Sunday, November 6, 2011
Using Reward Programs To Your Advantage
I recently discussed my use of credit card reward programs to get a little cash back on the purchases I make everyday. I obviously don't spend a lot of money, as you can tell from my income/expense reports, but on the little bit of money I do spend I certainly won't pass up the chance at receiving a little extra cash in my pocket.
I also participate in a reward program at my work. Every month I get a chance to rack up reward points based on certain performance parameters that I meet or exceed. I have racked up over 60,000 reward points since the beginning of the year and I have saved most of them for the holiday season. For reference, 10,000 points equals approximately $50.00 worth of goods. I purposely saved up most of my points so that I could give gifts from this reward program instead of purchasing items.
This reward program is actually pretty great. The catalog from which I can search for goods and items is pretty expansive. I can find just about anything on there. I can redeem my points for items ranging from televisions to barbecue grills to clothes. I can then ship these items to anywhere in the U.S. Think of it as an Amazon.com that uses points instead of cash as a medium of exchange.
With Christmas just around the corner I decided to finally cash in my points and exchange them for gifts for loved ones.
I used some of my points to give this nice T-Fal 10-piece pot and pan set to my significant other. Although this doesn't sound like much of a gift, her pans and pots are very old and completely worn out. I gave her a chance to pick from anything listed in the catalog and this is what she picked. I'll still likely get another small gift, but this is a really nice pot and pan set that was free to me.
I also cashed in some reward points to get my parents a nice massage table they specifically asked for for Christmas. Another really nice item that costs over $100, but again is completely free to me due to my maximum use of a program that is offered to me as an optional resource at work. There are a lot of people at my work that don't participate in the program. Free stuff definitely perks my attention!
I could have chosen to redeem my points for a new bike, or a small laptop for myself...but I need very little stuff. It's my opinion that more stuff = less life. I'd rather redeem these points for gifts and save myself the money I would have otherwise used to purchase goods for Christmas.
Do you use reward points to the best of your ability?
Thanks for reading.