“I wish someone had told me” is a series of posts that feed into our inquisitive nature at CN&CO. Each week we hear from someone in our network about something interesting or surprising that’s recently happened or occurred to them – or lessons they learnt. These blogs are a way to pay it forward and form part of CN&CO’s belief that the world can be a better place – and we all have a responsibility to make it so. This week’s post is by CN&CO word nerd Colin Ford, who only recently discovered the joys of collecting – and spending – points…

I used to be one of those guys who would roll his eyes whenever someone ran on the spot for an extra two minutes at the gym, or used different cards to pay for different things at different stores, or used their credit card to pay their rates at Pick n Pay… just to get points.

“What a palaver,” I would think.

And then one day someone from Discovery came to see me about investing. He got me so confused with his talk about diamond and platinum and 10% back and 100% back and double the return if I could bend over backwards and disappear up my own… (you get the picture), that I just zoned out. Seriously, he made two A4 pages of scribbles and numbers and arrows to try and explain the whole thing to me, and I was, like…
File:Wtf seriously tom hardy.gif

 

… (except I’m not Tom Hardy, obviously).

But it got me thinking. I already have eBucks, which pay for my Christmas shopping each year, as well as the occasional flight to the seaside. I go to gym (semi-)regularly, and I run every now and then. So, I thought, if I’m doing all this stuff anyway, why not score points?

Flat on my back and being manipulated by the biokineticist at the Fulcrum Wellness Day

In January I bought myself a Fitbit (using eBucks and Dis-Chem points). Now that I was measuring my exercise, I realised that my little running route was close to 5km, and I could get 300 points every time I did it. I also went to the Discovery Wellness Day at Fulcrum, where I notched up another gazillion points. Before I knew it, I had moved off the dreaded blue status and into the slightly less dreaded bronze zone.

Then I convinced my partner, Gregory, to go for his wellness checks – and voila, we hit silver! Just like that!

In between all of this, I booked a plane ticket to Singapore on Emirates (can’t wait for our Club Med Bintan trip in September!) and saved
R1 500 on my flight – thanks to my points. Gregory is planning an overseas business trip this year and has also found a discounted ticket on British Airways.

In the meantime, we’ll keep heading for gold. I’ve start paying my rates at Pick n Pay on my credit card instead of online. (Lord knows, with the rate increases we’re facing in Joburg in July, my family will get the best Christmas presents ever this year!)

As for investing with Discovery, I don’t think I’m quite ready yet. My head still spins when I think of all the ifs, ands and buts I was presented with on that fateful day. For now I’ll stick to EasyEquities, SatrixNOW and OUTvest for my monthly investments – in the spirit of keeping things simple.