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[ANALYSIS] RBC Shoppers Optimum MasterCard

Shoppers Drug Mart was bought by Loblaws in 2013 and I recently received my RBC Shoppers Optimum MasterCard, so I thought it would be a good time to revisit the Shoppers Optimum program, which I previously analysed. But first, here are the highlights of the credit card:

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 15,000 sign up bonus
  • Earn 15 points for every $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart (or Pharmaprix in Quebec)
  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent for all other purchases

If you are a fan of Shoppers Optimum, this credit card is a no-brainer for you to use when you shop at Shoppers. However, it does not give that great of a return for all other purchases (at 5 points per $1), so I would use a different credit card when shopping elsewhere.

There is also a list of exceptions on products that will not earn you Shoppers Optimum points when you present your Optimum card, but you will still earn the 15 points per $1 spent with your credit card, which is why the credit card is valuable to have if you want to top up your account. Here is the list of exceptions:

  • Gift cards
  • Prepaid card products (except Shoppers Drug Mart- branded gift cards)
  • Wireless phone cards
  • Stamps
  • Post Office
  • Passport photos
  • Tickets provided by Ticket Ops
  • Bus tickets and passes
  • Products with codeine
  • Cigarettes and tobacco
  • Lottery tickets
  • Delivery charges
  • Bill payments
  • Bottle deposits/returns
  • Charitable donations
  • Prescription drug purchases

When you do earn enough points, the breakdown of the redemption schedule is as follows:

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

The more points you redeem at once, the more value you will get. Also watch for double dipping opportunities where you can use the same amount of points to redeem for a higher cash value, such as 50,000 points for $100 instead of only $85.

Recommendation to Shoppers: Generally, I find the program fairly good. I would recommend a rounding up and down feature. You earn 10 points for every $1 spent (before taxes) on your Shoppers Optimum card. However, if you spend $1.99, you will only get 10 points. But if you spend $2.01, you will get 20 points. It would be nice to round up and down at the .49 cents (round down) and 50. cents (round up) marks instead.

Otherwise, the points redemption already had a devaluation a few years ago, hopefully we do not see another for a long while.

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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