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The Best Free Grocery Credit Card? The PC Financial World Elite MasterCard!

Since the beginning of this blog, I have written about credit cards.  As a general rule, I stick with credit cards that do not change an annual fee, but offer the best bang for your buck.  For example, the best free cash back credit card in Canada offers 2% cash back on gas and groceries and 1% on everything else.

I generally stick with credit cards that offer generic rewards, like cash back, rather than rewards that are tied to a specific brand.  However, today I want to share with you a store specific credit card that a regular reader pointed out in the comments.  This card is the PC Financial World Elite MasterCard.  While PC Financial has released credit cards in the past, this latest edition is almost too good to pass up (for those that shop at Loblaws and affiliated stores – see below).

With no annual fee, the World Elite MasterCard offers 3% return (30 PC points for every $1 spent, ie. 30 PC points = $0.03) on spending in their stores including Loblaws, Real Canadian Super Store (RCSS),  Dominion (in NL), PC Mobile, No Frills and Shoppers Drug Mart.  Also earn 30 PC points/litre (equivalent to $0.03/litre) spent at Esso (Supreme) and 20 PC points/litre ($0.02/litre) on all other grades of gasoline.  Combine this with their existing PC Plus points program/app and it’s a compelling points system.

What about redemption?  You can redeem PC points in store, minimum 20,000 PC points = $20 claimed towards groceries in store.

Here are the specs of the PC Financial World Elite MasterCard:

The Rewards

  • No annual fee;
  • 30 PC points per $1 spent (3% return) in their stores (Loblaws, RCSS, Dominion, No Frills, Shoppers, PC mobile);
  • 30 PC points per litre for Surpreme gas at Esso, 20 PC points per litre for all other grades; and,
  • 10 PC points per $1 spent everywhere else (1% return).

The Insurance

  • Travel Emergency Medical Insurance (up to 10 days);
  • Car Rental Collision Coverage;
  • Purchase Assurance – in case of theft within 90 days; and,
  • Extended Warranty – which doubles warranty of purchase up to an additional year.

Requirements

  • Minimum annual personal income of $70,000 or household income of $120,000.
  • If you are under this minimum, then you will likely receive one of their downgraded cards.

The Downside

  • For a “World Elite” credit card, it could use some additional insurance coverage.  I know that it’s free, but if it needs some more juice for this class of card.
  • Again, the rewards are tied to the Loblaws brand.  So this card will only benefit those who do most of their grocery shopping at a grocery store that sells Presidents Choice products.

Competitors

As for the competition, I would say that in the free credit card space, the biggest threat is the Tangerine Money Back Card that offers 2% straight up cash back towards groceries (if you pick that category).  While 2% return is obviously less than the 3% offered by PC Financial, the Tangerine card offers more flexibility where you can shop at any grocery store and it gives you 2% on two other categories.

In the Premium credit card space,  the biggest competitor is likely the Scotia Momentum Infinite Visa.  For $99/year, this card will offer you 4% cash back in groceries/gas, 2% at drug stores and recurring payments, and 1% on everything else.  This card offers straight up cash back, which means that you can use the card at any grocery store that accepts Visa to obtain the 4% cash back.  How much would have to spend on this card to make the annual fee worth it?  $9,900 per year in gas/groceries.

Final Thoughts

Who is this card meant for?  People that do most of their grocery shopping at Loblaws/Dominion/RCSS/ No Frills and Shoppers Drug Mart.  Unless you already have a Scotia Momentum card, then this free PC Financial World Elite MasterCard should provide value for you.

As Dominion (called Loblaws outside NL) is the main grocery store that we use outside of Costco, this free World Elite MasterCard makes a lot of sense for us and is a core credit card in my wallet.

Combine this free credit card with PC Optimum points and it’s a no-brainer.  We’ve already earned over $1,000 in free groceries using various strategies.

We recently signed up with a $100 bonus gift card promotion.  Check out the details and occasional promotions HERE.

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FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 36 comments… add one }
  • skube October 5, 2015, 9:49 am

    You should also mention under the requirements that you have to spend at least $25,000 to qualify.

    • Jason October 5, 2015, 11:18 am

      I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a requirement like this for any card? I didn’t see this in any fine print..

      • skube October 7, 2015, 6:24 pm

        Couldn’t find it any fine print either but someone else noted it too for people wanting to upgrade:
        http://forums.redflagdeals.com/pc-financial-new-world-elite-master-card-3x-points-1775145/12/#post23501765

        • Wayne March 11, 2016, 12:52 pm

          That’s a “hidden” back up requirement, if you don’t meet the income needed for the card, they may still offer it to you if you are a big spender.
          Though initially when applying for a new card, you need to meet the income requirement.
          When upgrading from a current regular card. if you don’t meet the income requirement, they will review your account usage, and if you are a big spender, near the 25k annual spend, they may still upgrade you.

  • FT FrugalTrader October 5, 2015, 9:55 am

    skube, i’ve never heard of a requirement like that before. How do they know how much you spend before you apply?

    • skube October 5, 2015, 11:34 am

      You make a valid point. I guess this requirement is for existing customers only.

      • Master Nerd October 5, 2015, 5:54 pm

        I’m not sure that’s true either. I certainly didn’t spend that much last year or any year prior, nor do I meet the minimum income requirement, but I’ve had a PCMC for 8+ years and just got a targeted offer for the card (which I accepted). So I think for existing customers it’s on a case by case basis.

        Note: For new customers they are also offering a 50,000 PC Points signup bonus!

        • skube October 7, 2015, 6:23 pm

          It’s definitely what I was told when I called to inquire.

          Did you call or apply online?

          • Master Nerd October 9, 2015, 3:04 pm

            That’s very strange. They sent me a targeted email and then I just had to reply to the email to accept the offer. Then they just sent a confirmation and the card showed up a few days later. Never talked to anyone or had to tell them anything about my spending/income.

  • LisainSK October 5, 2015, 12:33 pm

    Got my card last week – LOVE IT! I too shop at only Superstore and Costco and and an avid PC Points plus collector! To date I have redeemed $700 in PC Plus Points and I look forward to seeing the difference with the new card. I will use my Capital One Aspire Cash card for all other purchases. Another perk…as we like to travel…you can rack up more points using by booking travel on their PCtravel.ca website – exclusive only to PC Financial clients! Who hoo!

  • PenniesPerth October 5, 2015, 2:24 pm

    How does this compare with your highly touted MBNA World Elite Rewards card ($89 annual fee)? With no set affiliation to a specific gas station, if the majority of my grocery spending is in the following order:
    Independent Grocer (Loblaws)
    Costco
    Metro

    Is there any comparison between the MBNA World Elite Travel Rewards and the PC World Elite?

    • FT FrugalTrader October 5, 2015, 2:31 pm

      If you are willing to carry around another credit card, I can see benefits in carrying the PC World Elite card for groceries, and using the MBNA World Elite for everything else.

      • PenniesPerth October 5, 2015, 2:47 pm

        We already carry around the MBNA and the PC World MasterCards, so now it’s just a matter of remembering which to use where. PC = Lowblaws,Shoppers and Esso, MBNA = everywhere else. As long as I don’t go changing cards again, I’m sure we’ll be able to handle it ;-)
        Thanks! I very much appreciate your blog and email updates.

        • FT FrugalTrader October 5, 2015, 2:48 pm

          Sounds like you already have it figured out!

          All the best.

  • Master Nerd October 5, 2015, 9:04 pm

    It’s actually even better than you say. When you use a PC Debit Card or MC to pay for fuel, you earn 70 points (7 cents)/litre. On top of that if you pay with the new PCWEMC you get 3x points for every dollar you spend. So with prices hovering around $1.00/litre (or more) you’re effectively getting ~10 cents/litre off!

    • Master Nerd October 5, 2015, 9:06 pm

      … I should clarify that only applies if you buy fuel at a Loblaws gas bar.

      • Andrew F October 5, 2015, 11:53 pm

        It also varies by gas bar. Here in Ontario it seems to be more like 2 cents to 4 center per liter.

        • Master Nerd October 9, 2015, 3:11 pm

          That’s also true. They also used to fluctuate the points (well then they were called super-bucks) depending on the gas prices, but it’s been at 70 points/ 7 cents for several years now in Alberta.

        • smayer97 April 9, 2017, 12:57 am

          What is not advertised is that their is a bunch of Loblaws affiliate gas bars too that qualify. In Ontario these include: Loblaws, Superstore, Refuel, No Frills (I use Gasbuddy.ca — torontogasprices.com to be more precise to track them).

          In my case I have found it to be 4¢/L off all these gas bars.

  • Cold Truth October 6, 2015, 10:07 am

    I have long been a fan of PC points because I do most my grocery shopping at Fortinos (A Loblaws company).

    I tend to use my points to buy gift cards at the store for other stores. Home Depot, Best Buy, Canadian Tire, etc.

    If I want to buy something online I’ll a prepaid visa/mastercard with the points then use that online.

    It’s truly points you can use anywhere (if you’re willing to visit the gift card section at the store first).

    • StevePC October 6, 2015, 3:31 pm

      Hi Cold Truth,

      I’ve tried to use my PC points to buy gift cards at SuperStore, but they wouldn’t allow me. Which province are you able to do this? I live in the GTA, Ontario.

      StevePC

      • Cold Truth October 8, 2015, 3:12 pm

        I’ve personally used my PC points to buy giftcards at the Fortinos in Waterdown, and the Fortinos at Guelph Line in Burlington.

        Most recently, I bought $200 worth of Best Buy gift cards about 1 month ago.

        Last time I bought a prepaid Visa with points was a couple years ago. It’s easier just to say, pay $50 towards the groceries with points, then take the $50 I would have spent from cash and use that elsewhere. But I only do this when the gift card for the store I want isn’t offered.

  • BeSmartRich October 6, 2015, 1:12 pm

    3% back on grocery is tempting. Considering I spend about $500 per month on grocery, it is going to provide $5 more per month ($60 annually), only downside is 3% only works on Loblaw brand. My family shop a lot at Costco and neighbor grocery stores at this time, I can’t take max advantage on this yet. Thanks for the info!

    Cheers!

    BSR

  • dangerine October 7, 2015, 12:57 pm

    Just challenging your claim about having to spend $9,900 per year in gas/groceries to make the Scotia Momentum Infinite worth it.

    I ran the numbers and reached these conclusions for the $99 annual fee card:
    – $2,475.00/year (or $206.25/month) is the minimum you have to spend just to cover the annual fee.
    – $3,300.00/year (or $275.00/month) is the amount you have to spend to START outpacing a no annual fee 1% cashback card.
    – $4,950.00/year (or $412.50/month) is the amount you have to spend to START outpacing a no annual fee 2% cashback card.
    – $5,950.00/year is the OPTIMAL amount because by this point you’d have to spend one thousand dollars more on a no fee 2% cashback card to get the same amount of rewards. Anything over this amount and you’re way ahead.

    • FT FrugalTrader October 7, 2015, 1:24 pm

      Thanks for the comment. Did you do a calculation on a 3% grocery card like this one? I just did a simple calculation of $99 annual fee/1% (the difference between rewards) = $9900.

      • dangerine October 7, 2015, 1:38 pm

        I did not, but I see where you’re going. If you use the PC MC for its most useful purpose then yes $9,900.00 is the amount you’d have to spend to beat it.

        For straight-up cash in your wallet, the numbers I cited are applicable based on your other recommended cards. Nice catch!

  • Leanne B October 19, 2015, 3:08 pm

    I thought I would throw in that where I am in Alberta, the PC World Elite MasterCard earns 10.5 cents/litre in points when you purchase gas at the Superstore gas bar.

    • smayer97 April 9, 2017, 12:59 am

      WOW! We only get 4¢/l off in Ontario. NICE!

  • Hank November 20, 2015, 1:16 pm

    *Note: PC MC World Elite does not work with the Ugo Wallet App.
    If you have an existing PC MC registered with Ugo Wallet, PC MC has to confirm that you are aware the Elite will not work with Ugo and that you still want the upgrade to the Elite.

    Hope that it helps someone.

  • George March 23, 2016, 3:14 pm

    I just received the email that my card was approved, I will get it within 2 weeks. I heard you can also get 30 points/$ from T&T supermarket.

  • Wayne September 9, 2016, 1:57 pm

    One thing to keep in mind when applying for this card.
    PC MasterCard likes to play games with credit limits quite often.
    Not sure what factors are considered when they decide to slash your credit limit, but many have reported credit limit cuts on the RFD personal finance forum, and other places in the internet. Do a Google search and find out for yourself.
    I’ve personally seen my limit decreased by 60% of its initial limit after having the card 6 months.
    My credit situation would have only gotten better during this time, not worse, so not entirely sure what sparked my decrease. I’ve never had a limit decreased in my 24 years of having credit.
    Just another factor to consider when applying for a card from PC MasterCard.

  • smayer97 April 9, 2017, 1:29 am

    One MAJOR benefit that no one brings up is that the loyalty points provided by PC Plus has promotions where you can save up to 20% on your ENTIRE grocery bill, on top of the standard 3% pts using this card at Loblaws affiliate grocery stores.

    Over the last few yrs I have seen this happen at least 2 to 3 times per year, and many times the promotion will run about 3 weeks in a row (one qualifying purchase per week).

    To maximize on this, my wife and I have 2 totally separate/independent accounts (not extra card on one account) to maximize these offers. As an example, this year we have acquired over $450 worth of pts in just 4 months for only our groceries and gas purchases (we spend about $15000/yr in groceries for a family of 5 (mostly No Frills) and about $3000/yr in gas (mostly Superstore gas bar)).

  • Leonie June 16, 2018, 2:18 pm

    I am single frugal spender, and receive $30-40 a month in groceries by spending about $1500 a month on the PC elite Matercard. I Buy office lotto at Shoppers, and grocery store purchases at No Frills and Superstore, gas at the gasbar and put all non restaurant spending on it ( 1% back).
    In BC you get 7c a litre when combined with the PC optimum card. It does not fluctuate. This card really shines when conbined and linked with the PC Otimum points card.(also free).

    They email you 15 weekly offers on items that you regularly buy ( big brother is watcing but that train left the station a long time ago). If the offer is not needed that week, but you want the offer in a week of two when you run out, you can defer the offer week to week. Good for high cost items. Some offers are for points per $ spent on particular items, and some are a number of points on one item. You can also dismiss offers on produsts that you do not use, and they will not be sent again. So you end up being sent 15 offers on products that you regularly use, emailed to you each Thursday.
    I know this is straying into non CC territory, but you are magnifying the ” grocery back” benefits of you PC Elite Mastercard. You are getting about 5-25% off your regular grocery choices on offer, as well as the 3% points back from the CC.

    You can get 3% back when buying Lotto and prescriptions at Shoppers or Superstore. I have a Pharmacy in our No Frills, which is as cheap as Costco, without the wait and frustration. Lotto is generally exluded from most store offers, so this is a bonus if you buy Lotto.

    I inflated my income and spending estimate, a little on the application form, to get the Elite Mastercard ( 1% more back than the regular card at Loblaw affiliates). This was when it first came out. No problem being approved. I am sure that your credit score and ongoing Credit card debt is the primary thing they are looking at, when you apply for any CC.

    Also the free groceries back is now $10 minimum( no longer $20)
    Yes T and T ( asian grocery store chain) is Loblaws owned
    Yes they are keeping you within the Loblaws, No Frills,Gas Bar, Shoppers, T and T fold, but groceries are not an option like vacations, and if any of these stores are convenient then this is a no brainer. ( combined with the PC Optimum card) I keep coming out of the grocery store thinking, “they can’t keep these benefits up. “.

    • FT FT June 17, 2018, 12:47 pm

      Great comment, thanks! I feel the same as you. Groceries are our biggest expense item, and the more focus we put into reducing our food expenses (while eating good), the better! Really wish we had a loblaws gas station..

    • smayer97 June 17, 2018, 2:56 pm

      Nice review on PC MC World Elite combined with PC Optimum card… I maximize like you.

      One hidden feature you did not mention is that PC Optimum also periodically offers 10% and 20% back in points off of ENTIRE grocery bill on top of other offers several times a year. My wife and I have 2 PC Optimum cards so we max or offers (and we do NOT use the householding feature)…

      We reach over $1500 savings a year as a result of all the above. :-D

      • smayer97 June 17, 2018, 2:58 pm

        Oh and I forgot to mention that No Frills recently has had several $15 back when you spend $100…. We break up the purchases and often qualify for 2 or 3 times that offer.

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