If you are a frequent shopper at the Real Canadian Superstore or at Shoppers Drug Mart, you will likely have heard about the new loyalty program (PC optimum) that will be taking over the other loyalty programs you have used in these stores until now.

Starting on February 1, 2018, Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus points will merge and become known as PC Optimum. This move was announced by the parent company Loblaw and it is intended to make it easier for the company and its customers to use and track their reward points more efficiently. For a bit of background, Loblaw Companies Ltd. bought Shoppers Drug Mart in 2014.

What Will Change with PC Optimum?

In the grand scheme of things, there are not a lot of changes to the rewards you will earn when you shop at the Loblaw chain of stores. The name of the loyalty program changes, and how your reward points are calculated. Overall, you can expect to get the same benefit from shopping at Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw’s other grocery stores.

Here are a few things to note:

1. Name

The new and singular loyalty program offered by Loblaw is referred to as PC Optimum. PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum will no longer be in use as of Feb 1, 2018.

2. Rewards and PC Optimum Points Calculator

Up until February 1, 2018, you can continue to accumulate and redeem points via your PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum cards. On February 1, 2018, all existing points from either loyalty program will be converted to PC Optimum points and will have the same value as they did under the old program.

For PC Plus, points are converted on a 1:1 basis. For example, 10,000 PC Plus points will become 10,000 PC Optimum points and remain equal to $10.

For Shoppers Optimum, your points will be converted using the template below:

PC Optimum

Looks a bit complicated, but your reward value stays the same and will not be decreased as a result of the conversion…so no worries! The points conversion will also be done automatically. A calculator you can use to see what your points add up to can be found at https://www.pcoptimum.ca

Accumulating points will be a bit different depending on where you shop:

Shoppers at the grocery chain (formerly PC Plus) will continue to earn points at a rate of 10 points per $1 spent. Whereas, shoppers at the pharmacy (formerly Shoppers Optimum) will earn 50% more in points under PC Optimum i.e. 15 points for every $1 spent. This is to account for the higher redemption point rate at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Currently, 8,000 points can be redeemed for $10 worth of goods in Shoppers Drug Mart while you need 10,000 points for $10 worth of value at the grocery store. Going forward, 10,000 points will only be able to purchase $10 dollars worth of goods in all stores, hence the increase in points earned when you shop at the pharmacy.

3. Earlier Redemption

You will now be able to redeem your points earlier than before. Previously, the minimum redemption points for PC Plus was 20,000 points ($20). With PC Optimum, the minimum redemption limit has been decreased to 10,000 points, for a redemption value of $10.

You can redeem up to a maximum of 500,000 points or $500 on a single transaction. Redemptions are in increments of 10,000 points.

4. One App and One Card

Currently, you need to have both PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum rewards cards if you want to take advantage of the points offered by both programs. Under the new PC Optimum loyalty program, you need just one rewards card and one app for all your purchases, offers and points.

This way you can also earn points in more places as they are now all under the same loyalty program.

5. More Stores and Shopping Flexibility

With the merging of PC Plus and Shoppers Drug Mart, you can earn more rewards points and spend them in more places – almost 2,500 stores nationwide.

A list of Loblaw stores where you can earn and spend points interchangeably using PC Optimum include:

  • Real Canadian Superstore
  • Atlantic Superstore
  • No Frills
  • Zehrs
  • Loblaws
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • JoeFresh.com
  • BeautyBoutique.ca
  • City Market
  • Independent
  • Dominion
  • Valu-Mart
  • Fortinos

6. Pharmaprix

The Loblaw’s pharmacy chain in Quebec operates as Pharmaprix. The Pharmaprix Optimum program stays the same until January 31, 2018, when it will end.

Members of the program can convert their points to PC Optimum points to retain their full value between February 1st and May 2nd 2018.

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How to Convert Your PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum Points to PC Optimum Points

On February 1, 2018, your Shoppers Optimum and/or PC Plus points will automatically be converted to the new PC Optimum points. You will need to get the new PC Optimum card though, and can obtain it when next you go into the store/pharmacy.

If you prefer to go digital, there will also be a new app for PC Optimum and you can use it to link the points from your old rewards cards. The new app will be similar to the old one and will continue to provide shoppers with personalized offers.

Earn More with the PC Financial Mastercard

You can earn points faster if you are a President’s Choice Financial Mastercard holder. PC Financial is part of the Loblaw group of companies and with the card, you get your PC Optimum points directly whenever you pay with the credit card.

When you use the PC Financial Mastercard to shop at participating stores, you earn more points resulting in more rewards that can be put towards your future purchases.

And the best part is, there are absolutely NO ANNUAL FEES!!

Additional PC Optimum Points Example

For example, if you shop at Shoppers Drug Mart:-

Using PC Optimum card only: You earn 15 points per $1 spent

Using PC Financial World Elite Mastercard: You earn the 15 points plus an additional 30 points per $1 spent, for a total of 45 points per $1.

Using the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard has just essentially tripled your rewards points!

There are other PC Financial Mastercard types you can also sign up for:

Additionally, with the PC Financial Mastercard, you earn points when you fuel up at Esso or Real Canadian Superstore, and also earn points when you use the credit card to shop everywhere else. The points are redeemable at all Loblaw stores.

Closing Thoughts

The PC plus and Shoppers Optimum loyalty programs are one of the best available in Canada. The plans for merging them into PC Optimum appear to be very well planned and thought-out. I’m looking forward to enjoying the program in its new form come February 1st.

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