Canadian Credit Card Rewards Programs

Goals

To identify the features and restrictions of Canadian credit card rewards programs.

Early Findings

Canadian Credit Card Loyalty Programs

  • Aeroplan is a credit card travel rewards program offered by TD, CIBC and American Express in Canada.
  • Air Miles is a popular travel rewards program in Canada and is offered by the Bank of Montreal and American Express.
  • American Express also offers its own Membership Rewards program in Canada.
  • Bank of Montreal has its own branded rewards program also, which is called BMO Rewards.
  • CIBC Aventura is the credit card reward program of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
  • MBNA Rewards is associated with MBNA credit cards in Canada.
  • Meridian Travel Rewards is the credit card rewards program of Canadian credit union Meridian.
  • Alacarte Rewards is the rewards program of the National Bank of Canada.
  • Avion is the rewards program of the Royal Bank of Canada.
  • Scotia Rewards is the rewards program of Scotiabank.
  • TD Bank offers the TD Rewards program in Canada.

Proposed next steps:

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Our initial research identified 11 credit card rewards/loyalty programs available in Canada. We can start by answering the following questions on the first eight companies listed above: 1. Do they charge a fee to redeem for travel through their call centre and if so, what is the fee? 2. Do they allow cardholders to pay recurring bill payments (i.e. cable, telephone, utilities, etc.) with their reward points? If so, how many points are required to cover one dollar of the associated bill payment? 3. Do they allow cardholders to pay their annual credit card fee with their reward points? If so, how many points are required to cover the annual fee? 4. Do they have a travel redemption chart that outlines points required for each type of flight (i.e. short haul, long haul, etc.)? If so, we will provide a summary of the points needed for each type of flight, a link to the chart, information on the points conversion per dollar, any maximum flight value restrictions and whether rewards can be booked outside the chart. 5. Do they allow cardholders to collect points following a missed credit card payment? If not, we will provide information on how many days past due triggers the disqualification on earning points and how an account is defined as being in good standing for the purposes of earning points. 6. Do the allow cardholders to earn points when traveling out of the country of the cardholder’s residency? If so, we will provide information on whether making the purchase in the cardholder's local currency impacts the points and whether the cardholder is charged a fee to make international purchases in his or her local currency.
We also suggest research into what features Canadian consumers are most interested in related to rewards cards, which may help identify which of the questions above is likely to be the most important to consumers.