How to Earn Optimum Points Fast at Shoppers Drug Mart


It’s not often that you will see me buying a cart full of groceries at Shoppers Drug Mart (the store is WAY overpriced for most things), but when you do, I have a very good reason for it. That reason is likely because I am getting a boatload of Shoppers Optimum Reward points for buying a whole whack of stuff (or, I’m redeeming those points for a ton of free goodies).

In my opinion, the Shoppers Optimum Rewards program is the best rewards program that is offered in Canada. I am not paid by Shoppers Drug Mart to promote their program (I wish!), but I love it so much that I tell everyone who will listen.

It really is quite simple to rack up lots of Optimum points in a short period.

Tips on How to Earn Shoppers Optimum Rewards Points Fast:

1. Only shop on Bonus Point Days

This should be obvious, but many people don’t know that the only time you should ever set foot inside a Shoppers Drug Mart location is when they are hosting a bonus point promotion (20x the points, 8,000 points when you spend $50, etc.).

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule (prescription pick-up, checking out clearance deals, or only buying their special sale items), but generally I tell people to avoid Shopper’s Drug Mart until a special points promotion is going on.

Tip: Coupons count towards your out-of-pocket total. If you need to spend $50 to earn 20x the points on your transaction, and want to use $20 worth of coupons, you will only spend $30, but will earn points on that $50 price.

2. Watch for Bonus Point Coupons and Offers

There are always special bonus point offers available that you can use to bump up your points faster.

Check out the Shoppers Drug Mart website  for printable point coupons and notifications of in store points offers, and always pay attention to the shelves while you are shopping in store, because some products will advertise special offers (buy 2 Windex, earn 500 points, for example).

3. Always check out the clearance rack

Almost every Shoppers Drug Mart store has a clearance rack inside. Find this rack at your location and make it a habit to check it out regularly. The clearance deals at Shoppers Drug Mart are some of my favourites.

Keep in mind that just because something is on clearance, doesn’t mean you can’t earn points on that item. Check out this area of your store for great deals that you can pick up, and earn points in the process.

Tip: Some clearance items also offer special point offers, so watch for these stickers, too!

4. Buy a Shoppers Optimum gift card

Although you don’t earn points when you buy other store gift cards at Shoppers Drug Mart, you will earn points when you purchase gift cards for Shoppers Drug Mart.

Note: You will only earn regular points on these cards, not bonus points (so no buying a $50 gift card on 20x the points day and expecting to earn 20x the points on that gift card purchase).

Tip: Make sure to purchase a gift card before you shop to earn these extra points.

Like I mentioned, I really do believe that the Shoppers Optimum program is the best rewards program in Canada. There’s no other program out there (that I know of, anyway) that will reward you with so many points for so little cash out-of-pocket.

Be sure to check out my Free E-BookThe Ultimate Guide to Shoppers Optimum Rewards for many more tips on maximizing your points at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Editors Note: I agree with Cassie about the Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Rewards program being the best of its kind in Canada (aside from Canadian Tire ermmm tools are good too). Over the past year we redeemed over $1300  in points to furnish our home with 3 televisions, 2 net-books  blue ray player, hard drive, cologne, perfume, and  food. Shopping on 20x points events, using coupons with flyer deals and being part of the Optimum plus program also helped. As for the electronics they are still working like a charm! Check out Cassie’s Free E-book and shop Shoppers Drug Mart like a pro!

Guest Post By: Cassie Howard is a work at home mom living in Vaughan, Ontario. She writes daily on her coupon blog,  a website dedicated to frugal living. She’s what many would call an extreme couponer and saves an average of 50% off her grocery bill every week. You can connect with Cassie on Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. Anne Russell says:

    Agreed with the Shoppers Optimum Points program being very rewarding! I have noticed that although many things are more expensive, there are quite a few items in their flyer that are the same price or lower than other retailers such as milk, eggs, PC pop by the case,, Catelli Healthy Harvest pasta this week. And they offer the opportunity to use coupons printed from the web. I used to reward myself from their Boutique and buy myself jewelry, purses etc. but I saw the light and did some price comparison and now buy the things we use at home that normally I would buy from the grocery store.

  2. I made a calculator that allows you to compare a product from sdm to another store and see if what you earn in points is worth what you save in dollars at another store, it also allows for coupons. I think a lot of people will find this useful.

  3. Jacqueline Vachon says:

    Thanks..I never thought about buying gift cards,,silly me lol..i will for christmas for sure

  4. I keep forgetting about buying the gift card before your purchase, gonna have to try and budget that into my shopping plan 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing those tips!

    I don’t think that we have Shoppers Drug Mart down here in Arizona, but the same strategies would apply to similar stores here.

  6. I use to be neurotic about shoppers points and have cashed in a few times for free stuff but stopped when I started working for the competitor and getting a wicked discount though them…but now that I’m no longer with said competitor I’m trying to get better at shopping there although, and I know this is silly, I DESPISE their flyer layout. It drives me crazy.

  7. Hmm interesting! I wish there was a shoppers closer to me, I’d make use of these tips! In fact, I don’t use any rewards cards at all.

  8. mycanuckbuck says:

    I will get groceries there when they are on special – otherwise, they’re way too expensive! But they often have good deals on oatmeal, cream, etc..I really should check my point balance!

  9. Donna Richards says:

    I take calcium and multivitamins which are expensive and used up a bunch of coupons stocking up on shampoo, deoderant, toothpaste and bodywash which will be stocking stuffers for my 4 mostly adult children. I also bought a shrimp ring and some crackers for Xmas functions.

    Thanks Cassie for your comment. I only knew how to tackle this sale because of the advice I read on your blog. I read you and Mr. CBB religiously.

  10. This sound similar to the new program Walgreen’s Drugstores in the US has started. It is overpriced, but like you said, if you shop the sales and get the points, it can pay off. My problem is that it takes so much time to figure out a good deal that the sale is over before I decide!

  11. the farmgirl files says:

    I go to Shoppers each week and purchase two bags of milk and four boxes of tissues and then any item needed that is on a great price.Purchasing just the six items a week ( milk and tissues) get me $30. in Optimum points each year. So that is without even trying.

    Just want to mention that I purchase Shoppers gift cards and get the points when I purchase the card and then when I redeem them, however I only go to one Shoppers.

    Wow Donna, that is amazing. I would never have $100. to just spend at a drug store, But………!
    Anna I don’t get the fliers either. Part of living in the boonies, they like city people only I think!

  12. Although Shopper’s Drug Mart’s prices are generally much more expensive for the essentials compared to Wal-Mart, they do tend to have decent sales here and there. You just have to do enough price comparison to recognize that it is a good deal. While I have been a long time Optimum card holder, my beef is that the minimum points required tp reap the rewards has been raised twice. I clearly remember it being 7,000 pts when I first joined, and then it went up to 7500 and then without warning, at least to me, it jumped to 8,000. It feels like it takes forever and a million purchases just to reach that first redemption level.

  13. Christine Weadick says:

    Thought that was you when I started reading!!!! Excellant article as always!!I really wish I could get my hot little hands on the shoppers flyer every week. The online version just doesn’t cut it for readability. Right after I got an optimum card they stopped sending the flyers our way!! I have complained but so far it hasn’t done me any good….I will stop into the store if I’m in Stratford and the manager there is quite good about giving me a copy of the upcoming flyer if it’s Thursday or Friday ….. I’d still like to get the flyer in with the rest of them but I’ll keep nagging…

  14. Awesome job! It looks like you found an opportunity to stock up!

  15. I shopped the 20x event last Saturday. I looked at the flyer and figured that I wanted to spend about $100.00, so I purchased a $100.00 gift card before I started, earning 1000 pts. I showed up early Saturday morning and not everything was scanning at the sale price so I cited SCOP and got Tenderflake lard FREE. Everything I purchased was on sale AND had a coupon, except for Citrical petites, which I use regularly so was happy to get on sale without a coupon. When I got to the shelf, there was a box with 6.00 store coupons attached to it and so I got the box for 3.99 (reg 11.99). SCORE!

    The customer behind me was asked if he had an optimum card when he cashed out. His reply was “No, but with shopping like that lady, maybe I should get one”.

    My hubby put me in front of a mirror with my coupon binder and said the people at Shoppers would take a picture of me and make a poster to put at the cash banning me from the store for theft! HA HA!

    Overall I spent $127.70 OOP, saved $51.20 from sale purchases, used $23.50 in coupons, and earned 28,200 Optimum points.

  16. Love the Shoppers Optimum Program! By far my fave points program, and the fact that its all FREE is even better!
    I know many people have had issues with Shoppers adjusting promos last minute and changing limits recently, but if you plan appropriately and use your coupons strategically you can still score a TON of points with minimal out of pocket expense:)

  17. Anne @ Unique Gifter says:

    I wish there was a shoppers closer to us. I like knowing how to maximize all the little point programs out there. 🙂

  18. Wow Mr. CBB! You racked up some nice rewards off your points! I am not aware of anything this nice here in the States, unless you use credit cards. We’re currently using our to save up for a trip to San Diego next summer.

  19. Wow, Mr. CBB! You’ve definitely racked up some nice things using your rewards points! We don’t have anything quite that nice here in the States, that I know of unless you’re using a credit card. We’re using that to get enough points to be able to go to San Diego next summer.

  20. Mary F Campbell says:

    Thank you for sharing! I am downloading your free e-book now!

  21. Those are some good tips but I think you forgot the most obvious: get a credit card offering Shoppers Optimum Points. I have an MBNA Shoppers Drug Mart Mastercard (soon to be taken over by RBC) and if I use it at Shoppers Drug Mart, I get an extra 15x the points for every dollar I charge. In conjunction with my Shoppers Optimum card, this means that I get 25x the points for every dollar that I spend at Shoppers (10x for the Optimum card plus 15x for the credit card).

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