If you’re Canadian, chances are you’ve shopped at Canadian Tire. The retailer, established nearly 100 years ago to sell tires, has steadily expanded into a one-stop shop for everything home, automotive and outdoors, which means customers can find everything from patio furniture to hockey equipment to kitchen appliances to camping gear to carburetors under one roof. Some of their locations even offer car repairs from licensed technicians.
The company itself has also evolved, expanding its family of businesses to include unisex apparel chain Mark’s Work Wearhouse (Mark’s), as well as the sporting goods chains SportChek and Atmosphere, among others. Not surprising, then, that in 2019 Canadian Tire topped a list of Canada’s most admired companies, as determined by a survey of 2,100 Canucks.
Canadian Tire Triangle Mastercards
With robust earn rates and no annual fee, this Mastercard is simply a standout. Cardholders earn 4% in Canadian Tire Money on purchases at Canadian Tire and partner stores. Spends on groceries at any store (except Walmart and Costco) get 3% in CTM, and purchases anywhere else earn 1%. Further, when you fill up at Canadian Tire’s Gas+ gas stations, or participating Husky gas stations, you’ll earn $0.05 to $0.07 per litre in CTM.
The ability to earn Canadian Tire Money is the headline perk on this card, but the benefits don’t end there. Account holders get a free Gold Plan membership from Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance, which includes 24-hour roadside assistance in Canada and the U.S., five free tows, and help with fuel delivery, battery boosts and flat-tire changes. Perhaps best of all, you can decide whether to insure your single registered vehicle—regardless of who’s driving it—or yourself, regardless of which vehicle you’re in. Extended warranty and purchase protection are also included. Cardholders can take advantage of special bonuses and personalized offers.
Applicants must show an annual income of $80,000 (or $150,000 for the household) to be eligible. Those earning under this threshold can set their sights on the entry-level Triangle Mastercard (more information on that below).
- Annual fee: $0
- Earn rate: 4% in Canadian Tire Money on purchases at Canadian Tire and partner stores; 3% on grocery spends at any store (except Walmart and Costco); $0.05 to $0.07 back at Gas+ and participating Husky stations; and 1% everywhere else
- Income requirement: $80,000, or $150,000 for the household
- Additional benefits: Roadside Assistance Gold Plan; personalized offers and exclusive bonuses; member-only events; extended warranty
- Purchase interest rate: 19.99%
As with the World Elite card, this product puts 4% in CTM back in your pocket on spends at Canadian Tire and partner stores. Purchases made anywhere else earn 0.8% back, and gas is rewarded at $0.05 per litre at Gas+ and participating Husky gas stations. Cardholders receive personalized offers tailored to their interests.
- Annual fee: 0$
- Earn rate: 4% in Canadian Tire Money on purchases at Canadian Tire and partner stores; $0.05 back at Gas+ and participating Husky stations; and 0.8% everywhere else
- Income requirement: None
- Additional benefits: Personalized offers and exclusive bonuses; member-only events; extended warranty
- Purchase interest rate: 19.99%
Earning Canadian Tire Money
|Retailer||Triangle Mastercard Credit Cards||Triangle Rewards Loyalty Card|
|Participating Mark's/L'Equipeur locations||4%||0.4%|
|Participating Atmosphere locations||4%||0.4%|
|Gas+||5 - 7 cents per litre||3 cents per litre|
|Everywhere else||0.8% - 1%||0%|
Where can you redeem Canadian Tire Money?
|Participating Mark’s/L’Équipeur locations|
|Participating Atmosphere locations|
All About Canadian Tire’s Triangle Rewards Program
Participating locations of these stores are partnered with Canadian Tire in their new Triangle Rewards Program, the company’s loyalty structure. For consumers, this is good news. Canadian Tire has loads of experience with customer rewards—they’re the inventors of Canadian Tire Money (CTM), the granddaddy of Canadian rewards programs. Introduced way back in 1958, Canadian Tire Money (coupons printed to look like currency) offered customers a way to save on in-store purchases as a reward for their patronage; when you made a purchase, you were handed CTM to use in lieu of cash on a future visit. (We’re guessing you have a roll of brightly coloured Canadian Tire bills in your glove box at this very moment.) Shoppers who like to collect the coupons can still claim paper Canadian Tire Money today.
In addition, through the Triangle Program, collectors can accumulate CTM digitally at Canadian Tire stores, at participating partner stores and online. The 2018 introduction of the Program digitized the CTM concept, allowing Triangle Program members to collect CTM at more retailers, and at a better rate.
There are two ways to join the Triangle program: become a Triangle Mastercard cardholder; or register for Triangle Rewards with the downloadable app or a physical loyalty card. In both cases, members receive digital CTM automatically on every purchase. But here’s where the paths diverge: Loyalty cardholders earn at a rate of 0.4% at Canadian Tire and its affiliates, while Triangle Mastercard account holders earn 10 times that amount (4.0%)—and they can earn on every purchase, anywhere.
Boosting your rewards with Canadian Tire Financial Services
Regardless of which card you carry, there are a few tips and tricks to help you get the very best out of your Triangle Mastercard.
Just like with any credit card, there are some best practices to observe. First and foremost, it’s a smart idea to pay off your balance in full every month to ensure you don’t owe interest on your purchases. With that in mind, it’s always important to build a budget and stick to it. Don’t overspend in pursuit of CTM rewards.
That said, at some point everyone faces making a purchase sometimes that’s too large for the regular budget. With the zero-fee, zero-interest financing option included with either of these Triangle Mastercards, qualifying purchases can be paid off in installments—without penalty. Qualifying purchases are a minimum of $200 spent at Canadian Tire-affiliated stores (or online), and the balance is split into equal payments. As long as you pay the minimum by the due date, you’ll incur no interest. Not only that, you’ll also collect Canadian Tire Money on the payments.
If your goal is to collect as much CTM as possible, here’s a pro-tip: Canadian Tire has its own bank, so cardholders who register and use their card to make recurring payments will earn even more CTM (1.0% or 0.8%, depending on the Triangle card they have). Simply sign up to pay your major bills like your property tax, utilities, insurance premiums or even tuition on your Triangle Mastercard, then sit back and reap the rewards—on the regular. Those considering this strategy should be aware that unless they pay off their bills in full they will incur interest, but for those with sufficient funds and organizational savvy, the rewards potential is well worth a look.
Cardholders and Triangle Rewards members receive special offers each week, based on the kinds of purchases they typically make at Canadian Tire and its partner stores. So, if you regularly load up on pet supplies, you might receive an offer to earn 50 times the usual amount of CTM on your purchase of pet items that week. If automotive is your thing, you might want to activate an offer to earn 25 times the CTM when you buy tires. (Hockey parents might find sporting goods offers especially handy, as their kids continually outgrow gear that needs replacing!)
Are there any drawbacks to the Triangle Mastercard?
Those who shop regularly at Canadian Tire, SportChek, Mark’s and other partners can build points balances pretty rapidly, especially when they combine their credit card earn rates with bonus point offers through the Triangle Rewards program. However, the earn rate at non-partner businesses is quite low: just 1.0% for Triangle World Elite cardholders, and 0.8% for Triangle Mastercard holders. Keep in mind, too, that you can only redeem CTM at Canadian Tire, SportCheck, and participating Mark’s, L’Équipeur and Atmosphere locations. So if you don’t frequent Canadian Tire and its partners, the rewards of either card may not be exciting enough to warrant signing up.