With the global pandemic, many Canadians aren’t sure what to do with their rewards points earnings—or even if collecting points is worthwhile when travel is out of the picture. How can you ensure that it’s not a wasted effort?
Fortunately, Canadian credit cardholders can take advantage of numerous loyalty rewards programs. The incredibly popular Scotia Rewards program stands out thanks to its amazing flexibility, ease of use and array of rewards—not to mention some of the country’s most coveted affiliated credit cards it features. even if you’re stuck in lockdown, you can get the most out of your “pandemic spending” with Scotia Rewards—and even redeem your points for all kinds of things. Keep reading to learn more about Scotia Rewards points value and how to make the most out of Scotia Rewards points.
About Scotia Rewards Points Value
Generally speaking, the value of 1 Scotia Rewards point is $0.01 when redeemed for travel. So, 10,000 points will fetch you $100 in travel.
But the value depends on how you redeem your points. Below is a chart that compares the value of the points for each redemption category. Note that some reward category values are fixed, as with travel and statement credits. However, with some redemption items, like merchandise, the value can vary significantly depending on what you select, so always try to do your own value calculations to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
Reward Scotia Rewards points value Best value: Travel-related redemption via Scotia Rewards Travel Portal or Apply Points to Travel 10,000 points = $100 towards travel
1 point = $0.01 when redeemed for travel
Scotia Rewards Points for Statement Credit 1 point = between $0.006 to $0.008 when redeemed for a statement credit Merchandise Huge range & depends on merchandise redemption.
Example: Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II (value: $399) = 52,200 points (1 point = $.0075)
Gift Cards 1 point = $0.007
Example: gift cards for retailers like Home Depot, Walmart, and Amazon are available in $50 denominations for 6,700 points, giving each point a value of approx. $.007.
Points Conversion 1,000 Scotia Rewards points = 770 SCENE points
Since your Scotia Rewards points can have such a wide-ranging value, it’s important to be selective when you redeem your points. You’ll see from the chart that by far you get the best Scotia Rewards points value when you redeem them for travel-related items.
How to Earn Scotia Rewards Points
You earn Scotia Rewards by making purchases using a Scotiabank rewards credit card. There is a wide variety of credit cards to choose from, including premium cards like the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card and the Passport Scotiabank Passport™Visa Infinite* Card, as well as no-fee cards like the Scotiabank American Express® Card. Typically, the highest earn rates are on everyday purchases such as restaurants, groceries, entertainment and transportation, although the earn rate varies from card to card. It’s important to browse your options and pick the card that works best with your spending habits.
You can earn Scotia Rewards with a Scotiabank chequing account. You can earn SCENE Rewards (redeemable for meals and movies) or Scotia Rewards just by using your debit card to make purchases.
Y&T’s Preferred Scotia Rewards Credit Card
Welcome Bonus: Earn up to 40,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $400 towards travel!)
Rewards earnings: Earn 5 Scotia Rewards®* points on every $1 CAD you spend on eligible purchases.
Additional Perks: No foreign transaction fees, discounted airline lounge membership, & includes comprehensive travel insurance
How to Redeem Scotia Rewards
You can redeem your Scotia Rewards points for travel, gift cards, merchandise and more through Scotiabank’s online portal. One of the best features of Scotia Rewards points is their flexibility. You’ll experience this flexibility as you take advantage of the various ways to redeem rewards and as you explore the many things you can get with your points.
Scotia Rewards Travel Portal
The most popular way to redeem Scotia Rewards points is via the Scotia travel rewards portal. This is because your points have the highest value when redeemed for travel-related rewards (more on reward value below). You simply head over to the Scotia Rewards Travel portal and select the option for Scotia Rewards Travel Service. There you will have access to what is essentially a full-service travel agency and you can book flights, car rentals and hotels using points directly via the site. If you don’t have enough points, you also have the option to use your Scotia Rewards points and charge the remainder to your associated Scotiabank credit card. And, even if you don’t have any points to redeem, you can still use the portal to book travel. It’s worth noting that Cash Back ScotiaGold Passport Visa cardmembers and ScotiaGold Passport for business Visa cardmembers earn 5% cash back when they book travel using the Scotia Rewards travel portal.
Apply Points to Travel
One of the best and most unique features of Scotia Rewards is that (unlike with some other travel rewards programs) you don’t have to use Scotia’s proprietary travel portal to redeem points. You can also just charge a flight, hotel, cruise, car rental, or Airbnb stay onto your card via your own preferred travel provider and then redeem points for your trip expenses (for up to 12 months after the travel purchase date). You simply head over to Scotia’s travel portal and select the “Apply Points to Travel” option. Any purchases you made that are eligible for redemption will appear based on the date you select. Prior to COVID-19 when I was still travelling, I used this “Apply Points to Travel” feature to pay for a flight, baggage fees and even a couple of UBER rides. The only caveats are that redemptions must be requested within 12 months of the transaction date and you must have a minimum of 5,000 Scotia Rewards points per redemption.
Of course, thanks to COVID-19, not many of us are travelling, so redeeming points for travel expenses may not be a real option at the moment. The good news is that there are many non-travel options for you to use your Scotia Rewards points.
Scotia Rewards Points for Statement Credit
You can also redeem Scotia Rewards points for a statement credit. You can redeem as little as 3,000 Scotia Rewards points (which would give you a $20 credit) or as much as 62,500 Scotia Rewards points (for a $500 credit). You simply go to the Scotia Rewards portal and select the Apply Scotia Rewards Points for Credit option. You then select the amount of points you want to redeem as a credit towards your statement. You’ll notice if you play around with the numbers that the more points you redeem, the more they are worth. Everything is very straightforward and clearly laid out.
On the rewards portal you can also see that Scotia Rewards has an impressive selection of merchandise available. There is an online catalogue loaded with Apple products, kitchen items, electronics, exercise bikes, tools and more. There’s even a wide selection of experiences like rounds of golf at exclusive golf courses and helicopter rides available.
If you’re looking for a gift for someone special (or for yourself for that matter), Scotia Rewards allows you to also redeem points for prepaid credit cards or gift cards from a wide selection of merchants. The selection includes pre-paid Scotiabank Visa cards and gift cards from merchants like Tim Hortons, Amazon.ca and Walmart.
If you’re a big movie fan, you’ll be happy to learn that cardholders also have the option of converting Scotia Rewards points to SCENE points (and vice versa). SCENE is the Cineplex loyalty program. Just go to the Scotia Rewards portal and select the “Convert Scotia Rewards points to SCENE® points and vice versa” option. A thousand Scotia Rewards points gets you 770 SCENE points. You must convert a minimum of 1,000 points per conversion. Unfortunately, Scotia Rewards doesn’t have any airlines, hotels or other loyalty programs that you can convert your points to aside from the SCENE loyalty program.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Points
The key to getting the most out of your Scotia Rewards is to redeem them where they give you the most value. Here are some tips:
- Use Scotia Rewards points for travel, if at all possible, because that’s where you’ll get the most value. Avoid using them for statement credits, especially for smaller amounts where you get the least value.
- When using the “Apply Points For Travel” feature don’t just assume you didn’t charge any eligible purchases to your card. I was very surprised when I discovered that my UBER rides were eligible, so you never know. After I’ve gone on a trip, I make it a habit to visit the “Apply Points For Travel” portal to see if anything came up on my last statement for potential points redemption.
- If you’re a big movie lover, you may want to convert your Scotia Rewards points to SCENE points (as discussed above).
How Scotia Rewards Compares To Other Rewards Programs
Scotia Rewards is one of the most user-friendly, flexible rewards programs in Canada. It offers great value for travel rewards. It also has the unique “Apply Points For Travel” feature, so you’re not forced to use a proprietary travel booking agency that may leave you wondering you’re getting the best deal. Points are also super easy to redeem, and when you compare the $.01 value for travel to other rewards programs, it’s at the top end of the range.
The only real drawback is the lack of transfer partners. Some programs (like American Express Membership Rewards) allow you to transfer points to an eligible airline or hotel partner, which can sometimes get you more mileage out of your points. But this flaw of the Scotia Rewards program is greatly minimized by the fact that you can book your own travel-related excursions and still get top value for points.
The Last Word
I’m a big fan of Scotia Rewards. It offers some generous redemption options, the rewards portal is easy to navigate and the program has incredibly useful features like the “Apply Points For Travel” option. When you have a Scotiabank credit card that lets you earn on everyday purchases, you rack up the points quickly and get rewarded for the spending you would have done anyway. Overall, Scotia Rewards is an incredibly flexible program—and one that you can actually use during COVID-19. For instance, you might not be booking flights right now, but if you rent a cottage on Airbnb, you can use your Scotia Rewards to cover the cost.