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Financial Literacy Month-BMO's Tip of the Day: Pick One Rewards Program to Make the Most of the Money You Spend


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 28, 2011) - To mark Financial Literacy Month, which was launched by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, BMO is releasing a series of financial tips throughout November. As part of Making Money Make Sense and BMO SmartSteps, BMO's tips are designed to help individuals and families save and manage their day to day finances more effectively.

BMO's Tip of the Day: Consolidate your purchases under a single rewards program. This will allow you to earn points on everyday purchases at a variety of retailers and take advantage of in-store bonus offers to earn points faster.

By picking one loyalty program and a credit card / debit card that earns loyalty points toward the same program, you can often double or even triple your reward earnings on everyday purchases.

"Rewards points from loyalty programs can make travel, vacations, gift-giving and everyday living more affordable," said Su McVey, Vice-President, Customer Communications & Marketing, BMO Bank of Montreal. "There's a broad array of redemption options available to collectors today, including travel fare and car rentals, merchandise and gift certificates toward gas and grocery purchases. Look for a program that doesn't require you to spend more to get the rewards you want, but instead helps you earn more on what you spend."

At BMO Bank of Montreal, certain Everyday Banking Plans give customers AIR MILES reward miles for purchases made with their debit card as well as with their BMO AIR MILES MasterCard. When customers use the same AIR MILES collector number for both their debit and credit cards, they earn more reward miles faster.

BMO Financial Literacy Month Tips

November 1: Pay more than the minimum payment on a credit card balance.

November 2: Choose a shorter amortization for your mortgage.

November 3: Contribute to a child's Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) as early as possible.

November 4: Invest in a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) to maximize your savings.

November 7: Switch to weekly mortgage payments to save interest and become debt-free faster.

November 8: Take advantage of credit card travel insurance to lower costs.

November 9: Start early and contribute often to your investment account, rather than waiting to invest.

November 10: Use a line of credit to consolidate high-interest debt and save on interest costs.

November 14: Canadians can give the gift of securities and benefit at tax time.

November 15: Students, pay off your credit card balances and take advantage of student discounts to save money.

November 16: Pay an extra five per cent on your mortgage every year to reduce interest costs.

November 17: Secure your retirement by starting to save early and taking advantage of compounding growth.

November 18: Students can save money by ensuring they are in a no-fee student banking plan.

November 21: The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a powerful investment option that can offer long-term financial security for persons living with a disability.

November 22: Maximize your Old Age Security (OAS) benefits by adopting the right tax strategies.

November 23: Stress-test your mortgage to ensure your housing costs are affordable.

November 24: Take advantage of Canada's numerous online personal finance resources.

November 25: Consider taking out a loan to maximize your contribution to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and take advantage of the tax benefits.

For more on financial literacy, BMO encourages Canadians to visit http://www.financialliteracymonth.ca/ and http://www.bmo.com/home/about/banking/corporate-responsibility/customers/financial-literacy.

Media Contacts:
Ralph Marranca, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
ralph.marranca@bmo.com

Sarah Bensadoun, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
sarah.bensadoun@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com