Money & Career

Four cool programs to help you save while you spend

These financial products actually contribute to your savings every time your spend!

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Recently, I was feeling a bit too indulgent having spent big bucks on a pair of Lululemon pants. I felt guilty about my purchase, but reminded myself that I deserve a few luxuries once in a while. Plus, I felt better knowing that my transaction was also helping me save. That’s right, save! Right now, there are a host of retailers and banks offering financial products that will help you save while you spend. Here are just a few ways you can save money effortlessly as you’re doing your shopping:

1. TD Bank Simply Save Program

With this neat program, saving money becomes just as easy as spending it. Every time you use your TD Canada Trust bank card for debit purchases or ATM withdrawals, money automatically goes to the savings account of your choice. You won’t even notice it happening and before you know it you’ll have a tidy sum put aside for a rainy day.

2. Shoppers Optimum Rewards Program

Hands down, Optimum is one of the best retail rewards programs in Canada. Collect enough points and your next store purchase can end up being a freebie. Now, Shoppers Drug Mart makes it even easier for you to rack up points and save on your drugstore purchases – last year, they partnered with RBC to offer a co-branded debit card that lets you earn twice as many Optimum points every time you use the card at a Shoppers store. It’s a great program and they added a credit card too.

3. Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite

According to MoneySense’s annual best credit card’s survey, this is one of the top cash-back cards around. This card gives you four percent cash back on gas and groceries, two percent cash back on drug store and even recurring bill payments! It’s a sweet deal, but there is a catch: you have to pay an annual fee of $99. To reap the full benefits of this program, make sure you really use this card to make its simple approach to saving worth your while.

4. The President Choice Financial MasterCard

With no annual fee, this card lets you spend money to save money on your groceries. The card gets you PC points worth one tenth of a cent each — use it when you shop at Loblaws and you get five PC points for every dollar you spend. So, 20,000 PC points gets you $20.00 worth of groceries — not a bad way to save money!


Money expert Caroline Cakebread has been writing for since 2006. She is a recovering academic and the mother of two small kids. She lives in Toronto where she writes and reads about all things financial. Follow Caroline at