Loblaws began integrating PC products onto Shoppers Drug Mart shelves soon after acquiring the pharmacy chain in March 2014, but the two Canadian retail giants have kept their loyalty programs apart. That changes February 1, 2018 when PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum will officially become the PC Optimum program.

I’ve spent the better part of the day scouring terms and conditions of the new program to find something to critique, but came up empty. This is a win-win merger for PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum loyalty cardholders. Here’s what’s going to happen:

New PC Optimum Program

On February 1, 2018, your PC Plus points and Shoppers Optimum points will be converted to PC Optimum points at their full value.

PC points will be converted to PC Optimum points at a ratio of 1:1. For example, if you have 10,000 PC points, you’ll have 10,000 PC Optimum points after your points have been converted.

Shoppers Optimum points will be converted as outlined in the chart below.

PC Optimum Points Conversion

Points between reward levels will be converted at the rate of the highest reward level reached. For example, if you have 22,000 Shoppers Optimum points, which is $30 in value, you will have $30 in PC Optimum points.

Here’s how it works: your 22,000 Shoppers Optimum points x 1.363637 (22,000 points conversion rate) = 30,000 PC Optimum points. Since every 10,000 PC Optimum points is worth $10 of free stuff, you’ll have over $30 in PC Optimum points.

Bottom line: Your PC points and Optimum points will be worth the same or more in the PC Optimum program. Try this calculator to see how many PC Optimum points you’ll get when you convert.

The PC Optimum program combines the benefits of the PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum loyalty programs into one account, allowing you to manage your points with just one card or one app.

There are almost 2,500 locations across Canada where you can earn PC Optimum points. View participating stores in your province.

Earning and redeeming PC Optimum points

Earn 15 PC Optimum points for every dollar spent on eligible products at participating Shoppers Drug Mart stores. That’s a 50% increase on the current 10 points per dollar on eligible purchases.

The minimum amount of points required to redeem will be lowered from 20,000 points in the PC Plus program to just 10,000 points in the PC Optimum program. 10,000 PC Optimum points equals $10 worth of free stuff at any participating store or online at BeautyBoutique.ca and JoeFresh.ca.

You’ll also still get points in store, online and at points events at participating banners, like the Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix “20x the points” events.

You can save your points for up to a maximum of $500 off on any one purchase.

PC Optimum Program Earn Rates

You’ll continue to receive personalized offers each week and also earn points from in-store and online offers at participating Loblaws grocery stores. To continue to receive your personalized offers, you will need to create a PC Optimum online account once the program launches.

PC Financial MasterCard cardholders can link their credit card to their PC Optimum account and earn all of their points with just one card.

You’ll continue to earn points with your PC Financial MasterCard as you do right now plus you’ll be able to earn and spend PC Optimum points at participating Shoppers Drug Mart stores as well as participating Loblaws stores.

When the program launches

Make sure to hold onto your Shoppers Optimum and / or PC Plus cards until you have successfully linked them to a new PC Optimum account.

When the PC Optimum program launches, your points will automatically become PC Optimum points. Then, the next time you shop, the cashier will ask you to swap your existing Shoppers Optimum and/or PC Plus card for a PC Optimum card so you can continue to earn and spend your points.

You can also start by downloading the app or create an online account and follow the prompts on screen to link the points from your current card(s). You can link your Shoppers OptimumPC Plus and PC Financial MasterCard accounts.

The PC Plus app will be updated to the PC Optimum app on February 1, 2018. If your mobile phone is set to have automatic app updates, you won’t have to do anything to get the PC Optimum app updated on your phone.

Once you have the PC Optimum app on your phone, you’ll need to create a PC Optimum online account to continue to receive personalized offers.

When the PC Optimum program launches on February 1, 2018 you can create an online account and link your current family’s PC Plus account. Whoever does this within your family can then send invites to the other family members to join their Household. Once the family members all accept the invitation, you will be able to share your points. More information will be provided about this once the PC Optimum program launches.

Final thoughts

Shoppers Optimum is arguably the most popular loyalty program in the country, boasting 10 million cardholders. For that reason, Loblaws needed to be careful how it managed this inevitable merger.

They appear to have gotten it right as the two programs will finally combine into a loyalty behemoth.

Customers on both sides win, as they get to retain full value of their points upon the merger February 1, 2018, plus a 50% increase on their earn rate at Shoppers Drug Mart stores, a minimum redemption of 10,000 points instead of 20,000, and the ability to earn PC Optimum points at nearly 2,500 locations across Canada with just one card or app.

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