for anywhere between 17,500 and 20,300 points. We detailed that here.

And even hotel programs like Marriott Bonvoy offer the possibility ofusing points to buy a gift card! Dozens of merchants are available, such as Costco or Home Depot.

Here, you will need to use 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to get a $100 gift card.

Cc Marriott Bonvoy Fr

Conclusion

We have always advised to use the points at their full value. However, in uncertain times, or when you don’t have any travel plans, it can be a good idea to purchase gift cards with points to meet YOUR needs!

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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