Author Topic: Rewards Programs: Who Uses Them and Which Ones Do You Like Best?  (Read 2032 times)

BPA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
Rewards Programs: Who Uses Them and Which Ones Do You Like Best?
« on: February 03, 2013, 06:52:54 AM »
I live in Canada and use two rewards programs:  Shoppers Optimum and Airmiles.

The one year that I kept track, I scored nearly $1500 in free stuff. 

Both programs seem to provide less in rewards than they used to, but currently, just from going about my daily life of buying what I need on sale,  I have $60 in airmiles to cash in for groceries, and $85 to use at Shoppers ($100 during a bonus redemption). 

jd

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Location: Canada
Re: Rewards Programs: Who Uses Them and Which Ones Do You Like Best?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2013, 11:25:23 AM »
I'm in Canada too, and have also got a fair bit of 'free' stuff from collecting points, mostly from using credit cards.  But after playing the points game for a while, I now prefer to get cash back whenever possible, but I will collect points when the opportunity arises.

I've mostly given up on Air Miles.  I redeemed all my miles last year for Shell gift certificates, and just finished using them all.  I may get a few miles here and there, but I don't regularly shop at Air Miles sponsors.

I reluctantly collect aeroplan points--they are easy to collect, but they are regularly devalued.  I get a few from the occasional flight, and I got 15000 points last year for signing up for a CIBC aerogold visa when they were offering the first year free.  I recently applied for a American Express gold card to earn another 15k points (+$50 cash back), also with no annual fee for the first year.

I put all my grocery store purchases on my no-fee SmartCash mastercard and have been earning 5% cash back.  I also have another no-fee card (which I understand is no longer available) that pays 2% cash back on all purchases.

If you do any online shopping, you may want to sign up with Great Canadian Rebates:
https://www.greatcanadianrebates.ca/Register/119166/
They offer cash back rebates when you shop online through the links on their site.  They also offer some nice rebates when you apply for credit cards, including $50 cash back for the Amex gold card, and $60 for the SmartCash mastercard.  (I get bonus rebates when you sign up through that link.)

KMMK

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1468
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
    • Meena Kestirke Insurance
Re: Rewards Programs: Who Uses Them and Which Ones Do You Like Best?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 12:45:38 PM »
 I used to use Air Miles but it seems there are less and less things to redeem them for, if you don't want more stuff, and don't travel often. Some of the gift cards are also location specific, so there are some I can't use. And it seemed what I got back was about 0.7%.

Now I use a PC mastercard, which gives back 1%. Since we shop at Superstore a lot of the time anyhow, that works out well. We pay almost everything with a credit card so end up with quite a lot of cash back. I think my husband and I got $40 each just for signing up. Of course if you don't use a credit card much it might not be worth it. But we'd use credit cards regardless so I'd might as well get some benefit.

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1414
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: Rewards Programs: Who Uses Them and Which Ones Do You Like Best?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 06:16:28 AM »
I've started and later cancelled the CIBC aeroplan visa card a couple of times, mostly to get the sign up bonuses... when the current one expires, I may roll over to american express for the same reason (my credit rating doesn't seem to mind). But I fly a lot and usually have status, so I get decent value from the points. If you don't, I totally understand going with a fairly generous cash back card.
One downside of the visa, for a food cheapskate like me: you can't use it at costco or no frills.