Overwaitea teams up with Scotiabank for Visa rewards

In battle for shopper loyalty, new program is a win-win says loyalty watcher

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The Overwaitea Food Group is partnering with one of Canada’s biggest banks in a bid to boost its loyalty rewards program brand.

Starting May 30, holders of the new Scotiabank More Rewards Visa card will be able to earn up to six redemption points for every dollar they spend at the B.C.-based grocer’s 150 stores in Western Canada, including Save-On-Foods, as well as its program partners.

That works out to a roughly 1.7% return on spending, an earn rate that one Canadian rewards program expert calls “very competitive.”

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The Visa card is a new twist and an added value for Overwaitea’s 24-year-old More Rewards program.

A hybrid grocery store and coalition loyalty program that allows members to redeem points for groceries, travel and merchandise, the program has 3.2 million active members, most of them in British Columbia.

Program members who obtain and use the new Visa card will notably see rewards points added directly to their accounts thanks to a mag stripe and bar code on the card that contains their loyalty number.

“This new card is part of Overwaitea’s continued investment in our loyalty program,” Dan Howe, Overwaitea’s vice-president of marketing and communications and the More Rewards program, told Canadian Grocer.

“It is another way for our very engaged members to accumulate and redeem our currency.”

For the founder and president of Rewards Canada, a website that provides information on loyalty programs, the Overwaitea-Scotiabank partnership is a win-win for both companies.

READ: Overwaitea’s More Rewards loyalty program joins Carrot Rewards

“Overwaitea is having to compete now in the West with Sobeys and Loblaw, which have strong rewards programs and partners, and Federated Co-op, which pays annual dividends (to its member customers),” Patrick Sojka said from his home in Calgary.  “So it makes sense for them to get all the marketing power and prowess of Scotiabank.”

The bank, he added, is trying to grow outside of its Scene program, and match the rewards program success that competitor RBC has had with Westjet and British Airways, and TD with Aeroplan.

“It’s a big cat and mouse game,” said Sojka.  “The big banks are trying to build their credit card portfolios by piling up retailers, and retailers are fighting to maintain market share.”