Tag Archives: reward programs

Good Bye Esso Extra

Add Esso to the retailers who have moved up their reward earnings needed this past month. After five years or so, I had enough points for a $50 gift card that I redeemed. But also had another 1,200 points. At 1,400 it was going to get me another $10 gift card before cancelling the card.

Nope – a $10 gift card now needs 1,800 points. As the closest Esso station is almost always 2 cents higher than anyone else. To get the 600 points, I’d have to spend $600 in fill-ups. But that requires overpaying 2c or $12 to get $10. Or overpay about 7 cents on average over the Costco gas bar five km down the road. That’d need $40 overspending to get $10.

Good bye Esso Extra – not going to miss you.

The Cost Of Loyalty Programs (Part II)

I wanted to finish up our look at loyalty programs from two weeks ago.

All the details on a flight to Victoria are posted here – just scroll back to the last story in full. It’s a flight I’m on today, so it’s all broken down. If you’re hooked on the loyalty program of one of the airlines, you need to pay attention: On this $200 flight example, you have to pay EXTRA to get loyalty points. With Air Canada it’s an extra $23 to get half your miles or $44 more for 100%. With Westjet, pay $160 for the flight or $23 more for their Westjet dollars.

But look at their program: Westjet gives you 0.5% of your qualified spending in reward bucks. That’s one half of one percent! You’re paying $23 extra to get less than $1 in rewards. Yes, spend $23 to earn a buck! Tell me how that gets you ahead?

The other great example is from 7-11 and their new reward program. They’ve been doing a lot of TV ads, especially on CFL games. One of the ads is an offer to get a free small bottle of Coke for 1500 reward points.

OK, stop. I went to the store to check it out: The small Coke is 99 cents at 7-11, and pretty much every other retailer. So one dollar divided by 1500 reward points is 0.0007 cents. 7-11 rewards you shopping at less than ideal prices with seven one hundredth of a dollar. That’s to redeem your points. Flip it around to see what you earn: If it’s 2 AM and they’re close and open – buy what you need at 7-11. They’re convenient, good service, and open. But make sure what you’re buying isn’t costing you more than somewhere else because that seven one hundredth of a dollar isn’t making up for overpaying in the retail price!

Petro Points are $0.001 and Airmiles average $0.121. At most you’ll earn 1.5%. That’s the Westjet MasterCard, Aeroplan card, Costco MasterCard and others. It can also be as low as seven one hundredth of a dollar. Breaking news: I have NEVER had a millionaire tell me that their success was because of loyalty points!

Need I say more?