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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!

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