Pure Genius

Who says the best things in life aren’t free? Sometimes you can get away with scoring super fabulous gifts for people without spending a dime of your own money. I’m sure you know about the wonders of Air Miles, banking rewards, PC Points, and Shopper’s Optimum, but today I’ll introduce you to two such programs that I particularly favour.

The first is HMV’s new rewards program, ‘Pure‘. For a random one-time registration fee of $3, you’re enrolled into a program that gives you decent reward points for every HMV purchase (100 points/dollar spent). Instead of just trading in your points for gift cards or store merch, you can spend them in the online Pure store, which features tons of limited edition swag and special events and experiences that money can’t buy. Or you can be boring and get free gift cards.

You could score your Drake-obsessed fan an autographed plaquemount, a Sex and the City martini glass for the single gal in your life, or enter to win a one-of-a-kind entertainment getaway.

Or how about a Lord of the Rings chess set? The Pure store is always adding new merch and there’s a wide crosscut of items available no matter what your friends and family members are into.

Better yet, HMV is doing a fantastic job at staying competitive in today’s online/digital market by expanding their in-store product line to include unique collector’s merchandise, special editions of CDs, DVDs, and video games, a wide range of cool pop culture books, and of course, great deals. So you can stock up on gifts for Peter and Paul while earning points to buy something cool for Mary.

My second recommended loyalty program is Swagbucks. This relatively new on the scene (it’s a year or two old now) player offers you tons of great rewards, just by visiting their website and using their search engines. Unlike most reward programs, you don’t have to spend a cent.

Here’s how it works: sign up, and ideally, install one of the in-browser search options (there is a tool bar, or an easy way to install it in that little search bar at the top right corner of your browser). Search using their search engine as often as possible, and you’ll randomly be awarded Swagbucks. Visit the Swag store and trade in your not-so-hard-earned points for rewards. I primarily trade mine in for $5 Amazon.ca gift certs – I’ve made about $50 in a year of sporadic devotion to the site. There are other ways to earn bucks as well, just visit the website to learn more.

And if you feel like helping me out by helping YOU out in finding this service, use my referral link (just copy and paste) found here: http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/waydocat

Admittedly the Swagbucks search engine isn’t the greatest. Although it culls its results from Google, only the first page seems to ‘work’ and sometimes it’s just easier to use Google instead, especially for specialized imagery or news searches. That being said, the fact I’ve bought $50 of free merch from Amazon just for conducting a few web searches – something I do anyway – is pretty fantastic.

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