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.
|Amazon||Costco||Home Hardware||Sport Chek|
|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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Gift cards with other programs
All loyalty programs offer to buy gift cards with points:
- Desjardins BONUSDOLLARS: $100 gift card for 102 BONUSDOLLARS
- BNC Rewards: $100 card for 12,990 points
- Scotiabank Scene+: $100 gift card for 13,400 points
- RBC Rewards: $100 gift card for 14,000 points
- CIBC Rewards: $100 card for 14,000 points
- TD Rewards: $100 card for 40,000 points
Here, you will need to use 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to get a $100 gift card.
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!