The President's Choice Financial World Elite Mastercard is the flagship card for the PC Optimum program which is the loyalty program for the Loblaw family of stores that include Loblaw, Real Canadian Superstore and Shoppers Drug Mart to name the least. PC Financial is the banking branch of the Loblaw group of companies and they offer three different credit cards, all of which are unique in that they all don't have an annual fee attached to them.
The PC Financial World Elite Mastercard is the top end flagship card for the PC Optimum program and provides the best earn rates of the trio of cards offered by the banking arm of the Loblaw conglomerate. Being a World Elite Mastercard the card also offers the most benefits and best insurance package of the three cards. It is technically a cash back credit card since the points earned can only be redeemed for cash discounts at the till at the selection of Loblaw stores and that make the card a favourite for PC Optimum fans. It definitely fills the niche for those who do shop a lot within the Loblaw family of stores. However by being tied into the PC Optimum program you are limited on the redemption side of things and if Shoppers Drug Mart or Real Canadian Superstore aren't your cup of tea this card will not be of much use to you. Having no annual fees the card does not have nearly as many bells and whistles as World Elite Mastercards that do charge a fee, namely in the insurance category.
Costs & Sign up Features
The PC Financial World Elite Mastercard is one of only a few no annual fee World Elite Mastercards in Canada. That's right a card with a lot of benefits that doesn't cost you anything to carry in your wallet. There is no annual fee on supplementary cards. The standard welcome bonus on the card is 20,000 PC Optimum points but PC Financial does tend to offer a 100,000 point bonus on it quite frequently. I recommend checking the Rewards Canada blog frequently for that offer as it is usually only available for a few days at a time.
The interest rate on the card is 20.97% on purchases. 22.97% on cash advances and balance transfers. These rates are slightly higher than equivalent cards at this level. The minimum annual income requirements for the card are $80,000 personal or $150,000 household.
The card earns PC Optimum points and it earns those points as follows:
30 PC Points for every $1 spent at Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart PC Mobile and PC Travel Purchases
20 PC Points per litre at Esso and Mobil stations in Canada
The above earn rates do not take into account additional points you can earn for being a PC Optimum member. For example when you shop at Shoppers Drug Mart you earn 15 points per dollar spent for scanning your PC Optimum card. Those 15 points over and above whatever you earn your card which in the case of the World Elite version is 30 points thus you would earn 45 points per dollar spent. Esso & Mobil offer 10 points per dollar for PC Optimum members and 20 points per litre for a possible total of 30 points per litre.
Point Valuation Chart
The redemption process in the PC Optimum program is relatively easy. Simply put you can redeem 10,000 points for $10 off at participating stores which are all Loblaw grocery stores (Loblaws, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore and so on), Loblaw liquor stores and Shoppers Drug Mart (including Shoppers online). All redemptions must be made in 10,000 point increments so if you have 58,000 points you would only be able to redeem 50,000 points for $50 off your bill. You will want to watch for special events where the program provides more value for your points when redeeming them. These tend to happen every couple of months so if you can time it right you can utilize those offers to extract more value out of the points earned on the credit card.
Features and Benefits
As the card has no annual fee there aren't too many features or benefits to talk about. It does have 10 day out of province travel medical insurance, CDW insurance on car rentals (up to 31 days & $65,000 MSRP max) and your standard purchase assurance of 90 days and extended warranty benefits.
Since it is a World Elite Mastercard is does avail of the benefits that all World Elite Mastercards in Canada enjoy including free Boingo Wifi that is available at over 1 million locations worldwide and also includes Wi-Fi on select airlines including WestJet. Also included is Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey which is an airport business class lounge access program. It essentially waives the membership fee of the lounge program and then you simply pay an entry to access any of the lounges. On top of that there is concierge service, Mastercard Travel Rewards (discounts at select retailers) and an offer with Ritual.
What is good about this card
The best thing about this card is that is has no annual fee combined with some good earn rates. It is rare for no fee card to earn up to a 3% return since those 30 points per dollar the Loblaw group of companies equate to that return.
Another great thing about the card are the World Elite Benefits that provide free Wi-Fi, business class lounge access and more.
It's a Mastercard so that means you can use it at Costco!
What is not so good about this card
There are few things that aren't good about this card. The first will really be dependent on the individual and that is the redemption options. You really don't have a lot of options when it comes to redeeming points from the card. Since you can only redeem at Loblaw family of stores you limit yourself in your reward options. That's why it comes down to the individual - if you only shop for groceries at a Loblaws grocery store then the redemption option becomes a good thing about this card. If you don't shop very often with the company then it's a not so good thing. Then there is the option of redeeming at Shoppers Drug Mart - again comes down to the individual but from my personal experience I do have some issues with it. The reason being is that I always tend to find Shoppers Drug Mart quite a bit more expensive than other stores. I recall once having to buy a bottle of Advil at Shoppers and it was $12.99. The next day while at Sobeys (so not even the cheapest place out there) the same bottle of Advil was $9.99 - and neither store had it on sale. I see this a lot at Shoppers so when you redeem here you are effectively discounting your purchase to make it closer to what other stores charge regularly. I mean if you find something on sale at Shoppers and then redeem points that's great but otherwise you could be better off with a different cash back card and shopping elsewhere. Ultimately it can come down to convenience however to shop at Shoppers Drug Mart and I get it. I don't shop at Real Canadian Superstore as it is nearly 20 minutes away from me whereas Sobeys is less than 5 minutes and the latter does tend to be a bit more expensive. It really comes down to what you value for your time, what gas costs etc.
The next thing is the base earn rate of only 1% - I wouldn't necessarily say this is not so good but I'd put it more at a mediocre thing about this card. The reason being is that you have another World Elite Mastercard with no annual fee with more benefits and a base earn rate of 1.5% and that's the Rogers World Elite Mastercard. So if you are putting more spending on your card outside of the Loblaw family of stores you would be better off with the Rogers card or any number of other cards that have a higher base earn rate.
Who should get this card
These PC Optimum cards are popular in Canada and I have had many a reader often ask me why don't they rank higher in our cash back rankings or talk about the cards very much. It really comes down to the very limited redemption options on the card. It's the same thing with the Triangle Credit Cards, they really fill a niche for their own stores and the accompanying loyalty programs. Being so limited limits our coverage on them and keeps them out of our rankings seeing that in most cases there are better more flexible rewarding options out there. Still, as mentioned above if your heart is near and dear to shopping at Loblaw grocery stores and Shoppers Drug Mart then this is the right card for you.
Latest card details:
PC Financial World Elite Mastercard(via Rates.com our partner on this card)
Other cards to consider if you are looking at this card:
BMO CashBack® World Elite®* MasterCard®*
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