You Snooze, You Lose: 9 in 10 Canadian debit shoppers are missing out on significant returns


April 28, 2022

You Snooze, You Lose: 9 in 10 Canadian debit shoppers are missing out on significant returns


April 28, 2022

You Snooze, You Lose: 9 in 10 Canadian debit shoppers are missing out on significant returns

TORONTO, April 28, 2022 /CNW/ - While debit usage in Canada clocks in at an impressive 29% of purchases, nearly 90% of Canadians aren't using a debit card that rewards them for these purchases. According to a new survey from PC Financial* as many as 7 in 10 Canadians are not aware there are accounts, like the PC Money Account, that will reward customers for spending their own money. Meanwhile, a whopping 7 in 10 Canadians (73%) believe people using non-rewards debit cards are missing out on significant returns.

"With the cost of many items on the rise, people are increasingly looking for ways to make their money go further," says Barry Columb, President, PC Financial. "Canadians are telling us that they want the option to pay with their own money but aren't feeling rewarded by debit. That's exactly why we launched the PC Money Account which is a better alternative to debit, since it gives customers PC Optimum points that can help cover essentials like groceries, gas, cosmetics, and clothes."

The Psychology Behind Spending with Debit

The study investigated the reasons why Canadian shoppers prefer to use specific payment methods.

The top reason people prefer to use their debit card over other forms of payment is to have control over their spending (33%).

"Having deliberate control over spending is one of the pillars of financial well-being," says Dr. Moira Somers, a Winnipeg-based clinical neuropsychologist who focuses on financial psychology. "But spending can be influenced by hidden factors outside of our awareness, and this often results in overspending. One painless way to maintain control is to use your own money in the form of cash or an everyday spending account, just like the PC Money Account. It causes the brain to pause and give purchases a second thought." 

Rewards Points are Motivating the Way People Pay

Rewards are a major motivator for why Canadian shoppers choose a payment method.

56 per cent of Canadians said earning rewards from their payment card influences their decision to use the card.

3 out of 4 Canadians said they use a credit card with a rewards offering, but only 1 in 10 Canadians use a debit card with a rewards offering.

"I love the PC Money Account because it offers the best of all worlds. It not only provides the safety and convenience of having a bank account versus carrying cash, but it also rewards users with PC Optimum points everywhere they shop. The PC Money Account is a great option for people who want to make their money work harder and earn rewards faster," Dr. Somers said.

Further key findings from the survey:

  • Canadians could be savvier with their debit rewards points: Only half the users of debit rewards cards feel they are using their rewards well. 

  • Canadians see potential for rewards to support with budgeting: 2 in 5 Canadians say a debit rewards card could help them with budgeting.

  • Rewards debit cards are still being utilized: 78 per cent of people who use rewards debit cards use them weekly.

*About the Survey

These are the findings of a study/survey conducted by PC Financial from April 11 – 14, 2022, with a representative sample of n=1,555 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French.

The precision of Angus Reid Forum online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error

About the Angus Reid Forum

The Angus Reid Forum is Canada's most well-known and trusted online public opinion community consisting of engaged residents across the country who answer surveys on topical issues that matter to all Canadians.

About President's Choice Financial

PC Financial® services provide unprecedented value to customers, simplifying financial products to help Canadians Live Life Well®. Through the PC Mastercard® and the PC MoneyTM Account, customers avoid monthly banking fees and have earned more than $1 billion worth of PC Optimum points to redeem for beauty, groceries, gas, apparel, and other products. The company is committed to being one of Canada's most diverse and inclusive employers, and makes it a priority to reflect this in its people and culture.

Established in 1998, PC Financial® is a part of Loblaw Companies Limited. For more information, visit in a new tab).