Us beauty lovers buy a lot of makeup and while Sephora does get some of my money, Shoppers Drug Mart sees me a lot more. You need to spend $100 at Sephora just for a sample with your points. Shopping with my Optimum card, I can usually get $30 in points for that same $100 and choose something nice as my reward instead.
Sure, some stuff at Shoppers Drug Mart is overpriced. If you look at the higher end stuff, it is generally the same price as Sephora but drug store stuff can usually be picked up at Walmart for less. Walmart doesn’t offer points, forget 20x Optimum points or more. Now on a regular day, sure, you would only earn 1000 points for your $100. It is still around $2 if you redeem at the highest levels but Optimum offers so many special offers, you never have to shop and not earn more than just the base points.
First, you earn base points on Shoppers Drug Mart gift cards, so if you buy one to use when shopping you can both control your spending and double your base points. I put my beauty budget for the month on a card and that way I think twice before splurging.
Sign Up For Optimum Offers
Each week, I get four offers based on spending and a handful of product offers. On Saturday, you log in and get one “when you spend” offer for the whole week plus your product ones. They usually have a store offer on Saturday or all weekend where you can get bonus Optimum points, gift cards, movie tickets or other goodies with a purchase of $50-100. Then you will get a daily offer for Monday, Wednesday and Friday most weeks as well. Some of my favourites
- 3,000 Optimum points when you spend $10 on food & snacks
- 8,000 Optimum points when you spend $30 on almost anything in the store
- 12,000 Optimum points when you spend $50 on almost anything in the store
- 16,000 Optimum points when you spend $60 on almost anything in the store
- 1,000 Optimum points when you spend $10 on almost anything in the store
If you wait for a bonus redemption and redeem at the highest levels, you “pay” 475 Optimum points per dollar redeemed. While I know that many Optimum lovers hate the spend $10 get 1,000 points offer, I see it as $2+ back and I can just buy the basics. What other stores give you 20% off on a regular basis? If I am lucky enough to get the 8,000 point offer on $30 spent on almost anything in the store, it is almost $17 if I wait to redeem and $1o if I want to redeem right away at the lowest amount (with options in between). I am basically getting 30-40% back in points when I shop with special offers.
The food offer is even more amazing at $6+ back on $10 spent so my tip is – don’t just buy beauty. I gain many of my points by buying regular stuff at Shoppers Drug Mart. I go there every week so pick up milk, bread, eggs and more. They always have low prices on these items (milk is $3.97 every week) and I get an offer for food or anything in the store at least once a week. Then I redeem for beauty stuff!
Download the Optimum app so you can check for your coupons in the store. I load all of my coupons, even if I do not think I will use them as you never know what will be on store special or clearance. While I easily remember my main offer, the product ones are harder to remember.
Choose Your Shoppers Drug Mart Store
I am lucky to have several decent ones near me but I rarely shop at the closest one as I don’t find the staff particularly friendly and they do not carry many of the brands I like so I am willing to go a little further for a store I love. Make friends with the cosmetics manager too. They will tell you when they are getting new collections and might even give you some extra bonus points or samples on beauty purchases.
Earn Optimum Points Using Coupons & Rebates
Pay attention to rebates too, both using rebate apps and mail in rebates. You get money back from buying these products so why not buy them somewhere you earn points? For example, I recently bought Dessange shampoo. There was a coupon for a free treatment with the shampoo so I picked that up and earned $15 from a rebate app for buying both. The coupon and rebate almost covered the cost of both items with taxes and the shampoo counted towards my offer for 8,000 points when I spent $30. I picked up some groceries and a bottle of nail polish, earned over $10,000 points as there were store points on some items. Spent $36 out of pocket and got a $15 rebate back. Those points are worth $21 so my shop cost me less than a dollar. Now would I have picked up a $12+ bottle of shampoo if not for the rebate? Probably not, but I have something to blog and it didn’t cost me anything in the long term once the rebate and points are considered and it helped me “pay” for the groceries I bought.
Coupons that are not store coupons and are not for a free product will generally count towards your points too. The Dessange did not as it was a free product, even having to buy the shampoo too but if I used a coupon for $1 off an item, it would be counted in my points. I ask the cashier to enter any coupons at the end and check my subtotal to make sure I will earn the points.
Taxes never count towards points and when you redeem, you have to pay the taxes. So if you are redeeming $200 on a bonus redemption day, make sure you spend it all as the taxes will not be included and you will still pay 95,000 points.
BeautyBoutique Online Shopping
Some of the higher end stuff is not available at all stores, but you can buy from BeautyBoutique online. Shipping is free when you spend $75 and they ship quickly so you will get your beauty haul in days. Sadly, the personalized coupons do not work when shopping online, but they always have lots of product offers as well as a general offer based on spending $75-100+ on weekends.
Optimum Credit Card
Credit cards are very much a personal choice, but if you don’t have a decent cashback card and do not use up travel rewards, the Optimum credit card can help you earn free beauty products (or groceries from Shoppers Drug Mart if you want to be boring). You can earn 5 Optimum points per dollar spent in more than just Shoppers Drug Mart.
Don’t want to read all of the above, here it is in bullet points
- buy a gift card and double your base points (only on Shoppers Drug Mart gift cards)
- always shop with Optimum offers & get the app so you remember them
- know what your points are worth, getting 2,000 points on an item could make it free
- don’t just buy beauty, they have great grocery prices and you can rack up points buying them
- use rebates to make money back while earning points
- choose your store, some are better than others & carry different brands
- check the clearance rack, I often find items I have a product offer for
- wait for sales, sure they are overpriced for some items but give it a week or two and it will likely be on sale
- choose your offer carefully, you cannot combine your Monday & all week “big” offers or the weekend Optimum special and your card offer. If it says when you spend $xx on… it will not combine, but you can use a product offer with a main offer.
You will be on your way to earning 95,000 Optimum points to spend $200 in no time, just remember that you paid for those points with your purchases!