My Rate Compass

PC Optimum

Published by My Rate Compass Team | Updated Sep 11, 2020
PC Optimum

PC Optimum Program Overview 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could earn and save on everyday purchases such as groceries and toiletries? Fortunately, you can with the PC Optimum program! As a PC Optimum loyalty member, you can earn on everyday purchases with PC partner merchants, such as Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, Joe Fresh and many more. To learn more about how the program works and how you can maximize earnings, continue reading below.


What is the PC Optimum Program?


The PC Optimum program is a Canadian loyalty program owned by Loblaw Companies. The program started back in 1998, but has grown immensely since. It is estimated that the PC Optimum Program has 16 million members making it the largest loyalty program in Canada.


The program allows shoppers to collect PC Optimum points on everyday purchases, such as groceries, gas and pharmacy. Once enough PC Optimum points have been earned, shoppers can receive discounts on future everyday purchases. There is no annual fee to be a PC Optimum loyalty member.


Earning PC Optimum Points


There are two ways you can earn PC Optimum points: become a PC Optimum loyalty member or use one of the PC Financial Mastercard credit cards. To learn more about partner merchants, loyalty program members and PC Financial Mastercards, continue reading below.


PC Optimum Partner Merchants


The PC Optimum program has three main brands where you can earn points: Loblaws, Esso/Mobil and Shoppers Drug Mart. Keep in mind that Loblaws has various brands under their name including: Zehrs, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstores, Joe Fresh, Wholesale Club, The Independent Grocer, Fortinos and Valu Mart.


Despite the fact that there are only three major brands under the PC Optimum program, there are actually 4,500 locations you can earn and redeem points across Canada. In addition, people usually spend at these stores on a regular basis - may as well earn some points while you’re at it!


Loyalty Program Member


Loyalty program members can only earn PC Optimum points when they spend at one of the above partner merchants. When you check out, scan your loyalty card or key chain tag to earn points.


PC loyalty program members earn 15 points per dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart and 10 points per litre at Esso and Mobil gas stations. At Loblaws and Joe Fresh, loyalty program members only earn points on in-store promotions and personalized offers.


PC Financial Mastercards


Using a PC Financial Mastercard is advantageous because you’ll earn points at a much faster rate and have more opportunities to earn. With one of the PC credit cards, you can earn points on all purchases, not only with partner merchants.


Below are the three PC Financial Mastercard credit cards offered and their respective earning rates. Remember, none of these credit cards have an annual fee.


  • PC Financial Mastercard. Earn 10 points per dollar spent at partner grocery stores, 25 points per dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart, 30 points per litre at Esso and Mobil, 20 Points per dollar spent on PC Travel and 10 points per dollar spent everywhere else.


  • PC Financial World Mastercard. Earn 20 points per dollar spent at partner grocery stores, 35 points per dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart, 30 points per litre at Esso and Mobil, 20 points per dollar spent at PC Travel and 10 points per dollar spent everywhere else.


  • PC Financial World Elite Mastercard. Earn 30 points per dollar spent at partner grocery stores, 45 points per dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart, 30 points per litre at Esso and Mobil, 30 points per dollar spent on PC Travel and 10 points per dollar spent everywhere else.


Keep in mind that your PC Optimum loyalty program membership will be linked to your PC Financial Mastercard. This means you can’t “double dip” points by scanning your PC Optimum loyalty card and paying with your PC Financial Mastercard. However, PC Financial Mastercard users still earn more PC Optimum points than a regular loyalty program member would.


Redeeming PC Optimum Points


The redemption process for PC Optimum points is very straight forward. For every 10,000 points you earn, you will receive $10 off groceries or merchandise from PC partner merchants.


Points can be redeemed online or in store. When using your points to save online or at a self-serve kiosk, simply follow the instructions to redeem your points. If redeeming points with a cashier, let the cashier know you’d like to redeem points and they will put your points towards your purchase.


It’s important to note that you can only make redemptions in 10,000 point increments. Points cannot be used to cover taxes, fees or make gift card purchases. Lastly, you cannot redeem points for cash, you can only redeem points for purchases made with PC Optimum partner merchants.


What is a PC Optimum Point’s Value?


If 10,000 PC Optimum points are worth $10, then 10 PC Optimum points are worth $0.01, or one cent. You’ll always earn a minimum of 10 points for every dollar spent as a PC loyalty member which means you earn about 1% cash back. In a way, the program works sort of like a cash back credit card. Remember that there are ways to optimize your potential earnings to make the most out of the program.


Maximizing PC Optimum Points


To maximize point earnings with PC Optimum, you can use one or more of the following strategies:


  • Get a PC Financial Mastercard to earn points on all expenditures.
  • If there’s a big points offer on one of your favourite non-perishable items, use it as an opportunity to stock up and earn tons of points. Good examples of ideal items include toilet paper, cereal and canned food.
  • Monitor weekly personalized offers in your PC Optimum app or online portal. You can save offers for the following week by clicking “save for next week” to ensure that the offers don’t expire before you use them.
  • It is possible to link your account with a family member, spouse, significant other or anyone else. By linking your PC Optimum accounts, you can pool your points to redeem faster while still receiving personalized offers.
  • PC Optimum has a subscription service called PC Insiders which costs $9 monthly or $99 dollars annually. Having a subscription to PC Insiders gives you 200 points earning per dollar spent on specific items. You also receive free shipping, free grocery pickups and a $99 travel credit with PC Travel. Even though this costs something, there is a good return if you shop with PC partner merchants frequently.


Using the PC Optimum Program to Your Advantage


PC Optimum is one of the greatest and most used loyalty programs in Canada - and for good reasons! Loyalty program members don’t have to work very hard to earn points because it’s something they’re spending money on anyways. Of course, through strategic spending, you can optimize the program to your advantage.


Frequently Asked Questions- PC Optimum Program


Using any loyalty program can come with questions, including the PC Optimum loyalty program. You can find commonly asked questions below along with their corresponding answers.


Do PC Optimum Points Expire?


PC Optimum points do not expire, however, your account can be closed due to inactivity. If you do not earn or redeem any PC Optimum points at least once every two years, then your account can be closed and you would lose all your points. To avoid expiration, continue to scan your loyalty card or use your PC Financial credit card on a regular basis.


Can You Use PC Optimum Points to Cover Taxes and Fees?


No, PC Optimum points cannot be used to cover taxes and fees. They also cannot be used to purchase gift cards or to withdraw cash.


Can PC Optimum Points be Transferred to Another Program?


No, PC Optimum points cannot be transferred to another program.


Can I Give My PC Optimum Points to Another Person?


No, PC Optimum points cannot be transferred to another person. Although, two separate PC Optimum accounts can be linked allowing you to pool your earnings with someone else, such as a family member, significant other or spouse.


Is There a Way to Earn PC Optimum Points Faster?


Yes, you can earn PC Optimum points at an accelerated rate by using one of PC Financial’s Mastercards. There is more opportunity to earn with a PC Financial Mastercard when compared to a regular loyalty card.


Can I Lose My PC Optimum Points?


The only way you can lose your PC Optimum points is by having an account that is inactive for two years. So long as you continue to at least earn or redeem points once every two years, you won’t lose your PC Optimum points.


How to Access PC Optimum Login?


The PC Optimum program has an online portal here and an app. Once you login, you can see your points balance, personalized offers and store specific flyers. If you don’t know your login information, contact PC Optimum to reset it.


How Can I Contact PC Optimum?


You can contact PC Optimum customer service at 1-866-246-7262. There are other ways of contacting PC Optimum as listed here, such as by email, instant messaging or mail.


Is PC Optimum Right for Me?


When it comes to loyalty programs, to each their own! The loyalty programs you benefit from might not be as advantageous to someone else. For this reason, whether or not the PC Optimum program is right for you depends on your spending habits and lifestyle.


One thing is certain, if you’re an avid shopper at PC partner merchants, you will definitely benefit from the PC Optimum loyalty program. If you’d like to try out the program, the barrier to entry is quite low as there is no annual cost and you can pick up a loyalty card the next time you’re in one of PC’s stores.

Author Bio


My Rate Compass is a Canadian personal finance portal helping consumers make the most informed financial decisions and take control of their finances through financial literacy. We offer tools, articles, and resources to inform, educate, and provide advice on credit cards, mortgages, loans, RSPs, GICs, TFSAs, bank accounts and credit scores.