I have been an Optimum points earner since I signed up for my first Shoppers Optimum Card as make-up buying teenager. In that time I may have matured from buying Dr. Pepper flavoured Lip Smackers to bananas and ground beef, but I’m still an avid collector of points. The original Optimum program has shifted from being Shoppers only to the new PC Optimum program after Loblaws bought the brand in 2014. Since we moved into our first home, Superstore has been our grocery store of choice. And that means more opportunities for points.
Earning PC Optimum Points
The earning isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. It varies depending on where you shop.
Shoppers Drug Mart
When you make a purchase at Shoppers, you earn 15 points for every dollar spent. You’ll also receive Shoppers specific bonus offers that are tailored to your spending history. For example, right now on my app, I’ve got an offer for 12,000 points if I spend $30 on suncare. Funny, since I just bought sunscreen last weekend 😉 There are also general offers that will be posted in the store and on their flyer.
In my experience, the regular prices at Shoppers tend to be higher than other stores, but you can make up for it by hitting up sales and buying products with bonus points. Look out for 20x the point days and stock up on items that are on sale to get the best bang for your buck.
Loblaws Grocery Stores
You don’t earn points per dollar spent at Loblaws grocery stores, but you do earn points through personalized offers. And let me tell you, the offers really are personalized. Right now I’ve got offers listed for bread, apples, cat food, canned beans, and ice cream bars. All of which are purchased regularly in my household.
To ensure you are getting the best possible offers, you can provide feedback. When you click an offer in the Optimum app, they give you options to ‘Save for Next Week’ or ‘Don’t Show Again.’ You can only defer four offers each week, but if there is a good one, then you have a chance to meal plan around it.
The bf and I each have our own Optimum accounts and switch back and forth depending on who has the best offers that week.
Esso / Mobil
New to the program is the ability to earn points at Esso gas stations. You can now earn 10 points per litre of fuel and 10 points per $1 spent in the convenience store or car wash.
Redeeming PC Optimum Points
Now for the good part…FREE stuff!
Once you’ve collected enough points (you need a minimum of 10,000 to make a redemption), you can cash in your points for money off your bill. Every 10,000 points you redeem is worth $10. Usually.
Bonus Redemption Events
This is by far my favourite part of the Optimum program. Every once in awhile Shoppers Drug Mart will host a bonus redemption event (usually a weekend) where your points are worth even more. Earlier this month I took advantage and got $300 of free stuff by redeeming 200,000 points. That’s $100 more than the regular redemption rate. Seriously, walking up to the till with a cartload of stuff and watching the total grow and grow and then shrink down to nothing is pretty darn thrilling. It’s the Optimum high.
Right now you might be thinking that’s a ton of points, and it is. I’ve been saving up to do a big redemption and got an added bonus by signing up for the PC Financial Mastercard, but more on that in a minute. There are other levels of bonus redemptions though. You could also redeem 100,000 for $140 off (an extra $40) or 50,000 for $65 off (an extra $15.) It’s a good idea to be aware of prices. Try to stock up on items that are on sale or look at electronics that are priced comparably. Buying regular priced items that are cheaper elsewhere can negate the bonus effect.
PC Financial Mastercard
Earlier this year I finally signed up for the PC Financial Mastercard. At that time they had a bonus of 75,000 when you signed up and considering how much we spend at Superstore, it made sense. The bf and I both signed up so we could double dip.
I highly recommend seeking out bonus offers before signing up for any credit card. Right now there’s a targeted campaign for existing PC Optimum members to sign up for the Mastercard. They are offering 100k bonus points, which is crazy good. If you’re already a member and have been considering the credit card, then it would be a good time to check your app and see if you can get in on that! A quick Google search for ‘PC Financial Mastercard offers’ can be incredibly valuable.
The PC Mastercard has no annual fee and will help you earn points faster. Depending on your personal or household income, you can qualify of one of three versions of the card. The ‘World’ and ‘World Elite’ cards offer higher points earning rates than then standard one when you shop at Loblaws grocery stores or Shoppers Drug Mart. When I initially completed the application, they assigned the applicable card; I didn’t get to choose.
Tips to Max Out Your Points
- Download the PC Optimum app to keep track of your offers and ensure they’re as personalized as possible
- Check flyers for bonus points offers on items you buy regularly
- Sign-up for the PC Financial Mastercard (when there’s a bonus offer) if you regularly shop at Loblaw/Shoppers
- Double dip by getting your spouse to sign up too
- Get good at POINTS MATH – If 10,000 points equal $10, then 1000 points equals $1. When buying products ask yourself if reducing the price by that amount makes it a good buy. If Hellman’s Mayo is $3.99 and will snag you 500 bonus points, then the actual cost is $3.49. Is that a better deal than the Miracle Whip? Trick question. The answer is always yes because Miracle Whip is trash.
This post was proofread by Grammarly.