I turned into a new leaf. Signing up to every Canadian Rewards Programs isn’t one of my hobbies anymore.
When I was a newcomer in the Canadian soil, I am thrilled to spot opportunity to collect rewards points of any stores that have a cashier who remembers to offer their program. “Would you like to join our program?”
Is there a polite way to decline?
Yes! And no, I don’t need to sign up for more reward programs or donate to a charity on a checkout counter.
The new me, decided to focus on collecting rewards points of stores where I regularly shop for my needs and occasional wants.
Canadian Rewards Points that I Collect
I have three on my list and few rewards programs that I can’t decide whether to keep though I seldom use or delete my account because I didn’t know it exist.
Note: I don’t have Reward credit cards that can increase points with every purchase.
The PC Optimum is the loyalty program that I get to redeem points more often than any other rewards programs.
I redeemed points to pay for two electronic toothbrushes. (one for my sibling).
If I remember it right, I bought a Waterpik Water Flosser at Shoppers to get points. (That Waterpik is now being used by that same sibling whom I gifted an electronic toothbrush.)
Tip: Electronic toothbrush turned out to be a great gift for yourself and others.
My coworker thanked me for suggesting it as a Christmas gift for her husband.
For head brush, I shop either at Shoppers Drug Mart or Real Canadian Superstore wherever I can get the most points.
What’s the difference anyway?
When to Shop at Shoppers and Real Canadian Superstore
You can earn PC Optimum points in these stores differently and here’s how I do it.
1. Real Canadian Superstore
You can earn PC points when you shop at Real Canadian Superstore or any Loblaw stores like No Frills, Wholesale Club, T&T Supermarket etc.
Before you go check the flyer to see what item offer points. If you buy an item offering points and use PC Financial Mastercard to pay then expect to collect more points. Caching!
If you are like me who don’t like to sign up to PC Mastercard and buy item without points then you get nothing.
Because I don’t buy a lot of food since I have food allowance at work, I seldom get points at Superstore. Sometimes I don’t bother having my card scan at checkout counter.
2. Shoppers Drug Mart
I shop here for health or beauty items because it is close to my place and for other benefits.
- Earn points every time you shop. Every time.
- Get more points for items listed on the weekly flyer.
I don’t need to check flyers because I’m going to earn points anyway.
These are the reasons why I shop at Shoppers even though the price is higher than in Superstore.
What I like the most about Shoppers is its location. It’s in downtown. In the mall. It’s everywhere.
Too bad Shoppers don’t have produce; otherwise I’m racking up points at Shoppers instead of going to Safeway which has small selection of produce. Have you seen any bitter gourd and papaya at Safeway?
Tip: You can also earn points at Joe Fresh, Esso and Mobil Station, and other Loblaw stores.
I felt like a kid when I first got the Canadian Tire paper money. It made me think of getting something for spending a real money.
Canadian Tire do away with paper money (replaced with CT Money) and introduced Triangle Rewards program that comes with an app.
What did I redeem my points for?
So far I bought cordless vacuum which I gave away when I sold my car. (Was this the start of my minimalist lifestyle?)
Then I bought a granite frying pan so I can cook one-pan pasta recipes which is the easiest meal I’ve known to cook since becoming a vegetarian.
Buying dumbbells, seeds, duck tape for balikbayan boxes, and whatnot helped me in collecting more Canadian points.
I’m thinking of buying tools and sending it back in the Philippines to build DIY projects. That’s something to look forward to.
It’s been a long time since I built a kennel for an Aspin. What about chicken coop.
The Chicken Run movie made me sad and I wasn’t a vegetarian at that time. Abandon ship or coop.
Tip: Collect CT Money at Canadian Tire, Sport Check, Atmosphere, Sports Rousseau, Mark’s etc.
I am a movie buff even before such term existed. What will you make of a kid that spend Sunday night watching Star Wars by herself while everyone is fast asleep.
A Star Wars fan. Also who don’t mind waking up and making to class late the next day. Checking all the boxes.
I still love movies . . . on Netflix. The kid was able to graduate from college got a job and pay a subscription service.
So that’s why I hardly use my Scene reward card.
But I’m checking it to see if I can redeem points to watch Downton Abbey in theaters.
I’ve watched all the seasons on Netflix and looking for similar period drama. Any recommendations? And I prefer a British drama if you don’t mind.
Here’s a confession of a frugal cinephile.
I watch movies on cinemas for free so often I can’t use Scene.
At the end of the year I get free movie tickets from work. If you are in Calgary, you can watch movies with free popcorn through the sponsorship of Science in the Cinema. Moviegoers are requested to answer a survey in every show. I don’t mind at all.
Popcorns and surveys make a perfect partner.
Who else is watching Downton Abbey? If not? Why? Or wait to borrow the movie in the library.
As for me, this is an exception. Besides I’m going to watch it for half the price. That’s justifiable that even Dowager Countess would even agree.
Where to Keep Reward Cards
Ever since I use Stocard app, my 2 x 4 wallet only has debit and credit cards (still not convince of using Apple Pay because credit cards has tap already).
I keep my library card on Stocard. Probably any card with bar code can be scanned and save on this app. I stashed away my rewards cards in a box at home.
As mentioned I don’t use Canadian rewards credit cards. Instead, I looked for credit cards with high cash back rewards:
- Home Trust Preferred Visa (no foreign conversion fee, used it a 5-day trip in Siem Reap, Cambodia)
- Rogers Platinum Mastercard
- Tangerine Mastercard
I’ve been enticed by cashiers to get a PC credit card, Canadian Tire or BMO Scene.
My answer is constant: no thanks. I like points that’s all.
Yes I can get more points but I don’t need more credit cards and brain cell to check all the accounts and not miss monthly payment. My My goal is to have zero credit at the end of the month. Every month.
Other Canadian Rewards Programs I Hardly Use
Without writing this post I wouldn’t make an inventory of how many rewards programs that I’ve joined and rarely participate in.
IKEA. The last time I went was when I bought a mattress more than a year ago to replace my air bed.
Best Buy. I often shop on Amazon from gadgets to health products.
London Drugs. This is where I bought Sony a6000 on Cyber Monday. And I also received a camera bag free of charge. What can you say Best Buy?
Planet Organic. A branch recently opened near my place so I might shop occasionally for a vegan wrap and vegan yogurt and tofu. If not being known as one of the expensive stores in Canada then I might shop often.
HBC Rewards. I closed my credit card a long time ago but would like to mention that you can donate the reward points to charity like I did. I don’t want to waste the point nor keep the credit card. Donating is the best solution.
Co-op. I live way too far from any Co-op but will never know when will I next move to a new apartment so I’m keeping this.
Airmiles. Staples don’t accept Airmiles anymore so I don’t know how I can earn points (wait there’s Safeway). I seldom shop clothes. So might as well donate the points and close the account like HBC.
Plum Rewards. I love reading but I am committed of not collecting books anymore. Instead I borrow at the library. My shelf still has books that is yet to be donated at thrift store or Little Free Library. Ditch Plum Rewards. Final verdict.
What reward programs would you like to use more or thinking of getting rid of?
The Danger of Collecting Rewards Points
You will spend more if your goal is to collect more points by buying items that you don’t need.
My advice: stick to your grocery list. Never ever chase points.
How many hours would you like to spend on checking flyers? It’s not fun and time consuming. Buy what you need before shopping on your pantry first.
Yes cooked that canned of chickpeas. Drizzle that maple syrup on a hot oatmeal or waffle like what is planned for a year now. (Talking to myself here.)
Canadian Rewards Programs are great. Imagine collecting points with reasonable spending.
What a joy it is to pay nothing but points for a discounted plant-based milk. (And no Oreo even though it’s vegan.)
Moderation is your friend, my fellow budget-oriented consumer.
Stick to the budget (and make one ASAP if lacking) and you’ll have fun.
What Canadian rewards programs do you like the most?