How the PC Optimum program works

Hyder Owainati
by Hyder Owainati January 31, 2020 / No Comments

President’s Choice entered the world of loyalty rewards programs back in 1998. Two decades, one merger, and billions of dollars in points earned later, and its now-rebranded PC Optimum loyalty program has become one of the largest in Canada with an estimated 16 million members.

The popularity of PC Optimum boils down to the program’s simple redemption process and huge network of affiliate grocery and retail stores.

Between Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Esso – PC Optimum has some of the largest grocery, pharmacy, and gas station brands in the country under its umbrella, letting you earn points and save at 4,500 locations coast-to-coast.


How to earn PC Optimum points

There are two ways you can collect PC Optimum Points – as a PC Optimum loyalty member or as a holder of one of three co-branded PC Financial Mastercard credit cards.

As a loyalty member, you’ll earn points when – and only if – you shop from a retailer that is affiliated with PC Optimum.

Collecting points as a loyalty member is easy and involves scanning either the PC Optimum app, a PC optimum key tag, or a loyalty card right at the sales counter or self-serve kiosk. In some cases, you can collect points by providing the phone number that’s linked to your PC Optimum account (which can come in handy if you forget your smartphone or wallet back home while shopping).

Across Canada, there are over 4,500 store locations that are affiliated with the PC Optimum program including:

  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Loblaws banner grocery stores: Loblaws, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstores, The Independent Grocer, Zehrs, Fortinos, wholesale club, and valu-mart
  • Esso and Mobil gas stations, and
  • JoeFresh.

With a PC Financial Mastercard, you can earn PC Optimum points up to three times faster than just a loyalty member. That’s because PC credit cards will earn you bonus rewards when shopping from affiliate stores and a minimum of 10 PC Optimum points per dollar everywhere else you shop.

Earn PC Points everywhere

Compare PC Financial's best credit cards

Earning points with a PC Financial Mastercard is easy and happens instantly every time you tap, swipe, or key-in your credit card number. Keeping track of your points is simple too. You can link your card to the PC Optimum app or view how many points you’ve earned every month on your card statements.

PC Optimum loyalty card vs PC Financial Mastercards

PC Points PC loyalty member PC credit card holder
Shoppers Drug Mart 15 points per $1 25-45 points per $1
Loblaws banner stores Only on personalized offers / in-store promotions 10-30 points per $1
Esso / Mobil gas stations 10 points per litre 30 points per litre
Joe Fresh Only on personalized offers / in-store promotions At least 10 points per dollar
All other purchases 0 10 points per dollar
Annual fee $0 $0

As a PC Financial Mastercard holder, you can also take advantage of personalized offers and in-store promotions, and these bonuses will stack on top of the rewards regularly offered by your credit card.


How to redeem PC Optimum points

The great thing about PC Optimum is that it has a straightforward redemption process – you can redeem 10,000 points for $10 off groceries or merchandise from PC affiliated retailers.

Your points can be redeemed at nearly 2,500 locations from retailers including:

  • Loblaws
  • No Frills
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Real Canadian Superstore
  • The Independent Grocer, and more.

In addition, you can use points online for groceries with PC Express, makeup and health products from beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca, and on eligible deals from joefresh.com.

While in-store, just let the cashier know that you would like to redeem some points when you’re ready to pay and they’ll let you know how many points you have available. If you’re at a self-serve kiosk, all you’ll have to do is follow the instructions on the screen to save.

Note that you can only make redemptions in 10,000 point increments and points can’t be used to cover taxes, fees, or gift cards. Points also can’t be redeemed for straight cash, meaning you can only redeem points for purchases from retailers that are associated with the PC Optimum program.


PC Optimum points value

  • 10,000 PC Optimum points are worth $10
  • 10 PC Optimum points = $0.01 (or the equivalent of 1%)

Since you’ll earn a minimum of 10 points for every dollar spent with a PC Financial Mastercard, and it takes 10,000 points to redeem $10, PC Optimum works out to be kind of like a 1% cash-back program. However, there are many ways to boost your earning potential.


PC Optimum personalized offers

If you download the PC Optimum app and register your account, you’ll regularly receive what are known as “personalized offers.”

Updated every Thursday, these offers let you rack up bonus points on the purchases you make the most. Buy baby food on the regular? Expect personalized offers on other baby products like diapers. Personalized offers usually expire within a week, and, depending on the offer, may only be available when you shop from particular PC affiliated stores (expiry and other details can be found in the app under the “Your Offers” tab). Your personalized offers should automatically load onto your account through your app, but you can also manually load offers by signing up for email alerts.


How to maximize PC Optimum points

  • Get a PC Financial Mastercard to earn points on all your everyday purchases – not just when shopping from stores affiliated with PC Optimum.
  • Monitor and take advantage of weekly personalized offers by viewing the “Offers” tab in your PC Optimum app. Also, hold on to offers for longer by clicking “save for next week” to ensure they don’t expire before you can use them.
  • Hunt for discounts and special offers by searching the “Flyers” tab in your PC Optimum app.
  • Be a strategic shopper. If there’s a big points offer on one of your favourite non-perishable items – like a specific cereal brand or paper towels – use it as an opportunity to stalk up and buy in bulk.
  • Keep a lookout for “Points Days” events. PC affiliate stores occasionally run limited-time promotions that let you earn up to 20 times the points on several items in-store.
  • If you and a family member or spouse both collect PC Optimum points, consider linking your accounts. That way, you can pool your points to redeem sooner while still receiving unique personalized offers based on your individual spending patterns.
  • If you sign up for a paid subscription to PC Insiders, you can earn 200 points per $1 on a range of items from PC Optimum stores including all brands of baby diapers and formula, PC Organic products, JoeFresh, and more. That works out to an impressive 20% return. You’ll also get free shipping and grocery pickups with PC Express, Joe Fresh, and Shoppers Drug Mart as well as a $99 travel credit with PC Travel. Sure, the subscription costs $9 monthly or $99 annually, but you can stand to save big if you regularly shop from PC Optimum stores.

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