If you’re like me, this is a question you have to ask yourself about more than one person more than once a year! I agree that some people really don’t need more “stuff.” So I try to think of things they can use, or things that get used up and need replacement. One gift that has proved quite acceptable to a few people on my list in a CAA membership.
(NOTE: I don’t get anything from anyone including CAA if you join. This is something that I recommend just for the fun of it.)
What Makes a CAA Membership the Right Choice for Certain People Who Have Everything?
This is an especially good gift if the person receiving it
- doesn’t believe in snow tires
- drives more assertively than you’d like
- is prone to doing things like dropping their keys in their purse, dropping their purse in the trunk, and slamming the lid shut, and not realizing what they just did until they come back from a day’s outing exhausted from the portages and welting up from the mosquitoes (Yes, I know someone like this.)
- thinks gas gauges lie and there is “always another few litres in the tank even when it says E”
- is convinced nothing will ever happen to them to make them need roadside assistance and therefore will pay $1000/year for car insurance but will refuse to spend a few hundred on an auto plan, and then IT happens
For sure a CAA membership won’t take up space in their already over-crowded home, smell funny, be the wrong colour, or make them gain any more weight.
What Are Some of the Overlooked Benefits of a CAA Card?
When I think CAA I usually just think about
- dead battery boosts
- maps and touring guides and TripTiks
But I’ve often paid out my membership’s cost claiming other valuable rewards which have included
- a significant discount of 10% off the lowest available fares at VIA Rail. This discount on train tickets is available for tickets purchased before December 31 2015 for travel before December 31 2016. I don’t know if it will be offered again in 2016 or not.
- unexpected discounts at stores: One year I saved 50% on a rush pair of prescription glasses from LensCrafters (the store told me to go home and print the coupon!)
- discounts on Cineplex movie tickets both for our own use and to give as gifts (Yes, Costco has some good deals on these too, but the local CAASCO office has NO LINES.)
- hotel room rate discounts: We don’t travel much but many places, especially small hotels who don’t want to develop their own rewards system, offer an almost automatic 10-15% off for CAA members
- admission and sometimes gift shop discounts at attractions across Canada including the Aquarium in Quebec City (which unlike Ripleys in Toronto is huge and has marine mammals and a large outdoor play area for children) and the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg.
These are just some of the discounts we have used to save money. You may want to check your CAA branch website for a more complete list to see if anything matches your hobbies.
You may want to mention to the person you are giving the gift membership that these types of benefits are available. Like me, they may not even think to check the CAA website.
The December Petro-Points to CAA Dollars Bonus Is Back
What brought this post on at this time of year? I received a postcard from the southern Ontario branch of the CAA reminding me of an annual promotion. If I redeem 10 000 Petro-Points for $10 CAA Dollars, I’ll get 2 500 new Petro-Points, worth about another $2.50 in the future.
Unfortunately, the offer is not “scaleable” so I can’t get 25 000 Petro-Points for redeeming 100 000 Petro-Points into $100 CAA Dollars. Still, it’s a pleasant little bonus and a good reminder to get someone special their usual birthday gift.
You can read this article if you’d like details on how I used this promotion in previous years.
- How to Save Money on VIA Rail Tickets
- Redeeming Petro-Points for CAA Dollars
- What’s the Best Deal for Using My Petro-Points?
- How to Check Your CAASCO Account Including CAA Dollars
Have you had another, probably better, idea of what to give someone who neither needs nor wants anything? Please share your suggestion with a comment.