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Friday, January 13, 2017

How you can earn a 4% or higher return on lottery ticket and convenience store purchases

Yesterday we brought you the details of the revamped Petro-Points program. Part of the revamp is the set earn rate of 10 points per dollar spent on in-store purchases. This includes lottery purchases and for me there is a Petro-Canada on the way to my office so it makes it easy to stop in and get the tickets there. As you'll see from the post on the revamp, the 10 points per dollar on the lotto purchases equates to a 1% return. Its not a lot but better than 0 for buying lottery tickets at most other places. You can earn 'points' or 'miles' on lottery purchases at Esso (Esso Extra Points or Aeroplan Miles) and Shell (AIR MILES) as well.

The bonus of buying lottery tickets and/or convenience store items at gas stations is many credit cards have bonus multipliers for gas station purchases and any purchases made including lottery show up as gas purchases. I use the American Express Gold Rewards Card since it earn 2 Membership Rewards at gas stations, which equates to 2 Aeroplan Miles or British Airways Avios for me. Sometimes I'll use the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express, it only earn 1 Starpoint per dollar but those Starpoints have high value. For others you may choose the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card since it earns 4 points per dollar on gas station purchases or a card like the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card as it earn 1.5 Aeroplan Miles per dollar at gas stations.

For me, my return so far on buying my lottery tickets at Petro Canada is the 2 Membership Rewards points which equates to a 2% return for Use Points for Purchases via Membership rewards but more so a minimum of 3% when transferred to Aeroplan or British Airways but in most cases it is more than that. Plus the 1% from Petro-Points but there is even more that you can add to that return and this why I am now focusing on Petro-Canada for lotto purchases.

As you may recall from November we let you know that you can link your Petro-Points and More Rewards program accounts and earn points for both programs on your Petro-Canada purchases. That means for every dollar spent in-store you'll earn 10 Petro-Points and 1 More Rewards point. We value More Rewards points around 0.4 cents each so now I have added an additional ~.42% to my return.
An example of the earn from one transaction plus my 1,000 bonus More Rewards points from linking the accounts:
This transaction was still at the old Petro-Points program earn rate - updated program would be 530 points
More Rewards earned at Petro-Canada

For me I calculate this return now as 3% from the charge card + 1% from Petro-Canada + ~0.42% from More Rewards for a minimum return of 4.4%. Compare this to Esso Extra where the return would be 3.6% (Esso Extra points are worth ~0.6 cents each) or Aeroplan via Esso would be 3.5% but likely closer to 4%, of course it really depends on what that Aeroplan Mile is redeemed for.  (1 Aeroplan Mile for $3 spent in-store at Esso is a minimum return of 0.5 cents)

Another option is to grab the Scotia More Rewards Visa Card as it earns 6 More Rewards Points per dollar spent at Petro-Canada for a 2.54% return and add in the 1% from Petro-Canada plus the additional More Rewards points for linked accounts for ~.42% and you have 3.96% return.
Woo hoo! Lots of cash to use via More Rewards! ;-)

I'm also going to test to see if the return is ever higher by linking a SPC and/or HBC Rewards card to the Petro-Points account as those partnerships earn an additional 20% Petro-Points. Not sure though if that will work with my account being linked to More Rewards. I'll report back to see if it works linking all those programs! Let us know if you tried this!

UPDATE: Joe B let us know on the Rewards Canada Facebook page that you can indeed link multiple cards to Petro-Points along with your More Rewards Card. That means an additional return of 0.2% on each dollar spent in store!

This opportunity may not be for everyone. Perhaps you have an Aeroplan goal set and are building up miles for that goal, then you are better off going to Esso, or you may even have an AIR MILES goal so you'll be better off at Shell so that you can get to that reward you want. Ultimately you just need to make sure you stay on track for earning the rewards that make sense for you.


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