Making My Points

screen shot of my PC Optimum app showing a points balance of 73,781

There must be some terrific points-spending stories out there. Maybe you bought something big with a whack of saved points or got a special deal of some kind. I envy you because I can’t seem to let mine accumulate before I spend them.

If you’re a collector, you know that Shoppers Optimum points, now PC Optimum points, have improved a lot over recent years. Accumulating points is easier since the Westons (who own Loblaws and related stores) bought Shoppers Drug Mart and brought in Mobil and some Esso stations to the program. It makes me sad when a cashier asks for an Optimum card and the person says, “I don’t have one”.

It’s been my habit to take the $10 discount once it’s been reached. It’s an instant $10 deduction on the bill and I enjoy it! But when Erin Davis and I recently stopped into a Kitchener Shopper’s, I earned about $45 worth of points with one purchase. (Erin generously let me put everything on one bill so the purchase would qualify for bonus points that went on my card!)

Soon 40 became 50, and 50 turned into 70. A Google search showed me the max you can spend at one time is $500 or 500,000 points. “I can do this”, I thought. “I can go from spender to accumulator!”

My points-spending ways comes from getting stuck with worthless Club Z points when Zellers closed. I was living in an area with no nearby Zellers and didn’t beat the deadline. Since then, whether it’s Air Miles or McDonald’s coffee cards, when I get a reach the threshold, I spend them. Fool me once…

So, there I was at the No Frills checkout line. The total came to $91.56. My brain thought, “A $70 discount RIGHT NOW would be significant! You’d only pay $21.56 for all of these items!” And I did it. I spent 70,000 points and walked away feeling like a bandit. So much for becoming an accumulator!

Now I have 4,781 points and they’re slowly growing once again. Will I hold out? Can I get past 70,000 or even 10,000, without caving in? Stay tuned!

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