Canadian Contractor

HigherEdPoints program allows contractors to use credit card loyalty points for their kids’ educations

The new program is hooked up with the Aeroplan and TD VISA Travel Reward cards


April 26, 2016
By John Bleasby

If you’re like most contractors and builders in Canada, many of your business expenses like materials, equipment rentals and gas are purchased with a credit card. After all, credit cards offer an organised way to with deal purchases and payments in a consolidated monthly statement. It’s also likely that you are collecting travel points with these cards, lots of them, perhaps directly through programs like TD VISA Travel Rewards or the popular Aeroplan. Together with your personal card purchases, you likely have quite a stash.

TD-A-AC_Business_chip_E_07Nov13Imagine if you could invest in your children’s future by using those travel points to pay for university and college tuition rather than for holiday travel or electronic gadgets. That’s what is being offered by the innovative new program called HigherEdPoints.

HigherEdPoints.com is a new way to redeem your earned TD Points or Aeroplan Miles to help the young person of your choice pay their way through post-secondary education.

The program was conceived to help all parents faced with ever-higher tuition costs each year. However, those in the homebuilding and renovation industry are uniquely positioned to benefit since they charge so much on their credit cards. “It’s an excellent use of their loyalty points,” says HigherEdPoints founder Suzanne Tyson.

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It’s a concept ideal for a company owner like Chris Loftus of Toronto-based Method Homes. Loftus’s son is entering his first year of higher education this fall. Loftus’s company’s corporate TD VISA cards accumulate thousands of points each year – in addition to points on his personal TD VISA. “We’re spending well into six figures on our cards,” Loftus said. “I use my points to redeem online for the $250 HigherEdPoints voucher in the TD Rewards catalogue, then go to the HigherEdPoints website, input my voucher number, select the university, and the payment goes through directly. It’s very easy.”

Highly flexible pooling and redemption plans available
Hep logoIn fact, HigherEdPoints can also be used for repayment of OSAP loans in Ontario, and Student Aid Alberta loans. Additionally, at many institutions, HigherEdPoints can be used for residence fees, meal plans and other campus fees.

Furthermore, Aeroplan offers an education point-pooling program in a student’s name, allowing relatives or family friends to gift points in increments as low as 1,000 miles. Once 35,000 miles are accumulated, a HigherEdPoints voucher worth $250 can be redeemed and directed to the university.

Loftus also sees the potential to use HigherEdPoints to fund continuing education of his employees, another highly beneficial use of the programme. “That seems like a really interesting idea; it could be great.”
(Although, there’s no tax implication for the student, and transfers are made directly to the educational institute and not to the reward point redeemer, it is advised that you check with your accountant regarding any tax implications.)

With another child about four years away from university, Loftus says he’s really glad he discovered the HigherEdPoints program. “It’s a great way to use my points to benefit my children’s education.”

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