Managing Your Rewards Cards With A Mobile App

By Robb Engen | July 3, 2011 | Comments Off on Managing Your Rewards Cards With A Mobile App

The typical Canadian has over half a dozen rewards cards in their wallet at any given time.  It seems like every retailer (large or small) has their own rewards card and loyalty program, along with incentives to save money if you join.  It doesn’t take long before we have dozens of rewards cards in our wallet, most of which have only been used once.

Recently I discovered that you can manage your rewards cards with a mobile app.  There are two mobile apps to choose from, CardStar and Key Ring Reward Cards.  Now you can relocate all of your rewards cards safely onto your mobile device and still easily access them when you go out shopping.

Let’s take a look at each of the different mobile apps for managing rewards cards.

CardStar Mobile App

The CardStar mobile app lets you store your rewards, club and loyalty membership cards on your BlackBerry device.  With CardStar you enter in your membership and barcode numbers for each merchant.  Once you save your information you will receive notice within the mobile app of certain promotions going on for each merchant.

The CardStar mobile app is free and comes available on most platforms including BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Windows phones.

Key Ring Loyalty Cards Mobile App

With the Key Ring Loyalty Cards mobile app you can simply scanor type the barcode number from each of your rewards cards to enter them.  After you’ve added your cards you can instantly receive any available coupons within the app that you can print.

The Key Ring mobile app is also free and comes available on most platforms including BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Windows phones.  The Key Ring mobile app takes up only 789.4 KB of memory, compared to 1.4MB for the CardStar mobile app.

Adding Your Rewards Cards to the App

With the CardStar mobile app you need to manually select each retailer that you have a loyalty card for and then enter in your membership or barcode number.

The Key Ring mobile app has the same option to manually enter your rewards cards memberships, or you can simply scan each barcode to add it to the app.  If there is no barcode you can select the ‘no barcode’ box and type in your membership number.

The scanning does work but can be a bit of a pain.  Holding the card under a light or out in the sun makes the barcodes easier for the BlackBerry camera to read and decode without a hassle.

Scanning at the Retailer

Both CardStar and Key Ring have the option of displaying your barcode or membership number in case the scanner won’t scan it.  The flatbed scanners at the retailer rarely work for either app, so hopefully that gets better as the retailers improve their scanning technology.

Signing Up For New Loyalty Programs

The nice thing about Key Ring is that there is an option to join new programs that are available in your area.  Just fill in your information and you’re automatically enrolled and your membership number is loaded into the app, which will save you time filling out the flyers at the retailer check-out.

Related: What Is Air Miles Cash?

When joining new programs within Key Ring, there may be special offers available once you sign up.

Unfortunately with CardStar you’ll have to either sign up online or actually go into that store and sign-up manually to get your membership number.

Simple Ways to Manage your Rewards Cards

Using a mobile app to manage your rewards cards saves you time and saves you the hassle of carrying around multiple cards in your wallet.  Our of the two mobile apps, the Key Star mobile app seems to be the best option to easily manage, add and use your rewards cards on the go.

Even though your wallet might start to look a bit thinner after removing all of your rewards cards, you should be able to easily save more time and earn more rewards by switching to a mobile app to manage your rewards cards and loyalty programs.

Small Business Credit Card Review: TD Business Travel Visa

By Robb Engen | July 3, 2011 |

One of the best ways to increase the earning power of your rewards cards is to use a small business credit card.  Just like you can turn your everyday personal spending into Air Miles rewards or Aeroplan miles, you can turn your business expenses into travel rewards with a small business credit card.

Overview of the TD Business Travel Visa Card

TD offers three small business credit card options.  The TD Business Travel Visa Card is the most lucrative of the three, earning TD Points on all purchases made with your card, plus all of the benefits of the TD Business Visa Card.  You can use TD Points towards travel expenses that you pay for with your small business credit card.

The daily purchases that you make for your small business using your TD Business Travel Visa Card will earn valuable TD Points that you can use to pay for any travel that you charge to your Card – flights, hotels, train tickets, car rentals, even airport parking and taxes.

For an annual fee of $149 you earn 3 TD Points on every $1 you spend on purchases charged to your small business credit card, and receive optional detailed monthly Management Reports to help you keep track of your business expenses.

Benefits of the TD Business Travel Visa Card

  • You’ll receive 30,000 Bonus TD Points upon approval
  • You’ll earn 3 TD Points for every dollar in purchases charged to your Card
  • You’ll earn 9 TD Points for every dollar charged to your Card for eligible travel purchases booked through the TD Visa Travel Rewards Centre
  • You’ll enjoy the freedom to book your trip through any travel agency or website on your Card and still use your TD Points

*Annual Fee: $149

TD Points Can Add Up Quickly:

Total Annual Purchases Total TD Points Earned per year
One-time Approval Bonus* 30,000
Avg. Monthly Purchases
($1 charged = 3 TD Points)
$2,500 x 12 90,000
Travel Booked at the TD Travel Rewards
Centre in an average year
($1 charged = 9 TD Points)
$3,000 27,000
Total $33,000 147,000
Travel Savings Earned $735

* One-time Approval Bonus applies only in the first year

Book your travel any way you want

  • The TD Business Travel Visa Card gives you the freedom to book your trip through any travel agency or travel provider that you choose
  • The required number of TD Points will be redeemed from your TD Points balance on the date you call to redeem and your TD Business Travel Visa Account will be credited by the amount of TD Points redeemed
  • Book your travel through the exclusive travel agency – the TD Travel Rewards Centre – or online where your TD Points will be redeemed automatically upon booking. Earn triple rewards for travel purchases charged to your Card at the TD Travel Rewards Centre (9 TD Points earned for every $1 in travel purchases made through the Centre)
  • Book your travel in any class (including business class and first class)

Redeeming TD Points

  • Redeem your TD Points for whatever type of travel you prefer, including air, package, hotel, car rental, train
  • There are no seat restrictions, blackout periods or advance booking requirements. With TD Points, you can travel any time of year, including peak periods, and even during seat sales – and still use TD Points
  • Use your TD Points for taxes that apply to your travel purchases, such as GST or provincial taxes, as well as any other charges or fees you may incur at the time of booking, such as port charges or airport improvement fees
  • Your TD Points do not expire as long as you are a Cardholder

Applying Online

To be eligible to apply online, you must be:

  • A Sole Proprietor that is an existing TD Canada Trust Customer
  • – OR –
  • The only Owner (and Director, if applicable) of an incorporated company which is an existing TD Canada Trust Small Business Customer.

*You must also be a Canadian resident, and be of the age of majority in your province of residence.

Final Thoughts

Normally I’m not a fan of paying an annual fee, even when getting rewards from travel credit cards, which can really add up.  With a small business credit card like the TD Business Travel Visa Card, the rewards program is so lucrative that the annual fee is worth paying for.

The flexibility when redeeming TD points for travel is a unique advantage over other small business credit cards since you can redeem your TD points at any time without restrictions.  You can use your TD points to pay for any taxes and fees incurred on your flight or other transportation.

If you’re a small business owner you should consider using the TD Business Travel Visa as your small business credit card of choice and start collecting lucrative travel rewards points on your everyday business spending.