With the PC Insiders program becoming more and more popular, the PC Optimum program being more and more popular, AND being having Loblaw’s Presidents Choice Financial credit card taking the crown as Canada’s favourite credit card according to a credit card survey, I’m sure more and more people are booking PC Travel vacations, including us! Here’s my PC Travel review.
Now that the pandemic restrictions have relaxed a bit, people are interested in traveling again after being cooped up for over 2 years.
PC Travel Review
Loblaw’s is a grocery store behemoth in Canada. They have the PC Money Account (a no fee banking account in Canada), PC Insiders, PC Travel, PC MasterCard brands, among many other branded things.
From my knowledge so far, you can’t redeem your PC Optimum points for travel but you can earn points when you book through this travel agency. Here’s my review of President’s Choice Travel, or PC Travel and our experience with booking our airfare through them.
Yelp reviews of PC Travel do not seem very favourable so far because of the lack of ability to cancel the trip booked through PC Travel.
Related: PC Optimum Points: 6 Ways to Optimize your PC Points
What is PC Travel?
PC Travel is a segment of the Presidents Choice/ Loblaw’s brand with a focus on travel services that has been available since 2014.
PC Travel seems to be ‘contracted out’ to a full service travel agency called Travel Nation Canada (they are at the same address based out of Mississauga, Ontario).
It looks like they recently revamped their website in the past few months. You can book flights, vacations, cruises, car rentals, and hotels through the PC Travel website.
You can only book through PC Travel if you hold a President’s Choice Financial Mastercard or if you are a PC Insiders Member. When you go to the landing page, it screens you as to whether you have a PC Financial Mastercard or are a PC Insiders Member before you enter the PC Travel website.
The PC Insiders package is a $119 annual subscription but it used to include a $99 travel credit for travel booking through the PC Travel website.
This is no longer available and instead you get 5% back on PC Optimum points for car rentals, hotel bookings, flights and vacation packages booked through the PC Travel portal.
So if you booked a $500 getaway, you would get $25 worth in cash back in PC Optimum points.
There’s also other benefits with PC Insiders like free grocery pick up (normally this can cost between $3-5 a pick up) and 10% back in PC Points on PC Products.
PC Travel Contact
PC Travel (powered by Travel Nation Canada) is available by phone 7 days of the week.
Their number is 1-844-862-8466 and the hours below are EST (Eastern Standard Time).
- Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Their customer service was good, there was a question on our plane tickets (I wanted to make sure my son’s name was correct on the plane ticket) and they answered quickly and and seemed knowledgable. I didn’t have to wait on hold for like 4 hours to talk to someone, thank goodness.
Related: How to Save Money Fast in Canada
How Does PC Travel Work?
You can earn 5% back in PC Optimum Points when you book with PC Travel and have PC Insiders, depending on the card you have. You can’t redeem your PC points for travel though.
On the PC Travel website, they will ask for what PC Financial Mastercard you have of if you are a PC Insiers Rambire:
- PC Financial World Elite Mastercard holders receive 30 PC Optimum Points per dollar booked through PC Travel
- PC Financial World Mastercard holders receive 20 PC Optimum Points per dollar booked through PC Travel
- PC Financial Mastercard holders receive 20 PC Optimum Points per dollar booked through PC Travel
According to their Booking Terms and Conditions, it takes about 3-5 weeks for your PC Points to be awarded to your account. If there are any bonus PC Optimum points (for example, if there is a promotion for additional points booking through PC Travel), they will be added within the 3-5 weeks or 4-6 weeks in separate transactions.
Can You USe PC Points for Travel?
Unfortunately it works the other way around. You can EARN PC Points for travel but you cannot use PC Points for travel.
If you’re looking to use points earned from grocery shopping for travel, you might want to look into the Scene+ Rewards program where you can use Scene+ points for any way travel.
PC Travel Insurance
When you book your trip with PC Travel, PC Travel insurance is not automatically included. It is not included even with your PC financial credit card.
Here are some pros and cons of booking a PC travel flight or PC travel vacation with PCTravel.
PC Travel.ca PROS
Here are some positives of PC Travel:
- You can get 5% back in PC Travel Points when you book through the PC Travel website and use your PC Optimum card number and are a PC Insiders member.
- PC Travel also has a 24 hour Best Price Guarantee. They state that if the price drops within 24 hours from the time of booking, they will honour the lower rate at Canadian dollars. If indeed the rate is lower, then they will offer you an extra 25,000 PC Optimum points as a PC travel price match. There are some pretty strict guidelines as to the best price guarantee criteria though. The Best Price Guarantee is kind of similar to the SCOP rules in a sense.
PC Travel.ca Cons
Here are some drawbacks identified with PC Travel:
- Just like with a regular full service travel agency, the payment is due at the time of booking. So if you’re booking flights, hotels, or car rentals, you can’t ‘reserve’ and cancel, you have to pay first when you book. However, they note on their website that if you are booking a package vacation, you might be able to just pay for the deposit.
- In addition, all bookings are non refundable according to PC Travel’s FAQ section. The cancellation policies varies and they recommend you call the call centre to find out 1-844-862-8466
- Furthermore, if there are any changes that you want to make to your booking, they are not guaranteed, they again recommend you call the call centre to find out.
- Since the PC Optimum points take a while to be awarded to your account (weeks), it’s a bit difficult to keep track of when your points are awarded.
OUr PC Travel Experience
We used PC Travel to book our flights from Los Angeles to Vancouver on our LA/Mexico Trip. I guess they were like PC flights 🙂 The flight was through Air Canada and it seemed very straight forward to book with them for our budget travel needs.
For PC Travel, Airline tickets are issued within 24 – 48 hours from the time of the booking and emailed to you.
The tickets were about $400 for all three of us each including taxes and we did indeed get about 12,000 PC Optimum points towards our PC Optimum balance which is equivalent to about $12 in free groceries or whatever you want (I usually redeem for skincare and make up with Shoppers Beauty Boutique) from a Loblaw’s store like No Frills, The Real Canadian Superstore, and Shoppers Drug Mart.
I remember booking through them because it was less costly than booking directly or through a flight aggregator with the points included. It was straight forward and we got flight confirmation and an itinerary.
It looked similar to what you would get if you were to book through a travel agency. Then we got another confirmation email with an invoice indicating that we paid the airfare.
Things were straight forward for us since we didn’t need to cancel or change our booking. I imagine it would be quite difficult to change the booking since it lays out quite clearly in the terms and conditions that booking changes or cancellations are not really tolerated.
There are alternative ways to save money on travel than getting a $99 PC Travel credit now that it is no longer offered, such as using some of the best travel credit cards in Canada to travel hack.
I hope this PC Travel Review was helpful!
You may also be interested in:
- Roam mobility alternative
- Best travel cards for seniors in Canada
- Reethi Faru Resort Review
- How do Scene Points work?
- Is Legoland Hotel worth it?
Have you used PC Travel or PC Vacations?
What is your PC Travel review?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.
21 thoughts on “PC Travel Review (Is PCTravel Good?)”
I have not used them. Is this considered travel hacking? Or a members-only kind of club with travel-related benefits? Tom
@Tom- I wouldn’t say it’s travel hacking haha. If it is it would be like kindergarten level travel hacking. Interesting though that it’s only open to PC Insiders or people who have the Mastercard, I wonder why that is.
Thanks for the review GYM. I’ve never used PC Travel, but for what’s essentially 3% back in points, I’d consider it!
@Chrissy- Yeah, not bad! Their price for the flights at the time was cheaper than other places according to my Kayak search.
Wow, really? Cheaper than what Kayak is it amazing. I almost always find the lowest prices through Kayak. Great to know—thanks!
Haven’t used PC Travel yet but we have the $99 travel credit through the PC Insiders program. Interesting that they charge the amount upfront before you take the trip.
As stated in my PC Insiders Review (https://www.tawcan.com/pc-insiders-review-is-the-membership-fee-worth-it/), I think it’ worth to sign up for the $99 travel credit and all the benefits associated to it.
@Tawcan- Yeah, I’m still on the fence about the PC Insiders.. if it was free though AND there was a $99 Travel credit… haha 🙂
PC travel contracted to a travel agency and I’m not happy with the service. Just use the $99 and earn points and after that use other booking site. 🙂
The worst agency ever. Customer service is not very knowledgeable and impatient. I will not use them ever again
PC Travel is a joke.
You find a deal with $400, reserved that flight, and after 10 hours they tell you it is actually $700.
PC Travel does not honor the promotions that they advertise. Once booked they claim that that promotion does not apply. Very bad customer service.
P:C Travel is objectively awful. Bait-and-Switch tactics for their listed prices, as previous users have mentioned. I just tried to book a flight 4 1/2 months in advance, they write me back at the literal end of their business day and say that the the price is actually $100 more than quoted.
I used PC Travel. My trip had an unforeseen problem. I was flying from Vancouver to Amsterdam via Toronto. I was to meet my mom there, as she was flying Sudbury to Toronto. Her flight was cancelled, and we missed our flight to Amsterdam. As I landed, travel agent Belinda Wasney (ext. 1244) had already texted me. She saw my plane land from her office, and tole me to call her right away. She stayed late to make sure we connected and I knew which flight she ended up on. Above and beyond. If the rest of the company has the high standard that Belinda demonstrated that day, they are amazing.
@Dave- Wow, amazing! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Thank you so much. Shannon”s help was excellent. She saved me from hours of frustration booking a trip for my dog and myself. Getting through to West Jet was time taking and frustrating. Then handling my problem of want to do with an expired ID. I was in a panic as my renewed picture ID may not arrive before my flight. Thanks, Shannon, you put the fun back into travel. It’s PC flight travel for me!!!
@Donna- Awe good to hear you got personalized service. My husband’s Westjet ID got expired too! It’s annoying to try and navigate yourself online to correct it.
Do anyone has a sign up disc code?
@Loni G- I’m not aware of one but if you sign up for Insiders, you can get PC Optimum points back I believe.
I booked with PC travel, they took (gouged) me for $1,400 for a Vancouver -Los Angeles ticket, swallowed the bitter price because I need to see my mother whose medical condition is serious, but the worst thing is they did not book me on the flight. they even sent me the travel itinerary with all the flight details but checking in at the airport, none of the booking numbers were with the airline, not even my name, basically I was not booked at all. I called Travel Nation at the airport and they had me go back and forth between 2 airlines, all futile. I am beyond angry. called them again and was told to wait for their call because they will try to rebook me on another flight. 3 hours at the airport and I’m still waiting for them to call me. fyi- caution to everyone who wants to book with PC Travel/Travel Nation – also check with the airline if you are booked with them. I should have gone directly with the airline.
@JR- Ouch, thanks for sharing your experience. That’s terrible.