In-Depth Look into the Shoppers / Pharmaprix Optimum Rewards Points Program

This is a beauty and pharmacy chain available in Canada.

It’s called Pharmaprix in Quebec, and Shoppers Drug Mart everywhere else, and it has a Shoppers Optimum Program where every dollar is 10 points, and the rewards chart looks like this:

There are a few promotions ever so often where you get 20x the points or 15x the points, if you spend at least $50 and sometimes only in certain categories.

Anyway, recently there was a promotion that said:

15x the points on everything if you spend $50 in the store

Or 15% off on all regular priced items if you spend $50 in the store

The better deal by far, was to get the points, because you’d earn 7500 points on $50 to score a $10 store credit (7000 points).

The 15% off deal was good, but not so hot because it’s only on regularly priced items which is hard to do unless you have a long list of things to stock up on.

So if you spent $50, that’s about $7.50 in immediate savings.

$10 versus $7.50?

No contest for me, I shop there on occasion for certain Burt’s Bees products and other such brands I cannot find elsewhere.

I also had a list of other things to buy I had been saving up, and it was the perfect time to take advantage of the deal.

$10 / $50 = 20% return

$7.50 / $50 = 15% return

Note: To calculate any kind of return on savings, just take your savings ($10 or $7.50) and divided it by the amount spent ($50 in this case), then multiply by 100.

But is it all worth this SPENDING?

At any rate, all of this “must-spend-to-get-points” sort of thing got me thinking:

If I had to spend $50 to get back $10 in a store credit under something that gives me a whopping 15 times the points how much would I have to normally spend to earn the same $10 credit?

15x MORE of course!

(Which is $750 instead of $50)

I would have to spend $750 to get back $10. Wow.

Looking at the fancy chart here’s what these points equal to in real dollar spending and your regular return for what you spend:

At the very top of the range with 75,000 points, the 2% return is not too shabby!

The only caveat is that you fall into this trap of thinking: “but I get Optimum points if I buy this!”

Yeah. Just look at that chart next time before you say that again.

But the love affair is over for me..

I am SO over being totally dedicated to this Optimum Program.

I’d only consider buying anything there if it was a 20x or 15x the points promotion.

The only time it’d be beneficial in points is having the Shoppers Optimum Points Credit Card because every dollar I spent on my card, I’d get 10 points.

With my traveling as a consultant and general grocery store spending, I r-a-c-k-e-d up the points and every 5 months or so, I’d get $150 (75,000 points) free to spend at Shoppers Drug Mart, without ever having set foot in the store.

It was a sweet deal. Until they screwed up the card & tried to re-issue me another one under Mastercard this time.

By that time, I had clued in to the following:

  • their products in general are more expensive than a grocery store, or even Jean Coutu (QC)
  • their points (without the credit card) were painfully slow to rack up
  • I much preferred the PC points program (100 points per $1) because it buys FOOD*

*and other stuff like beauty products and clothes if you go to the Superstore.

Ultimately, for my regular spending on non-points promotional days, I’d rather save my immediate cash by paying the lower sticker price.

What rewards programs do you use? Do you find them to be useful & worth it?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.