As I mentioned earlier, we had built up quite a mountain of Petro-Points. For fun (yes, I’m that kind of person) I checked out what the $ value per 1000 points was if I redeemed the points in various ways. Then, gleefully ignoring all of the results, I went ahead of scored a new TV using the Petro-Points system for a fast, easy and effective reward.
Frankly, it’s all Squawkfox’s fault.
Getting a CAA Membership Using Petro-Points For the Best Reward
I did pay some attention to my own analysis. Using Petro-Points to buy a CAA membership, if (and this is important!) if you are going to get one anyway, is the best $ reward you can get per point.
So when I renewed our CAA memberships this year, I bought each of us the CAA Basic using Petro-Points. Then I redeemed some more points for CAA dollars. Then I phoned CAA and used the CAA dollars to upgrade our CAA memberships to the higher tier with the longer towing distance. We don’t drive to work so what we want towing for is if the car dies on one of our cross-Canada pleasure jaunts. None of those destinations is within 50 km of a gas station, must less 10 km.
The CAA reward also comes with an extra financial bonus I didn’t include in my assessment of the value of Petro-Points: At many places you can use your CAA membership to get a discount of 10% or more. For example, we’ve often saved money on hotels, entrance fees to attractions like the wonderful aquarium in Quebec City, and even eyeglasses. Considering we don’t pay cash for our CAA membership, this 10% off (or more) is like found money.
Anyway, the point is that I spent some Petro-Points on CAA memberships, but I still had a ton left. I even got my Mom a membership when hers expired. (My Dad has OnStar.) And still the mountain was so high I could have retired on it if those were dollars not points.
How Long Can a TV Last?
Unfortunately for my children, my husband and I aren’t big TV fans. So until extremely recently, our newest TV was a cathode-ray tube pseudo-flatscreen 24” RCA. I’m not sure when we got it or how, but I believe it may have involved a relative and President’s Choice points. But that’s another article.
Our older TV pre-dates RCA connectors. Don’t ask.
The problem with these TVs is that, like my Tandy 1000 TL/2, they still work just fine. It’s the world that has moved on and left them bewildered and afraid. They don’t do digital.
Being analog became a problem when the TV networks all switched to broadcasting over-the-air in digital. Actually it didn’t become a problem until we quit buying cable service. Both TVs still worked fine on cable. But neither could understand a signal from an over-the-air antenna unless we bought a digital to analog decoder box. In the USA that would cost $7. Here it would cost about $85.
And to say that neither was “Netflix ready” is a considerable understatement.
Don’t Forget Petro-Points Can be Redeemed for Best Buy e-Gift Cards
Right now, in January 2014, it’s possible to redeem Petro-Points for Best Buy e-Gift cards. These are basically an emailed voucher that can be used to buy stuff from Best Buy. They are not a plastic gift card.
These are not the best use for your Petro-Points. You can save more money by getting Fuel Savings Reward cards topped up online.
Still, they’re a reasonably good use of Petro-Points, considerably better than the value you get for redeeming them for plastic gift cards.
And there’s something strangely appealing about getting a TV for “free.”
So I redeemed most of our mountain of points for Best Buy e-Gift cards. I read the terms carefully first though.
Please note that at the time this was written on January 19, 2014
- You can use an unlimited number of Best Buy e-Gift cards for an in store purchase but
- You can only use up to 2 e-Gift cards per transaction if you are buying from Best Buy online. And
- Lost or stolen e-Gift cards cannot be replaced. (!)
So there is a risk using this method of redeeming your points.
Since I’m foolish enough to take the risk and buy individual stocks on the TSX, it likely comes as no surprise to you that I was also
stupid enough willing to take this risk.
How to Redeem Your Petro-Points for Best Buy e-Gift Cards
If you’re still willing and aren’t being influenced by this post (remember I’m not a licenced financial planner and I’ve been known to give lots of bad advice in the past, just ask my children), here’s what to do:
- Go to the Petro-Points website http://retail.petro-canada.ca/en/petropoints/38.aspx
- Click on the link to Sign In to your My Petro-Canada account.
- In the Email: field, type your email address
- In the Password: field, type your password
- Click on the Log In arrow.
- Under the heading Redeem My Points, click on the Redeem Points button.
- Under the Best Buy Canada section, with the graphic for the Best Buy Gift Card, click on the Redeem your points link.
- The My Petro-Canada Best Buy Canada e-Gift Card screen will open.
NOTE: As they say it is *important* to check your email address is correct.
The e-Gift card will be sent to that email address. So if you thought it was funny to register for a Petro-Canada account as, say Donald_trump@Gmail.com, you want to be careful, or the Trumpster will be out at Best Buy spending your hard-won dollars tomorrow.
Click the next step button.
- On the Step 1 of 4 : Confirm your email address screen
- Look at the email address and make sure it’s the one you want to receive the Best Buy certificate.
- If it’s ok, click on the confirm button.
- On the Step 2 of 4: Choose your e-Gift Card demomination [sic] screen
The choices are
- $10 Best Buy e-Gift card for 12 000 Petro-Points
- $25 (30 000 points)
- $50 (60 000 points)
- $100 (120 000 points)
- $250 (300 000 points)
- $500 (600 000 points)
- Click to select the radio button beside the amount of points you want to redeem for a specific number of Best Buy $.
NOTE: You may have to repeat this whole process a few times if you need to get a large $$ value in gift cards. Remember you are limited as to how many e-Gift cards you can redeem in a single online purchase. Check the limit before buying!
- Click on the redeem button.
- On the Step 3 of 4: Confirm your Order screen
Confirm the order.
Your e-Gift card will be generated and sent to your email address.
- Sign out of your My Petro-Canada account.
- Check your email inbox for the e-Gift Card. You can print it to take to a Best Buy store, or use the code on it to enter at Best Buy online. (Remember you are limited as to how many e-Gift cards you can redeem in a single online purchase. Check the limit before buying!)Your email message will be something like the following:
Congratulations! You have successfully redeemed 120,000, 000,000 Petro-Points™ for a $100 000 e-Gift Card for Best Darn Buy Canada.
Please visit ExtremlyLongURL.com to access your e-Gift Card, or copy and paste it into the “Address” field of your web browser and follow the instructions to access your e-Gift Card.
Your secret code is: SomethingReallyUnlikely
Your selection: Best Darn Buy $100 000 e-Gift Card
Your transaction number: extremely long number that should be in scientific notation
Amount of certificate: 100 000
Reference numbers: like transaction number but with bells on
Number of points redeemed: 120,000, 000, 000
Questions about your Best Buy e-Gift Card redemption? Give us a call at these numbers.
What Happened When I Went to Redeem my Best Buy e-Gift Cards to Score a New TV?
So, with my e-Gift cards, which are really pieces of printer paper, clutched hotly in hand, I drove off to Best Buy to get my TV.
What happened next? Did I need to call CAA? Did the FutureShop S.W.A.T. team take me down?
Hopefully I’ll get around to sharing that inglorious moment in another post soon. Suffice it to say, it may be entitled “Why I Think Best Buy Needs to Call the Geek Squad for Their Online ‘Reserve and Pick Up’ System.”
But while you’re waiting, or even if you aren’t, from the point of view of the Petro-Points redemption and the Best Buy e-Gift Card redemptions themselves, all went very well. I found both of those parts quite satisfactory.
Do you always redeem your reward points to earn the most value per point, or do you sometimes redeem them for the slightly-wasteful-but-more-emotionally-satisfying experience of picking up something for “free”? Please share your experiences with a comment.