Money: Points, points, points

It seems that everywhere you shop these days there are offers for a points card, a store credit card or at the very least a sign up for our emails for special deals! Most of the time a no thank you is the best response however if you tend to shop at the same stores it may be worth your time to look into the benefits of a points card or even (gasp!) a store credit card

Chances are if you’re a busy working mom you tend to shop at the same grocery store, same pharmacy and same retail stores. I am not a huge fan of retail store credit cards and have never really come across any that offer benefits that outweigh the negative of having another damn credit card.

The best points cards to have (if you live in Canada) are the Presidents Choice Plus card and Shoppers Optimum. I also have an airmiles card (eye roll here).

It’s pretty easy to rack up enough points with the first two of these cards in a reasonable amount of time. Especially with all the bonus in store points that are typically offered.

Shoppers tends to be expensive if you’re buying items at full price. I recommend buying most things that are on sale and shopping when it’s 20X the points. You will easily reach the first reward level right away and likely in a few months reach their top level.

The PC plus points app will give you weekly offers to for bonus points and things you usually buy anyway (Hellooo consumer tracking). I don’t really think this is a terrible thing, I know I’m going to probably buy apples, oranges and lemons next time I shop so if Presidents Choice knows too and wants to give me more points … I’ll take ’em. When this program was first rolled out they were giving away pointslike crazy, they’ve definitely scaled back now.

How to spend your hard earned points :

With the Optimum card I wait until they have a “spend your points” event. You will get even MORE stuff than you would redeeming on another day. The last time they had one we ended up getting 4 boxes of diapers, 4 jugs of laundry detergent, toilet paper for the year and paper towels… Just to name some of the things in our haul  It’s always nice paying only the tax on $200 worth of household goods!!! Especially when all those things are on sale!

Spending PC points : you can redeem anytime you grocery shop once you’ve accumulated 20 000 points ($20 off). Since I get squat for a maternity leave I’m saving my points for the next time we decide to have another baby. Most people I know just spend them as they accumulate the points … There’s really no benefit in saving them up, except to use on a rainy day!

I have two credit cards, one that is mostly used for my business and our PC MasterCard. I only typically shop at our independent grocer and No Frills , so it makes sense for us to have this as our spending card. You get extra points for using your PC MasterCard on any purchase, so it definitely makes it easy to get points if you’re mostly shopping at the same grocery stores.

As as far as Air Miles go… I had one for about 12 years and still hadn’t racked up enough points to do anything with, despite the weekly LCBO trips during university. It wasn’t until we built our house I had acquired enough points to actually fly somewhere (FYI: the booking agents I dealt with were awesome). I also just went to book a flight with Air Miles for our March vacation and everything was blacked out. No fun.

Moral of todays post: if you’re a creature of habit and too busy/lazy to cut out coupons – a points card or store credit card are the way to go!


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