It’s Tax Time Again

Tax Time

Tax timeAs you can see, I’ve had to pull out the good old calculator this week in order to do my income taxes. Okay, I don’t actually use the calculator as I do my taxes online, but you know what I mean. It’s time to see if I owe the government any money, or if they owe me a refund. I suspect I’m getting a refund as I changed jobs last year, which means that I would have over-paid on a few of the various taxes they withdraw automatically from my paycheque, so my fingers are crossed.

[A while later…] Yippie! I AM getting a refund! YES! Always nice to get the cash out of the government instead of the other way around. Naturally I cannot have fun with this refund, but instead will dump half into my RRSP (retirement) savings and the other half into my savings fund (which will eventually be used to pay off my car next year). Woo ha, the joys of being a responsible adult. haha.

Spending Money for Travel
TravelOne, two, three…ten thousand, fifteen thousand, sixty thousand.

What am I counting? I’m counting up my airline miles. I was admiring all of my airline miles in a few different affinity accounts while logged in to my Points.comaccount and discovered something interesting and annoying.

(Points.com, for those of you who don’t know, is a site where you can exchange points in various affinity programs that normally wouldn’t let you exchange points. For example, I can exchange points from a gas station program into an airline’s program and vice versa. Not every program is a member of Points.com, but there’s a pretty good list of ones that are.)

I’ve got over 20,000 points in Delta’s SkyMiles that I earned when it was Northwest Airlines, and living in Canada it would be quite hard for me to use the points as I don’t fly to the States all that often. While SkyMiles is a member of Points.com, annoyingly they don’t allow swaps out of the program, so I can’t actually use the points other than to fly on Delta. *sigh*

BUT, Points.com has a new program where you can trade points rather than swap (trade usually costs money, while swapping doesn’t). This would allow me to swap out my SkyMiles into something that I would use, like Air Canada’s Aeroplan points. My basic question to you is this: do I spend the money to trade out the SkyMiles?

Here’s the more detailed question:

Trading out 15,000 SkyMiles would net me 5,000 Aeroplan points and cost me US$140.
Buying 7,000 SkyMiles to top up to 30,000 would cost me about US $200, THEN I could trade 30,000 SkyMiles for 15,000 Aeroplan points for US$220.
Option 1 would cost me US$140, while Option 2 would cost me almost US$500. Considering the Canadian dollar is almost at par right now with the US dollar, it’s not as bad a cost as it would have been last year. But do I do it? I’m quite tempted to do so because I will never use those SkyMiles to fly Delta, but transferring them over to Aeroplan would mean I could use them, either to fly or to exchange into a gift card or something.

What do you think? Should I go for it? If yes, which option should I choose?

It’s Tax Time Again

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