Shoppers Drug Mart: Changes to Optimum Points (Effective July 1, 2010)


If you are a Shoppers Optimum points collector, this post may interest you. I shopped there yesterday and the cashier told me there are changes coming, this caused much panic in the forum on this site. Well today, Shoppers updated their website to reflect those changes. I know some people are saying there won’t be bonus redemptions or PLUS status kickbacks anymore, this has not been confirmed however. Changes to reward programs happen all the time and they are inevitable. I remember when I first joined Optimum years and years back, you could redeem for $5 at 3500 points.

Basically the points levels have been increased, so you need more points to redeem for each level. Here is the rundown of the new and old system for points redemption


New (as of July 1, 2010)

You can read all about the changes at the links below:

Optimum changes

Optimum Plus changes

And you can discuss with others, here in our thread on the forum.

42 responses to “Shoppers Drug Mart: Changes to Optimum Points (Effective July 1, 2010)”

  1. bambinoitaliano says:

    If you take $150 and divide by 75000 and multiply 95000. You should get $190.Instead you are getting $20 less base on the new point system. Time to cash in, considering the new HST also starts in July, it’s going to cost a lot more to accumulate at the new level and getting a lot less.

  2. Moi says:

    Sigh,,,,,,,,it takes me forever to get 7,000 points and now they have raised the minimum to 8,000…….sigh…….oh da HORROR! 🙁 🙁

  3. trucks12trucks says:

    According to their new terms and conditions there WONT be PLUS status kickbacks as they aren’t mentioned anywhere ( I couldnt find anyway) . The Redemption Rewards section of Redemption of Shoppers Optimum Plus Benefits and the table which was present in the last Terms and Conditions has been taken out of the new one. All that is left is the Special Offers section for Plus members.

  4. missbobloblaw says:

    Ow…this sucks! Thanks for blogging! I obviously missed the conversation!

  5. Brock says:

    Booooooooooo! time to go back to wal-mart for shopping.

  6. honeydoo says:

    ugh lame, i’m at about 74,500……….. was hoping to do a bonus redemption in the fall or winter. i don’t need anything at all now but i guess i’ll use ’em up this weekend. (after i get the extra 500 :P)

  7. ex-Shoppers customer says:

    What a disappointment…. they lose their milk money because the Ontario government cuts the generic drug ‘kickback’, so they have to keep those profit margins up somehow… and take it out on the Shopper.

    Guess who’s shopping less there now?

  8. Moom says:

    Darn it 🙁

    Still, at least I did the max redemption a couple of times. Don’t shop there very much to begin with (only sometimes do they have offers that are REALLY worth it) so I guess I’ll be shopping there even less…

    At least you can still buy a gift card then immediately use it to get at least 2x points (see para. 13).

    When did they change the Plus Program so you needed 15,000 points – it used to be 10,000?

  9. Lulu says:


  10. Minou says:

    Funny… I was just thinking this morning that there might be changes to the Optimum program afoot… The frequent bonus redemption events were making me wonder…

    Well, at least they’re giving people a chance to cash in at the current bonus redemption level before they change the program!

    I’m sure they end up losing a lot of money selling to shoppers like us, since we generally tend to get about 50% of our purchase price back as points when we play the game properly! When we’re buying everything on sale, they’re losing money on us! I guess we’re all just lucky that everyone hasn’t caught on to what an amazing program this is! We’d be out of luck for sure then!

  11. Moom says:

    Profit is the only concern of any business, it just so happens that usually you need to try to keep customers happy as well otherwise revenue (and therefore profit) dries up.

    IMO, the optimum program is still a pretty strong program but they’re clearly weakening the relative points value in their favour.

    I’m going to cash the points I have (enough for a $100 redemption) this weekend simply because it’s my last chance to do so while I only need 40K and not 50K to do it and at least I still get 5K back.

    We rarely shop there anyway, only really on 20x weekends and when we need stuff that’s in the flyer.

  12. 7mountains says:

    This is horrible news, for the customer. I have over 150,000 points and was hoping to keep increasing so that at X-Mas I could get a couple of large ticket items, makes me wonder now if I should just redeem and focus more on stacking at LD!!

  13. Theresa says:

    I would say this is a pathetic attempt at giving it to the Ontario government. Get the customers to think that Shoppers is unable to afford to keep point levels the same, and JUST maybe customers will jump onto the save poor poor Shoppers. I am not buying it.

  14. Tony says:

    The changes are a bummer. But nonetheless, the SDM Optimum Points are by far the best store loyalty program we have going in terms of return on money spent. In my opinion, SDM is by far the best program out there even with the changes compared to Aeroplan, Air Miles, HBC, or Esso Rewards.

  15. melissa says:

    what a big jump from 25.00 at 15000 points to 30.00 at 22000 points, i guess i will slowly decrease. I am assuming bonus redemptions for 95000 points will be 200.00 if they do them that way you are only getting 30.00 free not he usual 50.00….im up to 16000 points and wass saving but think im going to redeem!

  16. greentires4me says:

    I want to know will less people shop there because they raise their rates for points?

    Ya would think to be better to their members they lower their points and add more things to how much you get off of the purchase at the checkout.

  17. The_Scarecrow says:

    I can’t believe all the complaining im reading, even with the changes the pts value is still better than anywhere else. People should stop saying stuff like “SDM doesn’t care about the customers”…. they are running a business and I think it’s a smart move considering how popular they have become the last year or 2. People don’t realize how good they had it and how good they will continue to have after the changes, I redeemed $300 the last 2 months and I wouldn’t even get half that at any other store.

  18. stacy says:

    i guess i will do bonus redemption! anyone have any ideas on what would give me some extra points? i was going to go to shoppers today but i think i need about 3500-4000 points to make it tot he 55 dollar level

  19. jessie says:

    yes, even after the change, sdm is still the best. i have told some of my friends to get sdm’s credit card because the best value out there, but they didn’t listen to me. we are lucky to get around the 20x points and the bonus redemption. i will still shop there because of its convenient location and the best value back to customers.

  20. Suzifevens says:

    I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal either. Sure it’ll take a bit longer to get to the highest redemption amount, but considering how quickly you can accumulate them with 20x points, tell a friend, etc. is it really goingto make that big of a difference? It won’t to me. This is still by FAR the best points system around, it takes me forever to save up enough airmiles to get something, but in a only a handfull of shopping trips I can get enough SDM Optimum points to cash in for over $100 of free stuff!

  21. Marketing_Guy says:

    For everyone’s reference, here’s how the changes break down by tier (each tier is the next redemption amount; each is more economical than the last):

    Tier 1: OLD = 700pts per $1, NEW = 800pts per $1
    Tier 2: OLD = 600pts per $1, NEW = 733pts per $1
    Tier 3: OLD = 545pts per $1, NEW = 633pts per $1
    Tier 4: OLD = 533pts per $1, NEW = 588pts per $1
    Tier 5: OLD = 500pts per $1, NEW = 557pts per $1

    So reading into this, even at the highest point level they’ve increased the redemption rate by 11%. Think of it like increasing their prices by 11% (except it’s costing you more points, not more money).

    It’s still a strong loyalty program if you buy on 20x Days and redeem on Bonus Days. But always consider whether the price difference on everything you buy is offset by the ‘value’ of your points.

  22. SnowWhiteFanatic says:

    Ultimately you are getting something for free for buying products you need anyway – if you shop there strictly to get the points and aren’t getting the best price, then why are you shopping there? So you have to save up a few more FREE points before redeeming, big deal – still something for nothing.

  23. thewholeshebang says:

    I just got my really old red Optimum card updated to the new white one, and was reading the form that it came with. On the back of the form, Line 42 i think, it says: “The points program will be terminated December 31st, 2016.” Huh. What is that about?

  24. Manitoban says:

    This is still the best rewards program out there. Last year, buying during the 20X the points events and cashing them in during bonus redemption, I got $1100 in free merchandise. This year, I’m on target to get the same or more. It will take a little longer now, of course, but consider, for example, Best Buy. You have to spend $500 to get a $5.00 voucher. Really!!

    I just hope they don’t do away with the Optimum Plus program.

  25. Justine says:

    @thewholeshebang – I think that’s just a terms of use thing, I doubt it would actually end then.

  26. cheryls says:

    “- still something for nothing.”

    WOW are you ever an idiot!

  27. SnowWhiteFanatic says:

    How am I an idiot for that? You get points for buying products you buy anyways….that’s something for nothing. Same goes for all the other loyalty programs – it’s nothing more than a cleaver lure to make you shop at Zellers, Esso, Petro, Shoppers, Sobeys and the list goes on. Years ago when we didn’t get any points for anything we still bought all this stuff. And seriously, name calling like a 6 year old? This is supposed to be a forum of adults.

  28. rida says:

    Well today they were not issuing any optimum points when i try to buy a gift card first as i usually do. they said next time they will not scan the optimum card when i buy a gift card. very sad.

  29. Sean says:

    gift cards have been excluded from points for a very long time now

  30. Jackie says:

    I participate in a lot of loyalty programs and this is by far the best I have seen, I love it. Sometimes it almost seems to good to be true, I’m not surprised they’re changing it up a bit. I don’t find the new levels to be an extreme change, it won’t bother me. I hope they keep it going. I’m sure it’s worth their while, I know I have changed my shopping habits and purchase a lot more items there instead of dept. stores or grocery stores. And why not, it’s paying off for me too. The only thing that has always surprised me is the way you can redeem them with only the card, it feels like cash I’m always making sure I haven’t lost it (I have almost 50,000 pts now!!:)

  31. jo says:

    I agree that SDM still has one of the best points programs. I many others I know hate going Walmart and find SDM a more stress free enivornment to shop in. I am a business owner and this is a business decision to offset the government changes. They could have simply taken directly from buyers pockets by raising prices. Im Ok with this compromise. Besides we love our pharmacist and the staff at our local SDM.

  32. Johanna says:

    Well, I’m not happy with the changes at all!!! I started the program last year and just as I was close to becoming an Optimum Plus member, they bumped up the Max from 10,000 to 15,000 points. I held back on the $200 day thing because I wanted to cash in on the 10,000 kick-back. I have accumulated 175,000 points since then and am still shy 1000 points of becoming an Optimum Plus member. Shoppers had two $100/$200 day thingies very close together and now I see why. You won’t see that day again until after July 1st! The least they could have done was give 2-3 months notice/grace period to prepare us for this abrupt change and give us a decent chance to cash in our points before they bring down the sledgehammer. According to Marketing Guy’s Tier break down, the best bet and bang for the back when comparing the old and new systems, is to cash in at either Tier 1 or Tier 3. Sure, Tier 5 looks best, but only on the $100/$200 day thingie, where BTW, you have to purchase retail or whatever happens to be on sale that day. When comparing the old and new systems without the kick-back, Tier 5 is now a BIG RIP!!

    And for the getting something for nothing remarks: prices are higher than other places, and the sale prices often match the retail prices elsewhere. The only deal is the POINTS!! BIG NEG for the changes to the OPTIMUM points program!! And don’t even bother to tell me to shop elsewhere because you won’t find that “it’s ok with me” crap here!!! :-p

  33. farm girl says:

    I heard a rumour at a local Shoppers today that next weekend is going to be a 20x points event. A good time to top up on points before cashing out!

  34. Waldo says:

    We have been banking out points from the beginning. Our plan was to get enough to buy the store! I quess this new change will but our free store reward back a few zillion light years

  35. Tuesday says:

    OK now it’s really not fair at all, we have to save up 8000 points?? I used to be really determined to get 7000 for 10 dollars but now, we have to save 8000 yeah… I am starting to have some second thoughts about shoppers drug mart….it used to be the first store I hit to get stuff like milk but maybe I’ll try nofrills

  36. someone says:

    What in the world are u people talking about tier 1 and 3 being the best, the best one is the last one tier 5 by the old and new system.

  37. Justin F. says:

    “If you take $150 and divide by 75000 and multiply 95000. You should get $190.Instead you are getting $20 less base on the new point system.”

    Another way to look at it, and I think to make it clearer:

    Under old system at highest level (75,000), 500 points was worth 1 real dollar. Assuming you’re getting 10 points on the dollar (not sure if this the standard anymore), that works out to 2 cents per dollar spent at SDM (or 2%).

    Under the new system at the highest level (95,000), 558 points is worth 1 real dollar. Assuming 10 points again, that’s 1.79 cents per dollar, or 1.79% return. Even if the standard point return per dollar has changed, the point is still clear.

    Sadly, I’m late to the game — just found my old card. Figures I just lost 0.21% return on all my cash spending at Shoppers over the past 2-3 years. Damn it. Thankfully I only buy their loss leaders and products you can’t else where from SDM.

  38. Leonard Billingsley says:

    Shoppers optimum = Bad Math

    Some folks here are missing the real impact of this change. Like many of you, I shopped enough specials there to cash in at the 75,000 point level on bonus days only, which meant $200.

    The new system requires 95,000 points for the same $200 benefit.

    95,000 over 75,000 = 1.2666666667

    That means a 26% difference.

    Sorry, Marketing Guy – you are wrong. It is NOT an 11% increase in points required.


    Yikes!! Maybe cash in today everyone, as they have another $200 day today and tomorrow.

    Considering this program was devalued barely two years ago (January 2008, if I remember correctly), and considering that SDM is really only good for special sales and bonus point events, consider this the beginning of the end. Much better to shop elsewhere, most of the time, than to chase points at this place.

    Good luck to us all!

  39. Darryl says:

    Talk about a bait and switch move. A lot like AirCanada and Avion.

    Shoppers is too pricey anyway.

  40. Nick says:

    anyone want to sell 9250 points for $15 cash?
    please email me if you do.
    [email protected]

  41. Andrea says:

    I have been a Shoppers Optimum Plus member for the last 3 years. You used to get 5000 bonus points awarded for redeeming 40,000 points and 10,000 bonus points awarded for redeeming 75,000 points. As they have eliminated this bonus and increased the redemption point levels, I only shop on 20x points days and I only buy items I know are the same or cheaper than at other stores. There are a lot of choices out there for the same items and many stores price match advertised items when you bring in the flyers. Though I prefer to support Canadian owned/operated retailers, I do have a budget to adhere to. Shoppers has made the wrong decision to burden it’s loyal customers with its recent loss of revenue from drug subsidies. Do they really think we don’t know what’s going on?

  42. Aman says:

    I went to shoppers drug mart on thursday i got my birthday bonus coupon and it was reedmed perfectly fine as i loaded on my card and when i went the next day did perchase of $30 i did not get the 8009 points which i loade on my card instead of that i got 4000 bonus points that were om my birthday bonus card i went back into the store and the girl said call there gead office


  • RSS Hot Canada Deals

  • Recent Comments

  • Did You Know?

    Smart Canucks is Canada's first Canadian shopping deals blog and has been operating since 2005!

  • Join Mailing List




    Find Deals by Brand!