Shoppers Optimum Points, Coupons and Extreme Savings!
In this article, I will provide an overview of the Shoppers Optimum Points rewards program, and explain how any extreme couponer can use it to it's full potential to save money, with potential returns of 65% or more!
When I first started shopping at Shoppers Drug Mart, I applied for my Optimum card not fully understanding how much money it could save me. Looking back, I wish that I'd known then what I know now!
How do Shoppers Optimum Points Work?
The Shoppers Optimum membership program is free to customers of Shoppers DrugMart, and allows you to collect points on the products you purchase there, which in turn can be redeemed for rewards.
Simply put, for every $1 you spend in the store, 10 Shoppers Optimum Points are credited to your membership card.
There are a few exceptions and points to take into consideration here:
- Eligibility: Shoppers Optimum Points are not eligible on certain products, for example cigarettes and tobacco, prepaid phone cards, gifts with purchase, bus passes, electronic gift cards (except Shoppers DrugMart's own gift card, see more details below), lottery tickets, LifeExperience packages, post office products, bottle deposits and returns, delivery charges, bill payments or charitable donations. Additionally the amount of points eligible on prescription purchases does vary province to province due to rules set out by each provincial Government, however as a general rule any prescription drugs that contain codeine will not be eligible for Shoppers Optimum Points.
- Calculation of points: For the purpose of calculating Shoppers Optimum Points, the transaction's total value is rounded down to the next full dollar amount, before tax and after any coupons have been redeemed. For example, spend $30 on eligible products, redeem $6.75 in coupons and the cost is $23.25 before tax. Round this amount down to the nearest full dollar, and this gives you $23.00, and so your Optimum card gets credited with $23 x 10 = 230 Shoppers Optimum Points.
Rewards in Their Simplest Form
As points accumulate, you are entitled to redeem them at certain levels, for a saving on future purchases. Here is the basic redemption chart:
- At 8,000 points, redeem for $10 savings
- At 22,000 points, redeem for $30 savings
- At 38,000 points, redeem for $60 savings
- At 50,000 points, redeem for $85 savings
- At 95,000 points, redeem for $170 savings
If we do the math, we could argue that these savings are quite unimpressive as they stand. Why? Let's take a closer look.
- To collect 8,000 points, you would have to spend $800. A $10 saving is a return of 0.8%.
- To collect 95,000 points you would have to spend $9,500. A $170 saving is a return of 1.79%.
OK, so looking at these numbers we realize first and foremost that the more points we accumulate, the higher our returns would be. But even so, the prospect of a rewards program that returns less than 2% is not exactly music to the ears of an extreme couponer. So, the question is, is it really worth collecting Shoppers Optimum Points?
Understanding the Power Behind the Points
The short answer to that question is "absolutely, yes!"
The first secret to maximizing your savings with Shoppers Optimum Points is to collect points faster. I mean, a LOT faster. Earning the basic 10 points per dollar just isn't going to cut it if you want to be an extreme couponer. Quickly racking up points is actually a lot easier than it sounds, and very rewarding. Here's what you need to know:
1) Bonus Points on Individual Products
Shoppers DrugMart offers extra bonus points on individual products across the store every single day. Buying products that you would normally use when bonus points are being offered is a great way to bump up those points. The best way to prepare yourself before a trip to the store is to check out the weekly online flyer and browse the promotions. Typically, you can expect to earn 10, 15 or even 20 times the points on certain items. Of course, don't buy a product just because it carries extra points otherwise you'll end up wasting money rather than saving it.
2) Multiple Point Event Days
Get thousands of extra points on "20 x the Points" event days. Example: spend $50 and get 10,000 points instead of 500. If you do that 10 times then you will surpass the top points level and be entitled to $170 off! That means that you would save $170 on a total spend of $500, which equates to a saving of 34%.
3) Special Points Events on Product Categories
Watch out for special points events on categories of products in the store, such as 10x the points on health products, or 20x the points on cosmetics.
Sign up for the Shoppers DrugMart newsletter to receive regular emails about the latest promotions, so that you don't miss out on bonus point events.
5) Chequing Account Rewards
Open an RBC Shoppers Optimum Banking account and you could earn an extra 50,000 Shoppers Optimum Points when you open the account (be sure to check the terms and conditions of such offer and understand your obligations).
With this Shoppers Optimum chequing account, you can earn points everywhere you shop and it works like this: for every $1 you spend on gas, clothing, entertainment, groceries etc., using your new debit card, you will earn 1 Shoppers Optimum Point. But wait, here's a chance to double some points: If you use this card to pay for purchases at Shoppers DrugMart then you receive an extra 10 Shoppers Optimum Points for every dollar you spend at SDM.
6) Mastercard Rewards
Sign up for the Shoppers Optimum Mastercard and you could receive an additional 15,000 bonus points after your first purchase using the card (be sure to check the terms and conditions of such offer and understand your obligations). With a Shoppers Optimum Mastercard, you can earn an additional 15 points per dollar when you show your Optimum card, giving you a total of 25 points per dollar spent. Also, you can use the Mastercard at other stores (some restrictions apply) which entitles you to an additional 5 points per 1 dollar spent.
7) Double Points Every Time
Although Shoppers Optimum Points are not granted for the purchase of most gift cards, this is not the case for Shoppers Drug Mart gift cards. Not many people know this, but you can buy a Shoppers gift card, show your Optimum card, and receive points for that purchase. So, before you shop, buy a $50 gift card for example and receive 500 points. As you checkout, pay for $50 with that same gift card and show your Optimum card once again for an additional 500 points. A double whammy!
Bonus Redemption Days
When Shoppers DrugMart announces a bonus redemption day, it's time to put those points to work. A bonus redemption day allows anyone with enough points on their Optimum card to cash-in for extra bucks, and it works like this:
- Redeem 30,000 points and get up to $60 off (instead of the usual $40)
- Redeem 50,000 points and get up to $120 off (instead of the usual $85)
- Redeem 95,000 points and get up to $250 off (instead of the usual $170)
This means that to get the biggest savings it makes the most sense to wait until you have 95,000 Shoppers Optimum Points on your card, and then plan to do a big shop when a bonus redemption day comes around.
An Extreme, But Possible Example to Save 65% or More!
Let's say that you only purchase products on 20x the Point Event days, and you buy a Shoppers Drug Mart Gift Card to pay for those purchases.
- Buy $460 worth of Shoppers Drug Mart Gift Cards, collecting 4,600 Shoppers Optimum Points
- Only purchase products with 20x the Points: Spend the total value of your gift card over 1 year = $460 x 200 points = 92,000 Shoppers Optimum Points
- This now gives you a total balance of 96,600 points on your Optimum card.
- Wait for a mega Bonus Redemption Day, where you can redeem 95,000 points and get $250 off.
- Plan the day well, referring to online flyers and newsletters for opportunities to earn even more points.
- Go through your coupon binder and really take time to plan out the coupons you will use on the day. If you are unsure of the types of coupons that Shoppers Drug Mart accepts, then take some time to look through the coupon policies. Then, as an example, if you aim to redeem $50 worth of coupons, you will need to spend at least $300 dollars before tax. By spending $300, you will get $50 off in coupons, $250 off in the redemption of your points, and then owe nothing but the tax.
Let's recap: You've spent $460 out of your own pocket, and received $300 dollars worth of goods completely free. That's a 65% return on your money! Not bad, eh? Bear in mind too that you would have earned extra points during this shopping trip too! That's the power of Shoppers Optimum Points and coupons!