PC Money review


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 monthly
  • 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

Compare the best chequing accounts in Canada


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.

PC Money versus Simplii

Given their tangled origin, it should come as no surprise that these accounts have some things in common. There’s also a lot to differentiate them. 

Both accounts offer daily banking, have no monthly fees and include free unlimited transactions like Interac e-Transfer, unlimited debit purchases and bill payments. They each have a mobile app and fall into the increasingly crowded category of no-fee online bank accounts.

Then, these two accounts diverge. Whereas the Simplii account broadens out its traditional banking services by offering standard paper cheques, the PC Money Account takes a different tack and bridges the gap between bank account and rewards card. Not tied only to its network of ATMs, the PC Money card is accepted everywhere they take Mastercard—in-person, when travelling and online. And, of course, the PC Money Account lets you earn PC Optimum points that you can redeem for groceries, drug stores items, travel, and gas. That you can earn points with PC Money is a big plus over Simplii, which earns a meagre interest rate on your deposits in comparison.


Features PC Money Simplii
Monthly fees $0 $0
Free, unlimited Interac e-Transfers, account-to-account transfers, debits and withdrawals, and bill payments
Overdraft protection
Cheques Not available
ATM network PC Financial CIBC
Rewards PC Optimum points Not available

Is PC Money right for you?

For those who collect PC Optimum points (or those who wish to), the PC Money Account is an exciting product. With it, you get most of the perks of free everyday banking plus the ability to earn valuable and flexible PC Optimum points. It’s also a solid option for anyone wanting to earn rewards on everyday spending and wants to steer clear of a credit card—either because of a history of bad credit, or the fear of being tempted to overspend and rack up interest charges.

The main drawback to this account, and what might cause some to avoid making the switch, is the absence of cheques. Paper cheques are increasingly anachronistic, but some people aren’t quite ready yet to cut ties with their traditional ideas of banking, especially if you use them to pay for things like rent, a personal loan or gym membership, etc. All things considered, the fact the PC Money Account has no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirement means there’s no real consequence to keeping the account open and using it just to rack up rewards on everyday spending, provided you’re okay with managing your money across two accounts at the same time. 

One other thing to note is that Loblaws banner stores and Shoppers Drug Mart are far more common and available in Ontario and Quebec than in other parts of the country, making the PC points you earn on your PC Money Account harder to redeem for Canadians outside those regions.

About PC Financial

PC Financial began as a joint venture with CIBC in 1996 to offer banking services under the Loblaw Companies’ wildly popular President’s Choice brand. With PC Financial, Canadians were able to receive no-fee banking and participate in the Loblaws rewards program, called PC Plus at the time. In 2017, CIBC and Loblaw Companies mutually decided to end their joint venture, and CIBC launched Simplii Financial as their direct banking brand. The following year, PC Plus merged with Shoppers Optimum to create the improved PC Optimum rewards program that exists to this day. In addition to their PC Mastercard line of credit cards, PC Financial has now launched the PC Money Account, an account handled by President’s Choice Bank that allows you to collect PC Optimum points.

FOR MORE ON BANKING:

The post PC Money review appeared first on MoneySense.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *