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How to Efficiently Shop for the Holiday Season - Credit Cards & Loyalty Programs

Published on 5 Dec 2022

lifestyle
How to Efficiently Shop for the Holiday Season - Credit Cards & Loyalty Programs

You conquered Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but you still have time to go until your holiday shopping list is completely checked off. We’re back to finish our How to Efficiently Shop for the Holiday Season blog series and to help you become a holiday shopping superstar by utilizing what’s in your wallet, your credit cards and loyalty programs.

Did you know that over 90% of companies offer loyalty programs and that there are close to 130 million loyalty memberships in Canada? That averages out to four memberships per Canadian, which means you’re well on your way to saving money with what’s already in your wallet. We’ll cover which loyalty programs will help you get what you want this holiday season.

Loyalty Programs

BeWell

Sign up for Be Well, Rexall Pharmacy’s loyalty program, so you can stay connected to your health and wellness over the holidays. This loyalty program is limited in size and rewards but offers a vital service if you want to earn points on your prescriptions and wellness products. Once a member, you’ll also be able to automatically connect to Rexall pharmacy to add, transfer, manage and automate your prescriptions, with the ability to submit new prescriptions with a photo.

Earn even more points if you’re an RBC bank client by linking any RBC banking card to your Be Well account. Earn 50 points for every dollar spent on prescriptions, essential vitamins, health and wellness programs and everything you need to stay healthy over the holidays.

Aeroplan

Owned by AirCanada, Aeroplan helps Canadians earn points and travel easily. Set up your membership as a stand-alone loyalty card or with your TD, CIBC and American Express credit cards. Alongside AirCanada, you can redeem travel rewards through many partner airlines. Then once you arrive at your destination, you can use Avis or Budget for transportation, Marriot and other hotel chains to book your accommodation, all through your Aeroplan points.

But first, you need to use your Aeroplan credit card or stand-alone card to get enough points to travel. Aeroplan has a massive retailer network where you can earn points when you stock up for your holiday party at the LCBO, ride through UBER, buy a gift on Amazon, get your daily morning coffee from Starbucks, and the list goes on! Check out all of Aeroplan’s partnerships, so you can plan your holiday shopping accordingly and earn on every purchase.

Petro Points

With the elevated price of gas and especially diesel fuel, you might as well make the most out of a bad situation. Earn ten points for every litre pumped and every dollar spent in-store or carwash, and if you’re an RBC bank client, you can save 3¢ every litre and earn 20% more Petro-Points made with your RBC linked card.

Driving a lot this holiday season to go to one family’s party to the next? Redeem your points for a 5¢ or 10¢ fuel savings card, and save even more if you’re paying with your linked RBC card. Redeem for more travel, gift cards for stocking stuffers, carwashes to keep your ride clean, and so much more.

Credit Card Rewards

Banks and credit card providers offer great loyalty programs without membership fees, making saving money easier through these programs. Read your credit card’s fine print to take advantage of their partnerships. Depending on your credit card and their partnerships, you can unlock free travel and car rental insurance, travel rewards, access to premium experiences, discounts and more. So if you’re using your credit card for holiday shopping, reap the rewards.

PC Optimum

Don’t want to put that new flat-screen tv on your credit card? Let your PC points do the purchasing for you! PC Optimum can earn PC points by purchasing groceries from No Frills, Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, Real Canadian Superstore, Zehrs, and other Loblaws-partnered stores, purchasing gas at Esso and Mobil Stations or with your PC Financial credit card. Every dollar you spend earns you 10 PC points you can redeem.

Get even more points when you sign up for the PC World Elite Mastercard, the highest PC Mastercard, which allows you to earn 30 PC points per dollar spent at Loblaws corporation grocery stores, 30 points per litre at Esso and Mobil stations, 45 points per dollar at Shoppers Drug Mart and many other PC purchases.

CIBC Costco Membership

Do you have a Costco membership but want more than a $1.50 hotdog? CIBC gives you the CIBC Costco Mastercard, earn up to 3% cash back wherever Mastercard is accepted with a $0 annual fee and no additional charge for up to three additional cards. Along with 3% cash back at restaurants and Costco gas, you’ll also receive 2% cash back at other gas stations and Costco and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

American Express

Also known as Amex, it has one of the smaller market shares in the credit card industry and limited acceptance by retailers and merchants. Still, American Express packs a punch with its exclusive and luxurious perks for its cardholders. Like other credit card providers, Amex has its Membership Rewards Program that allows you to earn points for every dollar you spend, ranging from 1 to 5 points per dollar. With a complete product offering for personal and business cards, Amex offers all the standard credit card features but with elevated coverage and programs.

Looking to take the family on a winter vacation, but the rising interest rates have you worried about putting the entire trip on your credit card? Amex’s Trip Cancellation Insurance covers up to $30,000 per family for a single trip! Amex also partners with a plethora of retailers in a wide range of purchase categories so that you can get those concert tickets for your family concertgoer, fitness and athletic equipment for your fitness guru, glassware for your mixologist or power tools for your DIYer.

If you’re already an Amex cardholder, refer a friend and get a referral bonus, an additional way to stack on the savings.

Become a Holiday Superstar

There are too many options when it comes to Canadian loyalty programs. Still, you should have at least one credit card program or stand-alone program that you can use to maximize your savings and extend your holiday season through travel rewards. You may only be eligible for some of the loyalty programs mentioned above, so do your own research and understand your spending habits to find one that works best for you.

Now, after this blog, you should be well on your way to completing your shopping list, getting everything you need to be a holiday shopping superstar and mitigating your household debt! With the help from our How to efficiently shop for the holiday season blog series, take advantage of seasonal sales by understanding the retail mindset (link), useful apps (link) you can use for shopping, and your favourite credit cards and loyalty programs.

Stay safe and happy holidays!

*Pineapple does not receive any compensation from any of the companies mentioned.*

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