Stretching a School Budget With RBC Rewards

My kids are starting a new school this year, so that means new classroom, new uniforms, new friends, new teachers and well…a whole new budget. Changing schools is like changing houses. You end up having a whole new list of expenses!   In my mind, the last thing I want to worry about is getting the things I need and breaking the bank while doing it.

When I first got married, my husband had his bank account and I had mine. We still have this arrangement 🙂 But he convinced me over 7 years ago when we had our first child, that his RBC Rewards program associated with the Avion card, we not only be able to ‘bank’ on points but use those points for things we need.

Screenshot 2014-08-31 17.24.01With all of the rewards programs available today, finding the right card that works for your family’s lifestyle can be daunting. If you’re like me, you want your shopping to earn you points towards something useful for your family. We put everything on our RBC Avion Card and pay the balance promptly at the end of each month.

Each year during Christmas we travel as a family to Orlando, Florida for a much-needed family vacation–on RBC Rewards points. Four tickets and one card. The best gift our family can get each year.  Oh, and did  I mention, when you book travel rewards using your card, there are no blackout dates?

Recently I found out that you can use your RBC Rewards points to buy back to school items online without even stepping foot into your  favourite stores through RBC’s eMall! I was completely floored. Not only did I save time by using my card online at GAP kids, but I also got 6x the points! The eMall allows you to shop at over 250 retailers including Wal-Mart, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Future Shop and Best Buy and so many more.


The week before school starts and even during the first week,  I often end up in super long line-ups looking for things like tights, socks and fall jackets for the school year. Half the time the stores don’t even have the stock of these common items and I’m shuttling from burb to burb finding the items. This year I beat the line ups and took the time I saved from standing in a line to share some quality mom-daughter and mom-son time getting them excited about their new school instead.

Screenshot 2014-09-01 12.28.03

peacoat Gap Kids


Screenshot 2014-09-01 12.27.27This year, through RBCRewards, I was able to get a fall peacoat for my daughter, a rain jacket and a pair of jeans, and tights for just under $200.00 online through the eMall at Gap Kids. I then in turn earned 6x the bonus points for each of those 200 dollars spent!


Points that I can bank for my ‘travel’ fund down the road. If you’re making purchases at some of these RBC Rewards retailers, you’ll get to see your bonus points climb, a great way to stretch your budget for school.


So what can you buy when you redeem some of those bonus points? Why more school items of course!



I was also able to redeem just over  30,000 points to buy a new laptop messenger bag for my niece who is starting university in the fall. A great bag that would have cost me $79.99, but I got for FREE using my RBC rewards points!


Screenshot 2014-09-01 16.17.29

This year, my daughter is starting a new classroom and her school day starts a half hour early. If you’ve ever dealt with that transition, you’ll know you need reinforcements to get your child awake and out of bed.

I decided to get her a clock radio and I found a great iHome clock radio with blue tooth technology, which means it can be wirelessly linked up with my iPhone too! That’s just over $100 I didn’t need to spend in a month already burdened with bills.

The RBC Rewards site makes it really simple to redeem points.

1. Go to main site  Screenshot 2014-08-31 17.23.37

2. Click Redeem Now

3. Sign in using your RBC Visa Card

4. Start Shopping!

5. Search through over 45, 000 products in places like Best Buy alone, click on the one you want to buy using points

6. Make your purchase on points and you’re all set! There’s fast FREE shipping on most products and the option to pick up in store or have home-delivery.


Here’s some shopping highlights of how we were able to go through to buy some great back-to-school clothing from GAP Kids online and the points we earned was an added bonus!


I also had the chance to share my experience with RBC has in this  ‘how-to’ video on how other moms can best use the site when you’re an RBC Rewards member. In some cases, you can earn  12x times the points just by shopping online through!

It’s so easy, you just need to know where and when to go. So if you’re not an RBC Rewards member yet, you may want to consider it this fall especially if you want to stretch your school year budget to get more bang for your buck!

Check out the videos here:






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