Taking Advantage Of Member Benefits And Discounts

Taking Advantage Of Member Benefits And Discounts

My mom phoned me in a big panic the other day because she lost her eyeglasses. After ransacking her apartment and questioning her with the same thoroughness of a homicide cop interrogating a suspect, we ended up going to her optometrist (with IRIS) for replacements.

The glasses specialist mentioned that CARP members have a $150 coupon towards new glasses.

CARP actually offers a lot of member benefits for people over 50; including travel, insurance, health products, entertainment, electronics, and more.

I’m one of those people who tend to glance over offers and discounts – and then promptly forget about them – so it was a good reminder for me.

Member Benefits and Discounts

A lot of workplaces and memberships offer special promotions and discounts and they are worth looking into when you are researching a purchase.

Employee discounts

Beyond the normal employee benefits, many companies offer discounts on a variety of services and merchandise.

When I worked in banking most of the employee discounts were for attractions in Ontario – Niagara, Canada’s Wonderland, Leafs hockey tickets – not very usable for someone living in Calgary.

However, when I worked for a major retail store, there were hundreds of special promotions and quality discounts for employees. For example, there was a $500 discount on Apple computers that would have been handy when I bought my iMac, but I didn’t know about it at the time ☹.

I did use a car rental discount though, and the agent told me it was the best employee discount he had ever seen. Even my brother, who works for a large multi-national company said it was better than his discount. Go figure!

If you belong to a professional association you may also be eligible for certain discounts, especially on insurance and mobile phone services.

Costco Membership

Anyone with a Costco membership knows that they offer multiple products and services beyond the good deals on prescriptions and what’s in their warehouse. These include many small business services, insurance, travel, a Ford auto discount, and home improvement and renovation services.

Related: Is The Costco Executive Membership Worth It?

The advantage here is the Costco customer service – satisfaction guaranteed!

Auto club

If you belong to an auto club (CAA) for emergency roadside assistance, check out their other offerings. Not only can you get discounts on hotel/motels and car rentals, they also offer travel (not just road trips) and merchandise.

Final thoughts

Don’t be like me. If you are in the market for a major purchase or service and comparing prices, first check to see whether there are any suitable discounts on offer from your employer, store and auto club memberships, and credit cards.

You may be surprised at what kind of member benefits and discounts you can find.

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  1. Deborah Soloway on January 17, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Costco offers a much better deal on travel medical insurance through Manulife (at Costco.ca) than Manulife offers on its own site, and Executive members receive an additional 5% discount. For us, it was the best deal of several that I was quoted.

    • boomer on January 18, 2018 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Deborah. We just recently switched to the Executive membership and were considering the travel insurance. It’s good to know you are happy with the quote.

  2. Kent on January 17, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Try Zenni Optical.


    No Middleman or Retail-Space Overhead. High-Quality Glasses at Affordable Prices.

  3. Echo on January 17, 2018 at 10:19 am

    When I worked in the hospitality industry we got to stay anywhere in the hotel chain across Canada for $39/night. It was a really sweet benefit that I no longer have access to since moving on from the industry.

    That said, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered that, as a university employee, I have access to government or near-government rates through the CAUBO association. On a recent trip to Vancouver I got a really good deal (25% off best available) on a downtown hotel by going through the CAUBO website.

    You have to be careful, though. One time when I had to rent a car I entered the CAUBO code online and got quoted a price that was higher than the regular rental rate!

    • boomer on January 17, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      Hi Echo. Companies have sales and offer discounts all the time, so there may be better prices than are offered with your membership codes. That’s why I like coupons such as the $150 glasses coupon. It doesn’t matter what the original price is.
      I’m just saying, when you are in the market for certain services or merchandise, be sure to check your member discounts when you are shopping around.

  4. Tom on January 17, 2018 at 8:58 pm


  5. Ray on January 18, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Just ordered glasses at superstore and with the BCAA discount of 40% a a they came in just a few dollar more than Clearly.ca. I thought the internet option iffy on something that needs to be fitted (Progressive prescription) and I now have a local resource for any problems.

  6. Dr. Networth on January 18, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    I am a member of CAA and have found their discounts on attractions in the Toronto area, such as Canada’s Wonderland, CN Tower etc….to be good. Their Cineplex movie ticket discounts are also good. These discount tickets require a CAA membership card to buy online or in the store, so you need a family member or friend who is a CAA member if you are not one yourself.

    Most hotels throughout N. America have CAA (or AAA equivalent) discounts when you book online. I have done this many times, and have never been asked to show my CAA card at the hotel (just a tip for those who don’t actually have a CAA membership).

  7. Bill on January 19, 2018 at 10:52 am

    I recently purchased travel interruption insurance through CAA for half the cost of TD / Manulife or the trip provider.

  8. K. Amsler on April 13, 2018 at 10:08 am

    We just signed up for Carp again after letting the subscriptions labs for a couple of years. i am hard pressed to find any deals in Western Canada with Carp. Cell phone plans are just as expensive . Travel insurance also . It is supposed to be for seniors but anyone over 65 just gets jacked up rates or else they don’t even want to cover you. When the travel insurance for a place in Europe costs as much as my ticket to fly there is no wonder that a lot of travellers just say forget about it and take a chance. Same with auto insurance , there are no deals in BC. This Carp may be good in Toronto but so far i have not seen any benefits out west, correct me if I am wrong.

  9. Brittany on June 13, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    If Marketing rep from certain retail or company need to do more promotion in order to offer discounts to other Large corporations/retailers. After working for the Financial Institution in AB for many years, towards end of employment I found out we get discounts w/Apple – the same discounts if you were a Starbucks employee!! Why my HR never promoted that or anything?!! I could have saved lots on MacBook Pro & iphones! Certain regions offered more discounts in Cell plans. A colleague works @ RBC, they have low competitive rates w/Rogers, Fido, Bell; they can really compared rates & services!!
    For Alberta & Western Canada discounts are very crappy compare to Eastern Canada!

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