Frugal Tip: Earn Rewards Points By Purchasing Gift Cards

Rewards Cards

Here’s a frugal tip sent in by a reader.

Of course, every frugal person has a pocket full of reward cards; Air Miles, Esso Extra, Petro Points, etc. – here’s a way to earn points from restaurants and retailers that don’t normally offer rewards programs of their own… gift cards!

Petro-Canada, for example, will give you 20 points per dollar spent on gift cards.

Taking the kids to Subway for lunch? Stop at the Petro-Canada first, buy a $25 dollar gift card, use your Air Miles Credit, and you’ll get 500 Petro Points, plus the Air Miles for charging your purchase to your card.

I travel a lot for business, and my company pays me a “per diem” for meals, no receipts required. So if I’m planning a 4-day trip to visit accounts, I’ll stop by Petro-Canada and grab a couple Subway cards, a Boston Pizza card, or whatever looks good. Usually spend about $100 for a 3-4 day trip, snag 5 Air Miles, 2000 Petro Points, and wind up “pocketing” about $20 off my meal allowances.

Side benefit is that I’m making only one transaction, so I’m not racking up debit card usage charges, either.

Also a handy trick for summer road trips: Stock up on cards before you hit the highway for the cottage and all those stops for snacks wont seem as draining on your pocket money!

(Thanks, KD!)

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  1. travelgeek says:

    Zellers is another retailer that awards points on gift card purchases (other than HBC)….. if that is what you prefer over petro points.

  2. Marilyn says:

    That is brilliant – thanks for the tip! Are there any other places that allow points when you purchase gift cards?

  3. Mrs January says:

    Marilyn: Zellers does. Also, Shoppers allows you to get SDM points when you buy their gift cards only – but then you can use their gift cards to buy gift cards to other stores you like. 😉

  4. TallNFunny says:

    Subway gives you a free 6″ sub when you buy a $25 gift card.

  5. Tammi says:

    This is great. Also, check your petro points for where you can use them. We converted our points to Sears and bought our $1000 matress with it. No cost to us.

  6. KD says:

    Marilyn – if you prefer Esso Extra points to Petro-Points, I believe they will also give you points on gift card purchases. I prefer Petro Points only because there seems to be Petro Canada stations everywhere I look in my end of the world…

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