Canada’s Favourite Points Program is Ending: Shoppers Optimum Points turns into PC Optimum

PC Optimum Program

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you must have heard that the Shoppers Optimum Points program will turn into the PC Optimum program.

I’m a very loyal Shoppers Drug Mart customer.  I like their logo, I like their clean design, I like their store hours, and I am aware that their prices sometimes are inflated compared to other stores… all this because I was addicted to their Shoppers Optimum Points program.  I even owned a few shares but then sold it before they got bought out by Loblaws.

I relished the 20x the Points Events, and would literally spend my Friday nights calculating how to exactly spend $50 before taxes on Saturday to get the 20x the points (sad, I know).  On the Saturday I would go into Shoppers with a mission, and check off all the things that I circled in the flyer (or in the Flipp app).

When I got my 95,000 Shoppers Optimum reward level, I would wander the beauty aisles, and think about what I could reward myself with.  When I got the notification that there was a “Redeem Your Points Event” where your points are worth more than they usually are worth (e.g. $200 for 95,000 points), I would spend my points.  Often I would save up my points for my skincare staples that I need to buy 1-2 times a year, like the Origins face masks and day creams which are often $55+ a pop.

This went on for years, I’m not sure how much I’ve redeemed, but it’s in probably the hundreds and maybe even thousands.

shoppers optimum started changing

Then, slowly, things started changing.  Loblaws, the grocery conglomerate owned by the uber wealthy Weston family, acquired Shoppers Drug Mart.  Their 20x the Points Events weren’t as frequent.  The Redeem Your Points Event weren’t as frequent.

There were small, noticeable changes, that seemed to prepare one for the big change to come and the big announcement to come.

First, there was the emails that asked you to do something.  It wasn’t passive anymore to acquire the points.  Shoppers Drug Mart would send me frequent emails, dangling their Shoppers Optimum points like a carrot.

If I ‘loaded my card’ from the email I would get 20x the points if I spent $50, and it was a secret promotion that only I was privy to (or so it seemed) on a day that WASN’T a Saturday!  Often the points offered weren’t very much but sometimes they were.  I would make a mental note to go and stop by to buy something to get the points but then I would forget about it because it was on a Wednesday and it’s hard to go shopping in the middle of the work week when I am so mentally drained.

Next, I noticed that the emails were similar to the PC Points program where you were asked to load your points or take action via an email.  I also noticed that the points offered were tailored to your spending habits.  For example, if I bought some diapers one week, the next week I would get an offer to get more points for buying diapers.

Finally, one day I saw something in their flyer that said that if you downloaded the Shoppers Optimum app, you would get another 2500 points (or something like that, I forgot the exact number).  I stood in the aisle of Shoppers for about 20 minutes trying to download the app before my 12% of battery on my iPhone ran out.  Then when I got to the cashier, she told me the offer was only valid if I downloaded the app and made my purchase on Saturday (it was a Sunday).

At that moment, I knew Loblaw’s had something up their sleeve with Shoppers Optimum and they were tracking my every move and spending habits, to see how far I would go to get more points.  They know I am a loyal Loblaw’s customer (how can one not be, they are everywhere in Canada) especially with my PC Financial World Elite MasterCard, which has saved me $470 in groceries alone in 2017.

the big announcement

In the early days of November 2017, there came the big announcement that Shoppers Optimum and PC Points were merging to become PC Optimum, which will occur on February 1, 2018.

At first I freaked out because I was worried that my Optimum points will be devalued.  Then I realized that they will match the value of the Shoppers Optimum Points to equal or more value.

This is what they are doing and it can all be found at their PC Optimum site:

  • Your Shoppers Optimum Points will be multiplied to 1.5x their value to match the PC Points value on February 1 2018
  • PC Points will continue to be 10,000 points for $10 but the redemption will be now 10,000 points instead of 20,000 points
  • Just one app now (I deleted the Shoppers Optimum app because I was annoyed I downloaded it for nothing but still have the PC Points app)
  • They will convert your points depending on your total number of points, not just the tier you are in- see the chart below from the PC Optimum site.

PC Optimum Conversion

As you can see, the conversion rate is DIFFERENT depending on the total number of points you have.  Which leads me to my next Public Service Announcement:

get as many shoppers optimum points as you can before february 1, 2018!

 

Unbeknownst to me at the last 20x the Points Event at the end of December 2017, I got 12,000 Shoppers Optimum points for spending $62 including tax and then hit the highest threshold, 95,000 points.  See this chart from the Murale website.

Shoppers Optimum Redemption

As you can see, if you have equal to or more than 95,000 points the conversation rate is the most favourable.  I hit 105,000 points and this is equal to almost $188.

If I were to redeem 95,000 points with the old Shoppers Optimum tier, I would get $170 off, but you can’t redeem for more than 95,000 at a time (unless you want to bump yourself into the lower tier).

Therefore, racking up as many points as possible before February 1 2018 makes sense because of their favourable conversion.

What happens after, I don’t know, and I have a feeling it won’t be as great of a program long term, but in the short term (the favourable conversion) it is great!

Readers, what do you think about the Shoppers Optimum and PC Points merger?  Are you anxious or optimistic?  

 

About genymoney

GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle.

14 comments on “Canada’s Favourite Points Program is Ending: Shoppers Optimum Points turns into PC Optimum

  1. Hi GYM, I have been hiding under a rock I guess. It’s a little cold, but I will be okay. Or maybe it’s just because I live in the US and was not aware of this situation. Seriously now….

    I generally think industry consolidation is a good thing from an investing standpoint as long as it is well though out and managed well. Big ifs. On the other hand, as a consumer I hate to see my favorite service and goods providers change the way they do business for fear of what I like about them will change.

    Tom
    Tom @ Dividends Diversify recently posted…The 1 Resolution I Would Make – If I Were You (Part 1)My Profile

    • @Tom- Haha 🙂 Sorry some of my posts are quite targeted towards Canadians, but thank you for visiting anyway kind sir. Loblaws is recently in the news because they ‘price fixed’ the bread prices and now they are offering a $25 gift card to people as a consolation.

  2. & I’m living under a rock with Tom as well! We get out once in a while, flinch at the sight of daylight…then crawl back in! I haven’t been a part of this shoppers point program, but am a part of another one my sister made me join. I do love the deals and supplies they have! But give it a side eye when I have a monthly point limit I must reach to get the deals. Sooooooo naturally, I cheat the system. I ask friends what they want to go in on all under my account. It’s a little extra work being the coordinator of it all, delivering their purchases if I can’t have it directly shipped to them – but worth it. I’m not even buying this month in January, as they are, but still getting the points! Which, we do share as well to keep it fair. Good run breakdown of points- makes me want to look into further deals!

  3. Hi GYM, My wife does all of the shopping and she is not impressed with the new changes. She usually saves her points and cashes them in twice a year, once in the spring to stock our RV and December for Christmas extra’s. I will get her to read your article. Thanks

    • @steve- Thanks! I’m disappointed as well with the new changes but they were bound to happen for Loblaws to streamline everything. All she needs to know is to get to the top tier and up (95000) before February 1 2018 rolls around 😉

  4. Hey GYM!

    My fiance tracks all of our optimum points (I guess I should call it his since I don’t really look at it haha).

    But yeah, when the news came out about the merge, I didn’t really feel much because I never look at the points. My fiance would usually be the one aware of the 20x ads on the flyers and any other deals haha… I know, it’s so strange because it’s usually the female that pays attention to this right? >.<

    And with the PC points, my fiance gave up on that one because every time we go to the real Canadian superstore to buy groceries and use our points card, we never get any points for the stuff we buy it seems… like, not even 1 pt 😐
    fin$savvy panda @ finsavvypanda.com recently posted…Two Secrets to Crushing Your New Year Goals – Solid Advice From Warren BuffettMy Profile

    • @fin$savvy Panda- Haha, your fiancee sounds great! You guys make a great team!!

      OKAY so that TOTALLY happened to me for about 1-2 years with the PC Points- it irritated me all the time. I gave up on it because it was so annoying and I didn’t know why. Then I finally called them and asked what’s up. The thing is that you have to ALLOW them to email you (log in and say ‘yes’ to being contacted). They email you weekly to say “load your offers now”. Then you just click it and then you will get the offers. Now I get the offers (it’s like 200 points if you buy beef or something like that). It doesn’t sway me to buy beef and I don’t even look at the offers unless they are for diapers.

      The PC Financial MC I find, is a better way to earn points and it’s free. I’ve gotten $470 back in 2017 from groceries because they give you 3 points per $1 on Loblaws brand groceries. You can also use it as a PC Points card (it links to your card).

      Unfortunately we shop Loblaws a lot (City Market, No Frills, and the occasional trip to Superstore if we want to feel claustrophobic and frustrated with crowds). I say unfortunately because they did the price fixing for bread and that doesn’t seem ethical. Here’s the review:

      https://www.genymoney.ca/pc-financial-world-elite-mastercard-review/

  5. Haha Thanks for the write up! I just told my fiancé and he said “omg they do email me” and every time I go to buy the offer, I get nothing… he just realized about the “load your offers now.”

    I think he gave up and just never bothered… but it makes sense now. That’s odd… why would we need them to email us and have us to click it and load offers now. That’s just creating a hassle to the consumer! Consumers in general wouldn’t be smart enough to go into the email and click that. Lol

    I’m guessing both you and your husband are going to claim for the $25 gift card? But even $25 per customer doesn’t justify the unethical practice…
    fin$avvy panda @ finsavvypanda.com recently posted…Two Secrets to Crushing Your New Year Goals – Solid Advice From Warren BuffettMy Profile

    • @fin$avvy panada- I know it doesn’t make sense, it’s annoying. They also make you download the PC Points app (which I have now, it’s not bad you can see how many points you accumulated with which transaction). We haven’t decided yet but I did sign up with the email to await further instructions.

  6. Thanks for the info GYM. Shoppers is probably the only point system I have actually been hooked too. A couple of times I have even let my two daughters use the points (like a shopping spree at no cost to me! Well sort of). I have been getting all kinds of emails but really didn’t pay attention to them, glad you summarized it all:) I have to admit, I always tried to use the point on the redeem your point event but I must have missed them all last year! I have well over 95000 points so glad to know I am all good.
    Caroline recently posted…The Frozen Pipe That Broke The Landlord’s BackMy Profile

    • @Caroline- Haha, I let my sisters pick a few items too on previous redemptions. I bet your daughters loved those events! Their emails are annoying they email almost every day, like a dog conditioned to Pavlovian response, I open them and review them haha. There weren’t that many last year, they have decreased- maybe there was 1 or 2! It used to be more frequent.

  7. I’m going to miss the bubble balls dropping down when you check your points balance in the Shoppers app(you can then shake it like a snow globe). Yes it’s been a steady wind down of disappointment starting for me 2 years ago when they changed the spend your points promo. It WAS Get $210 for $170. They changed it to spend $170 Get $40 of points. At first glance it seems the same (210 vs 210). But it was shopper shock the first year because people piled up $210 worth of stuff in their cart and the poor cashier had to explain it to every person that they get $170 and then later they get more points. However after analyzing it I figured out the $40 worth of points was actually worth more if you have a top tier balance. (What will we do with all the time freed up that we spent calculating and scheming our points strategy). I totally agree that building points balance is the right plan but I figure they will offer very few earning deals in the next few weeks and will have more spend events.
    Susan recently posted…Two Secrets to Crushing Your New Year Goals – Solid Advice From Warren BuffettMy Profile

    • @Susan- I never had the Shoppers app (deleted it out of spite after I downloaded and didn’t get any extra points haha), but sounds like I’m missing out with the bubble ball! I remember reading the spend $170 get $40 of points- that’s not the same but they are trying to make it seem the same– good to know that it’s actually worth more if you’re in the top tier! They have still be sending me some 20x points emails recently, so I’m still going to try and accumulate until the points conversion happens.

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