- Financial expert Rubina Ahmed-Haq offers five easy tips to improve
spending habits, including taking advantage of loyalty programs -
TORONTO, May 29, 2013 /CNW/ - What if a loyalty program could help with everyday purchases? Saving
money and smart spending are often top of mind for Canadians, and yet
many consumers continue to make simple spending blunders, including
missing out on the opportunities to save on everyday purchases. The AIR
MILES Cash Financial Success Poll revealed facts about the spending
habits of Canadians and areas for improvement including that roughly
two-thirds (65%) of Canadians say they set a budget and 43 per cent say
they buy on impulse. With tips to help, financial expert Rubina
Ahmed-Haq shares ways to spend smarter.
"Most Canadians want to save more and spend less but don't know how to
make it happen - especially if our paycheques are already stretched to
the limit," says Rubina Ahmed-Haq. "My philosophy is simple: use what
you've got. That applies to the tools at your disposal, such as a
loyalty program with a feature like AIR MILES Cash that lets you use
your reward miles in-store on your purchases. It can't get any easier
Many Canadians could improve their finances with some simple
adjustments, and with the popularity of loyalty programs, it makes good
sense to start by taking advantage of the tools that are likely already
at their disposal.
Spending Smarts: Five Tips from an Expert
Rubina Ahmed-Haq says Canadians can easily start to make little changes
to their money management and every day spending to help them on their
way to achieving financial success.
TIP #1: Use the tools most readily available.
Why not take advantage of a loyalty program? The average Canadian
household belongs to eight loyalty programs1 and, used effectively, they can help them to get rewards such as
vacations and so much more. For example, the AIR MILES Cash program
feature lets Canadians redeem 95 reward miles for $10 off at the
check-out at participating retailers across the country, up to $750 per
day. AIR MILES also has the added benefit of offering thousands of
retail partner locations across the country where you can earn reward
miles, from Shell to RONA and everywhere in between, like grocery
stores and pharmacies, so Collectors are not forced to shop at one
location to earn their reward miles.
TIP #2: Get friendly with your monthly spending plan.
Only 65 per cent of Canadian consumers set budgets so it is no surprise
that half (50%) of consumers admit to spending more than they should.
Setting a budget - or spending plan - is only the first step -
consumers need to stick to it when making purchases. A little effort to
keep track of spending throughout the month can help prevent losing
TIP #3: Don't go into the store without a shopping list.
Making a list is one of the most effective tools to prevent
over-spending - if it is adhered to. Of those that say they don't
overspend, 84 per cent say that they make a list and try to stick to
it. Without a list, chances are good that shoppers will have purchased
items they do not need and that they will have to make an inconvenient
TIP #4: Clip coupons.
Already, 86 per cent of Canadians say they use coupons - and why not?
Coupons are a great way to save money on items a household regularly
uses and, when combined with a sale, can mean extra savings.
TIP #5: Save where you spend the most.
Canadians (41%) want to save money at the grocery store more than
anywhere else. And with 84 per cent of consumers shopping at grocery
stores every week, this can mean a lot of savings. AIR MILES Cash
enables Canadians to redeem up to $750 worth of reward miles from their
AIR MILES Cash balances every day, right at the check-out of
participating grocery stores, such as Metro in Ontario and Sobeys in
Atlantic Canada. Eighty-four per cent of Canadians purchase gas at
least once a month and, of those, only 77 per cent agree that they use
loyalty program points to pay for their purchases. AIR MILES Cash is
available at Shell stations coast-to-coast to help Canadians pay their
The AIR MILES Cash Financial Success Poll Highlights
The poll found several financial trends among Canadian consumers:
With age comes wisdom (and spending restraint):
As Canadians age, they say they are less likely to buy on impulse - from
55 per cent of 18 -34 year-olds declining to 26 per cent of 55 and
Canadians aged 55+ are least likely to say they set a budget (58%), but
are most likely to say that they don't over-spend (79%)
Women are more likely to take advantage of several opportunities to
Women say they are more likely to:
Make a list and stick to it (85% versus 76% men)
Use loyalty program points to pay for purchases at check-out (80% versus
Use coupons (78% versus 62% men)
Canadians are looking to save money in familiar places:
Saving money at the grocery store is the priority for 41 per cent of
Canadians and with 84 per cent of Canadians making grocery purchases
every week that can really add up
Half (50%) of Canadians say they buy gas at least once a week, so it is
not surprising that 20 per cent say that saving money at the gas
station is their main priority
Twenty-five per cent of Canadians are missing an opportunity to save
money at check-out by not using loyalty program points
About AIR MILES Cash
With AIR MILES Cash, Collectors are provided with added flexibility and
choice to select how their AIR MILES reward miles are earned and
redeemed. Now Collectors can redeem instantly at the check-out of
participating retail partners such as Shell gas stations or Rona home
improvement stores. To activate their Cash balance, Collectors must
visit airmiles.ca/cash to set a preference. This preference will divide future earned reward
miles between two balances in their account - AIR MILES Cash and AIR
MILES Dream. They can then shop as usual at more than 220 online and
retail partners, with thousands of locations across Canada, to earn
reward miles and build their balances.
About the AIR MILES Reward Program
Founded in 1992, the AIR MILES Reward Program is Canada's premier
coalition loyalty program with more than 10 million active Collector
accounts, representing approximately two-thirds of all Canadian
households. The AIR MILES Reward Program allows Collectors to earn
reward miles simply by doing their everyday shopping at more than 220
leading brand-name Sponsors, representing thousands of retail and
service locations across Canada and leading global brands online. The
AIR MILES Reward Program also allows Collectors to indulge in more than
1,200 leisure, entertainment, merchandise, travel and a range of
accredited, environmentally-friendly lifestyle rewards. With AIR MILES
Cash, Collectors can also have the flexibility to instantly redeem
their AIR MILES reward miles in-store towards many every day and high
value purchases like gas, grocery, drug store items and home
improvement purchases at participating Sponsors.
About the AIR MILES Cash Financial Success Poll
From April 16th to April 17th, 2013, an online survey was conducted among 1,010 randomly selected
Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of
error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of
20. The results have been statistically weighted according to
education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data
to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of
Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. Rubina
Ahmed-Haq is a business journalist with more than 13 years of
experience. She reports on issues relating to personal finance,
economics and business news. She has received financial compensation
from the AIR MILES Reward Program for her participation in the AIR
MILES Cash Financial Success Poll program.
1 2013 COLLOQUY Loyalty Census as reported by LoyaltyOne / Colloquy.
"Gaining Wallet Share Amidst Loyalty Program" loyalty.com. 9 April
2013. 22 May 2013 <http://loyalty.com/about/news/gaining-wallet-share-amidst-loyalty-program-consolidation-cma-blog>
®™ Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license
by LoyaltyOne, Inc.
SOURCE: AIR MILES Reward Program
For further information:
To discuss the AIR MILES Cash Financial Success Poll further or to arrange an interview with Rubina Ahmed-Haq, please contact:
Anne Locke or Stephanie Dale