President Choice offers three cards – all with similar features, except that rewards per dollar spent and a few perks get added if you can qualify for a more premium card based on your income or spending levels.
All cards gear their bonus PC points rewards toward purchases made on President Choice affiliated brands and partners like:
- Your Independent Grocer,
- Real Canadian Superstore,
- Shoppers Drug Mart,
- Esso, and
- services like PC Travel and PC Mobile.
…if you’re already a regular shopper, then these cards offer you an immediate and easy way to collect 1-3% reward for free since all these cards have no annual fees.
|Points||World Elite Mastercard||World Mastercard||Mastercard|
|Points on in-store purchases||30||20||10|
|Points on Shoppers Drug Mart purchases||45||35||25|
|Points on Esso fuel purchases (per litre)*||30||30||30|
|Points on purchases at PC Travel||30||20||20|
|Points on purchases everywhere else||10||10||10|
*These totals include points earned as a regular PC Optimum member.
The PC point advantage
One advantage of these credit cards is the simple mental math associated with PC point values.
With the base level Mastercard, spend $100 dollars and get 1,000 points which is equivalent to $1 in PC points. Or put another way:
Every $1 spent = one penny reward back to you.
In a world where various loyalty programs offer a myriad of point value schemes – often masking the true value of a point – it’s refreshing to be able to quickly convert spending into hard currency without having to bring out a calculator… only to discover that a million points is equivalent to a fraction of a penny.
So what’s in it for you?
Those points can be redeemed anywhere President’s Choice products are sold. And thankfully they made the point values across the three cards and conversion easy to understand…
As simple as one, two, three, in fact.
- Base Mastercard: $1 spent = one penny = 1%
- World Mastercard: $1 spent = two pennies = 2% (PC affiliated brands only)
- World Elite Mastercard: $1 spent = three pennies = 3% (PC affiliated brands only)
It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Check out below for what you might be able to redeem them for across the three card options.
|Annual Spend||World Elite Mastercard||World Mastercard||Mastercard|
|Points||3% Value||Points||2% Value||Points||1% Value|
At a base level, a monthly spend of $1,000 totalling $12,000 a year could earn you $120 in PC points. Not bad. But nothing to get excited about either.
That same minimum spend could earn you $360 if you qualify at the 3% reward level. Obviously higher rewards are possible, but keep in mind:
That the 2-3% reward levels are only applicable on purchases made at stores where President’s Choice products are sold.
I don’t know anyone who spends $24,000 a year on groceries. And even though you can buy clothing, toys and other household items at many Real Canadian Superstore outlets – it would probably be a stretch for many Canadians to reach those upper point value accumulations.
Income and spending
Like other competing cards, the President’s Choice Financial Mastercards offer bigger rewards for higher incomes or spending.
And while the average Canadian might have difficulty meeting the personal income or household income threshold – the minimum annual spend of $15,000 needed to qualify for the World Mastercard is not out of reach to get upgraded to the 2% PC points redemption level.
|Requirements||World Elite Mastercard||World Mastercard||Mastercard|
|Minimum personal income OR||$80,000||$60,000||None|
|Household income OR||$150,000||$100,000||None|
|Minimum annual spend||$25,000||$15,000||None|
The bonus points are nice but the higher level cards also offer a few additional features as noted below.
The one I like best is the free additional cards.
Where other card companies charge you for additional cards – PC Financial gives you up to four free ones automatically – all of which link back to your points and can quickly generate the required spending.
|Benefits||World Elite Mastercard||World Mastercard||Mastercard|
|Emergency replacement card or cash advance||Y||Y||Y|
|Up to 4 free additional cards||Y||Y||Y|
|Free Purchase Assurance in case of theft, loss or damage in the first 90 days||Y||Y||Y|
|Free Extended Warranty doubling the manufacturer’s regular warranty for up to an additional year||Y||Y||Y|
|Travel emergency medical insurance||Y|
|Car rental collision/loss damage waiver insurance||Y|
|Identity Theft Assistance Service||Y|
Are PC Financial Mastercards worth it?
On the surface the potential points accumulation at the 2-3% levels looks good.
Indeed it is good.
But you have to remind yourself you can only get those points if your purchases are made at a participating store offering PC products. If it’s not, then you’re earning the base 1% only.
Which is fine for a no fee credit card. But achieving the top end rewards is unrealistic unless you’re an ultra loyal President’s Choice products shopper and can double dip at Shoppers/Esso/etc. in order to hit that 2-3% redemption mark.
So keep it as a backup no fee card that rewards you a simple and free 1% reward but look elsewhere for your primary card.
PC Financial credit card alternatives
If you’re shopping for a primary credit card and want to max your rewards when buying non-PC products, these 5 cards are solid alternatives.
|Credit Card||Welcome Bonus||Earn Rate||Annual Fee||Apply Now|
|MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard||5% on gas and groceries for the first 6 months (terms)||Up to 2%||$0||Apply Now|
|Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard||4% on your chosen categories for 3 months (terms)||Up to 2%||$0||Apply Now|
|American Express SimplyCash||2.5% on all purchases for the first 3 months (terms)||1.25%||$0||Apply Now|
|Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite||10% on all purchases for the first 3 months (terms)||Up to 4%||$99||Apply Now|
|American Express Cobalt||Up to 30,000 points (terms)||Up to 5 points per $1||$120||Apply Now|
MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard
This card will give you:
- 5% cash back on all gas and grocery purchases (up to $500 spent in your first 6 months),
- 2% cash back on all gas and grocery purchases (up to $500 spent monthly), and…
- 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.
While it does have an annual fee of $39 a month, it comes with credit card concierge service, and 8 different types of travel and purchase insurance (including price protection – a rare credit card insurance coverage).
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
The good news? You’re not tied down with the 3 categories for life: you have the flexibility to change your top 3 categories are your spending habits change. It’s the only credit card in Canada that lets you do that.
And as a sign-up bonus, you’ll earn 4% cash back on your chosen categories.
American Express SimplyCash
You’ll get a flat earn rate of 1.25% on all your spending wherever American Express is accepted, as well as typical American Express perks, such as:
- Front of the Line advanced ticket sales and
- American Express Invites.
The 3 cards mentioned above are particularly useful if you want to avoid paying annual fees, since they don’t have any, making any of these combinations all reward and no payout – a win-win scenario for any shopper.
You’ll also be able to maximize cash back potential by utilizing the higher earn rates and the higher earning spending categories when you’re not shopping at Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, or Esso stations.
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite
- You get 4% cash back on groceries and gas all the time – can’t be beat if you have a large family and a minivan.
- And as for other purchases? You get a generous 2% return on spending on recurring bills and drugstore purchases and a still good 1% on all other purchases.
- Plus, you’ll earn 10% cash back on everything you spend in the first 3 months (up to $2,000 spent.)
- You get 9 types of insurance coverage that includes extended warranty, purchase protection, travel accident, emergency medical, trip interruptions and more.
- And the kicker? The annual fee is waived for the first year.
Not convinced? Read this detailed review.
American Express Cobalt
While not a cash back card, the
Why? It has the highest earn rate of any credit card for groceries in Canada:
- 5 points per $1 spent on groceries and dining,
- 2 points per $1 spent on gas, travel and transit, and
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
You can use your points in a number of ways. The best way is with the Fixed Points Travel Program. Pay a set amount of points to fly to a set zone. Each point is worth up to 1.75 cents when redeemed this way, giving you a return of up to 8.75% for your groceries..
Or, use your points for any type of travel purchases, where each point is worth one cent, or a 5% return on your grocery spend.
Or, if you would just prefer a statement credit, each point is worth 0.7 cents, giving you a 3.5% return for your food purchases.
These high return rates are what make it our top rated grocery credit card.