Travel is a big part of what makes retirement meaningful, says John Coleman*, 64, of Victoria, B.C., and travel reward points help him and his wife, Mary, a teacher, go on trips more frequently and stay longer.
A home renovation several years ago produced enough reward points to send the couple to Europe, and ever since then, the former human resources manager has been “a lot more conscious about the value of points. We put all our spending on cards, so we hardly use cash anymore. We like to see our spending work for us
A couple that spends $2,300 on average a month on the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card would be able to go virtually anywhere using the points they earned. They could also seek helpful suggestions from the card’s concierge service when planning their trip.
“The points play a huge part in our trip planning. A return flight from Victoria to Rome is $3,000 for a typical high-season ticket for two. Points cover almost 30% per cent of the cost of the trip. If we were paying for that, we would have stayed only three weeks instead of four.”
Their favorite destination is France – especially Paris – followed by Thailand. In both places, “we like the culture and the scenery and the people. In Paris, we go to the art galleries. We love experimenting with the food, we love enjoying expensive wines.”
They enjoy strolling the wide avenues of the City of Light. “The Eiffel Tower. Notre Dame Cathedral. We like to go inside a church or two on every trip. The Louvre. Walking along the Seine. We go on a river cruise. We really love just walking around in Paris, taking the subway, taking the bus. You don’t want a car there. We’ve gone in August. A lot of Parisians go on holiday to the south in August. August is the month to go to Paris.
His dream trip for the future is South Africa – “the culture, the wine, the scenery” – which he hopes to reach in the next five years. And after that, India. And when his wife retires from teaching, they hope to spend six or eight weeks each winter escaping Victoria’s rainy weather for warmer places – Thailand or Belize.
The couple also uses points to visit their son and daughter-in-law in Edmonton, and to fly them back and forth to Victoria three or four times a year. “That’s another aspect of collecting points: sharing the rewards with your children. My wife and I flew to Edmonton to help with the house renovations. We worked for 10 days on a renovation.”
The couple’s two grown children haven’t travelled with them for years, but his daughter recently went back to the Hawaiian island of Kauai, where the family had gone 15 years ago – this time on her honeymoon.
“She went on points,” Mr. Coleman says.
THIS ADVERTORIAL IS PREPARED BY SCOTIABANK®*
*The family’s real names are not being used.
®* Registered trademarks of The Bank of Nova Scotia.
® American Express is a registered service mark of American Express. This credit card program is issued and administered by The Bank of Nova Scotia under license from American Express
You will earn 2 points per $1 on the first $50,000 in purchases made annually at American Express merchants classified in the American Express network as: Gas Service Stations (with or without Ancillary Services and with Merchant Code: 5541) and Automated Fuel Dispensers (Merchant Code: 5542); Grocery Stores and Supermarkets (Merchant Code: 5411); Eating Places and Restaurants (Merchant Code: 5812), Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) including Bars, Taverns, Nightclubs, Cocktail Lounges, and Discotheques(Merchant Code: 5813), Fast Food Restaurants (Merchant Code: 5814); Entertainment including Motion Picture Theaters (Merchant Code:7832), Theatrical Producers (except Motion Pictures) and Ticket Agencies (Merchant Code:7922), Bands, Orchestras and Miscellaneous Entertainers - Not Elsewhere Classified (Merchant Code:7929). Some merchants may sell these products/services or are separate merchants who are located on the premises of these merchants, but are classified by American Express in another manner, in which case this added benefit would not apply. You will earn 1 point per $1 on purchases made after you have reached the 4 points per $1 $50,000 annual spend maximum and on all other purchases made with the card. Points are not awarded for cash advances, Scotia Credit Card Cheques, credit vouchers, payments, purchase returns, card fees, interest charges or service/transaction charges.