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PC Money review | MoneySense

October 29, 2020 Keph Senett
PC Money review | MoneySense

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

PC Money Account is a self-service money management account, which is really a complicated way of saying you can use it to do your daily banking, pay bills and transfer funds between accounts. It’s an online account with no monthly fees, and your PC Money pre-paid card is accepted everywhere that takes Mastercard. The headline feature of the account is that it allows you to earn PC Optimum points on your everyday banking—an advantage for Canadians who already love collecting these points. If you want to know more about whether it’s right for you, read our PC Money Account review.

  • Banking fees: None
  • Number of transactions: Unlimited
  • Number of Interac e-transfers: Unlimited
  • Debit card: Yes (not a debit card, but a prepaid card)
  • Chequebook: Not available
  • ATM network: 700 ATMs
  • Mobile app: Yes
  • Other fees: There are a handful of other fees you should know about, such as the cost of for withdrawing at a non-PC ATM (more below)

PC Money Account features: the good

The PC Money Account works like a bank account—with a twist. It has no monthly fees and offers free unlimited everyday transactions, including cash withdrawals (from PC Financial ATMs or at point of purchase), bill payments, account-to-account transfers and Interac e-Transfers. The PC Money Account card is accepted everywhere they take Mastercard, in person, while travelling or online. Plus, you have the security of CDIC protection on deposits, overdraft protection, fraud detection and support, and the Mastercard Zero Liability Promise for unauthorized purchases. There’s also a user-friendly mobile app to make your banking even more convenient.  

The marquee feature of the PC Money Account, however, is that you can earn PC Optimum points for doing your regular banking. Rewards are really only as good as the program itself, so Canadians will likely delight that this is a PC Optimum initiative. PC Optimum points are easy to earn and just as easy to redeem at checkout. And, as the Loblaw Group of Companies is so broad—with groceries, drugstores, housewares and even clothing under its umbrella—the points can be converted into useful everyday products, hassle-free. 

Heads-up for these PC Money Account fees

While this account is amazing for offering points comparable to that of some credit cards and no monthly fees or transaction fees, it does have some fees you will want to be aware of:

  • e-Transfers: Free to send and receive but it’s $3.50 to cancel
  • Cash withdrawals: Free at PC ATMS, but $1.50 at non-PC ATMs, which aren’t widely available, and $3 international ATM
  • Inactivity fee: $20 if you dont use the account at least once annually
  • Other fees: $1 customer service-assisted transaction, $5 for rush card replacement as well as for overdraft, $15 for billy payment trace, $24 for bill payment recall, $40 for non-sufficient funds

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How to earn PC Optimum points

PC Optimum points can be earned and are accepted at the almost 2,500 participating retail locations, which include Loblaws banner stores like No-Frills, Real Canadian Superstore and Fortinos; at PC Travel; at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix; and at Esso and Mobil gas stations. Redemptions start at 10,000 PC Optimum Points, which is the equivalent to $10 redeemable in merchandise. 

When you spend with the PC Money Account card, you’ll earn 25 points per dollar on purchases at Shoppers Drug Mart and 10 points per dollar spent everywhere else—which works out to a return of 2.5% and 1.5% in PC Optimum points, respectively. Linking your card to your PC Optimum account will net you even more points through personalized offers. Plus, you can earn up to 50,000 points in the process of setting up your account and making your first transactions—a value of $50.

PC Money versus PC credit cards

So just how does this stack up? PC Money does have its advantages. First, you’re not using credit, and not borrowing money. So you don’t run the risk of carrying a balance. And in using your PC Money Account, you’ll get PC Optimum points at nearly the same earn rate as when you use the PC Financial Mastercard credit card. For example, use the credit card at Esso to earn 30 points per litre of gasoline, but use your PC Money card and you earn 10 per litre). You can accelerate these rates with the PC Financial World Mastercard and the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard. All three cards are no-fee, but you’ll need to meet minimum eligibility requirements for the latter two. Using only a PC Optimum card, rather than a credit card or PC Money Account, you can still earn points, though at a lower rate and at fewer places. You’ll get 15 points per dollar at Shoppers Drug Mart and 10 points per litre of fuel at Esso/Mobil, but you’ll only earn points in Loblaws banner stores on personalized offers. Purchases elsewhere don’t earn.

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