Saturday, 23 October 2010

A Perfect Three-Pointer

When I was transferred to Windsor years ago, I did an advance reconnoitre of the area, and arrived at a wonderful conclusion. Windsor had the three things necessary to ensure a happy life:
1. A Pop Shoppe on the main drag
2. Old Dutch potato chips at Beckers (in boxes, not in the cellophane bags like today)
3. Daily Doonesbury cartoons in the Windsor Star (aka "the local rag")

Sadly, none of these things exist in Windsor any longer, although there is some hope that if we can get Eddie to express a passing interest in Doonesbury in the quiet of the Mayor's office, the Windsor Star will somehow get wind of it and print Doonesbury on the front page daily. (Yes, he's going to win the election).

Since then and only once since there has been a remarkable convergence of happy circumstances that have led to near perfection for me, and it was when RBC announced a credit card that:
1. Had no annual fee
2. Doubled as a Starbucks card
3. Earned Starbucks points on every purchase, which were then loaded on to the Starbucks side of this one single piece of plastic, code name Duetto. Nirvana! Grande Nirvana! Then they discontinued the card, proving that there are no free refills in the coffee shop of life. Enjoy every cup as if it will be your last, I say. I have grounds to believe that one day it will be.

I have only two goals left in life, and I don't believe in bucket lists so being the idiot on Kilimanjaro isn't one of them. (Gimme a break - what kind of northern hemisphere arrogance does it take for the average cubicle Joe to convince himself that climbing Tanzanian mountains is a reasonable one-time ego stroking goal? And why do the rest of us have to listen to their damned "you can do anything..." claptrap motivational speaking as they live out their few remaining minutes of fame on the small town luncheon rubber chicken circuit? Insurance and Real Estate salespeople eat this stuff up - quotables and rubber chickens alike.)

Anyhoo... the first goal is beyond my control: I want grey hair before I have no hair. Currently it's anybody's guess on which will come first. I have enough forehead for four heads, so I wouldn't put my money in silver, if you catch which way the combover is heading.

But the other, real but seemingly impossible goal, is to get triple points on my credit card. Here's what I mean. Right now I collect points on every purchase through my credit card company, and through whatever loyalty programs to which I belong. To give an example, if I buy my shampoo (for the remaining time I will need shampoo) at Shoppers Drug Mart and use my VISA, then I will get VISA points and Optimum points - that's a two-fer. If I check into a Holiday Inn and pay on VISA, I get credit card points and Priority Club points, which I will later redeem for upgrades or a free room. Same for VIA rail - credit card and VIA Preference - two-fer! Shell gasoline by credit card? Two-fer: credit card points which I will someday redeem for a big screen TV and Air Miles (which we occasionally cash in for Starbucks gift certificates. Don't judge me).

I'm looking for the elusive third reward. Credit card points, loyalty rewards points and...what? This, then, is my new quest in life. A perfect three-pointer on the loyalty program court of life.

OK, so I don't have big dreams. I do have lots of little ones which, like points programs, can add up.

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