Note: We’ll be updating our PC Money Account Review as the details get fleshed out and the introduction promo offer codes get created.
For many years, the options for no-fee chequing accounts in Canada were limited to two competitors: PC Financial and ING/Tangerine. When Loblaws decided they didn’t want to worry about daily banking accounts any longer, they let CIBC take the former PC Financial, and turn it into Simplii Financial. Let’s just say the results have not been stellar.
That’s why, when Loblaws announced yesterday that they were resurrecting their old no-fee brand – now called the PC Money Account – there was much activity on the frugal forums across the country.
Initial PC Money Account Review Rating (Based on reported details)
Name: PC Money Account
Description: The PC Money™ Account is an account that works like debit, and rewards you every time you use it to make a purchase. Accepted everywhere Mastercard® is, this no monthly fee account gives you unlimited everyday transactions and rewards you with 10 PC Optimum points on every $1 you spend on purchases.
Unique Loyalty Program:
Free Cheques (or any cheques at all):
Our PC Money Account Review remains a work in progress with the current grade TBD. We’re excited to see what sort of platform and transaction options that PC Financial can bring to the table to go along with their fun little PC Optimum perk program.
In their initial press release, PC Financial President Barry Columb stated:
“We’re hearing from Canadians that now, more than ever, they want their money to work
harder for them and the PC Money Account does just that. The PC Money Account fills a gap in the everyday banking landscape, giving Canadians a no-fee account to spend, send and save, all while being rewarded with loyalty points they can actually use on the essentials they need.”
The announcement included the following details about the PC Money Account.
- Unlimited everyday transactions
- No monthly fees
- 10 PC Optimum points on every dollar you spend – anywhere you shop
- 25 PC Optimum points per dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart
- 10,000 PC Optimum points for linking an external bank account
- 25,000 PC Optimum points bonus when you set up direct deposit
- Up to 5,000 points each month for online bill payments over $50
- 10,000 PC Optimum points on your first purchase over $50
- Free Interac e-transfer®
- Free cash withdrawals at PC Financial ATMs across Canada
- Personalized savings goals
- Optional Overdraft Protection
- CDIC Protection on eligible deposits
- 24/7 fraud detection and support
- Mastercard Zero Liability Promise for unauthorized purchases
- Accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted worldwide
What Are PC Optimum Points?
The main differentiating feature of the PC Money Account versus other leading no-fee banking accounts in Canada is the ability to earn PC Optimum Points.
If you weren’t a member back in the old PC banking days, and don’t currently shop at Loblaws or Shoppers Drug Mart, then you may not be aware of what PC Optimum Points are.
Essentially, these points are a loyalty program. You can redeem them at Loblaws at a rate of:
10 PC Optimum Points – $0.01 (Example: 10,000 PC Optimum Points = $10.00)
Basically, what this means is that the new PC Money Account is giving you a 1% cash back option on all of your debit card/bill payment spending – redeemable at Loblaws or Shoppers Drug Mart.
Sometimes Shoppers Drug Mart will have special Optimum Points events, where you can get bonus redemption value (my personal favourite, as I’m not a Loblaws grocery shopper). So if you save your points for those events, you can get slightly better than $0.01 value for them.
In the hopes of generating a big splash with this introductory offer, we see that if you were to set up your paycheque deposit and bill payments through the PC Money Account, you could garner upwards of $50 in value right off the bat by maximizing the Optimum Points bonuses.
PC Money Account Review: App and Platform
We will update this information as soon as there is some user data and feedback to report.
It’s likely worth noting that loyal customers of the old PC Financial regime raved about the customer service. Also, the current PC Financial apps have excellent reviews in both the Apple App store and the Google Play store – so we know that these folks understand how to create a solid digital user experience. With the focus so obviously going away from traditional cheques, and towards a completely-online experience, one would assume that the platform will be pretty slick.
PC Money Account Review – Non-Final Verdict
Usually at the end of our reviews we give our final thoughts and recommendations, but on this one we’ll have to reserve judgement for the time being.
Certainly the no-fee promise, combined with the PC Optimum Points 1% cash back (who doesn’t need to stop at Shoppers once in a while?) represent a very solid value to Canadian customers.
The questions that need to be answered before we can complete our PC Money Account Review and give our final verdict are:
- How good is the app and online platform?
- What will the fees be for taking money out of non-PC Financial ATMs?
- What will interest rates be within the PC Money Account?
- Will the PC Money Account be able to include all or some of the perks that currently make Tangerine the best no-fee chequing account in Canada?