FREE $100 Gift Card Is BACK!

free100giftcardisback.gifEvery time one of these awesome FREE $100 Gift Card promotions comes up from RateSupermarket.ca, I try to write a post about it because it is such a good deal … and for a limited time IT’S BACK!

For those of you who are new here, it all started back in 2012 when they were offering a free $100 gift card to popular Canadian retailers for signing up for the MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard. Then they did it again in April and May of 2014, first with the Smart Cash again and then with the Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite.

Each time I wondered if the deal would come back because it is such an amazing no-strings-attached deal:

  • You don’t pay an annual fee (at least in the first year).
  • You get the $100 gift card quickly (within the first couple of months).
  • You get any sign up bonuses the card offers on top of the gift card.
  • You are under no obligation to keep the card after the first year (cancel anytime).
  • You get to keep all of the bonuses, even if you decide to cancel.

So we’re basically talking free money here and credit cards that have great perks if you decide to keep them to boot! One of the offers this time actually gives you $300 in free stuff when you combine the $100 gift card with the $200 sign up bonus.

This Could Be Your Last Chance

When Fruits And Vegetables Are In Season

whenfruitsandvegetablesareinseason.jpgWhat better time to buy fruits and vegetables than when they are in season? They taste better, are more nutritious, AND prices are almost always lower!

With in season produce, flavours are more pronounced and aromas blend with taste in such a way to keep you coming back for seconds (or thirds as in my family). What easier way to make your children hate vegetables than to serve them when they’re at their worst? Isn’t that like taking a shiny new bike and presenting it after you’ve dragged it through the mud?

Arguably, you can wash the bike and it will be like new. To present the equivalent in past-their-prime vegetables, I only know the one true Canadian way: smother them in cheese and add bacon. If that doesn’t work, nothing will!

Who likes to read previews before seeing the movie or buying the book? I do! Would you like to know what is going to be in season next month or what is in season right now? I would!

That’s why we’ve come up with a new pdf to download, print, and pin to your refrigerator so you can use it for menu planning or keep in your shopping bag for your next trip to the grocery store. Fruits and vegetables are sorted alphabetically and a bright sun denotes the best month(s) to find your favourite produce at its best.

Download Your Free PDF: When Fruits And Vegetables Are In Season

If you’re not familiar with some of these foods, not to worry! The internet can be a great resource for endless recipes, with many sites containing reviews on a variety of dishes. And hey, If it doesn’t turn out, you can always fall back on the Canadian cheese and bacon - it might end up being a new favourite that way!

You can also find the full listing of fruits and vegetables by month right here in this article as well - read on below.

Jump To A Month

Capital One Costco Platinum MasterCard Review

capitalonecostcoplatinummastercardreview.jpgThe Capital One Costco Platinum MasterCard is a strong no annual fee cash back credit card that is geared towards Costco members who eat at restaurants regularly and spend a significant amount each month on fuel.

Its main strengths are that it is one of the few credit cards that gives significantly higher rewards on restaurant purchases and that it integrates your Costco membership and credit card into a single card so you can lighten your wallet. It’s also among the few cards that offers price protection/matching if you find a lower price on any product you’ve purchased using the card.

Quick Facts


Annual Fee $0
Interest Rate 19.75%
Min. Income No minimum
Reward Type Cash Back
Reward 3% restaurants, 2% gas, 1% everything else
Reward Return 1-3% of spending
Sign Up Bonus Double cash back for the first 3 months
Apply Click here

Positives:

  • No annual fee for both primary and secondary cards.
  • 3% cash back on restaurants, 2% on gas, and up to 1% on everything else.
  • No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.
  • Doubles as your Costco card with your picture on the back.
  • Price protection for items purchased using the card that decrease in price within 60 days (up to $100 per item and $500 per year).
  • Extended warranty coverage on purchases (up to two years) and purchase protection against theft or damage (up to 120 days).

Negatives:

  • Have to be a Costco member to qualify for this card, which costs $55 annually.
  • Although this is a Costco-branded card, there is no additional incentive to shop at Costco.
  • The ‘everything else’ spending category is tiered – you receive 0.50% on the first $3,000 and 1% on everything beyond that. This essentially works out to a hidden annual fee of $15 when compared to other no-fee 1% cash back cards.
  • The ‘cash back’ comes once per year by snail mail as a rebate. The rebate must be redeemed at a Costco store where it can be converted to either actual cash or Costco store credit.

Insurance Package:

  • Extended warranty - up to two years.
  • Purchase protection - 120 days.
  • Travel accident insurance - up to $250,000.
  • Car rental coverage - collision / loss damage waiver (LDW).
  • Baggage delay insurance - $300.

Cash Back Analysis

Two Sides To Options Trading: Speculation Vs. Protection

twosidestooptionstrading.jpgAnyone who has thought about options trading knows there are two kinds of options: puts and calls. A put provides the holder the right to sell a stock at a particular price, known as the strike price, during a specified period of time. A call option allows the holder to purchase a stock at the strike price anytime before the expiry date of the option, no matter how much the stock goes up in price.

Buying And Selling Options

Options contracts can be bought or sold. Buyers of options contracts are given the right to buy or sell the underlying investment at the strike price, depending on the type of option they've purchased. Buyers of options can also sell the contract itself prior to expiry if they choose to do so, or let it expire*. The seller of an option contract, also known as the 'writer' of the option has the obligation to buy or sell the underlying investment if the contract is exercised.

Related: What To Do When Something You Already Bought Goes On Sale

*Some investment companies have policies where an option could be "auto-exercised" meaning the option is exercised even if the holder doesn't give instructions to do so. Check with your advisor or discount broker, if you're a self directed investor.

Speculating Ups And Downs

Options are sometimes used as a way to 'play' the market or a particular stock at a lower cost than buying the actual shares of the company. For example, if I had a feeling that shares in ABC company were going to make a big move upward soon but I didn't have enough money to buy the shares themselves, I could purchase a call option representing 100 shares of the company for much less than the shares would cost. If the shares went up as I hoped, I could sell the option for a potential profit. If the shares didn't perform as I thought they might, I could simply let the option expire and be done with it. Either way, I paid less money for the option and wasn't stuck with the shares if they didn't go up as I had hoped.

The same could be done with a put option. If I had a feeling bad news was going to come out on a stock, I could buy a put. In this case I wouldn't want to buy the shares if I expected them to go down because then I'd lose money. (Short selling is another way to bet on a stock going down but if the shares went up in value instead of down, it could get very expensive.) If I bought the put option and the shares dropped in value below the strike price, I could sell the option before expiry for a potential profit.

That's the speculative way to use options. There are also a number of other strategies that can be used for speculating but they are out of the scope of this article.

Using Options For Added Protection

Getting The Most Out Of Your New Car Warranty

getthemostoutofyournewcarwarranty.jpgWhen shopping for a new vehicle, people tend to place a lot of emphasis on the warranty always looking for the best possible coverage. As such, car manufacturers compete heavily on warranty, especially foreign manufacturers.

The gold standard for new car warranties used to be 3 years bumper to bumper and after that you were on your own if something went wrong. Now it’s becoming increasingly common to see 4 and 5 year warranties, as is the case with Hyundai and Kia, and many luxury brands. Mitsubishi even goes so far to offer a 10 year powertrain warranty on some of their vehicles with a 5 year warranty on everything else. Here is a handy guide to new car warranties on Cars.com.

Related: How To Make Your New Car Last Forever

However, after having such a large influence over buying decisions, the warranty is often relegated to the back of the buyer’s mind as soon as the purchase is completed only to be thought of again if an obvious problem arises. As with a lot of things in life, it can really pay off to be proactive in your approach to your car warranty to maximize the value you get out of it and ensure the longest possible life out of your new vehicle.

Understand Your Warranty Fully

It’s pretty common for people not to understand their warranty fully, including the important exceptions it contains, and they are then surprised when they discover something they thought was covered isn’t. Bumper to bumper sounds promising doesn’t it?

The truth is there are still a lot of things that aren’t covered or have a shorter coverage period because they are considered to be subject to regular wear and tear. Typically things like brake pads, rotors, tires, cosmetic appearance, wipers, belts, batteries, hoses and certain electronic components have exclusions or exceptions because they are considered to be items that suffer from regular wear and tear.

You’ll want to review your warranty document carefully and jot down any notable exceptions that pop out at you.

Get Early Adjustments Made

During the first year almost anything and everything is covered under your warranty. If there is something you don’t like or are worried about with your new car, simply call the service department and get them to look at it. Have a small rattle that’s annoying you? Covered! Can’t figure out how to operate the fancy technology? They’d be happy to help!

Just be aware that some warranties will only allow you to come in for free adjustments once or a couple of times. If that is the case, make sure you make a comprehensive list of adjustments you’d like before you go in so that you don’t end up regretting it later after you’ve already used up that benefit.

Find Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) For Your Vehicle

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