PC Financial®

5 tips to make your next road trip more rewarding

Jun 15, 2023

The tank is full, the car is clean and organized, snacks are packed, and the road is stretching out in front of you, full of possibility. There’s nothing like that summer road trip feeling. Kick off road trip season right with tips you can use to make it more rewarding, whether you’re winding into the woods to a cottage or cutting a line cross country.

1. Map it all out.

One of the best things about road trips is the complete freedom to discover hidden gems and go wherever the road takes you. But that carefree feeling is brought to you by none other than the time and thought you put into planning before you start you start the car. That includes having your route mapped out and knowing your timing: are you totally calm in traffic or do you prefer to head out early on quiet roads? Do you have a plan for your stops, or do you prefer to take the spontaneous approach? And don’t forget all the supplies—road trip essentials like snacks, drinks, sunscreen, wipes, and more.

TRY THIS: As you prep for your journey, what’s your plan to get rewarded on every dollar you spend on your road trip essentials? The no annual fee PC® Mastercard® is the fastest way to score points at the pump. Did you know you can earn at least 3 cents per litre in PC Optimum™ points¹ when you fuel up at Esso™ and Mobil™ stations in Canada? That’s a lot of points you can redeem later toward free stuff! Plus, get up to 30 PC Optimum™ points² on every dollar you spend at participating grocery stores, up to 45 points³ on every dollar you spend at Shopper Drug Mart® and Pharmaprix®, and 10 points² for every dollar you spend everywhere else.

Sign up for your PC® Mastercard® here (opens in a new window)External link to start earning rewards before you head out onto the open road.

2. Set your budget.

Make sure you have a clear picture of the expenses involved once you arrive at your destination—but don’t forget to budget for the journey too. With all the excitement and potentially long travel days ahead, it can be easy to lose track of what you spend on food, break stops, sightseeing, and even parking if you let the road take you on a few detours. We usually bring a variety of snacks with us—we’ll pre-cook and prep food at home to bring along (a good cooler for the backseat is your best friend)—and we always stash a few large bottles of water in the car to refill at rest stop fountains as needed. Stock up on snacks ahead of time at Loblaws®, Real Canadian Superstore®, No Frills®, or Maxi® to earn up to 30 PC Optimum™ points² on every dollar you spend with your PC® Mastercard®.

TRY THIS: Load your personalized offers in the PC Financial® app to maximize your points earning potential and keep an eye out for exclusive PC Optimum™ points offers at Esso™ and Mobil™ stations. You can also offset some of your travel costs by redeeming the points you’ve earned with your PC® Mastercard® toward fuel and car wash rewards at Esso™ stations to help you stay on budget. Redeem 4,000 points for 10 cents off per litre (up to 40 L in a single fill) and 10,000 points for a car wash reward at Esso™ stations⁴.

3. Make your playlists.

There’s no excuse for awkward silences or nodding off as a passenger when the tunes are bumping! Road trips are much more fun when you travel with great playlists. Whether it’s a daytrip or cross-country adventure, you’ll need a track list that will keep you going.

TRY THIS: Need a road trip DJ? Task all passengers with creating their own playlists. Make themes and explore podcasts and audio books too to make the most of your ride. Now your road trip has its own memorable soundtrack.

4. Keep the car organized (for at least the first 30 minutes).

Keeping our car clean, especially with our dog Fino, can be tough, even on shorter road trips. Our strategy is to make sure everything—snacks, phone chargers, cameras, flashlight, and cleaning supplies—has a “home” in the car and can be easily reached when needed. This helps keep the car tidy and the driver and navigator less stressed.

TRY THIS: Streamline your wallet and go cardless to avoid ruffling through your bag at every stop. Add your PC® Mastercard® to your mobile wallet to breeze through checkouts and earn PC Optimum™ points² on the go, for every dollar you spend at every destination on your trip.

5. Keep an open mind on the open road.

Don’t get stuck in the ditch of expectations! Road trips can be anything you want them to be—whether it’s a day jaunt to the next town over, a grand adventure, or anything in between. We took a road trip up the iconic Sea to Sky Highway recently and even though it’s close to home, it was so much fun to see our backyard through a different lens. We explored beaches, waterfalls, and lookouts, and it brought us back to the same first trip feeling when we arrived in Vancouver eight years ago. The nostalgia was real, and it was special recreating an unforgettable trip while also making new memories.


Remember: a road trip is as much about the journey as it is the destination, so don’t forget to take it all in and enjoy! That includes taking the scenic route and stopping at interesting exits when you have the time. So go ahead - stop at that incredible lookout, stretch your legs, take pictures, and make road trip memories that last a lifetime.

General information not about PC Financial® products is provided for your reference and interest only. The above content is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and is not a substitute for and should not be construed as the advice of an experienced professional. PC Financial® does not guarantee the currency, accuracy, applicability or completeness of this content.


¹Points amount shown includes the 10 points per dollar for all purchases with the PC Financial® Mastercard®. In addition, earn at least 10 PC Optimum™ points per purchased litre of gasoline or diesel fuel at Esso™ and Mobil™ stations in Canada when you pay with your PC Financial® Mastercard®. You will also earn at least 10 PC Optimum™ points per litre available to all PC Optimum™ loyalty members at Esso™ and Mobil™ stations in Canada. Earn an additional 10 points per litre of premium gasoline (Octane 89, 91, 93) at Esso™ and select Mobil™ Stations. You could earn even more points at Mobil™ stations located adjacent to a Loblaw banner grocery store. Exact earn rate is available at the station. Should fuel prices fall below $1/L, causing total points per litre awarded to fall below 30 points per litre, points will be topped up to ensure a minimum of 30 points per litre are awarded in all transactions paid with a PC Financial® Mastercard® at Esso™ and Mobil™ locations. For full details including how points are awarded to your PC Optimum™ account and rounding rules, visit pcfinancial.ca/en/legal-stuff/pc-optimum-mastercard/.


²Earn a minimum of 10 PC Optimum™ points per dollar on all of your purchases charged to the credit card. Any bonus PC Optimum™ points offers available to all PC Financial® Mastercard® customers are calculated based on the regular earnings rate of 10 PC Optimum™ points per dollar spent. This offer may be terminated or changed at any time.


³All PC Optimum™ members earn 15 points per dollar on eligible purchases at Shoppers Drug Mart® and Pharmaprix®. When you use your PC Financial® Mastercard® you will earn additional points per dollar: 10 points per dollar for PC Financial® Mastercard® cardholders; 20 points per dollar for PC Financial® World Mastercard® cardholders; and 30 points per dollar for PC Financial® World Elite Mastercard® cardholders.


⁴Limited to one redemption per day at Esso™ stations. 10 cents off per litre fuel redemption option valid at Esso™ stations across Canada. Car wash redemption option available at participating Esso™ stations with car wash facilities where advertised. Only redeemable at points level specified in a single transaction. 10 cents off per litre valid on actual number of litres fueled, to a maximum of 40 litres per redemption transaction, or a single car wash depending on the redemption option selected. Limit of one redemption per PC Optimum™ account per calendar day at participating Esso™ stations (in accordance with President’s Choice Services Inc.’s official records). A valid PC Optimum™ card, PC Money™ Account card or President's Choice Financial® Mastercard® must be used as part of the payment transaction in order for PC Optimum™ points to be redeemed on fuel or car wash purchases, as applicable. Car wash options available for redemption are subject to availability and do not include coin operated car washes. Car wash codes can only be used at the station where the reward was issued unless otherwise specified in writing at the time of redemption and may be subject to expiration timelines. Redemption not available using manual card number entry, phone number entry, or the Esso and Mobil™ app. For fuel redemption, taxes payable on full purchase price before application of reward. Points are not redeemable for cash or credit. We are not obligated to award or redeem points based on errors or misprints. PC Optimum™ redemption is not available at Mobil™ stations. PC Optimum™, PC®, President’s Choice®, PC Financial®, President’s Choice Financial®, PC Money™ and the PC® Logo are trademarks of Loblaws Inc., used under license. Mastercard® is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated, used under license. PC Financial® Mastercard® and PC Money™ Account are provided by President’s Choice Bank. Esso™ is a trademark of Imperial Oil Limited. Imperial Oil, licensee. Mobil is a trademark of Exxon Mobil Corporation or one of its subsidiaries. Imperial Oil, licensee.