While most might recognize the Loblaw-owned President’s Choice brand for its various products, including coffee, cuts of meat, and even pet food, they also offer a mobile phone service, PC Mobile, and various financial services under the umbrella of President’s Choice Financial. In addition, through this offshoot of the company, they offer a trio of credit cards known as the PC Mastercards.
The PC Mastercard cards
There are a total of three different PC Mastercards:
- the PC Financial Mastercard,
- the PC Financial World Mastercard,
- and the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard.
Using any PC Mastercard will earn you OC Optimum points, which can be spent at Shoppers Drug Mart, Esso gas stations, and Loblaws stores. Fortunately, cardholders can earn points from shopping at various stores, not just those owned by Loblaws.
You can earn points from the following grocery stores:
- Atlantic Superstore
- Independent CityMarket
- No Frills
- Real Canadian Superstores
- The Independent Grocer
- Wholesale Club
You can also earn points shopping at Esso and Mobil gas stations, Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix pharmacies, and fashion brand/retail chain Joe Fresh.
The Benefits of Using a PC Financial Mastercard
First and foremost, the most popular draw of the PC Financial Mastercard is the Optimum points system. Rewards programs are a dime a dozen nowadays, and you’d have a hard time finding a card that doesn’t offer something for its loyal users. PC Financial fulfills that obligation and then some.
Obviously, shopping within the PC system will reap the most rewards. Not only will you earn more points, but they’ll go further on redemption when you put them towards approved products, services, and retailers. Stacking rewards with a PC Optimum credit card is a welcome feature, too.
In addition to the points you’ll be receiving and spending, there are a few extra bonuses, such as free PC Express pickup and 5% back on any PC Travel spending.
While the three cards on offer vary in the details, such as how many PC Optimum points you earn while using each, certain benefits apply to all of them, such as the lack of an annual fee. In addition, none of the PC Financial Mastercards require a yearly payment to keep them active. All three cards also allow you to add up to four additional users for free.
You’ll only pay 0.97% interest for the first six months on balance transfers. After that, purchase interest starts and remains at 20.97% for all three cards.
The top two cards, PC Financial World Mastercard and PC Financial World Elite Mastercard, offer Mastercard Global Service Protection, 24/7 concierge service, purchase assurance, and extended warranties.
Finally, owners of a PC Financial World Elite Mastercard will also have access to travel emergency medical service and collision damage waiver insurance on owned and rented vehicles.
The Downsides of Using a PC Financial Mastercard
No credit card is perfect, and that’s just as true for the PC Financial selection of Mastercards. As mentioned above, the biggest draw of these cards is the PC Optimum points system. If you regularly shop within the PC and Loblaw networks, the cards make for an excellent deal, especially the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard, which nets you the most points.
However, that also points out the biggest downside to these cards. The cards lose most of their appeal if you don’t shop at PC partner stores or purchase PC products and services. You’ll earn points at a much slower rate – 1% on everyday purchases – and the points won’t be redeemable anywhere but PC Optimum retailers. Of course, one could make the argument that any points outside of their network are better than none, but these days, most cards offer points.
Usually, the cards also don’t offer any sort of welcome bonus. While this may not be a big deal to some, it’s worth noting that, like rewards programs, welcome bonuses are increasingly common for new credit card owners. If various cards offer equally good plans, a welcome bonus might be enough of an incentive for someone to choose one card over another.
For a limited time, if you apply on PC Finance website to get a PC Mastercard, you could earn up to 100,000 points in welcome offers until the ends July 14th, 2022.
Aside from the rewards, the cards generally don’t offer as many travel benefits as competitors’ cards. The lack of premium travel insurance makes this card less than ideal for people on the go. While it’s nice not having to pay an annual fee, some argue that this is why the card lacks many benefits that other cards carry.
On top of all that, the minimum annual income requirement for the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard is a whopping $80,000 for a single person and $150,000 for a household. In addition, if you qualify for the card, you have to charge a minimum of $15,000 every year to keep from being downgraded.
Is It Worth It?
Whether or not you should pick up a PC Financial Mastercard depends on a few factors. At the risk of sounding redundant, it only makes sense if you regularly shop within the Loblaw network. However, if you do happen to shop at those stores, especially if you purchase PC items, the card is an absolute must-have. If used properly, it’s possible to rack up many points in very little time.
If you don’t shop at those stores, take a hard look at some competing cards. The one exception is if this will be your first credit card. The lack of an annual fee is a huge incentive if you’re just starting out. And while the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard card might carry a hefty income requirement, the basic PC Financial Mastercard has no income requirement to speak of. Again, the benefits aren’t going to blow you away if you don’t shop within the network, but it’s a solid starter card regardless.