How To Make The Most Of Your Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Card – Bonus Point Days

Community Features


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.

28 responses to “How To Make The Most Of Your Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Card – Bonus Point Days”

  1. Chantal Leblanc says:

    I love shopping with my optimum card. I paid for several Christmas gifts with it last December. With the points accumulated during the year, my siblings and myself received over $1000 worth of free stuff during a bonus redemption weekend. It is great!
    Just a small note about this week’s promotion…The 2 day specials only start tomorrow so you may be disappointed if you try to get the deals today. But something positive is that the bonus points are available until Tuesday

  2. doter says:

    Thanks for the informative post! I’m wondering: can you use your points to buy gift cards? I’m at the top of the redemption level, and honestly, wouldn’t know what to spend it on there…

    • FallenPixels says:

      That was going to be in next weeks post, but no – you can’t redeem for gift cards, bus tickets, prescriptions and a few other things

      • FallenPixels says:

        As far as redeeming, I have done redemptions on makeup, groceries, a camera, a netbook, gifts for people, perfume some with bigger electronics and food sections have a good variety of stuff

  3. Dotty says:

    Thanks again for the feedback (and sorry to preempt next week’s post!). My current points balance is 110355, and I worry that if I wait too long the rules will change and I won’t be able to use them.

    I do have a baby on the way, and considered buying diapers, but I worry about returning them if the size and/or fit isn’t right.

    An electronic object might not be a bad idea; I’ll have to see if they sell video cameras

  4. Dotty says:

    PS. Dotty = Doter — don’t know why the name change happened!

    • FallenPixels says:

      There was a rumour flying around before Christmas that the points values were changing and SDM posted they had no plans to change them at that time (not to say it won’t happen but last time they gave us fair warning and a couple of bonus redemption chances to redeem before it happened)
      As long as you use your card at least every 12 months, the points won’t expire so you could wait until the baby is born and get diapers then – and if they do change points values before that, you can always redeem

      Sign up for their VIB program too and get BP offers for baby stuff

  5. Carol says:

    Dotty, if you are worried about sizing of diapers, don’t buy too many in the smallest sizes, as baby will outgrow them quicker. You also might consider a camera for getting lots of pics of new baby!

  6. Insane says:

    Dotty….what I’ve done in the past when babe has outgrown them, I exchange them at Walmart without a receipt (as long as they are unopened and Walmart sells that size package). I rule of thumb in our house is 1month in size 1, 2 months in size 2 and 3+months in size 3. Averaging about 4-5 diapers a day. Of course every baby is different, but generally speaking, that’s what has worked for our kids. You can always but just a few packs (of different brands) and then when you figure out what works for you buy or redeem for more. There is usually lots and lots of bonus point coupons on diapers.

  7. Bruce says:

    Great post. Really helpful. My wife collects points with her SDM Optimum card and at one point about four years ago she noticed that she lost a bunch of her points. As someone previously mentioned, you have to use your card at least once every 12 months. However, she has never not used it for that length of time to collect points. Is there any other reason to lose points from your account? I know that she can go great lengths without spending any points. Thanks.

    • FallenPixels says:

      If you use a BP offer that cant be used with a certain promo they sometimes remove them (like when downtown Toronto/Ottawa etc stores do Saturday promos on Fridays and have an existing promo going – but its very rare

  8. Mags says:

    I love the Shoppers Optimum program. I only buy during points event (20x the points, 18,500 points for $75) and I collect all year. I then use my points as my “Christmas fund.” For the last 2 years, I’ve been able to cash in 95,000 points and 50,000 points during their bonus cash in event in early December. I buy gift sets, perfume, CD’s, videos – I’m amazed at the variety of things you can get. I pretty much do all my Christmas shopping with points. Both years I have gotten over $300 worth of stuff, and you just pay for the tax. Question though – if you buy a Shoppers gift card during a points event, do you still get the 20x the points? Then can you use the gift cards for points during another event? Would be a great way to get double the 20x if purchased and used during points events.

  9. Dotty says:

    Thanks @Carol and @Insane — very helpful!!

  10. Theresa says:

    What in the world do people buy to get to $75?? I find things for cheaper elsewhere and therefore won’t buy certain things at shoppers. I even have the RBC optimum card and it still takes me months just to get to 8000 points.

    • FallenPixels says:

      @Theresa – I usually do not do $75 promos but if you stock up on items with coupons you can do it

      @adora – SC tends not to recommend any credit cards on the blog, its too much of a personal decision and not for everyone where the other points are 🙂 good tip though

  11. adora says:

    You forgot to mention the Shoppers RBC credit card or check card. It offers 15 bonus points for every $1 you spent in addition to the 10 points. For purchases outside of Shoppers drug mart, you still get 5 points for every $1. There is also a one time 2,500 points sign up bonus.

  12. adora says:

    @Theresa. If you go to the larger stores with cosmetics and groceries, it’s very easy to spend over $75. Milk, eggs, bread, soda and chips which are always at competitive price, already set me back $20. A box set of cosmetic easily cost over $50. Perfume is usually around $75. Refill to my electric toothbrush is around $20 for a pack of 3. Toilet paper and Tide go on sale for $4.99 about once a month. I’d buy 4 each.

    I guess you have to plan carefully, to buy everyone at one go instead of buying things when you run out. I agree that SDM seem more expensive if you buy at regular price willy nilly, but thousand of SCer can’t be wrong. Their sales are crazy good, so only buy sales!

  13. MsKirsty says:

    It’s true I mostly shop when it’s 20x the points, but I collect my points to redeem at Murale. I find I don’t have to spend has much shopping at SDM to collect points and I do it much faster. I am currently waiting for the big redemption of 95,000 for $235 at Murale. I also get bonus points coupons mailed to me from SDM about every other month.

  14. Sue Murdock says:

    So I’m a little confused…coupons can be used towards the minimum purchase amount for bonus points? Every time the cashiers tell me they can’t…please clarify 🙂 thank you for all the info!

    • FallenPixels says:

      @Sue M yes they can, the cashiers have no control over giving you points and the system is set up to allow it. Print the coupon acceptance policy I linked (its in the FAQ too). I just tell them I am saving more in coupons than would get points and then they hand me my receipt saying ‘oh you did get the points’

  15. Insane says:

    Mags-No, it excludes gift cards.

    Sue Murdock-Yes. It’s even in their policy. There are exceptions such as FPC.

    Check out the FAQ that Fallenpixels linked. It has so many questions answered like these right at your finger tips.

  16. Christina says:

    I’m confused on the coupon thing too. I am always told I have to spend $50 or $75 (whatever the promo amount) before coupons. Is that true or can you use the before coupon amount to get your bonus points?

    • FallenPixels says:

      @Christina, as long as they are not try me free / FPC coupons, spend $50/$75 and then use coupons to bring it down
      Just make sure the before coupon amount is on valid products

  17. Chantal Leblanc says:

    Dotty. Might I make a suggestion. With a baby on the way, keep in mind that buying formula during the 20x points events is a great way to build on points that can then be used to buy more formula or diapers. I have bought formula ahead of time during the 20X points on several occasion and then I get to have about half as much back free. If you buy $500 worth of formula (not necessarily at the same promotion but a few cases several times per year at different 20 x events), you will have accumulated 100 000 points on formula alone, which is something you will need to buy anyway. That 100 000 points will be worth more than $200 at several bonus redemption events throughout the year.So even if the price for formula is a little bit more than other stores, the money you get back from it far outweighs the few extra dollars per case that you pay upfront.

  18. bambinoitaliano says:

    For those who are diabetic, if you use test strips and needles and alcohol wipes that are cover by your insurance, 20X time points is the best time to get them. Just make sure you get a receipt with pharmacist signature on it. Also if you use prestige cosmetics especially Biotherm, watch for optimum points promotion. Recently, it’s new line Blue Therapy had a promotion of buying an item for 20000 points. So a $65 dollar item essentially would get you 30X the points. And if you buy two, you can split up the transactions. On top of that, sometimes they also have gift with purchase.

  19. Dotty says:

    @Chantal Thanks for the suggestion. I’m hoping to breastfeed, but acknowledge that it might not work out for me. I’ll certainly keep your advice in theback of my mind should I have the need for formula.

    @MsKirsty Can you explain a bit what Murale is? Is it an online store through SDM?

  20. MsKirsty says:

    @Dotty Murale is a part of SDM that sells more high end cosmetics, fragrances, and skincare. They have 1 store in some provinces. Ontario has 2 (Ottawa & Toronto). They have a website ( where you can purchase products but you cannot redeem your points online. Also they don’t sell all the lines online, like Chanel, Bobbi Brown, etc., you have to go in-store. There promotions for 20x etc. are pretty much the same as SDM but usually is the weekend after or a
    different purchase amount.

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