April 28, 2016

Rack up the rewards: Canadians are loyal to loyalty rewards programs

TORONTO--Credit cards offer many benefits, and according to a recent TD survey, Canadians are looking to get even more from the cards they carry. Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of Canadians say they're loyal to loyalty rewards programs, carrying at least one credit card that offers a rewards program. And for most cardholders (82 per cent), it's a priority when selecting a card.

"The survey results show Canadians expect greater value from their card, including choice and flexibility for reward program offers, and ways to earn and redeem rewards," said Frank Psoras, Vice President, Credit Cards, TD Canada Trust.

According to the survey, loyalty also extends to where Canadians swipe their cards. Half of cardholders (49 per cent) often change where they shop to earn more points. "Whether you're planning for your family's summer vacation, looking for entertainment ideas, or getting ready to renovate or furnish your first home, there are great ways to earn points and get to your reward faster, provided you always pay your balance on time and in full to avoid incurring interest charges on purchases," added Psoras.

Spring into action: tips to get the most from your loyalty program

To help Canadians get more from reward programs, TD worked with loyalty points expert Patrick Sojka, Founder of RewardsCanada.ca for tips to maximize the benefits:

Check under the hood: Be certain to understand the earning and redemption mechanics of your credit card, including any expiration policies.

"Doing your research and understanding how your credit card works allows you to get the full benefit, including things like travel insurance coverage, concierge services, free upgrades or airline perks," said Sojka.

Spring forward: Look for ways to earn extra points from one transaction.

"One of the easiest ways to earn extra points is to take advantage of promotions that offer to multiply the points you can earn on certain categories of purchases, or during promotional events offered by some retailers or card providers," said Sojka. For example, at participating retailers, use your TD Aeroplan Visa card to make a purchase and then swipe your Aeroplan membership card to earn Miles twice in one transaction.

Brush up on your goals: Sounds simple, but a great way to get to your goals faster is to know where you're headed. "Setting or revisiting goals about how you want to use your reward points goes a long way to help pick the right card for you, and start racking up points towards your goal," says Sojka. And Aeroplan's online goal setter tool (www.goals.aeroplan.com) helps members set and track their progress, with suggestions to help members reach their goals faster.

Clear out the clutter. "Once you've identified your goal and your card, consider putting all of your credit card purchases on the one card to accumulate points quicker," said Sojka.

Refreshing choices for redeeming your points

According to the survey, travel rewards such as flights, car rentals and bus or train tickets are the most popular redemptions (42 per cent). And non-travel items like cash credits (34 per cent) and grocery purchases (30 per cent) are also very popular. But consumers are always looking for more value and flexibility.

With the TD Travel Rewards program, cardholders can shop online at participating brand-name retailers through "Shop The Mall" and use some or all of their TD points at directly at online check-out, allowing them to save on their purchase quickly and easily.

Heading to school in September? Learn how to redeem TD rewards points and Aeroplan Miles for HigherEdPoints that can be applied towards tuition, residence, meal plan fees or even to pay back student loans at participating institutions.

"These are great examples of new redemption options outside the expected, giving Canadians more value for their loyalty rewards programs," adds Psoras.

TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct a custom survey of 1,001 Canadians aged 18 and older. Reponses were collected between January 29 and February 2, 2016.

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group. TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 24 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe.



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