"Official" Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Points discussion
First and foremost, for these points to really be valuable, you have to maintain an attitude that the money you spend to EARN points is REAL money: only buy what you want at reasonable prices, and that the points you REDEEM are ALSO REAL MONEY, so DON'T redeem points for crap you don't want or need because you COULD be redeeming them for things like food for your starving children!
Edit: December 2, 2015: If you using the app or "loading offers to your card", do everyone a favour and DON'T just automatically click the "load offer" button to load up all the offers. DON'T LOAD BAD OFFERS. Offers for items you're not interested in, or offers like "Spend $100 and get (only) 18500 points" because hopefully that will teach their computers not to offer crap bonuses!
REDEMPTION LEVELS AND POINTS VALUES AS OF JUNE 2015
Spend 95,000 points get $170 + 30,000 points back is the best redemption value.
These figures assume 95,000 points for $170 as "100% redemption"
The first table is just the points redemption value and therefore cents per point at various levels
[tr][td]points[/td][td]cents value[/td][td]percentage[/td][td]cents per point[/td][td]desc[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]65000[sup]*[/sup][/td][td]17000[/td][td]146.153846153846[/td][td]0.261538461538462[/td][td]redeem 95000 get 30000 points[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]80000[/td][td]17000[/td][td]118.75[/td][td]0.2125[/td][td]reduced points redemption[/td][/tr]
[sup]*[/sup]Technically, redeem 95000 and get 30000 back in a few days: so you have to actually have 95000 to get this.
This table shows some common bonus points coupon amounts and how much they're worth at the three highest tiers (the "mega redemption" of 95,000 points for $225 is so rare it's not included below)
[tr][td]points offer[/td][td]$ Value @ $200[/td][td]$ Value @ $170[/td][td]$ Value @$170 with 30000 back[/td][/tr]
Coupons I've received
3000 points for spending $20 on Candy
7000 points for buying 40 Reactine capsules (worked on sale-priced bonus 40+20 package)
8000 points for spending $40 on anything
18500 points for spending $75 on anything (sometimes only on Beauty products)
22000 points for spending $100 on anything
20x points for spending $50 or more (10000 points on $50)
16000 points for spending $60 on anything
100 points for Twizzlers
Here's a "cost per point" table for some of the basics i.e. for an offer with a minimum spend, this is how much you have to spend per point... sorted in ascending order of "spend per point".
[tr][td]Points[/td][td]Minimum Spend (cents)[/td][td]cents per point[/td][/tr]
* this is the "spend minimum of $50 get 20x points minimum... but the "cost per point" doesn't change if you spend more than $50.
I don't even load the "Spend $100 get 18500 points" onto my card. That'll let Shoppers know what I think of that. Most people will just load every coupon onto their card... but if you don't load 'bad offers', or ones that you're not interested in, it tells Shoppers which ones you're interested in, and especially if they are offering relatively poor offers like 18500 points when you spend $100.
Some of the above coupons are good for a single day, sometimes good for a whole week, so if you have a coupon good for an entire week, it is possible you can redeem a "bonus points for spending" coupon (especially the 20x points) on the same day as a "bonus redemption" day. By doing so, you can score a bunch of points even when redeeming points. I bought my XBOne+Kinect redeeming 95000 points for $200 on a bonus redemption day, and used a 20X points coupon on the amount over $200 (which was $300) so I got 60,000 bonus points too, which are worth about $130 on a bonus redemption day... so that's a $170 XBox One with Kinect (I always accrue points only on items I actually want AND are on sale, so for me, the points have real value like cash.)
So, for example, the common "Spend $75 get 18,500 points" would be worth $48.38 if redeemed on a "Redeem 95,000 get $170 + 30,000 Points" day. So, that coupon sort of makes everything you by at SDM that day less than half price, so long as when you redeem your 95,000 points and get 30,000 back, you redeem it for something you need or want, not just "because it's free". You must remember the points have value and the money you spend to gain them can't be disregarded when you redeem them!
Question: The fine print on the Optimum Loyalty Program agreement says the agreement terminates at the end of 2016. Are they canceling the Optimum program in favour of PC Plus (since SDM was acquired by Loblaws)?
Answer: the consensus is that this date is there so SDM can update the binding terms regularly or have an out to cancel the Optimum program altogether, but many RFDers have printed agreements with different dates as far out as 2016, and there has been no official statement that the plan is changing or being done away with.
Question: can you redeem multiple-tiers or multiples of the same tier on one purchase? for example, if I hit the bonus points days enough over the course of a few months, I will get up to the current maximum redemption of 95,000 points times 2 = 190,000 points. Can I redeem 190,000 points on, say a "95000 for $200" bonus redemption day to score $400 off a PS4 or XBox One?
Answer: technically, no: you can redeem one "tier", you must have items worth that tier and you can not combine multiple tiers on one purchase for items costing more than one tier even if you have the points... but there is a workaround: buy a big ticket item with points, return it and the points are refunded as a Shoppers gift card. Then rebuy the item with the gift card and redeem more points. Doing this may flag your account in some way, so it's not recommended.
Question: do you have to pay tax on the pre-redemption amount when you redeem points, or is tax charged on the amount after the redemption value is deducted?
Answer: The former: tax is calculated on the full amount to get the "total owing", then any points redeemed are considered like cash. Said another way, the points are not redeemed as a "discount" off the item: the cost of the items plus tax is calculated, then the points value is deducted. This contradicts the way some coupons are worded: I've seen it written as "pre-tax amount" which is just plain wrong according to the way it is done in practice.
Question: do you score points when you redeem them? Say I buy something for $200 and redeem $50 so I only end up paying $150: do I get new points on $150 or $200?
Answer: You only get points on the amount that was paid, not the redeemed points too. So in the above example you get points on the $150. If you have a coupon for bonus points like "20x points over $50", you can redeem points and get bonus points too... so if buying an item like an gaming console, tablet, computer, etc., you could redeem points on a bonus redemption day and maybe you'll have a valid coupon for bonus points on the difference above the redemption amount... super bonus! :-)
Question: What the heck is going on with this new "Load offers to card" mess?
Answer: It's a mess. Offers get loaded to your card, and then the receipt shows the offer being redeemed, but you might not get the points because the "coupons don't stack" or whatever. I purchased a $300 item on "Redeem 95,000 for $170 get 30,000 points" day and I had a printed "Spend $75 earn 18,500 points" coupon sent to me, so I redeemed the 95,000 points so my $300 purchase was still $130 to pay cash, so I used the coupon. Even though the receipt showed the two "coupons" were redeemed, and there was no "coupon rejected" error on screen or on the receipt, after the 18,500 points didn't show up on my account, I phoned customer service and I was told that the "Spend $75 get 18,500 points" coupon won't stack, despite confirming the acceptance of both coupons before finalizing the sale. That's $40 worth of points that I was denied, making for $63 in points earned (the 30,000) rather than the amount for 48,500 ($102) in points. $40 bucks is nothing to sneeze at, so I'm returning the console and getting my cash back (which was $170 because tax is added to the pre-redemption amount) and getting my points back as a gift card.
Question: If I have multiple different "bonus points" coupons, I can only use one: which is best?
Answer: this gets a bit messy in terms of "precision" because some bonus points coupons ADD to regular points, some REPLACE regular points... but if your choices are
- Redeem XXXXX points get YYYYY back
- Spend $xx get YYYYY points
- Spend $xx get 20x points
But if you're buying a big-ticket item, and / or redeeming points on a bonus redemption day and want to use a coupon for the amount above the value of the redeemed points, then it depends how much above the coupon "minimum purchase" you are.
It's complicated because some bonus points are "additional" to your normal points, others "replace" your normal points. I'm not sure if the 20x coupon is "instead of" or "in addition to" regular points, because I don't have a coupon or a recent receipt where a 20x coupon was used, so what follows may not be exactly correct!
If you have a "Spend $50 and get 20x points" you spend $50 and get 10000 points. You don't ALSO get 500 "regular points" for spending $50.
When you use a "Spend $75 and get 18500 bonus points" coupon, you get 18500 points, but you also get 750 regular points. This is 19250 points. To get 19250 points with a 20x coupon, you have to spend $96.25... but if you actually DO spend $96.25, that's more "regular" points with the other coupon... this "feedback" stops favouring the "spend $75 and get 18500 points back" at ~$97.30.
So, if you've got a "Spend $75 and get 18500 bonus points" coupon and a "20x points" coupon, if you spend less than $97.30, you get more points from the "18500" coupon than you do with the "20x points" coupon.
If you want to do something like "Redeem 95000 points for $170 get 30000 points back", that 30000 points is equivalent to spending $150 with a "20x points" coupon. If the amount above the $170 is more than $150 (i.e. the item you want to purchase is more than $320) and you have a 20x coupon (that doesn't stack with the "redeem 95000 get 30000 back"), you're actually better off just redeeming the 95000 points at $170 (regular redemption rate without getting the "30000 points back") and getting 20x points on the remainder. For example, if you are buying an XBox One for $400, and use "redeem 95000 for $170 and get 30000 points back", you get 30000 points + regular points for the amount over the $170 redemption (which for $230 would be 2300 points) for a total of 32300 points. If you just forego the "get 30000 points back" and use a 20x points coupon, for that extra $230 you would earn 46000 points (just under 50% more points). It's a bit messy, but if the coupon choices are "Redeem 95000 for $170 and get 30000 back" or "20x points", if your purchases / items have a value of more than $321.65 (or $151.65 after $170 redemption), you will earn more points with a 20x points coupon than you would taking advantage of "Redeem 95000 for $170 and get 30000 points back".