"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rewards Programs

I signed up for three rewards programs this week: Best Buy Rewards, AeroPlan Miles, HBC Rewards, and SCENE rewards.

Before that, I was only collecting Petro-Points and Airmiles (and CDN Tire money, if that counts as a 'reward').

I prefer to be 'loyal' to one program so that I can accumulate lots of points and get free stuff, rather than spreading points around. Petro-Points is my catchall reward program since I get points for anything I buy using my credit card. I double my rewards at places like Shell, IGA, and Jean Coutu to get both Petro-Points and Airmiles rewards by using both my credit card and my Airmiles card. Between both programs, I get several hundred dollars worth of rewards every year.

I signed up for Best Buy rewards because it doesn't cost anything and I shop there frequently. I doubt I'll ever get a reward since the points expire and you need to spend 400$ to get 5$, but I don't lose anything by using the card.

HBC Rewards used to be the Zellers rewards program and I was peeved when the switchover came because I lost all my Zellers points. I'd taken all the steps to have my points transferred over, but my paperwork got 'misplaced.' Since then, I've satisfied myself with the Petro-Points on my credit card. This week, I got an offer that made me look at HBC Rewards more closely and I discovered that the points can be linked to my Airmiles card, with HBC points being automatically converted to Airmiles. Great! Another place where I can 'double' my rewards.

Jean Coutu has a great selection of products, but their prices aren't great and they're not located conveniently. There's an Uniprix in my building at work and they have most of the products I want (including the only shampoo and conditioner I use) as well as great sales. I don't shop there often and it's usually for amounts too small for me to want to use my credit card, so I conceded to not getting any points for transactions there. But they recently associated themselves with Aeroplan Miles so I figured I might as well get a card. Even though it'll take forever to rack up enough points to get anything from them, it's still better than not getting anything at all!

Finally, I'm kicking myself for not getting a SCENE card sooner. You get points for both movie and concession purchases. I think that the 'worst' you can do with this program is watch 10 movies, get the 11th free. I don't see a ton of movies at full price now, favouring 'discount' cinemas, but this program seems pretty sweet, and they give you a pretty good signup bonus, so I'll probably get my free movie in 6 or 7 movies rather than 10, even if it takes a couple of years.

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