PC Optimum Points: Loadable Offers & Shoppers 20x Points Events

by | Published Nov 8, 2021 | Edited Nov 24, 2022


Churning is an important part of our financial strategy in my household. Not only does it allow us to travel much more freely and experience things we wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise, but it also gives us some additional financial freedom. That being said, not every card is going to have massive bonuses and benefits – the credit card market in Canada has room for cards of all varieties to meet individual needs.

Keeping that in mind, P2 decided she needed a strong daily driver card since I handle all of the “traditional churning” for both of us. Enter the President’s Choice (PC) Optimum rewards program and the PC Optimum Mastercard, which awards cardholders with Optimum points for their daily spend, in addition to strong multipliers at PC Optimum associated brands such as Loblaws, Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Esso.

We like to review unconventional credit cards at Frugal Flyer, such as the Brim Financial World Elite Mastercard, to see if there are any opportunities that lie below the initially boring appearance. Like the Brim Financial credit card, the PC Optimum Mastercard doesn’t have a massive sign-up bonus or excellent benefits. But there are some unexpected opportunities when we pull back the curtain on this MasterCard and rewards points program as a whole.

PC Optimum Mastercard

Let’s cover some of the basics first. The PC Optimum Mastercard family of credit cards are no annual fee credit cards. There are three credit cards within the President’s Choice Financial Mastercard family which are gated by personal and household income levels: the basic PC Mastercard, the PC World Mastercard, and the PC World Elite Mastercard.

Presidents Choice Financial World Elite

The President’s Choice Financial World Elite Mastercard earns PC Optimum points and gives cardholders the opportunity to earn 30x PC Optimum at Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, and more.

BONUS
0 PC Optimum
MINSPEND
$0
NET VALUE
$0+
ANNUAL FEE
$0
FOREX FEES
Yes

There tends to always be a 100,000 PC Optimum points ($100 CAD value) sign-up bonus for this family of MasterCards which isn’t terrible for a basic Mastercard. If you are interested in this card, it is worth keeping an eye out for a public offer to earn a few extra points on sign-up.

pc optimum mastercard sign up bonus 100k points
Nothing like feeling like you have a ton of PC Mastercard points when in reality they aren’t worth all that much (1000 PC Optimum = $1)

Focusing on the PC Optimum points earning rates for the PC Optimum World Elite Mastercard, this card earns:

  • 30 bonus points earned per dollar spent at PC Optimum related grocery stores such as Loblaws, Superstore, No Frills, PC Express, and more (a 3% return on spend)
  • 45 bonus points earned per dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart (a 4.5% on spend)
  • 30 bonus points earned per litre of gas at Esso or Mobil (a 3% return on spend)
  • 10 points earned per dollar spent on everything else (a 1% return on spend)

If your household often shops at the stores above, these base earning rates are comparable to other cards within Canada when considering, for example, the grocery category. Holding the PC Financial MasterCard will also make it significantly easier to take advantage of some of the information below, such as loadable PC Optimum offers.

That being said, the PC Optimum MasterCard is just the tip of the iceberg – it’s time to take a deeper dive into the PC Optimum points rewards programs.

PC Optimum Loadable Offers

If you are interested in the PC Optimum program, the first thing you will need to do is download the PC Optimum app. Once you are signed in to your PC Optimum account, you will notice that in the app there are loadable offers that refresh every Thursday.

These loadable offers can be anything from a few hundred points back on basic grocery purchases to 5000 points back on a $50 miscellaneous gift card. Additionally, retailer-specific offers may be listed in the weekly flyers for any of the PC Optimum retailers as well, so it is worth flipping through them weekly.

Below is another example of a PC Optimum loadable offer, albeit this one requires you to have a stash of points to take advantage of:

pc optimum loadable offer 40% back in points
With this PC Optimum loadable offer, if you redeem 50k points, you will get 20k points back (net 30k points or $30 spent on $50 worth of goods)

Where the real value comes in is when you have unique situations in which you can combine loadable offers to significantly drive the price down of a specific product. With this in mind, I present you with the great PC chicken wings promotion that ran back in June.

Through a combination of loadable offers, customers were able to purchase a $10.99 box of PC chicken wings for $2.49 each. There was a loadable offer that rewarded you with 6,000 PC Optimum points per box purchased, already lowering the price to $4.99. From there, there was also a “When you spend $40 in one transaction, earn 10,000 PC Optimum points” coupon that could be used at the same time. This further brought down the price to $2.49 per box, which is a screaming price to stock up on some wings for the freezer.

pc optimum chicken wing boxes
It ain’t much, but buying chicken wings for cheap is honest work.

While this doesn’t even remotely compare to flying in business class around the world, it is nice to have some small wins in everyday life and I find the PC Optimum rewards program fits the bill perfectly for that.

Shoppers 20x Points Events

One of the most well-known promotions that are put on within the PC Optimum program is the Shoppers Drug Mart 20x points event. These events/promotions need to be loaded in the PC Optimum app so you can take advantage of them.

The typical wording for these offers is often “Earn 20x the points at Shoppers Drug Mart when you spend $75 or more on a single purchase”. It is important to note that the 20x points are multiplied by the typical earning rate of 15 points per $1 spent, not by whatever card you hold.

Let’s run through an example where the Shoppers 20x Optimum points event could be lucrative if you wanted to make some extra PC Optimum on the side. Consider if we were to buy a Nintendo Switch for $399.99 (about $420 in Alberta with GST) during one of these events. With the 20x points on the base 15 points per 1$, you would receive roughly 119,700 in points which have a cash value of $119.70.

Knowing the Nintendo Switch market was hot during the early stages of the pandemic (and still might be), you could more than likely re-sell the Switch on Kijiji for $380. In this scenario, that would leave you with a profit of $80 in PC Optimum points.

Now, what about if you were to redeem those PC Optimum points earned during one of the loadable offers events, as the 20% back on redemption of 50k or more Optimum points? It can begin to get more lucrative when you are able to stack offers like this.

There are also events throughout the year where Shoppers Drug Mart offers more valuable point redemption events (e.g. redeem 50k optimum points for $60 in value) which can improve your cents per point value. We have Black Friday and Boxing Day coming up shortly, so I would keep an eye out around then.

shoppers 20x points event promo
Shoppers 20x points events happen frequently enough that if you have a big purchase coming up, it might be worth waiting for the next one.

As a whole, the PC Optimum points program provides some interesting opportunities if you consider how you can best maximize the Optimum loadable offers in addition to any short-term events or promotions that are held (similar to the Shoppers 20x points). That being said, the value you take from these points also hinges on the fact that you are a regular visitor to any of the PC Optimum-associated retailers. 

Related: How to Use American Express Credit Cards at Superstore and Loblaws

For example, if you don’t already buy your groceries from Superstore or your gasoline from Esso, you may not be able to reap enough value from participation in the PC Optimum points program for the effort to be worth it. Similarly, if you were to earn a stack of PC Optimum points from a Shoppers 20x points event, the points cannot be converted to cash so you would need to liquidate the points on consumer goods at one of the PC Optimum associated retailers.

Conclusion

If you shop at Loblaws branded stores, it is definitely worth taking advantage of PC Optimum in conjunction with using a credit card with a strong grocery earning category. Maximizing your earning rate with programs like this can help you save a bit extra on your day-to-day shopping expenses.

Hugh Campbell

Hugh Campbell

Senior Editor at Frugal Flyer
Hugh has been involved in the miles and points game since 2015 but has scaled up his knowledge and points-earning potential in recent years. In 2019, Hugh stepped things up when he met Reed in addition to a few other miles and points fanatics (err degenerate churners) and has since been able to capitalize on the various expertise that each member brings to the group.

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