PC Optimum: Shoppers Optimum + PC Plus and What You Need to Know

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by Enoch Omololu

Updated

Advertiser Disclosure

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

Starting on February 1, 2018, Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus points merged and became known as PC Optimum. This move, as announced by the parent company Loblaw, was 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 Changed with PC Optimum?

In the grand scheme of things, there were not a lot of changes to the rewards you earn when you shop at the Loblaw chain of stores. The name of the loyalty program changed 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 are no longer in use as of Feb 1, 2018.

2. Rewards and PC Optimum Points Calculator

Up until February 1, 2018, you could accumulate and redeem points via your PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum cards. Starting from February 1, 2018, all existing points from either loyalty program have been 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 became 10,000 PC Optimum points and remain equal to $10.

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

PC Optimum

Looks a bit complicated, but your reward value stays the same and was not 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 are a bit different depending on where you shop:

Shoppers at the grocery chain (formerly PC Plus) continue to earn points at a rate of 10 points per $1 spent. Whereas, shoppers at the pharmacy (formerly Shoppers Optimum) now 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.

Previously, 8,000 points could be redeemed for $10 worth of goods at Shoppers Drug Mart while you needed 10,000 points for $10 worth of value at the grocery store. Now, 10,000 points can be redeemed 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 are now 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 was 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

Previously, you needed to have both PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum rewards cards if you wanted 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 are able to 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 ended on January 31, 2018.

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

Related: 20 Awesome Cash Back Apps That Pay You To Shop

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 the 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:

  • PC Financial World Mastercard: You get an additional 20 points plus the normal points per $1 spent.
  • PC Financial Mastercard: You get an additional 10 points plus the normal points per $1 spent.

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.

An additional credit card that is great for earning cash back on grocery shopping at any store is the Tangerine Cash Back Credit Card (earn up to 4%).

You can read this detailed PC Financial Mastercard review for more information.

Closing Thoughts

The Optimum points loyalty program is one of the best available in Canada. Find out how to maximize your PC Optimum points and get free groceries all year long!

Related Posts

What are your thoughts about the PC Optimum points loyalty program?

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, Financial Post, Toronto Star, Credit Canada, MSN Money, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

18 thoughts on “PC Optimum: Shoppers Optimum + PC Plus and What You Need to Know”

  1. Hey Enoch!

    Man, I love loyalty programs; they can be like free money! I think the main pitfall is to avoid buying things you don’t need just for the points. Some people also object because it’s clear the stores are tracking your purchases, but I kind of assume that that’s a given in today’s technology-oriented world, regardless of whether you’re a member of the program.

    But overall, as long as you don’t buy unnecessary stuff, I think they’re great.

    • @Miguel. That’s how I see them as well – free money! And as for stores tracking your purchases, I think everything we do is being tracked one way or the other…unless of course if you totally go off-grid.

  2. Yup I freaked out a bit with the conversion but realized I am at the top tier (>95,000 Optimum points) so no worries.

    I have a PC Financial MC and love it, it is very easy to earn free groceries.

    • @GYM: We mostly do grocery shopping at Superstore and the PC Financial MC is great for getting points and redeeming them towards future groceries. So far, its one of the best loyalty programs in my opinion.

  3. Hey Enoch!

    We both don’t use PC points… we didn’t understand how to use them because we never got our points when we redeemed it. As a result, we gave up and didn’t care anymore LOL… and for the most part, we would just go to Costco to buy food that’s prepared.

    BTW, GYM had a post about this topic as well, and she mentioned to me that she was annoyed with PC points as well, but she figured out why it didn’t allow her to redeem it.

    We do use the Shoppers Optimum and we’ve been using it since 2007. My fiance went to redeem an electric toothbrush for me a month or two ago with the points (it was retailed for like $250 or something like that…), so we don’t have a lot of points left…

    Overall, the announcement of this merge never really bothered me. Let’s see how it plays down the road. I just hope the system won’t be as annoying as the PC points system!

    • @Finsavvy Panda: We do not do a lot of shopping at the Shppers Drugmart and so never bothered with Shoppers Optimum, however, we do most of our grocery shopping at Superstore and plus the PC Financial MC, we have been able to redeem lots of groceries for “free.” I like the merge because now whenever I shop the odd time at Shoppers D, I will now be able to get those points as well.

      • PC financial world elite credit card has worked extremely well for us. Over $2000 redeemed since 2015. I enjoyed the old app a little more as it showed total accumulated & total redeemed. This new points program has tricked me into shopping at Shoppers more. Not sure if that’s a good thing.
        What are your thoughts on Insiders club? Is it worth it?

        • @SKsk: Wow – that’s a lot in savings and “free” groceries, and is why I love the PC MC. I also prefer the old app because I rarely shop at Shoppers…however, I am starting to get used to it. As for the insiders club program, we have not yet joined. I’m unable to justify the fees based on our purchasing habit for now.

  4. Is there a maximum to the number of points you can accumulate! Thanks NJ.C

    • @Nicholas:

      There is no limit the amount of points you can accumulate, but the maximum points you can redeem per transaction is $500 (i.e. 500,000 points).

  5. Got my new Optimum card but can’t regiser it. What a useless card if you are unable to even register it isn the first place. I am from Canada and it says unavailable so why have the card in the first place. Absolutely useless!!!

  6. I just checked with PC Optimum and you do NOT earn 10 points per $1 spent at stores that sell the PC brand. You only do that if you have the credit card. I’m pretty disappointed by this change. I was thinking of applying for the credit card, but am not so sure anymore.

  7. Would like to PC optimum points card. I don’t have any things nothing PC optimum points card. I could pick up register. Thank you.

    • I have received a message in my cell telling me my PC Optimum card points are locked. Asking me to confirm if active. Is this spam? From an area code 819.

      • @Sharon: Best to call the PC Optimum customer service directly to confirm so you don’t get scammed.

        • Can one points program make a difference, or fuel the spread to the disease.
          Think Malcom Gladwell , The Tipping Point.

          Points cards, we all have them, and during better times even enjoyed all our personalized offers, going from Shoppers Drug Mart, to Loblaw, and No Frills getting offers and points.

          The points program is intended to incentivize shopping at multiple stores. Not an appropriate strategy at this time.

          So there is the problem, if I want to get all the time limited offers, I have to go to multiple stores. Even though it’s one points program the only way to get all the “offers” is going to the different stores. More points of contact, more time out of house, equals more exposures. Now multiply that by hundreds of thousands and you can see the problem.

          Personally, I have decided not to play until safe to do so.

          It’s a small – BIG – thing.
          I have urged PC Optimum, Loblaw Corp. to change the game, such as make all offers the same across the board, temporarily halt the program, or be a leader and give consumers points NOT to shop, or shop just once a week at just one store.
          They have urged me to do curb side pick-up. That’s a pick up, and then a trip to Shoppers to get the other deals. That is one more outing than necessary.

          Butter Example
          Often I get a butter offer, one for Shoppers and one for No Frills. They are competing offers for the exact same brand of butter. I would get groceries at one place then go to Shoppers for best butter offer. I could have purchased butter at No Frills, but the Shoppers butter offer is much better. When people are very price sensitive this will drive multiple points of contact.

          And curb side pick-up is a little more difficult in the small town of Napanee, products are out of stock, and orders are not quite fulfilled. Another problem of the pandemic.

          It’s a small big thing. There must be more big little things adding to the spread of COVID. It is a time for thinking differently.

          I have written to the premiere and Ontario Public Health.

          I hope this story is timely, and informs and causes people to think about how to stay safe even if it means missing out on offers and points!

          • @Christine: Good points!

  8. I am trying to find out where to get replacement points cards for my account . the cards broke from overuse.

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