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.
An Overview of President's Choice Financial Mastercard cards
There are a total of three types of PC Mastercards:
These cards allow you to earn PC Optimum points, which can be spent at Shoppers Drug Mart, Esso gas stations, and Loblaws stores. Cardholders can accumulate points not just at Loblaws-owned stores but also at various other retailers.
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
The Allure of the Optimum Points System
First and foremost, the most popular draw of the PC Financial Mastercard is the Optimum points system. Reward programs are common these days, and it’s hard to find a card that offers nothing to its loyal users. PC Financial fulfills this need and more.
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.
Common Advantages Across All PC Mastercards
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.
Interest Rates and Balance Transfers
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.
Exclusive Services and Travel and Insurance Benefits
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
Limitations of PC Mastercards
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.
The Importance of the PC and Loblaw Network for Maximizing 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.
Lack of Cash Welcome Bonus: A Missed Opportunity?
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.
Limited-Time Welcome Bonus on PC Mastercard
To address the lack of a cash welcome bonus, PC Optimum is offering a limited-time opportunity to earn up to 100,000 welcome points until November 4, 2023. If you apply for a PC Mastercard on the PC Financial website, you can earn the following with your new PC Mastercard in Canada:
- 75,000 PC points when you spend $50 or more at partner stores within the first 60 days.
- 25,000 PC points when you spend $50 or more at Esso or Mobil within the first 60 days.
Comparing Travel Benefits with Competing Cards
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.
Minimum Annual Income Requirements
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.
Alternative Cards to Consider
Here are three interesting alternatives to consider alongside PC Financial Mastercards:
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
This card offers up to 35,000 Scene+ points and a first-year value of $747. It’s ideal for travelers and frequent shoppers at grocery stores like Sobeys and IGA, offering 3X Scene+ points on these purchases. Additionally, it has no fees for foreign currency transactions and offers free access to airport VIP lounges.
Walmart Rewards World Mastercard Card
With a first-year value of $274, this card offers a 3% cashback for online purchases on Walmart.ca and 1.25% in Walmart stores and on gas. It’s ideal for frequent Walmart shoppers and those looking to maximize cashback.
Tangerine World Mastercard
This card offers up to $100 cashback and a first-year value of $220. It’s perfect for those who want to customize their cashback, offering 2% cashback on two categories of your choice and 0.5% on all other purchases. It also offers several insurances, including mobile device and rental vehicle insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I access my President's Choice Mastercard account?
If you’re wondering how to manage your President’s Choice Mastercard account, you can easily access it online through the President’s Choice Financial Services website. You can log in using your mobile device, tablet, or computer.
Is it possible to manage my President's Choice Mastercard online?
Yes, you can manage your President’s Choice Mastercard online. This includes tracking your expenses, paying your bills, and checking your PC Optimum points balance. This feature makes it convenient for cardholders to stay on top of their financial activities.
How can I earn PC points with my Mastercard?
Earning PC Optimum points is straightforward with your President’s Choice Mastercard. You can accumulate points that can be redeemed for products and services at partner stores like Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Esso gas stations. This is a great way to maximize your rewards while shopping.
How can I contact customer service for my President's Choice Mastercard?
If you need to reach customer service for your President’s Choice Mastercard, you can do so by calling the phone number listed on the back of your card. Alternatively, you can also contact them through the President’s Choice Financial Services website.
Does my President's Choice Mastercard offer travel insurance?
For those interested in travel benefits, the World Elite Mastercard from PC Finance offers emergency medical services while traveling, as well as collision damage waiver insurance for owned or rented vehicles. This makes it a suitable option for travelers.
What are the financing options with the President's Choice Mastercard?
When it comes to financing options, you’ll only pay 0.97% interest for the first six months on balance transfers with your President’s Choice Mastercard. After that, the purchase interest rate is 20.97%.
What are the financing options with the President's Choice Mastercard?
The President’s Choice World Mastercard offers additional services like Global Mastercard Protection Service, 24/7 concierge service, purchase insurance, and extended warranties. These extra features make it a compelling choice compared to other credit cards in the market.
Is it possible to get a cash advance with my President's Choice Mastercard?
Yes, you can get a cash advance with your President’s Choice Mastercard. However, be aware that higher fees and interest rates may apply for this service.