Just bought a Christmas gift for someone on Saturday at The Bay. The lady at the counter said that I could earn 50% more HBC Rewards points if I used my HBC Credit Card. I said something like “no, thanks anyways, but I’d prefer to pay with the cash I have in my wallet, rather than pay off a credit card bill a few months from now.” Even it it means getting a few measly rewards points. The item I was purchasing was $40 (50 rewards points per dollar means 2,000 rewards points). If I paid with the credit card, I would get an extra 1,000 points. A quick check on the HBC website reveals just how much these points are worth. Taking the average points value of the Amazon.ca, Blockbuster, and Starbucks gift cards that are redeemable using HBC rewards points, we find that 1,000 points is worth about $0.10. That is comparable to about 1 Air Mile (through the Air Miles rewards program).
So basically what the lady was offering me was an opportunity to save $0.10. This was easy to refuse. But she was persistent. She said that I could charge it to my HBC Credit Card and then she could immediately pay off the balance on the credit card right then and there using cash. I threw up my hands; what the hell, sure, charge it. She charged it and then paid off the balance. It took about 30 more seconds to do these two steps rather than just one, but that was insignificant compared to amount of time it took her to “gift wrap” the item.
Today I saw a similar item at a different store. A little bit better product, for $5 more. I thought about returning the item to The Bay to get this new item, but would I be able to get my cash back? Since I made the purchase with my HBC Credit Card, if I returned the item I would probably be given a credit on my credit card rather than a cash refund. Probably the best I could do would be to get a gift card or store credti. I would owe them some future business one way or another.
I don’t even know why I have this stupid HBC credit card. I think I got it a few years ago because I was offered 10% off my purchase that day if I signed up for one. It was a $600 purchase, so I guess it made some sense as I saved $60. But how many people save that $60, then end up spending $60 more over the course of the next year than they would have, had they used cash.
Just tore up my HBC Credit Card right now. Ripped into four pieces. It was actually good timing because I just got a PC Financial account and I need an empty slot in my wallet.