PC Money Account Review 2021

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If you’ve recently paid a visit to No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart, Joe Fresh, or any other Loblaws Corporation stores, you’ve likely seen the radiant purple advertisements for the PC Money Account on your way through the checkout.

The PC Money Account is PC President's Choice's triumphant return to Canada's digital banking scene, introducing the perfect bank account for dedicated patrons of Loblaws.

In this PC Money Account review by Wealth Rocket, we’ll take a closer look at President’s Choice’s return to Canada's financial landscape, detailing account features, benefits, advantages and drawbacks.

Table of Contents

PC Money Account Review for 2021

The PC Money Account is a type of bank account that simplifies the Canadian direct banking experience.

By combining the features of a chequing account, a prepaid credit card, and a reward program, the PC Money Account provides a flexible alternative to traditional banking products.

The unique attributes of the PC Money account can make it seem harder to understand for those new to the digital banking scene. We'll dive into the nitty-gritty details and simplify them below.

PC Money Account: Overview

    PC Money Account at a glance:

  • Monthly Fees: None
  • Transaction Limits: None
  • Bill Payments: Unlimited
  • Interac e-Transfers: Unlimited
  • Direct Deposit: Yes
  • Rewards: PC Points/Optimum Points
  • Insurance: CDIC, Mastercard Secure Network
  • ATM Network: PC Financial ATMs
  • Overdraft Protection: Yes
  • Cheques: None
  • Branches: None

The PC Money Account is a no-fee bank account that combines the functions of a chequing account and prepaid Mastercard.

The account comes with no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, unlimited bill payments, and unlimited Interac e-Transfers.

Free transactions also come with this account, which means an unlimited amount of transactions, whether they're point of sale transactions, online transactions, account transfers, or bill payments.

PC Money customers can use the card anywhere around the world that Mastercard is accepted.

Since it operates as a reloadable account, the PC Money Account also offers three methods of placing money on the card, either by Interac e-Transfer, third party bank account transfer, or direct deposit.

All deposited money is protected with the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), making all eligible deposits insured up to $100,000.

PC Money Account: Features

As mentioned above, the PC Money account is a hybrid account, meaning that it’s part debit card, part credit card, part rewards card. However, it does not truly function like either. Let’s take a look at what this means.

PC Money Account: Debit Card / Chequing Account Features

The PC Money account functions like a debit card at its core, meaning you can use it as a physical card in-store for everyday transactions. You can also use this account to pay bills online and send Interact e-Transfers to yourself and others.

If you are a PC Money cardholder, you can leave your Optimum card at home. Every purchase made with the PC Money card automatically earns 10 PC Optimum points for every $1. It should be noted that this is comparable with regular PC Optimum earning rates).

It’s important to note that the PC Money account is not a chequing account by its very definition. You cannot use it to write cheques, nor is it possible to order a chequebook.

PC Money Account: Mastercard Account / Credit Card Functionality

The PC Money account also functions like a credit card. After all, it carries the Mastercard logo and is accepted anywhere that accepts Mastercard.

However, unlike a credit card, the PC Money card does not provide you access to borrowed capital from the bank. You must manually preload the card to use it. In other words, you can’t spend money that you don’t have.

PC Money Account: Fees

One of the most compelling attributes of the PC Money account is the opportunity to earn points without paying high fees.

While it’s true that the PC Money account does not come with monthly fees, it still comes with some fees, which include:

  • Inactivity Fee: $20* (One-year of inactivity)
  • ATM Withdrawals: Free at PC Financial ATMs, $1.50* for non-PC domestic ATMs, $3.00* for international ATMs
  • Overdraft Protection Fee: $5
  • Forex exchange transaction fees: 2.5%*
  • Non-Sufficient Fund Fees (NSF): $40*
  • Card Replacement Fee: One free annual card replacement, $5 for additional card replacement
  • Cancellation of an e-Transfer: $3.50*
  • Customer Service-Assisted Transaction: $1*
  • Bill Payment Tracing: $15*
  • Bill Payment Recall: $24*
*Rates current as of July 2021

PC Money Account: Online Banking

The PC Money Account comes with accessibility through its mobile app and desktop accessibility.

The PC Financial app comes with easy set-up and extra protection, along with two-step authorization and facial recognition, available for both iOS and Android.

The PC Money Account is also compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay.

PC Money Account: ATM Network

Despite being a bank that operates entirely online, the PC Money Account has a small but efficient ATM network.

Customers can withdraw cash from PC Financial ATMs that are typically available at Loblaws affiliated stores.

Ideally, customers who find themselves using cash often should consider if there are Loblaws affiliated stores in the vicinity of places that they frequent to withdraw cash with no service fees.

PC Money Account: Rewards and Sign-Up Promotions

New customers can sign-up for the PC Money Account and earn up to 50,000 PC Points/Optimum Rewards, equaling $50 in cash value.

PC or PC Optimum points earned are only redeemable in $10 increments, which may seem like an eternity to collect. However, points never expire.

If you find yourself at any Loblaws Corporation store often, you'll have frequent opportunities to use your points.

The account additionally offers a rewards program for every transaction, offering 10 PC Optimum points on every dollar spent.

Using your card will earn you 2.5%* in PC Optimum rewards back when used at Shoppers Drug Mart and 1.5%* everywhere else.

You can earn more rewards upon sign-up using in a few ways:

  • Linking your PC Money Account to an external bank account will earn you 10,000 points*
  • Using your card on a $50* or higher purchase will earn 10,000 points*
  • Setting up a direct payroll deposit for a minimum of three months earns 25,000 points*
  • Making five bill payments of $50 or more to different recipients earns 1,000 points* each for every transaction
  • Referring family or friends who make $50* transactions within 60 days of opening the account will earn 10,000 points* for each referral
  • *Rates current as of July 2021

    PC Money Account: Safety and Security

    The PC Money Account is still relatively new. While this comes with a sense of excitement, there is also the query of whether or not the safety and security features are on par with what you can expect from a traditional bank. The quick answer to "Is the PC Money Account Safe?" is “Yes,” but allow us to elaborate for your peace of mind.

    Two-Factor Authentication

    Two-factor authentication is a common security measure used among major banks, and it’s an option available with the PC Money Account. This security measure helps verify that you are who you say you are every time you log in.

    Biometric Recognition

    You can enable biometric recognition on certain phones when using the PC Financial mobile app. This includes both touch fingerprint and facial recognition. Biometrics are not only convenient but a very safe way to ensure that your sensitive information is kept out of the view of others.

    Password

    For your protection, PC Money requires all customers to create strong passwords for their accounts.

    Fraud Detection and Account Notifications

    PC Money offers world-class fraud monitoring by a team of fraud specialists. In the case of a security breach, PC Money will notify you immediately with various types of alerts and notifications. If you are interested in even more security, you can also opt to pay for more features and security.

    SSL Certificate

    The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) refers to a special security standard that signifies that a website enjoys an encrypted connection with its server. You may have noticed it before in a website URL, as an SSL can be spotted by the use of “https” instead of “http”.

    This encrypted connection comes with online access to the SSL Certificate, which means that all inputted information cannot be intercepted by a third party, a must-have for banks that handle sensitive information.

    Firewalls

    PC Money uses firewall technology to monitor against suspicious activity and ensure that webpage access is limited to only those authorized.

    Encryption

    PC Money employs encryption, the gold standard of internet confidentiality. This means that your transactions are kept secret and safe from possible threats.

    MasterCard Zero Liability Protection Policy

    PC Money card holders also benefit from MasterCard’s liability protection, protecting the customer against unauthorized card use. They maintain some qualifying requirements such as an account in good standing and cooperation with an investigation.

    Mastercard also requires cardholders to have taken “reasonable” measures to protect their card. This means that you can’t expose yourself to threats on purpose and in turn benefit from the liability protection policy.

    What is the PC Money Account?

    The PC Money Account is a digital bank account that combines the features of a credit and debit card.

    It additionally operates as a prepaid Mastercard, allowing Canadians to use the account in the same fashion as a traditional credit card, without the monthly bill or credit card interest.

    It also allows cardholders to earn points on every purchase, redeemable at any Loblaws Corporation store, including Loblaws, No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart, Joe Fresh, Zehrs, and Provigo, among many others.

    Despite being a non-traditional bank, the PC Money Account is considered a Schedule 1 bank and insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

    How Does the PC Money Account Work ?

    The PC Money account offers users access to an online-only money management system by using a hybrid PC Financial/Mastercard-branded card. This card is accepted anywhere that Mastercard is, although it does not function as a traditional credit card.

    This PC Money card allows users to earn 10 PC Optimum points for every $1 they spend. There is no monthly account fee and no minimum monthly balance that must be maintained. Cardholders have access to an online platform that allows them to manage their money in real-time and set up personalized savings goals.

    This online-only prepaid card is becoming more popular in recent years. While it doesn’t make a great choice for a primary bank account option, it can act as a wonderful supplemental account for anyone who is looking to reap the benefits of one of Canada’s most generous and widespread points collection programs. Think of the PC Money account as being similar to a prepaid credit card, except geared towards PC Points/Optimum Points collectors.

    What is President’s Choice Financial?

    First launched in collaboration with CIBC in 1996, President's Choice Financial offered a digital bank account, along with other banking products, such as personal loans, mortgages, and a credit card, among other financial products.

    In 2017, CIBC and President’s Choice ended their relationship. CIBC then launched Simplii Financial while President’s Choice reintroduced their bank account as the PC Money Account.

    PC Money Account Pros & Cons

    Pros: The Good Stuff

    Logo No monthly fees or services charges. The unlimited transactions help with daily purchases online or in-store.

    Logo No credit card interests. There is no monthly bill or interest for missed payments, as the PC Money Account is a reloadable Mastercard.

    Logo Reward program and free groceries. Accumulation of 10 PC Optimum points for every $1 spent on any purchases.

    Cons: The Not So Good Stuff

    Logo No positive interest. No fees or transaction limits come with a price, and that price is no interest on account balances, of any amount.

    Logo No credit building. As a reloadable card, the PC Money Account can’t help build credit.

    Logo No cheque books. The inability to write or deposit cheques into this account can be inconvenient.

    Logo Limited ATM Network PC Financial ATMs are only available at Loblaws Corporation stores.

    Our Final Thoughts

    PC Financial’s return to the personal finance landscape with a no-fee bank account couldn’t come at a better time, as the company rejoins a rising trend of free banking services, competing with many new neo-banks.

    With a debit and credit card hybrid, topped off with the PC Optimum reward points program, this free banking product is suitable for people who want to stick to a budget and avoid credit card debt. Its offerings are also suitable for dedicated Loblaws Corporation patrons.

    With no costs and a multitude of perks, PC Financial is a great option for anyone seeking a means of maximizing their spending and maximizing earning potential.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Not exactly. While both banks offer no-fee banking solutions, PC Money and Simplii Financial are separate banking institutions.

    PC Financial and CIBC, Simplii Financial's parent bank, separated in 2017 after a partnership spanning almost two decades.

    The separation was a mutual agreement between CIBC and PC Financial, which made the account transitions seamless.

    Following the separation, PC Financial customers moved to Simplii Financial, CIBC's new direct-to-consumer digital bank.

    The PC Financial Mastercard would remain intact, and all PC Financial clients transferred to CIBC's new digital banking.

    Not exactly. President’s Choice is a corporation that additionally provides banking services.

    While PC Financial isn’t exactly a traditional bank, it's more of a corporation that offers banking solutions.

    Collecting PC Optimum points can add up quickly if you spend strategically. Points are redeemable in any Loblaws store or online in increments of $10.

    All participating retailers are available on the PC Optimum website. It is easy to spot participating grocery stores, as they carry the President’s Choice brand.

    Some notable supermarkets include Maxi, Loblaws, and No Frills. If you are in the market for some new clothes, Joe Fresh has you covered for all of your basic fashion needs. Lastly, Shoppers Drug Mart is available for all of your health and beauty needs.

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