The PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum rewards programs were combined on February 1, 2018, to create a new loyalty program known as PC Optimum. If you shop at the Superstore, Shoppers Drugmart, and other Loblaw retail stores, you should have migrated your points over to a new PC Optimum card/account by now. If not, you can read more about the merger and new program changes here.
Although the new PC Optimum got off to a bumpy start, I personally think its a great loyalty program. We do most of our shopping at Superstore, and have averaged over $600 worth of loyalty points per year over the last 3 years. That is $600+ worth of FREE groceries every year!
How Do PC Optimum Points Work?
Under the old loyalty programs:
- PC Plus: you earned 10 points for every $1 spent at the grocery chain, with a minimum redemption point threshold of 20,000 points ($20).
- Shoppers Optimum: you earned 10 points for every $1 spent at the pharmacy chain, and could redeem 8,000 points for $10 worth of goods.
Under the new loyalty program, PC Optimum, you can:
- Accumulate points at a rate of 10 points per $1 spent at Superstore
- Earn 15 points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart
- Redeem 10,000 points for $10 worth of goods at any Loblaw store
- The minimum redemption threshold for points is lowered to 10,000 points ($10), making it easier to redeem points
- Redemptions are in increments of 10,000 points i.e. $10, $20, $30, and so on. You can redeem up to a maximum of 500,000 points or $500 in a single transaction.
- You can earn points at any Loblaw store using your PC optimum card or app.
- Members of Pharmaprix Optimum in Quebec can convert their points to PC Optimum points up until May 2, 2018.
Strategies to Maximize Your PC Optimum Points
PC Optimum is one of the most popular loyalty programs in Canada, and for good reason – you can easily redeem your points by buying everyday grocery/household items.
Here are 6 easy ways to maximize your PC Optimum points and earn more “free” groceries:
1. Take Advantage of Weekly Offers
When you sign up for PC Optimum, they send you weekly emails with personalized offers that usually reflect your buying habits. For example, for this week one of my personalized offers is 600 points for every $3 spent on frozen fruits – we often buy them to make smoothies.
The weekly offers do not affect other discounts or “in-store offers” that you see when you go into the store to shop. For example, I could buy the the frozen fruits on sale at a discount of 30%, and still earn points as per the offer.
New weekly personalized offers go live on Thursday and are valid until Wednesday of the following week.
2. Check Weekly Flyers for Bonus Points Events
I like the bonus points events that come up frequently, such as the “Get 20,000 points when you spend $250 or more in a single transaction.” Sometimes, these bonus offers are even more juicier, like the one my wife got this week for “7,500 points when you spend $25 on fresh produce.” That’s a good 30% in rewards!
Some weekly bonus offers are for free items, such as this one for a $24.95 value pack when you spend $250 or more.
The bonus offers are sometimes sent through email, they may show up in your personalized offers, or you may find them on the weekly store flyers. Once in a while, we stock up on our usual necessities such as toiletries, diapers, etc. in order to take advantage of these bonus offers.
Other bonus points events include the popular Shoppers Drug Mart “spend $50 or more on almost anything and earn 20x the points” days, Senior days, etc.
3. Fine-Tune Your Offers
The offers email you get weekly is supposed to be personalized based on what you normally buy, but sometimes that is not the case. If you are getting offers on a product you are no longer interested in buying or do not buy often, you can simply click on the offer and choose “Don’t show again.” When you do this, the offer is dismissed and the PC Optimum algorithm learns and shows you other product offers that are more likely what you want.
Another trick is to save an item for later. Click on the product offer and choose “Save for next week.” This will save an offer for later, giving you an extra week to redeem it. Not all offers give you the option to save for later.
4. Use a PC Financial MasterCard
You will earn points faster when you use a PC Financial Mastercard for your purchases. For example, with the:
- PC Financial World Elite Mastercard: you earn 45 PC Optimum points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart and 30 points per $1 spent at Superstore i.e. 3x the normal earning rate.
- PC Financial World Mastercard: you earn 30 PC Optimum points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart and 20 points per $1 spent at Superstore i.e. 2x the normal points.
- PC Financial Mastercard: you earn 15 PC Optimum points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart and 10 points per $1 spent at Superstore.
You also earn points when you use your PC Financial Mastercard to shop elsewhere at the rate of 10 points per $1 spent. Therefore, if you prefer to accumulate points that can be used to purchase groceries, you can simply use you PC Financial MC for your other day-to-day spending.
5. Buy Gas at Superstore and Esso
You can earn even more points by fueling up at the Superstore or Esso gas stations. In addition to Superstore gas stations, starting this summer, when you fuel up at Esso, you will earn 10 PC Optimum points per litre.
And, when you pay with your PC Financial Mastercard, you earn even more per dollar spent.
6. Use Multiple Accounts for a Family
Members of a family can sign up for different cards so they get different personalized offers and then redeem the offers with the most value. My wife and I have different accounts and the bonus offers we receive can be very different. For example, I mentioned earlier that my wife got a “flash” offer this week for 7,500 points if she spends $25 or more on fresh produce. I did not receive a similar offer.
Another example is – I get an offer for 10,000 points for every $100 spent, and the same week she gets an offer for 7,500 points for a $75 spend. If our shopping list for that week is $80, it is obvious that her offer is a better one to use.
The PC Optimum loyalty program is great especially if you do lots of grocery shopping for a medium to large family. I like it when I go into Superstore and pay for my entire shopping with points we have accumulated. We rarely shop at Shoppers Drug Mart, but if that where you go, the rewards are similar.
Are there any other hacks you use to maximize your PC Optimum points?
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