My relationship/obsession with incentive programs started in my teens. I’m pretty sure I was 14 when I got my first Air Miles card, this might not be true since the Air Miles website says you have to be 16, but I’m telling you I was basically an infant. Towards the end of high school I started working at Pharma Plus and that’s when I got really hooked on collecting. This slowly lead me into a life filled with heavy wallets overflowing with incentive cards/stamps/stickers galore.
While working at Pharma Plus I gained a lot of knowledge about point collecting. I learned that buying 17 hand soaps at a time is never a bad idea if it means copious amounts of Air Miles points. I mean, my hands will always need washing, RIGHT? Back then I was still living with my parents who provided me with all the basic necessities in life. Food, toiletries, love. You know, all that stuff. So I really didn’t have to buy my own stock pile of hand soaps. But I did. I did it with lots of random stuff. Vitamin B12? Don’t know what it does, but it sounds important and I get triple points, HECK YA, I need to have it.
Since my early days as a young, teenage Air Miles hoarder, I’ve gone on to join many other incentive programs. I have a ridiculous amount of cards. I just really love free stuff, or the idea of free stuff. Here’s a rundown of all the incentive programs I’m a part of and why most of them are awesome.
Aeroplan: I got this years and years ago and thought, booya, another card similar to Air Miles and I love Air Miles (did I mention that I love Air Miles?). But then I probably used it 7 times over the course of 5 years. Obviously I kept it in my wallet anyways, despite the lack of usage. Not too long ago I was offered a Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card. Basically they said if I signed up I could have a trip around the world for free. Maybe the incentive wasn’t that high, but it felt like it at the time. That’s when the collecting got real. In fact I just redeemed some points last month. We went to Hawaii, had a great time. Just kidding, I got a food processor, but you should see all the different settings it has! It’s like a vacation every time I cook dinner! No regrets.
Optimum Points: Optimum Points were my second love. We used to live fairly close to a Shoppers Drug Mart, and I would frequent it on the regular. I bought a lot of cosmetics in my twenties. I don’t remember the last time I bought cosmetics recently. I also don’t remember if I used conditioner in my hair today, so I might be suffering from short-term memory loss. In my Shopper Drug Mart prime days, I bought a boat-load and redeemed a butt-load. I felt like I was basically getting paid to shop there, but like in a twisted way where I had to pay to work to shop. You feel me, right?
PC Plus: At first I was wary of this one, you have to load points every week and that seems like such a hassle. But I got the hang of it and in a couple months of doing my somewhat regular shopping (sometimes I did stock pile toilet paper to get extra points) I was able to redeem over $100. Booya! Free money! Dolla, dolla, bills y’all! I guess it’s more like free groceries, but tomato/tomato (I hope you read that as I meant for it to be read and didn’t just read tomato twice).
Thyme ID Card: Yes, I mean the maternity store. I’m not pregnant. Won’t ever be again. Unless something craaaaazy happens*. So why I have this, I’m not sure. I’m sure there are great benefits to the program but I did not shop at Thyme Maternity enough for it to be beneficial to me. I do remember getting a bag with coupons and a magazine when I signed up. I love leaving stores with bags of stuff that I didn’t have to purchase. Winner, winner! I could probably take this card out of my wallet, but if I ever get into an accident and only a Thyme Maternity employee is around, how would she ever be able to identify me?
Jamie Oliver Stamp Program: This is a new one to me, and I believe it ended last week. Basically if you shopped at Sobey’s you could collect stamps to get Jamie Oliver knives and scissors and stuff. I live very close to Sobey’s, and shop there whenever I just need a few things. I really love it there, I could spend a week in Sobey’s. I mean have you seen the cheese section? I should mention we live near a Sobey’s Extra, which basically means it’s a regular Sobey’s that’s been through an extreme grocery store makeover. Anyway, back to the knives. For a while I was giving my stamps to my mom, who was collecting and got a pair of scissors and she said, “Yo, Robbo, these scissors are the bee’s knees!”**. So I decided I clearly needed a new pair of scissors, even though we probably own a pair for every room in the house. That seems excessive, but you never know when you might need to cut open a bag of milk. Apparently the Jamie Oliver scissors are the bee’s knees though, and they are basically free! Last time I went to try and redeem my stamps they were sadly out of stock. Last time I went they were also baking a fresh batch of cinnamon buns, so the memory is not all bad.
Scene Points: Go to movies, get free movies. I’m in! We used this a lot prior to the little ones being born. We saw a lot of free movies, and even more paid ones. I like going to the movies. We don’t go to the movies very often anymore. I love that you can collect Scene Points at certain restaurants now as well. We’ve been to the movies twice in the last 6 months. We saw Concussion, which was really good and interesting. We also saw Trainwreck, which I think was good too, but I was in active labour when I saw it. I legit almost*** had my daughter in the theatre. That’s a story for another day.
Without boring you further, here’s the rest of the incentive programs I take part in. If you know of any great incentive programs that I should take part in, let me know!
- My Canadian Tire ‘Money’
- Petro Points
- Mrs. Michelle’s Cool Cuts for Kids stamp card (this is a kids hairdressers place in Burlington that we love, the stamp card gets you the 10th haircut for free)
- MTY Rewards Card
- Once Upon a Child customer appreciation card
*In the event that something crazy does happen, and my future child that wasn’t supposed to be born is reading this I’d like him/her to know that he/she is not a “mistake” just more of a “whoopsie-daisy”.
** I might be paraphrasing slightly.
***If we had stayed in the theatre for another 6 hours, she legit would have been born there. How embarrassing!