AMARewards director Bruce Fuller uses his reloadable Esso gas card to earn reward dollars (photo: Cooper & O'Hara)

Q&A: How to Save with AMARewards

By Paul Gallant

When Bruce fuller applied for the job of director of AMARewards, he admitted upfront he was a rewards fanatic. He’d previously travelled the world as a computer engineer, racking up points, miles and dollars from an array of loyalty programs. The experience has served him well with AMARewards. He knows what members want from a loyalty program and how to deliver the best value.

What is your role at AMA?
I help members save money and earn reward dollars through their everyday purchases. Most members put their reward dollars toward their annual membership fees—which is great, but I want to show them how they can pay for their entire membership each year. I also think it’s important to use reward dollars to splurge—on an Alaskan cruise, a trip to the Rockies or a special evening out.

What makes a loyalty program stand out?
The most important thing a loyalty program must do is provide value—both for the customer and the partners. It has to have many places where you can earn dollars, miles or points quickly. And it’s got to be easy to redeem your rewards when you want, without blackout or expiration dates. That’s something we’re proud of about AMARewards.

What are you looking for in AMARewards partners?
Our members are practically family, so we look for partners that treat their customers in a similar way: Partners that offer products our members are interested in, provide excellent customer service and have a good reputation.

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How do you maximize your own reward dollars?
In the last 12 months, I’ve earned more than $600 in reward dollars by shopping at AMARewards partners for my everyday purchases; I pay with my CAA MasterCard to earn even more. I use the AMARewards Esso reloadable card when I fill up my tank each week. And I make the majority of my online purchases through our eStore, where I earn reward dollars from more than 100 partners like Dell, Hudson’s Bay, Home Depot and Indigo. I’m a huge coin collector so I now buy all my Canadian coins online through the Royal Canadian Mint’s eStore with AMA. I also recently switched my gas and electricity provider: I’m now with Burst Energy and earning $10 in reward dollars each month. That’s $120 in reward dollars every year!

What most surprises people about the program?
Members are pretty familiar with our travel and automotive partners, but many aren’t aware of all the other savings opportunities when it comes to shopping, dining, entertainment, fuel, health, and the like. If you’re going out for a meal, you can save at various partner restaurants. If you need painting, snow removal, dry cleaning or various other services, you can save and earn reward dollars.

HOW TO SAVE
Powerful deal
: Add value to your energy bills with AMA’s newest rewards partner, Burst Energy. Sign up (no locked-in contracts) and you’ll get $5 in reward dollars each month with your electricity bill, and $5 more in reward dollars with your monthly natural gas bill. That’s $120 in reward dollars annually—enough for your AMA membership renewal!

Stay up to date: Track your reward-dollar earnings and transactions via your AMA online account. Don’t forget: $1 in reward dollars equals one Canadian dollar.