Canadian Rewards Programs: Are You Loyal?


Rewards programs are meant to create loyalty…

Repeat customers and repeat business are the name of the game.

But my experience has been that it doesn’t pay to be loyal. Shopping around for both the best prices AND the best rewards bonuses and perks is 100% the way to go...

IF you’re willing to invest the time.

A quick check shows that I am currently a member of at least 30 rewards programs. I don’t use them all on a regular basis - I have my favourites just like anyone. (Don’t miss my top 5 below.)

Then, there’s other times when rewards programs just aren’t worth it.

But, I do try to keep my eyes open for amazing opportunities in any one of those 30+ programs. If they make me an offer I can’t refuse - then I’ll take it!

That said, it’s hard to know what’s out there and targeted specifically at Canadians. I’ve put together a pretty comprehensive list below - please add any I missed in the comments!

Cash Rewards For Shopping Online

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How To Score Cheap Movie Tickets


I don't know about you, but I love going to the cinema to watch a movie!

It's a great way to get out of the house and enjoy a night out with family or friends. There's just something about the experience that makes it so much better than watching a movie at home, even if it is MUCH more expensive.

With the price of a single admission approaching $15 per ticket in some cities, it can cost a fortune to go out to the movies with your spouse especially if you include the insane cost of movie food. Add on a babysitter and you could be getting close to $75 or more for one night at the movies!

Fortunately, there are a lot of creative ways to score cheap movie tickets and I've put together a pretty comprehensive list:

Discount Movie Passes

There are actually a ton of ways you can advance purchase discount movie passes that makes getting cheap movie tickets a breeze. You can find these cheap movie passes at various retail stores, through certain membership programs, or sometimes even through your employer. Here are a few specific examples:

Costco Cineplex Movie Packages

One of the quickest and easiest ways to get discount movie passes is at Costco. They "Great Escape" Cineplex package for adults costs $26.99 when bought directly at the warehouse. You get 2 regular adult admissions, 1 regular popcorn, and 2 regular fountain drinks all for that one price. Keep in mind, it is $3 extra per person to upgrade to 3D. Depending on how you value the tickets and the refreshments, you could be getting a value of up to $45 there.

Costco also offers kids packages for about $10 which gives you an under 13 regular admission ticket and a kids pack from the concession stand (popcorn, soft drink, and small candy).

It’s worth noting that often has these same or similar packages at a slightly increased price so you can buy them even if you aren’t a Costco member - but they do go out of stock often. If you aren't a member, try convincing your friends who are to pick a few passes for you.

Virgin Mobile BOGO

Virgin offers buy one get one free (BOGO) movie passes to its customers several times a year. This is great if you are already a "member" or know somebody who is. The good news is that you can become a member cheaply when you buy a prepaid SIM card (about $5). Once you have that, you can insert it in any unlocked phone and use it to claim your BOGO code.

The downside is that your SIM card will expire in 120 days from when your balance reaches $0. The minimum top up is $15 and that lasts for 30 days. So you can wait 119 days after buying the SIM, top up for $15, then you should have 150 days before it is set to expire again. Keep topping up every 149 days to keep it active.


Being a CAA member can have its perks and one of them does happen to be cheap movie tickets! CAA offers a discount on individual Cineplex movie tickets and sometimes packages as well. The packages aren’t quite as cheap as they are at Costco, but still a reasonable deal if you can’t take advantage of the Costco deal. They also offer single admission passes at $9.83 each, which is something you can’t buy at Costco which is great for those people who don’t want over-priced food at the movies or don’t want to spend the extra money to get it.

Employee Discount Programs

Many larger employers offer employee discount programs for their employees to take advantage of. Typically the discounts given are of marginal value at best, but many such programs do offer decent discounts on movie tickets. For example, a previous employer of mine offered us single admission movie tickets for $2.50 off the regular price. Check with your employer to see if they offer a similar program!

Redeem Points For Movie Passes

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Save Money Challenge #3: Price Match Edition


Challenge Complete
This challenge is now over - congrats to those who did a successful price match!

Be sure to sign up for my emails by clicking the Get Challenge Updates button so you always get notified when a new challenge is starting. The comments for this challenge are now closed - I look forward to hearing from you in the next challenge.

If you want to see all the previous challenges, check out the main Save Money Challenge post.

It all started with that single price match deal I had at Staples more than a decade ago.

I was in my early twenties at the time. And I had no clue how that one simple choice would lead me to where I am today.

Here’s what happened:

Staples was selling the memory card I wanted for $150. But I found out that FutureShop had the exact same one on sale for $100.

Armed with the FutureShop flyer (my proof), I marched to Staples after having learned that they had a 150% lowest price guarantee.

The result?

Instead of the full $150, I walked away paying even less than the sale price at FutureShop.

I got my item at Staples for just $75.

Here’s the thing:

You don’t need to be a price matching Jedi to get a deal…

I was a young, inexperienced, nervous newbie when I started.

What got me through it?

It’s very simple…

I came prepared.

And so can you.

The Challenge

For this challenge, here’s your mission:

Take charge and price match a product - and save as much money as you can. Keep reading » about Save Money Challenge #3: Price Match Edition

How to Watch Sports for Less

howtowatchsportsforless.jpgI love watching sports. Especially LIVE in person...

In fact, I go to a couple hockey games per year. And then watch the rest at home.

The main reason comes down to this:

Money and time.

It’d cost thousands of dollars to attend all games during the year. Not to mention the time factor driving to and from the venue, finding a decent parking spot, and the hunt to find your seats.

Then there’s the snacks...And maybe souvenirs, if you’re really splurging.

YES - it’s a thrill to watch a game in person. But let’s face it:

There are cheaper alternatives...

Watching at Home

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Save Money Challenge #1: Slash Your TV Cost


Challenge Complete
This challenge is now over but there will be more to come. Congratulations to everyone who did the challenge and slashed their TV costs! If you missed the challenge, you can still check out all the great resources below and read the comments for tons of tips on how to slash your own TV costs.

Be sure to sign up for my emails below so you always get notified when a new challenge is starting. The comments for this challenge are now closed - I look forward to hearing from you in the next challenge. The two recipients of the 'HTS swag' will be notified by email. If you want to see all the previous challenges, check out the main Save Money Challenge post.

Get Challenge Updates

After a long hard day … there’s just something about putting your feet up, grabbing a cold drink, and letting your mind be completely free while relaxing in front of the TV.

It’s a guilty convenient pleasure for most of us Canadians. I mean, honestly what else is there to do when it’s -20 outside with snow up the eavestroughs half the year anyway?

Cable and satellite TV companies know we love the convenience of TV on demand and are happy to charge an arm and a leg to provide this service to millions of addicted viewers.

Yes - it’s EXPENSIVE.

According to this CBC article, Canadians pay $53.56/mth on average for TV service alone. Even that to me seems low. A quick check of my local providers shows that bare bones TV costs a minimum of $60/mth with one provider and $40 per month with another before taxes.

But then, most people have PVRs, added specialty or movie channels, and other bells and whistles that raise the cost substantially. That quickly adds up to $100 a month or more after you factor in all those added costs and tack on the taxes.

Then, after you’re an established customer, the service providers are happy to raise your prices by about 4% per year like clockwork too - just because they can.

When do you say enough is enough?

You have options - it’s time to fight back and lower your bill!

5 Simple Steps To Participate

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Free Internet TV - A Complete Guide For Canadians


When I first published this guide more than 5 years ago - internet TV in Canada was a primitive beast...

Canadian television networks were just starting to put full episodes online and it was only for the purpose of their cable or satellite subscribers to be able to catch up on recent shows they missed. The stream quality was often poor and laggy and few people actually knew the content existed.

Those that did know usually watched hunched over their laptops - not from the comfort of their couches using a remote control.

Times have changed.

There are now more than 30 Canadian networks (listed below) streaming full episodes of their shows online using top quality media players. Many of them even have mobile apps for viewing on your phone or tablet.

The best part is it is all free - supported by far fewer commercials that you have the "privilege" of paying to watch with cable or satellite.

When you're done reading this guide - you should be ready to cut the cord yourself. You'll know exactly where to go to get full TV episodes free and legally along with all the tools and equipment you need to make your internet TV viewing experience a pleasant one.

Ready to cut the cord? Download the PDF version of this step-by-step guide.

In This Guide

Can I Really Get TV For Free?

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The SAVE MONEY CHALLENGE: Crush Your Hidden Costs And Have Fun Doing It

savemoneychallenge.jpgSaving hundreds of dollars is both rewarding and exhilarating.

I want to make the process of learning how to save equally inspiring …

Because it can be!

That’s why I’m starting the SAVE MONEY CHALLENGE -- a quick challenge for you to join from time to time -- where you are free to try your hardest to save as much money as you can in one unique way.

There will be a new and different themed challenge every time. When you’ve completed the challenge, you get to brag and share your epic stories about how much money you’ve saved while teaching others how they can get similar results.

This will be a great way for us to learn and grow. If we all flex our save money muscles together, we’ll be on our way to being financially fit in no time.

Action is what drives us forward to get closer to our goals. You can master your money one challenge at a time.

Are you ready to start unloading those hidden extra costs that have been weighing you down?

Start living life on your own terms. Every time you complete a challenge, you show your money who’s the boss.

I’ve said before that I want this site to be valuable resource for you to make your dollar stretch. Not only that...

I’d love to provide a safe space where everyone can learn to be the master of their money and live a better life. My hope is that these Save Money Challenges will push you over the edge to take action towards better financial health.

Get Challenge Updates

Here’s How It Works

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Are Chapters-Indigo Plum Rewards Worth It?

arechaptersindigoplumrewardsworthit.jpgPlum Rewards is Canada’s largest loyalty program for reading enthusiasts. It offers discounts and special promotions for members that shop at the Toronto-based retail chain Indigo. The Plum Rewards program is available across the country at Indigo’s 92 superstores and 131 smaller format stores operating as Chapters, Coles, SmithBooks and online at

Plum Rewards is free to join and there are no annual membership fees. To become a member, you must be 16 years of age. You can join online or at any store location with your name and a valid email address or mailing address and telephone number.

Related: Cut Your Telephone Costs By 90% With Voip

In addition to books, Indigo has expanded to include exclusive product lines, a large toy department, fashionable home décor and even specialized teas. The wide range of products makes Chapters a tempting shopping destination to readers and non-readers alike.

Changes have been made to the Plum Rewards program starting September 3rd, 2015. Here’s what you need to know.

Earning Plum Rewards Points

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Never Pay To Upgrade Your Computer’s Memory + VIDEO

neverpaytoupgradeyourcomputersmemory.jpgAt some point during the life of a computer, there almost always comes a time when it would benefit the owner to install more memory. If you find your computer is getting sluggish when you have quite a few programs running, then you are probably a good candidate for increased RAM (random access memory).

Even when buying a new computer, you should be wary about buying a more expensive model of the same computer just because it has more RAM. It is very common for the price of a laptop to jump by $100 or even $200 just because it has a little more RAM and maybe a slightly bigger hard drive. Please please please, don’t fall for that trick! Go ahead and buy the cheaper model and just upgrade the RAM yourself.

VIDEO: Don't miss the video near the bottom of the article where I walk you through the entire process of buying cheap RAM online.

Computer Memory Is Extremely Cheap

Computer memory is manufactured en masse these days and it basically all works the same way so companies that produce it are able to get manufacturing costs down very low. As long as you are looking for a reasonably popular type of RAM, then you won’t end up paying much. Keep reading » about Never Pay To Upgrade Your Computer’s Memory + VIDEO

Score Cheap Concert Tickets (And Good Seats Too!)

scorecheapconcertticketsandgoodseatstoo.jpgBuying tickets for concerts and sporting events can be frustrating. It seems like almost all popular Ticketmaster events sell out in minutes or even seconds, leaving thousands of fans frustrated and forced to pay astronomical prices on the secondary market.

There are a few strategies you can use to help you get tickets at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, none of them are guaranteed to work all the time, but with trial and error you will greatly increase your chances and get much better at it over time!

Here’s how:

Join Fan Clubs Ahead Of Time

Keep reading » about Score Cheap Concert Tickets (And Good Seats Too!)