Archive for the ‘Personal Finance’ Category

I am feeling a little smug now from an unplanned shopping trip to Shoppers’ Drugmart!

Given that I am now on a low carb diet again, I find that I have not been eating enough, and I needed to get some snacks to get me through the day.

I went to the Shoppers at Yonge and Dundas, and they were having a double promotion! Spend $50, and get a $10 SDM giftcard, AND 20X bonus points.

And when I went to the health food section, all the Atkins products were on sale! And lucky me, I brought my coupon bag with me! I foraged my coupon bag and found 12 x $3 off Atkins products coupons.

In short, I bought the following products for $52 plus tax.
– 3 x box of 5 Atkins bars
– 4 x carton of 4 Atkins shakes
– 1 Russell Stower’s sugar free chocolate
– 1 box of Russel Stower’s sugar free blueberry breakfast bars (5 bars)

Every item was on sale, and the savings from the sale was $18.80. On top of that, I used 7 x $3 ($21) off Atkins coupon.

So, all in all, I saved $39.80 over the original price of the items, plus I get a $10 SDM giftcard, and 14,600 Optimums points (which works out to be worth $29.20 on bonus redemption days.

Not bad considering I haven’t been couponing since I went back to work! So, I am feeling rather pleased with myself now. Hehe! 😀

This is definitely inspiring me to get back into couponing again!


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It’s coming! The Amex SPG credit card will be launching sometime in March. This card will be replacing the MBNA SPG credit card, which will cease on February 28, 2010.

Even though MBNA SPG card is no longer in effect, I will be listing out the features of the card as a baseline to review the new Canadian Amex SPG card.

We do have to keep in mind that the MBNA SPG card is history, so there’s really no point in comparing it.

The features of the US version of the Amex SPG card will also be listed as an FYI purpose. I would love that we get what our US counterparts get, but I also recognize that US and Canada are 2 different countries, with different socio-economic demographics, hence the different business practices and pricing structure.

I believe the features of the Canadian Amex SPG are still not fully unveiled, so it is difficult to really comment on the card. What we see here is still preliminary, and is only a sneak preview.

But I will give my first impressions of the card after this table.

Needless to say, I was a little taken aback by the $120 per annum fee for this new card, when it was first announced. It is quite a hard pill to swallow especially since I have been spoilt by the no fee card provided by MBNA.

But once that bitter pill is swallowed, it’s time to really look at whether or not it is worth paying the $120 fee for the card. The following 3 features are what I am looking at:

1. The benefit of Gold Preferred status every year, as long as you spend more than $30k annually on the card.
– I loved, and have utilized the late check out times and the complimentary upgrade of rooms that come with the Gold Preferred status, when MBNA provided that benefit for a year. It was a perk that I enjoy, and I have been strategizing and thinking of ways on how to get back that Gold Preferred status! Well, this card will resolve that dilemma for me now.

2. The potential of limitless point earning capability of the card at 1 point per $1 spent.
– With a new baby in the oven, and an additional triplex (with more planned!), our household expenses have been, and will be on the uptick, so this limitless points earning potential is something that I know will benefit me and my family. Utilizing this card efficiently and effectively will mean that my family will still be able to travel comfortably and in style!

3. The free weekend night at a Category 4 hotel at properties worldwide when you spend more than $40k a year
– This is the one perk that I am questioning if I will pay for. I was hoping for just a $50 per annum fee when I first speculated about the new card, much like the US card, but now it has been revealed to be $70 more. The question now is: can I justify paying $70 more than what I first expected for this perk?

What I am going to do is that I would not view the weekend night at a Category 4 hotel as a free night. I will deem it as a paid benefit, and I intend to utilize it. So then, the question is: Is a Category 4 hotel worth $70?

A quick check at the SPG website reveals that some of the Category 4 hotels include: Le Meridien King Edward, Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket (fantastic hotel, btw!)

Click here to view the most current listing of all the Category 4 SPG hotels.

Well, I am sold! 🙂

Will I pay $70 to stay a night at these properties? Absolutely.

So, my verdict is, yes, I will pay for this card. And I am getting it.

Now, I am hoping that in the next few weeks before the card is officially launched, Amex will sweeten this card deal by adding a couple of additional one time only new launch bonuses, with the standard Amex features, and place this card in its own class.

You can get more information about this card and to sign up on their waitlist here.

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Wow! I am very excited!

I was contacted and invited to join a group of 10 individuals for a sneak preview of the Amex SPG credit card that will be launching in March 2010 this coming Wednesday!

Dinner, drinks, and a night’s stay at the Sheraton Toronto hotel comes with this sneak preview invitation!

I really cannot wait to see the card being unveiled! 

I have been waiting for news of this new card, ever since MBNA sent us the notice that the MBNA SPG card will be discontinued.

I loved our MBNA SPG card! It has rewarded us many times over, and we share the rewards with family and friends too!

And from what I have read of the Amex SPG card (currently available in the US), the new AMEX SPG card seems to be better than the MBNA SPG card. I also hope the Canadian Amex SPG card is going to be as good as the US one, if not better!

Will write more about it once I get back from the sneak preview! =)

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