PC Money Account Review

If you're having trouble securing a traditional credit card, then the PC Money Account may be for you. It operates like a debit card but rewards you like a credit card.

WRITTEN BY
Lisa Rennie
Updated January 4, 2021


RATING

If you collect PC Optimum points, then you may want to learn more about the PC Money Account, a hybrid money management banking product that operates like a hybrid bank account and prepaid card. 

The new PC Money Account features a prepaid Mastercard that can be used for both in-person and online purchases wherever Mastercard is accepted. And the fact that you can earn points with the card makes it a stand-out from other traditional prepaid card products out there. 

What is The PC Money Account?

The PC Money Account is offered by PC Financial and can be considered a hybrid account. Unlike a typical debit account, you can use the PC Money Account to do your day-to-day banking, pay your bills, and move money. Plus, you’ll have an accompanying prepaid credit card that you can use to make expenditures much as you would with a regular credit card, but without having to meet stringent eligibility criteria.

It’s important to note that the Mastercard prepaid card that comes with the PC Money Account is not a credit card. The money you spend when you use your prepaid card will come from funds you’ve already deposited into your account. 

You won’t be able to make any purchases on credit that would then have to be repaid with interest tacked on if you carry a balance. Instead, you must first load your funds before you can spend using your prepaid card. 

That said, you can use the card much like a credit card when making purchases. And you can collect points that can be redeemed for free groceries and other items, much like many rewards credit cards. However, you won’t be able to deposit or write cheques or use your prepaid card where Mastercard isn’t accepted.  

How Does The PC Money Account Work?

To open a PC Money Account, you’ll need to enroll on the pcfinancial.ca website or sign up via the PC Financial app. Once your account is open, you can add money by transferring funds through an Interac e-Transfer or by linking another bank account from a different financial institution. 

Once funds have been loaded into your account, you can start making purchases, both online and in-store. You can also withdraw funds from your PC Money Account for free at any PC Financial ATM for free service. 

How do PC Optimum Points Work With The PC Money Account?

With the PC Money Account, you’ll earn 10 PC Optimum points for every $1 spent anywhere. More specifically, you’ll earn 5 regular PC Optimum points and 5 bonus PC Optimum points for every dollar you spend. And when you shop at any Shopper’s Drug Mart location, you can earn 25 PC Optimum points per $1 spent.

The PC Money Account also comes with a handsome welcome bonus. When you sign up, you can earn as many as 50,000 PC Optimum points, which is worth up to $50 when you redeem. To collect all 50,000 points, you’ll need to take the following steps:

  • Link another bank account to collect 10,000 points
  • Set up payroll deposit to collect 25,000 points
  • Spend your first $50 to collect 10,000 points
  • Make 5 bill payments to collect 5,000 points

Looking for a card with lots of rewards? Check out our list of the best rewards credit cards.

Benefits of The PC Money Account

  • No monthly fees. There are no fees associated with the PC Money Account, unlike many other bank accounts that can charge anywhere from $4 to $15 or more per month.
  • No minimum deposit requirement. You won’t be penalized for having less than a certain amount deposited in your account at any given time. 
  • No limits on transactions. You can make as many transactions as you like every month without having to pay a fee for going over a certain limit. All transactions are free, including Interac e-Transfers.
  • Earn points. Every purchase you make using your prepaid Mastercard associated with your PC Money Account will earn you PC Optimum points. Plus, you can earn up to 50,000 welcome bonus points when you first sign up. Then, redeem your points at any Shopper’s Drug Mart, Loblaws, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, and other PC-associated retailers. 
  • Pay bills. You can use your PC Money Account to make bill payments, much like a traditional chequing account but without the fees that these types of accounts usually charge. 
  • Free ATM withdrawals. Visit any PC Financial ATM to withdraw cash for free. 
  • Overdraft protection. In case your account goes into overdraft, you’ll be protected with optional overdraft protection. You’ll only have to pay for this protection when you use it.

Drawbacks of The PC Money Account

  • No interest. You won’t be paid out any interest on deposits in your PC Money Account.
  • No cheques. You can’t write or deposit cheques.
  • Limited ATMs. Bank machine withdrawals are free at any PC Financial ATM. But compared to other banks, there are a limited number of PC Financial ATMs available. 
  • Foreign exchange fees. You’ll be charged a 2.5% fee on any foreign currency transactions made using your PC Money Account prepaid card.
  • Not a credit card. While the prepaid Mastercard can be used as a credit card to make online and in-person purchases, it can’t be used to borrow funds on credit or to build your credit score

Cost of Opening a PC Money Account

Although there are no monthly fees or charges for transactions, there are certain costs associated with the PC Money Account.

Monthly fees$0
Bill payments$0
Interac e-TransfersFree
Overdraft protection fee$5
ATM withdrawals– Free at PC Financial ATMs
– Non-PC ATM withdrawals (domestic): $1.50
– Non-PC ATM withdrawals (international): $3
Non-sufficient funds (NSF)$40
Foreign exchange transaction fee2.5%
Inactivity fee$20
Card replacement fee$5 (first free per year)

PC Money Account Overview

Annual fee$0
Points– Earn 10 PC Optimum points for every $1 spent on all purchases
– Earn 25  PC Optimum points for every $1 spent at any Shopper’s Drug Mart location
Welcome bonusUp to 50,000 points
TransactionsUnlimited
Interac e-TransfersFree
Overdraft ProtectionYes*Fees apply each month on overdrawn amounts until the account is brought back to $0
# ATMs700+
ATM withdrawalsFree at PC Financial ATMs, located inside many Loblaws stores
Mobile appyes

Eligibility Requirements

You won’t have to meet stringent credit or income criteria to qualify for a PC Money Account. That said, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident 
  • Be the age of majority in your province
  • Provide information about your employment status

When you apply, you’ll need to provide the following information: 

  • Full name
  • Contact information
  • Date of birth
  • Residential status 
  • Social Insurance Number (optional)

Is The PC Money Account Safe? 

Yes, your money is safe with the PC Money Account. PC Financial is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), which means up to $100,000 of your deposits are protected. Plus, the PC Money Mastercard is protected by the Zero Liability Protection program which protects against fraudulent use of your card and account.

Plus, you’ll have two-factor authentication requirements to log into your account. This will place another hurdle in front of would-be hackers that may want to make their way into your account. And if you do notice any fraudulent activity with your card or account, you can immediately lock your card so it can’t be used by anyone until the situation has been rectified. 

Prefer banking online? Check out these online-only banks.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a product that allows you to collect rewards points and make online purchases without the need to secure a traditional credit card, then the PC Money Account may be something worth looking further into. It’s also a great option for those who want to avoid overspending or racking up credit card debt, or who simply cannot get approved for a conventional credit card.  

The PC Money Account is a unique blend of chequing and debit accounts, with a card to go along with it. Just keep in mind that you won’t be able to write any cheques nor use the card as a way to establish and build credit.