Prices for fuel, food, and other household items are heading north, but that doesn’t mean holiday bills have to.  Canadians who are collectively enrolled in 120 million loyalty programs can save money by turning their points into presents. Redeeming rewards saves money, while loyalty memberships translate to exclusive discounts, better selections and the chance to avoid last-minute crowds. 

To help, this Top 10 Holiday Playlist includes tips to save money using customer rewards:

#1 – “It’s the Most Wonderful Store of the Year”

One-stop-shop to maximize reward earnings. Consolidate holiday shopping to retailers with the greatest rewards programs to stretch your budget.

#2 – “Two Turtle Doves” Are Better Than One

Double-dip to accumulate points. Use a rewards credit card at merchants that also offer their own loyalty programs. 

#3 – More Ways to Get “Home for the Holidays”

Bypass the pump and use frequent flyer miles to bring the family together without breaking the bank.  

#4 – Secret “Santa Baby”

Reward points are unexpected gifts, a secret stash and often a forgotten currency. Use them as gifts or to buy gifts. COLLOQUY research has shown that there are millions of points sitting in accounts ready to be redeemed. 

 #5 – “Silver and Gold” (and Green) 

Get in the spirit of giving. Many programs, including Aeroplan and AIR MILES, allow members to use points as donations to support pro-environmental causes and other charitable organizations.

#6 – “Jingle Bell (Soft) Rock”

Take advantage of loyalty-program benefits beyond the points, such as extended shopping hours, reduced shipping costs and other advantages exclusive to membership.  Almost 62 percent of United States loyalty participants rank the availability of these “soft” benefits in reward programs as “extremely important,” according to COLLOQUY research.

#7 – “Silent Night” on the Town

Focus on experiences rather than stuff when treating the family to a night on the town. Many programs offer great entertainment options like concerts and plays as points redemption options. SCENE’s partnership with FanXChange, for example, lets members redeem points for tickets to virtually any theater, sports event or concert in Canada.

#8 – “What Card Is This?”

Dust off those store credit cards. Remember the credit card account you opened to buy a plasma television? Find out if that card still has some unused points on it to redeem for that perfect stocking stuffer.

#9 – “Angels We Have Bought On-Line”

Save both time and money by shopping at retailers that offer reward points no matter where they shop — in their stores,  catalogues or online.    

#10 – “Have Yourself a Merry Little” Purchase 

Pamper yourself by using points to select that perfect “from-me-to-me” gift — from spa packages to a new set of golf clubs. Nine out of 10 U.S. loyalty members who redeem points reported themselves as the primary beneficiaries — so don’t feel bad about treating yourself.