PC Money review
If collecting PC Optimum points with every debit transaction sounds good to you, then read on for our PC Money Account review.
If collecting PC Optimum points with every debit transaction sounds good to you, then read on for our PC Money Account review.
PC Money Account is a self-service money management account, which is really a complicated way of saying you can use it to do your daily banking, pay bills and transfer funds between accounts. It’s an online account with no monthly fees, and your PC Money pre-paid card is accepted everywhere that takes Mastercard. The headline feature of the account is that it allows you to earn PC Optimum points on your everyday banking—an advantage for Canadians who already love collecting these points. If you want to know more about whether it’s right for you, read our PC Money Account review.
The PC Money Account works like a bank account—with a twist. It has no monthly fees and offers free unlimited everyday transactions, including cash withdrawals (from PC Financial ATMs or at point of purchase), bill payments, account-to-account transfers and Interac e-Transfers. The PC Money Account card is accepted everywhere they take Mastercard, in person, while travelling or online. Plus, you have the security of CDIC protection on deposits, overdraft protection, fraud detection and support, and the Mastercard Zero Liability Promise for unauthorized purchases. There’s also a user-friendly mobile app to make your banking even more convenient.
The marquee feature of the PC Money Account, however, is that you can earn PC Optimum points for doing your regular banking. Rewards are really only as good as the program itself, so Canadians will likely delight that this is a PC Optimum initiative. PC Optimum points are easy to earn and just as easy to redeem at checkout. And, as the Loblaw Group of Companies is so broad—with groceries, drugstores, housewares and even clothing under its umbrella—the points can be converted into useful everyday products, hassle-free.
While this account is amazing for offering points comparable to that of some credit cards and no monthly fees or transaction fees, it does have some fees you will want to be aware of:
Compare the best chequing accounts in Canada
PC Optimum points can be earned and are accepted at the almost 2,500 participating retail locations, which include Loblaws banner stores like No-Frills, Real Canadian Superstore and Fortinos; at PC Travel; at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix; and at Esso and Mobil gas stations. Redemptions start at 10,000 PC Optimum Points, which is the equivalent to $10 redeemable in merchandise.
When you spend with the PC Money Account card, you’ll earn 25 points per dollar on purchases at Shoppers Drug Mart and 10 points per dollar spent everywhere else—which works out to a return of 2.5% and 1.5% in PC Optimum points, respectively. Linking your card to your PC Optimum account will net you even more points through personalized offers. Plus, you can earn up to 50,000 points in the process of setting up your account and making your first transactions—a value of $50.
So just how does this stack up? PC Money does have its advantages. First, you’re not using credit, and not borrowing money. So you don’t run the risk of carrying a balance. And in using your PC Money Account, you’ll get PC Optimum points at nearly the same earn rate as when you use the PC Financial Mastercard credit card. For example, use the credit card at Esso to earn 30 points per litre of gasoline, but use your PC Money card and you earn 10 per litre). You can accelerate these rates with the PC Financial World Mastercard and the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard. All three cards are no-fee, but you’ll need to meet minimum eligibility requirements for the latter two. Using only a PC Optimum card, rather than a credit card or PC Money Account, you can still earn points, though at a lower rate and at fewer places. You’ll get 15 points per dollar at Shoppers Drug Mart and 10 points per litre of fuel at Esso/Mobil, but you’ll only earn points in Loblaws banner stores on personalized offers. Purchases elsewhere don’t earn.
Given their tangled origin, it should come as no surprise that these accounts have some things in common. There’s also a lot to differentiate them.
Both accounts offer daily banking, have no monthly fees and include free unlimited transactions like Interac e-Transfer, unlimited debit purchases and bill payments. They each have a mobile app and fall into the increasingly crowded category of no-fee online bank accounts.
Then, these two accounts diverge. Whereas the Simplii account broadens out its traditional banking services by offering standard paper cheques, the PC Money Account takes a different tack and bridges the gap between bank account and rewards card. Not tied only to its network of ATMs, the PC Money card is accepted everywhere they take Mastercard—in-person, when travelling and online. And, of course, the PC Money Account lets you earn PC Optimum points that you can redeem for groceries, drug stores items, travel, and gas. That you can earn points with PC Money is a big plus over Simplii, which earns a meagre interest rate on your deposits in comparison.
|Free, unlimited Interac e-Transfers, account-to-account transfers, debits and withdrawals, and bill payments||✓||✓|
|ATM network||PC Financial||CIBC|
|Rewards||PC Optimum points||Not available|
For those who collect PC Optimum points (or those who wish to), the PC Money Account is an exciting product. With it, you get most of the perks of free everyday banking plus the ability to earn valuable and flexible PC Optimum points. It’s also a solid option for anyone wanting to earn rewards on everyday spending and wants to steer clear of a credit card—either because of a history of bad credit, or the fear of being tempted to overspend and rack up interest charges.
The main drawback to this account, and what might cause some to avoid making the switch, is the absence of cheques. Paper cheques are increasingly anachronistic, but some people aren’t quite ready yet to cut ties with their traditional ideas of banking, especially if you use them to pay for things like rent, a personal loan or gym membership, etc.
All things considered, the fact the PC Money Account has no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirement means there’s no real consequence to keeping the account open and using it just to rack up rewards on everyday spending, provided you’re okay with managing your money across two accounts at the same time.
One other thing to note is that Loblaws banner stores and Shoppers Drug Mart are far more common and available in Ontario and Quebec than in other parts of the country, making the PC points you earn on your PC Money Account harder to redeem for Canadians outside those regions.
PC Financial began as a joint venture with CIBC in 1996 to offer banking services under the Loblaw Companies’ wildly popular President’s Choice brand. With PC Financial, Canadians were able to receive no-fee banking and participate in the Loblaws rewards program, called PC Plus at the time. In 2017, CIBC and Loblaw Companies mutually decided to end their joint venture, and CIBC launched Simplii Financial as their direct banking brand. The following year, PC Plus merged with Shoppers Optimum to create the improved PC Optimum rewards program that exists to this day. In addition to their PC Mastercard line of credit cards, PC Financial has now launched the PC Money Account, an account handled by President’s Choice Bank that allows you to collect PC Optimum points.
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The inactivity fee is on a yearly basis, not monthly as reported. Great article otherwise, and I’m eagerly awaiting mine in the mail!
You said cash withdrawls can be done from point of purchase. Do you mean it is the same as cash back for using a normal debit card on Interac system? Are you 100% sure it can be done even though the PC money card is a prepaid MasterCard on the MasterCard network? Have you actually done it? Is there any fee for that? Can reward points be earned on the withdrawl if it is considered part of the purchase?
Due to the large volume of comments we receive, we regret that we are unable to respond directly to each one. We invite you to email your question to [email protected], where it will be considered for a future response by one of our expert columnists. For personal advice, we suggest consulting with your financial institution or a qualified advisor.
This account doesn’t work with some types of transactions possibly because it is not a true chequing account. For example, my pre-authorized payment (PAD) for rent with my rental company didn’t work while same type of transaction with BC Hydro worked.
Great post. I was considering going back to PC money account but the the absence of paper cheques is a deal breaker. We use it as our main family account so we need the cheques.
Well I just opened an account like this last week, made a few 1$ test payments to make sure that it was working all was good. So a few days later I paid all my bills and got the bonus opt points as stated.
I’m only using this account to pay my bills and get the extra opt points and use my pc credit card for all my purchases as I have elite card and earn way more points. I pay my bill off completely on the 20th of each month to avoid interest charges.
The only drawback to this is having to log-in to both my back accounts complete an E-Transfer and waiting for the funds to be sent. Then having to log into the PC Money account and do the bill payments
Otherwise it is a win win for me, I made just under 10$ this month for paying my bills 🙂
How many points for bill payments?
how long does it take to receive the PC money card in the mail???
Joined the PC Money account in October 2020 and had nothing but problems from day one. Two months of phone calls and in store visits was enough for me. The points are simply not worth the frustration; PC has way too many fixes that need to be done before the account was launched. Look at other reviews, no one that is positive.
My experience with this card has been horrible and I haven’t even used it yet. As an existing PC Mastercard holder and PC Optimum member, one would think that the process would have been seamless. Instead I’ve had to deal with uninformed customer service personnel via phone calls and emails since mid-September. First, I couldn’t “see” my new PC Money card via my existing PC Financial online account. After I was told to set up a new login, the PC Optimum side of things went awry and I wasn’t able to see the points earned via my Mastercard. Various FAQs on both PC Financial and PC Optimum websites referenced menu items that weren’t even there (i.e., ways to add a new card). While the PC Money card idea may have been good — my main objective was to use it for online transactions — the rollout has been a failure. Today, three months after getting my card, I am finally able to access my PC Financial points from PC Optimum. Right now, I couldn’t tell you whether I will ever actually use my PC Money card after all this.
I have been using a PC Money account alongside my regular Scotiabank account for several months now. There are drawbacks to the PC Money account which your readers should know about.
First of all, Loblaw doesn’t train its cashiers on how this card works, particularly the fact that it automatically tabulates PC points during a purchase and does not need to be scanned like the PC Optimum card. When I have tried to explain this the cashier always argues and refuses to cooperate, insisting on scanning the PC Optimum card. As a result I’ve lost time arguing with ignorant cashiers, lost points and been forced to have the cashier scan my PC Optimum card to get any points, in lieu of getting more points from the PC Money card. I’ve also had cashiers accidentally cash in my points twice when I didn’t want to cash them in.
Secondly, Shoppers self scan machines don’t allow the customer to collect points unless they scan a PC Optimum card. A screen pops up asking if you want to collect PC Optimum points, but it demands that you scan a PC Optimum card and won’t accept the PC Money card. The only way around this screen to finish your purchase is to decline to collect points, then when you use the PC Money card to pay you get no points. The machines won’t scan it. So the customer can only collect points at the lower PC Optimum card rate unless they pay at a cashier. I have not tested the PC Money card on Loblaw self scan machines, but I expect the same problem.
Finally, and most importantly, the PC Money online banking has a glitch that sometimes causes the balance displayed to be different from the amount of available funds. They confuse the customer by flagging transactions which have already gone through as “pending”. This is because it seems like they couldn’t decide between credit card online banking and “bank” online banking so they just created a confusing mishmash of both. With a credit card, “pending” transactions aren’t deducted from your account until they go through. With PC Money, “pending” can mean that the funds went through OR that they haven’t yet. The only way I’ve been able to tell is by calculating my balance manually.
Another glitch is that it often shows automatic debits twice with two different amounts, deducting both amounts from the available balance. This mainly occurs with US transactions. When I first noticed it I contacted two creditors to complain that they were doubling their withdrawals, only to find the second withdrawal disappeared “on its own”. So far this has happened four times.
Overall, I like collecting more points with PC Money but when Loblaw doesn’t support it by training their cashiers and programming their self serve point of sale terminals to accept them, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Especially when their online banking interface is glitchy and I have to get out a calculator to figure out what my true balance is. Juggling two bank accounts so I can have access to chequing is a hassle as well. I have to have my pay deposited in the Scotia account so I can pay my rent and a couple of larger bills. I then have to e-transfer funds over to the PC Money account to pay more bills and make purchases. When I transfer funds from Scotia to PC Money it takes at least 4 hours for Interac e-transfer to send me the email so that I can deposit the funds into the PC Money account. I have to make sure I remember to transfer the funds over, and how much to transfer.
I received my ox account card in the mail . Loaded it and when I went into the store to use it they had cancelled it without any notification. I’ve been a pic member for 20 plus years in great standing with a master card and bank account so When I called they couldn’t tell me why this happened. If I hadn’t called in to check I would never have gotten my money back that I had loaded on the card . I’m angry and no one can tell me why this happened. I will be rethinking this bank sadly .
I have been a PC Mastercard member for at least 10 years now, and collecting point is really a good deal. So the PC money came in, i was sooooo excited,,spent 2 days transferring all my pay, all my expenses and everything.
1st week i have noticed that there is a huge delay in payment of my bill and that eventually cost me some interest because it was not paid on time..etransfers shows pending but the recipient actually got the money, etransfer that i sent to my other bank account sent 5 days ago and still never got it..it shows completed in the app but until now i haven’t got it..and alot of time..deductions and money coming in are just marked as deposit or sent but i actually doesn’t say from who or to who..till 2 days later. December 29, i sent 600 to my other bank..it showed pending but the money was deducted to my account, my other real bank never got the money but was taken off my PC money account..i called and was on the phone for 58 minutes..and the agent didn’t know what happened to it..next thing i know the transaction that was originally marked pending..was gone. So i dont know if that money deducted to my account was populated into my new balance or not because i have other transactions that i made sonce December 29, which are still marked pending but some went thru and some havent..so yeah i just couldn’t trust my hard earned money to this company anymore..i have to have my calculator all the time to make sure they tally correctly. Coz they can just changed things around in the end and we dont even know what happened to the last account balance.
I am sad and very very disappointed with this..if you are thinking of switching because of the points..its not worth it..you can save money somewhere without having to go thru all the headaches. And calling the customer service could really eat yiur precious time..i have made a lot of phone calls and it could last for hours without having a resolution to your issue and only once that someone gave me a case number thay way i could at least call back and not to explain myself over and over again. And when they promise that things will be fixed in 2 days..dont believe it..always verify and call them again as they dont take accountability to what they said. When i applied there were so many glitches that i end up having 3 cards issued to me..so i called to cancel the 2 other cards and they said they cancelled it in their system..but its been 3 weeks and i still have those cards in my app..which is annoying coz everytime i do online transactions it always defaults the source of fund to the card that i have already cancelled..i am one that rarely make a review but i just wany to share my experience before somebody gets fooled.
I’m not impressed with this account. At least three times I have not been able to access my account. Support is terrible. They say someone will call me back in 24 to 48 hours to fix things but it never happens. One support person asked me if I was using the internet to access my account. As opposed to what? It used to be that when I transferred money in, the transaction would always show up immediately. One day it didn’t and I was worried as to where the money went. The support person could not offer an explanation, just told me not to worry. It takes many days for an incoming transfer to happen and then, no matter how small the amount, there’s a hold for another five business days. My profile continues to list a PC Mastercard that I cancelled long ago. When using two step verification there can be a very long wait to receive the code via email.
I joined october of last year having to go to stores many phone calks they do honour there points they dont do anything i use points faithfully i dont ever get them when i should im still waiting for points for oowning the account and then using it not a single points and 5 months of calling horrible card.
A word to those considering. They do not tell you that you cannot do anything even online until the cards arrive sometime around 10 business days. If you fund the account before the cards are received you cannot use them and if you try transactions they will flag your account as fraudulent. I spent 5 hours one day trying to get access to my account and after it was all working I went in to try another transaction and it was flagged as fradulent again. Worst experience ever.
I’ve had this PC Money card for a year but I’m about to close it. First, they control what you can spend your money on and decline transactions they don’t approve of. I tried to buy a lottery ticket and it was declined.
Second, they can’t be trusted to provide customers with accurate balance information, and when their online banking site acts up (has happened several times to me) their phone reps are useless, they just make excuses and waste your time. Or, their entire online banking system goes down and you can’t get in to your accounts at all.
They put holds on Interac e-transfers, which can take a day or more to be lifted. Sending or receiving funds from a PC Money account takes a minimum of an hour.
Cashiers at Loblaw owned stores are not trained on how to use the card to earn your points. You have to watch them like a hawk and literally teach them how to do their job otherwise you lose your points. Half of them don’t know what a PC Money card is and give you grief when you try to use it. Self serve point of sale terminals are not configured for PC Money cards and you lose points there too. You have to use “PC Mastercard” as the tender to get points.
Finally – they lost all of my money. Their broken down system thinks I have a zero balance, so do the seat fillers at their call centre. But when I call and enter my card number it gives me the correct balance. I have to call them to get my balance because their online banking system says I have zero. It doesn’t matter if I use the phone app or my PC. I’m afraid to test the card at a store now. I can’t move my money to my real bank account. PC Money phone reps did nothing to fix this, so my grocery money for the month is now in limbo. PC Money is nothing but a toy half bank account. I’d sooner trust my money to a paper shredder.
There is a $40 Insufficient Funds charge but how would that happen when there are no cheques?
Would you get charged if you try to pay a bill and there isn’t enough in the account? It seems that that might be easy to do by mistake.
How long does it take to get card in the mail or is there a way I can use my card with Apple Pay before it comes in the mail.
If you are thinking to get this Pc money card.
DON’T DO IT.
I use the card to pay around 1060 dollars and they hold another 1060 dollars.
I waste 3 hours trying to get customer support.
They told me that sometimes this card works like a credit card and they HOLD your money.
I needed to wait 10 days to access my money again.
I wait for 2 hours to reach someone, and the guy transfer me again, and I waste another 1 hour.
There is a lot of better options out there.
Don’t waste your time with this crap.
Worst customer experience ever.
Been waiting for my PC Financial card in the mail for 9 weeks now. After the first 6 weeks I called and they said they sent me a new card that was supposed to arrive in 2-3 business days, and told me that would be the last “free replacement”.
I had loaded $400 on it in anticipation I could use the mobile card as was suggested, however, I don’t have the number on the card and online it only shows the last few numbers. You also cannot activate the account online without the physical card, although you are able to put money in it???? I got frustrated with the money sitting in the account so decided to pay my PC Financial Mastercard with it. Although I moved $400, it shows only a payment of 391.00!!! so I got charged some fee it seems. Currently back on the phone waiting on hold, again. Horrible customer service. I love PC points but I can’t even use the card to get my bonus points that need to be spent within the fist 3 months. Thinking I may have to cancel, and I may even ditch my PC mastercard because of all this. Not happy, waste of time and money.
I’ve requested PC close my PC Money account for many of the reasons listed here, and not received any response. I don’t want to pay the $20 fee if the card isn’t used for one year. Has anyone successfully closed their account and not been charged the $20?
The only thing I don’t like about the PC Money Account is that I always check how much money is in my account before I go shopping and a couple times now I’ve gone over which I don’t even know how that has happened because the transaction was approved in the store but then afterwards I find out my account is in the minus and what happened to me recently is that I made an e-transfer and put some money into my PC account it took the little bit of money off that I owed but now the remainder I can’t access there’s a flag on my account which is dumb it’s like the system should know as soon as you have covered what was owing as soon as you have covered that negative balance then the rest should be made available to you immediately but their system doesn’t recognize that where with Scotiabank if I was in the negative and I put money into my account it would deduct what I owed but then the rest would be available to me right away, even outside of business hours, but I don’t like how the PC Money Account is for the simple fact they seem to be behind in transactions, it’s just odd because like I say a couple times I’ve had my account go into the minus when my purchases got approved in the store so it’s very confusing that way it’s like the purchases aren’t in real time or something.
This is a horrible product. It is too much stress and work to get the little points.
Just cancel my account. Totally, not worth the time!
A couple other things about Pc Financial you need to be aware of:
1. The app does not have a photo deposit option. So not only do they not have cheques they don’t accept them for photo deposit eitehr.
2. No Joint Accounts! This is a real pain. If you and your partner or spouse have joint expense like a mortgage, car payment or whatever you will need to open an account at another bank. PC does not allow joint account holders.
I LOVE the PC Financial card, and have had no problems so far!
I applied for it online, received it within 5 business days.
I waited to transfer funds into the account until AFTER receiving the card and activated the account online. I see the online app states one can transfer funds as soon as the application is approved, but that makes no sense. Why move funds to an account that cannot be activated without a physical card that has yet to arrive?
There is no fee for the card. Using it a minimum of once a year to avoid a $20 maintenance charge shouldn’t be a problem. If you don’t plan on using it at least once a year, why get it?
The main reason for getting the card is for PC Optimum point rewards. To get the maximum benefit, the card should be used as much as possible. Normally I could only get those points shopping at SDM, Loblaws, or No Frills. Not any more! Not only do I receive 3 times the amount of points on every dollar when using the PC Financial card vs the PC Optimum rewards card at the above establishments, I also receive 10 PC Optimum points for every dollar I spend EVERYWHERE I use the PC Financial card. This goes for online purchases, in addition to in person interac purchases. Plus, when I use the card online, there are only the finite amount of funds I’ve put on the card available, so I don’t have to worry about thousands of dollars worth of unauthorized merchandise potentially being charged on my account.
I simply transfer the funds I want to use from my bank account to the PC Financial card, and I get the points when I make my purchase. I need to spend the money anyway, I may as well be rewarded for it! This also goes for bill payments made online. I added the bills I pay online to my PC Financial account and now, when I pay the bill, I receive PC Optimum points for every dollar I pay. Normally I receive NO REWARD when I pay my bill. Now I do.
I have already earned 30,000 points this week. That is redeemable for $30 in groceries, pharmaceutical products, merchandise, and clothing, etc. That may not be a lot to some people, but it is to me.
The money on the PC Financial card is my money that I transferred there. It is not credit card company funds that I am using, so I don’t have to worry about interest charges on unpaid balances or overspending.
I read another user couldn’t purchase lottery tickets with their card. I did not have any difficulty with that. I purchased the tickets, in addition to products, at SDM, without incident.
I don’t use checks, so that is not an issue for me. Anyone I need to pay, I can transfer funds to from my PC Financial account into their account.
So far, I have had no difficulties with the PC Financial card. It has been a great option for me, and I am very happy I applied for it.
Thank you PC Financial and PC Optimum!
Do not anybody go with PC financial they are crooks i applies for the bank acc and credit card i was approved for both rhet sent me my card i logged into app checked card status activated it then a feew days went by no credit card so i called them and all of a sudden they hung up on me cancelled my cards and restricted my acc access so i could not log in i called bacjk they said my acc was opened in error so they closed it …then sent me another application i filled out sent back was approved again even did identification process over again said my mastercard was on the way never received it them i checked my credit report and they said pc financial did a hard inquiry 6 times lost alot of points on credit score called them asked them all thet do is say apply in 6 months then hang up..what can i do about this????is there a lawyer out there that can help me i am sure im not the only person they have done this to so maybe class action lawsuit is in order
The one commenter stated that the inactivity fee is annually not monthly as posted but nowhere in the post does it mention a monthly inactivity fee.