App of the Week: PC Plus app saves you money on groceries

Rob Attrell

January 30, 2016 3:00pm

People say only two things are certain in life: death, and taxes.

In my experience, those people are forgetting about grocery shopping. If you shop for groceries at participating PC stores, like Loblaws or Superstore, you can save a little money and get notified when specific groceries can earn you PC points.


Once you sign up for a free PC Plus membership, you’ll be able to log into the app on Android or iOS to quickly access your membership card when you’re paying for groceries. You can even add the membership card to your Wallet on iOS. In case you weren’t aware, collecting PC points with your account saves you $20 on groceries with 20000 points, and that’s where this app starts to become really useful.

Other features in the app include a map of participating stores where users are able to redeem offers, a breakdown of recent shopping trips displaying points earned and money spent, and an overview of the tags, cards, and phones capable of earning or redeeming points on your account.

If you’ve already shopped at participating PC stores, but don’t have a membership or use the app, I strongly recommend it. A recent update means you don’t even have to claim these digital offers to earn points, you just have to open the app each week and they’ll load automatically.

SourceAndroid, iOS
  • You forgot to mention the best store in the Loblaws chain, NoFrills.

    I pick areas with a Nofrills near by before I decided to live there. That is how amazing that store is.

    • rgl168

      Depends on which location; some NFs are great stores, others not so much.

  • Deathdearth

    You forgot to mention

    *disclaimer : paid advertising

    • robinottawa

      I disagree. I’m glad they posted this. I’ll make use of it.

    • Walter

      Believe me it is my most used coupon app. Especially if you couple it with a PC Financial MasterCard, racking up points to free groceries is easy.

    • TomsDisqusted

      Well, it’s not an affiliate link, and it truly is a good app.

      Also, they have no need to be nice to Loblaws, it’s Robellus that they have to be nice to.

      So I don’t see anything supporting your accusation.

  • Thorsten Garbe

    I use that app weekly and got over 300$ free in stuff last year.
    Sometimes its bangon in what im getting.
    This month i got 40 $ on points so far .

  • You don’t actually get the points until you buy the item–loading them onto the card does not magically move them into your account. I shop at Superstore and today I redeemed $50 in points and earned $35 in new points.Combine the PC App with a price comparison app like Flipp so you can compare prices at different chains. Superstore (and I assume other Loblaw’s Company stores, price match,and they will check out your Flipp results and give you the lower price.

    • Walter

      Thanks for the tip on Flipp.

  • dirtyKIMCHI

    Will Loblaw merge Shoppers Optimum Points and PC Plus? Doesn’t seem logical for them to run 2 different point systems.

    • And yet they still do.

    • Doombots

      Shoppers Optimum will never merge with PC Plus, I’m pretty sure they’re the 2nd biggest loyalty program next to Canadian Tire.

    • dirtyKIMCHI

      Okay, maybe not merge, but at least allow users of both loyalty programs to convert Optimum points for PC Plus & vice versa.

  • When the PC Plus program came out a two years ago, I signed up and played the game but I found the having to go into your account to load your offers pretty annoying and an overly blatant attempt to get me thinking about them all the time.

    Fortunately, I have seen the light and I don’t shop at Loblaws anymore because it is just too expensive. I tend to go to Food Basics for the stuff you can get everywhere and my grocery bill is about 2/3 to 3/4 of what it used to be at Loblaws. And this is for the same food. Though I can’t bring myself to buy the meat there but aside from a local butcher, Costco is THE place to buy your meat (especially with Loblaws and some of the other grocery chains getting caught for mixing old meat with new meat and then repackaging it as new meat).

    Needless to say, I cashed in my points and never use the program anymore. I also found that they kept asking for more and more permissions as they updated their app and it was bordering on Facebook style privacy invasion. No, you don’t need to read the contents of my SD Card, look at my photos or view my network connections.

    tl;dr; – My advice is to buy your groceries somewhere else – even with the points you get from the plan, it doesn’t offset the markup you have to pay just for shopping at Loblaws.

    • Stimulator

      If you use PC Financial you also gets points at No Frills which is on the cheaper side of things.

    • I have one that is somewhat close to me and I’ll check it out ot see if the prices are on par with what I pay between Food Basics. Strangely enough, I got an email from PC Plus this morning which I haven’t seen in some time. Coincidence? heh heh

  • rgl168

    I use self-serve check out counters quite often, and to use the app you need to get the staff over to scan your phone. Sometimes they are busy and you need to wait. So I just use my PC debit card and swipe at the terminal.

  • GPman

    I used to use the app all the time back in Canada and its great. I love how it tracks your purchases and gives discounts on items you buy often. Stuff I would have bought anyway even cheaper.

  • Brad

    I don’t use the app, but I do use the points (I have a card) and it’s a much better system than I thought it would be. You only get points for specific items that you buy, and I figured it would just entice you to pay more for higher-priced items just to get the points. But it gives you points for things you regularly buy. They do include new items that they want to market, but it’s easy enough to ignore those: I don’t even look anymore at what’s eligible for points, I just shop for what I need and the points rack up eventually. I’ve saved more than $100 so far by using this. One thing you need to be aware of: when redeeming your points, you can’t use them to buy alcoholic beverages. I bought some groceries and beer last week and tried to use my accumulated points to buy them (I had more than 20,000) but the cashier said no.

  • Salinger

    I don’t find PC Plus a very good rewards program at all. You earn points on only the products THEY choose each week. You could spend $500 per week with them every week, but if you don’t buy one of the half dozen or so products they select on the app, you earn ZERO points.

    I think Shoppers Optimum is a much better system. They too give you weekly offers where you earn bonus points, but even if you buy none of those, you still earn something on everything you buy.

    • Stimulator

      If you use PC Financial you get points for every transaction when you use your debit card at Loblaws stores, or even using online banking for paying bills and such, not just for buying the special items.

    • Andrew_notPorC

      If you have their world elite mcastercard, you get the equivalent of 3% back in points on purchases at PC stores.

    • Salinger

      Sure, but I don’t want to get a specific credit card just to use for grocery shopping.

    • Andrew_notPorC

      I use it for everything. You also get 2 cents/litre at Esso, 3% at SDM, and 1% elsewhere. It’s a pretty good deal for a no fee credit card.

    • Doombots

      THEY curate offers based on YOUR shopping history. Presenting you with items you actually buy.

      Shoppers system is likely more robust, heck it’s been around for 20+ years and has had the time to refine…. but good luck saving money shopping there. At Loblaws/NoFrills/Superstore at least you can earn points while shopping, convert point to $ + you can price match at the point of sale. You can’t price match at Shoppers.

      PC Plus > Robbers Optimum

    • Salinger

      I completely understand how the system works, or is supposed to work. Their “curation” definitely needs work. They only give you 5 – 10 offers a week, and you’re lucky if one or two of them match something you’re actually going to buy. Just because you buy something one week, doesn’t mean you want to buy the same thing again the next. I’ve also found most of my offers are out in left field.

      Shoppers prices are certainly not the cheapest, but they’re as good or better than other pharmacies. They aren’t competitive with the likes of Walmart etc, but their flyer items are often good buys.

      Price matching has nothing to do with the value of a reward system. We’re discussing how good or bad the reward scheme is. Pricing, and saving money on items is a completely separate issue.

      At the end of the day, as I said, you only earn points on what they think you’re going to buy, or more often, what they want you to buy. At Shoppers, you earn on EVERYTHING. As well, Shoppers new app gives you coupons that earn you a ton of bonus points. Sometimes on specific items, but often just for purchasing $X.

      For me, a reward system that rewards you every time you shop vs one that only rewards you if you purchase what THEY choose (regardless of their metrics for choosing it) is infinitely superior.

  • fruvous

    The program is a little confusing. For example, I don’t have my PC Debit card linked to the program and only use the app. This concept seems to be difficult for some cashiers confused who force me to swipe my debit twice.