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Santa Loves His Points

One Million Points!

Over the past year my wife and I have made a conscious effort to use our PC Mastercard a great deal to attempt to build up a large balance for Christmas, and so far our effort seems to be paying off very nicely. We have had a few very large expenses that have managed to go onto the card which has made accumulating 1,000,000 points simpler than I thought it might be:

  • Acadia University allows us to pay one of my daughter’s tuition (and such) using a Credit Card, which means a very LARGE number of points (tuition and living expenses in residence). I have the money available to pay this off in the month purchased, thus these are Free Points!
  • Dental Bills this year have been quite expensive, thanks to my teeth slowly disintegrating. Nice thing here is that this money is mostly reimbursed by my benefits plan, thus these are free, as well.
  • Lots of  physiotherapy sessions for myself and my daughters, which are mostly covered by benefits, more free points.
  • We bought most of our groceries using points at Loblaws and Independent, which means bonus points, and we were going to buy the groceries anyhow, and we attempted to pay off the purchase right away (using on line banking).

Thanks to these purchases and an existing balance which was not insignificant, we were in fact over a Million PC Points this Christmas season.

What Can You Buy At A Grocery Store?

Darn good question, here are a few things we can and have purchased.

  • Gift Cards, this grocery store has an entire section of various Cards from The Keg, iTunes, The Gap, etc., which my kids and the folks I am buying for would love to get!
  • Electronics like TVs and DVD players.
  • Movies, lots of movies, which are great gifts for friends (especially those Blu-Ray multipacks)
  • Toys, and my son will enjoy them a great deal
  • Cameras and Video Cameras.
  • FOOD! Lots of chocolates and such for Teachers, and other folks
  • FOOD! Like Christmas dinner
LaGrange Points

All of this, effectively free, but it did mean I had to use my Credit Card, which can be very dangerous if you don’t keep track of all your purchases. I espouse this methodology for getting free stuff, but I also warn you that you must be very fastidious in your records keeping to make sure you do not carry a monthly balance on your Card (i.e. no interest accumulations).

There are other points systems out there and I am interested to hear if other folks have been as successful this year (e.g. AirMiles, Aeroplan, etc.,), so please leave any comments with your updates too.

Note on Comments: I have been getting Tsunamied with SPAM comments, so I have introduced a Captcha system to slow these nasty folks down a little. My apology if it makes things more complicated, but I really did need to do this.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I guess I simply prefer the CC co. to send me money. Real money, not points. We never have a balance owing to where we pay interest and the CC sends me hundreds of $$$ per year which I can spend on anything I care to. Plus, I get more points from MBNA than I would get from PC. The math has been crunched and MBNA is superior. Check out the CC analysis at ‘ how to save money dot ca ‘ – the proof is in the pudding. Speaking of pudding, back to Christmas!

  2. @echo – first $600 PER MONTH on groceries / gas.
    The PC card doesn’t hold a flame to MBNA.
    Also, PC you HAVE to spend @ a PC store whereas MBNA can be applied anywhere. Also, it is for gas as well where PC is only stuff @ loblaws/no frills etc.
    I haven’t read a card analysis anywhere that puts MBNA anywhere but top 1 or 2 for cash back (not points, cash – as in MBNA sends my $50 when I accumulate enough and I can spend it anywhere … not just the grocery store)

  3. I use my card for everything that i buy. Online and offline. I check my point balance once a year and can book some very nice holidays with it for free.

  4. The Everyday Minimalist

    I love love LOVE PC Points.

    It’s such a great way to rack up points to use.

    That said, PC stores are not cheaper than Farm Boy for instance. sigh

    Still, I buy clothes (Joe Fresh), beauty and toiletry products, and FOOD with my points, seeing as I use my card for everything (yes, if I had kids that went to schools that took cards, I’d pay on my card too)

  5. BCM – Go to ‘ how to save money dot ca ‘ – there is an AWESOME analysis of rewards cards there. Make your decision an informed on!
    No sweat on the Captcha from myself – it is almost a must have now with the proliferation of blog spam.

  6. @BCM
    1 Million PC Points is very impressive, I’m surprised a University would allow you to purchase tuition on a credit card (since most don’t). What, next you’ll be able to pay your mortgage with your credit card?

    @Sustainable PF
    I thought MBNA Smart Cash only gives 3% back on your first $600 spent? That only makes it marginally better than PC Points, which also gives you bonus points for shopping at their stores. The PC MasterCard gives you 1% on ANY purchase ANY where.

    @BCM again.
    I hate the captcha, but I guess you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

    1. Apologies again on the Captcha, but I was getting 500 Spams a day that I had to check to make sure I wasn’t losing genuine comments.

      Acadia allows Credit Card payment because they have a large International Population, and didn’t want to have to deal with International Banks as well. They also warn that they want you to mail CASH to them (over $6K in cash in the mail?!?! Who is going here?!?!?)

  7. We love our points as well but find that there are much better cards than the PC offering. E.G. MBNA Smart Cash Platinum which gives 3% on groceries AND gas (compared to 1% for PC on groceries at their stores only) and 1% on all other purchases. We gave up the PC card for the MBNA as it has a superior reward and they send you a cheque once you get to $50 worth of cash back. We never pay any interest so MC is paying us!

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