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The best credit cards to use at the pharmacy

To the point There are nearly 200 credit cards available in Canada. But only a few of them offer their full potential for pharmacy purchases. Find out which ones!

Canadian Pharmacies and Credit Cards

Most pharmacies in Canada are grouped under banners: Brunet, Familiprix, Jean Coutu, Pharmaprix, Proxim, Uniprix… While some have chosen to be part ofa loyalty program (Pharmaprix with PC Optimum or Jean Coutu with AIR MILES), others do not.

However, it should be remembered that many purchases are ineligible for earning points & miles such as:

  • prescriptions and products covered by the Pharmacy Act and its regulations
  • postal services
  • stamps
  • lottery tickets
  • gift cards / prepaid cards

But then? How do you earn more points for all your pharmacy purchases? By having the RIGHT credit card for all pharmacies… or depending on the banner you usually use.

And check out two tips at the end of the article that could earn you… lots of points & miles for your pharmacy purchases!

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The best credit cards for ALL pharmacies

Here, we’ll look at cards that offer more points, miles and cash back for all purchases made at any pharmacy.

So, if you are used to going to 2-3 different banners depending on where you work or live, it can be handy to have an “all-terrain” map!

In this sense, 3 cards stand out:

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American Express Gold Rewards card

The American ExpressMD Gold Rewards Card is one of the most well-known American Express cards. It allows to accumulate:

  • 2 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent at the pharmacy (as well as grocery stores, gas stations and travel purchases)
  • 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar of purchase everywhere else.

According to our evaluation, 1 privilege point = 1.7 cents, which means that for every dollar you spend at the pharmacy, you could get a return of about 3.4 cents.

The American ExpressMD Gold Rewards Card is part of the Membership Rewards loyalty program, whose points can be used in multiple ways:

For more information on this card or to subscribe, click here!

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As of 01/08/2019, changes have taken place regarding this card, and the cash back is as follows:

  • 4% cash back on groceries and recurring payments
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and local transportation
  • 1% cash back everywhere else (including pharmacies)

For more information on this card or to subscribe, click here!

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The Tangerine Mastercard Discount Card

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card has the advantage of no annual fee from year to year and the choice of categories in which you want to earn more rebates:

  • 2% cash back in 2 to 3 categories of stores(pharmacies, grocery stores, furniture, restaurants…)
  • 0.5% cash back everywhere else

Thus, by choosing the “Pharmacy” category, you will be able to earn 2% cash back on all your pharmacy purchases!

For more information on this card or to subscribe, click here!

The best credit cards for JEAN COUTU pharmacies

Jean Coutu drugstores are linked with the AIR MILES loyalty program. Therefore, it will be advantageous to use an AIR MILES credit card to make your purchases at Jean Coutu drugstores.

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The AIR MILES credit cards that collect the most AIR MILES miles at JEAN COUTU pharmacies are

The best credit cards for Pharmaprix stores

Pharmaprix / Shoppers Drug Mart are linked with the PC Optimum loyalty program. So, if you use a President’s Choice Financial credit card (which also contains your PC Optimum loyalty card) you will earn additional points.

As a reminder, PC Optimum members earn 15 PC Optimum points for every dollar spent with their loyalty card (on eligible expenses).

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There are 3 President’s Choice credit cards that earn PC Optimum points:

President’s Choice shows the total number of points you could earn using your President’s Choice Financial credit card and your PC Optimum loyalty card.

For example, the President’s Choice Financial Mastercard earns 10 points/$ at Shoppers Drug Mart, which is in addition to the 15 points/$ you can earn as a PC Optimum member. This gives you a total of 25 points/$ at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Two tips for earning points & miles at the pharmacy

Now that you know which credit card to use for your pharmacy purchases, let’s discover 2 tips that could help you earn lots of points & miles!

Gift cards purchased in pharmacies

Pharmacies are a great place to find gift cards for many businesses: SAQ, Amazon, Gap, Netflix…

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By using the right credit card to purchase these drugstore gift cards, you maximize your point accumulation!

So instead of getting 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar by buying your bottle of wine directly at the SAQ, go to your local pharmacy and buy an SAQ gift card: you will then get 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar!

Don't let the insurance company pay for you immediately!

If you are covered by private/group insurance, you have probably given all this valuable information to your pharmacist so that the insurance will cover its part and you will only have to pay the difference at your pharmacy counter.

By doing so, you just lost a great opportunity to earn points & miles!

Of course, it is possible to make up for the situation: tell your pharmacist that you now wish to pay directly for your medication by credit card (and therefore earn points in the process) and that you will make your own arrangements with your insurance company to obtain reimbursement!

This tip is valid for most of your health expenses (like the dentist for example…!) and is part of our list of tips to collect points and/or unlock welcome bonuses!

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Bottom line

At the end of the year, it’s all these little habits that will make the difference when it comes to using your points:

  • use the right credit card in the right place
  • consider gift cards to maximize point accumulation
  • consider putting everything on your credit card rather than having the insurance pay for you

milesopedia helps you become a real points hunter and save money every day!

Come and share your adventure with us in the facebook group.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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