[ANALYSIS] Plum Rewards vs. irewards

It is the day before Christmas. If you are an extremely last minute shopper, I suspect one of the stores that you will check out for various gift ideas is Chapters. Chapters is affiliated with the Plum Rewards program that encompasses several others bookstores including: Indigo, Coles, SmithBooks, Indigo Spirit and Prospero-The Book Company.

If you are going to shop at one of these stores, be sure to at least have the Plum Rewards card. You can also have the irewards card which will be discussed further below.

For the Plum Rewards program, cardholders will earn 10 points for every $1 spent at any of these stores. You also get 5% off for shopping online. Often times they have various promotions to give you bonus points on your purchases. You can redeem the points in the following increments:

  • 2,500 points = $5
  • 4,500 points = $10
  • 8,500 points = $20
  • 20,000 points = $50
  • 35,000 points = $100

The more points you redeem, the higher the rate of return will be. You will need to keep your account active once every 12 months. What I like about this program is that the points are transferable to other accounts. You will have to transfer a minimum of 1,500 points with increments of 500 points thereafter to a maximum of 6 transfers per year. This can be useful if you pool your points as a family (especially if you all live in different parts of the country).

Chapters has really expanded its products to a wider variety on the shelves. For example, you can even buy toys that you would have otherwise bought at Toys R Us, but if you purchase at Chapters, you can at least earn points for the same product. Just remember to purchase the product at the price that you were willing to pay for anyway at another store. If you see a better discount than at Chapters for the same product, then I would go for the discount instead of the points.

Keep in mind that the Plum Rewards program is different from the irewards program. The irewards program has a $35 annual fee and gives you the following benefits:

  • 10% off all books, including those on sale
  • 5% off all other merchandises
  • up to 5% off books purchased online

The $35 annual fee can be worth it if you make a lot of purchases in one more. The 10% off books can add up very quickly. Just don’t forget to double dip and purchase books when they are already on sale. Otherwise, the 10% off the regular price is quite minimal.

Unfortunately, there are no credit cards associated with Plum Rewards. I personally do not make enough purchases a year to justify the $35 annual fee for irewards, but if you make even one purchase a year at any of the stores listed above, then at least get the Plum Rewards card (which I have and cashed in on my points a few times already too).


  1. With Chapters, you have to choose one of the cards. Cardholders cannot hold both at the same time (kind of like the ON driver’s licence vs photo id card-can only have one, not both). Plum Rewards is better for those who tend to buy non-book items as many things get points. iRewards is for the serious book reader.

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