Since today is an optimum promotion at Shoppers Drug Mart, I thought it would be a good time to give an overview of getting the most from your Optimum cards for those who have one in their wallet and rarely use it.
The basic Shoppers Drug Mart program gives you 10 points per dollar spent (rounded down so if you spent $15.98, you would get 150 points). With redemption levels starting at 8000 points, it would take you forever to earn enough points to redeem, but you can use bonus points, Optimum promotions and coupons to make the most of your card.
Optimum Promotions: Shoppers Drug Mart offers special bonus point days where you can earn extra points. The typical promotions are 20x points when you spend $50 or $75, 8000 bonus points when you spend $50 or 18,500 bonus points when you spend $75 or more. Most SmartCanucks Optimum addicts will shop only mostly days when there is a promotion (picking up milk etc on other weeks).
First you want to buy a Shoppers Drug Mart gift card. Unless there is a special promotion on, you only get Optimum points on Shoppers Drug Mart gift cards, no others. Some cashiers will tell you that you do not get points, ask them to scan your card anyway as you want to know your point total. If you spend $50 out of pocket at seven promos in a year, you have an extra 3500 points without spending anything extra.
Use coupons to bring down your total. Our weekly coupons to use with flyers thread will have a list of coupons valid on flyer items and leading up to a promotion, there is usually a thread in the Shoppers Drug Mart forum. Check which coupons you have and make a list. Only cents/money off coupons (coded as 2001 at SDM) are valid towards promotions, you can’t use Try Me Free / FPC coupons (coded as 2002). If you have a coupon for $3 off a coupon costing $3, they should still enter it as 2001 as they get tax refunded on FPC coupons and not cents off coupons, but it really depends on the cashier.
Often cashiers will tell you that you have not spent the required amount so will not get the points, check the screen to see what your base is, once they subtotal it will say how much the customer can earn in points (if they have not yet scanned your card). It is a good idea to keep a copy of their coupon acceptance policy with you if they say you cannot use coupons.
Use bonus point offers to get more points. Each week, Shoppers Drug Mart will offer bonus points on different items – sometimes the value of the points is even worth more than the item price (or price after coupon) so you can ‘make money’ on it. Check for items with points on them to maximize your total.
If an item costing $10.49 shows 2000 bonus points, you would not get 20x points on the 2000BP on a 20x promotional day but you will on the base points. You would get 2000 bonus points, 100 base points and 1900 bonus points from the 20x promo (1900 because 20x points considers base points). We have a list of bonus point offers in our Shoppers Drug Mart forum.
Beware of items that are not eligible for points. In some provinces, milk does not get points, gift cards are excluded for everyone, some get points on pharmacy, most do not (you do on most over the counter items unless they have codeine), taxes, eco-fees, bottle deposits etc do not count as they are collected for the government not by SDM. The list of exclusions varies by province and where required by law. The best way to check is not to scan your Optimum card when they start cashing out, wait until the end and ask them to subtotal. On the screen it will say how many points you will earn on the right side of the screen. Then give your card.
I will cover redeeming and other tips in upcoming blogs, but if you wants a great quick overview, check out this FAQ by forum member Insane.
Are you shopping at SDM today? What is on your list? I am skipping this one – living off the stockpile rather than adding to it.