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My New Credit Card Has A $700 Annual Fee. Am I Crazy?!

AMEX Black CardLast week I told you how I got a $400 DSLR camera essentially free, which is a deal I think anyone would jump on given the chance. Today I’m doing an about face by breaking the news that I just signed up for a credit card with a $700 annual fee! Have I gone stark raving mad?

For a guy that professes to like saving money, that doesn’t seem like a very sensible thing to do now does it? Well, bear with me because while this strategy definitely isn’t for everyone, it does make a lot of sense.

Why Would I Ever Spend $700 On A Credit Card?

How I Got A $400 Canon DSLR Camera Practically Free

Canon Rebel T3 CameraI've said it time and time again: Shoppers Optimum is hands down the best Canadian rewards program because you can consistently get massive reward value without spending a fortune while simply buying things you normally would anyway. Those sentiments couldn't have rung truer than they did today.

You see, my second child is being born in a few days and I was under a lot of pressure to find a good camera for the occasion on short notice. Ok, so I was actually given months of warning, but I've been a busy guy and only started browsing a couple of weeks ago and got serious about it last week! Boy, did I get lucky on the timing of this deal.

Proof Shoppers Optimum Is Still Awesome!

Thursday I decided to check out the Shoppers Drug Mart flyer online because I know they sell cameras and I've scored some pretty insane deals on electronics there in the past. I wasn't really expecting to find anything at the 11th hour like this, but I thought I might as well give it a shot anyway. My eyes were scanning for a good reliable point and shoot camera that shoots high quality pictures, has a fast response time, takes decent video, and has at least 15x optical zoom.

Well, I didn't find that, but what I did find was a picture of a Canon Rebel T3 DSLR camera with a 20x points promo bubble on it. My wife had been hinting that we should maybe look into DSLRs, so I took notice of it right away. I'm ok being flexible on my buying decision when the right deal comes along, especially when it's for a higher quality product!

Related: A Complete Guide To Air Miles Reward Miles

20x the points is already good by itself, but I also saw that this weekend was also a bonus redemption weekend where any existing points you have are worth more when you redeem them. Normally 20x the points and redemptions don't stack together, but when the 20x the points is on a specific product and not store-wide, they do stack. Sweeter still, the camera was on sale for $50 off the regular price.

Was It Really Almost Free?

It's Back: $100 In FREE Gift Cards And Up To 5% Cash Back On Gas & Groceries!

Over a year ago, I wrote about a very lucrative deal where people could get a $100 gift card to one of four well known Canadian stores and restaurants simply by signing up for one of the best no fee cash back credit cards available to Canadians. It was very popular amongst my readers and a lot of people took advantage of it including myself and my wife.

I’m happy to announce that the same deal is back again, only this time it’s even better! Now, RateSupermarket is offering $100 worth of free gift cards from over 50 Canadian stores and restaurants including all the big names instead of just 4 like before. With that many choices, there is bound to be at least one choice that will please everyone!

How You Can Get Your $100 In Free Gift Cards

A Complete Guide To Price Matching In Canada

Always_Low_PriceWhen my first child was born, my wife and I agreed that a digital camera with video recording capabilities was in order; we wanted to be those parents who post embarrassing home videos of their kid on Youtube. I did some research and settled on a Canon model which could take videos in high definition. The only thing left for me to do was to find a decent price that we were willing to pay.

A few weeks went by before I noticed a pretty awesome one-day sale at Aden Camera with 25% discount on the camera we wanted. The store was located downtown and there was no way I was going to make it there in time before store closing. Instead, I walked into a local Future Shop where the same camera was listed for the original price of $1099. I told the customer service representative (CSR) that I wanted to price match the camera with the lower price from Aden. The CSR called Aden to confirm the price and stock. Long story short, after about 15 minutes and a price match later, I walked out of Future Shop with the camera we wanted for $825. #PriceMatchFTW.

What Is Price Matching?

Price matching is a practice wherein a retailer agrees to match a lower advertised price from a rival store and sells you the same product for the lower price.

Many retailers are committed to providing value to their customers through offering products at the lowest prices; however, it is difficult for them to keep an eye on the pricing of all their products. To remain competitive and increase brand loyalty, large retailers will offer to match competitors’ prices for the same items. The details concerning the specifics of what a given retailer will match can be found in a retailer’s price match policy or price match guarantee.

Price matching policies often don’t just apply to items you are going to purchase, they can also apply to items you’ve already purchased:

1. If a customer has already made a purchase and finds the same item at a cheaper price from a competitor’s store, within an approved time frame, some retailers will refund the difference between the advertised price and competitor’s lower price.

2. If the retailer reduces their own price on a product within a set period of time after a customer has made a purchase, the customer is often entitled to a refund of the difference upon request.

Related: Get Free Stuff Using The Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)

The Different Types Of Price Matching

Missed The RRSP Deadline? Why It May Not Matter

Tax_ImageThe deadline to make a contribution to your RRSP for the 2013 tax year has come and gone. What’s that? You forgot to make your contribution? What if I told you it might not matter?

While I believe very strongly that everyone who has the means to do so should be putting money away for the future, the RRSP might not be the best place to put your money.

For nearly sixty years, Canadians have been encouraged to save for retirement on their own using the RRSP so they could be less reliant on government sources for money in the golden years. To do this, the government entices us to save by providing a tax deduction, allowing us to get back a portion of what we contribute to the RRSP as a tax refund. The main theory behind the RRSP is that when we draw on the funds in our savings after we’ve stopped working, we’d be in a lower tax bracket than we had been during our working years, thus we’d pay less tax on the income we received from our Retirement Savings Plans.

I’m going to poke a hole in that theory for many Canadians: If, during your working life, you are already in the lowest tax bracket, which for 2014 is $43,953 or less, putting money away in the RRSP might not be worth it because you’ll pay the same amount of tax on the money in retirement as you’re paying right now. In fact, depending on how much time you have until retirement, tax rates could change and we might be paying more in future, which could make saving in the RRSP a losing proposition.

A Different Perspective

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