**PC INSIDERS IS CHANGING AS OF OCTOBER 8, 2020. The below review is based on what’s coming. See https://www.pcoptimum.ca/insiders/en/terms-and-conditions#section2 for the details**
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.
Some people will like the changes, but I suspect many people will be disappointed and not see as much value anymore. Read my PC Insiders review now and find out all the details.
PC Insiders benefits
- $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
To quickly address the changes, there’s no denying that many people will be disappointed that you will no longer earn 20% in points on diapers, formula, and Joe Fresh products. Losing the $99 PC travel credit and the annual surprise gift could also be deal breakers.
Make no mistake, if you were already a PC Insiders subscriber, you really need to look at the new program details and decide if it’s worth sticking around. The rest of this PC Insiders review will focus on the new program since there’s no points in talking about the past.
PC Insiders still comes packed with benefits. The annual fee of $119 is not cheap, so you really need to look at the benefits offered to decide if you’re getting enough value for the fee. 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.
Although I like the idea of geting 10% back in points on all PC products, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to maximize value there. Off the top of my head, I probably consistently buy 2-3 PC products (pasta, pasta sauce, chips), so I would be earning a ton of points. That said, there are more than 12,000 PC products available, so I would definitely try out other PC items.
Familes that prefer PC products will definitely be excited about PC Insiders. Generally speaking, PC products are already cheaper than the name brand items . With PC Insiders, you would get an additional 10% back in points. 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.
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.
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 still getting value for the fee. Free grocery pickups is reason enough for my PC Insiders review to be positive, but it’s crazy how many extra points I’ve earned without changing my shopping habits.
PC Travel benefits
Getting 5% back in points on PC Travel bookings is very interesting. 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.
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.
It’s also worth noting that to use PC Travel, you need to have a PC Financial Mastercard. All three of the cards have limited travel insurance which may be a concern for some people.
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 spend $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.
My PC Insiders review is positive. Some people may not like the changes, but I still see value in the program. 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.