Shopping Discussion

PC Plus (soon to be PC Optimum)Discussion Thread

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 21st, 2017 10:33 am
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2017
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funkynassau123 wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 11:17 pm
Thank you for your reply. I knew most of what you told me here. I understand how the PC Plus website works, loading offers etc. I have the app on my phone. I havent deleted the app or anything else yet, I'm just really PO'd at how they've changed something that worked perfectly for me. I dont want another credit card, I'd rather collect air miles with my Mastercard. It seems like things get changed and not always for the better.

Thanks!
To be honest, we don't have a PC MasterCard either. Like you I don't need another cc.

We swipe our PC Plus Red Card at the grocery store check out, and pay with another MasterCard that gets us different points. Easy Peasy.

Think that with the 2 Programs Merging, there will only be MORE OPPORTUNITES to earn & redeem, albeit slightly different from the old ways. In the long term I truly see this as a positive program going forward (unlike so many Loyalty Programs over the years that I've seen severely devalued or folded entirely)
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PointsHubby wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 11:25 pm
To be honest, we don't have a PC MasterCard either. Like you I don't need another cc.

We swipe our PC Plus Red Card at the grocery store check out, and pay with another MasterCard that gets us different points. Easy Peasy.
I've never tried it but presumably you don't need to carry a physical PC Plus/Opt card if you have a smartphone because they can scan in the account number from the app and record your points. Then use any credit card to pay for the purchase.

Other apps like Android Pay can also store the card number. Again, I'm just speculating but soon all this should be integrated so that one can pay at a Loblaws/SDM checkout with an Android Pay "tap" and automatically get points too.
Think that with the 2 Programs Merging, there will only be MORE OPPORTUNITES to earn & redeem, albeit slightly different from the old ways. In the long term I truly see this as a positive program going forward (unlike so many Loyalty Programs over the years that I've seen severely devalued or folded entirely)
That's how I see it as well. More options to collect points. More options to redeem them. For many, one fewer card to carry. There seem to be some wrinkles that disadvantage hard-core Optimum points collectors. We'll have to see how that unfolds. But all-in-all a step forward, especially for hard-core PC Plus collectors.
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bylo wrote:
Nov 9th, 2017 7:13 am
I've never tried it but presumably you don't need to carry a physical PC Plus/Opt card if you have a smartphone because they can scan in the account number from the app and record your points. Then use any credit card to pay for the purchase.

Other apps like Android Pay can also store the card number. Again, I'm just speculating but soon all this should be integrated so that one can pay at a Loblaws/SDM checkout with an Android Pay "tap" and automatically get points too.
Lol, a smart phone is only as smart as the programmer & user combined.

We started with the plastic card & key tag... and although we have the App & hence the PC Plus Card on our phones... After reading here on RFD about folks who found the bar code wasn't always registering properly... We've given the high tech option a pass for now.

Will revisit after the PC Optimum App rolls out
That's how I see it as well. More options to collect points. More options to redeem them. For many, one fewer card to carry. There seem to be some wrinkles that disadvantage hard-core Optimum points collectors. We'll have to see how that unfolds. But all-in-all a step forward, especially for hard-core PC Plus collectors.
We are medium to hard core Optimum Members. Currently spending somewhere around $ 400 annually, and cashing in once or 2x a year. A few years back we spent more, and cashed in at every bonus event. I would say though we still strategy shop and get back in that 30% or more range (when we spent more, we also got back more... Closer to 50% on a $ 600 to $ 800 annual spend).

Definitely was the best return on any points program that I've ever encountered.

So I get the reasoning on why the hard core collectors are skeptical.

But ya as someone who currently carries both cards... I'm really looking forward to seeing how things blend together vs stand alone. Will be great to be able to redeem at 2 stores vs just one
Newbie
Dec 7, 2016
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Thanks for all of the comments and you folks have given me food for thought :-) I am not sure how I will handle this, I think I need to wait til Feb. when the Shoppers change comes, not that I ever go there anyway! I live in a rural area and Shoppers is nowhere near me plus I find them expensive.

Thanks for taking the time to tell me how you handle things!
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bylo wrote:
Nov 9th, 2017 7:13 am
I've never tried it but presumably you don't need to carry a physical PC Plus/Opt card if you have a smartphone because they can scan in the account number from the app and record your points. Then use any credit card to pay for the purchase.
Only two situations I've found where you need the physical PC Plus card is if you want to earn points on gas by paying at the pump, or scan the card at the Loblaws self checkouts without waiting for assistance (since the scanners don't recognize the barcode from the PC Plus app for some reason). Although I've found the self-checkout will easily pick up a barcode from Android Pay, so I guess I really only carry the plastic card for one reason.
[OP]
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funkynassau123 wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 5:15 pm
Yes I know that now. It ended 6 mos or so ago, so the rep on the phone said. I did not know that til today as I was saving my points to buy something substantial, but now that's not going to happen. I may use my $215 worth of points at SuperStore for Xmas presents and then be done with it. I'd rather have air miles from my mastercard than be pushed into a PC Fin. credit card I dont want or need.
I rather have pc points than air miles. Have you seen the air miles fiasco thread around here?
First expiring miles then the devaluation then the cap on cash miles then there were reports of having their preferences moved to dream miles. Ummm.I don't know why you voluntarily sign up for that headache.


I'll move the stuff from points hubby's post later to the op. Don't have time atm.
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Dec 7, 2016
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It was over a year ago when Air Miles tried to make miles expire and that was later shot down and now they do NOT expire. I have had zero problems with air miles rewards, they dont get switched to dream miles, mine are air miles only. I've been collecting and using air miles for years with no problems. It's no headache to me at all.
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funkynassau123 wrote:
Nov 9th, 2017 4:13 pm
It was over a year ago when Air Miles tried to make miles expire and that was later shot down and now they do NOT expire. I have had zero problems with air miles rewards, they dont get switched to dream miles, mine are air miles only. I've been collecting and using air miles for years with no problems. It's no headache to me at all.
Ya that's my experience as well.

I think AirMiles biggest problem was a whole bunch of not well informed users.

It was by far Canada's largest Loyalty Program... At one time they claimed at least one card in every household.

It was also one of the oldest / longest running programs.

But consequently it had a lot of members who were casual users or hangers on (when you take years to accumulate 500+ AM you are not an active member. Period)

It costs admin money to run a program as big as Airmiles... Hanger Ons were costing the program lots of admin money with account maintenance / mail outs etc... And no return. So at the end of 2011 they announced that inactive accounts would expire IN 5 YEARS... The end of 2016.

Regular users got the info and shrugged, no big deal. Most Loyalty Programs have expiry dates... Fact if life.

Casual users & hanger ons did not read the notice... Cause well quite frankly they were not invested / actively engaged in the program.

FF to last Quarter 2016... And suddenly the Expiration of AirMiles is earth shattering front page news, cause the casual users & hanger ons wanted something for their dusty points.

And plenty of other folks misunderstood the media frenzy... And they too wanted to cash out (it was like a run on a bank)

Meanwhile the very dedicated users who were well informed shrugged it all off, as we had taken appropriate actions long ago... Like 5 years ago !!

Personally, we had actually opted to up our participation.. From Gold to Onyx. Points don't expire if you are Onyx. This was not a difficult move for us... We just switched around one cc, and slightly changed our banking habits (went from using our debit card, to using our cc ... Now a World Elite with 1 AM / $ 10). And making a point of putting the majority of our stuff onto the cc... Like regular monthly bills etc.

In our 2 person household we easily can make the 6000 annual points when we also add in our other spending that happened naturally at AM Suppliers (like the LCBO - Lowes etc).

We rarely "hunt down" points as so many claim ... On "over priced" products. We buy stuff we would buy anyways ON SALE or need / want (ie LCBO... Gotta pay those prices no matter what as they are the only game in town)

Only time of year we "hunt" or track heavily is during AM Bonus Events (like Mega Miles) then we are more aware of what's out there. And as a result now do most of our online shopping via AirMiles Shops.ca year round.

Results:

We kept all our points at the Expiry Date. We've moved up to Onyx which means more AM Benefits... Like less points for flights & vacations. Good service at Gold, got better at Onyx.

We did see a blip in things after the whole world was cashing out, and afterwards ... But we chose not to cash out during that time. And now things are pretty much back to normal.

We have not experienced problems booking things we want cause not only do we have access to the website & travel agency, but also the Personal Shopper. If I want 2 airline tickets at Christmas... I get can get them. They quote me a price, and then I decide if it is what I am willing to pay / cash in. Sometimes yes... Sometimes no.

Overall still a happy customer using our AM Account to plan great vacations at least once a year... Sometimes something short (getaway weekend with short hop flight) and at other times something bigger... Like a cruise for a special anniversary.

For us AirMiles is a no brainier. It is free. Doesn't cost me anything extra other than a wee bit of time a few times a year (MegaMiles) to track or plan what's on offer & where we are in our 6000 Annual AM accumulation.

People who opted out... Good for them, IMO all the better for the rest of us.
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PointsHubby wrote:
Nov 9th, 2017 8:43 pm
It was by far Canada's largest Loyalty Program... At one time they claimed at least one card in every household.
Believe it or not, I believe Optimum has that claim to fame. I could be wrong though.

Edit: Nope, you're right!
The company’s research found that 81 per cent of Canadian household shoppers belong to the Air Miles program, the most-held loyalty card in the country with 11 million active users, followed by Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum at 66 per cent, and Loblaw’s PC Plus at 65 per cent. Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd., which was not included in the BrandSpark data, said its loyalty program has 12 million active users.”
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It's a tie guys, Optimum and PC+ each have more than 10 million members, according to Loblaw's annual report. I wonder how many people have both, and how many members will be in the unified program?
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Dec 7, 2016
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Pointsubby I am gold Air Miles member. I did save up close to 20K in air miles and last winter used a 8800 of them for my husband and I to fly to Mexico and back. This Dec. I am using 2100 to fly to Mexico and I found a seat sale to return. In Feb. my husband and I are using air miles to go to Mexico again, return. I do a lot of online surveys that earn me air miles, all that requires of me is a bit of my time, so it's a great way to accumulate more air miles. I also use my BMO Mastercard to earn air miles, so they really do accumulate nicely if you play the game.
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lecale wrote:
Nov 9th, 2017 9:42 pm
It's a tie guys, Optimum and PC+ each have more than 10 million members, according to Loblaw's annual report. I wonder how many people have both, and how many members will be in the unified program?
This info was somewhere in yesterday's press stuff... May have been on that now missing / altered document that talked about them going to a one account manager per household... Cause I know it said something about there being so much work to send out notifications in BOTH programs when there was so much overlap of members (think their estimate was 7 million or so). Makes sense, if both programs currently have 10 million each.

At any rate they've changed the wording now on households (was street addresses) where more than 1 member resides, to the concept of a "Householder" Account of pooled points

Other loyalty programs have been adding pooled points options in the last few years as well (such as Hilton Honors) ... Something that Loyalty Customers have been asking for
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funkynassau123 wrote:
Nov 9th, 2017 9:57 pm
Pointsubby I am gold Air Miles member. I did save up close to 20K in air miles and last winter used a 8800 of them for my husband and I to fly to Mexico and back. This Dec. I am using 2100 to fly to Mexico and I found a seat sale to return. In Feb. my husband and I are using air miles to go to Mexico again, return. I do a lot of online surveys that earn me air miles, all that requires of me is a bit of my time, so it's a great way to accumulate more air miles. I also use my BMO Mastercard to earn air miles, so they really do accumulate nicely if you play the game.
Agree, that's our experience too.

Enjoy Mexico's sunshine this winter Smiling Face With Sunglasses
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PointsHubby wrote:
Nov 10th, 2017 12:16 am
At any rate they've changed the wording now on households (was street addresses) where more than 1 member resides, to the concept of a "Householder" Account of pooled points
That makes sense. One membership per address didn't make sense when I read it. That would have caused problems with e.g. adult children living at their parent's home, etc. (Although one could, um, address that with e.g. 123 Main St, Unit 1 and 123 Main St. Unit 2, etc.) Besides it's not clear what they're trying accomplish by forcing people to pool points. Offering pooling as a convenience to those families who want it, yes. But forcing it on them, nope.
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CorSter wrote:
Nov 9th, 2017 10:29 am
Only two situations I've found where you need the physical PC Plus card is if you want to earn points on gas by paying at the pump, or scan the card at the Loblaws self checkouts without waiting for assistance (since the scanners don't recognize the barcode from the PC Plus app for some reason). Although I've found the self-checkout will easily pick up a barcode from Android Pay, so I guess I really only carry the plastic card for one reason.
You can actually use the app on your phone at self checkout. You have to choose the physical card option but it scans the same.

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