When you think of redeeming points, do you automatically think only of air miles? Well, chances are pretty good that you have more than one “points card” that you get for being a frequent shopper at favorite stores. And many of those stores will allow you to redeem those points for free products you can choose from a catalog, discounts on purchases and even exchange for gift cards. But most of these companies don’t exactly volunteer that you can exchange those shopping points for anything good, so you need to get on it!
First, go through your wallet and find all those frequent shopper cards you have that track how much you spend (and no, you probably don’t want to know how much you have spent on each of them!!!) Then, armed with your cards, check out the websites for each company and see what kind of perks you can get with those points you have earned.
If it isn’t a card that you receive a statement for, chances are pretty good you have probably racked up a fair bit without even knowing it, especially if it is something you use frequently, such as while grocery shopping. You may need to phone their head office to find out your points balance, if you don’t have access to it, then find out what those points are worth. You could be surprised at what you could exchange those points for. Or next time you are in each store, a customer rep can help you find out about what your points balance is, and what you can get for it.
This is a great way to stretch your budget over the holidays, especially since it is essentially “free money”. So be sure to take advantage of it, especially if there are people on your gift list you weren’t able to afford to buy anything for.
And don’t forget, if you are in the giving spirit, most places have charities they work with where you can simply donate all your unused points to charity…. this is what I have done on multiple occasions to support everything from a local children’s hospital to the SPCA, and I know the donation is appreciated by all.