Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Save $1000 This Year: DAY EIGHT: Rewards Programs

There are many different rewards programs to choose from these days and they can be a great way to give your budget an extra boost. Rather than holding each and every rewards program card that there is out there I suggest choosing a few and learning how to earn points quickly and wisely.

I used to think the Shoppers Drugmart was just for old ladies but they have plenty of great deals on everything from bath and beauty to pain relievers to grocery staples. When I have a couple of extra dollars I go in and buy a gift card (say $10 one week $10 the next, etc.) so that when a special event comes up (such as earn 20x the points when you spend $50 or more) I don't feel strapped to meet the minimum dollar amount. PLUS you get points on Shoppers Drugmart gift cards when you buy them AND when you redeem! BONUS! If you don't already have one get your Optimum card,  best part's FREE to signup!

Here's how Shoppers Optimum works: For every $1 you spend you receive 10 Shoppers Optimum points.  When you reach a certain reward level you can redeem your points for money off of your purchase. Here are the basic redemption levels:
  • 8,000 = $10 off your purchase
  • 22,000 = $30 off your purchase
  • 38,000 = $60 off your purchase
  • 50,000 = $85 off your purchase
  • 95,000 = $170 off your purchase
 A couple of times throughout the year there are  Bonus Redemption days where you get even more bang for your buck. Typically the redemption levels are like this:
  • 50,000 points = $100 off your purchase (an extra $15!)
  • 95,000 points = $200 off your purchase (an extra $30!)
In December I took part in the MEGA REDEMPTION. This has happend in December for the past two years but since I just started using Optimum this past fall I only had enough to redeem for the lowest level (30,000 points earned me $60 of goodies). You can read more about that shop here. Now that I have a better handle on the program and shop there more frequently I can't wait to redeem a few times throughout the year!

How to earn Optimum points faster:
  • Buy a Shoppers Drugmart giftcard to pay for your purchases
  • Shop on bonus points days (such as a 20x event. Usually it is something like earn 20x the Shoppers Optimum points when you spend $50 or more) or like next week when you get 8,000 Optimum points when you spend $50 or more. 
  • Look for bonus point coupons/products. Certain coupons and/or products can give you bonus points on them. While many are listed on the website there are often in store specials that you only find by keeping a keen eye out while you shop!
This year alone I have redeemed for $40 worth of merchandise. If you figure I do this a couple of more time along with a bonus or mega redemption my savings could easily equal at least $180 (this is the amount I'm using in the total savings below). In conjunction with some of my other favourite reward programs (Airmiles, PC points, HBC points, etc) I am hoping to save $250+. What are your favourite rewards programs?

Total Savings Day 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8=  $1952/year

***Today's assignment: Take some time today to learn about your favourite rewards program and think about how you can maximize your rewards points. Perhaps its as easy as switching to that store for some of your grocery staples (when they are on sale of course!)

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