[ANALYSIS] Shoppers Optimum

Many Pointshogging readers have asked for a post about the Shoppers Optimum program, so here it is! If you shop at Shoppers Drug Mart (or Pharmaprix in Quebec), even just a few times a year, you better have the card in your wallet. It pains me to see someone paying over $50 in front of me without the points card. So often I wish I can piggyback on their points. When the cashier asks, the person in front of me if they have a points card and they say no, I just want to raise my hand and yell “I DO!”

The reason to get the card is because of its double dipping opportunities. You would earn points on the credit card that you use (whichever points program or cash back that may be), as well as additional Shoppers Optimum points.

However, this has been another sad devaluation story. Since the devaluations on July 1, 2010, I have become quite discouraged about this program. They raised the basic 7,000 points for $10 to 8,000 points for $10. That’s a 14.28% (1,000 / 7,000 = 14.28%) increase! Though it has been quite a few years since they’ve increased, it also means that we are probably closer to another increase. The breakdown of the points program is as follows:

  • 8,000 points = $10
  • 22,000 points = $30
  • 38,000 points = $60
  • 50,000 points = $85
  • 95,000 points = $170

Therefore, the more points you use, the higher the rate of return you will get. As discouraging as the devaluations may seem, they often have 10x or 20x points promotions if you meet their minimum spend requirement. Problem is, you have to spend at their store and they do not always have the best prices. I would only take advantage of these promotions if I was purchasing something at the price that I am looking for. Otherwise, I am better of spending my money elsewhere.

The other double dipping opportunity to take advantage of is sometimes they give you more bang for your buck. For example, if you use the same 50,000 points to redeem, they may give you more than the $85 that you are entitled to.

What I find frustrating about the program is that they do not round up. If you spend $1,99, you will only get 10 points. But if you spend $2.01, you will get 20 points. Remember, the points are calculated at 10 points per $1 spent before taxes.

If you shop at Shoppers Drug Mart about once a month, I strongly recommend that you get the RBC Shoppers Optimum MasterCard, which I wrote about previously here.


  1. Shoppers Optimum points program has a long list of organizations one can donate points to-benefit to card users who aren’t saving for big redemption days yet want to help a cause. According to program rules, this program is ending in 2016.
    Other cards if they do offer a donation option usually have just one charity mentioned. Club Sobeys has about five to six organizations to choose from.
    PC Plus only allows donation to the corporate children’s charity.

    1. Yes, the donating option is great too. Usually when Shoppers get closer to program expiry they extend it. But with the recent merger with Loblaws it will be interesting to see what happens this time around.

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