Gail on Reward Program savings ( from Moneysense.ca article):
Don’t forget the next important step: For every dollar you save by using your points, open up a “points savings” account and deposit the money. Now each time you use your points for anything—groceries, gas, travel, whatever—deposit the equivalent amount in real dollars into this savings account. Now you’re really saving with those points!
This is something that has been on my mind the last couple of weeks.
We have 2 Petro Points cards with the points going to one account. I never though much about the points until the other day. We had enough points to get not one but two Fuel Savings cards. By cashing in 15,000 points, we are entitled to save 5 cents per litre of fuel purchased, to a maximum of 200 litres. Times 2, that's 400 litres of fuel savings. (5 cents X 400 litres = $20)
When we've used all 400 litres of fuel savings, I will be making an additional $20 to my RRSP account.
We also have a Shopper's Optimum account, again with 2 cards. I usually wait until around the holidays to make use of those points. With some good luck with timing, if I hit a sale on staples like sugar, flour, etc., I can stock up for free, lol! I'm no extreme couponer, but I do love me some points cards. The next time I cash those out, it should be around the $60 mark, so I can drop $60 into our Car Fund. :)
The other 'savings points' program that I use is PC points. I have cashed out 20,000 points before for $20 worth of free groceries. I bank with PC Financial, so I deposit the grocery amount to the account, and pay with debit. I get points for spending amounts and extra points for bringing my own bags to the store. I won't likely have enough to cash out again on this one for awhile, but when I do, I will be sure to transfer $20 over to one of our long-term savings accounts.
How about you? Do you really save the money you 'saved' with your points programs, or does it just get funnelled back into your spending?