HBC Rewards – Now Hudson’s Bay Rewards – A Review

June 16, 2020
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Hudson’s Bay Rewards, formerly known as HBC Rewards was one of the earliest rewards programs for department stores. The program today helps loyal customers earn more rewards and has reward tiers that help you get the value that suits your purchasing propensities. Each $1 that you spend earns you 1 point and every 2 points have a value of 1 cent. HBC’s, Hudson’s Bay Rewards is right for you if you like buying fashionable items. Joining the program is absolutely free. You should join immediately if you need to update your wardrobe or accessories.

The Hudson’s Bay Company has been bolstering Canadian Fashion since 1670. Incidentally, they also happen to be one of the pioneers in introducing their rewards program which was initially introduced in April 2001 as HBC Rewards. The name of HBC Rewards changed to Hudson’s Bay Rewards later on. Hudson’s Bay’s rewards program is famous because it has tiers of rewards for customers depending on the magnitude of shopping appetites they have.

So, Why Did HBC Rewards Change The Name Of The Rewards Program?

The name of the HBC Rewards program changed to Hudson’s Bay’s Reward Points in 2013. The reason for this was that HBC decided to reward its loyal consumer base by developing a 3 tier system to reward its most frequent consumers at its online and offline HBC facilities. HBC Rewards did not have different tiers to distinguish between different types of customers. Hence, the company introduced a new rewards system and rebranded it to Hudson’s Bay’s Rewards program. Although there seems to be a slight confusion in the brand. Even today the URLs for some pages of the Hudson’s Bay’s Rewards Program contain the words “HBC” and “Rewards” in it. This probably stems from the fact that the store is called HBC hence, people expect it to be HBC Rewards rather than Hudson’s Bay Rewards.

What Can I Do With My Hudson’s Bay Rewards Points?

Once you’ve accrued enough points, you can use them to pay for different types of purchases either at Hudson’s Bay physical stores or online. Some product categories that you can redeem your hard-earned points for include:

  • Hudson’s Bay gift cards for your loved ones. In case you purchase gift cards online using your Hudson’s Bay rewards you cannot cancel your order or change it. However, if you decide to you can change the order within one hour of placing it.
  • Colognes and perfumes
  • Make-up products
  • Bomber Jackets, Hoodies
  • Sweaters and Cardigans
  • Watches and clocks
  • Barbecue grills and accessories such as grills

The minimum limit for redeeming points is 2,000 points for purchases in any physical store which translates to $10 and 5,000 points for purchasing products online which is $25.  You can redeem your Hudson’s Bay Reward points in 2,000 points increments by visiting a Hudson’s Bay Store or you could redeem your points in increments of 5,000 points by purchasing online on Hudson’s Bay’s website.

How To Earn Hudson’s Bay Rewards Points

There are several ways in which you can earn you Hudson’s Bay Rewards points. One way is by using the rewards cards in different tiers, your Hudson’s Bay Mastercard or filling surveys.

Earning Points With Your Hudson’s Bay Rewards Cards

In order to earn points, you need to purchase any product that you wish to buy using your Hudson’s Bay Rewards card from the physical location of any Hudson’s Bay store or you could earn them by buying products online on Hudson’s Bay’s website. The points that you earn in any particular reward tier are consistent and you do not earn more or fewer points on the types of products that you buy.  Do keep in mind that you need to present your Hudson’s Bay’s Reward card with you whenever you go to purchase from a physical outlet. Even if you have a Hudson’s Bay Mastercard with you, you need to carry your Rewards card with you in order to accrue points.

An important caveat that you should keep in mind while looking at the Hudson’s Bay Rewards program is that earning 1 point yields you 0.5 cents, so if you have your eyes on a nifty leather jacket, you would need to earn 40,000 points to earn that jacket for free. The rewards program has 3 tiers, each tier has its own loyalty card.

Earning Points With Your Hudson’s Bay Mastercard 

You can use your Hudson’s Bay’s Mastercard to maximize the points in any given tier. For instance, if you have a Hudson’s Bay Rewards card you can use your Hudson’s Bay Mastercard to double the points that you earn if you are a Hudson’s Bay Rewards or Hudson’s Bay VIP member. However, if you have a Hudson’s Bay Rewards Plus card then you can only convert every 1.5 points earned into 2 points

Earning Points By Filling Asking Canadians Survey

If you fill selected surveys on askingcanadians.com you can earn Hudson’s Bay Reward points. The number of points earned depends on the time you fill the survey and length of the survey that you are filling.

Elite Statuses In The Hudson’s Bay Rewards Program

Below I have elicited all the tiers so that you can choose the card that is right for you.

Tier 1: HBC Rewards Card

The Hudson’s Bay Rewards card is the most basic card that you can get. This card is right for you if you are just joining the program. It is also good for you if you do not like to spend a lot of money on fashionable products.

Some Common Feature Of The Hudson’s Bay Rewards Card

  • Yield 1 point for every $1 that you spend between $1 and $399.99 in a year. However, do keep in mind that the maximum limit does not include the tax on the amount you can spend up to $399.99 while remaining in this tier.
  • You can use your Hudson’s Bay MasterCard to double your points.
  • 20 saving events annually in which you can save on various products such as beauty products.

Tier 2: Hudson’s Bay Rewards Plus 

This card incentivizes you by giving you more points and exclusive offers on special products. You are likely to reach this tier if you are a savvy and regular customer at HBC and you can benefit from some great discounts and exclusive sales.

Some Common Feature Of The Hudson’s Bay Rewards Plus Card

  • You will earn 1.5 points for every $1 that you spend between $400 and $1199.99 that you spend within the year. The maximum limit is exclusive of taxes.
  • Use your Hudson’s Bay MasterCard to earn 2 points per $1 spent.
  • 24 saving events annually in which you can save on various products.
  • Get access to the all-exclusive Rewards Plus portal to get access to special products, discounts, and exclusive offers reserved for Hudson’s Bay Rewards Plus cardholders of the Bay Rewards Plus members.
HBC's Rewards programs loyalty card, Hudson's Bay Rewards Plus Card

Tier 3: Hudson’s Bay Rewards VIP Program

This is the highest tier in the Hudson’s Bay Rewards program. You’ll get this card if you are a truly loyal HBC customer who always wants to stay updated with the world of fashion.

Some Common Feature Of The Hudson’s Bay Rewards VIP Card

  • You will earn 2 points for every $1 that you spend more than $1200 in a given year. The maximum limit is exclusive of taxes.
  • Use your Hudson’s Bay MasterCard to earn 4 points per $1 spent.
  • 28 saving events annually in which you can save on various products.
  • Get access to the all-exclusive VIP portal to get access to special products, discounts, and exclusive offers reserved for you.
  • Special Beauty Offers.
  • A dedicated customer service team for the sole purpose of understanding your needs and requirements and answering your questions and queries.
HBC Rewards, Hudson Bay's Rewards Plus Card

How To Move Up To Elite Tiers In The HBC Rewards Program

There are several ways in which you can move up the tiers to maximize your points. In the list below I elicit some rules that you should be mindful of if you want to move up the tiers in the loyalty program.

  • To move up the tiers you need to spend money at Hudon’s Bay stores according to the amounts mentioned above in the different rewards tier categories. 
  • You need 2 separate visits to a Hudson’s Bay store, where you purchase products.
  • Multiple purchase visits on the same day count as one visit. You will have to visit on different days if you want to purchase from the same store.
  • Purchases that you make on the same day in 2 different stores count as 2 visits. This can enable you to move up categories.
  • Purchases made online and offline count as different purchases and can help you move up tiers
  • You must present your Hudson’s Bay Reward card for it to be considered a purchase visit.
  • The minimum purchase visits condition applies to 1 year and if you have made 2 purchase visits to any store you can move up the tiers.

Do Reward Points Expire

Yes. If you do not use your Hudson’s Bay Rewards card to earn or redeem points in a consecutive period spanning 12 months, then your earned points balance would be removed.

Does Your HBC Rewards Card Expire

No, the Hudson’s Bay reward cards do not expire. However, the VIP cards have an expiry date that is given to the consumer. You can continue to use your Rewards VIP card even after it expires. You will earn points according to the amount that you spend. Also, note that you need to requalify for the different tiers every year. Hence, you need to spend the amount of money within the specified tier brackets every year in order to remain in your respective category.

Flexibility Of The Hudson’s Bay Rewards Program 

The program allows you to use your reward points with other rewards and loyalty programs. Elicited below are some of the synergies that you can drive from your Hudson’s Bay Reward program and other rewards programs that have partnerships with HBC.

Collaboration Of HBC Reward With Petro – Canada

Link your Hudson’s Bay Reward card with your Petro-Canada account. This will allow you to earn 20% more reward points at Hudson’s Bay’s online platform, thebay.com, and Home Outfitters outlets.

Collaboration Of HBC Rewards With RBC

You can use your RBC loyalty points to convert them to Hudson’s Bay points and vice versa by converting your Hudson’s Bay Points to RBC points. Similarly, you get 2 Hudson’s Bay Reward points for every RBC point that you convert to a Hudson’s Bay point. Moreover, you get 1 RBC reward point for every 4 Hudson Reward points that you exchange.

You can also exchange your RBC Reward points for getting free Hudson’s Bay gift cards. Here are a few conversions that you need to be mindful of in case you want to convert your RBC Reward points to purchase a Hudson’s Bay gift card for a loved one.

Gift Card Value of Hudson’s Bay’s CardPoints NeededBonus Points Earned on your RBC Card
$253,50050
$507,000100
$10014,000200
$25035,000500
$ 50070,0001,000

A Word Of Caution

The interest rate on the Hudson’s Bay’s Mastercard is 29.99%. While it’s a great idea to use a Hudson’s Bay Mastercard to increase your points, always make sure that you do not carry over any balance on your Mastercard at the end of the month. This is because the high-interest rate would easily overshadow any benefit you make from the points that you earn. 

Some General Things You Should Know About Your Hudson’s Bay Rewards Card

Below, I mention some of the things that you should know about your rewards card such as moving through tiers, penalties and getting new HBC Rewards card etc.

How To Get Your New Hudson’s Bay Rewards Card

It takes between 6 to 8 months to get a new Hudson Bay’s Rewards card. You can call customer service at 1.800.844.8131 to order a new Hudson’s Bay Reward or Hudson’s Bay Rewards Plus card. However, if you have to place an order for a Hudson’s Bay VIP card you can call the customer service helpline on 1.866.923.9637. You can call the same numbers in case you lose your card.

Will You Need A New HBC Rewards Card Every Time You Are Promoted Or Demoted?

No, you will only be eligible for a new Rewards card once you move up a category and even if you are demoted, you can continue to use the same Rewards card, the only difference is that you will earn points according to the category that you belong in.

What Are The Penalties For Your HBC Rewards For Returning Products? 

You simply get the points deducted at the rate that you earned them and if the balance that you have spent falls below the specified thresholds for different tiers, your tier is downgraded. For instance, if you return an item and the money that you have spent falls from $1,205 to $1,199 you would become a Hudson’s Bay Rewards Plus member, compared to being a Hudson’s Bay VIP member.

So, Is The HBC Rewards Program Right For You?

Determining if a reward program is right for you is something that people always grapple with and I will try to answer this question in the following subsections.

If You Are Just Someone With Average Fashion Needs

If you are someone who likes to purchase a few fashionable clothing items a year, then this program is right for you because not only does this program incentivize your business with HBC but it also helps you stay in touch with the latest trends. 

You can monitor your needs throughout the year. If you find your usage close to a milestone where you can easily upgrade to the Hudson’s Bay Rewards Plus or Hudson’s Bay VIP program, then you should probably cross that limit to maximize your points and rewards. Because there are no membership fees or annual fees associated with the entire program.

If You Are Into High Fashion And Always Need To Have The Best Merchandise

If you are someone who likes to buy the newest jackets, sweaters, purses, and beauty products, then it may be worthwhile for you to invest wholeheartedly in this program. Because it is quite probable that your usage in this scenario may exceed $1,200 in this case. This would give access to the Rewards VIP card. This will help you by getting twice the points, 28 special saving events tailored to your needs by the customer service department. The best thing is that there is a dedicated team of customer service for you if you are a VIP member.  The team will understand your needs and offer products accordingly to you.

If You Are Someone Who Is Indifferent To Fashion Trends

If you do not like to stay in contact with the latest fashion trends and want to purchase the most cost-effective wardrobe that money can buy, then perhaps this rewards program is not for you. Because you will perhaps want to purchase your wardrobe from a store like Walmart where you can maximize your dollar. 

Conclusion & Final Verdict

The Hudson’s Bay Rewards program is designed in the perfect way to reward loyal customers. If you are a loyal customer you naturally tend to get a lot of value from the program, that helps you stay up to date with the latest fashion trends and earn some nifty rewards and discounts

One flaw in the program is that it takes 6-8 weeks for HBC to ship your Hudson’s Bay Rewards card. Secondly, the interest rate on Hudson’s Bay’s Mastercard is too high at 29.99%. I do not think it makes much financial usage to use the Mastercard if you tend to have balances left over each month. In this case, the interest rate may override any benefits that you may get from your reward points. 

Overall, I think it is a really good program in-terms of rewarding loyal customers and understanding their needs to deliver superior value. For instance, the sole purpose of the customer service team for VIP customers is to understand them and assist them. If you love purchasing the latest fashion on a regular basis, the Hudson’s Bay’s VIP card provides you with a lot of value and it is definitely worth investing in.

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