Author Topic: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?  (Read 1649 times)

meghan88

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PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« on: April 21, 2018, 05:13:14 PM »
Trying to get the hang of the new PC Optimum points program since the change in February.

Here's what I've learned:

- if you spend points at Shoppers, you don't get points on what you've bought, except on the delta between the pre-tax dollars you spend.  In other words:  Spend $41.20 total on taxable items ($36.46 before tax), and you can "spend" $30 max in points to only pay $11.20.  Which then means you only get 90 points (10 points for the $9.00+ of pre-tax $ spent, I guess).

- if you spend points at Loblaws grocery stores, AND you are buying items that earn points, you still get those points.  Even if you buy for $31 and spend $30 worth of points.

- if you save some offers for the next week, such that you have double points offers for the same item, you get double the points on that item!!

- however, if you have a "bonus points" offer at Loblaws stores - e.g., get 3,000 points for every $30 you spend - then you WON'T get those bonus points if you spend your points in that same transaction.

- PC points offers are good at Shoppers as well as at Loblaws grocery stores.  I can buy Oikos yogurt at Shoppers when it's 2/$7.00 and still get 600 points per tub, plus points on the $ value.

Conclusions I've drawn:

- earn points at Shoppers but don't spend them there.

- spend all points at Loblaws grocery stores, EXCEPT when there's a bonus points event for spending a specific amount.

- some points offers actually extend to things you usually buy, even if they don't appear to do so.  For example, we buy PC Organics extra virgin olive oil and the offer was for PC Organics canola oil, and we buy X-large organic free range eggs and the points offer was for free run eggs.  Got the bonus points in both cases.

- save multiple offers for subsequent weeks and earn double or triple the points for buying one item.

The above things are not something you can learn by reading the rules, AFAIK.  And, I really hope that this continues ... so ... I guess I'm taking a chance by posting.

Any other tips out there??

daverobev

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2018, 05:39:55 PM »
"however, if you have a "bonus points" offer at Loblaws stores - e.g., get 3,000 points for every $30 you spend - then you WON'T get those bonus points if you spend your points in that same transaction."

I don't think that's true. IIRC I spent $20+ on produce at No Frills, redeemed $40 (and paid $5), and still got the bonus 2k points this week.

I haven't got ANY of my 'normal' offers from before the changeover for my grocery shopping - just Shoppers stuff, and a load of stuff nobody here sells (I only go to No Frills and Shoppers). Hoping it'll ping back to normal soon.
Chase SouthWest Visa if you get to 110k points, you get a companion pass - you can get 40k from this sign up offer (spend 1k), and another 60k from the business version. I'm working on getting this myself!

Dee

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2018, 06:08:03 PM »
PTF - having some trouble getting the groove of the combined PC points. I used to be pretty strategic at optimum points but now I'm a lot less sure about what I'm doing... but I do like that I can get produce and other healthy food with my points because that's the type of thing where there are usually few coupons. I think I have been doing groceries at Loblaws family stores more since this program started than before but I'd like to feel like I have a better grasp of what's going on.

meghan88

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2018, 04:48:17 PM »
"however, if you have a "bonus points" offer at Loblaws stores - e.g., get 3,000 points for every $30 you spend - then you WON'T get those bonus points if you spend your points in that same transaction."

I don't think that's true. IIRC I spent $20+ on produce at No Frills, redeemed $40 (and paid $5), and still got the bonus 2k points this week.

I haven't got ANY of my 'normal' offers from before the changeover for my grocery shopping - just Shoppers stuff, and a load of stuff nobody here sells (I only go to No Frills and Shoppers). Hoping it'll ping back to normal soon.

Hmm, well, I'll have to try that.  Before the programs merged, I used to not be able to spend points and still get the "spend $X and get $X,000 points."

I've heard tales of offers being different and less useful since the merge, but happily this hasn't happened to me.  Do you regularly go through and delete offers for things you'd never buy?  I do, and this might help to free up some space for useful offers.  Or, maybe write to them and ask why you're no longer getting the same offers?

Step37

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2018, 08:01:15 PM »
I should definitely follow this, because so far Iím a big failure! I picked up some stuff at Shoppers for my grandmother yesterday and ended up $6-8 short of the $40 needed for 10,000 bonus points. I basically threw away a FREE $10 for a future purchase. I wasnt even spending my own money to get these points! I for sure could have bought her a second pack of paper towel and some extra candies for her dish and hit the mark. I need to think smarter (and faster) in these situations. Grrrr. 🙄

Also, my husband missed (by two days only!!) jumping through the final hoops for the $25 bread card. I at least got mine, but $35 thrown away by carelessness in the space of two weeks really annoys me.
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Dee

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2018, 08:29:19 PM »
Sorry your husband missed the cut off, Step37, but your post just prompted me to remember to register for my Loblaws one - the deadline for that is May 8. Hopefully, I'll jump through all the required hoops and get my partner to do so as well.

Step37

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2018, 09:30:14 PM »
Hmmm, this was for the Loblaws card. Maybe he can start over from the beginning since he didnít complete the process. I will ask him to check. I am happy to take any free groceries I can get!
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andreamac

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2018, 01:04:49 PM »
I have been earning some pretty good points since I need to buy baby formula and diapers. I wait to see diapers that go on sale at shoppers since they are a terrible price along with a 20X points event and buy milk and eggs there as well since they are usually cheap. Also review the grocery section and pickup items that are on sale. Redeemed my points a few weeks ago when they had get 20% more for your points, win win! Trying to buy everything reasonably priced at shoppers on 20x point days as much as possible. This reminds me I need to make my list for Saturday!

Prairie Gal

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2018, 04:02:30 PM »
I have never gotten the hang of the PC points. They never seem to amount to a hill of beans. I have the credit card, but I don't like using it because they pi$$ed me off royally a few years ago. Long story.

I did get the $25 bread card. Must remember to use it.

jambongris

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2018, 09:00:31 AM »
We’ve found the PC Insiders program to be very worthwhile. I think you may need a PC Mastercard to join.

It’s $99/year and for that you get:
- $99 travel credit at PC Travel
- 20% back in points on diapers/wipes (this amounts to about $100 back per year for us)
- 20% back on PC Organics (I don’t usually buy PC Organics but I’ll grab them if they’ve been reduced)
- 20% back in points on Joe Fresh (I don’t really buy clothes there but maybe you do).

There may be a few others as well. Between the credit card, the app and the PC Insiders program we’re doing pretty well. We’re on pace this year to get enough points to cover ~20% of our grocery spending.

A few years ago we also won a lot of points after buying a certain brand of yogurt and unknowingly being entered into a draw. That was a nice surprise.

I also try and fill out the online questionnaire every few times I go. I think the prize is a few thousand dollars/points.

meghan88

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2018, 09:33:37 AM »
Yesterday I bought $34 worth of groceries, spent 30K in points, and got 11K in bonus points.  All for stuff that was on sale and I would've bought anyway.

Our local store is not the cheapest place to shop, but if you game the system with extra points and bonus points, it brings the price down to the level where we actually save $ by shopping there.

The best hack so far is saving offers for subsequent weeks and then doubling up on points (or tripling) when the same offer appears again.

Case in point:  PC Organics butter.  Went on sale for $4.49 (still expensive).  Got 1800 from two points offers on it, which effectively brought the price down to $2.69.  Much better.

Dee

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2018, 06:35:31 PM »
This program is not endearing itself to me. I currently have a 20x points offer at Shoppers Drug Mart that is simultaneously billed as "in 2 days" and "available in a day". Thanks for the clarity, there PC Optimum!

debbie does duncan

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2018, 09:35:40 AM »
ALWAYS CHECK your rcpt for rewards points as sometimes they are not there! Suprize.
I was watching for a large amt of pts and had to go to customer service to get them.
 2# Some times the points you get at Shoppers disappear .... days later. Save the Shoppers rcpt too!

The Fake Cheap

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2018, 06:18:50 PM »
I think before the whole Loblaw's buying Shopper's thing, you could buy a Shoppers gift card at Shopper's, get the Optimum points for buying the gift card, then use the gift card for your purchases at Shopper's and also get the points for the items, so you are essentially doubling the points.  Not sure if it still works this way since the Loblaw's take over, but it might.

Another side note with Shopper's is to always check your receipt to make sure they charged you correctly.  I find they are innaccurate about 25% of the time, at least the one I frequent is.  Shopper's follows the Scanning Code of Practice, so if you are charged incorrectly at the cash, you get the item free, or $10 off which ever is less. 

HenryDavid

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2018, 02:47:12 AM »
What do people buy in this store?
Serious question.
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daverobev

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2018, 08:31:59 AM »
What do people buy in this store?
Serious question.

Shoppers?

Milk. Stuff that is on sale.

If you have a 20x multiplier (say, for spending $50), that is 30% back in points (that you can redeem at No Frills, say). So even if diapers are more expensive than at No Frills, once you take 30% off they often aren't.

Coffee tins are $7 sometimes. Again, stack with a multiplier. VERY little is worth buying there unless you are getting a multiplier.
Chase SouthWest Visa if you get to 110k points, you get a companion pass - you can get 40k from this sign up offer (spend 1k), and another 60k from the business version. I'm working on getting this myself!

okits

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2018, 03:43:30 PM »
What do people buy in this store?
Serious question.

Since Loblaws bought Shoppers the Shoppers stores have been trying to break into the fresh foods space.  I used to get lots of half-priced meat, produce, and ready-made pies and quiches. 

I buy milk there, and their sales on cream, butter, free-range eggs, and cheese can be good.  Oftentimes less than at Loblaws.

For years I did the diapers-bonus-points dance @andreamac described but I just got so tired of hauling the boxes home by hand that I've switched to Amazon (comparable in cost and a time-saver). 

One kid was prescribed a special formula that was similarly expensive everywhere so we bought that at Shoppers during bonus points events.

I found some toys sold at Shoppers can be significantly under-priced (it's not a category they specialize in).  Helpful for friends' birthdays.

Clearance prices can be good. 

A gauntlet of sidewalk closures means I don't visit my local store as often but I used to shop there regularly.

meghan88

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2018, 11:56:57 AM »
Way to go, okits and daverobev - that's the way to get the most out of points.  Last week at our local Valumart there was a good special price plus points on something we needed, plus I had an offer that gave me 3,000 points for every $30 spent.

I'm allowed to save up to four offers from one week to the next, which I will do.  Then sometimes I get the same offer the following week in addition to the one I saved, and this results in double the points.

Bought a whole bunch of PC free-from chicken on sale and had double the points on offer, which brought the price well below the ultra-cheapo stuff.  We threw it all on the grill and had chicken for salads and sandwiches all week, and also froze some too.

Valumart and Shoppers can be very expensive stores, otherwise, and we never buy the regular-priced stuff.

okits

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2018, 12:21:21 PM »
I've never saved coupons for a future week.  I'm going to try it!  Thank you for the tip.  :)

meghan88

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2018, 03:00:49 PM »
I also delete the offers that I'm never likely to use.  I find that this helps focus the offers they send me to things that are actually relevant to me.

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #20 on: Today at 01:08:54 AM »
Has no one mentioned 20x points events?!  Those are amazing now that you can spend them at Superstore.  It works out to around 25% off the total spend (adding the initial spend for points plus the redemption goods).  Combined with items on sale, it is a very good deal.

At shoppers, to generate the $75 needed, I buy butter, milk, eggs, pizza or frozen fruit on sale, cookies on sale, sometimes soda/iced tea.  I watch for the other items like coffee or cereal or tinned fish.  I will buy the gift cards that I give to my grandma and mom who really like the name brand ones instead of a gift, as they are the same price everywhere.  And of course no name allergy meds and cold medicine.

They recently had very good bonus points and sale on Sunscreen (with the 20x points), and if you are careful to only shop with 20x points days, some of the shampoo works out cheaper.   Usually these items are 20% more than other stores, so you need to know your prices in beauty.

Really, eggs and butter are the cheapest at superstore, and often the cookies (which we don't need but buy anyway).

daverobev

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Re: PC Optimum hacks - for Canadians - any other tips?
« Reply #21 on: Today at 06:23:09 AM »
Has no one mentioned 20x points events?!  Those are amazing now that you can spend them at Superstore.  It works out to around 25% off the total spend (adding the initial spend for points plus the redemption goods).  Combined with items on sale, it is a very good deal.

At shoppers, to generate the $75 needed, I buy butter, milk, eggs, pizza or frozen fruit on sale, cookies on sale, sometimes soda/iced tea.  I watch for the other items like coffee or cereal or tinned fish.  I will buy the gift cards that I give to my grandma and mom who really like the name brand ones instead of a gift, as they are the same price everywhere.  And of course no name allergy meds and cold medicine.

They recently had very good bonus points and sale on Sunscreen (with the 20x points), and if you are careful to only shop with 20x points days, some of the shampoo works out cheaper.   Usually these items are 20% more than other stores, so you need to know your prices in beauty.

Really, eggs and butter are the cheapest at superstore, and often the cookies (which we don't need but buy anyway).

Gift cards don't count towards 20x.

20x = 30% off.

You just have to be really aware of how much you're being overcharged by Shoppers in the first place. I spent $35 to get $10 back the other week and actually it wasn't all that great, because I bought nappies at normal price ($23 I think) rather than sale price, which was on the next flyer ($18) in order to reach the $35.

Butter, milk, eggs absolutely. Frozen fruit 2 for $7 isn't bad, sadly the store close to us doesn't stock the stuff we eat, just raspberries (almost there in our garden now anyway!) and strawberries. Fizzy drinks - $1 for 2l, you just can't beat that when that happens.
Chase SouthWest Visa if you get to 110k points, you get a companion pass - you can get 40k from this sign up offer (spend 1k), and another 60k from the business version. I'm working on getting this myself!