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 Miles
You can purchase gift cards using Aeroplan points at many retailers across Canada.
|Air Canada||Cineplex||Harry Rosen||Renaud Bray|
|Amazon||Cirque du Soleil||Home Harware||SAQ|
|American Eagle||Costco||Indigo||Sport Chek|
|Best Buy||Fairmont||Old Navy||Visa|
|Best Western||Gap||Park ‘N Fly||WaySpa|
|Budget||Golf Town||Petro Canada||Winners|
Here is the usual exchange rate:
- $50 card = 7,000 Aeroplan Miles
- $100 card = 14,000 Aeroplan Miles
- $250 card = 35,000 Aeroplan Miles
This is the case, for example, for Amazon, Esso or Hudson’s Bay.
However, at some retailers, Aeroplan miles have a higher value. It’s the case with Costco:
- $100 card = 13,500 Aeroplan Miles
- $250 card = 33,750 Aeroplan Miles
- $500 = 67,500 Aeroplan Miles
Or with Air Canada:
- $100 card = 10,000 Aeroplan Miles
- $250 card = 25,000 Aeroplan Miles
- $500 card = 50,000 Aeroplan Miles
But if you just want to be able to buy almost anything with your Aeroplan miles, you can get a prepaid Mastercard:
- $500 card = 71,000 Aeroplan Miles
- $750 card = 106,500 Aeroplan Miles
- $1,000 card = 142,000 Aeroplan Miles
Gift cards with AIR MILES bonus miles
AIR MILES bonus miles come in two forms:
- CASH Rewards
- DREAM 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.
It’s a great way to reduce your grocery, gas or drugstore bill. But you can also buy gift cards with points for many other shops this way!
For example, members of the milesopedia community are used tousing CASH miles at Jean Coutu to buy Disney gift cards.
For example, those who received the welcome bonus of 3,000 AIR MILES, while enjoying the first year with no annual fee through this promotional offer – which is still available – on the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®*, have earned a reward which has a minimum value of $310.
Some even strategically waited for Jean Coutu to host a 75 miles for $10 promo. That makes this 3,000 AIR MILES bonus worth $400!
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||Ela Greek Taverna||Oliver & Bonacini||Sims Corner Steakhouse|
|American Express||Esso and Mobil||Options||Sporting Life|
|Birks Business||Holt Renfrew||Oxford Properties||The Home Depot|
|Bymark||Fairmont Hotels||Hardware Restoration||The Keg Steakhouse|
|ClubLink||Hudson’s Bay||Saks Fifth Avenue||Willow Park|
|Coach||The unique dinner card||Samba Days|
Here is the usual exchange rate:
- $50 card = 6,500 Membership Rewards
- $100 card = 13,000 Membership Rewards
- $500 card = 65,000 Membership Rewards
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
- $500 card = 62,500 Membership Rewards
This is better value than using Membership Rewards points for an account credit on any purchase.
For example, American Express Cobalt™ Card holders earn 5 Membership Rewards points for every dollar they spend in grocery stores, restaurants or 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 Bonidollars: a $100 card for 102 Bonidollars
- BNC Rewards: $100 card for 12,990 points
- Scotia Rewards Points: $100 card for 13,400 points
- RBC Rewards: $100 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!