Finding the Best Loyalty Programs Against Inflation

I racked up an $87 bill on a recent pharmacy visit, but walked out after only paying $17 after using customer loyalty points.

With inflation on the boil, we are constantly paying more for things. A good customer loyalty program is one way to fight back. Use your points to cover the cost of everyday items that go up in price.

In my case, I purchased contact lens solution, razors, and various other drugstore items from Shoppers Drug Mart. To pay, I used all the accumulated PC Optimum points using an app on my smart phone. Bing – $87 becomes $17.

Now tell me about customer loyalty programs that help you fight rising costs by emailing rcarrick@globeandmail.com. I’ll round up the names of the programs that get mentioned the most and report back to you in a week or two.

Many credit cards and other loyalty programs offer points that you can use to offset the cost of purchases. Let’s talk about programs with points that accumulate quickly and then are easy to use for everyday purchases that get more and more expensive. How much did you save on your grocery or other bill? How long did it take you to earn these points?

To be honest, I have no idea how long it took me to earn the $70 I used at the pharmacy. But it felt good to deflate my actual bill from $87 to $17.


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Rob’s Personal Finance Reading List

Salary Negotiation Thoughts

A Reddit discussion on how to ask for a higher salary than an employer offers for a job. The drift here is that you want to stand up for yourself as a great employee and not give out personal details about why you need the money.

Advice for young buyers

An American view of what young aspiring homeowners should face in the face of expensive and rising house prices. Hot housing is newer to Americans than it is here in Canada, so it’s kind of fun to read this article.

Eight Things Your Dishwasher Will Destroy

Non-stick pots and pans, fine china, and good knives are some of the valuable kitchen items your dishwasher will ruin. The abrasiveness of dishwasher detergent is the main reason for this.

Credit cards that help you avoid airline fees

Here we are talking about baggage fees, seat selection fees and more. Many travel reward credit cards offer benefits that cover charges like these.


Questions and answers

Q: I will soon be lucky enough to no longer have a mortgage and I have already reached the maximum of my RRSP and TFSA contributions. I’m just curious what the best option is for future savings/investment. I also have a pretty solid Plan B account. I am 48 and my wife is 37.

A: One idea is to give money to your spouse to supplement their TFSA, which you can do tax-free. Here’s a way to give a spouse money for an RRSP – it’s probably not something you want to do. Beyond that, consider investing tax-efficiently in a non-registered account.

Do you have a question for me? Send me. Sorry I can’t answer each one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.


Listen to this

The latest episode of our Stress Test podcast on personal finance for Gen Z and Millennials: Parents are financing their kids’ down payments on the house, but can they afford it?


Today’s financial tool

Need to know tips from the Canada Revenue Agency for the increasingly small group of people who prefer to file their taxes on paper instead of using software or apps to file online.


The cashless zone

I’ve watched this video a bunch of times – a version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps featuring a star band with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood and Prince blowing others right off stage about the two third of the way through.


In case you missed these Globe and Mail articles on personal finance

  • That’s why it’s a bad idea to retire with more money than you need
  • Here are some big mistakes to avoid when trying to meet the March RRSP deadline
  • Not contributing to an RRSP can make sense in some years

More Rob Carrick and Financial Hedging

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