Earlier this week, we threw out some tips to holiday shoppers looking to save a few bucks while not becoming “Scrooges”. Among the handful of suggestions we provided, one, in particular, seemed to stick out with a few members of the Synergy Merchant Services staff.
“Use those points!” one of our reps excitedly advised today, “I mean, that’s what they are there for. You accumulate them all year so you can save money during the times when you have to spend more. What better time than the holidays to cash in those points? That way, you don’t have to go overboard on your holiday spending.”
Today, the QMI Agency released a report that conveys the exact same sentiment. A recent poll discovered that Canadians are especially interested in utilizing point programs for holiday spending. In fact, according to the the Air Miles and American Express Holiday Rewards Survey, Canadians are twice as likely as Americans to use their reward programs on holiday purchases.
The poll found that an astonishing 91 per cent of Canadians are involved in some sort of reward program and 18 per cent of them use rewards to pay for holiday expenses. Meanwhile, only 72 per cent of American shoppers utilize points programs with only 8 per cent of those consumers using rewards points for holiday shopping.
Said Jennifer Hawkins, the vice-president of new product development for American Express Canada: “It’s clear that this group (of Canadians) wants to get the most value for every dollar spent during the holiday season. Our survey found that Canadians are miles ahead of their American counterparts in many reward-collecting and redeeming habits.”
One of our associates exclaimed, earlier today, that he couldn’t agree more. “I try to get points on every purchase I make,” he revealed, “Sometimes I double up on points. At the gas station, for example, I swipe my credit card which gives me rewards points AND my Air Miles card. So on one tank of gas, both cards accumulate points.”
Our excited colleague went on to mention that with his points, he has redeemed airline tickets and car rentals in the past. He isn’t yet sure, however, if he will be using any of the points from either of this reward programs for his holiday shopping. “I tend to save them up for traveling,” he informed us.
It shouldn’t actually come as any surprise that Canadians are reward points-conscious. QMI notes that “the survey also found that just over 60% of Canadians use debit or credit cards for their purchases, while 60% of Americans prefer to use cash.” In addition, although more Americans shop online, Canadians are three times as likely to use the internet to purchase items if a rewards program is involved. Smart bunch!