After using my Shoppers Drug Mart card for four years I recently redeemed my reward (“optimum”) points for $250-worth of gaming items for my PlayStation 3. Although Shoppers’ reward program is a simple one—for every $1 you spend, you get 10 optimum points—knowing how to maximize your value, for this or any other rewards program, requires some knowledge.
In the Shoppers case, the largest amount of points you can collect before having to redeem is 95,000. (Normally, that would get you $170 worth of stuff.) But did I spend $9,500 at Shoppers? Definitely not. Here’s how I did it. Follow these suggestions and you can, too.
Know what you need
Focus on everyday items you know you’ll use. Stock up on toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, soap and toothpaste—items that have no or very distant expiry dates. And when you buy them, get them on sale. Some of these items can be bought more cheaply at discount stores like Walmart and Zellers, but I’d argue that the points program makes buying at Shoppers worth it.
Pay attention to points events
This is where it gets trickier. It’s one thing to buy something on sale, but another to get as many points as you possibly can on that item while you’re at it. Take advantage of points events like points days that multiply the value of every dollar spent.
One points event Shopper’s has every few months are its 20x points days. This means that the number of points you regularly receive is multiplied by 20, so $X * 10 * 20. There’s usually a minimum purchase amount attached to points days in order to qualify for the multiple points bonus. For example, on a recent 20x points day, you needed to spend $75 or more on items before tax. If you spent the minimum of $75, you’d get 15,000 points in one go. To reach the maximum points level in one go, you’d have to spend $475.
Check out the flyer once a week and it’ll tell you what points promotions are going on and when they happen. Make sure to read the fine print of the promotion because some items don’t qualify for reward points.
Know when to redeem
I mentioned that the highest points redemption level is for $170, so how did I get $250-worth of items?
I waited for Shoppers’ once-a-year points redemption event that takes place in December. There are other points redemption events throughout the year, but they only offer a bump up to a $200 redemption. (Note, there are specific rules on how many times you can redeem your points during those events.)
If you’re going to spend that money, why not maximize your return? The chart below shows that the more points you gather, the higher value you get for your dollar. Keep collecting points, but wait until the right time to use them.
|Points Required||Reward Value||Dollar Value of the Points You Get for Spending $100|