One of my favourite banking institutions in Canada is President’s Choice Financial. PC Financial offers a low cost for most of your banking needs, and earn points just for doing the regular things that make up your life. This means that you are rewarded for spending money as you would normally. Since one of the keys to financial success with rewards programs is to just spend as normal (without using it as an excuse to make extra purchases), being able to use a program that rewards you for every day purchases is a true pleasure.
I love PC Financial because I can use PC Financial for the no-fee bank account but also as a way to earn PC points on things that I purchase every day. It's a sweet setup.
How Can You Earn PC Points
PC points are earned with the help of a credit card or a debit card. That’s one of the great things about this program. If you aren’t comfortable with the idea of using a credit card to earn points (PC Financial issues a MasterCard), you can use your bank card instead. That way, you can still earn points when swiping your plastic, but you don’t have to worry about using credit or paying interest. It's a program that allows you to customize your financial rewards to your needs.
The PC points program is fairly straightforward:
- Earn 10 PC points for each dollar you spend everywhere you shop with the PC Financial MasterCard.
- Earn 5 PC points for each dollar spent when you use your bank card at participating stores.
The main downside is that the bank card option doesn't offer rewards that are as generous as the credit card rewards. But if you are set against using a credit card, the debit option is much better than nothing.
When you earn your first 20,000 in points, you can get $20 in free groceries. It’s also possible to keep saving up your PC points for other items, and you can redeem them in 10,000 point increments after you reach your initial 20,000 points. For the most part, the grocery option is a good choice, since the grocery bill is probably one of the bills that you are most likely to want to reduce each month.
You redeem your PC points at the checkout at participating stores where President’s Choice products are sold. This includes just about anything, from groceries to gift cards to small appliances to cosmetics. You need to let your cashier know that you plan to use your PC points to help pay for your purchase ahead of time, though. Otherwise, you might not be able to redeem your points at that moment.
Use the PC Financial MasterCard for Best Results
Even though you can use your bank card to earn points, there are more restrictions. You won’t earn as many PC points for each purchase, and each purchase has to be made at a participating store in order for you to get the points.
On the other hand, if you use the PC Financial MasterCard to earn your PC points, you get double the points for each dollar spent. On top of that, you can earn points no matter where you shop, or what you spend your money on. You can rack up the points much faster with the MasterCard, and you can do it without restriction.
However, if you decide to use the credit card to earn your PC points, you will need to make sure that you have a spending plan in place. Paying the interest on a carried balance can offset the value of the rewards you earn. It doesn’t do you much good to get $20 in free groceries if you pay $50 in interest.
Make sure that you use your PC Financial MasterCard only on planned purchases. If you incorporate your credit card use into your regular budget, you can earn PC points at a rapid rate, on things you would buy anyway, and you don’t have to worry about carrying a balance. Just pay off the card each month with your budgeted money. This also means that you need to carefully track your spending. Don't fall into the trap of spending more, and failing to track it.
With the right approach, you can use President’s Choice Financial to earn free items, and improve your financial situation.