Holiday Shopping Perks? Use Rewards Points to Earn a Vacation


Shopping for the perfect gift can mean great rewards later

There are so many non-perks you get from holiday shopping like: stress, gift anxiety, fatigue and well, more fatigue, am I right moms?

While we race to the finish line as masalamommas to that big day whether we celebrate in a big way or not, it’s always a time where you can’t see light at the end of the tunnel on some days.

As a family, both my husband and I grew up celebrating Christmas, gifts, decorating and big family dinners. So as parents today we want to pass those same traditions down to our kids. They both love Christmas and so most of our budget goes to buying gifts for the kids in our house and much of the time, adults get left behind.

So I started a tradition with my in-laws and our whole family that we would do a secret Santa every year so that every adult would have a gift to open. This has served our family well each year. But it’s not just about what you buy, it’s how you pay. After Christmas gifts and bills are paid off, the thought of planning a trip or even trying to afford one with our kids is next to impossible. So every year we save our RBC Rewards points to get ourselves tickets to a destination in the US. It’s usually Florida, which is a long-standing family trip that we take with our grandparents in tow. Based on my card, for four tickets (minus taxes) to Orlando, we need 140,000 points. (Note: The earn rate with points varies and depends on the RBC Rewards credit card that you’re using)

Many of you have different rewards cards, each with their own benefits. I use my RBC Rewards credit card to shop smart during the holidays to earn big rewards afterward. In my mind, a trip can mean so much more for family time but realistically buying flights, accommodations and other items can really overwhelm our budget. This year, instead of a Secret Santa, I decided to just buy for the women in my house (3 of them), my mom, mother-in-law and sister-in-law. These three women have been so supportive of our family especially this year and I just wanted to say a thank you.


By shopping for three gifts, I’m able to earn more rewards! Translation? Closer to my 140,000 points total to earn four flights to Florida for March break! This year, RBC partnered up with Saks Fifth Avenue, a favourite with the women in my house, offering 3X points when you shop with your RBC Rewards credit card at CF Toronto Eaton Centre or CF Sherway Gardens locations. If you’re shopping at these locations with your RBC Rewards credit card, ensure you sign in to and opt in to the holiday promotion to earn 3X points.

Here’s how I did it this year:

  • For my mom: bought a pair of beautiful Orsini gold earrings at $110 + tax


  • For my mother-in-law: a pair of stunning stud earrings at $78 +tax


  • For my sister-in-law: a gorgeous fringe-style purse by Rebecca Minkoff at $178.50


So shopping at a retailer like Saks where I got 3X points will really help me with my points goal for four flights to Orlando. In fact, I now have enough points to get another ticket to give to my mom for her birthday! A great way to get my mom a gift for xmas, and a birthday gift so that she and my dad can come with us to Orlando for March break.


If you’re looking for ways to get more perks while you shop to save up for a special treat for the new year or a great getaway here’s what you need to know:

1) Make sure you use your rewards card to accelerate your earning potential.

When you pay with any RBC Rewards credit card, check out the other retailers, service providers and hotels below that you can earn points faster with.


  • 3X points at Apple Canada(online only, to December 31)
    • To receive 3X points at when you use your RBC rewards card online, sign in to online banking or to opt in to the holiday promotion.
  • 2X points anytime you pay for an Uber or order UberEATS (no expiry)
  • 2X points when you book a stay at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts(no expiry))
  • 2X points at Saks Fifth Avenue(at CF Toronto Eaton Centre or CF Sherway Gardens locations)
    • Automatically receive 2X points when you use your RBC Rewards card in store. Receive 3X points when you sign in to and opt in to the holiday promotion, until December 31.

2) Track your spending and your points. One strong advantage to electronic banking is that you can have real time access to purchase records. Use your mobile banking app to keep tabs on your spending. And, the new RBC Rewards app lets you also keep track of your rewards activity, including a tally of your pending points and suggestions for your next redemption


3) It’s about how you pay.  Today, we have many payment options from cash to mobile to ‘tap to pay’ to e-Transfers, so understanding which payment option is best for you and your specific purchase will make a big difference in saving you time and making your dollar go further.

  • For example, organizing a group teacher gift? Try a free e-Transfer. In a rush? Use mobile or tap to pay. Shopping at a preferred RBC retailer, make sure you use your RBC Rewards credit card to accelerate your earning potential.


Here’s an added perk! You can pay down your balance with your points too!

Payback with Points: You can use your points balance towards a payment on your credit card. More details here:

This post is sponsored by RBC. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words.



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