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Spend a lot of time at Loblaws? Does President’s Choice often make an appearance at your dinner table? PC Financial is behind the very popular, no-fee President’s Choice Financial® MasterCard® which helps shoppers earn PC Optimum points wherever they shop. Those points can be put towards any purchases made at participating stores where President’s Choice products are sold, including Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Joe Fresh and others. That amounts to a lot of free groceries and clothing at Joe Fresh.
- Drugstore: 25 points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart and PharmaprixMD.
- Grocery: 10 PC points per $1 spent on groceries (and merchandise) purchased at participating stores where President's Choice products are sold.
- Gas: At least 30 PC points per litre at Esso locations in Canada.
- Travel: 20 points per $1 on vacations booked through PC Travel.
- Other: 10 PC points per $1 spent.
Note: If you hold both the President’s Choice Financial® MasterCard® and a PC Optimum points card, you can earn double the points on special offers listed within your account and in-store.
Earning Potential: Average
How does this card stack up to other grocery rewards options? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much you could earn over a 24-month period.
Assuming $1,119 is spent on the card monthly, in the following categories:
*Source: Statistics Canada
- Reward points earned over a 24-month period: 396,878.40 points**
- Total: Up to $396.88 in free groceries or merchandise
**Based on $1.00/litre gas prices
It’s not a huge amount of free groceries over a two-year period but it can amount to significant savings at Joe Fresh. Keep in mind, you can rack up points faster if you add the PC Optimum card and book vacations through PC Travel. PC Financial also has other options to help you increase your earnings.
You can trade in your points for groceries as soon as you have 20,000 – or $20 worth. Note that you cannot redeem for prescription medications or alcohol. In Quebec specifically, points cannot be redeemed for milk.
Sign Up Bonus: Good
For a limited time as well, new cardholders can also take advantage of a 0.97% balance transfer interest rate for the first six months. In order to get this rate, applicants must be new PC Financial customers and are required to make the transfers within 90 days of opening the account. After six months, the balance transfer rate goes up to 22.97% and you will have to pay a fee of 1% of the full balance amount for each transfer.
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Point Redemption: Limited
If you spend most of your shopping time inside Loblaws, Joe Fresh and Shoppers Drug Mart, this card is pretty sweet. But this card also limits your redemption to stores carrying President’s Choice products. You can redeem points for food, cosmetics, PC Mobile cellphones and smartphones, Joe Fresh merchandise, or you can donate your points to charity. This card will not earn you travel rewards or give you cash back. Minimum redemption is 10,000 PC Optimum points (worth $10 in free rewards) and in increments of 10,000 points thereafter at participating stores
Fees, Interest Rates and Cash Advance: Above Average
While the President’s Choice Financial® MasterCard® carries a purchase interest rate of 19.97% and cash advance rate of 22.97% - both quite normal among Canadian credit cards – there’s no annual fee.
If you pay all your bills in full every month, you’ll come out ahead. If you do not make the minimum payment by the due date for two consecutive months, your interest rate increases to 25.97% while cash advance rates rise to 27.97%. This isn’t helpful if you are prone to carrying a balance on your card.
Additional Benefits: Good
- Purchase assurance (90 days) and extended warranty (one year)
- Identity theft restoration
- MasterCard Global Service – replaces your card or offers you cash advance in emergency situations
- Personalized convenience cheques
- Up to four additional cards for family members
- Can be used with Apple Pay
You can also add on the following for a small fee:
- Spousal, standard or involuntary job loss account balance protection – ranges from 79 cents to $1.19 per $100 of the current month’s statement ending balance
Are you carrying the best credit card for your spending habits?
Our Final Word:
The President’s Choice Financial® MasterCard® is a solid addition to your wallet if you use a credit card for everyday purchases and shop at Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart and Joe Fresh stores on a regular basis. It’s especially great for families with kids who are looking to make the most out of their weekly grocery runs. If you add a PC Optimum account to the card, you’ll earn points faster, helping you to reduce your bill even further.
However, it may not be the best choice if you prefer paying debit or cash for groceries, gas and drugstore purchases, or if you carry a balance on your card for a long period of time. In addition, you are very limited in how you can redeem your points, so it’s best to get an additional rewards card if you’re looking for travel rewards or cash back.
This post has been updated.