Shopping in Canada: Rewards and loyalty programs

By Brittany Stuckless

Posted on January 24, 2022

It’s always a good idea to take advantage of rewards and loyalty programs. Investopedia defines these programs as ways retailers, credit card companies, and other businesses can attract loyal customers. They do so by offering ways you can redeem points for rewards, receive cashback, and more. They can help newcomers save money and purchase essential items and food when low on cash. Read on to learn about some of the most popular programs in Canada. We’ll also explain how to use them and what rewards they offer.

PC Optimum

PC Optimum is a Canadian rewards program that lets you earn points for grocery shopping. You can collect points at Loblaws supermarkets located in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Québec.

By downloading the PC optimum app, you can keep track of items worth the most points that week. The app helps you plan your weekly grocery list while also letting you rack up points for future groceries! 10 000 PC optimum points are worth $10. You can quickly get these many points within a couple of weeks or less if you pay attention to deals and high point items on the app.

You can gain and use PC Optimum points at other major Canadian stores, as well:

  • Shoppers Drug Mart (medicine, everyday essentials, groceries)
  • No Frills (grocery)
  • Joe Fresh (clothing)
  • Esso/Mobil gas stations (convenience, gas)
  • Real Canadian Superstore (everyday essentials)

grocery shopping


Scene is a rewards program offered by Scotiabank, a major Canadian bank, and Cineplex, an entertainment company and movie theatre chain in Canada. You can rack up points by using a Scotiabank credit card or a Scene points card.

Some of the most popular rewards people redeem with Scene points are: Cineplex admission tickets, snacks, and Cineplex at-home rentals. 1200 Scene points will let you redeem one free movie ticket. You can also use your Scene points at several restaurant chains. These include Harveys, Swiss Chalet, and Montana’s. Lastly, you can pick from a wide array of gift cards with your Scene points. You can see a complete list here.

Air Miles

Air Miles is a loyalty program that allows users to earn miles with their rewards card. With Air Miles, you have the option of earning Dream or Cash miles. The Dream program lets you earn miles for years to redeem a large reward, like a flight or expensive merchandise. You can redeem Cash miles more freely and frequently at stores. You can collect miles by shopping at specific Canadian retailers. Some stores include:

  • Sobeys
  • Metro
  • Foodland
  • Staples

Credit card rewards

It is an excellent idea for newcomers to build a credit history in Canada. Credit card history can help newcomers build a high credit score, which helps people secure loans, get apartments, and more.

credit card transaction

Many people don’t realize how utilizing a credit card can help customers rack up points they can use for different types of rewards. According to RateHub, here are some credit cards with great rewards packages:

  • BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card: This visa card can help newcomers save on groceries and transportation costs. For every $1 spent on gas, grocery shopping, and dining, users earn 5 points.
  • SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express®: American express cards often have good rewards. This one lets you earn two points on all purchases. Keep in mind, some businesses choose not to accept American Express as payment.
  • CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card: With this card, customers can enjoy four per cent cashback on gas, two per cent cashback on groceries, transit and restaurants, and one per cent cashback on other purchases.
  • Triangle™ Mastercard®: With this MasterCard, customers can receive four per cent cashback on Canadian Tire (hardware and home items) purchases. They also offer 1.5 per cent cashback on groceries.
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