Are Chapters-Indigo Plum Rewards Worth It?

Chapters-Indigo Plum rewards reviewPlum Rewards is Canada’s largest loyalty program for reading enthusiasts. It offers discounts and special promotions for members that shop at the Toronto-based retail chain Indigo. The Plum Rewards program is available across the country at Indigo’s 92 superstores and 131 smaller format stores operating as Chapters, Coles, SmithBooks and online at chapters.indigo.ca.

Plum Rewards is free to join and there are no annual membership fees. To become a member, you must be 16 years of age. You can join online or at any store location with your name and a valid email address or mailing address and telephone number.

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In addition to books, Indigo has expanded to include exclusive product lines, a large toy department, fashionable home décor and even specialized teas. The wide range of products makes Chapters a tempting shopping destination to readers and non-readers alike.

Changes have been made to the Plum Rewards program starting September 3rd, 2015. Here’s what you need to know.

Earning Plum Rewards Points

Accumulating points with the Plum Rewards program is still straight forward. Formerly, members earned 10 plum points for every $1 spent in-store on almost any product including books, toys and home décor and accessories. As of September 3, Indigo has devalued the earning potential of the Plum Rewards program in favor of greater flexibility and features. Members will earn 5 points for every $1 spent instead of 10 points. In return, the points are eligible to be earned and redeemed in-store, online and through the mobile app. Existing points will not be impacted and redemption levels will remain the same.

The points are still automatically added to your account after a purchase has been made. Bonus points will be awarded on your birthday and plum anniversary. Extra bonus offers, which is a great way to boost earning potential, will appear more frequently. Bonus events that promise 10x Plum points will take place quarterly on specific dates; the first event was held on September 10-13, 2015 with a $30 minimum spend.

Keep in mind that a few exceptions still apply. Plum points are not awarded at in-store Starbucks locations or on purchases of gift cards and electronics such as eReaders and Apple products. Also, the points earned from a purchase will be deducted from the account should the item be returned.

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Preventing Points From Expiring

Plum points will not expire as long as you are an active plum rewards member; you must collect at least one plum point within the last 12 months. If your account is inactive for 12 months, you will lose all accumulated points. If you find yourself not needing to make any future purchases, you can transfer your Plum points to another Plum Rewards member via the online tool.

Redeeming Your Points

Once you accumulate enough points, simply tell the store associate that you’d like to redeem them and the reward value will be deducted from your purchase price. The points can be redeemed in the following increments:

Points Required Reward Value % Reward Return
2500 $ 5.00 1.00%
4500 $ 10.00 1.11%
8500 $ 20.00 1.18%
20000 $ 50.00 1.25%
35000 $ 100.00 1.43%

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As the point redemption level increases, so does the rate of return. At the new 5 point per dollar earnings ratio (excluding bonus offers), the lowest tier redemption level translate to a 1% return where the top tier maxes out at 1.43%. Note that 35,000 points, or $100, is the maximum members can redeem in a single transaction.

If you only make purchases on 10x bonus days and only redeem your points at the highest level, then your return skyrockets to 14.3%, which is at least half decent!

Benefits of Joining Plum Rewards

Free Indigo Wifi

Plum Rewards members get access to free wifi at Indigo locations.

Mobile Access

The Indigo app, available for both IOS and Android, gives instant access to a digital card that can be scanned in lieu of a physical card when making purchases. The app also provides convenient access to view your point balance as well as personalized offers and recommendations.

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Personalized Recommendations

Based on your purchase history and account preferences, Indigo will suggest products that it hopes that you will use. This can help save time and help you discover new products of interest that may go overlooked. Recommendations will get better as more purchases are made.

Exclusive Offers and Contests

Indigo offer members access to exclusive promotions for discounted tickets to Musicals, Festivals and Cultural experiences. Members are also eligible to enter private contests for advance movie screenings, trips to film premiers and vacations.

Is the Plum still fresh?

Indigo is cutting the earning power of the program in half – trading reward returns for the option of online redemption, more frequent bonuses and other fringe benefits. It can now take up to $500 in spending for $5 off. While the changes may leave a rotten taste for some existing members, it’s probably not going to have any consumers change their shopping habits. Given that the program costs nothing to join, you may as well become a member, make the occasional purchase and slowly accumulating points towards that $5 off.

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The big benefit to the change is if you time your purchases around their 10x promotions, then you will now only have to spend $50 to earn $5 off whereas with the old program you pretty much had to spend $250 to get that $5. At least that’s something!

What do you think? Are you a member of Plum Rewards or would you consider joining?

Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links. We're letting you know because it's the right thing to do. Here’s a more detailed disclosure on how HTS makes money.

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Comments

JJ
JJ 's picture

Any suggestions to get "Extra Rewards Offers" for Indigo or Chapters purchases? Which site gives the Best Rewards?
#1 - AMA e-stores for AMA points back 5% in CAA Dollars
#2 - More Rewards Program (Save on Foods) $1 = 1 point
#3 - Airmiles Rewards 1 Mile = $20 (only use this during 5X Airmiles Rewards Event)

Share your thoughts

April 17, 2017 @ 3:29 am
Uri
Uri 's picture

Plum rewards is a total insult to me and my wife and my kid we love books and plums yet 500 buckaroos to even see a 5 buckaroo turnabout is loony! Who does Mrs indigo think she is, my word I'm in awe it's like tipping a nickel ... I dunno about you but Mrs indigo can... Keep the change. Sincerely uri

July 11, 2017 @ 8:25 pm
Carl
Carl's picture

I agree with Uri. Pretty cheap rewards program if you ask me. 5 bucks on $500...1%. Wow, don't break the bank or nuthin' there Chapters. It's kind of, I don't know.....insulting. I mean, why even bother. Keep your $5.00. You obviously need it more than your customers need a discount for their loyalty to you. You guys sure know how to create excitement. Don't know why you just don't hand out a chunk of coal.

June 21, 2018 @ 1:00 am
Bob
Bob's picture

This is a terrible rewards program. Absolutely pointless, no pun intended. You need to spend quite a bit for very little return. Why even have it? It would be different if Chapters/Indigo passed some sort of savings on to customers in other ways, but they never have mentionable sales. They charge full cover price on all books unless they're in the bargain bins. No wonder the Amazons of the world are taking over. As well, they sell most other items like electronics and accessories at exorbitant prices in an attempt to present themselves as a boutique shop. And let's not forget that, for your refreshment, the stores also house the most expensive coffee retailer around: Starbucks. With all this and online sales, I'm guessing it's still not a very lucrative company. Otherwise, why wouldn't Plum Rewards be a more worthy program? Not worth the plastic card they give you when you join. Although, Indigo has never seemed to care if they give shoppers that proverbial warm, fuzzy feeling anyway.

July 05, 2018 @ 2:30 pm
Erica
Erica's picture

It isnt worth it if you are just buying things at regilar cost and collecting. However you have to watch for the deals. Currently its 500pts per book ordered online. They also are having a buy 5 books for $25. So I just bought 6 books (spent $31.50) and got over 3000pts.

August 21, 2018 @ 4:49 pm
Derek
Derek's picture

Just lost all my points due to this clause in the membership agreement, so be careful:
"If your plum rewards account is inactive for 12 months, all accumulated plum points will be forfeited."

September 18, 2018 @ 6:53 pm
Dale
Dale's picture

This is an absolutely pointless rewards program. To have to spend $500 to receive $5 off is ridiculous. And the clause that all plum rewards account points will expire if your account is inactive for 12 months, definitely doesn't help matters. I just finished telling them to close my account. In this day and age, Amazon and eBay offer better deals geared to the frequency of my reading. This rewards program will go the way of the dodo if the bricks and mortar Indigo/Chapters chain collapses, and it just might keeping in mind what happened to Sears and Target as Canadian consumers are changing their buying habits.

October 26, 2018 @ 4:32 pm
HowToSaveMoney Team
HowToSaveMoney Team's picture

Hi Dale,

The earn rate for Plum Rewards is definitely one of the lowest. You really need to look out for those "5x points" promotions in order to get better value out of it.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 

October 30, 2018 @ 4:49 pm

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