PC Optimum

How to Maximize Your PC Optimum™ Points

Advertiser Disclosure This article/post contains references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers or partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products or services.
Last updated on May 23, 2022

Groceries tend to be a stubbornly high expense in any household budget, and even the most frugal bargain hunters among us are usually surprised by just how much we spend on grub month after month. Unfortunately, these budget battles aren’t expected to ease up anytime soon.

Rising costs make it more crucial than ever to trim bills whenever and wherever you can, and one of the best ways to save on groceries is to join a grocery rewards program like PC Optimum™.

How Does the PC Optimum™ Program Work?

A PC Optimum™ membership is similar to a standard grocery network club card, but it has extra transactional power: PC Optimum™ points can be earned by making purchases at Loblaw banner stores and Joe Fresh®, as well as Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmaprix, and Esso™ and Mobil™ stations in Canada. Unlike, say, a Costco membership, PC Optimum™ points can be redeemed toward your purchases at participating Loblaw banner stores, both online or at the register.

Using the PC Optimum™ App

The easiest way to sign up for PC Optimum™ is to download the PC Optimum™ app from Google Play or the Apple App Store. You can scan your PC Optimum™ app at a store’s register to collect points; the app also lets you view the points earned for each transaction, load personalized offers, and see flyers from local stores in your area.

Getting a Physical Card

PC Optimum™ cards unfortunately cannot be mailed to you—if you prefer to carry a physical PC Optimum™ card with you rather than use the app the card must be issued to you in person at a Loblaws network grocery store, Shoppers Drug Mart, or an Esso™/Mobil™ location. Though you can earn PC Optimum™ points before you sign up for an online PC Optimum™ account, it’s recommended that you link your PC Optimum™ card online as soon as possible, as that will allow you to receive weekly personalized offers and easily track your points balance. After you pick up your PC Optimum™ card, visit the PC Optimum™ website and click “register” to create an account with a username and password.

Earning PC Optimum™ Points

Scanning your PC Optimum™ app or card at checkout will nab an easy 10 points for every litre of fuel you purchase at Esso™ or Mobil™ locations in Canada, and 15 points for every $1 of eligible purchases at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix.

A common misconception is that using the PC Optimum™ card will allow you to automatically earn PC Optimum™ points on every purchase at Loblaw banner stores, but this is not the case. You can, however, earn a number of points at Loblaw banner stores by other means (see ‘The Best Ways to Collect Extra PC Optimum™ Points’ later in this article).

Receiving Personalized Offers

Once you sign up for a PC Optimum™ account you will start receiving personalized weekly offers every Thursday. Offers will display automatically in your mobile app or web account, or you can opt in to receive offer notifications via email or push notifications. Special offers are attuned to your spending habits: For example, if your PC Optimum™ account shows you buy bananas every week from Loblaw banner grocery stores, one week you may get an offer of 200 points for every $1 spent on bananas.

Missing PC Optimum™ Points

If you suspect that your card or app didn’t scan properly and that you are missing points from legitimate purchases, you do have recourse, provided the transaction happened in the last 45 days. To recover your missing points go to the “Points” section of the website or app under “Account” and locate the transaction you’re missing points from. Click the transaction and select “Points Inquiry”, complete the form and the Member Care Team will look into it and contact you via email.

Redeeming PC Optimum™ Points

PC Optimum™ points can be redeemed at the below Loblaw banner stores by simply telling a cashier that you’d like to redeem your points towards your purchases.

  • Loblaws
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Joe Fresh®
  • No Frills
  • Zehrs
  • Independent
  • Valu-Mart

  • Fortinos
  • Loblaws City Market
  • Maxi
  • Real Canadian Superstore
  • Atlantic Superstore
  • Provigo
  • Pharmaprix (in Quebec)

Points can be redeemed toward groceries, housewares, magazines, beauty products, apparel, or any other products sold at stores listed above. Exceptions include lottery tickets, tobacco and alcohol products, event tickets, transit tickets, gift cards, prepaid cards, wireless or prepaid phone cards, post office transactions, passport photos, cash back, delivery charges, all non-participating 3rd party operations, provincially regulated products, or products purchased in unaffiliated stores in-house

You can also redeem points towards purchases at the Loblaws grocery pick-up service, PC Express™. Points can also be donated to charitable causes like The Black Business and Professional Association, The President’s Choice Children’s Charity and SHOPPERS. LOVE. YOU, which supports women’s health charities. The points can be donated through the PC Optimum™ app or website.

Points have no cash value, but are worth a redemption value of $0.001 each, or $1 per 1,000 points redeemed. Redemptions do require a minimum of 10,000 points (equal to $10 off a grocery purchase), and a maximum 500,000 points can be redeemed per transaction (equal to $500 off) but otherwise points can be redeemed at any time. You can then begin earning points immediately after redemption.

Can PC Optimum™ Points Be Transferred?

PC Optimum™ points unfortunately cannot be transferred to other loyalty programs or other PC Optimum™ members. However, up to ten PC Optimum™ members can create a ‘Household’ within the program in order to pool points.

To create a Household, select ‘Household’ from the ‘Account’ drop down menu at PCOptimum.ca or within the mobile app. Click ‘Get Started’ and add your Household Member’s full name and email address to the required fields. If you want to add more than one person to your Household, just click ‘Add Another’ and follow the same step. Your Household Members will be sent an email that they have 45 days to respond to and join your Household before it expires.

The Best Ways to Collect Extra PC Optimum™ Points

PC Optimum™ points can be collected with relatively minimal effort—you can simply scan your PC Optimum™ app or swipe your PC Optimum™ card when you check out at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix or Esso™ and Mobil™ stations.

However, this approach will only yield the minimum number of points you can earn per eligible transaction: 15 points per dollar at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix; and 10 points per litre of fuel at Esso™ and Mobil™. Below are some strategies for optimizing the number of points you earn well beyond the minimum.

Use a PC Financial® Mastercard® Credit Card

You can give a major boost to the number of PC Optimum™ points you earn by making purchases with one of three credit cards issued by PC Financial®. Each card allows you to earn a certain number of points per transaction, with the amount varying depending on which credit card you qualify for, each of which is geared toward applicants at different income levels. The pièce de résistance of the PC Financial® credit card program is that none of the cards come with an annual fee.

 PC® Mastercard®PC Financial® World Mastercard®PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard®
Annual Fee$0$0$0
Minimum Annual Income for New ApplicantsN/A$60,000 personal; $100,000 household$80,000 personal; $150,000 household
Loblaw Banner Grocery Stores10 pts per $120 pts per $130 pts per $1
Esso™ and Mobil™ stations in CanadaAt least 30 pts per litreAt least 30 pts per litreAt least 30 pts per litre
Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmaprix25 pts per $1 on eligible purchases35 pts per $1 on eligible purchases45 pts per $1 on eligible purchases
PC travel services20 pts per $120 pts per $130 pts per $1
Other Purchases10 pts per $110 pts per $110 pts per $1
Read MoreRead MoreRead More
Apply NowApply NowApply Now

Sponsored advertising . President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® is provided by President’s Choice Bank. The PC Optimum™ program is provided by President’s Choice Services Inc. President’s Choice Bank is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information, please click on each respective “Apply Now” button.

Open a PC Money™ Account

A PC Money™ Account from PC Financial® works like a bank account with no monthly fees that you can use anywhere Mastercard® is accepted (both in store and online). Open a PC Money™ Account and you’ll earn a minimum 10 points per $1 on every purchase you make, and an enhanced 25 points per $1 on your eligible purchases at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix.

Cheques are not issued for the PC Money Account, but Interac e-Transfer® services are free and everyday transactions, which include electronic fund transfers, withdrawals at PC Financial® bank machines, self‑serve bill payments and purchases in Canadian dollars, are unlimited. Funds can be withdrawn using the PC Financial® ATMs found in some Loblaw banner grocery stores.

Account activity can be tracked online at pcfinancial.ca or through the PC Financial® app—not to be confused with the PC Optimum™ app. The PC Financial® app not only allows you to track your PC Optimum™ point balance and transactions, but also works like a traditional online banking app where you can check your PC Money Account balance, see your recent PC® Mastercard® transactions, and track your spending habits by purchase category.

Watch for Special Earning Periods

Every so often, Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart will release special offers where you can earn or redeem more points than usual over a limited number of days (particularly during the holidays), and the last few years it promoted Points Days — a specified period of time, like Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, 2021, where special offers abound both online and at over 4,500 participating locations.

An example of a special earning period might be Shoppers Drug Mart purchases yielding 20x their usual point haul if you make a minimum purchase between specified dates. If these big offers apply to non-perishable items you regularly use, stock up on them and collect a huge bundle of points.

Get the Family Involved

You can only take advantage of special points offers once per account, but you can boost the number of points your household earns by opening separate accounts for each eligible family member. Anyone 14 years of age or older can sign up for a PC Optimum™ account, although some jurisdictions may require parental or guardian consent for those under the age of majority.

Subscribe to the PC Optimum Insiders™ Program

The PC Optimum™ Insiders subscription costs $119 plus tax a year. Subscribing earns you 10% back in PC Optimum™ points on all President’s Choice® (PC®) and Joe Fresh® products. You also get free PC Express grocery pickup with priority time slots, free shipping at shoppersdrugmart.ca and JoeFresh.com, and 5% back in points on PC travel services bookings.

Fill the Tank at Esso™ and Mobil™ Stations

While you can’t buy gas using PC Optimum™ points at Esso™ or Mobil™ stations, you can earn points there. (At least 10 points per litre at Esso™ stations; earn rates vary by Mobil™ location). If you pay with your PC® Mastercard®, you will earn at least 30 total points per litre at Esso™ and Mobil™ stations in Canada.

The Granddaddy of Grocery Loyalty Programs in Canada

If you’re Canadian, you’ve likely shopped at one or more of the 2,500+ Loblaw banner grocery or drug stores, or pumped gas at some of the 2,000+ Esso™ and Mobil™ locations throughout the country. Why not take advantage of their ubiquity and earn free groceries for your money spent? Honestly, you’re going to shop at places where you can earn PC Optimum™ points anyway—it’s a near certainty—and you now have the tools you need to take your PC Optimum™ points earning to the next level.

FAQ

No, PC Optimum™ points do not expire, but Loblaws reserves the right to close your account if you don’t redeem any points within a two-year period.
If you forget to scan your PC Optimum™ card, click the “Points” then “Transactions” tab in the PC Optimum™ app. Start a points inquiry and enter your receipt information. Your points should update soon.
PC Optimum™ points do not cover taxes and though you can collect points at Esso Mobil, you can’t redeem PC Optimum™ points for gas.
Yes, there are some disadvantages to the PC Optimum™ program. PC Optimum™ points cannot be earned or redeemed anywhere but Loblaws-owned stores and partner Esso/Mobil gas stations. They can also only be redeemed for merchandise in Loblaws stores.

Author Bio

Aaron Broverman
Aaron Broverman is a freelance writer based in Toronto. When he’s not writing about money for publications like Yahoo Canada and GreedyRates, you’re likely to find his nose in a comic book. He likes comics so much, he hosts a podcast called Speech Bubble where he interviews those involved in the comic industry. You can follow him on Twitter: @broverman

Article comments