In Canada, there are several portals where you can earn rewards for your online purchases.
The best known are:
- Rakuten (get $30 when you open a free Rakuten account)
- Scene+ by Rakuten (get $30 when you open a free account on Rakuten)
- AIR MILES Airmilesshops.ca
- Aeroplan eStore
- François Charron’s Boomerang Club
- Flying Blue portal
- Avion Rewards ShopPlus
Through these portals, you can earn cash back, Aeroplan points, Scene+ points and AIR MILES or Flying Blue miles. And you’ll discover an interesting technique for buying gift cards !
Common rules for these portals
Before you can earn rewards for your online purchases through these various online portals, you need to understand how they work.
Many brands such as Amazon, Gap or The Bay are looking to attract customers to their online store. To do so, they do business with different partners such as AIR MILES, Aeroplan or Rakuten by paying them a commission for every customer they bring them.
Then, once your purchase has been confirmed, AIR MILES, Aeroplan or Rakuten will pay you back in the form of a reward (AIR MILES miles, Aeroplan points or cash back for Rakuten), part of the commission they have earned.
The common rule: your shopping cart must be empty BEFORE you go through one of these portals. Otherwise, the business will consider that these portals didn’t contribute to bringing you in as a customer! And you won’t get your reward (since they won’t have received any commission for the sale).
What’s more, it’s important to go through the portal’s website! Buying directly from Amazon, Walmart or your favorite retailer won’t work.
Rakuten Canada: Earn cash back or Scene+ points
The multiplier of Rakuten.ca's partner businesses
There are often promotions to earn more cash back on purchases from the many retailers listed on Rakuten.ca. Sometimes it is also possible to combine cash back with promotional codes available on Rakuten Canada.
This can rise to 10% or even 20% during special events like Black Friday!
However, pay close attention to the product categories involved for each online retailer.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for promotional percentages to vary. At Indigo, for example, the special conditions state that no cash back is offered on purchases of :
- Apple branded products
- Used and rare books
- Electronic books
- membership in the privilege points program
- American Girl brand products
It’s the same with Amazon.ca; you need to look closely at the cashback accumulation rates by category, which are indicated on the Rakuten Canada page dedicated to Amazon.
The partnership between Scene+ and Rakuten
Scene+ and Rakuten are partners, and you can now link your accounts to get the equivalent of your cash back in Scene+ points. This becomes interesting as Scene+ members who use Rakuten often benefit from exclusive offers and higher cash back.
However, you will no longer be able to purchase gift cards through Rakuten after linking your account with Scene+.
Remember to register with Rakuten via Milesopedia first (to benefit from the $30 welcome bonus) before linking your accounts!
Buying gift cards on Rakuten.ca
Rakuten Canada is a great place to earn cash back on online purchases. But it’s also a great place to buy gift cards from a wide range of retailers!
By purchasing gift cards via the Rakuten.ca site (not accessible from the mobile application, nor to Scene+ members who have linked their account with Rakuten), it is possible to accumulate cash back.
More importantly, it’s a backdoor way to use an American Express card in stores that don’t accept them (although this has changed for most IGAs recently).
Indeed, it is possible to pay your gift cards with:
- Paypal (which accepts American Express!)
Some gift cards will be sent by post, while many can be received electronically and used instantly!
Please note that the cash back earned on your credit card for the purchase of a gift card via Rakuten.ca will be classified in the most basic category. Therefore, it’s not considered a grocery store purchase, even if you buy a grocery store gift card.
So choose the credit card that earns the most points or discounts in any category.
Still, it’s a convenient way to earn rewards with your American Express card without changing grocery stores . American Express cards are accepted at Métro and Super C, as well as most IGA stores. Or to unlock a welcome bonus!
Earn Aeroplan points with the eStore
The multiplier of Aeroplan partner stores
There are often promotions that allow you to earn additional Aeroplan Points for purchases at stores listed on the eStore.
This can range from 2x to 10x the points. At certain times of the year, such as the days around Black Friday, there are interesting promotions at the eStore.
These promotions can concern:
- a particular store (such as Apple.ca)
- a category of stores (sports items at a “Fitness” event)
- the entire eStore (during major shopping periods such as Black Friday)
Earn more Aeroplan points with an affiliated credit card
To earn even more Aeroplan points on your purchases, you’ll need to use an Aeroplan-linked credit card available from American Express, CIBC or TD!
Here are some cards that offer a different accumulation:
- 1 point per dollar everywhere with the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card or the American Express® Aeroplan®* Card.
- 1.25 points per dollar everywhere with the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card or the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card
On special occasions, such as Black Friday, Aeroplan co-branded credit cards offer additional bonus points on purchases made through the eStore, allowing you to double dip and quickly multiply your points on every dollar spent.
Earn Flying Blue Miles with the Flying Blue Shopping Portal
A shopping portal offers Flying Blue miles for your online shopping with partners such as Apple, Indigo, Nike, Sephora, etc.
For your first purchase on the portal, you can earn 500 Flying Blue Miles.
The way it works is similar to other online shopping portals: you need to log in to the portal, choose the merchant you are interested in and click on the corresponding link.
Make sure your shopping cart is empty before you do this!
Get cash back with the Boomerang Club
Club Boomerang is the online shopping portal launched by François Charron.
By going through this portal BEFORE you store at partnering online stores, you will be able to get cash back as well as coupons for discounts.
Here’s how to take advantage of it:
- Register for free here
- Explore the different cash back offers and the participating merchants
- Click on the merchant of your choice
- You will be redirected to the merchant’s website with a special link
- the cash back will be added to your account some time after your purchase from this special link
- Watch cash back accumulate in your Club Boomerang account and claim it as soon as your balance reaches $50
Earn AIR MILES Reward Miles with airmilesshops.ca
airmilesshops.ca is the online shopping portal of the AIR MILES loyalty program.
By using this portal BEFORE you shop with with their online business partners, you will be able to get 1 mile/$20 for your purchases.
However, it is possible to earn more AIR MILES miles through various promotions:
- airmilesshops.ca promotions
- the multiplier on partner retailers
- the multiplier on the entire airmileshops.ca site
On a regular basis, AIR MILES miles collectors receive promotions allowing them to earn a fixed number of AIR MILES miles after a certain amount of purchase at airmilesshops.ca.
As in this example: 95 AIR MILES miles after an initial purchase of $20 on Amazon via airmilesshops.ca .
The multiplier of AIR MILES partner businesses
Regularly, AIR MILES partner stores offer mileage accumulation promotions via a multiplier.
For example, if it says you’ll earn 5 X the miles, that means:
- you will earn 1 mile/$20 of purchases (basic offer)
- you will earn 4 miles/$20 of purchases (bonus offer with the store multiplier)
Which means 5 miles/$20 of purchases.
The multiplier on the whole airmilesshops.ca website
Sometimes, AIR MILES also offers a multiplier on the entire airmilesshops.ca portal.
The multiplier offered by the retailer and that offered by airmilesshops are added to the basic offer:
In the example above with Altitude Sports, if it says you’ll win:
- 5x miles at the store
- and 11x miles on all airmilesshops.ca retailers
This gives you a total of 5 x + 11 x = 16 x miles.
This means that:
- you will earn 1 mile/$20 in purchases (basic offer)
- you will earn 4 miles/$20 in purchases (bonus offer with the store multiplier)
- 1 additional mile / $20 in purchases for the basic offer
- and you’ll earn 10 miles / $20 in purchases (bonus offer with airmilesshops.ca multiplier)
That’s 16 miles / $20 in purchases.
Here is another example.
For a $120 purchase on The Bay, with a multiplier of 3 X for The Bay, and 20 X on the entire airmileshop site:
- 1 mile / $20 purchase (basic offer) = 6 miles
- Multiplier The Bay = 12 miles
- Total for The Bay : 18 miles (which corresponds to 3 X the 6 basic miles)
Then, we add up:
- 1 additional mile / $20 in purchases for the basic offer = 6 miles
- airmilesshops.ca multiplier = 114 miles
- Total for Airmilesshops: 120 miles (which corresponds to 20 X the 6 basic miles)
For a grand total of 138 miles earned on a $120 purchase, or 23 X miles! This has a value of approximately $14.50 (or 12%).
Earn more AIR MILES miles with an affiliated credit card.
In order to earn even more AIR MILES miles on your purchases, you will need to use a credit card linked to the AIR MILES Program!
Here are two cards with a different earning rate:
- 1 mile / $25 everywhere for the BMO® AIR MILES® Mastercard®*.
- or 1 mile / $12 everywhere for the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite Mastercard®*.
When you make a purchase directly at an AIR MILES partner (Shell, Jean Coutu, IGA, etc), the accumulation is more generous:
How to find the best online discounts and deals for the Black Friday 2023 sale?
If you want to save as much as possible on Black Friday, be sure to use an online shopping portal to earn cash back or points that add up to the discounts offered by retailers.
Will there be discounts at Dyson, Apple, The Source, Best Buy, Rona, Walmart and Canadian Tire this Black Friday?
Probably. In addition to Black Friday special offers, go through an online cash back or rewards portal like Rakuten to save even more at these retailers.
When is Black Friday in 2023 and when do the discounts start?
This year, Black Friday will take place on November 24, 2023. However, promotions and special offers are often announced in advance, and even begin in the weeks and days leading up to Black Friday.