PC Insiders Review – Is the membership fee worth it?
A few readers pointed out the PC Insiders program when I published Does Costco cost more? Costco vs. Superstore vs. Walmart showdown a few months ago. These readers pointed out that with PC Insiders, one can earn 20% more for every $1 spend on organic products, Joe Fresh, baby diapers and formula, and other products, all for $9.99 a month or $99 annually, plus tax. Since we have been doing more and more shopping at Superstore, I was very interested in the PC Insiders program. The idea of earning more PC Optimum points was quite enticing, but I was hesitant to pay money just so we can get more points. After a bit of back and forth, we signed up for PC Insiders when we received an annual fee waived offer from our PC Financial World Elite Mastercard. After being a PC Insider subscriber for two months, below is my honest and unbiased review of the PC Insiders program and whether the $9.99 a month or $99 annual membership fee is worth it.
PC Insiders Benefits
The PC Insiders program offers many benefits:
- $99 PC Travel credit (with the annual subscription only)
- Earn 200 PC Optimum Points per $1 spent on PC Organics products, Joe Fresh purchases, PC Black Label Collection purchases, all brands of baby diapers and formula, and all luxury beautyBOUTIQUE products on shoppersdrugmart.ca
- Free shipping at Joe Fresh and Shoppers Drug Mart
- No pickup fees at PC Express
- Exclusive offers on PC Insiders Collection
- One surprise gift annually
If you sign up by paying the $99 annual membership (plus tax), you would get a $99 PC Travel credit. So you’re almost breaking even. In case you are looking to sign up for PC Insiders, please use my referral code BL1611 to get 25% off the annual subscription when you sign up.
The $99 PC Travel credit can be used for flights, hotels, car rentals, even cruises and vacation packages. You can easily redeem the $99 Travel Credit by booking a trip with PC Travel. For example, if Mrs. T and I decide to do another staycation in Vancouver, we’d book a hotel with PC Travel and redeem the $99 Travel Credit.
For me, the most intriguing part of PC Insiders is the increased earn rate of PC Optimum Points. We have been more mindful on our food consumption in the last few years. So when we shop at Superstore, we have been purchasing more and more PC Organics products and occasionally, PC Black Label products. With PC Insiders, we are getting 20% in points whenever we purchase these products. When we combine the weekly PC Optimum offers, the weekly flyer offers, the 3% back on the PC World Elite Mastercard, on top of the 20% extra points from being a PC Insider, points do add up very quickly.
Just how quick can the points add up? After being a PC Insider for over two months, we have accumulated an extra 55,800 PC Optimum Points just from purchasing PC Organics products and Black Label products. That’s an equivalent of $55.80 that we could use in the near future to reduce our bills at the checkout. If we continue our spending pattern, I would estimate that we would have earned an extra 300,000 points or $300 in the 12 months period. That alone would make the $99 annual fee worth it.
Update: We recently received the surprise annual gift and the value of the contents is approximately $20.
No pickup fees at PC Express
Since Superstore is about a 10-minute drive away from our house, I have been the one doing grocery shopping, usually after work or on the weekends. For a while now, Mrs. T and I have been looking at Superstore’s online grocery shopping (PC Express) as a way to save time, but we didn’t want to pay for the $3 to $5 pickup fee every time.
With PC Insiders, there are no pickup fees at PC Express. We now order groceries online and then pick them up in-store. When I arrive at Superstore, I would pull into a designated PC Express parking stall, call the PC Express number, and have my groceries delivered right to my car. If I wanted, I could even stay in the car and wait for the staff to load the groceries in the car trunk.
I had my doubts about online grocery shopping before, but I am now a true believer in online grocery shopping. Using PC Express has saved me a lot of time because I no longer need to spend time walking around the store and pick up things that we need. The online ordering part has been quite straightforward too since frequently purchased items are displayed at the top of the website (we usually buy the same thing each week).
In two months, we have saved $34 in PC Express pickup fees and approximately seven hours. If I extrapolate that data, I would estimate that we’d save around $200 in PC Express pickup fees over a year and about 40 hours.
The game of maximizing PC Optimum Points
As I have calculated above, every 10,000 PC Optimum Points is worth $10. You can redeem the points in $10 increments at checkout. PC Optimum Points are earned through targeted weekly offers and in-store weekly promotions.
To earn more points, you can apply for one of the no annual fee PC Mastercards. We have the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard which gives us 30 points for every $1 spent at participating stores or 45 points per $1 spent at Shoppers Drug Mart. In other words, the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard gives us either a 3% or 4.5% return in stores like Superstore, No Frills, Loblaws, valu-mart, and Shoppers Drug Mart.
You can also double up on the offers too, as you can see from my tweet below. Points do add up pretty quickly.
Since I’m a math nerd, it’s becoming a fun game for me to figure out how to maximize PC Optimum Points each week.
PC Insiders is totally worth it
Is PC Insiders worth it? Absolutely! Our experience with PC Insiders, after 2 months, has been extremely positive. I used to think it’s crazy to pay a membership fee for a grocery loyalty program, but I am convinced that PC Insiders is completely worth it, especially when you pay the $99 annual fee. Again, if you are looking to sign up for PC Insiders, please use my referral code BL1611 to get 25% off the annual subscription when you sign up.
Are you a PC Insider? What is your experience so far?