We tried a free alternative to debit for 7 days: Here's how it went

May 17 2022, 2:00 pm

Spending money is a double-edged sword. While it can feel so good to splurge or tick errands off your to-do list, it’s always accompanied by the unwanted feeling of seeing the numbers in your bank account dwindle. But what always makes shopping feel better is when you know you’re getting something back from those dollars spent.

Points are a wonderful offering of rewards, allowing you to earn them with the money you’re already spending. And with today’s cost of living being so ridiculously high, we’ll happily take all the help we can get — especially when there are PC Optimum points involved, since they can be redeemed toward so many essentials like groceries, gas, cosmetics, and clothes at participating stores. But the value doesn’t stop there. The newest member of the PC Financial family — the PC Money Account — offers great rewards.

So, I took the card out for a week-long spin to put it to the test, and it was as breezy and (literally) rewarding as spending money can get.

Why use the PC Money Account?

Using the PC Money Account, a free debit card alternative

Running errands with the PC Money Account. (Vanessa Shakespeare/Daily Hive)

If you’re not feeling the love of your debit card these days, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

A lot of other banks will limit the number of free transactions on your debit in a month and charge you a monthly fee — so you don’t really feel rewarded for the money you’re spending. These are reasons why I was pretty excited to find the PC Money Account. Not only is there no monthly fee and unlimited transactions, but it also offers tons of possibilities for those who prefer to pay with debit, but still want the points. Dare I say, it’s a better choice than debit.
One of the best things about this account is it makes your money work harder for you because with every single dollar you spend on purchases, you’ll earn 10 PC Optimum points. All you have to do is fund the card, shop with it, and start racking up the points — it’s that simple.

Signing up and using the app

Using the PC Money Account, a free debit card alternative

Fund, shop, and earn with the PC Money Account. (Vanessa Shakespeare/Daily Hive)

First, I applied online. Once you receive the card in the mail and create your online account, you’re good to go. The card can also be managed through the PC Financial app and be added to your digital wallet — putting itself quite literally at your fingertips.

When you receive the PC Money Account card, you can fund your account by requesting an Interac e-Transfer from your main bank account, which is completely free of charge. I loaded the card with some money to use for coffees, groceries, smoothie runs, and the like during the next week. It was super easy to get set up, and the app provided all the insights and tools I needed to keep tabs on my spending.

Using the PC Money Account, a free debit card alternative

Pay with your PC Money Account to earn 10 points on every $1 spent on purchases. (Vanessa Shakespeare/Daily Hive)

If you want to have a separate account for entertainment and dining out, or are looking to be more frugal and stick to a weekly budget, the PC Money Account gives you easy ways to track your spending through the PC Financial app.

The app has other handy features, too, like a financial goal-setting space and the option to link your existing PC Optimum card to your PC Money Account.

A week with the PC Money Account

Using the PC Money Account, a free debit card alternative

Set goals and track spending through the PC Financial app. (Vanessa Shakespeare/Daily Hive)

During my week testing out the PC Money Account, I used the card for those day-to-day purchases that tend to pop up — a coffee run for the office, a smoothie after a workout class, and last-minute groceries I needed to grab for a recipe on my way home from work. It couldn’t have been easier to use.

Using the PC Money Account, a free debit card alternative

Earn points on every purchase with the PC Money Account. (Vanessa Shakespeare/Daily Hive)

Even with only a compilation of smaller purchases made, I ended up earning a lot of PC Optimum points over the course of seven days. Near the end of the week, I had spent only $47.60 — but had already earned a whopping 470 points. From local produce markets and coffee shops to grocery stores and Shoppers Drug Mart, I took the card for a solid spin around town.

For example, one $6 oat milk latte earned me 60 points, a $15 grocery stop earned me 150 points, and a $9 post-workout smoothie earned me 90 points. Overall, this is a card I’ll keep using, and keep cashing in on those prized points.

Until May 23, you can earn up to 300,000 PC Optimum points in welcome offers with the PC Money Account. To quickly and easily apply for a PC Money Account, head here.

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