Are you familiar with the gift card technique? This is a well-known strategy of the Milesopedia community members. It consists of using a credit card offering more points at some stores to buy gift cards for other stores.
For example, buying a Walmart gift card at Couche-Tard to earn 5 points per dollar (instead of using your credit card directly at Walmart, which would have earned only one point per dollar).
However, 5 points per dollar do not necessarily have the same value depending on the program!
So, with the American Express CobaltMD Card you’ll get a return equivalent to 5% by using your points for any purchase charged to the card (not just travel).
With the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card, you’ll earn 5% back by using your points for any travel purchase charged to the card. In addition, you get 6% for spending at IGA grocery stores, Voilà by IGA, Rachelle Béry, Les Marchés Tradition, Sobeys, Safeway, Foodland, etc. Not all IGA stores in Quebec accept American Express yet, but they should soon. In fact, they must all accept it before the launch of the Scène+ program in Quebec in 2023.
With the National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard®, you’ll get 5% back when you use your points for travel with Voyage À La Carte. Aim for a 4.16% return when you use your points for any travel booked with the Card or for À la carte Extras (RRSP, TFSA or mortgage payment). Or 2% for a statement credit for any purchase.
With the BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard, you get 5% cash back on your grocery purchases. But beware: the rebate rate drops to 1% after $500 in grocery purchases in a month.
And finally, with the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card, it’s even more restrictive and lower in value: you’ll get a return equivalent to 3. 5% when you use your points to book a trip on the BMO Rewards platform. The return will be the same for investing in your BMO Investment Account. Or 1.65% for a statement credit for any purchase.
5 points per dollar in many stores
To use the gift card technique you need to:
- Have the right credit card offering 5x points
- Know which stores offer 5x the points
- Buy the gift cards you are interested in at these stores
- Use the gift cards for your purchases
The right credit card
With the American Express CobaltMD Card, you can earn 5x points for these categories of purchases:
- Grocery stores
- Convenience stores
- Food delivery
- Restaurants and Bars
5x the points = 5 points per dollar. That’s the equivalent of a 5% return if you use your points for any purchase. You can even transfer your points to airline partners (Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club, etc.) or hotel partners (Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors) to get even more value!
Note that you earn 5x the points up to a maximum of $30,000 in Card purchases per year at businesses offering 5x the points (that’s an average of $2,500 per month). That’s up to 150,000 points per year!
Stores offering 5x points in Quebec and across Canada
Here, the categories we’re interested in are grocery stores and convenience stores: these are places where we can buy gift cards for many other stores.
Here is a partial list of grocery and convenience stores in Canada where you can earn 5x points for gift card purchases:
- Super C
- IGA (some grocery stores)
- Marché Richelieu
- Giant Tiger
- Circle K
- Whole Foods Market
- Food Basics
The list of gift cards to buy in store
There are countless gift cards available in these stores! There is something for every taste and need. Here are some examples of gift cards available. For each of these gift cards, you could get 5x the points when buying it in grocery stores (Metro, Super C, IGA, Giant Tiger, Safeway, etc.) or convenience stores (Couche-Tard, Circle K, 7Eleven, etc.):
|Type||Example gift cards|
|Gas||Esso, Mobil, Petro-Canada, Shell, Irving, etc.|
|Grocery||Metro, Super C, IGA, Walmart, etc.|
|Alcohol||SAQ, LCBO, etc.|
|Monthly subscriptions||Netflix, Spotify, App Store / iTunes, Google Store, SiriusXM, Bell, Rogers, Telus, Fido, Koodo, Virgin Mobile, Chatr Mobile, Freedom Mobile, Lucky Mobile, Public Mobile etc.|
|Online shopping||Amazon Prime|
|Shopping||American Eagle Outfitters, Gap / Old Navy / Banana Republic, Bath & Body Works, Best Buy, H&M, La Vie en Rose, RW&CO, Sail, Sephora, Simons, ToysRus, Winners, etc.|
|Sports||Atmosphere, Decathlon, Golf Town, Lululemon, Sports Experts, etc.|
|Furnishing and Renovations||IKEA, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, HomeSense, Wayfair, etc.|
|Everyday life||Uber, Uber Eats, Starbuck’s, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, St Hubert’s, Subway, Dairy Queen, Burger King, Première Moisson, Keg, DavidsTea, etc.|
|Culture and Entertainment||Archambault, Renaud-Bray, Cineplex, Guzzo, Apple Store, EB Games, Steam, Xbox, Playstation Store, etc.|
|Travel||Air Canada, Disney, Prestige Boxes, etc.|
Use a gift card for purchases at retailers
Finally, all you have to do is use your gift card when you check out.
Like at the SAQ/LCBO: what could be better than getting 5x the points for your next bottle of wine (instead of 1x the points by paying directly with your credit card at the SAQ/LCBO)?
Don’t make the mistake of using the “wrong” credit card at your next checkout. Consider buying gift cards at stores offering 5x points!
You will be able to get:
- 5x the points on your Amazon.ca purchases
- 5x the points on your furniture at Ikea
- 5x the points on your shopping at Walmart
- 5x the points on your Netflix subscription
- 5x the points on your alcohol at the SAQ or LCBO
- 5x the points on your movie ticket
Where can I buy gift cards?
You can buy gift cards from a variety of retailers, including grocery stores, drugstores, convenience stores, gas stations and online.
How do I buy gift cards online?
All you have to do is visit an online sales platform offering a variety of gift cards, or the website of the brand you’re interested in.
How can I get free gift cards?
To get free gift cards, keep an eye out for retailer sweepstakes or hotel promotions.
Where can I find cash back on gift cards?
The Rakuten site offers cash rebates with different percentages on gift cards from several brands.