The PC Optimum loyalty program was launched in February 2018, with the merger of two long standing rewards programs; Loblaws PC Plus, and the Shoppers Optimum program, from Shoppers Drug Mart. As a longtime PC Financial customer, I was thrilled to see the two programs come together, as it meant more opportunities to earn rewards. Not only that, but I was pleased to see that it remains one of the most generous loyalty rewards programs available to Canadians.
How Much are PC Optimum Points Worth?
One of the best things about PC Optimum points, is that the math is easy. That’s not always the case with loyalty rewards programs. With PC, 1000 points is worth $1. Because points can only be redeemed in multiples of 10,000 however, it’s better to think of it in those terms.
- 10,000 = $10
- 20,000 = $20
- 30,000 = $30
- 40,000 = $40
You get the picture. There is one exception to this. Sometimes, retailers such as Shoppers Drug Mart will offer special redemption days, when they’ll give you more value for the PC Optimum points you redeem. I’ll explain how that works a little later.
Different Ways to Earn PC Optimum Points
Now that you have an idea how points are calculated, let’s take a look at the many different ways that you can earn PC Optimum points. You’ll notice that some of these programs are very lucrative. I recommend that you try to take advantage of as many as you can, to get the most bang for your buck.
Shoppers Drug Mart Purchases
You’ll earn 1.5% (15 points per dollar) when you purchase eligible products at Shoppers Drug Mart. This can be considered a respectable rate of return for any rewards program and is slightly more than the regular 10 points per dollar (1%) earned on regular spending at other participating retailers.
If you’re looking to amplify your points earning power, however, you’ll want to take advantage of the following options available to PC Optimum members.
Targeted Offers and In-Store Promotions
When you register with PC Optimum, you’ll receive personalized offers tailored to your shopping habits. Each week, simply load the offers you wish to take advantage of and receive the bonus points when you purchase the items on your list.
The targeted offers can be pretty lucrative, in fact, I’ve received up to 200 points per dollar spent on an item. That’s more than 13X the regular earn rate of 15 points on the dollar. In addition to the weekly offers, look out for in-store promotions that are available to all PC Optimum members wherever PC products are sold, including Shoppers Drugmart, Loblaws, and Esso locations.
Shoppers 20X Points Days
Shoppers Drug Mart also runs 20X points promo days from time to time. You definitely want to keep your eyes open for these, as they boost your point value per dollar from 1.5% to an incredible 30%! You do have to be careful with these types of promotions as they tempt you to spend money on things that you don’t need or normally wouldn’t buy. But if you stick to the items on your list, it’s worth shopping on 20X points days.
Shop Using a PC Financial Mastercard
If you’ve been a long time MapleMoney reader, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of earning credit card rewards. It’s a great way to save money on anything from travel, to gas and groceries, or even getting cash back. Of course, the caveat is that you use your credit card responsibly, by paying the balance in full every month. After all, there is no use earning points, if you’re paying interest at 19.99%.
PC Financial has three Mastercards that will enable you to earn PC Optimum points when you shop with your credit card. When you apply, PC Financial will automatically assign you a card based on your anticipated spending level, aka personal or household income. That said, each card allows you to accelerate your points earning, without an annual fee.
PC Financial Mastercard
When you shop at Loblaws, or any of its subsidiaries ie. Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, you’ll earn 10 points for every dollar you spend, or 1%. At Shoppers Drug Mart, that increases to 25 points, or 2%. Lastly, purchases at Esso/Mobil gas stations are worth 3% in PC Optimum points.
PC Financial World Mastercard
The PC World Mastercard is similar to the basic card, but takes the earning power up a notch, by doubling your points at Loblaws & family stores to 2% (20 points per dollar spent), and 3.5% on Shoppers Drug Mart purchases (35 points on the dollar).
PC Financial World Elite Mastercard
The PC World Elite Mastercard is PC’s top tier mastercard, and from a rewards standpoint is on par with many of the premier credit card offerings available today. With the World Elite, you’ll earn a whopping 3% when you shop at Loblaws stores, and 4.5% at Shoppers (45 points per dollar). Keep in mind, all of this is available without an annual fee.
Here’s a tip. If you’re considering applying for a PC Financial Mastercard, try to time it when a welcome bonus is being offered for new customers. This can be a great way to boost your PC Optimum points balance.
Redeeming PC Optimum Points
PC Optimum points can only be redeemed in multiples of 10,000 points. In other words, if you wish to redeem points against a $65 purchase, you could redeem 60,000 points, and then pay the $5 remaining. As I mentioned earlier, I like this for it’s simplicity. PC Financial makes the math for earning and redeeming points easy to understand.
As I mentioned earlier, there are times when Shoppers Drug Mart will offer you a higher dollar value for your points. For example, they may give you a $65 value when you redeem 50,000 points, instead of the regular $50 value. Watch out for these redemption offers, as they can be very attractive.
To use points when shopping, simply present your Optimum card to the cashier and let them know how many points you want to redeem. Keep in mind that you won’t earn points on the value of items that you’re redeeming points towards.
Where Can I Earn and Redeem PC Optimum Points?
In addition to Shoppers Drug Mart, you can earn and redeem PC Optimum points at more than 2,500 other Loblaws-affiliated retailers. This includes personalized weekly offers and in-store promotions. Here’s a list of some of the many stores that participate in the PC Optimum rewards program:
- No Frills
- Shoppers Drug Mart
- Extra Foods
- Atlantic Superstore
Maximizing Your PC Optimum Points
If you ask me, the 2018 merger of PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum was a big win for consumers. Not only did PC Financial maintain the generous earning power of the old programs, shoppers now have a larger network of retailers from which to earn and redeem points.
On their own, the PC Financial Mastercards make this a loyalty program worth considering. In fact, it’s the single best way to maximize your point earning capability. But even if you don’t shop using a credit card, you can still earn big by taking advantage of the 20X points days, targeted offers, and other in-store promotions.