Today we feature Pointshogger Contributor, Kyler Ayim, writer of How To Earn PC Optimum Points Faster, who will share his experience with the PC Optimum program!
How do I get the most out of the PC Optimum rewards program? It’s a question many of us have been asking ourselves since the merge of PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum, which brought together two of Canada’s most popular loyalty programs with a combined 19 million members.
The new program launched on Feb 1, 2018 and includes elements from both the former programs.
Undoubtedly, PC Optimum got off to a rocky start. What was at first described as “a few hiccups” turned out to be website downtime, trouble signing up, problems linking accounts, and generic personalized offers. Most of the issues were resolved shortly after the launch, but unfortunately I still read stories from people that are not happy with the new program.
I’m not here to defend the company or their program, so this article isn’t going to address those problems.
The fact remains that millions of Canadians are using PC Optimum, so I’d like to provide a few tips on getting the most out of the program.
Much of the content from this article is covered in more detail in my book How To Earn PC Optimum Points Faster, available on Amazon. So read on to learn more or grab the eBook now to get the full story.
Plan Ahead for Bonus Points Events
Whenever possible, only shop on the bonus points days. To do this, it helps to be organized. This is because one of the most common bonus points events is “Get X thousand points if you spend Y dollars or more”.
If what you need to buy doesn’t add up to the minimum spend amount, then it’s not worth spending extra money just to get the bonus points. However, a lot of people aren’t fully aware of what they need to buy.
This relates to step 1 from Pointshogger 101, which is “Identify your spending habits”.
Your spending habits are related to your personal or household needs, so maintaining a shopping list is helpful for bonus points events.
I say “maintaining” not “writing” a shopping list because it’s something you do on an ongoing basis, not just scribble down before you head out the door to run errands.
Whenever you run out of something around the house, or notice supply is running low, add it to the list.
There are several advantages to doing this:
- When it’s time to go shopping, most of your prep work is done since you kept track of it along the way.
- I find that this helps prevent me from forgetting something, which often happens if I just try to remember everything I need off the top of my head.
- To help reach those minimums during bonus points events, refer to that list of things that your household will need soon, that you can get at Loblaws, Shoppers, or any store in the PC Optimum network. By soon, I mean in the next couple months. I keep this list on my phone so that it’s handy both around the house and in the store.
Like I said earlier, it’s not worth spending extra money just to get to the minimum amount.
So rather than just buying random stuff to earn those bonus points, buy items off your list and backups of things you always use. This is definitely useful for food that has a long shelf life, toiletries, and household goods that you use often but don’t expire.
Personalized offers are special deals based on the food and products you often purchase.
These are exclusive offers only available to you through your account on the PC Optimum website/app or by opening their emails.
Currently it seems like they’re working out some of the kinks in this feature, and I’ve read reports from people saying that their personalized offers aren’t tailored to them.
At the end of my weekly email from PC Optimum there was a note which said:
“Your personalized offers may seem a bit more generic than you’re used to. But don’t worry, we’ll get back to the personalized offers you love soon.”
So I expect they’re working to improve this feature. I certainly hope so because taking advantage of personalized offers is a great way to achieve one of the main ideas in my book, which is earning extra points on things you’d be buying anyway.
For those of you who are already getting good personalized offers, or for when it’s working better for the rest of us, here’s a quick tip:
Most offers expire in about 7 days. If you want to save it for next week, then select it to view its details then choose “Save for next week”. Not all offers have this option, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
Product Bonus Points
These are known as “in-store offers” or “product bonus points”. Basically there’s a bonus points tag beside the price tag which tells you how many points you’ll get if you buy that product.
You don’t need to use a coupon, load a personalized offer, or shop during a bonus points event.
However, you do need to keep a lookout for these while in the store because they’re not always advertised in the app, website, or flyers.
Use a PC Financial MasterCard
For every dollar spent at any store in the Loblaw retail network you earn up to 30 points (depending on the type of MasterCard you have), plus an extra 15 points for every dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart.
This means you earn up to 45 points per dollar at Shoppers, that’s three times the standard 15 points per dollar!
You even earn points when shopping outside of the Loblaw network. With a PC Financial Mastercard you earn 10 points per dollar anywhere you shop.
Earn Points on Gas
Earlier I said you should be trying to “earn points on things you’d be buying anyway”, and for many people this definitely includes filling up on gas.
PC Plus members will be used to this, but it’s a new feature for Shoppers Optimum members who didn’t also have PC Plus. With PC Optimum you earn points per litre when buying fuel at participating gas stations.
You can earn points for filling up but you can’t redeem points for fuel.
Check Your Receipts
Sometimes things go wrong. It’s part of life. So check your receipt to make sure you were awarded all the points you were expecting. If you’re looking at your account later be aware that sometimes there’s a delay before the points you’ve earned actually show up in your account.
And while you’re checking your receipt, might as well see if you were overcharged for anything.
Did you know that if you’re overcharged then you’re entitled to receive that item for free if it’s less than $10? For items costing more than $10 you’d get a discount of $10 off the sale price.
For details on this money saver, and the rest of my points earning strategies, tips and tricks, check out my book How To Earn PC Optimum Points Faster available on Amazon.
You don’t have to own a Kindle e-reader to read the eBook, the free Kindle app is available on iOS (Apple), Android, Mac and PC. Also, you can read eBooks in your browser with the Kindle Cloud Reader website.