Loyalty Programs for Groceries...

In an earlier post, I mentioned that loyalty programs are are great way to stretch your budget via earning rewards on everyday purchases. In this post I'd like to touch upon those ones we would use for our weekly grocery shopping list in Edmonton stores; comparing them to see which offers the best return for our patronage and hard earned money.

Superstore offers PC points via PC (President's Choice) Financial Mastercard- when used at Superstore or anywhere else, you receive 10 points for every dollar you spent. Points are redeemed when you have accumulated 20,000 points for $20 in savings on groceries bought at Superstore and, 10,000 points there after. So, 30,000 points gets you $30 and 40,000 gets you $40 and so on. So PCF Mastercard would get you a return of 1% for your purchases.

Additional promotions for earning more points are occasionally offered such as gas savings, etc. Opening a PC Financial bank account and using their debit card gets you some bonus points and 5 points for every dollar spent at Superstore. Same redemption value as above.

Costco offers their Executive membership for an annual $100 fee. This gives you 2% annual cash back on your Costco purchases including membership fee if you so choose up to $500 max per year. There are certain items listed here that are not eligible for the 2% reward. In addition, American Express offers a Costco TrueEarnings credit card which offers 0.25% cash back on your first $1000 spent; 0.50% on the next $2000 spent; and 1% on any amount over $3000; plus 2% cash back on gas purchases up to $3000 annually and 1% thereafter. After some research, I see AMEX doesn't offer the Costco Platinum Rebate card anymore which gave the consumers 0.25% on the first $2000; 0.50% on the next $3000; and 1.5% on amounts over $5000; and if you carry a balance another 0.5% rebate can be earned.

Sobey's offers 1 point per every dollar spent on groceries with Club Sobey's. Points can be redeemed for in-store savings as such:

Club Sobey's points can also be redeemed for Aeroplan miles or other items via their catalog. BMO offers a Club Sobey's Mastercard that rewards customers with double Club Sobey's points (2) with purchases in store and 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere.

Save-On Foods offers 1 point per $1 spent at their stores with their Save-On-More Rewards card. Save-On Foods offers a catalog of items one can get when they redeem their rewards in-store or online; there is also instant rebates in-store but they are not explicitly clarified anywhere until you are at the till. Redemption rates according to their website is 6000 points for $10 gift card or $25 gift card for 16,000 points with various partners such as Starbucks and Futureshop.

The MBNA Save-On-More Mastercard gets you an extra 3 points for every dollar spent at a Save-On Foods store for a total of 4 points when showing your More Rewards loyalty card also; and 3 points for everyday purchases elsewhere.

Walmart offers only the Walmart Rewards Mastercard for 1.25% cash back on Walmart purchases and 1% rebate for purchases anywhere else.

Safeway offers there the Safeway Club Card. It is only good for current in-store promotions and sales. What is nice is if you forget your Club Card, you can enter your telephone number at the cashier and still receive the discounts available. They also offer Airmiles of 1 airmile for every $20 spent in a Safeway store.

Last but not least, we have Shopper's Drug Mart. They do not offer the selection that the above grocers where you can do all your weekly one-stop shopping but they have entered the fray offering miscellaneous items, etc. that one would get a good deal on and could add as one of their stops in their weekly shopping outings. I mention Shopper's because their Optimum program offers some of the most competitive and highest loyalty points in Canada. You get 10 points for every dollar spent at Shopper's Drug Mart. Rewards are redeemed as such:

When using a Shoppers Optimum Mastercard, you get an additional 15 points on top of your 10 points earned for every dollar spent at a Shoppers (must present both cards at cashier).

And so the comparison goes as such... if one were to spend $500 per week at any one of the above listed stores and was signed up for their loyalty program, not including any introductory offers and current special promotions to earn more points, we would accumulate how many points which represents the cash value of those points after one month (so $2000 spent).

Most loyalty program credit cards offered do not have any annual fees but interest rates on balances vary from card to card.

Also, Costco may seem like it is the best loyalty program in terms of cash value returned, keep in mind you must pay for an annual membership and must spend more for the returns to be worthwhile.

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