Loyalty point programs exist to get you to spend more money than you would normally. We all know this, right?

However, every once and a while, the stars align and there is a truly great promotion on things you were going to buy anyhow. Today was that day for me, and I managed to get 24x the regular PC Optimum points on my purchase, resulting in collecting 36% of my pre-tax total in points.

I’d love to say this was the result of careful planning, but it was largely a coincidence.

PC Optimum Program

I have a PC Optimum account. I do most of my grocery shopping at No Frills and there is a 24 hour Shoppers Drug Mart pretty close to me, so I was thrilled when they decided to blend these two points programs into one.

The points earling at No Frills is pretty slim pickings except for when they do their rare “Spend $100 get $15 in points”, but Shoppers gives some points for every purchase. The regular dollars to points conversion is $1 = 15 points, and to redeem you must use 10,000 points = $10 resulting in 1.5% back in points. They do have frequent 20x points events which bumps that up to 30% back in points, if you spend their minimum required amount.

Because of the above, I usually end up earning points at Shoppers and spending them at No Frills. I don’t need a lot from Shoppers, and I used to spend my points from the old Shoppers program on crap I didn’t need. It’s great to now be able to use them for groceries at the No Frills prices.

20x Points on $50

The 20x points promotions tend to be on larger amounts like $75. I find it hard to spend $75 at Shoppers on things I need that are also reasonably priced. Buying things at a higher price just to score points is almost never a good idea and the emotions of getting something free will probably prevail over your common sense to actually check if it’s worth it.

Saturday’s visit in particular was inspired by a few things:

  1. I am almost out of toilet paper and sunscreen. On the PC Optimum app I noticed that there was a 1 day sale on toilet paper, and I hoped that at least a few brands of sunscreen would be on clearance.
  2. I downloaded Checkout 51, which to my knowledge is the only receipt-uploading-for-rebate app that works in Canada. Not too much on there that I would normally buy, but there was a rebate for electric toothbrush heads and I knew I was on my last one.
  3. The 20x offer was on purchases of $50 or more. I figured I could pretty easily get up to $50 between sunscreen and toothbrush heads.
  4. I wanted snacks!

As I stood in the toothbrush aisle agonizing over the fact that 5 heads cost $47 (!!! have I just never noticed how much they were?!?!) I noticed that there was a water flossing device on sale as well. My dentist has been encouraging me to buy one because my teeth are crowded and flossing isn’t easy. In addition to being 25% off (actually 25% off, I checked online against other retailers) there was also a 10x the points bonus on the item. I wasn’t sure if this offer would stack on the overall 20x offer, but the reduced price was still enough to convince that it was time to pick one up.

Purchase Breakdown

Item Servings or Size Price Per Unit
Personal Care
AirFlosser $74.99
Toothbrush heads $46.99 5 $9.40 ea
Sun Screen (60 SPF waterproof – two containers) $15.99 480 mL $3.33/100 mL
Household
Toilet paper (24 “double” rolls) $7.98 24 $0.67 per roll
Groceries
Miss Vickies Chips $5.00 2 Bags $2.50 ea
Juice $1.99
Instant Coffee $3.88 170 g $2.28/100 g
Taxes $19.62
Total $176.44

 

On this purchase I earned 2340 regular points and 54,450 bonus points, resulting in a total of 56,790 (or $56.79) to spend at No Frills.

Sober Second Thought

As I wrote this post I began to think back about that rebate on the toothbrush heads and if that aspect of the purchase was worth it. Like I mentioned I did need to get new brush heads, but I didn’t bother to shop around for them. I see that they are available at Loblaws for a unit price of $8.86 in a three pack and $26.49 for 5 on Amazon.ca. Yikes! Even with the $13 worth of points earned on that portion of the purchase, Shoppers was not the place to buy these. Lesson learned.

What are your favorite loyalty programs, and how do you optimize them?

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