PC Optimum Points Guide | How to maximize your points

**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

In this PC Optimum points guide, I’m going to go over everything you need to know about the program including how to maximize your points. First off, PC Optimum is one of the most popular loyalty programs in Canada. It’s probably the #1 retail loyalty program in the country and you should definitely join it if you’re not already a member. It was formerly known as PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum, but the programs were merged into PC Optimum.

Since PC Optimum is the loyalty program for Loblaw’s owned grocery stores, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Esso/Mobil gas stations, it’s best used for people who shop there regularly. Unlike other store loyalty programs, PC Optimum allows you to earn points in multiple ways, and you can even get an increased value for your points when you make a redemption. Read this PC Optimum points guide for all the details.

PC Optimum points value

The first thing you’ll want to understand is your PC Optimum points value. The normal redemption rate is 10,000 PC Optimum points for $10 worth of free stuff. That gives your points a value of .1 cents each. Which is not bad considering this is a free program to join.

That said, Shoppers Drug Mart regularly has bonus redemption events where they’ll give you a bonus when redeeming points at specific thresholds. The most common bonus redemptions are as follows:

  • 70,000 PC Optimum points = $70 plus a $30 bonus points offer for $100
  • 130,000 PC Optimum points = $130 plus a $70 bonus points offer for $200
  • 250,000 PC Optimum points = $250 plus a $150 bonus points offer for a $400

The best value for your points will always be using them for the maximum possible value during Shoppers Drug Mart bonus redemption events. While it’s true that Shoppers Drug Mart has higher prices compared to say Walmart, it’s still worth saving your points to redeem a high value item that’s the same price as everywhere else. For example, I’ve redeemed a Dyson hairdryer and Nintendo Switch. I’ve also redeemed video games on the lower-tier redemption since they cost close to $100 after taxes.

What many people don’t realize is that you can redeem your points online during these bonus redemption events. Shoppers Drug Mart has more products available online, so it’s a good place to look for things.

Another way to redeem your points is at Esso gas stations. 4,000 PC Optimum points get you 10 cents off per litre up to 40 litres in a single fill. That’s a total of $4, so the value is the same. However, you can also redeem 10,000 points for any free car wash package. If you use it on the highest value package, which is usually worth more than $10, you’re getting a good value.

Where can I earn PC Optimum points?

Since the PC Optimum rewards program is owned by Loblaws, you can earn points at pretty much all of their stores and gas station partners which include:

  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Pharmaprix
  • Loblaw stores
  • No Frills
  • Real Canadian Superstore
  • Fortino’s
  • Independent CityMarket
  • Valu-mart
  • Zehrs
  • Atlantic Superstore
  • Maxi
  • Dominion
  • Joe Fresh
  • Esso stations
  • Mobil stations
  • PC Travel

PC Optimum is aimed at people who shop at Loblaws owned grocery stores, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Esso/Mobil gas stations. Although some people don’t like that you have a limited amount of stores to make your redemptions, that’s not necessarily true. Basically, you can earn PC Optimum points at the largest grocery chain and drug store in Canada. You also get access to a lot of gas stations.

How to earn PC Optimum points

What’s interesting about PC Optimum (and that’s similar to other programs) is that you only earn points in three specific ways. By default, you don’t automatically earn points by joining PC Optimum and shopping at participating stores. There are actually three specific ways you earn PC Optimum points.

In-store offers

If you only have the PC Optimum card, you’ll only earn PC Optimum points whenever there’s an offer. For example, there might be an offer where you get 1,000 PC Optimum points for every $5 you spend on baked goods. This is actually a pretty good offer since it translates to 25% back in points. That said, since you’ll only earn points on in-store offers, it’ll take a very long time for you to accumulate a lot of points.

Targeted offers

You’ll get an email every week with targeted offers, but these load offers don’t become valid until you login to your account or open the app. This is obviously a way for PC Optimum to get you to look at the offers, but it’s a requirement so make sure you do it. The app usually gives you extra points for items you normally purchase as a way to get you back in the store. For example, some of my recent offers have been targeted towards fruits and vegetables since I’ve been buying those a lot as of late.

It’s also worth mentioning that Loblaws has recently introduced member promotions that are exclusive for PC Optimum members. For example, one time they had an offer of 6,000 points for every $12 you spent on IOGO yogurt. That’s 50% back in points!

Use a PC Financial Mastercard

If you get a PC Financial Mastercard, you’ll earn points on ALL of your purchases regardless of where you shop. The PC Financial Mastercards available are as follows:

  • PC Financial Mastercard
  • PC Financial World Mastercard
  • PC Financial World Elite Mastercard

The PC Financial Mastercard has no minimum income requirement and gives 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. This is great considering the card has no annual fee, but things become really lucrative if you have a personal income of $80,000 or a household income of $150,000.

At that income, you’ll qualify for the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard which gives you 45 PC Optimum Points per $1 dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart, 30 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent where PC Products are sold and at PC Travel; and 10 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent everywhere else. The PC Financial World Mastercard sits in the middle of the pack and has a personal income requirement of $60,000.

Some people use some of the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada to earn travel rewards, but you’ll usually get a higher return by using a PC Financial Mastercard wherever you can earn PC Optimum points. If you don’t like using credit cards, consider getting a PC Money Account as it allows you to earn PC Optimum points while using debit.

How to maximize your PC Optimum points?

PC Optimum is no different from any other loyalty program in the sense that if you really understand how it works, you can actually maximize your points. What I mean is that there are plenty of ways to earn more PC Optimum points, and there are also some ideal times to spend your PC Optimum points.

Join a Facebook group

There are a lot of people out there that are obsessed with PC Optimum and they’re happy to share tips in their Facebook groups. For example, the PC Optimum Points & Deals Canada group has a very active membership. They’re always listing out hacks for the current flyer and giving out advice on how to stack your deals (see below).

Save your offers

As mentioned, you’ll get PC Optimum points offers every week. While these offers are great, you may not need them that week. The good thing is that PC Optimum allows you to save your offer for the following week. Just click the offer in your app and then choose to save it for next week. When you do your regular shopping the following week, you’ll have the offer available.

Stock up on items when it makes sense

From time to time, you’ll get some incredible PC Optimum offers, such as getting 5,000 points when you spend $10 on General Mills cereal. Well, 5,000 points are worth $5, so you can basically get your cereal at 50% off. In this case, you might as well stock up on cereal and collect all those extra PC Optimum points.

It’s also worth noting that these offers are typically available at all the co-branded stores so you can shop around and save. Using the example above, let’s say General Mills cereal is on sale at No Frills. If you loaded up there, you’d be paying less and earning more points. Every so often you can get 50-70% off items by combining sale items with PC points offers.

Look for special promotions

You can always earn additional PC Optimum points thanks to in-store promotions. Some recent promotions include earning 7,500 PC Optimum points for every $75 spent on almost anything in Loblaws grocery stores, 15,000 points when you spend $50 or more on almost anything at Shoppers Drug Mart and get 70,000 PC Optimum points when you spend $200 or more on beauty online. Those three offers give you back 10%, 30% and 35% back in PC Optimum points, respectively.

Shoppers Drug Mart also often has an earn 20X the PC Optimum points on purchases over $75. When you do the math, that’s 30% back in points. Admittedly, Shoppers does cost more than other stores for many items, but 30% back in points is crazy.

Stack promotions when you can

A while back, Shoppers Drug Mart had a one-day promo where I would get 8,000 PC Optimum points if I spent $30. The weekly flyer at the time also had an offer of 2,000 PC Optimum points when you purchase Head & Shoulders shampoo. Let’s say the shampoo costs $5, if I bought $30 worth, I would have earned a total of 20,000 PC Optimum points (8,000 + 12,000). If I paid with my PC Financial World Elite Mastercard, I would have earned an additional 1,350 PC Optimum points. That’s a total of 21,350 PC Optimum points which has a value of $21.35 on a purchase of $30. In case you’re wondering, that’s a return of 71% in PC Optimum points.

I also took advantage of the recent Black Friday and 20X the points event where I bought a Dyson supersonic hair dryer which has a retail price of $499. I used the following promotions to my advantage.

  • Get $400 in credit when you redeem 250,000 PC Optimum points (regular value $250)
  • 104,485 PC Optimum bonus points earned due to 20X the points on spends over $75 and additional promos
  • 4,500 PC Optimum points earned because I paid with my PC Financial World Elite Mastercard
  • 500 Aeroplan points earned by using the Aeroplan estore to get to Shoppers Drug Mart and then taking advantage of the Aeroplan Black Friday sale

Although the hairdryer cost me $164.99 for the outstanding balance, I earned about $110 in PC Optimum points, plus I got that extra $150 in credit by redeeming my points during a bonus event.

Join PC Insiders 

*Note due to its popularity, PC Insiders is currently waitlist only. You can add your details on the webpage and be notified when it opens to subscription again.

PC Insiders is a subscription-based program that earns you extra PC Optimum points. It may sound crazy to pay to join a grocery/retail loyalty program, but when you look at the benefits included, it may be a good value for you. You do need to be a PC Optimum member and have a President’s Choice Financial Mastercard to apply. 

There are two options to sign up for: the annual fee or monthly fee program. The annual fee is $99 (plus tax) and the monthly fee is $9.99 per month (plus tax)

  • 10% back in points on all PC products and Joe Fresh Products.
  • Free shipping for joefresh.com and shoppersdrugmart.ca 
  • No pickup fee on PC Express with priority time slots

Depending on your shopping habits, the PC Insiders program can be a great way to earn points quickly. That said, PC Insiders only really benefits you if you’re getting value out of the annual fee which is $99 plus tax. You would need to do some rough math to see if paying the annual fee is worth it. Read my PC Insiders review now for more details about the program.

What’s interesting about PC Optimum points is that you can link different accounts into a single family account. My wife and I merged our PC OPtimum accounts so now everything is pooled. Even though the accounts are linked, the offers you get are still personalized within the individual apps. If you have one of the PC Financial Mastercards, then make sure you get supplementary cards so everyone can earn PC Optimum points.

Fill up your gas at Esso or Mobil

On the PC Optimum website, it states that you can earn at least 30 PC Optimum points per litre of gas filled at Esso or Mobil, but it’s important to understand how that breaks down. You’ll earn 10 PC Optimum points per purchased litre of gasoline or diesel fuel, 10 PC Optimum points per dollar spent on the card when you pay with your President’s Choice Financial Mastercard, and 10 PC Optimum points per litre of premium gasoline (Octane 89, 91, 93). 

Use the PC Health App

If you download the PC health App you can also earn points by completing health program activities. It’s an incentive to keep people active and moving on a daily basis. You can sign up for three programs at one time and will earn 20 PC Optimum rewards for every Health Activity you complete. This means you can earn an additional 60 PC Optimum points every day! 

Sign up for Shoppers Drug Mart text messages

Another way to earn more from the Optimum Program is to sign up for Shoppers Drug Mart text messages. Right now they have a sign up bonus of 10,000 PC Optimum points when you sign up and spend $40+ on almost anything in store. By signing up for text messages you will also receive promotional texts and special offers.

How does PC Optimum compare to others?

The closest thing to PC Optimum is Scene+. With Scene+, you can earn points at Empire-owned grocery stores such as Sobeys, IGA, and Foodland. They’re also partnered with Cineplex, select restaurants, Rakuten and more. Depending on where you do your grocery shopping, you may find Scene+ to be more appealing.

There’s also Rexall Be Well which is the loyalty program for Rexall. Since Rexall competes with Shoppers Drug Mart, you must compare the two programs. Here’s the thing, Rexall’s program is awful. Your earn rate is lower than PC Optimum. Plus, your redemption value is lower. If given the choice between the two programs, go with PC Optimum. That said, if Rexall is the only pharmacy near where you live, then you might as well collect Be Well points.

It’s also worth noting that PC Optimum points are only good if you shop regularly at stores that earn your PC Optimum points and you have a PC World Elite Mastercard. When you have that card, you’re basically earning a 3% return in points at grocery stores. However, there are credit cards that offer you a higher return on grocery purchases. For example, the American Express Cobalt Card gives you 5 points per $1 spent at grocery stores. I consider that an incredible value, which is why I now prefer to shop at Food Basics.

American Express Cobalt Card

  • $12.99 Monthly fee ($155.88 yearly)
  • 1,250 monthly points when charging $750 each month for a year (15,000 points total)
  • 7,000 points when spending $2,500 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on eats and drinks
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on streaming services
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

For reference, American Express Membership Rewards points have a value of 1 cent each. That means grocery store purchases are getting you 5% back. However, you can also transfer your points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio. I personally value Aeroplan points at 2 cents each, so I feel like I’m getting a 10% return when I grocery shop.

Final thoughts

As you’ve quickly learned from this PC Optimum points guide, there are a lot of ways you can earn and redeem your points. The base value of your points is not bad, but you can really extend the value by using them at Shoppers Drug Mart during bonus points events. If you want to earn more PC Optimum points, then make sure you get one of the PC Financial Mastercards.


How do I check my Optimum points?

You can see them online at pcoptimum.com or via the PC Optimum app. A cashier will also be able to tell you when you scan your PC Optimum card while making a purchase.

Do PC Optimum Points expire?

No, but if the account remains inactive for a period of 2 years (e.g. you don’t earn or redeem points) then you may have your account closed.

Can I transfer my PC points to somewhere else?

No, however, you can pool points with a family member or significant other by linking your accounts.

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi


  1. Steve Bridge on December 5, 2019 at 9:19 AM

    Thanks for doing all of this research and putting the results in one article!
    Really helpful!

    • Barry Choi on December 5, 2019 at 5:04 PM

      Thanks Steve,

      PC Optimum is incredibly valuable.

    • John Houston on June 28, 2022 at 7:10 PM

      PC Optimum points are are joke aimed at the math-illiterate. The REAL value of the points when purchasing regular goods like gas is UNDER 1%. Count how many $100 tankfulls of gas you have to buy to save a measly $4.00. Spending $60 on gas gets you around 350 points. That means you have to spend $685 on gas to SAVE $4.00. That’s a savings of 0.58% or $0.58 cents on a $100 purchase. That is a JOKE. So, instead of selling them your information for THEM to sell to third parties (which is where the REAL value to them is) cut up the card and stop wasting your time.

      • Jess on July 28, 2022 at 3:03 PM

        Lol, I don’t use it for gas, but I do for all my groceries. Two children, ones a fresh one this year and in about 9 months I’ve earned over 500 bucks on things I would have bought anyways. So I mean, maybe you should look at all you could have had haha. I wish I started A LONG time ago.

      • Cheryl Willis on November 9, 2022 at 10:34 AM

        There’s always one in the crowd. Not a waste of time at ALL John, you obviously have not given it a fair shake. I love the program and it benefits me greatly. Just the other day I needed several vitamins, and got them for nothing with my points. So don’t be such a grump and look at it a bit closer.

      • Joe on September 14, 2023 at 4:21 PM

        Your just referring to gas ⛽️ which is what your only main concern is . Just thinking about yourself. I have nearly 300 free dollars of points just from everyday shopping.

      • Jim on December 14, 2023 at 5:56 PM

        I spent $85 on gas today and paid with my PC World Elite Mastercard that is linked to my Optimum card. I received 5020 points or $5.20. that works out to be roughly a 6% saving.

    • John Shannon on July 30, 2023 at 11:25 PM

      What a terrible rewards program this has become. I used to be able to get points for many more purchases and I’m sure as shredded wheat not getting another credit card for the “privilege”.
      Forget you PC Optimum. No sense even scanning it anymore. If I don’t get any points; you don’t get to know what I buy.

      • Barry Choi on August 1, 2023 at 7:06 AM


        If you’re not using a PC Financial credit card, the only way to earn points is through in-store and targeted promotions. To get better offers, you need to scan your card even when you’re not earning points. You could also take advantage of 20X the points events at Shoppers Drug Mart

  2. BL on December 5, 2019 at 3:19 PM

    Now I wanna know, was the dyson hairdryer worth it? Lol

    • Barry Choi on December 5, 2019 at 5:03 PM


      It depends on who you ask. I blow dry my hair every day and have noticed a significant quality increase over my traditional hair dryer. Dyson uses a power stream of air as opposed to hot air to dry your hair so I think it gives you a bit more of a shine. It also comes with different attachments that works with different hairstyles which I think is cool. More importantly, I can now brag that I have a Dyson hair dryer.

  3. Cory koh on December 8, 2019 at 12:49 AM

    How would you rank this card against other cards in Canada? I spend about $30,000 on fuel so I was using the momentum card because I used to get 4% back on fuel. Now they only offer 2%. I then switched to the Bonvoy again because of the fuel savings. But lots of places dont take American Express and to be honest Im not loving the card. So now looking for a new card again and have looked at this one a couple times.

    • Barry Choi on December 8, 2019 at 6:34 AM


      If you get your gas from Esso and do most of your grocery shopping at a Loblaw’s owned store, then this card is an excellent choice.

      If you want 4% back on gas and shop at grocery stores where Visa accepted, then consider the Meridian Visa Infinite cash back caard


    • Minaz on January 30, 2020 at 7:08 PM

      You also get 20% back in points for diapers (making them cheaper than ordering through Amazon subscription) and free grocery pickup, which is now how I exclusively shop at superstore. I save hours of my time because of the free pickup, making the return on that $99 worth a lot.

      • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 12:15 AM


        I personally think free PC Express is alone worth it to get PC Insiders. The amount of time I’ve saved is invaluable.

      • Cindy on January 31, 2020 at 9:15 AM

        I have used optimum points and shared them with my son going to University in Regina. It was “spare money” for me and he was very appreciative of being able to get extra groceries. So he is now hooked on the PC points too. Lol

        • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 9:58 PM


          Heh, I got my brother hooked too.

        • Jen on April 19, 2020 at 3:29 PM

          Now with the coronavirus, I don’t go downtown to my son to bring him homemade food. He is in university and I gave him a PC points card. He can use the points for grocieries. He loves it. It is free money for it. What student can’t use free grociery money?! lol
          P.S.: I love this card and program, but be aware, that sometimes the points do not get registered, so keep an eye on it, and ask for adjustments.

      • Diane on February 7, 2020 at 3:17 AM

        Amazon is a horrible company. Plus, (and, correct me if I’m wrong) there is a discount to the P.C. insiders if you use the discount code provided

        • Barry Choi on February 7, 2020 at 8:28 AM

          The referral code I have in the post gives you 25% off your subscription for the first year.

          • Denis on December 6, 2020 at 12:43 PM

            Do you still get the 25000 points too?

          • Barry Choi on December 6, 2020 at 1:25 PM


            They’ve changed the referral so now you only get 25,000 points when you sign up with a referral code.

    • Mike on August 19, 2022 at 10:47 AM

      Hi Cory,

      Consider buying a gas gift card in the groceries. Buying a $100 gas card in the grocery gives you 4% cash back using momentum card. Use the gas card to pay for fuel :).

      The same goes when buying from amazon, momentum only offers 1% cash back when shopping thru amazon. Buy a gift card in the grocery and get 4% cash back then use the card to buy from amazon.

  4. Kim on December 17, 2019 at 6:16 PM

    Paying a $100 annual fee to get 20 cents back on every organic dollar spent is not worth it. If you have to choose (because how many $100 per year membership fees can we afford?) Prime makes more sense as items are delivered to your door for free and you have an endless amount of entertainment with reading and movies.

    I love PC but they need to up their game. I’ll be the first in line to go back to them when they do.

    • Barry Choi on December 17, 2019 at 7:48 PM


      It’s all perspective on value. If you use PC Express twice a month, you’ll make that money back in a year. For those subscribing to the annual plan, you get a $99 annual travel credit so you make back almost the entire annual fee right away. I happen to shop at Joe Fresh a lot, so I get value there.

      That said, you’re not wrong. PC Insiders doesn’t benefit everyone.

  5. Loretta Gaffney on December 29, 2019 at 1:20 PM

    Thank you for this helpful and informative article.
    How does the PC $99 travel credit work?

    • Barry Choi on December 29, 2019 at 2:07 PM


      If you’re a PC insider, it’ll ask you to login when you go to the PC Travel website. You’ll be able to choose your $99 travel credit when paying for your travel.

      • Reda B on January 30, 2020 at 2:54 PM

        Yes, but the credit is hardly redeemable as the hotel needs to be booked more than 3 nights, the car rental isn’t available anywhere near your home, vacations deals aren’t as great as that compared to costco travel – only flights seem to be comparable – but only sometimes, not all times.

        • Jmcc444 Toronto on January 30, 2020 at 8:05 PM

          I’ve used PC Travel a couple of times, first for a cruise where they price matched the fare for me from another agency, and then for flights which were the same price had I booked them with Air Canada or Expedia directly. They also offer some great bonus points too if you have the credit card. If you plan to travel, I would recommend. (The surprise gift ast year was two black label products which arrived about 6 weeks before the annual membership was expiring.)

        • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 12:11 AM


          You’re right, PC Travel makes things difficult with the credit. I’ve only used it for flights so haven’t had an issue but I can see why it would be a problem for others.

  6. CLP on January 6, 2020 at 11:31 AM

    My family laughs at me because I am such a PC Optimum junkie. I am a senior so I get 20% discount at Shoppers every Thursday. I also use an expensive face cream that is only available there. I only buy this cream when they offer 20x points on a Thursday or the cream is on sale. 20x points is only available on a Thursday a couple of times a year – look for a week-long 20x event. Otherwise I’ll check the store for a sale before I run low. Often I also stock up on other items at a 20x event. Shoppers is expensive but they often have terrific sales , including on milk and staples like tissues, paper towels and TP. And main brand cosmetics such as Clinique are the same price there as any other store. And seniors get 20%.
    Before they combined loblaws and shoppers points into one program I had to think about using the points, now I mostly earn at shoppers and use them to pay for groceries. I probably earn close to $400 per year. Not bad for a single person household.

    • Barry Choi on January 6, 2020 at 11:45 AM


      PC Optimum is the best, my mother also uses the THursday senior discount. It’s really not that hard to earn a ton of points and they have so many offers.

  7. Lynn on January 30, 2020 at 1:24 PM

    Great tips – thanks!

    One more tip – you can defer up to 4 offers each week – if you have a good points offer for something you buy regularly, but don’t need it this week, just swipe it left and it will be saved for the following week!

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 12:03 AM


      Great point, I knew about that trick, not sure why I didn’t include it in my list.

  8. Timarie on January 30, 2020 at 4:04 PM

    I typically do alot of the things you suggested but upon looking to cancel my PC insiders that automatically renewed without me knowing, I came across some terms that basically says you can’t stack some of these offers, I can’t say for sure if I have encountered this exception but its worth noting…

    Points earning through the PC Insiders program cannot be combined with other bonus PC Optimum points offers. PC Optimum points earned through the PC Insiders program are in addition to the regular 15 points per dollar earned for eligible purchases at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix, and the points regularly earned through use of a President’s Choice Financial payment product. However, points earning through the PC Insiders program may not be combined with any in-store, online or personalized bonus points offers on the same purchase. If your purchase would be eligible for an in-store, online or personalized bonus offer of a set amount of points or a points multiplier, for example “Spend $75 or more and get 25,000 PC Optimum points” or “Get 15X PC Optimum points on any shoppersdrugmart.ca order”, you would receive either your PC Insiders points OR the in-store, online or personalized bonus points offer, whichever is the greater number of points, but not both.

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 12:14 AM


      Yes, you can not stack PC insiders but there are other promos which you can combine. There are huge discussions about it on other message boards such as Flyer Talk and Redflagdeals which is where I learned about this trick.

  9. Steven Syn on January 30, 2020 at 8:15 PM

    Have you (or anyone else still following) experienced this: you cannot reduce the amount of points you use when paying at the self-scan kiosk? I experience this regularly and I’d much prefer to choose the amounts I redeem at any given time (Hey, $10 off is $10 off!). You can tell the attendant at the till to change the amount, but only at the register. I’ve tried at both Superstore and Shoppers asking the attendant to change the amount (at the self-scan) but even they were stumped. Thanks for responding!

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 12:17 AM

      I’ve never tried to lower the number of points redeemed at the kiosk. I suspect there’s no option to do so.

  10. Steve Syn on January 30, 2020 at 8:20 PM

    And about the linking household accounts… do you need to manage attribution at all? What I mean is that, for your typical household, it is likely one of the two partners who does more of the financial management and grocery shopping (or not) so they’d be the ones earning more or most of the points (only to have the other partner redeem them on something that’s perhaps not as critical to the household’s needs as it is to that individual’s wants… if you catch my drift lol). I’m pretty confident answer is “that’s not a program issue, that’s a household issue” and respect that. However it might be useful to some Canadian households (mine included) if the household manager (?) could set redemption allotments or some sort of control along those lines – especially for younger members who may not yet quite grasp what it means to collect all those points in the first place!

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 12:19 AM


      I know EXACTLY what you mean but I’ve learned to not put up a fight about it with my wife. Now if she was redeeming Aeroplan points for merchandise or gift cards, then there would be a problem.

    • Mary Ellison on February 2, 2020 at 1:29 AM

      You can choose whether each card is earn and redeem, or earn only.

  11. Waldo on January 30, 2020 at 9:17 PM

    I find most often the shoppers prices are more than most other stores for everyday items
    I read all the ads and compile my list of purchases I need and use price match too.

    • Gma on January 30, 2020 at 10:05 PM

      I agree with Waldo. I find the prices are almost always higher than other stores and the card makes you think you are earning big savings when you could shop elsewhere and save just as much without points.

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 12:17 AM


      Yes, Shoppers can be expensive. I only shop there when I can stack my points or take advantage of other promos.

  12. Doug K on January 30, 2020 at 9:49 PM

    I would add that if you shop at Loblaws stores that have a PC kiosk and your groceries cost more than $100, you can stop by the kiosk and they will apply on your behalf for an additional credit of 5000 points. The points take a few weeks to appear on your PC Points account.

    If your groceries cost $200, split them in two and you can get 10000 pts and so on. You cannot earn the bonus if you used PC Points for your purchase but if your grocery bill was $160, you can use 50000 points, $110 in regular payment and qualify for the 5000 point bonus.

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 12:19 AM


      I don’t know of that promo. Is it an ongoing thing?

      • Doug K on January 31, 2020 at 9:15 AM


        Not sure of its duration but it has been the case for at least the past several months. I only learned about it when I stopped by the kiosk when departing the store. There has to be a staff member present as they submit for the bonus on your behalf.


    • Valerie Brooks on January 31, 2020 at 1:18 AM

      I use that promo all the time, it’s great!

    • Laura on January 31, 2020 at 9:03 AM

      I went to a kiosk the other day and I was told that they changed the amount you have to spend to $200.00 from $100.00 to get the bonus points.

      • Doug K on January 31, 2020 at 9:16 AM


        That’s disappointing as $200 is a lot to spend on groceries for two people.


        • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 9:58 PM


          I agree. I rarely spend that much at one time. That said, it’s a nice extra bonus for people who do.

  13. fbgcai on January 30, 2020 at 11:09 PM

    your explanation about how the Esso gas purchase works is not clear – you state that purchase of premium gas is required to get the full 3 cents off – is that correct? my perception is 30 points per liter plus 10 points if you pay with the PC Mastercard.

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 12:22 AM


      I’ve taken the gas info directly from the PC Mastercard website. I’ve never really looked at my statements for the full breakdown, I just know I earn more points when filling up at Esso as opposed to say Shell.

  14. Manish on January 31, 2020 at 9:14 AM

    I love the PC Optimum points program and use my points at No Frills towards grocery shopping.

  15. Jessica on January 31, 2020 at 10:35 AM

    Oooo. I did not know that Shoppers sold the Dyson hair stylers. I’m going to put an Airwrap on my shopping list for next Black Friday!

    Best black friday deal of my life was 2 years ago when we bought a Nintendo Switch and game for >$20 after cashing in points on a bonus redemption of $450 value for $300 of points. 🙂

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 9:57 PM


      There was a similar offer this past Black Friday. the claim 250K points for $400. The switch they had was the Mario Kart Bundle I believe so you were getting like $480 in value for 250K points.

  16. Jessica on January 31, 2020 at 10:46 AM

    Another amazing tip I would add is that although you cannot directly cash in points for the purchase of gift cards you can do so indirectly if you buy groceries at the same time. For example, say you want to buy a $100 amazon gift card. If you are going to buy 100 worth of groceries anyway, you can buy the 100 gift card in the same purchase, use your points to pay for the grocery portion of the bill and walk away having spent the same amount in the end. Using this method, you can turn your PC points into money that you can spend on anything, at any vendor – you just need to plan ahead to match your grocery spending with gift card amounts since you can’t cash in points for more than the grocery portion of the total.

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 9:53 PM


      Interesting perspective.

      • Norman Rilley on July 21, 2020 at 8:37 PM

        This isn’t really a loophole, you still end up paying $100 for the gift card right? Or am i missing something?

        • Barry.Choi on July 21, 2020 at 8:44 PM

          You’re not wrong.

          I guess Jessica’s thinking is that she now got the $100 off the gift card instead of groceries. It’s a psychological hack I guess.

  17. ROOK on January 31, 2020 at 12:23 PM

    careful… in regards to the General Mills spend $10 and get 5000 pts back so that it seems you get 50% off…. sometime items are only priced at $4.98 thereby forcing you to buy 3 of them to make the full $10 purchase, thereby negating this 50% off scenario !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! let the buyer beware !!!

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 9:51 PM


      Yes, with any offer you need to be smart about what you’re purchasing. I try to spend the minimum amount to get my bonus.

  18. Cliff Cameron on February 4, 2020 at 11:49 AM

    I have the PC Optimum World Elite Mastercard and shop at No Frills, and was expecting 30 points per $ spent. I’m only getting 10 points per $ though!

    • Barry Choi on February 4, 2020 at 3:59 PM

      Hi CLiff,

      If I recall correctly, you earn 10 points per $1 spent right away and the other 20 points are posted monthly.

  19. H dash on February 5, 2020 at 11:07 AM

    Pc elite card is good we use it but. The capital one elite card in better 2% cash back for travel on every purchase

    • Barry Choi on February 5, 2020 at 11:56 AM

      H dash,

      The Capital One World Elite Mastercard is no longer available to the general public.

  20. Alan Payne on February 10, 2020 at 12:08 AM

    Wow! If “$400 off redemptions of 400,000 PC Optimum points” is true then I’m definitely going to start collecting points.Thanks Barry!

  21. Kristie on February 10, 2020 at 6:49 AM

    Hi Barry! Thanks for compiling these. I do my best to ensure I maximize my points as well. Another way of saving money while potentially earning points is to use the price match feature that some stores (Superstore, as an example) use (especially if you have a coupon targeted for that item). Say for example – grapes. Grapes can range from $2.99-$4.99 per pound, but if you price match to a competitor who may be selling for $.99 per pound, that’s quite a savings. Tack on the coupon in my PC app for 200 in points for every dollar spent on grapes, and it’s an even better deal.

    • Barry Choi on February 10, 2020 at 7:50 PM


      Good point, I need to price match items when I get bonus points more often.

  22. NL on February 20, 2020 at 10:39 PM

    When you join a household , I have found that the personalized offers lose “personalization”. My situation was a household I started and invited my mother (senior that doesn’t have a smart phone and only has a physical optimum card ) , I registered her online and I can sign in on as her on my app to load her offers on her card. She doesn’t shop at shoppers drug mart , only shops at Loblaws and no frills ( groceries) , I , on the other hand, only shop at shoppers drug mart ( almost daily). Once I brought her into a household with me, all her offers became shoppers drug mart exclusive and were geared on my shopping ( shoppers drug mart ) , the grocery offers ( based on her spending) stopped. As soon as she left the household , her offers went back to grocery.
    I called optimum to address this issue and was told that the household organizers offers/spending habits become the basis for offers for all in that household ( in my case it was different banner/type of products) As a test , with pc optimum on phone , we created another household starting from my mothers account (the goricery shopper) and immediately after I accepted the invite and joined her household , all my shoppers offers dropped and I had nothing but grocery offers.

    So it’s a bit misleading when you say that personalized offers still remain personal to each individual.

  23. Chris on July 16, 2020 at 3:36 AM

    Wow, Barry this is so helpful. Thank YOU for sharing all this.
    With a newborn baby now we’ll for sure make back the PC insiders fee in points and then some over next 12 months through diapers and formula purchases alone (diapers average $60/mth even allowing for the PC Insiders blackout periods in the T&C’s).
    I entered your referral code so hopefully I get the 25,000 pts & you get 10,000 referral pts too.

    • Barry.Choi on July 16, 2020 at 6:25 AM


      Oh man, when my daughter was born, I made my money back on PC Insiders so fast from food alone. Congrats on the newborn and thanks for using my referral!

  24. Kelly on August 18, 2020 at 7:45 PM

    Thanks for this post. I was wondering if I could earn Optimum points on a Dyson hair dryer…on a 20x the points that would be $100+ worth of points back, instantly.

    • Barry.Choi on August 18, 2020 at 7:49 PM


      Yes, if it’s available in store at Shoppers, it would qualify. Also note that Dyson products are also great for using your points during bonus events. E.g. if there’s ever use 100K points, get $140 off. Usually with these promos, the more points you use, the more cash you get off.

  25. Chris on September 8, 2020 at 10:35 PM

    So this is all changing Oct 8th, 2020.
    PC just emailed Insiders members with the summary and links to new ‘10% back in points on all PC products”.

    What they don’t advertise is that the current 20% back (200pts/$1) on baby diapers & formula will STOP on Oct 7th, 2020. The Joe Fresh purchases now drop from 20% to 10% (100pts/$1) earned with Insiders.

    So unless you spend a good deal of money on PC brand products, Insiders may not be the golden program it currently is!

    Let’s all go spend $100s on baby diapers and formula before Oct 7th to maximise the 20% back in points before it disappears!!

    Oh, and they do state existing Insiders members have option to cancel/ opt out of new program by Sept 30, 2020.

    See https://www.pcoptimum.ca/insiders/en/terms-and-conditions#section2

    • Barry.Choi on September 9, 2020 at 6:15 AM

      Hey Chris,

      I just got the email and looked over the terms. The changes are pretty significant and it’s hard to see it as an improvement unless you happen to buy mostly PC products.

      That said, some people will argue that the program is better since more people can benefit from it now since more products would earn you 10% back in points.

      With the annual travel credit and gift being cut, I think getting the $99 back in points will be difficult for many people.

      There’s still value when you factor in the free PC Express pickup, but again, that would only be beneficial to some people.

  26. Sags Gups on December 28, 2020 at 1:54 AM

    Hi Barry,

    Could you explain the math at how you arrived at 104,485 PC Optimum bonus points for the Dyson Dryer?

    If you only had to pay ~$100 for it after the $400 credit, wouldn’t it be 100*15*20=30000 Bonus PC Optimum Points.


    • Barry Choi on December 28, 2020 at 6:33 AM


      To be perfectly honest, I never understood how I got that many points. There are two possible reasons #1) I still earned points on the original price of $500 (but the math still doesn’t add up). #2 There was another Optimum promo that stacked e.g. spend $X on beauty?

      The number in the articles is right from my receipt which I wish I saved.

  27. Viola Jean Walters on May 24, 2021 at 7:21 AM

    Used to get alot better points deals now they have taken alot of it away..looking for a better loyalty card and will quit this one when I do.

    • Kim on May 25, 2021 at 12:54 PM

      Agreed Viola.

      It used to be my favourite card. Now, I use it only occasionally. This last year, I used it so little, they’ve now down-graded me. I’m a little offended about that since I still do have years of loyalty invested in that card and was waiting for them to improve their programs.

      Are they telling me my wait is over and I should just “write off” this many-years-long relationship with them?

      For someone who always pays on time and has been loyal for so many years to their PC lines, it certainly feels like a kick in the teeth.

      • Barry Choi on May 25, 2021 at 12:56 PM

        Hey Kim,

        I totally get your frustration and am in a similar boat. This was a decision by Mastercard as they’re adding the $15K minimum spend to ALL World Elite Cards. This has already happened with Rogers users and it’s coming to other credit cards.

        Blame Mastercard here, not PCF.

  28. joe on January 12, 2022 at 10:48 AM

    i agree the deals are terrible now and no longer worth it, i am a single senior and often my offers are for baby diapers and stuff i never even buy, just trying to push stuff on me to sell sell sell, i am looking at switching to a different no fee card as i see a couple out there that pay 3% cash back on groceries and offer cash back on everything i buy

    • Samantha on February 28, 2022 at 2:19 AM

      All that being said. If someone spends over $200 Since the offer is spend $100 get 15,000 pts. Should the customer not be entitled to 15,000 twice????

      • Barry Choi on February 28, 2022 at 6:41 AM


        No, because the promo specifically states that when you spend $100, you get 15,000 points. It does increase for each additional $100 you spend.

  29. Jayne on January 31, 2022 at 12:51 PM

    BUT the true question is how to optimize the REDEMPTION?

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2022 at 1:55 PM


      The best option is to use your points during bonus redemption events at Shoppers Drug Mart.

  30. Samantha on February 25, 2022 at 1:15 PM

    I would like a clear answer for this scenario.

    I spend $251. 99 includes tax and store pick up fee.
    I received an email that if I spend $100.00, I can get 15, 000 pts. I applied to the order at check out. The order does not reflect the 15, 000 pts has reduced my bill, so my charges pending are still $251.99.
    In the meantime, because I spent over $250 after tax. I qualify for the store free item (worth $24.99).

    Now, if I also have 25, 000 pts of which I wish to apply to my current order.
    According to my math, this is a total of 40,000 pts. This would reduce my bill to $211.99.

    Do I receive the FREE in store item?

    • Barry Choi on February 25, 2022 at 2:05 PM


      PC Optimum bonus points are earned after you meet the criteria. So if the promo is spend $100, get 15,000 points, you could then use those 15,000 points for your next purchase. It would NOT appear on the initial purchase.

      As for the store free item, I believe that’s an in-store promo where the cashier just gives it to you after spending over $250. Assuming the free gift is indeed in-store, you should still get it even if you redeem PC Optimum points to pay.

      PC Optimum is usually quite clear about the promos. For example, at SHoppers Drug Mart, 20X the points events when you spend $75 clearly states that you can’t use points to pay for part of the $75.

  31. Ann Cordingley on February 11, 2023 at 1:15 AM

    I am finding the points confusing at the moment. Used to be my grocery receipt showed the points I earned for that purchase, by using my credit card also special deals plus my total points. Now it only shows the special deals and they say the other points will be added on in a few business days. They don’t seem to show up in the Superstore category and the amounts don’t match the other additions as they all just say ‘PC Financial Spend’. When I have spoken to their representatives they say oh it is easy just multiply your money spent by 30 (I have an elite card) but the numbers never match anything. Do they total daily spends together? Often my receipt will say you could have earned at least so many points with a PC Mastercard. . . even though I have used my card on the purchase. It frustrates me!

    • Barry Choi on February 11, 2023 at 8:36 PM

      Hey Ann,

      The receipts should still be showing you all the individual points you’ve been earning. I’m not sure what’s going on with yours.

  32. Deirdre Lindsay on April 15, 2023 at 11:29 PM


    Does anyone know how many points are earned per dollar at Joe Fresh?

    Many thanks.

    • Barry Choi on April 17, 2023 at 10:09 AM


      Unless you have a PC Financial credit card, you only earn targeted and in-store offers at Joe Fresh.

  33. SUSAN on December 1, 2023 at 8:17 AM

    I just bought $400 of stuff for $45 (basically the tax). We seldom shop at SDM because their prices are inflated. We shop at Real Canadian Superstore or No Frills. We don’t use the PC credit card. You have to “gamify” the system by taking advantage of special promos. This haul was done on the spend your points event where 250,000 points (normally worth $250) are worth $400. Almost everything we bought for this haul (and when we shop there in general) were on sale. Their sale prices are usually reasonable. For example I bought 4 x 2L bottles of Tide for $11 each. I also bought one expensive gift, the men’s cologne sampler ($115). We stock up on shampoo, toothpaste, and frozen foods. We do this every year.

    • Barry Choi on December 1, 2023 at 9:14 AM

      Hey Susan,

      The gamification of PC Optimum is part of the fun. Getting a PC Financial card is worth it IMO since you can earn more points at Loblaws-owned grocery stores.

      • SUSAN on December 1, 2023 at 10:14 AM

        We have the Scotia momentum Visa Infinite cash back card. Do you think the benefit of the optimum points would be better than that card?

        • Barry Choi on December 1, 2023 at 1:52 PM


          So the Scotia Momentuma Visa Infinite Cash Back Card earns you 4% cash back at groceries stores and recurring payments, 2% on gas and daily transit, and 1% on everything else.

          For the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard, you earn 30 PC optimum points per $1 spent at loblaws-owned grocery stores and 10 points on all other purchaes. That works out to a 3% and 1% return respectively. That said, PC Optimum points can be more valuable if you redeem them during bonus redemption events. To be honest, both cards are similar, it just depends on how much you value your PC Optimum points.

Leave a Comment

Get a FREE copy of Travel Hacking for Lazy People

Subscribe now to get your FREE eBook and learn how to travel in luxury for less