Shopping Discussion

Loblaw & Optimum points vs Empire & Scene+ points vs ?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 10th, 2022 4:37 pm

Poll: What's the better combo?

  • Total votes: 28. You have voted on this poll.
Loblaw stores + Optimum points
 
26
93%
Empire stores + Scene+ points
 
1
4%
Metro stores + Airmiles points
 
0
0%
Other
 
1
4%
[OP]
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Jul 13, 2014
4974 posts
2604 upvotes
Parry Sound

Loblaw & Optimum points vs Empire & Scene+ points vs ?

I typically shop at No Frills and collect a ton of Optimum points using their weekly offers combined with the World Elite MasterCard (3%).

I decided to check out the FreshCo this week and noticed a lot of their items are slightly cheaper than No Frills and they have a better selection of produce.

The Scotia Gold card offers 6% back at Empire stores for a $120 annual fee.


I'm curious what RFD prefers.
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8 replies
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
23534 posts
22496 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
MayorOfToronto wrote: I typically shop at No Frills and collect a ton of Optimum points using their weekly offers combined with the World Elite MasterCard (3%).

I decided to check out the FreshCo this week and noticed a lot of their items are slightly cheaper than No Frills and they have a better selection of produce.

The Scotia Gold card offers 6% back at Empire stores for a $120 annual fee.


I'm curious what RFD prefers.
Honestly …

Three very different programs …
Providing different types of rewards
And how to gain from them

So it’s like comparing …
Apples to Oranges to Bananas

Domestic, Foreign, Exotic

PC Optimum … really only good at PCO Affiliated Retailers
PC+ Loblaws Group - SDM - Esso
Great for day to day expenses

Scene+ … a larger group of Partners
Points can be used for Entertainment, Dining, Groceries, etc

Airmiles … an even larger group of Partners
Some InStore, a lot on line affiliates
Points are best used for Travel
But can also be redeemed for stuff in just about every category imaginable
And then some …
Once you take into account the Onyx Personal Shopper
(One guy even redeemed for a car )

The only thing these 3 have in common the way you’ve asked
Is they all have grocery store partners

If your question is actually about saving money on groceries
Then the answer is simple

It’s KNOW YOUR PRICES
And buy only on sale when items are at their lowest price mark in a Retailers Low - Medium - High cycle

Use points programs to augment those savings
By STACKING promos / offer opportunities on top of sales

But what it really looks to me like what you are asking is about is Credit Cards
That’s a whole other ball of wax
And why RFD has a FORUM that’s just dedicated to analyzing them
And figuring out which is a better deal than others

credit-cards-f189/

And … it may not be any of them tied to these Reward Programs
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Aug 14, 2001
4893 posts
3414 upvotes
Yesva Scotia
Team Optimum!

Superstore/NoFrills/SDM > Sobeys/Lawtons
😱
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 13, 2014
4974 posts
2604 upvotes
Parry Sound
PointsHubby wrote: Honestly …

Three very different programs …
Providing different types of rewards
And how to gain from them

So it’s like comparing …
Apples to Oranges to Bananas

Domestic, Foreign, Exotic

PC Optimum … really only good at PCO Affiliated Retailers
PC+ Loblaws Group - SDM - Esso
Great for day to day expenses

Scene+ … a larger group of Partners
Points can be used for Entertainment, Dining, Groceries, etc

Airmiles … an even larger group of Partners
Some InStore, a lot on line affiliates
Points are best used for Travel
But can also be redeemed for stuff in just about every category imaginable
And then some …
Once you take into account the Onyx Personal Shopper
(One guy even redeemed for a car )

The only thing these 3 have in common the way you’ve asked
Is they all have grocery store partners

If your question is actually about saving money on groceries
Then the answer is simple

It’s KNOW YOUR PRICES
And buy only on sale when items are at their lowest price mark in a Retailers Low - Medium - High cycle

Use points programs to augment those savings
By STACKING promos / offer opportunities on top of sales

But what it really looks to me like what you are asking is about is Credit Cards
That’s a whole other ball of wax
And why RFD has a FORUM that’s just dedicated to analyzing them
And figuring out which is a better deal than others

credit-cards-f189/

And … it may not be any of them tied to these Reward Programs
You're right. This is more about maximizing rewards (points, cashback, etc) than savings.

Not necessarily credit card rewards, but perhaps this would be better in the CC section.
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Deal Expert
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Jan 9, 2011
15829 posts
21580 upvotes
Vancouver
This is a minority opinion around here, but I think the PCO program sucks. On your grocery spending, you get points on only the tiny amount of items in your weekly personal offers list. On everything else you buy, you get zilch. In my last two months of spending more than $500 at No Frills, I've earned a grand total of 500 points worth 50¢. A rather insulting 0.1% return. Sure you can rack up huge numbers of points by buying things you wouldn't otherwise buy, just because there is a points promotion on them. But that's not saving you money, it's a trick to get you to spend more.

Loyalty programs at other places might have a higher return, but that is cancelled out by the stores being more expensive.

I continue to shop at No Frills because it has the best loyalty program of all: LOWER PRICES. Any retailer that can consistently give me the best price will win my loyalty, especially if they can do it without points or apps or other silly games.
[OP]
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Jul 13, 2014
4974 posts
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Parry Sound
Kiraly wrote: This is a minority opinion around here, but I think the PCO program sucks. On your grocery spending, you get points on only the tiny amount of items in your weekly personal offers list. On everything else you buy, you get zilch. In my last two months of spending more than $500 at No Frills, I've earned a grand total of 500 points worth 50¢. A rather insulting 0.1% return. Sure you can rack up huge numbers of points by buying things you wouldn't otherwise buy, just because there is a points promotion on them. But that's not saving you money, it's a trick to get you to spend more.

Loyalty programs at other places might have a higher return, but that is cancelled out by the stores being more expensive.

I continue to shop at No Frills because it has the best loyalty program of all: LOWER PRICES. Any retailer that can consistently give me the best price will win my loyalty, especially if they can do it without points or apps or other silly games.
The PC WE would give you 3% return on top of any weekly Optimum offers if you quality (80k income). The regular PC card offers 1% and the World offers 2%.

I used to typically get more than 3% when combining the WE card with weekly offers. Sometimes even up to 10% back. Or I'd use their special spend and earn events such as 40x at Shoppers.

However, I've noticed for the past couple of months they haven't been giving me any good offers. It's usually for things I've never bought and would never buy.

This is why I decided to check out FreshCo.
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Deal Expert
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Jan 9, 2011
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Vancouver
MayorOfToronto wrote: The PC WE would give you 3% return on top of any weekly Optimum offers if you quality (80k income). The regular PC card offers 1% and the World offers 2%.

I used to typically get more than 3% when combining the WE card with weekly offers. Sometimes even up to 10% back. Or I'd use their special spend and earn events such as 40x at Shoppers.
I'm already beating that with Meridian Cash Back Visa Infinite, 4% at all grocery stores not just Loblaws. And if I ditch that card I can use CTFS WE, also 3%, and again not just at Loblaws but at all grocery stores. I see no need to get the PC WE especially since they will downgrade you if you don't put enough spending on the card.
Deal Expert
May 30, 2005
47861 posts
8592 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Kiraly wrote: This is a minority opinion around here, but I think the PCO program sucks. On your grocery spending, you get points on only the tiny amount of items in your weekly personal offers list. On everything else you buy, you get zilch. In my last two months of spending more than $500 at No Frills, I've earned a grand total of 500 points worth 50¢. A rather insulting 0.1% return. Sure you can rack up huge numbers of points by buying things you wouldn't otherwise buy, just because there is a points promotion on them. But that's not saving you money, it's a trick to get you to spend more.

Loyalty programs at other places might have a higher return, but that is cancelled out by the stores being more expensive.

I continue to shop at No Frills because it has the best loyalty program of all: LOWER PRICES. Any retailer that can consistently give me the best price will win my loyalty, especially if they can do it without points or apps or other silly games.
PCO is a SDM-led program. Use it when there are bonus points but otherwise I don't consider there being a valid grocery loyalty program. Using PCO at grocery stores is not the RFD way to use it.
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Jan 9, 2011
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Jon Lai wrote: PCO is a SDM-led program. Use it when there are bonus points but otherwise I don't consider there being a valid grocery loyalty program. Using PCO at grocery stores is not the RFD way to use it.
True enough, when the RFD way of doings things is to buy stuff you don't want or need just because it's "a deal" lol. That would be me at SDM; there is almost nothing I want to buy there. So 200k points redeemed for $200 worth of groceries at RCSS is much better value for me, than for $300 worth of stuff at SDM that I don't want or need. And the $200 I can redeem in multiple visits to RCSS, rather than having to blow $300 all at one in a single transaction at SDM. I seriously am not even sure I have spent $300 cumulatively at SDM over my whole life! So If you can find $300 worth of stuff at SDM that you need and want, at a price you find fair, and can buy in a single transaction, then by all means the SDM bonus redemption events are good for you. But all of those IFs never line up for me at SDM.

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