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.
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.
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?