Starting Feb. 1, Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus points will combine into a new loyalty program called PC Optimum.

Under the new program, customers can collect and redeem points at participating locations, including Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Pharmaprix, and No Frills. Loblaw, which announced the merger back in November, assures that customers’ existing points will be transferred at full value via a ratio of 1:1.

For example, if a customer has 5,000 PC Plus Points, those points will be converted into 5,000 PC Optimum points.

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The same conversion applies for Shoppers Optimum points, but the value of those points will be different depending on the customer’s collecting habits. According to Patrick Sojka of RewardsCanada.ca, Shoppers Drug Mart customers will get more out of their points under the new loyalty program  if they redeem at lower levels instead of higher levels.

In other words, customers who usually wait to accumulate a lot of points before redeeming them will lose out a little bit, since the conversion rate is greater at higher reward levels.

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For example, the conversion rate for 8,000 points, which is the minimum amount required for redemption, is 0.125 cents per every dollar spent. In contrast, the conversion rate for 95,000 points, which is the maximum amount for redemption, is 0.179 cents for every dollar spent.

To make the most of one’s existing points, Sojka recommends that people “try and earn as many points as possible because those points will retain their value.” By stockpiling the points, they will be converted at the most favourable rate by the time PC Optimum rolls in, even if the balances are in the highest rewards bracket.

Shoppers Drug Mart And Loblaws customers can check how much their points are worth using the online calculator on the PC Optimum website.

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