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How Many Accounts do You have?

How many different accounts do you have associated with you? I have a few bank accounts (hopefully I know of all of those, hate to think I left money somewhere, and you should never do that), I have many, many points accounts for various institutions and systems and I also have other accounts for insurance, and also for my business too. I also have ID numbers for many other things, like my University of Waterloo alumni ID, which is my old student id, I am sure there are many other numbers associated with my name and my person.

The reason I mention this now, is that I accidentally re-enrolled in a loyalty program for Holiday Inn (Priority is the name of their reward system). When I enrolled a second time, I set my Holiday Inn account as a “feeder” to my Aeroplan account (points go there), so I collected more points for my Aeroplan account. I then saw that I already had a Holiday Inn account but in that account I simply accumulated points for later use.

Luckily I was able to clear up this mess and merge the two accounts, and hopefully I will not create any more dual accounts for any loyalty programs, but watch out for that.

Points to Points?

It used to be that Petropoints actually transferred directly to PC Financial Points, which in turn meant real money in groceries at Loblaws. This ability to transfer has since been cancelled unfortunately, but that actually gave me a lot more “bang for the points” when it was available. Always check your points programs and figure out whether you can consolidate points or such. Learn all the rules and all the loopholes in the systems that are set up.

PC Points

My two main loyalty programs are with PC Financial and Aeroplan. I have actually been with Aeroplan for almost 30 years, and have got free flights and such from this system, so I do enjoy it a great deal. PC Points I started using a few years back and I have accumulated thousands of dollars in free groceries using it (and I got free banking to boot).

I find that if someone wants to give you free money, you should take it.

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Happy Thanksgiving Canada

Yes, today is Canadian Thanksgiving, so Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers, and their families. So far it has been a busy weekend for me and the little C8j’s. For those of you looking for a great Turkey story, click on The Greatest Turkey Story Ever Told to read how to prepare your turkey for Thanksgiving.

What is Old is Cheap

Thanks to all this new furniture I collected last week, I now had a wall unit that could accommodate a LARGE screen TV. I know the prices of HDTV’s are coming down, but they are still too cheap for me. As a side note, the last TV I bought was 20 years ago, so no, I don’t usually invest too much money in my TVs. A friend told us about a 32″ regular NTSC TV by RCA at Wal-Mart. We picked it up (and my back still hurts from it), and now we are watching on a BIG (regular definition) the Monday CFL football games!! I am enjoying it, and I enjoyed the $267.00 price as well. The best part, I bought it with PC points (in a roundabout way), so my Bank bought me the TV!

How much is that Turkey?

My daughter’s part-time job this weekend gave her new hatred for poultry, especially Turkeys, due to their weight, and the inability of people to know how to cook the darn things. Why do people ask a 17-year-old how long it takes to cook a frozen 18 lb. turkey? My daughter doesn’t cook the darn things, she simply allows you to buy one!

Enjoy the Day

Yup, that’s it for me, I am on vacation today, so not much to write about today, other than the Turkey story. Don’t eat too much.

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Tips: One Time Services and Petro-Points

For those of you who collect Petro-Points from Petro-Canada and that also have PC Financial points accounts, the bridge between those two systems is about to be closed, so if you have points that you want to pass over to your PC Financial account, I suggest you do it very soon. You have until May 31st to transfer those points over.

I never knew what to do with those petro-points before I found that bridge, I will be sorry to see it go away.

More interestingly, I checked my credit card bill yesterday and saw that I had miscalculated my payments for last month and had underpaid and got dinged with a HUGE interest charge, because of my poor arithmetic skills. At first I was enraged, and was going to phone the credit card company and rain fire and brimstone on them, but I waited a 1/2 an hour before I called (a new rule for me). I got a very nice young lady on the phone who pointed out that yes this was MY mistake and not their mistake. I was then very apologetic and polite and asked the question everyone must ask in these situation, “Is there anything you can do to help me out, please?”, if said with the correct level of contrition, the worst they can say is “No.”, but in this situation the young lady said she could apply for a one time “forgiveness” clause and have the Interest charge reversed. I may not get this, it has to go through the system, however I did learn some important points:

  • No matter how smart you think you are, sometimes it is YOUR fault.
  • Being a jerk on the phone may make you feel better for the moment, but don’t expect any help from the person at the other end of the phone.
  • If you have a relatively good payment record, you can ask for “redemption” from your credit card company.

Important points to remember. Yes, sometimes you have to be short with people, but not if you were the one who did the “dumb thing”.

Stats Canada is telling us that we are eating for too much salt! I am not surprised by that one, given the amount of prepared and fast food, and how much salt that is used there, but still a little alarming folks. Another good reason to stop eating out and buying prepared foods (which may seem cheaper, but in the long run, they do cost you).

One of my favorite sites to read about investing ideas in the Canadian Capitalist and he is rebalancing the Sleepy Portfolio, have a read, it’s an interesting way to invest.

And finally in the greatest piece of marketing ever, the iPOD sales have gone across the 100,000,000 mark, amazing! For a simple device, that seemed pretty straightforward this has turned into the Brand Name to be, and I must admit there are two of these in my house and my youngest daughter wants one too! Way to go Apple, wish I bought your stock 6 years ago when it was DIRT cheap. sigh… That is how I invest, with 20/20 hindsight…

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Points, points, points….

No not another sports analogy, but not a bad segue either. My major “customer appreciation” systems that I subscribe to are PC Financial’s points, Petro-Canada Petro Points, Canadian Tire Money and Aeroplan .

The main point accumulation system for me is PC Financial for buying groceries. We have accumulated a significant number of points over the season, and are now eyeing some of the higher priced home electronics devices that Loblaws has put so close to the check out counters (that is evil, by the way, I didn’t have enough will power not to buy a chocolate bar when I was 12, how can I keep from buying an HDTV now?). So what happens is PC Financial is paying me to bank with them, how much is your bank charging you for your banking? Think about that.

Petro Points we don’t use as much, but the nice part about it, is those points can be transferred into the PC Financial point system, so you can almost double your points on one tank of gas if you want.

The Canadian Tire Money, I already talked about this but I have accumulated over $100 in the past year from there as well, which has helped pay for a myriad of odd things like propane tanks, bike water bottles, and a rake (hey that’s not bad, just to pump their gas).

Finally we have Aeroplan. Now I have collected a ton of points on this system over the 15 years or so that I have been in the program. I do not collect much now, since I don’t travel as much these days, but they have also brought in new restrictions about how long you can keep your miles, and when your account gets marked inactive, so watch out for that folks.

I enjoy this kind of “customer loyalty” systems, especially when it puts money back in my pockets! What points are you collecting?

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Money: Why aren’t you getting something for nothing?

Our Moosey friend over at Free Money Finance had a good posting about the top 6 store givebacks. Made me wonder how much I have made using my PC Financial Card (remember a while back I posted What is In It For Me about using it).

To quote Frank Barrone, “Holy Crap!”, I have been using the card for 9 months, and I have earned over 639,000 points and every thousand points is $1 of groceries at Loblaws or of it’s affiliated stores. Wow! Now I got a cheap bump of about 100,000 points for transferring my Petro-Points over there, but still, that is the most I have ever got back from a Credit Card in a year.

It really does work, if you are skeptical, I guess is what I am saying today. A good way to reduce debt, is to get more money, and you can get more money, by using a Credit Card that pays you for using it!

Holy Crap!

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