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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Why We Love Loyalty Programs

It wasn't long ago that I wasn't interested in loyalty programs.  I didn't want to fill out another form or carry another card - until I got the bug - the loyalty bug.  As soon as I realized what I was missing out on by not participating, I decided to give it a go to see if it was really worth my while.  So, I selected a few, choice rewards programs and used them as much as I could.  My picks were Air Miles and PC Points - both of which I still enjoy very much.

Both my partner and I collect as many PC points as possible.  We do this by using our President's Choice MasterCards often, but we never carry a balance.  As soon as we receive our monthly statements, the balance is paid in full.  This means we collect PC points without any penalty whatsoever.  We choose to use our PC points against grocery purchases at any PC store.  I wish I had tracked the amount of free groceries I have collected over the years, because I know you would be amazed.  Using the credit cards wisely means we accumulate points fairly quickly - and applying the points to food purchase means we often get our bills cut in half, if not better.

My other favourite loyalty program is Air Miles.  Although these points are not as widely awarded, over the years, we have still managed to cash in for some great merchandise.  I used to put my Air Miles points towards movie tickets - these seemed to offer the most value for the points.  Given the high cost of movie admission, we felt like bandits, seeing what we wanted for free!  Most recently, I allowed my points to grow until I managed to redeem for some heftier household items.  I was able to cash in for an awesome Muskoka chair, and a great microwave - with not a single dime out of pocket.

For the information you provide to these programs, the rewards they offer make it worth the exchange.  The producst we have received as a result are all things we would have otherwise had to pay for, so in our eyes, loyalty programs have helped us have more without spending more.

Which loyalty programs do you like?  Which pay more for every dollar you spend?  Please share your ideas with us and our readers by posting a comment on this blog.

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