PC Optimum Insiders (formerly known as PC Insiders) has been around for a few years now, and many members (myself included) swear by it. The ability to earn additional PC Optimum points and all the extra perks easily made the annual fee worth it.
However, the biggest complaint about the program was that it didn’t benefit everyone. It appears that PC Insiders is addressing that problem by making some significant changes to the program as of October 8, 2020.
While there’s no denying that the new PC Insiders offers fewer benefits for those with young children, there are now more ways to earn points. If you’re smart about your shopping, you can get incredible value from PC Insiders. Read my PC Insiders review now and find out all the details.
What do you get with PC Insiders?
- $119 annual fee
- 25,000 PC Optimum points when using a referral link
- Earn 10% back in PC Optimum points on every single PC product
- Free shipping at Joe Fresh and Shoppers Drug Mart
- No pickup fees at PC Express
- 10% back in points on all Joe Fresh purchases
- 5% back in points on PC Travel bookings
- Welcome gift after joining
As you can see, PC Insiders comes packed with benefits. If you use my referral code BC1504, you’ll get 25,000 PC Optimum points for free when you sign up for an annual subscription. That’s $25 for free! Disclosure: I get 10,000 points when you use my referral code.
Getting 10% back in PC Optimum points on every single PC product is huge. There are more than 12,000 PC products available and that includes PC organics and PC black label. I honestly didn’t think this was a big deal when it was announced, but then I looked at my recent grocery run and noticed the following PC products in my card:
- Organic tomatoes
- Black label pasta
- Pasta sauce
- Animal crackers
- Pork sausage
- Taco shells
I wasn’t even purposely trying to grab PC products on this run. These were items I bought on a regular basis. I ended up earning about 10,000 points from PC Insiders alone. Moving forward, I will definitely try other PC products to replace the name brand stuff such as spice, cereal, melba toast.
Families that prefer PC products will definitely be excited about PC Insiders. I find PC products to be cheaper than the name brand items. With PC Insiders, you would get an additional 10% back in points. Plus, the discount encourages me to try new products. There’s a lot of potential here to save on your monthly grocery bills.
Joe Fresh already has incredibly affordable clothes. With a PC Insiders, you’re basically getting 10% off in points on every purchase which is huge. As someone with a young child, this discount is great for me and the free shipping is an added bonus.
The reason PC Express is so attractive is that you no longer need to spend time going through grocery aisles for the things you need. All you need to do is order them online and someone will collect them for you. Some people are concerned about the quality of the produce or the expiry dates on items, but I’ve never had an issue.
The welcome gift changes every year, but my most recent gift was Italian themed which came with flour, pizza sauce, and olives. If I had to guess, the retail value was about $25. Remember, this welcome gift is a one time deal.
As someone who’s been using PC Insiders for a few years, I believe I’m getting more value now that I previously was with the old benefits. Free grocery pickups is reason enough for my PC Insiders review to be positive. It’s crazy how many extra points I’ve earned without changing my shopping habits.
What is PC Optimum Insiders member pricing?
The annual fee for PC Optimum Insiders $119. There is no longer a monthly fee which was offered before. While the $119 may seem high, you just need to look at the benefits to see if it’s worth it.
One could argue that the no fee grocery pickup with PC Express is the defining benefit. Normally using PC Express will cost you $3-5 each time. If you used it every week, it would cost you $156-$260. Clearly, a PC Insiders membership would be worth it. In addition, PC Insiders get priority time slots. When you log in to PC Express, it’ll see that you’re a member and give you timeslots that may otherwise be full.
Remember, with this program, you get 10% back in points on PC products. That means you would need to spend $1,190 on PC products alone to make it worthwhile. That may seem impossible for some people, but it’s really not. You also need to factor in all the other benefits that are included such as the free PC Express which I just mentioned.
How many PC points is $1?
To redeem $10 at Loblaws owned grocery stores and Shoppers Drug Mart, you need 10,000 PC Optimum points. That means 1,000 PC Optimum points are worth $1. You can redeem up to $500 (500,000) points for any one purchase, but points can only be redeemed in 10,000 increments.
Although 10,000 PC Optimum points for $10 is the base value, there are ways to increase the value of your points. A couple of times of the year, Shoppers Drug Mart has bonus points events where you can get more cash for your points. For example, you’d get the following:
- 100,000 points = $150
- 130,000 points = $200
- 200,000 points = $300
As you can see, it pays to save your points. That said, this bonus event typically only happens at Shoppers Drug Mart which has a much smaller selection of groceries.
What is PC Travel?
PC Travel is a full-service travel agency that is incredibly beneficial for PC Optimum Insiders members since you get 5% back in points on travel bookings. This essentially means that you’re getting a 5% return on your travel reservations which is a higher earn rate than any of the best travel credit cards in Canada.
You can increase your earn rate to 8% if you pay with your PC Financial World Elite Mastercard since it gives you 30 points per $1 spent on PC travel. Here’s a direct quote I got from PC Optimum / PC Financial.
“As a PC Optimum InsidersTM member, you’ll get 5% back in PC OptimumTM points exclusively on PC® Travel. Plus, when you book with a PC Financial® Mastercard®, earn up to an additional 3x the regular PC Optimum points.”
However, if you read the fine print, things appear to be more complicated than they have to be. The points earned apply to purchases before tax. Since most travel purchases include tax in the price, they would calculate your points based on the price pre-tax.
You also only get the extra PC Optimum points if the travel booking you’re making is for you or someone in your household. If you want to make a group booking, you wouldn’t get bonus points for everyone.
It’s also worth noting that to use PC Travel doesn’t have every hotel and flight available. They also don’t always have the lowest prices, but they do price match (Thanks to Chantale for pointing this out). When booking travel, you just need to do the math to see if the points earned end up giving you the best price.
Maximizing your PC Optimum points
In case you’re not familiar with PC Optimum, you can redeem 10,000 points for $10 in groceries or merchandise. Points are earned through targeted offers and in-store promos. However, if you have one of the PC Mastercards, then you would earn points on all your purchases.
For example, the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard gives you 30 points for every $1 spent at participating stores where PC products are sold. You also earn 45 points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart. That means your credit card gives you a 3% and 4.5% return in PC Optimum points respectively at those stores. That’s a crazy high earn rate for a credit card with no annual fee. You can read my full review of the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard here.
World Elite Mastercards typically have a higher income requirement, but PC Financial also has an entry-level card in the PC Financial Mastercard which earns you 25 PC Optimum Points per $1 dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart and 10 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Credit cards are a great way to earn points, but the in-store promos are what really earn you some crazy amount of points. For example, Joe Fresh recently had a promo where you would get 10,000 PC Optimum points when you spent $50.
These types of promotions also happen at Shoppers Drug Mart on a regular basis so make sure you’re signed up for their newsletter or check the app regularly.
Is PC Optimum Insiders worth it?
My PC Optimum Insiders review is positive. If you take advantage of the free PC Express, you’re saving time and money. Adjusting your shopping habits so you’re buying more PC products can also save you big. You could easily earn more points than what you’re paying in annual fees. Remember to use my referral code BC1504 to get 25,000 points for free when you sign up for an annual subscription. Disclosure: I get 10,000 points when you use my referral code.