PC Optimum is one of the most popular loyalty programs in Canada. If you want to maximize your earnings potential, then you need to sign up for one of the PC Financial Mastercards. In total, there are three different PC Financial credit cards and which one you get is based on your household income.

In this PC Financial World Mastercard review, I’ll be focusing on the mid-tier card which has a minimum income requirement of $60,000 or a household income of $100,000. Keep reading now to find out if the card is any good and how it compares to others.

PC Financial World Mastercard review

PC Financial World Mastercard benefits

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 35 PC Optimum Points per $1 dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Earn 20 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent at Loblaws stores and PC Travel
  • Earn 10 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Earn 30 PC Optimum Points per litre at Esso/Mobil locations
  • Purchase assurance
  • Extended warranty
  • Concierge service

Right away you’ll notice that this card has a strong earnings rate. You get 35 PC Optimum Points per $1 dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart, 20 points per $1 spent at Loblaws stores and PC Travel, and 10 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

The high earning rate only applies to specific merchants, but Loblaws owned stores include No Frills, Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Zehrs, Independent, Valu-mart, Fortinos, Loblaws City Market, Provigo, Joe Fresh, Beauty Boutique, and Dominion so you get a lot of choices.

If you don’t shop at any of those stores on a regular basis, then you’re probably better off applying for one of the best cash back credit cards or one of the best travel credit cards.

What’s nice is that you can also earn PC Optimum points at Esso/Mobil station where your earn rate is 30 PC Optimum Points per litre. Given how valuable PC Optimum points are, it’s worth filling up at Esso gas stations, but I wouldn’t recommend going out your way to do it.

The purchase assurance benefit protects your purchases from loss theft and damage for 90 days, while extended warranty doubles your manufacturer’s warranty up to one additional year.

Despite the minimum income requirement of $60,000 or a household income of $100,000 to qualify for this card, PC Financial would upgrade you to the World Mastercard from the regular PC Financial Mastercard if you charge a minimum of $15,000 to the card. I should mention that if you have an income of $80,000 or a household income of $120,000, you would qualify for the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard. Since all of these cards have no annual fee, you should apply for the best one if you qualify since it’ll earn you more PC Optimum points.

How PC Optimum works

PC Optimum is one of the easiest programs to understand. You earn points at participating merchants and then when you have accumulated enough points, you can make redeem them for groceries or merchandise.

It takes 10,000 PC Optimum points to make a $10 redemption. That means the PC Financial World Mastercard gives you a return of up to 3.5% which is pretty impressive.

PC Optimum also has targeted and in-store promotions so there are ways to earn even more points. They even have PC Points days every so often where there are even more points available to PC Optimum members so make sure you’re signed up to their mailing list.

Best of all, Shoppers Drug Mart often has special promotions where you can earn more points or get more value out of your points. For example, you can often earn 20X the points when you spend $75 or more. Another great promotion they ran was where you could get $400 off when you claim 250,000 points. That’s an incredible value as it was a bonus of $150!

I should also mention that if you join PC Insiders, you can earn extra points on select products and at select merchants. There is a yearly fee, but you also get a $99+tax annual travel credit at PC Travel so the membership is almost free. If you read my PC Insiders review, I’ll share how you can save 25% on your PC Insiders membership. You’ll also want to read this post on how to earn more PC Optimum points.

How the PC Financial World Mastercard compares to others

The closest comparable cash back card to the PC Financial World Mastercard is the Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back card. The Meridian card also has a minimum income requirement of $60,000, but you’ll earn 4% in cash back at all grocery stores. This is rather appealing since that’s a high rate of return, but note that at drug stores, you only earn 2% cash back. I should also mention that many Loblaws owned stores only accept Mastercard, so you wouldn’t even be able to use the Meridian card if you had it. You should also keep in mind that the Meridian card has an annual fee of $99, but the fee is waived for the first year.

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card also gives you 4% in cash back at all grocery stores but this is also a Visa card so you won’t be able to use it at stores that only accept Mastercard. This will likely annoy you, but Loblaws does this on purpose as a way to try to get you to sign up for one of their credit cards. That being said, Shopper’s Drug Mart does accept all types of credit cards, but you get the most value when using a PC Mastercard there.

One no-fee Mastercard that might appeal to you is the Tangerine Money-Back card since you can earn up to 2% in money-back rewards in three chosen categories. All other purchases earn you 0.5% so that’s something to keep in mind. 

Final thoughts

My PC Financial World Mastercard review is positive. Despite the fact that there are some better cash back credit cards out there, this card is clearly aimed at people who shop at Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws owned stores on a regular basis. If you’re one of those people, then this card will help you earn PC Optimum points fast.

PC Financial World Mastercard Review

1 Comment

  1. Mike on February 6, 2019 at 1:06 PM

    I can support everything said about this card and the Optimum points program, although I have the World Elite version. In fact, I get 70 points (7 cents) combined for every litre of gas purchased at Mobil stations (many of which are the old PC stations located beside the Loblaws store) if I pay with my PC Mastercard (one insert only now at time of purchase – no need to insert twice). You also get weekly offers on selected grocery items (which are largely aligned to my regular buying patterns) where you earn points worth up to 20% of the purchase price.

    At the same time, there seem to be lots of negative stories out there about people somehow losing their Optimum points to theft or system problems. Some people have reportedly lost up to 500,000 in accumulated points. There have been documented cases of hacking of the Optimum points system so I’m guessing this has led to some of these reported thefts. I recommend you choose a unique password for your Optimum points and Mastercard account logins so none of your other on-line accounts are at risk if these hacking problems persist.

    And I can attest to the problems with Optimum’s customer service when I contacted them after having problems combining my and my wife’s accounts and missing points on some grocery store purchases, which was mostly the result of the check-out clerk not asking me to swipe my card before using it to pay. I eventually got everything resolved to my satisfaction, but it was a royal struggle – responses are not fast.

    My opinion on the points loss/theft issue is to use your points as soon as you accumulate enough of them for a minimum redemption, which I believe is now 10,000 points or $10 (used to be 20,000 points or $20). These things don’t earn interest and there’s no deliberating as you hunt around for “best value” purchases on which to use them as in the case of using travel points to buy flights, etc. So why wouldn’t you redeem them as soon as you can?

    In summary, this is a no-brainer card and a great entry point into the Optimum points program if you regularly shop at Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart and/or Mobil gas stations. I estimate I’m getting upwards of 2% in benefits as a result of focusing my use of the card to buy gas at Mobil and groceries at Superstore, including many of my weekly grocery offers (NOTE: I have a VISA travel card for other purchases).

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